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  • The best of New South Wales Touring Holiday

    The best of New South Wales Touring Holiday 

    14 Nights / 15 Days 
    Sydney – The Blue Mountains – Jervis Bay – Byron Bay – Lord Howe Island
    About this tour 
    The best of New South Wales Touring Holiday is perfect for a first-time trip to Australia for those looking for a comprehensive and unique introduction to this iconic state. Over the course of 14-nights, we will show you a comprehensive selection of the highlights of New South Wales. You will see Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Jervis Bay, Byron Bay and Lord Howe Island. 
    Highlights 
    This list includes optional activities possible in the featured locations of the tour, they will entail an additional cost on the base price of the itinerary.
    • See the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge
    • Hit the beaches of Bondi and Manly
    • Eat, shop and stroll around Circular Quay, The Rocks and Sydney CBD
    • Hike in the National Parks of the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains
    • Enjoy a breakfast surrounded by kangaroos and pristine wilderness
    • Relax with the white sand beaches and crystal clear water of the South Coast
    • Cruise out to meet the seals of Jervis Bay
    • Sleep in a treehouse safari tent in classic Australian bushland
    • Learn to surf on the beaches of either Byron Bay 
    • Explore the stunning coastline and lush rainforests of northern New South Wales
    • Find South Pacific paradise on the enchanting Lord Howe Island
    • Swim in the Marine Park, the most southerly coral reef found anywhere in the world
    • Delve into the pristine landscapes of the island, where 75% is declared as National Park 
    Tour description 
    Starting on the iconic beaches and coastline of refreshingly laid-back Sydney, this tour will take you through the National Parks of the Blue Mountains, onto the white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters of Jervis Bay. From here, fly north to the surfing mecca of Byron Bay where a beautiful coastline meets idyllic countryside and pristine rainforest. Finally, find a paradise in the South Pacific’s Lord Howe Island, home to the world’s southern-most coral reef, and rugged National Park scenery. 
    Our range of accommodation includes everything from luxury boutique hotels, to remote wilderness eco-lodges, and safari-style luxury camping. Hand-crafted experiences make your bespoke holiday to Australia even more special, and a seemingly infinite number of possibilities are available upon request. Please do not hesitate to get in touch and let us know how we can further personalise your once-in-a-lifetime tour Down Under.  
    Prices 
    From £5,700 per person in ‘value hotels’.
    From £8,200 per person in ‘luxury hotels’. 
    Please see our hotel lists for more information on what is included in these basic rates. 
    Dates 
    This holiday can be arranged throughout the year. Timings may vary depending on the month and day of the week. 
    What’s Included 
    • Return scheduled flights with British Airways, Qantas or Emirates from London to Sydney, returning from Sydney to London in economy class.
    • Domestic flights from Sydney to Brisbane, Brisbane to Lord Howe Island, and Lord Howe Island to Sydney in economy class. 
    • Transfers and car hire where specified in our itinerary. 
    • Accommodation sharing a double or twin room. Please see our suggested list of hotels for details of base accommodation type. 
    • The meals included with your tour will vary by chosen accommodation. Please see our hotel suggestions for included board basis. 
    What’s not included 
    • Meals and drinks, except as specified in our hotel suggestions. 
    • Optional tours and activities within each location, except where explicitly specified as included in our itinerary, or by hotels in our hotel lists. 
    • Personal expenses. 
    • Insurance.
    • Visa and Passport. 
    You will need a full British passport with at least six months validity, and a Visa for travel to Australia. Visas requirements should be checked with the Australian authorities. More details are available from www.eta.immi.gov.au

