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Top Tour Operators and Travel Agencies in Australia 2024/2025

Top Tour Operators and Travel Agencies in Australia. Below you will find 20 of the best tour operators and travel agencies in Australia offering in total 221 tours and holidays through-out Australia. Combined they have received 68 customer reviews and an average rating of 5 out of 5 stars. The top tour activities offered in Australia are: Adventure and sport, Wildlife, landscapes and nature & Sightseeing, attractions, culture and history.

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20 Tour Operators in Australia with 68 Reviews

G Adventures

G Adventures

  • Address G Adventures Ltd, 60 Bastwick Street, London, England
  • Response Rate 90%
  • Response Time 2 hours

australian group travel company

  • Best-in-Class Top 5% of companies
  • Excellent Service Top 10% of companies
  • Superior Service Top 15% of companies

Discovery Nomads

Discovery Nomads

  • Address 27 Gloucester str, London, England
  • Response Rate 86%
  • Response Time 3 hours

Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel

  • Address 380 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, Australia
  • Response Time 1 hour

Luxury Gold

Luxury Gold

  • Address 33 Kern Road, Toronto, Canada
  • Response Rate 60%

Contiki

  • Address 38-51 Bedford Way, London, England
  • Response Rate 88%

Costsaver

Picture This Ballooning

  • Address 12 Pilgrim Court , Ringwood, Australia
  • Response Rate 25%

Trafalgar

  • Address Picquet House, St Peter Port, Guernsey, London, England
  • Response Rate 89%

Runaway Tours

Runaway Tours

  • Address 2 - 12 Bourke Rd, Alexandria, Sydney, Australia
  • Response Rate 0%

Indus Travels

Indus Travels

  • Address 233, 11951 Hammersmith Way, Richmond, Canada
  • Response Rate 97%

Bamba

  • Address 2461 FM 778, Mineola, USA
  • Response Rate 95%

Mojosurf Travel

Mojosurf Travel

  • Address 18 Fletcher Street, Byron Bay NSW , Australia

Exodus Travels

Exodus Travels

  • Address Grange Mills, Weir Road, London, England
  • Response Rate 85%

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ICONIC BEACHES, VIBRANT CITIES AND EPIC ADVENTURES!

Whether you’re after adrenaline, relaxation or an exciting new experience working abroad, backpacking in Australia has something incredible for everyone! With thousands of beautiful white sandy beaches, bustling harbour-side cities, stunning rainforests and the sprawling red sands of the outback, there’s a lot to see on a gap year in Australia.

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Taking in the sights of Sydney Harbour on a private cruise, walking the white sands of the famous Bondi Beach, learning to surf with real Aussie surf dudes in Byron Bay, sailing around the stunning Whitsundays and discovering ancient Aboriginal culture are just some of the awesome and unforgettable moments you’ll have while travelling in Australia!

If you're struggling to convince your friends to join you on your next big adventure, don't worry you're not alone! Travelling in this beautiful country is absolutely incredible, and joining one of our group tours in Australia is the best way to experience it. Whether you’re on a working holiday, gap year in Oz, or just up for an amazing new experience you’ll meet likeminded people and make great new friends to travel with.

Get more info on  working & travelling Australia here .  Or for more info on this incredible country including the best Oz destinations, the best travel routes, how much to save and more, check out our Ultimate Backpacking Guide to Australia .

Frequently Asked Questions

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It’s always a good time to go backpacking in Australia! It’s generally quite hot in most parts of the country for the majority of the year except for the southern half of Australia during winter (June, July & August). But because Australia is such a big country, when it’s cold down south most people will head north and follow the sun!

You'll be surprised with how cheap tours in Australia can be! From 10 to 28 days, our tour options include all transport, stunning accomodation, some meals, an awesome tour guide and an awesome group of new friends to travel with. Simply scroll down for our pricing, and secure a space on our trips from $400/ £200/ €200

From years of experience operating in this beautiful country, we know 9 - 28 days is the most optimal amount of time to spend on the East Coast of Australia. This gives you enough time to see the absolute best of the coastline, plus some epic hidden gems!

You need a visa to travel to Australia. There’s information about the different visa options here https://www.introtravel.com/visas-oz/ If you are applying for a Working Holiday Visa make sure you apply for it at least a month before you are due to travel. If you have any questions about getting a visa for Australia then just get in touch with us!

If you are doing an INTRO Travel group tour in Australia, all of your accommodation and transport are included, plus some meals and an awesome tour guide. You will mainly just need spending money for extra meals, drinks, shopping and onward travel.

While a week can be enough time to get a taste of Australia, we usually recommend you stay a little longer, so you can properly enjoy all of the incredible things this country has to offer without missing anything. By joining one of our group tours we’ll fit as much into the time you have available as possible, with all the best bucket list inclusions sorted for you!

A group tour that includes a balance of city and coastline is the best way to see Australia! Having all of your accommodation, transport, activities and some meals already organised for you means you can fully enjoy the destination without any added stresses. 

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SYDNEY CAIRNS

Kick off your Aussie holiday or gap year with the best of Sydney & the East Coast of Australia in 28 days.

The ultimate working holiday group tour, seeing the highlights of Sydney & the East Coast of Australia in 28 days, including all you need to live and work in Oz!

SYDNEY BRISBANE

The best start to your Aussie adventure by travelling from Sydney to Brisbane in just 10 days

A short & sweet working holiday group tour taking in the highlights of Sydney to Brisbane in 10 days, including all you need to live and work in Oz!

BRISBANE CAIRNS

Kick off your Aussie holiday or gap year with the best of the East Coast of Australia in 20 days.

The ultimate working holiday group tour, seeing the highlights of Brisbane to Cairns in 20 days, including all you need to live and work in Aus!

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Australia Trips & Tour Packages

Sunrise with Uluru glowing red, with pink fluffy clouds and bushes in the foreground, Australia

With bright blue skies, immense red deserts, sun-bronzed beaches and vast green wetlands, Australia is big, bold and full of contrasts.

Come and experience this extraordinary country that bursts with kaleidoscopic cultures and constantly changing colors. From snorkeling with jewel-toned fish on the Great Barrier Reef and discovering the wildlife and wilderness of the west coast to walking through the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest with an Aboriginal guide and exploring Uluru and nearby Kata Tjuta , an (Intrepid) in-depth Australia tour offers a little something for everyone. Whether you’re traveling as a family or a solo adventurer, a nature-lover or a sun worshipper, a food fanatic or a wine connoisseur, Australia can’t wait to welcome you. 

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Australia departures by month

Browse australia by region, tours & vacations by state, australia at a glance, capital city.

Canberra (population approximately 467,000)

Approximately 25.69 million

(GMT+10:00) Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

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Best time to visit australia.

Being such a large place, Australia has a wide range of climates, so all year round, there is somewhere great to visit. 

Summer (December to February) can get very hot but is perfect for beach-going and other outdoor activities. In the far north, it is also the wet season, which can get quite humid, and some beaches may be closed due to jellyfish or 'stingers'.

Winter (June to August) is pleasant and dry in the north but can get quite cold in the south, especially in Tasmania and Victoria, where snowfall is common.

Spring and autumn are great times to visit Australia as the weather is milder but still warm enough for swimming in northern areas. 

Regardless of daytime temperatures, nights can get very cold in the desert areas of Central and Western Australia, so prepare accordingly.

