Spectacular scenery … rich, diverse cultures … warm and friendly people. Australia, New Zealand and Fiji certainly have a lot to offer adventure-seeking travelers. Although I haven’t visited the South Pacific myself, hearing about others’ experiences has me thinking about heading “Down Under.”
My children, Edward and Charlotte, have visited these countries—and had plenty of wonderful things to say about each. They’ve been encouraging me to embark on my own journey. But they’re not the only ones who have been captivated by the South Pacific’s wonders; Grand Circle travelers—like Julie & Marvin M., Sunee & Kirivat J., and Patricia M.—also rave about the time they’ve spent with Aussies, Kiwis, and Fijians ...
Last fall, we traveled to Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji with Grand Circle—it was the best. We’d like to share one of the photo collages we put together after our trip. Looking forward to traveling with Grand Circle in the future!
Julie & Marvin M.
Webster City, Iowa
This was our third trip with Grand Circle within one year of each other—and certainly was the best thanks to our Program Director, Ronan McChesney, who organized, personalized, and even called us before this trip, to see if there was anything we needed to know—including details about current weather, economic conditions, exchange rates, and baggage limits on flights within Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji.
Overall, we had a wonderful time, met delightful, terrific, caring, loving people in our group of 37—and we all got along very well. I would recommend this trip to anyone. Keep up the good work—you’re doing a great job!
Sunee & Kirivat J.
3-time travelers & Vacation Ambassadors
For years, I had delayed going to Australia and New Zealand, since I thought it would be so much like home. How wrong I was! My trip “Down Under” last summer was my twelfth with Grand Circle and OAT—and certainly the best, thanks to our Program Director, Dinah Geoghegan. Dinah was the most thorough, organized, and delightful Program Director I have ever traveled with. Her pre-trip email covered everything that we needed to know—including details about current weather, economic conditions, exchange rates, movies to see prior to leaving home, and even what was playing at the Sydney Opera House when we were going to be there! It was far better than any other pre-trip information I have received and made us feel as if we knew her before we arrived.
I could go on, but suffice it to say that this trip is great value for the money and a terrific way to fall in love with Australia and New Zealand as so many before me have. I saved the seventh continent for last—and it was the best.
14-time traveler & Vacation Ambassador
In my last journal entry, I shared my encounter with a group of local students at the Cluny Museum during a trip to France.
Molly C. from Annandale, Virginia, emailed me to ask. “So what was the significance of the little monkey in many of the Cluny tapestries?”
Molly, upon asking the teacher this same question, she told me there is no definite answer—as with the origins and overall symbolism of the tapestries, the monkey's meaning is shrouded in mystery. Some contend that the animal acts as a cipher, giving viewers a visual cue to a specific tapestry’s sensory theme: In Le Gout (Taste), for example, the monkey is devouring a sweetmeat, and in L'Odorat (Smell), it’s sniffing a rose. However, since the monkey isn’t featured in every tapestry, others feel that its importance is overstated—and that the animal is included, alongside the unicorn, the lion, and assorted birds, foxes, and other wildlife, simply to add to the fantastical feel of these works of art.