    Day One: Sydney
    Arrive in Sydney. You a met upon arrival and transferred to your accommodation by private chauffeur.
    Day Two: Sydney
    Enjoy a day of leisure as you explore this iconic city. Soak up the sun in Circular Quay or the historic Rocks district and revel in the stunning vistas over Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Take a leisurely stroll through the wonderful botanic gardens, Darling Harbour or to the wonderfully fashionable shopping districts of Queen Victoria Building, the Strand Arcade or Pitt Street. 
    Day Three: Sydney
    With the world’s largest harbour on your doorstep, today you could explore the stunning scenery of wider Sydney. Choose from a range of optional excursions, perhaps taking a ferry to the beautiful community of Manly. Built on a narrow peninsula that ends at the dramatic cliffs of North Head, Manly is the jewel of the North Shore. It boasts a harbour and ocean beaches, fantastic snorkelling and surfing, and a refreshingly laid-back ambience. On your way back to central Sydney, marvel at the stunning skyline, sparkling in the last of the afternoon sunshine, and the hues of gold twinkling on Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Alternatively, choose from a range of optional tours to delve a bit deeper into what makes this iconic city great. For more scenery, choose from a day at the world-famous Bondi beach, perhaps enjoying the stunning Bondi to Coogee coastal walk, or head to one of the two National Parks that fringe the urban area. Elsewhere, why not discover the excellent museums and galleries of the city, including the Museum of Sydney where the rich history of Sydney and Australia is told.
    Day Four: Blue Mountains
    Pick up your 4 x 4 hire car and drive into pristine wilderness. The Blue Mountains National Park has been a favoured wilderness getaway of Sydneysiders for years. Step into the bush landscape through a range of optional excursions and marvel at the breath-taking waterfalls, sublime vistas, iconic wildlife and Aboriginal artwork of the area. The mystical blue tinge of the eucalyptus trees will only further mesmerise you in this deeply spiritual place. 
    Day Five: Blue Mountains
    Guests can choose to enjoy a leisurely morning in the wilderness surrounds, or otherwise rise early join an optional tour that will showcase the highlights of the local environment. For the latter, you could be served breakfast in the company of wild kangaroos, before exploring the World Heritage-listed area in a four-wheel-drive with a qualified ecological guide. In the evening, dine under the stars and lose yourself in the silence of the great outdoors. 
    Day Six: Jervis Bay
    Drive South East from the Blue Mountains along the achingly pretty Grand Pacific Drive. With incredible vistas of the deep blue Pacific Ocean on your left, and rainforest clad escarpment on your right, spend the journey spotting koalas and be sure to stop at one of the beautiful beaches you pass. In particular, Stanwell Park would make a wonderful mid-morning refreshment break. Arrive in Jervis Bay to be met with white sand beaches, crystal clear water, charming towns and idyllic scenery. Settle into your safari-style camp for the evening and sleep under the stars. 
    Day Seven: Jervis Bay
    Wake up to the sound of the bush, and the soft pitter patter of kangaroos grazing around your treehouse. Today, you can explore the best of this incredible region through a variety of optional tours. Hike through the bush, visit the charming local towns, or best of all – get out onto the water! The waters of Jervis Bay are teaming with marine life, and guests may choose to snorkel, cruise, or join one of the boats that visit the seal colonies of the area. Very lucky guests will spot dolphins, colourful fish, and even humpback whales from the safe comfort of their boat. 
    Day Eight: Byron Bay
    Driving back to Sydney, drop your hire car at the airport and catch a flight to either Gold Coast Airport or Brisbane Airport. From here, you will pick up a new 4x4 hire car and road trip along the sparkling blue coastline south to iconic beach resort of Byron Bay. Settle into your luxury accommodation and take a well-earned rest in the northern New South Wales afternoon sunshine by either lounging on the beach, or by the swimming pool.  
    Day Nine: Byron Bay
    Byron Bay has long been a mecca for surfing enthusiasts the world over. It’s crystal clear waters provide a wonderful playground in which to try out this deeply Australian pastime, with a wide variety of operators serving the many excellent beaches of Byron Bay. Here The Pass, Watego’s and Little Watego’s are of particular note for surfing enthusiasts. An alternative way to take to the waters are by kayak, and the chances are you’ll be met by dolphins and possibly even a humpback whale as they migrate south from the Great Barrier Reef at certain times of year. With so much more to choose from, including Scuba Diving, sailing and scenic flights – getting out onto the water is an absolute must-do for anyone staying in Byron Bay. 
    Day Ten: Byron Bay
    Another wonderful aspect of Byron Bay is the idyllic countryside and lush vegetation that encircle the area. This makes north New South Wales an excellent destination for scenic drives and tramping. Of these one of the best sites is Cape Byron, home to the spectacular and historic Byron lighthouse. A 4km scenic walking track will take you round the cape from the Captain Cook Lighthouse on Lighthouse Road. There’s a great chance of coming face to face with wallabies, bush turkeys and wild goats on your final rainforest stretch. Today, perhaps embark on one of the scenic walks, or otherwise potter up and down the coast in search of hidden beaches, wonderful scenery, and quaint country towns. 
    Day Eleven: Lord Howe Island
    After a leisurely breakfast, drive north back to Brisbane and return you hire car at the airport before flying out into the South Pacific Ocean in search of the hidden paradise of Lord Howe Island. Just 11km long, and 2.8km at its widest point, this spectacular and pristine environment boasts 75% protection as a National and Marine Park. Settle into your superb accommodation and enjoy a wonderful dinner with a view, where the bounties of the sea are served with the respect they deserve. 
    Day Twelve: Lord Howe Island
    One of the most astonishing natural assets of Lord Howe Island is the coral reef found just off its white sand beaches. It is the world’s southern-most, and home to a wonderful mix of both warm and cool water species. For snorkelers and scuba divers, today would be an excellent day to get out and explore this unique environment, either at Lovers Bay or Blinkie’s Beach. Alternatively, you could choose to stay dry by joining one of the glass bottom boat tours to view the coral holes where stunningly beautiful reef fish and delicate coral formations abound. 
    Day Thirteen: Lord Howe Island
    Having introduced yourself to the wonders below the waves, today you could keep your feet on solid ground and explore the rugged beauty of the island. Rare birds, plants and geology abound, and these are best discovered by joining an ecological walk to the summit of Mount Gower, which is consistently rated as one of Australia’s best day walks. Alternatively, you could ‘bus it’ around the island to get you bearings, or even play 9 holes on one of Australia’s most scenic golf courses. 
    Day Fourteen: Lord Howe Island
    On your last full day in this wonderful State, the choice is yours for making the most of your time. Some may choose to take back to the water, whilst others will make the most of the excellent scenery and land based activities on offer. Perhaps today could be best spent on one of the pristine beaches, with nothing but a full day of indulging yourself in the South Pacific sunshine. Whatever you chose to do, enjoy your final dinner in New South Wales by raising a glass to this spectacular, inspiring, and beautiful country. 
    Day Fifteen: Return Home
    Wake to soak up the last of the climate and scenery before catching your flight back home to London via Sydney.