The main school holiday period is from Christmas to late January and is considered the peak travel time within Australia; expect popular tourist spots to be crowded during this time.

Read more about the best time to visit Australia

From large malls and boutique shopping strips to weekend arts and crafts markets and vintage shops, Australia is a top place to shop. Shopping in Australia may not be cheap, but there are plenty of unique finds and original souvenirs to bring home. Before heading home, check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to import certain items back into your home country. New Zealand, for example, has strict quarantine laws.

Things to buy in Australia

1. First Nation art

The quality of Aboriginal art is excellent in the Top End and Central and Western Australia. Be sure to buy from reputable galleries and organizations to ensure authenticity and fair prices for artists. Community-run organizations are typically the better choice.

If you’re looking for one, Coober Pedy has the best quality and variety on offer.

These precious gems are plentiful in Broome due to the booming pearling industry.

4. Modern art

Melbourne and Hobart are modern art and craft hot spots, making them great places to pick up one-of-a-kind mementos.

Top 10 places to see in Australia

Nothing will prepare you for seeing Australia's most famous landmark for the first time. An important part of Aboriginal Dreamtime stories, this ancient monolith is a photographer's dream as it changes colors with the sun; from dazzling orange to dusty purple.

Combine First Nations' culture and the magnificence of Australia's desert wonders on a 6 day Red Centre & Uluru Explorer tour.

2. Great Barrier Reef

See the world's largest reef system - so big it can be seen from outer space! This World Heritage site, just off the coast of Queensland, is home to whales, dolphins, turtles, sharks, colorful coral and more than 1,500 species of fish. Go scuba diving or snorkeling to explore this incredible underwater world.

See the beauty of the reef and its residents on our 5 day Best of Cairns, Great Barrier Reef & Daintree tour.

3. Twelve Apostles

Although there are actually only eight 'Apostles', these spectacular limestone rock stacks are a popular tourist spot along Victoria's Great Ocean Road. Formed by erosion that began 10-20 million years ago, the stacks rise majestically from the churning Southern Ocean. Hit the boardwalks, tracks and viewing areas for spectacular views.

Set off on a Twelve Apostles journey when you 7 day Hike the Great Ocean Walk.

4. Kakadu National Park

This region is a place of breathtaking beauty and incredible biodiversity. Steeped in Dreamtime history, Kakadu nurtures a staggering variety of landscapes and wildlife. Venture deep into the wilderness and discover gushing waterfalls, deep gorges, shimmering waterholes and rocky outcrops adorned with 20,000-year-old art.

Combine the best of history, wildlife, culture and beauty while venturing through a 6 day Top End & Kakadu Explorer tour.

5. Sydney Opera House

Set against a backdrop of that famous bridge that spans the sparkling harbor, the Opera House is one of Australia's most iconic sights. Those familiar sails, adorned with more than a million white tiles, host thousands of events and performances each year. Catch a show to admire the ornate interior, or take in the spectacular view from a ferry.

Climb the Opera House steps or tour the harbour as you start an exciting 18 day East Coast Encompassed tour.

6. Kimberley

From deep gorges and dusty Outback roads and lush rainforests to idyllic billabongs, the landscape of this beautiful region is truly enchanting. A trip to the Kimberly can be as active or relaxing as you wish - hike past the strange 'beehive' domes of the Bungle Bungle Ranges, explore underground caves at Tunnel Creek or simply relax on white sand beaches.

Be swept away by the beauty of the Kimberley on a 11 day Wild Kimberley Overland tour.

7. Daintree

With verdant tropical rainforest stretching to white, sandy beaches, the Daintree is nothing short of spectacular. This complex ecosystem in Far North Queensland is home to a prolific amount of wildlife, including frogs, reptiles, bats and butterflies, as well as the highest concentration of primitive plant species in the world. Australia's largest rainforest is a true natural wonder just waiting to be explored.

Walk among the diverse ecosystems of the Daintree Rainforests while on our 5 day Queensland Daintree Explorer tour.

8. Wineglass Bay

With its white sand, crystal-clear water and distinct crescent shape, Wineglass Bay on Tasmania's gorgeous Freycinet Peninsula is a pristine paradise. It's easy to see why it's often voted as one of the top 10 beaches in the world! Hike a trail to the summit overlooking the bay for breathtaking views, or descend to the beach and set up camp. Go snorkeling to discover colorful fish and perhaps some playful dolphins.

Stroll by the waters of Wineglass Bay on a nature-lovers 6 day Tasmania Adventure tour.

9. Clare Valley

This beautiful wine-producing region is famed for its delicious local produce, picturesque scenery, friendly people and, of course, its fabulous wine. Explore back roads lined with vines and go wine tasting to sample the very best drops this region has to offer.

Cycle and sample your way through one of Australia's oldest wine regions on our 6 day Cycle South Australia's Wine Regions tour.

10. Blue Mountains

Covering over one million hectares, the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains is rich in verdant rainforest, dramatic waterfalls, looming forests and an abundance of wildlife. Greet the iconic Three Sisters and wander the boardwalks to soak up this breathtaking area of Australian bush.

Walk, trek, and discover the beauty of the rugged New South Wales region home to the Blue Mountains on a 4 day Walk the Blue Mountains trek.

Top destinations to visit in Australia

1. ikara-flinders ranges national park.

Discover Ikara with an Adnyamathanha guide on a tour that shines a light on Adnyamathanha history, uncovers the park’s more recent past, and looks towards the future.

Wander through Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park on our 7 day Flinders Ranges Explorer tour or on our 7 day Walk South Australia's Flinders Ranges tour.

2. Arnhem Land

Explore the rugged wilderness of Arnhem Land , where Australia’s First Nations people have lived for thousands of years. Share Dreamtime stories, learn how to gather local food and create traditional paintings.

Experience Arnhem Land for yourself on our 8 day Walk Kakadu National Park tour.

3. The West Coast

The West Coast of Australia certainly feels like the Final Frontier. Perhaps visit the red rock gorges of Karijini National Park, take in a camel ride on Cable Beach, or unwind among the vineyards of  Margaret River. 

Marvel at the beauty of the West Coast on our 8 day Hike Western Australia's Cape to Cape Track.

4. Tropical North Queensland

Join an Aboriginal painting class at Janbal Gallery and hear East Coast Kuku Yalanji Dreamtime stories about the animals, environment and language of the Indigenous rainforest people from Mossman and the Daintree rainforest.

Dive into Tropical North Queensland on our 7 day Queensland Coast Adventure or on our 8 day Brisbane to Cairns Adventure.

5. The Kimberley

While Broome could keep you occupied for days, it’s really the Kimberley’s natural beauty that lures you in. Away from the stretches of Cable Beach, you find a region that rapidly unrolls into a world of dense rainforest, underground caves and boab-dotted horizons straight out of Africa. 

Discover the beauty of the Kimberley's on our 14 day Kimberley Trail or on our 5 day Kimberley Family Holiday.

Kakadu National Park is packed with billabongs, waterfalls, strange rock formations and all types of native wildlife. ‘Roos bounce through the bushland, dingoes are spotted along rocky outcrops, dugongs wallow off the coast, and, despite the name, crocs patrol the waters of Alligator River. 

Explore Kakadu National Park on our 8 day Walk Kakadu National Park tour or on our 4 day Kakadu, Katherine & Litchfield Adventure.

