Attire, Laundry, Nail Salon, Shopping Questions

I am starting to plan my packing for this trip that starts on Dec. 2 and I have several questions. Did men wear sport jackets at the welcome and farewell dinners? Are there any laundromats close by any of the hotels? Are there nail salons on every corner like in the USA? And, of course, I'm a shopper but I hate spending time roaming around when there are so many things to see and experience. Any suggestions for reasonable and reputable stores to buy opal jewelry in Australia and jade in New Zealand?
Also, was the luggage put on the charter flights or was it moved by truck to the next location?
I appreciate all suggestions!


  • On our trip many of the men wore a sport jacket at the welcome and farewell dinners however it was a mixed bag. We did laundry at Silky Oaks and there was a drop off laundry close to our hotel in Sydney. Luggage accompanied us on our flights. We were too busy enjoying the fantastic sights to do any serious shopping.This is a wonderful trip.

  • Our TD took us to a very nice, reputable opal shop in Sydney as one of our optional activities. There were also some nice places in the mall, which is worth seeing just for itself. We also did laundry at Silky Oaks, but it took a long time because everyone else was doing it as well and there were only two washers and dryers, I believe. I don’t remember seeing lots of nail salons. I don’t actually remember seeing any. Hmmm.

  • On our recent trip, I can recall only one man wearing a sport jacket at the welcome dinner.

  • Sports jacket not needed and the trip is very casual. I never believe that recommendation but it is true. Can’t recall about nail salons. The excursion to the Sydney jeweler recommended by Tauck is worthwhile and informative. Beware though it is fine jewelry; I had hoped to pick up granddaughter gifts but too dear. I spent $900 for a pair of boulder opal earrings.

  • The Te Papa Museum in Wellington has a gift shop where you can pick up greenstone (jade) jewelry. Unlike the opals in Sydney, it's not "fine jewelry," but I bought earrings and pendants as Christmas gifts for family members.

  • Be aware that opals are quite fragile stones

  • We did this trip in March/April of 2019. Several of the hotels we stayed 2 nights at had a "bag special" for laundry - about $20 for all you can fit in the bag, and you can fit a LOT in the bag. Well worth the cost! Washed, dried, folded, returned to your room overnight. You didn't pay this kind of money going to Australia to take a whole free afternoon to do laundry just to save a few bucks! Check with your tour director as to which hotels do this, so you can plan ahead. Nail salons: Get a dipping powder manicure before you go, and it will last the entire trip, no chipping, no time out of your adventure. Mine lasted all 22 days, with just a little growth at the base. Sports coat: My husband did not take a sports coat, about 1/4 of the men had them on for the welcome/farewell dinners only. I wouldn't sweat it. Luggage space is too much of a premium. A long sleeved dress shirt will be fine. Shopping: The mall in Melbourne had some stores for cheap jewelry, and the Sydney opal store was beautiful, but pricey (I still managed to bring home a bauble). We learned a lot about opals from our tour there. Your Tour Director will let you know where some shops are at each stop, or just ask her/him. They are wonderfully informative and helpful! Luggage: Your coach will pull right up on the tarmac next to the airport, and they will load your luggage in the hold, while you and your tripmates board the plane, where you will be greeted by champagne and truly friendly staff. You'll feel like royalty! When you land, your luggage will be loaded on the coach and taken directly to the hotel, while you have an adventure of some sort. That way, your luggage is already in your room when you arrive at your hotels. It will spoil you forever! Have a grand adventure down under. Kiora!

  • Going on this trip December 24. Can’t wait to hear more about others trips

  • Brenda,
    Thank you so much! That was very helpful!!

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