    The best of New South Wales Touring Holiday map

    Value Hotels
    Sydney
    Ovolo Woolloomooloo
     
    A stunning wharf restoration, Ovolo Woolloomooloo offers a fashionable atmosphere, fantastic service, and a peaceful location from which to explore the City. We include room only for two and 1 x ‘Superoo Room’. 
    Blue Mountains
    Lilianfels
     
    With a fantastic spa, a tennis court, two heated pools and a renowned restaurant, the traditional homestead of Lilianfels is a wonderful nature retreat for all the family. We include room only for two and 1 x ‘Deluxe Room’.
    Jervis Bay
    Paperbark Camp

    With 12 canvas safari tents thoughtfully spaced amongst the soaring eucalypts and paperbarks of Currambene Creek, Paperbark Camp epitomises barefoot luxury. Sleep under the stars and enjoy the natural splendour of Jervis Bay. We include breakfast for two and 1 x Original Safari Tent. 
    Byron Bay
    Byron at Byron

    Surrounded by rainforest and native Australian bush, the Byron at Byron is a relaxing and peaceful escape set with privacy out of the main town of Byron Bay. With a separate children’s pool, it is well set up for families, and provides a luxury base for exploring the gorgeous local coastline. We include room only for two and 1 x Rainforest Suite. 
    Lord Howe Island
    Capella Lodge

    With ocean, lagoon and mountain views, Capella Lodge occupies possibly the most stunning position of all our properties in New South Wales. Inspired by the carefree spirit of the Australian beach house, its luxury is understated and charming from start to finish. We include Breakfast and Dinner for two an 1 x Capella Suite. 
    Luxury Hotels
    Sydney
    Park Hyatt Sydney