7. The Red Centre

Also known as Central Australia, the Red Centre is where Uluru rises from the landscape in all its beauty. But there’s far more to this region than the iconic rock of the Outback. Discover Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) and its 36 stunning red domes; Kings Canyon , with its natural amphitheater and the East and West MacDonnell Ranges.

Uncover the magic of the Red Centre on our 6 day Premium Red Centre & Uluru tour or on our 4 day Uluru & Kings Canyon Family Adventure.

8. The Outback

Experience the untamed beauty of Outback Australia, hear tales of the Aboriginal Dreaming with a First Nations guide, cross incredible scenery in a 4WD, and walk among a carpet of wildflowers in the Flinders Ranges. 

Explore the Outback on our 5 day Best of Uluru & Kings Canyon tour or on our 10 day West Coast & Karijini Overland Adventure.

9. K'gari (Fraser Island)

K'gari (Fraser Island) isn’t just the largest sand island in Queensland, it’s the largest one in the world. Explore the rugged headlands, silica sand beaches, lush rainforests hugging the shore and freshwater lakes that lay hidden throughout this World Heritage-listed island.  

Experience K'gari for yourself on our 14 day Sydney to Cairns Adventure.

10. Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road is a winding coastal route of sandstone cliffs and dense rainforest hinterland that stretches all the way from Torquay in the East to Allansford in the West. While the region is famous for its Twelve Apostles, there are plenty of local secrets to be discovered if you’re willing to take the time.

Drive along the Great Ocean Road on our 6 day Great Ocean Road & Grampians Adventure.

11. Tasmania

This island state turns heads thanks to its thriving gallery and gastronomy scene, plus its bounty of natural wonders. Boasting some of Australia’s finest beaches, mistiest mountaintops, loneliest patches of wilderness and most elusive animals, Tasmania is a nature lover’s wonderland.

Discover Tasmania on our 6 day Highlights of Tasmania tour, on our 4 day Hobert & Southern Tasmania Explorer tour or on our 6 day Trek the Cradle Mountain Overland Track.

See the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, take a dip at Bondi Beach, explore the historic Rocks area and discover everything this cosmopolitan city has to offer.

Marvel at Sydney's iconic sights on our 7 day Sydney to Brisbane Adventure.

13. South Australian outback

Explore the South Australian outback at Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary on a 4WD tour that takes in science, education and conservation and showcases this incredible and unique wilderness area.

Delve into the South Australian wilderness on our 10 day South Australia Outback Adventure or on our Outback South Australia & Eyre Peninsula tour.

14. The Great Barrier Reef

Be inspired by the beauty of the world’s largest coral reef – The Great Barrier Reef. Go snorkeling in the warm waters with exotic sea creatures and colorful coral.

Go swimming on our 12 day Brisbane to the Daintree Discovery.

15. The Daintree Rainforest

Explore the world's most ancient rainforest, the Daintree in Far North Queensland , with a local family who lives in a privately owned part of it.

Experience the serenity of the Daintree Rainforest on our 5 day Daintree Family Holiday or on our 8 day Daintree & Cape Tribulation Adventure.

Geography and environment

The continent of Australia is known for being one of the flattest, hottest, and driest places on earth, but despite this, there is an astounding variety of terrains and environments on this island nation. While large areas of Australia are covered in desert, there are also tropical rainforests, alpine snowfields, dense bushland, beaches, gorges, lakes, and rivers to be found.

Australia’s national parks are home to many species of birds and mammals not found in the wild anywhere else in the world, including kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, and wombats.

Boasting many stunning white sand beaches, Australia has a coastline like none other. From busy Bondi to surfing icons like Bell’s Beach and Tasmania’s stunning Wineglass Bay , there are endless places to swim, surf, snorkel and paddle. 

Despite Australia’s large landmass, most people tend to live in urban, coastal cities. Faster-paced cities like Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne hold much of the population, as do regional satellite cities such as Albury, Dubbo, Bunbury, Townsville, Newcastle and Geelong.

Outback towns have a unique flavor and a distinct way of life; things are slower here, and due to smaller populations, space is plentiful, with most locals relying on agriculture for a living. Venturing away from the city to visit the Outback and rural areas of Australia is highly recommended, as it gives travelers the chance to see a different side of Australia. Traverse the northern regions of Australia's iconic outback landscape on a 11 day Darwin to Broome Outback tour.

Culture and customs

With a strong history of immigration, modern Australia is made up of people from many different cultural backgrounds. This mix makes Australia an endlessly fascinating place to visit, as travelers will be exposed to a variety of different customs and cultures during their stay. From the ancient, spiritual ways of the First Nations population to the wide array of faiths, foods, and festivals on display in the big cities, Australia is a cultural melting pot. 

Despite the differences, there are many things that unify the people of Australia. Sports, in particular cricket, soccer, and football (Australian Rules), are played and watched by the masses, irrespective of age, race, gender, or income. Large sporting events like the AFL Grand Final, Melbourne Cup Day, and the Boxing Day Cricket Test have universal appeal for Australians. 

Australians relish public holidays, with national and state holidays offering locals time to relax with friends and family over a barbecue or picnic. Making use of Australia’s natural environment is also paramount during this time, with outdoor activities like bushwalking, swimming at the beach, or lazing in the park popular with locals.

Eating and drinking

Intrepid believes that one of the best ways of experiencing a country is by eating! Whether you're sampling street food, savoring a cheap eat, or indulging in a banquet, there are endless options to choose from wherever you are in the world. 

Australia is a land that has been built by immigrants, and these multicultural influences are evident in the wide array of food available. In the cities, it’s possible to find world-class Vietnamese, Turkish, Italian, Greek, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, and Indian restaurants, as well as excellent gastro-pub fare. Head to the Outback, and you’ll find authentic ' bush tucker ', simple campfire meals, and sizzling barbecues.

Food to try in Australia

1. Fresh seafood

With such an impressive coastline, it’s no wonder fresh oysters, prawns, mussels, and ‘balmain bugs’ are devoured by locals and savored by visitors. For those on a budget, there’s nothing wrong with eating fish and chips on the beach.

Australia creates some of the best wines in the world at South Australia’s Barossa Valley , Western Australia’s Margaret River , and New South Wales’s Hunter Valley .

Whether you’re downing a can of VB in Victoria or sipping micro-brewed ale in Sydney, sharing a beer with mates is a social experience not to be missed when in Australia

4. Hot pies

An Australian classic – savory meat pies (or vegetable pies for vegetarians) are best eaten with tomato sauce and are easily found and served in city cafes, country bakeries, and football matches around Australia.

Read more about Australia's must-try foods

Festivals and events in Australia

Anxiously anticipated by many – the Australian Rules Football Grand Final is a great time to be in Melbourne. Tickets are notoriously scarce but pubs, clubs and backyards overflow with people watching the ‘Big Game’ and celebrating (or commiserating) afterwards.

Tasting Australia 

Feeling hungry? Tasting Australia is a food festival that takes place once a year throughout South Australia and showcases the culture, producers, and regions that make this state such a delicious destination to explore. 

Vivid Sydney

Vivid Sydney lights up the harbor city with a Festival of Ideas featuring inspirational speakers, performances by local and international artists, and light installations that transform buildings and cultural icons into colorful works of art. 

