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NEW - FIND YOURSELF AT HOME IN ONE-OF-A-KIND TASMANIA
Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Hobart, Australia
February 20 to March 15, 2014
- Two one-week home stays: Hobart, Tasmania and Murray Bridge, South Australia
- Three days/four nights in Sydney to explore its vibrant culture and spectacular setting
- Relaxed time along the Murray River, the third longest navigable river in the world
- The unique wildlife and scenic national parks of Tasmania
- Melbourne’s parks and gardens, including the Royal Botanic Gardens, considered some of the finest in the world
For 21 days, experience the best of city life and home hospitality. We will arrive in Sydney and stay near the city center. After a city tour, we will explore the zoo, take ferries around the bustling harbor, and fill four days at leisure with activities of our own choosing. Then we will fly to Hobart, Tasmania for the first one week home stay in this unique island state that offers many national and wildlife parks in a varied terrain of mountains and lakes. Another flight will deliver us to Melbourne for 2 days and 3 nights in this revitalized, bustling urban center that has preserved its historical charm and renowned green spaces.
Traveling to Murray Bridge by train, we will enjoy the passing landscape before another week of home stay. Arriving at the height of summer must be the best time to visit this town along Australia’s most important river, the Murray, where water sports will be in high gear. What better time to visit a nearby wine region, also!
$2,300 USD (double occupancy) Includes FFI and host fees, accommodations, 2 flights within Australia, train from Melbourne to Murray Bridge, and most breakfasts. Does not include international airfare.
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JOIN QUILTERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD IN NEW ZEALAND
Auckland, New Plymouth, Kapiti Coast, Whangarei, New Zealand
March 8 to April 1, 2014
- Visit three areas on the North Island of New Zealand
- Indulge in quilting and sightseeing for three weeks
- Many interesting quilt shops throughout New Zealand.
- Visit Whangarei’s annual quilting exhibition.
- Meet fellow quilters and gain new ideas and skills
Join us for a global themed exchange just for quilters! Arrive in Auckland on 7 March 2014 and travel by bus on 8 March to the coastal city of New Plymouth after a night in an Auckland hotel.
New Plymouth is a sunny city in Taranaki, known for its black sands and surfing as well as beautiful parks and gardens. Mt Taranaki is close to New Plymouth and provides outdoor activities and walking tracks. Spend a week in New Plymouth before travelling further south by bus to Kapiti, a coastal area which is approximately 60 km north of the capital city of Wellington. Kapiti Coast has a thriving community of artists and a number of galleries and art and craft activities as well as a world renowned car museum and a bird sanctuary off the coast on Kapiti Island.
After a week on the Kapiti Coast you will spend two nights with free time in a hotel in Wellington before flying to Whangarei, which is the northernmost city in the Northland region. Whangarei is semi tropical with beautiful beaches and you will be able to see Maori crafts. Your time in Whangarei will include a visit to their annual quilting exhibition. Whangarei enjoys a selection of nature attractions and Eco tourism sites.
In each place there will be a number of quilting activities as well as sightseeing opportunities.
Meet fellow quilters and gain new ideas and skills as you enjoy 3 weeks in a country that offers beautiful scenery and many attractions.
$1728 USD including FFI fees, internal travel within New Zealand, 3 nights in hotels and 3 workshops. Does not include international airfare.
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WALK, CLIMB, SAIL AND FLY THROUGH THE BEAUTIFUL SOUTH ISLAND
New Zealand's South Island, plus Wellington and Auckland
March 14 to April 7, 2014
- Amazing sights throughout the beautiful South Island.
- Pleasant, mild weather.
- Wonderful trip to Milford Sound that includes a nature cruise to the ocean gateway.
- Friendly hosts in two cities.
- A visit to Franz Josef Glacier.
March 16th - 23rd - home hosted by Southland Club. Highlights for this week include visits to Catlins Park with the Purakauni Falls and petrified forest. Amazing wildlife, including fur seals, sea lions, sea elephants, penguins, dolphins and parakeets. The TeHikoi Museum is an experience not to be missed in Riverton. The Bill Richardson Truck Museum - you will never see anything else like it in the world. We will also go to a paua shop that has beautiful jewelry made from items from the sea.
After our homestay with FF Southland we will start the first part of our tour as we travel through farm lands to Te Anau where we will be staying for two nights. We will then head to Milford Sound where we will take a nature cruise to the ocean gateway. This is a highlight - forest, bush, waterfalls and the sighting of dolphins and seals and sea birds from the luxury of a modern ship.
We then head north to Queenstown, surrounded by jagged peaks and on the shores of the sparkling Lake Wakatipu. This is a world-renowned tourist town with lots of cafes, a trip in the gondola to the Skyline restaurant with its stunning views across the lake, and the unforgettable trip on the SS Earnslaw to Walter Peak Sheep Station. Here you will have a meal and a sheep handling and shearing demonstration before taking the cruise back to Queenstown.