    The Park Hyatt in Sydney is an iconic hotel offering sublime views over Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, an exclusive atmosphere, and a wonderful location from which to explore the city. We include Full Breakfast for two and 1 x ‘Harbour View Room’.  
    Blue Mountains
    Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley

    Located in the heart of a 7,000-acre conservancy in a World Heritage-listed region of the Blue Mountains, experience true luxury and utter exclusivity in your indulgent private villa. We include all meals for two and 1 x One Bedroom Heritage Villa. 
    Jervis Bay
    Paperbark Camp

    With 12 canvas safari tents thoughtfully spaced amongst the soaring eucalypts and paperbarks of Currambene Creek, Paperbark Camp epitomises barefoot luxury. Sleep under the stars and enjoy the natural splendour of Jervis Bay. We include breakfast for two and 1 x Deluxe Safari Tent. 
    Byron Bay 
    Victoria’s at Wategos
     
    Inspired by Tuscan and French colonial architecture, Victoria’s is an elegant retreat surrounded by thriving tropical landscaped gardens and nestled in the exclusive oceanfront valley of Wategos Beach, just under the famous Cape Byron lighthouse. We include room only for two and 1 x Deluxe Spa Room. 
    Lord Howe Island
    Capella Lodge

    With ocean, lagoon and mountain views, Capella Lodge occupies possibly the most stunning position of all our properties in New South Wales. Inspired by the carefree spirit of the Australian beach house, its luxury is understated and charming from start to finish. We include Breakfast and Dinner for two and 1 x Lagoon Loft Suite.

