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Ena Langford Luxury Travel Agent La Jolla, California
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(15 reviews)
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Protravel International San Diego
Kenya, New Zealand, Australia & New Zealand, Tanzania, Fiji, England, Masai Mara National Reserve, Queenstown, Serengeti, Fjordland National Park
Luxury Travel, Nature, Safari, Adventure, Animals & Wildlife, Food & Wine, Luxury Ocean Cruises , Hiking

Ena Langford

La Jolla, California Travel Agent
Australia 2023

In June 2023, I went on my 20th trip to Australia in 21 years.  For the first time, I tried United Airlines business class.  The seats were very comfortable and laid flat.  The entertainment was great with new movies and TV Shows, the service was good and food options were plentiful. 

 Upon arrival in Sydney, we were met and transferred to the city where we met Alex and Jamie.  They both welcomed us and explained we were going for a walk and then for lunch.  Alex guided us on our walk along the George’s Head area across the bay from downtown.  This was refreshing after our 15-hour flight to be outside in the fresh air. The view back to the city of the Opera House and Bridge was fantastic.  After an easy hour-long walk with stops, we ended up at Alex & Jamie’s home for lunch.  After our lovely lunch, we then took a short drive to their small yacht.  Off on a Harbour cruise we went!  A beautiful sunny winters day showing us the Sydney Harbour, pointing out historic sights, sharing tales of the first Europeans arriving and interactions with Aboriginals.  We arrived in Circular Quay just a few yards from our hotel for the evening, The Park Hyatt.  As far as locations go, this cannot be beaten. Right at Circular Quay with views of the Opera House.  The rooms are large with a significant sitting area and of course a desk facing the water. 

 The next day we were met by the company ‘Experience Nature’ for a 2 nights trip to the Southern Highlands.  This is opposite the Blue Mountains, but just as beautiful with much fewer tourists.  The two-hour drive was very scenic with lots of forests and quaint small towns.  Our home for the next two nights was the Osborn House.  A small boutique hotel with an amazing restaurant and impressive spa for the size of the property. The following day we saw the true beauty of this region.  We met with a local Aboriginal Elder who welcomed us to his homeland with a smoking ceremony. He then guided us on a walk with amazing views over what is called the Amphitheatre perched high above the valley floor below. The region offers horseback riding, kayaking, wine tasting, gourmet restaurants and so much more.

 The following day we went back to Sydney with a few hotel inspections and finally checked into our hotel for the night, the new Capella Hotel in Sydney.  It does not offer the same views as the Park Hyatt, but the rooms were huge!  Separate shower and soaking tub, a desk, a sofa, large closet, etc.  Worth staying at.

 The following day we flew to Adelaide.  We are met by our driver and are whisked away to the Barossa Valley.  We stopped at a small boutique vineyard with an amazing restaurant.  After lunch, we are on our way to taste sparkling wine at Deviation Road.  But they had a surprise for us, we were making our OWN bottle of sparkling wine!  Here they give you the base and you add the amount of sugar/sweetness you would like and cork your own bottle!  SO much fun!  Then we are off again to our accommodation for the night, ‘The Louise’.  A boutique hotel in the Barossa valley with one of the best restaurants in the area.  Nice sized rooms and Amazing food!   

The next morning, we are off again to do some wine tasting at Seppeltsfield winery.  We have a tour of the grounds as they have been in business for 100 years.  Then our next surprise, we got to taste the port from the year we were born!  This was the best tasting port I have ever had. Then for another wine tasting and lunch at Hutton Vale Farm.  This is a working sheep station and the wool items they have are great quality. Off to our hotel for the next 2 nights, Sequoia Lodge.  Again, boutique hotel with amazing views.  All the rooms look over a valley and so many eucalyptus trees.  You are bound to see koalas hanging around here.  This evening we had a private tasting menu for dinner.  The following day we enjoyed a guided nature walk and a visit to Cleland Wildlife Park.   

After a large breakfast we are off back to Adelaide, and the RM Williams boot Factory.  The detail that goes into making this foot ware is astonishing. The entire assembly line is worked by humans!  No machines except equipment used by the makers.  It is no wonder they have been in business for so long. After the tour, we visited the very first RM Williams store.  Of course, we had a little retail therapy.  

We then headed to Adelaide airport.  Here we meet our pilot for our private plane to Arkaba Station in the Outback.  With only 5 rooms and a gourmet chef this is a true Outback experience.  Set on 60,000 acres, this is now a private wildlife conservancy.  This evening we go for a ‘game drive’ and sun downers.  We see many kangaroos and wallabies.  We share a few glasses of bubbles as the sun goes down and then back for an amazing dinner. We took a tour of the station and previous sheep shearing barns and such.  Then we are off to meet our pilot and take our private plane back to Adelaide and the end of our journey.