Margaret River Pro

See your favorite professional surfers at work against the backdrop of the beautiful Margaret River region in South Australia at the Margaret River Pro.

State of Origin

Turn your Brisbane, Perth or Sydney adventure up a notch by experiencing a State of Origin game. 

Cairns Ecofiesta

Switch your Cairns holiday to sustainable mode at Cairns Ecofiesta: an eco-conscious festival that celebrates and supports the environment through eco workshops, live music, local produce markets, and vegetarian food options. Suitable for the whole family, this festival aims to both encourage a sustainable lifestyle and leave you with plenty of eco-inspo so you can start your very own planet-protecting journey. 

Alice Springs Beanie Festival 

Celebrate the very best of Aboriginal talent, creativity, and skill at the Alice Springs Beanie Festival. Bursting with silly and colorful handmade beanies, this festival aims to encourage and appreciate the work of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people with various textile workshops and demonstrations on sight to help you understand and learn how to make local arts and crafts. 

Barunga Festival

Barunga is a closed community in the Northern Territory that you usually need a permit to enter, but for three days they open up to the world to celebrate life in Katherine's remote Indigenous communities. With a jam-packed program featuring storytelling circles, art and bush medicine workshops, and some of Australia's best First Nations musicians, Barunga Festival is a wonderful opportunity to connect with the vibrant community.

Darwin Festival 

Promising to give you a real taste of the Northern Territory, the Darwin Festival brings together a myriad of performances, shows, concerts, and exhibitions for you to enjoy. From comedy shows to art galleries, this bubbling festival will have you wanting to come back again and again and again. 

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Further reading

Australia travel faqs, do i need a covid-19 vaccine to join an intrepid trip.

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travelers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travelers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

What's the weather like in Australia?

The weather in Australia varies depending on where in the country you are. For example, winter in Victoria and Tasmania tends to be very cold (around the 32 °F -59 °F mark), whereas, if you head further north to the Northern Territory and Queensland, temperatures in the winter months are much nicer (usually around 64 °F -77 °F ).

This pattern also applies to summer, where the southern states tend to experience lower temperatures (but still warm), while the northern and western states are warmer, with temperatures reaching as high as 104 °F +.

Do I need a visa to travel to Australia?

AUSTRALIA: Belgium: Yes - required in advance Canada: Yes - required in advance Germany: Yes - required in advance Ireland: Yes - required in advance Netherlands: Yes - required in advance New Zealand: Not required South Africa: Yes - required in advance Switzerland: Yes - required in advance United Kingdom: Yes - required in advance USA: Yes - required in advance

All travellers, except New Zealand citizens, must obtain a visa or travel authority before travelling to Australia. Failure to do so means you may not be allowed to board your flight to Australia. Most nationalities can obtain an Electronic Travel Authority via the internet before arrival. Please check with Australian Immigration or with your relevant Australian visa issuing office for your nationalities requirements.

Is tipping customary in Australia?

Tipping isn’t mandatory in Australia; however, rounding up the bill or leaving spare change is common practice. Restaurant staff, taxi drivers and other service workers welcome tips for good service.

What is the internet access like in Australia?

Internet access is widely available in most parts of Australia, with internet cafes and Wi-Fi hot spots commonly found in urban areas. Please note that internet access won’t be available in Outback and remote areas.

Can I use my cell phone while in Australia?

Cell phone coverage is excellent in most parts of Australia, especially in large cities and urban areas. Remote, rural and mountainous places may have limited to no coverage, so be aware of this before venturing away from the city. Ensure global roaming is activated before leaving your home country if you want to use your cell phone, or you can purchase a sim card when you arrive. The provider that will have coverage in the majority of Australia is Telstra, secondly Optus and then Vodafone. A hot tip – when you are in remote areas and don’t have cell phone signal, turn your phone to flight mode which will conserve battery and prevent your phone from using data trying to search for internet signal.

What are the toilets like in Australia?

Western-style flushable toilets are the norm in Australia, and many of our campsites have proper facilities with flushing toilets. In remote areas such as the Kimberley, there is no established plumbing and therefore we have installed ‘drop toilets’. Some campsites we use are managed by the National Parks and have either eco-toilets or drop toilets, most of which are maintained regularly.

What will it cost for a…?

Newspaper = AU$2.50-$4.00 Cup of coffee = AU$4.00-$7.00 Pint of beer in a pub = AU$11.00 Basic lunch at a mid-range cafe = AU$20.00

Can I drink the water in Australia?

Drinking water from taps in Australia is considered safe, unless otherwise marked. For environmental reasons, try to use a refillable water bottle rather than buying bottled water.

Are credit cards accepted widely in Australia?

Credit cards are widely accepted by shops, restaurants and cafes in Australia. Smaller establishments may only accept cash or require a minimum purchase for credit card use, so be sure to carry enough cash for smaller purchases.

What is ATM access like in Australia?

ATMs are commonly found in large cities and regional towns in Australia. ATM access will be very limited in remote areas so be aware of this before heading into national parks or the Outback.

What public holidays are celebrated in Australia?

  • 1 Jan New Year's Day
  • 26 Jan Australia Day
  • Good Friday*
  • Easter Monday*
  • 25 Apr Anzac Day
  • 25 Dec Christmas Day
  • 26 Dec Boxing Day

*Please note these dates may vary. See the current list of public holidays in Australia .

This list does not include State governed public holidays.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance before traveling?

Absolutely. All passengers traveling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

Who are the First Nations people of Australia?

There are two distinct groups of First Nations peoples in Australia - Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islander people - both of which have lived on this land for centuries. While there are only two Indigenous groups, there's actually a wide range of language and location communities that are made up of Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islander people including the Adnyamathanha people of the Flinders Ranges (Aboriginal Australians) and the Badu people from the Near Western Group (Torres Strait Islander people). 

Is Australia LGBTQIA+ friendly?

Australia is an extremely friendly country for travelers of the LGBTQIA+ community because of its strong anti-discrimination laws, social acceptance, and a wide variety of cultural events organized throughout the year including pride festivals and celebrations. 

What's the transport like in Australia?

Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport - which usually carry less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are heaps more fun. Depending on which trip you're on while in Australia, you may even find yourself traveling overland. 

Overland tours

Australia is a big place – like, huge.   Overland tours   involve a lot of time on the road covering long distances, and sometimes the landscape can be pretty barren, so bring a book or some tunes to keep you company.

What's the accommodation like in Australia?

Traveling with Intrepid is a little bit different. We endeavor to provide travelers with an authentic experience to remember, so we try to keep accommodation as unique and traditional as possible.

When traveling with us in Australia you may find yourself staying in a:

Our lodge accommodation is located outside major cities, such as near the entrance to a National Park, and has its own amenities such as a restaurant or dining room. Lodges are comfortable places to stay and offer a good night's rest after a day spent exploring the natural beauty of Australia. 

Permanent Tented Campsite

There's no need to put up your tent when you spend the night in a Permanent Tented Campsite. You'll have a roof over your head and will bunk down on sleeper mats on the ground or stretcher (camp) beds, with access to a toilet/shower block. Tent sizes can vary depending on the trip you're on and the location you're visiting. Some of our permanent tented campsites are a little bit fancy, others are very simple. Sometimes you'll be sharing a tent with others in your group. 