    All about Australia 
    Australia is a vast landscape of contradiction and variety. From the distinct, dusty red of the outback in Ayers Rock to the tropics of the Daintree Rainforest in the Far North Queensland, from the superb ski resorts of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales, to the humid plains of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. For this reason, the only true way to visit Australia is by undertaking a touring holiday. To travel between the dynamic corners of this magical continent, and to make the most of the multifarious activities on offer. You have to be prepared to travel far, but you will be richly rewarded with awe-inspiring landscapes that exist on a scale that is barely imaginable. 
    Surrounded by 18,000km of beaches, this is a nation that thrives on the outdoors. From sailing in the Whitsunday Islands to Aussie Rules football, from skiing in the Snowy Mountains to scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, and everything in between. Yet in contemporary Australia, the thriving cosmopolitan city centres are also important sites of interest in their own right. Here you will find distinct local cultures, outstanding food and wine, and a refreshing al-fresco café culture that is typically laidback. From the chic and fashionable Melbourne to the elegance and sophistication of Adelaide, not to mention Sydney, Hobart or the up-and-coming bustle of Perth. 
    Australia facts 
    Location: Australia comprises the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania, and is neighboured by Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east, and New Zealand to the south-east. 
    Time difference: Canberra has a time zone of GMT + 10 hours. There are several time zones within Australia. 
    Language: English. 
    Population: 24.889 million.
    Size: 7,692,024 km2, roughly 2,290 miles from north to south and 2,500 miles from east to west. 
    Currency: Australian Dollars (about 1.82 to the pound) 
    Capital: Canberra, located in the Australian Capital Territory between Sydney and Melbourne. 
    Geography and climate 
    Australia’s size results in a variable climate. The expansive interior is hot throughout the year but can often be very cold at night. The southern third of the country enjoys warm summers (December – March) and mild winters (June – August), although there are extremes of this, such as in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, where ski resorts are found. The Far North of the country has just two seasons because of its position on the monsoon belt – hot and wet, and hot and dry. 
    Cities and Culture 
    Australia is often thought about in terms of its natural bounty. The mind quickly wanders to images of beaches, landscape, wildlife and weather. Yet modern Australia is also home to a rich tapestry of cultures, and a wonderful array of buzzing urban centres. To the East, the iconic Sydney stands proud in its beautiful Harbour home, where miles of waterways, the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, and a gleaming CBD coincide invitingly. To the West lies pretty and friendly Perth, the most isolated city in the world, located closer to South East Asia than any other Australian city. Here, find a rich and relaxed quality of life, where great food and wonderful scenery are perched on the banks of the Swan River. In the South, fashionable, sporty and arty Melbourne has cemented itself as the centre of the Australian cultural sphere, whilst elegant, sophisticated and green Adelaide boast the country’s best food and wine, and an enviable Mediterranean climate. With so many other exciting destinations on offer, such as the historic and alternative Hobart, or the sparkling CBD and gorgeous sunshine of Brisbane, clients will find exceptional stays in the many cities of this wonderful country. 
    Landscape and Coastline 
    Whilst many minds would simply conjure an image of a beach and a eucalyptus tree, Australia’s landscapes are more varied than one can truly comprehend. From the distinct, dusty red of the outback in Ayers Rock to the tropics of the Daintree Rainforest in the Far North Queensland, from the superb ski resorts of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales, to the humid plains of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. To the same degree, the coastline of Australia matches this variety. For example, two extensive areas of coral reef are found here; Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia, and the Great Barrier Reef in the North East, each with warm, calm and crystal-clear water. Yet elsewhere, the coastline can take on a decidedly temperate tone, such as is found on the Great Ocean Road of Victoria and South Australia, where striking and jagged limestone cliffs bravely stand to the onslaught of the Southern Ocean. 
    Wildlife and Ecology 
    For nature enthusiasts, Australia offers a pilgrimage unlike any other. Its geographical isolation has resulted in more than 80% of the flowering plants, mammals, reptiles and frogs being unique to Australia, along with most of its fresh water fish, and almost half of its birds. Within this unique list, iconic species are often members of the marsupial family, and these include classic images of Australia such as its friendly and inquisitive kangaroos, koalas, wombats and wallabies. Elsewhere, you may encounter the weird and wonderful animals that are unlike anything found on earth. In the Tropical North of Queensland, for example, the Cassowary is an elusive and beautiful flightless bird which is often seen through the densest patches of rainforest. In freshwater, other guests may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a platypus, a wonderful creature that has challenged taxonomies of the natural world for years. With so many more interesting species on offer, from echidnas to crocodiles to emus, wherever you are in Australia, the variety of landscapes will have provided an entirely unique assemblage of species that have captured the imagination of naturalists the world over. 
    Underwater, things are even more interesting still. In the North East of the country, the Great Barrier Reef lies in the shallow, warm and calm waters of the Coral Sea. One of the seven natural wonders of the world, such is the scale of the Barrier Reef that it can clearly be seen from space. Here, 3000 individual reef systems are host to an astonishing variety of coral and reef animals. Yet it is not the only series of coral reefs in Australia. To the North West, one can find the spectacular Ningaloo Reef, a favoured home of pelagic species such as Whale Sharks, Cetaceans and Manta Rays, whilst Lord Howe Island in the South Pacific Ocean contains the southern-most barrier reef found anywhere in the world. Elsewhere in Australia, these warm and tropical waters meet the nutrient richness of the temperate zone, creating a home for a wonderfully vibrant array of species. The crystal-clear waters of Jervis Bay, for example, provide a playground for seal colonies and tropical fish species alike. Again, due to the scale of Australia, a wide variety of marine ecosystems are found which provide a totally unique assemblage of species to explore wherever you may find yourself. 
