Phil and I recently returned from a most enjoyable two week tour of Sri Lanka with 15 fabulously, adventurous clients. Highlights included a climb of the stunning Sigiriya Rock Fortress, where it was possible to still get a marvellous view of the surrounding countryside even if you don't manage to get to the summit! Seeing rescued orphaned elephants enjoying their natural environment was a real treat too.
|A regional train ride from the tea plantation area of Nuwara Eliya had us all filled with a little trepidation but we were well prepared for the three plus hour ride with a lunch box prepared at the Grand Hotel and a tour of the guards room and explanation of the braking systems in place! Our train enthusiasts aboard were delighted with the experience.
Unscheduled stops are a benefit of a small group, and delightful extras. We enjoyed a delicious sampling of the Sri Lankan delicacy curd and honey, and another stop at a family run business where the numerous uses of the coconut was demonstrated to us.
We were fortunate to secure accommodation at two hotels designed by the famous Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa, and also visited what was his original office/workshop in Colombo. Each hotel has been designed to blend perfectly into its surroundings whilst remaining uniquely individual from any other of his fabulous creations. The enthusiasm from a few in our group was quite contagious, and I'd say everyone is now a Geoffrey Bawa fan!
Ten of our group took part in a cooking experience with renowned Sri Lankan chef Nihal including visits to local fish and vegetable markets. This ended with a splendid lunch of everything made, and copies of the recipes to try at home.
This is just a taste of what is in store when you join us on one of Travel Makers' tailor-made tours to Sri Lanka, or any of the other tours we have thoughtfully put together to maximise local experiences whilst having the security of being within a small group of like-minded travellers.
Jan Dalley, Travel Makers.
"It was a great trip! Look forward to our next trip together."
Rob - Kingston ACT
"We had a terrific time on this tour. I would definitely recommend this to our friends."
Pam - Griffith ACT
"It was lovely to have Phil and Jan to interact with the guide so that we always had the best possible experience. The tour gave me an overview as well as details of a country I knew little about and I loved it - the people the scenery and the food!"
Wendy - Cook ACT
"Thank you for providing such a wonderful tour from start to finish."
Kay - Kingston ACT
If you are interested in a tour to Sri Lanka, or any other worldwide travel experience, give one of our experienced consultants a call today or drop us an email. We will be happy to assist with all your arrangements.
The Travel Makers team recently enjoyed a weekend in Wellington, New Zealand. The trip allowed the Travel Makers team to experience the Singapore Airlines direct service from Canberra to Wellington, and gain valuable knowledge of this exciting city.
We flew on the 11am service out of Canberra on Friday morning and our accommodation was hosted by the fabulous Museum Art Hotel newly branded QT Museum Wellington. We enjoyed fully hosted canapés and drinks on arrival in the beautiful Hippopotamus Bar, and this was arranged by director of sales Chrissy Cummings.
Saturday afternoon was spent at Weta Workshop. The world leading design and special effects facility, has won awards for work on an amazing list of movies including Avatar, District 9, Lord of the Rings, Narnia, King Kong, Mad Max, The BFG and the remake of the classic kids series Thunderbirds are go. There was a convenient pick-up and drop-off service included (partially hosted) which was very useful.
Saturday night was hosted by Lilly and Wellington Tourism at The Havana Bar Restaurant. The restaurant serves very impressive Tapas style share plates, and we then enjoyed drinks up on the roof top of a bar called Dirty Little Secret - this was a fabulous finish to the evening.
Sunday morning we were hosted again by Wellington Tourism, and we experienced a three-hour 'Zest Food City Tour' taking in a multitude of samplings, which started with coffee at MOJO’s, one of New Zealand’s most respected, independent coffee roasters and cafe operators. There are lots of these stores around the world, but each store is unique unlike the usual franchise model. We then moved on to numerous other eateries including fresh food markets and the waterfront market, whihc is only open on Sundays. We finished with gelato and sorbet at Gelissimo, where they use 80% fresh organic milk as opposed to powdered variety more commonly used. The flavours were amazing - you have to taste!
A 'Te Papa Highlights' guided tour finished off our action packed weekend, and the stunningly realistic depiction of the Gallipoli exhibit (thanks to the talent at WETA) left everyone moved and emotional.
After a pub dinner at The Establishment on Courtney Place, which was very good value for only $10.00, and a big "Cheers" to Wellington we were back to the airport for the 9.20pm service back to Canberra.
If you would like to visit Wellington for a weekend (or longer), don't hesitate to get in touch with us. We would highly recommend!