Our bush camping experiences are as diverse as Australia itself. Some offer swag camping under cover or under the twinkling stars. You could be sleeping in a tent with access to simple toilet or shower amenities or you might not have access to a shower at all. However, the scenery at these magical spots makes it worth going without a bath for a day or so. Sometimes a trip has participatory camping where everyone pitches in to help. Other times, a staff member is on hand to look after things like cooking. 

We provide accommodation at a wide variety of hotels around Australia. Some are quite upmarket, others less so, but all of them offer a comfortable stay and ensuite facilities. 

We use hostels on some trips which means your bed could be in a twin room or a shared dorm room. Some of these rooms come with their own facilities while others have share facilities. 

How do I stay safe and healthy while traveling?

From Australia?

Go to: Smart Traveller

From Canada?

Go to:  Canada Travel Information

From the UK?

Go to:  UK Foreign Travel Advice

From New Zealand?

Go to:  Safe Travel

From the US?

Go to:  US Department of State

The World Health Organisation also provides useful health information.

What is it like traveling on a small group tour?

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or you’re about to embark on your first trip, traveling can be as intimidating as it is exciting. That's the beauty of a small group tour. From handling the logistics and organizing amazing cultural activities to local leaders who know each destination like the back of their hand (like which street has the best markets and where to get the most authentic food), traveling on a small group tour with Intrepid will give you unforgettable travel experiences without the hassle that comes with exploring a new place. Plus, you'll have ready-made friends to share the journey with. All you have to do is turn up with a healthy sense of adventure and we’ll take care of the rest.

Does my trip to Australia support The Intrepid Foundation?

Yes, all Intrepid trips support the Intrepid Foundation. In fact, we make a donation on behalf of every traveler. Trips to Australia directly support our foundation partners, Blue Carbon Lab, Greening Australia and WWF-Australia.  Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.

Blue Carbon Lab

Blue Carbon Lab is helping to mitigate climate change by restoring and protecting blue carbon in coastal wetlands. We've already lost 65% of wetlands globally, and multiple impacts, including urban development, agriculture, industry, and more, threaten these crucial blue-carbon ecosystems. Donations from our trips help Blue Carbon Lab to restore the natural coastal wetland areas in Victoria, Australia. 

Find out more or make a donation   

Greening Australia

Greening Australia is taking action to rebuild resilient ecosystems across Australia, from the warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef to the cool island ark of Tasmania. Donations from our trips help them tackle Australia's complex environmental challenges through large on-ground restoration projects and innovative research initiatives that help scale their impact.  

Find out more or make a donation

WWF-Protecting Antarctic Giants

WWF-Australia is a well-established conservation organization helping protect our natural environment. Donations help their pioneering whale research and conservation efforts to establish marine protected areas around Antarctica and save whale species from extinction.

Does my Intrepid trip include airfare?

While our Intrepid trips include many modes of transport, from tuk-tuks to overland vehicles, bullet trains and feluccas, airfare to and from your home country is not included in your tour package.

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At ULTIMATE, we believe that Gap Years and Adventure Travel are essential life experiences. We offer group tours, adventures & gap year travel for 18-35’s in Australia , New Zealand , Europe & Southeast Asia ! 

We have countless travel styles throughout Australia. Create a custom itinerary perfect for you, or join us on one of our popular East Coast Group Tours .  Thinking about a Working Holiday down under? Our iconic UltimateOz Working Holiday program is award winning and is the Ultimate way to set up your Gap Year. Are you wanting to experience new culture, food and adventure? We also offer Guided Group tours in Bali , Vietnam and Thailand , and Adventure Experiences and Custom Itineraries throughout Southeast Asia .

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The Best Tour Companies in Australia

A wide open beach in Australia with a 4x4 vehicle driving in the sand

Few countries capture the imagination quite like Australia . With world-class beaches, unusual wildlife, stunning natural landscapes, a unique history, and a fun and vibrant culture, Australia has something to offer every traveler who makes the journey to the Land Down Under.

While the country is easy to navigate as a solo traveler, there are also plenty of amazing tour options for those who prefer traveling in groups or who might not have the time or energy to plan their own getaway.

I’ve been visiting Australia since 2006 and have used many tour companies over the years (in addition to getting around on my own). In this post, I share my list of the best travel companies in Australia to help you make the most out of your next trip.

From simple walking tours to in-depth, multi-day excursions, there’s something on the list for every interest — and every budget !

Quick Overview

  • Best Bike Tour: Bonza Bike Tours
  • Best Walking Tour: I’m Free
  • Best Party Tour: The Magic Bus
  • Best Multi-Day Tour: Intrepid Travel

1. Best Bike Tour Company: Bonza Bike Tours

Bonza is a bike tour company in Sydney that offers a number of options, depending on what you’re interested in. The Highlights tour lasts 2.5 hours and will show you all the major points of interest in Sydney. It’s suitable for families and kids, costing 99 AUD for adults and 79 AUD for children.

For a more in-depth experience, the Classic tour (129 AUD) lasts 4 hours and provides a much more thorough introduction to this world-class city. They also offer bike rentals so you can just explore the city on your own in case you don’t have the time for a full tour (bike rentals cost 30 AUD for 4 hours and 40 AUD for 24 hours).

2. Best Walking Tour Company: I’m Free

A vivid sunset photo of the Sydney Opera in Australia

If you haven’t done much research before your arrival, this is a good company to start with. Be sure to tip your guide at the end!

3. Runner Up Walking Tour Company: iCity Tours

The city of Perth, Australia lit up at night

There are six different free tours on offer, each lasting around 90 minutes. The Orientation tour offers a quick introduction to the city and its past. If you have more time, be sure to check out the Convicts and Colonials tour as well. It will give you a sense of what life was like as a convict in Western Australia.

4. Best Party Tour Company: The Magic Bus

The Magic Bus Tour Company

Trips go from Perth north to Broome or east to Melbourne so you have to time your trip accordingly to line up with the set departure. The itineraries are always flexible, as they let riders vote on where to go and what to do, so every trip is unique. They try to keep a balance of 50% men and 50% women, as well as a balance of different nationalities, so there is always a diverse group.

Prices vary per trip but expect to pay around 250 AUD per 1,000 kilometers.

5. Our Top Tour Pick: Intrepid Travel

The famous Uluru rock in Australia, as seen from the nearby road

Unlike some of the companies above, this is not a party tour. They are small groups led by expert local guides with a focus on culture, history, and food, as well as ethical travel and leaving a small environmental impact. You’re guaranteed to return home with a much deeper and more nuanced appreciation of your destination.

And you’ll get a much broader range of ages and travel styles with Intrepid tours too (it’s not just for backpackers). With such a wide range of travelers choosing Intrepid tours, you always end up with an awesome group of people to travel with.

I’ve been on a handful of their tours over the years and have never been disappointed. I always learn a ton and meet amazing people. They make sure you have enough things to do without planning out every minute of the day, so it’s a good balance of downtime and tours. I can’t recommend them enough!

Australia is a massive country, offering beautiful landscapes, fun outdoor activities, a wild nightlife, and incredible history.

Whether you’re looking for a quick walking tour or a month-long cross-country adventure — or something in-between — there are plenty of amazing tour companies in Australia to help you make the most out of your time Down Under, no matter your budget.

Book Your Trip to Australia: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.