    Also calling Australia home, however, are of course the snakes, spiders, crocodiles, sharks, jellyfish, blue-ringed octopus and various creepy crawlies that send chills down the spines of many would-be-tourists. In truth, these animals are rarely seen by anyone who isn’t explicitly searching for them, and the majority of trips to Australia are trouble free. Expressions Holidays recommend that clients follow local advice when travelling within Australia, to best avoid incident with potentially dangerous animals. 
    Food and Wine 
    Australia has recently established itself as a great culinary destination, a result of excellent local produce and immigration. ‘Modern Australian’ describes the country’s new cuisine – a blend of east and west. Dishes are generally unfussy, with often bold and interesting flavours. Whilst cuisine does not really alter from region to region, there are some obvious influences such as Southeast Asian in Darwin and Italian in Melbourne. Undoubtedly Australia’s best food is seafood, which is taken from some of the purest waters and usually cooked with great care. Especially prized are Sydney rock oysters, sea scallops from Queensland, fantastic rock lobsters and sweet mud crabs. Meat is also excellent, tender and full flavoured. Very few dishes can be called uniquely Australian but the range of cuisines on offer here span the globe – from Indian and Vietnamese to Fijian and Jamaican – it can all be found in Australia. The size of Australia means that there is some incredible and varied produce on offer – from sublime Tasmanian strawberries to highly prized lamb from the lush Gippsland of Victoria and plentiful mangoes in Queensland. Elsewhere, the ‘bush tucker’ of Aboriginal Australia is on offer to adventurous tourists in the Northern Territory. 
    With vineyards found in every state of Australia, and a total cultivated land mass of 160,000 hectares, Australia’s wine scene has matched the rise of its gastronomic fare. A varied climate, and a history of geographically diverse immigration, have resulted in a full range of wines, from full-bodied Merlot to the scintillating acidity of Sauvignon Blanc. Indeed, a whole suite of regions have become iconic as part of this trend, including the Barossa Valley in South Australia, the Yarra Valley in Victoria, the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, and the Margaret River Valley in Western Australia. Each boasts spectacular rural scenery, and undoubtedly first-class cuisine to match the fruits of the land. 
    Government advice 
    The UK government has an excellent website www.fco.gov.uk which you must use to obtain up-to-date information about worldwide destinations. This site gives details about trouble spots but also general advice about most countries. We advise most strongly that you check notices about your intended destination before you book and travel. 
    Passport and Visas 
    A full British passport is required for travel to Australia. Please bear in mind that it is your responsibility to ensure that your passport is valid and still has six months validity before you book your holiday and it can take some time to obtain a new one. Each individual needs his or her own passport so if you are thinking of taking an infant, allow plenty of time to get a passport. Visas are required for travel to Australia, and the details of this should be checked with the Australian authorities. You may be eligible for an Electronic Travel Authority which can be arranged very quickly on-line. More details from www.eta.immi.gov.au Visas are not required for Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Dubai or Malaysia. Visitors may enter the USA as part of the visa waiver scheme, details of which should be obtained from www.usembassy.org.uk 
    Health 
    There are no required vaccinations for travel to Australia but you should nevertheless always check with your doctor before travelling. A leaflet is available from the Department of Health called ‘Health Advice to Travellers’, by telephoning 0800-555777. If you are suffering from any disability or illness, this should be communicated to us at the time of booking. Please note that pregnant passengers are not accepted by airlines usually after about 28 weeks into the pregnancy. You should check this with us before you make a booking. 
    Insurance 
    It is your own responsibility to ensure that you are adequately insured for your holiday. Please refer to our statement on insurance in our booking conditions. Insurance for the activities you choose to undertake during your holiday is also your own responsibilities. Additional requirements are needed for scuba diving, such as a doctor’s certificate. 
    Security and personal safety 
    When travelling you should take sensible precautions wherever you are and take care of money and personal valuables when passing through crowded and public places and cities in particular. In Australia, you should advise your accommodation when you set out on a long walk, drive, or venture into the wilderness. It is sensible to top up with petrol whenever you are about to leave a town for a long rural drive. 
    Wildlife hazards 
    In Australia, you should heed local advice as far as crocodiles, sharks, spiders, snakes, jellyfish and other species are concerned. Mosquitoes are a fact of life in the tropics. In fact, it is advisable to take your own anti-mosquito creams and lotions with you. Other insects (large beetles, cockroaches, sand flies etc) and some rodents are also common in tropical places. We cannot prevent these creatures from entering your accommodation. If this is a worry, perhaps a holiday to the tropics is not right for you. Guide books available will give you more advice on wildlife hazards. 
    Getting around 
    Main roads in Australia are very good. Some roads are not surfaced, particularly side roads, rural roads and private roads. These often lead to lodge accommodation. 
    What to wear 
    Due to the incredible diversity in climate and landscape, a trip to Australia will require a range of clothing. We advise you check local recommendations. 
    Tipping 
    Tipping us generally expected for many services throughout Australia. Around 10 per cent of the bill is sufficient. This does not apply to your hotel stay.

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