We head north and west across Haast Pass to Franz Josef Glacier. You may choose to see the glacier from the vantage of a helicopter flight and land on the ice or walk through bush on easy tracks to view the glacier at ground level.
You will delight in the bush and forest of the West Coast and the spectacular coastline. There will be a stop in Hokitika for refreshments and a chance to purchase Pounamu (greenstone) and watch craftsmen at work before climbing over Arthurs Pass via the viaduct to the alpine town and descend towards the Canterbury plains and our destination in the city of Christchurch.
We head over a gentle mountain range to the seaside town of Kaikoura, now famous for its Whale-Watch trips; travel up the coast and enjoy the seal colony and on to the town of Blenheim.
March 28th - April 2nd we will be home hosted by the FF Marlborough Club. The club offers ambassadors a welcome and farewell dinner, and some free time with your hosts. There will be a mayoral welcome and a visit to a local school for a performance by its Kapa Haka group. We may take a boat trip in the Sounds, or a trip to Nelson to the 'Wearable Arts' museum. They have a fantastic Aviation Heritage museum created in part by Peter Jackson, renowned film-maker, and his Weta Workshop. We may also go to Kaikoura to give you the opportunity to go whale-watching. There are many things to do!
After our homestay with FF Marlborough we board a ferry in Picton and cross the Cook Straight to Wellington.
Enjoy some sight seeing around the small capital city, including the harbor area, Te Papa Museum, and cable car ride.
After Wellington we head to Rotorua. There we will enjoy a taste of our Maori culture and heritage. We will also have time to see other areas of Rotorua including geothermal activities, (like Yellowstone) maybe geysers, and hot mud pools etc. and pay a visit to a kiwi reserve, and many other attractions available.
On our way to Auckland, the City Of Sails, we could travel on to Waitomo to explore the Glowworm Caves there. Once in Auckland we will have time to browse around New Zealand’s biggest city. Plenty to do here including a possible city tour by bus and/or a short harbor cruise to Devonport for coffees, antiques, quaint shops and generally relaxing, in preparation for your return flight.
On April 7th we transfer to Auckland airport for the return flights.
$2,833 USD. Includes FFI and Host fees, and travel/tours within New Zealand. Does not include international airfare.
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NEW - TAKE A JOURNEY THROUGH AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
Sydney and Newcastle, Australia
Auckland, Rotorua, Napier, and Wellington, NZ
March 24 to April 14, 2014
- Build new friendships in fabulous Australia and New Zealand.
- Aboriginal and European history - discover the historic links to these 21st century island cultures
- Spectacular natural beauty - view beaches, volcanoes, mountains, pastures, coastlines and harbors
- Exotic and diverse wildlife - marvel at kangaroos, koalas, and kiwis
- Cityscapes to countrysides – explore gardens, art, architecture, quaint farms and villages
Pre-Exchange Tour: Sydney – (Optional) March 24 to 27:
Begin our South Pacific adventure in the vibrant harbor city of Sydney, Australia. Come explore the world renowned Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbor and Bridge, the Royal Botanic Gardens, city sights, famed beaches, Manly Ferry, and the Blue Mountains before heading to Newcastle for our first exchange.
Newcastle, Australia Homestay - March 27 to April 3:
Celebrate with old and new friends as we experience Australian hospitality. Learn about this port city’s intriguing history (convicts, yikes!), while we discover pristine beaches, a working harbor, and idyllic natural settings home to native animals and wildlife. And an Australian exchange just isn’t complete without a legendary Aussie BBQ! Yum!
Wellington, New Zealand Homestay - April 3 to April 10:
Be prepared to immerse yourself in this world-class city, so charming it’s known as the “cool capital”. Nestled in a rugged coastline, the city opens to a stunning harbor. Our laid-back Kiwi friends will share a Mayoral (Maori-theme) welcome, bus tour, bays and vantage points, Te Papa - National Museum, scenic walks – and most notably, their friendship while enjoying club gatherings and planned activities.
Post-Exchange Tour: North Island, NZ (Optional) April 10 to 14:
Travel by private tour bus from Wellington to Auckland enjoying delightful countryside, Napier, Lake Taupo, Wai-o-tapu – thermal wonderland, Rotorua, Skyline Gondola, Maitai Maori Village and Hangi dinner show, Waitomo Glow worm caves, and Auckland, the “city of sails.”
$1230 USD. Includes FFI and Host fees, some transportation and hotel accomodation, and the flight from Newcastle to Wellington.
Does not include: Airfare to and from Australia/New Zealand, Australian Visa, miscellaneous meals, hotel-airport transfers, and gratuities.
Optional Pre & Post Tours:
4-day Sydney ($600) does not include meals, airport transfers
North Island NZ ($1,250) does not include misc. meals, transfers
Note: prices based on double-occupancy, additional fees for single-occupancy.