If you’re looking for places to stay on your trip, here are my favorite hostels in Australia!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

  • Safety Wing (best for everyone)
  • Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
  • Medjet (for additional evacuation coverage)

Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want More Information on Australia? Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on Australia for even more planning tips!

Got a comment on this article? Join the conversation on Facebook , Instagram , or Twitter and share your thoughts!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I use and the income goes to keeping the site community supported and ad free.

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We saw many sights that we wanted to see in Australia. We were sorry t...

This was an ambitious itinerary, covering from the Great Barrier Reef into the outback, then to Sydney and the Wine country. Hotels were top notch, and Customer Serv...

Enjoyed seeing all destinations. Would have liked a little more time to enjoy the properties.

This was a trip with our two 30+ daughters and they picked it so they would have others in their own age group and a more active itinerary

This was a trip with our two 30+ daughters and they picked it so they would have others in their own age group and a more active itinerary. I think this hit the mark...

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"From watching the sunset over Uluru or snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, to hiking the trails of Tasmania or sailing the iconic Sydney Harbour, Australia will be your most epic trip yet."

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Cruise on Sydney Harbour

Take a cruise on the Sydney Harbour for a first-row encounter with two of Australia's most iconic landmarks. Float under the majestic Harbour Bridge and marvel at the dynamic architecture of the Opera House. The best of the city swooped up in a gentle sail.

View spectacular outback sunsets at Uluru

With immense cultural significance and astonishing natural beauty, the sandstone monolith of Uluru is a highlight of any Australia vacation. Climb onto the back of a camel and navigate a portion of the rock's 10-kilometer circumference, before toasting the striking sunset with a glass of bubbles.

Discover Melbourne's eclectic street art

Australia's culture capital is a maze of narrow wine bars, Asian food markets and boutique-lined alleyways. Amidst it all, uncover colorful murals, brazen political statements and the work of acclaimed international artists. From AC/DC Lane to Centre Place, Melbourne will gift you a banquet of street art to appreciate.

Discover the secrets of ancient Aboriginal culture

Hear the Dreamtime stories of Australia's original landowners and begin to understand their 50,000-year connection with the land down under. Known as the world's oldest living civilization, the culture of the Aboriginal people whispers secrets of a time most can scarcely comprehend. Discover their rich heritage in the northern city of Darwin.

Travel to the Penguin Parade on the Phillip Island

It's no secret that Australians love to surf, but when a flapping penguin waddles out of the ocean, even locals squeal with joy. Venture to the southern coastline of Victoria to watch this nightly spectacle, as the beloved birds return from a busy day of fishing.

Our top 5 things to do in Australia

Take a trip to Australia with Trafalgar and we'll reveal the best these sunburnt lands have to offer. From the sparkling Sydney Harbour to the toddling penguin parade of Victoria, these are just some of the remarkable moments that re waiting for you.

Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney

Dive into a world of Maritime archaeology, migration and marine creatures at Sydney's Australian National Maritime Museum. With a 3D cinema, a prime location of Darling Harbour and numerous rotating exhibitions, this museum is one of the most interesting marine-themed things to do in Australia.

ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image), Melbourne

The moving image unfurls in its many forms at Melbourne's ACMI museum. Peel back layers of digital culture with a highlight reel featuring the country's infatuation with film, TV and videogames. Spend an entire day on Flinders Street to uncover many of the city's best museums.

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

Take a journey into Australia's artistic culture from English settlement to the present day in the gallery often proclaimed the most important in the country. Found in a grand gothic building featuring eight sunlit halls, a day at the Art Gallery of New South Wales will connect you deeply to this part of the world.

Best museums in Australia

With a population of just 25 million and a formed history dating back just 120-years, it's easy to be surprised by the depth of culture found in Australia. With Trafalgar, you'll peel back the layers of this country by visiting these museums and many more.

A yeast-based spread that makes many travelers squirm, trying Vegemite is a must when you visit Australia. Though locals like to experiment with the ways they use this vitamin-rich spread, consume it on a piece of toasted bread atop plenty of butter for the most typical Vegemite experience.

An irresistible chocolate biscuit that is part of Australia's cultural fabric; eat one Tim Tam and you are likely to finish the entire packet. Available at any convenience store or supermarket around the country, pick up many trays to take home and share with friends.

Australian sporting events are scarcely complete until you consume a meat pie. A baked pastry dish available in countless modern variations, the traditional meat pie is filled with minced gravy and slathered in tomato sauce.

Best food in Australia

Though Australian food is typically recipes adopted from the rest of the globe, there are a few iconic staples not to miss. From the art of spreading Vegemite to the traditions of the meat pie, our Australia trips will guide you through the very best this country has to offer.

What to pack for Australia

People packing for a tour

An empty suitcase

Tim Tams aren't easy to locate beyond the skirts of Australia. Pack an empty suitcase so you can return home with supplies and sweet souvenirs for family and friends.

Australian currency

There's no leniency in Australia when it comes to paying in foreign currencies. Pack Australian dollars in cash to avoid the fees of teller machines and currency convertors.

Australia is known for giant spiders and snapping crocodiles. But it's more likely to be tiny flying insects that get in your way. Pack bug spray to keep mosquitos at arm's length.

Goggles and a snorkel

Home to the world's most highly regarded reef, packing goggles and a snorkel will mean you can explore Australia's underwater world until your heart is content.

Sun protection

Trips to Australia typically involve a lot of time in the sunshine. Pack a wide brim hat and sunscreen to stay protected from the country's notoriously harsh rays.

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Small group tour of Australia

For Odyssey, our limited collection of Australia small group tours for seniors with a tour leader, provides a platform for you to safely and conveniently discover Australia on a small group coach tour, typically with a relaxed adaptable group of just 12 participants (Maximum 15 travellers). This type of authentic Australian holiday package is primarily for the senior traveler exploring as a couple or solo traveler and is offered with an excellent tour manager to a small group by this tour company since 1983. Odyssey has sought to capture those unique holiday packages Australia seeks to present in its escorted tours Australia 2022 portfolio, across a collection of some 30 small group tours. This travel package range for mature travellers of Australian tours are often guaranteed.

Our Destinations

New south wales 3 tours.

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Northern Territory 1 tours

Birds flying in Kakadu NP Northern Territory

Queensland 2 tours

Sunset in the far outback.

South Australia 2 tours

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Tasmania 13 tours

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Victoria 2 tours

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Western Australia 2 tours

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Specialised Tours

Explore Australia from a different perspective with a tour operator offering smaller group since 1983.

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Crafted Tours for Mature World Travellers

Wildflowers tour of Western Australia

Wildflowers tour of Western Australia

Visiting Western Australia

Escorted small group tour for senior and mature travellers as a couple of solo traveller. Upto 12 people of WA's Wildflower regions including Esperance and the Fitzgerald river National park. Local guides and program leader share knowledge about this fascinating region whilst in bloom.

From A$12,250 AUD

Birdsville Track

Long tour of Australia for a small group

Visiting New South Wales, Northern Territory

Small group tour for senior couples and solo travellers touring Australia. Travelling through the outback and visiting many of the famous sights as well as off the beaten track locations. Learn about the history of the people who explored the deserts, from indigenous communities to Europeans, as well as Burke and Wills , visit White Cliffs , Marree and far north Kakadu and the Kimberley.

From A$45,910 AUD

Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park, Coober Pedy

Small group tour; Broken Hill and back

Visiting New South Wales, Queensland

Small group tour of New South Wales, Queensland & South Australia deserts, from Broken Hill. Learn about the history of the people who explored the deserts, from indigenous communities to Europeans, as well as Burke and Wills, visit White Cliffs, Birdsville, Maree.

From A$11,550 AUD

Coastline near Killiekrankie Flinders Island

Small group tour of Flinders Island

Visiting Tasmania

Explore and learn about Flinders Island on an escorted small group tour for mature and senior travellers who enjoy a walking holiday . For couples or solo travellers . We also explore Cradle Mountain and Launceston .

From A$6,950 AUD

Tasmanian coastline

Discovering Tasmania’s Wildlife

Small group tour of up to 15 mature and seniors travellers visiting and learning about Tasmania's wildlife and history. Visit Maria Island, Freycinet peninsula , Cradle Mountain , Strahan , Lake St Clair and Bruny Island over 16 days.

From A$11,450 AUD

The Darling River Run small group tour

The Darling River Run small group tour

Visiting New South Wales, Victoria

Small group tour for the mature and senior traveller of the Darling River. Learn about the history, culture and landscapes of the Darling, a key part of the Australian river system including Aboriginal trading routes and aquaculture . Suitable for mature and senior couples or solo travellers.

From A$10,750 AUD

Aboriginal history in Tasmania |Summer School in Launceston

Aboriginal history in Tasmania |Summer School in Launceston

Aboriginal Tasmania explores the deep history through to the contemporary period today. Colonial settlement is explored and the program is supplemented wit field trips.

For mature couples or solo travellers there are Sydney tour packages that start and end in this city, but we do so much more than that. You can travel with us on an outback tour of Australia that takes you as far north as Cape York and as far west as Broome . Contact us for more details about our small group Australia tour package dates for guaranteed departures . Although many of the programs are outback tours of Australia for seniors, we don’t neglect the coastal areas and the cities.

Odyssey’s collection of Australia tour packages with a tour manager enable you to explore each state with Odyssey’s escorted tours Australia 2022 portfolio as a city based tour or a Australia holidays package into the Western Australia outback of the Kimberley or South Australia‘s Flinders range or just spend a week on holiday in Hobart learning about a range of subjects on Odyssey’s Summer Schools tour package. This collection of some 70 scheduled small group holiday departures provides plenty of choice for an Australian holiday. These are holidays for solo travellers over 60 Australia or couples.You can make your booking direct for your Australia escorted tour with us or via your travel agent or travel consultant.

Tasmania Summer Schools

Convicts and Emigrants

Convicts and Emigrants in Early Tasmania | Summer School in Hobart, Tasmania

The course focuses on Tasmania and its similarities and differences from the ‘mainland’ as a convict colony, with a particular focus on women's experiences.

The Great Philosophers and Us | Summer School course

The Great Philosophers and Us | Summer School course

This course takes you back to the birthplace of western philosophy and the basis for our inner growth as individuals, as communities and a civilisation that continues to question its values and our very being ever since. Our small group will explore these origins of thought , the masterpieces of literature and drama that reach far beyond their initial time and place and let them speak again to us today.

Narryna house Hobart

Tasmanian Colonial homes, centring on Hobart and Launceston | Summer School in Hobart, Tasmania

Summer School tour that examines the Historic homes and the history of their occupiers.

Tasmania Wilderness

Tasmanian Wilderness | Summer School in Hobart, Tasmania

The Tasmania Wilderness summer school is held annually in Hobart in early January. This summer school allows you to experience the great western wilderness of Tasmania, while staying at a comfortable ‘base camp’ in a Hobart hotel!

Houses and gardens of Southern Tasmania

Houses and Gardens of Southern Tasmania | Summer School in Hobart, Tasmania

Houses and gardens of Southern Tasmania runs for five days and takes in ten different gardens and three heritage-listed houses. We will step back into the past and experience life as it was two centuries ago.

Italian renaissance, Cathedral of Ferrara in Italy

Italian Renaissance | Summer School course

This Summer school course looks at the influence and contribution five key families in shaping today's Italy. In the 15th and 16th centuries the principalities that became Italy were alive with new ideas. The boundaries of art, architecture, music, science, politics, religion and literature were pushed. It was also riven by bitter rivalry and even open warfare between the numerous independent city states.

Romans settling Britain and Gaul

Romans settling Britain & Gaul | Summer School course

This course will investigate contemporary accounts of Roman of the path to occupation and then settlement in Britain and Gaul. This class will endeavour to consider and discuss the contribution Rome and the Romans had on the places controlled by these invaders.

Glory of Greece

Uncovering Ancient Greece | Summer School course

The Glory of Greece course examines the history of the Ancient Greeks from Mycenaean, Minoan and Homeric times until the commencement of the Peloponnesian War in 431BC. We discover the development of a classical, ancient people and culture.

Medieval and Renaissance Women

Extraordinary Women from Medieval and Renaissance Europe | Summer School course

This Summer school course will examine the life and deeds of a number of strong women living in Medieval and Renaissance Europe. Women seldom wrote the history books in the period between 1050 and 1650.

Victorian Britain

Victorian Britain | Summer School course

This course will look at the life and times of Queen Victoria who reigned over the British Empire between 1837 and 1901. During that period Britain underwent what amounted to a revolution in industry, agriculture, transport, politics, science, medicine and the arts.

Some Articles about Australia

Iconic Animals of the Australian Outback

Iconic Animals of the Australian Outback

Explore the wildlife and natural heritage of Australia , with its iconic marsupials, birds, reptiles, and surreal monotremes in the Outback. Odyssey offers small group tours for mature and senior travellers, couples, and solo travelers to Australia.

White and orange escarpments, Kimberly, Western Australia

The Kimberley: A Definitive Guide

This article supports the small group package tours for mature and senior travellers, couples and solo travellers to Western Australia 's Kimberley region . Learn about the wet and dry seasons and the fascinating Aboriginal history as well as the Bungle Bungles , Lake Argyle , Halls creek and resort of Broome.

Hiking daypack

What to pack for holidays

For mature solo and senior travelers what to pack for holidays in a post Covid-19 environment is packed with suggestions. Article for small group tour travellers to Europe or outback Australia to assist with packing advice for general trips and walking tours.

Responsible Travel Tips

Responsible Travel Tips

Article to encourage and promote responsible travel. Article supports similar articles choosing shoes or maintaining health and fitness of travel advice for solo travellers. An Antipodean travel company serving World Travellers since 1983 with small group educational tours for senior couples and mature solo travellers.

Moonta, South Australia

Moonta, South Australia

Continued reading about South Australia and the "Copper Triangle" of Yorke Peninsula, Adelaide and British Settlement for senior couples and solo travellers on a small group tour by coach or air tour.

19th Century South Australian Copper Triangle

Learn on a small group tour for couples and senior travellers for couples and solo travellers about the history of South Australian copper. Explore the Eyre peninsula, Lake Gardiner as well as Burra and the Flinders ranges .

A unique small group journey into the outback

Odyssey offers a small group tour of Australia providing a journey between cities with just 250 years of European history, and an outback, which has some of the oldest known geologic material on earth. Importantly, it has one of the longest and most truly fascinating periods of human settlement, which we seek to convey through our collection of small group outback tour programs. This collection of outback tours for seniors takes the senior couple or solo traveller on a guided tour through the national park network, into the Flinders range including Wilpena pound, Birdsville, or beyond Broken hill. In the Northern Territory to Watarrka national park and King’s canyon or Tennant creek. Priority is given to sourcing indigenous guide to share their knowledge of outback Australia on these outback tours for seniors.

Indigenous Australians settled, possibly via a land bridge on the continent from Southeast Asia, at least 85,000 years before the first Europeans from Portugal and Spain began exploration in the 17th century. For senior and mature travellers, a small group outback tour of Australia is a unique experience, an outback adventure and an inspiration for the mature traveller interested in a small group journey. You can travel along the Oodnadatta Track , journey over the Nullarbor Plain, visit the Kimberley region or watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean from Broome. On an Odyssey outback tour you have the chance, not just to experience the amazing landscape, but to learn about indigenous culture from indigenous guides and from the physical evidence still available, including rock art in the Bungle Bungle Ranges and the fish traps at Brewarrina .

Australia is a country the size of America, but with a population of just 25 million, and one of the longest coastlines in the World. Some 80% of the population lives on Australia ‘s east coast, separated from what is known as the outback by the low mountains of the Great Dividing Range. Australia ‘s geographic diversity, in landforms, flora, and wildlife, is part of its charm, providing the back drop for a small group outback adventure in the winter period . Whilst the Great Barrier reef, kangaroos and koalas are well known, the great biodiversity of the native Australian wildlife is less well known, and an escorted tour, complete with a local guide into the outback, provides an amazing opportunity. The biodiversity present is often missed until a good tour guide or travel expert shares their knowledge with you. Our small group tours of Australia including any of chosen Australian outback tour or air charter allows you to travel on an epic journey across one of the world’s most beautiful and fascinating countries. Take a journey across the outback and experience a national park such as Purnululu National Park , the Blue Mountains , Kuku Yalanji, the Great Barrier reef and Kata Tjuta. These parks account for some 10% of the World’s biodiversity and on any tour of Australia, travellers can expect to meet unique wildlife, just waiting to be photographed.

Reaching your Destinations

Travel in Australia can be a challenge. Once you leave the major cities of Sydney , Melbourne or Brisbane on a journey by car, or on an escorted tour by coach, the sheer scale of the country begins to reveal itself as the journey unfolds. It is on a scale often unrecognised when flying, for example, to Cairns or Port Douglas from Sydney to explore a UNESCO world heritage site such as the Daintree rainforest or the Great Barrier reef in far North Queensland. You may arrive in Cairns in less than three hours by plane, but on the road, through the outback, this journey for the tour group, becomes an outback adventure, that can run for days. It can become an epic journey, one that requires careful planning and destinations selected well in advance, if you are to arrive safely at your outback destination.

The same rules apply for the journey to Alice Springs and Uluru (Ayers rock ) in the Kata Tjuta National park. From Sydney, or any of the state capitals, this journey has much that will be missed by plane. When you travel as part of a small group tour of Australia with Odyssey, there is so much more to experience. The journey from Sydney to Uluru passes first through another UNESCO world heritage site, the Blue Mountains National Park with its extraordinary gorges and cliff faces, so easily missed unless you know where to look. Farmland and rural towns soon disappear as the drive takes us towards the Northern Territory, then three thousand kilometres away, we finally reach Uluru. This is the Australian outback!

The vast scale of the outback may not be missed on a solo journey by car, but there is so much more to experience than simply distance. When you travel as part of a small group tour of Australia with Odyssey, your programme leader, or your local guide for the day, will be sharing stories with you about the Australian wildlife, local legends or some of world’s most beautiful stories from the dreamtime of the indigenous Australian communities you visit. Aboriginal culture and colonial history both come to life in the sites and country museums we visit, and in the tales related by locals. The Odyssey Australian outback tour seeks to create programs that provide learning as well as enjoyment and adventure as you travel overland, off the beaten track through Central Australia.

Small group tours of Australia for seniors from Odyssey.

Odyssey has, over almost 40 years, put together a collection of Australia packages for air tours , coach tours and motorbike tours within Australia and overseas for the mature solo and senior couple. Our aim is to create Seniors holiday packages that older people from within Australia, and those from overseas, can enjoy. We have created a wide variety of itineraries for local and international travellers with the opportunity to take the journey, often into the Australian outback, that go beyond the icons of the Sydney Opera House or the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Uluru ( Ayers rock ) and the Great Barrier Reef. Our travel programs in Australia for seniors seek to take you off the beaten track on a road trip to explore some less well known, but still spectacular scenery. They are designed for older travellers, couples and those travelling solo. Your fellow traveller understands as does the tour manager leading the group about solo travel. There is a single supplement for solo occupancy of a hotel room. What is important though is that for both couples and the single traveller that you are with a like minded people seeking a similar travel style and experience.

We hope, like Robert Frost, to take the road less travelled. These may not be adventure Australia tours but they are wildlife Australia tours. We provide travel experiences in central Australia that follow the Birdsville track , or take the Canning stock route, camping each night. Another tour explores the Oodnadatta Track and continues into the Flinders Ranges and Brachina Gorge. We have coach tours in Australia that track the stunning scenery of the great Australian Bight or the wildflowers of Western Australia and the extraordinary Kimberley region.

This is a fascinating country and our collection of discovery Australia escorted tour(s) seek to show how its geographical isolation has allowed for an incredible biodiversity record unlike that of any other place on the planet. This can be seen in its unique Australian wildlife, from the the kangaroo, platypus, wombat, quokka, echidna and koala, to its plant diversity, expressed in the wildflowers of Western Australia . Of course not all our tours are wildlife tours, but once our outback tours of Australia leave the built up environment, then there will almost certainly be a wildlife experience at some time on your vacation.

Our group tours for seniors in Western Australia , give the traveller the opportunity to explore and learn about places such as Broome and the beautiful Kimberley coast, Kings Canyon, Kuranda the Bungle Bungle Ranges and Lake Argyll , while developing an understanding of the wet and dry climatic cycle of the Kimberley. The Aborigines have been present here for some 60,000 years in WA and we hope to come to some understanding of Aboriginal history and culture. They developed not only incredible storytelling, to pass on from generation to generation, but had the ability to manage the world’s most arid continent on a sustainable basis. The Aboriginal people also represented their life and understanding of the spirit world through their rock art and painting . We have the opportunity to explore Aboriginal rock art , particularly in the Kimberley region, on these Western Australia tours.

In South Australia , Europeans made their mark in the Flinders ranges, long after geologic processes commenced. Beautiful Wilpena Pound represents the stumps of mountains believed to have once been as tall as the Himalayas. Coober Pedy , with its unusual underground living, yielded opals to miners while other British settlers sought to develop agriculture, train lines and the telegraph through the Flinders ranges. The Oodnadatta track, also in South Australia, provides the traveller with the chance to learn more about both Aboriginal and colonial history.

A traveller with a curiosity and interest in outback Australia and fossils can join an Odyssey program in country New South Wales that ends in far North Queensland in the place where complete Dinosaur skeletons were uncovered by local people some 50 years ago or learn about Australia’s unique Megafauna . Our senior traveller can sit and consider that moment in time, just outside what is Winton today, when a herd of Dinosaurs stampeded through the mud to escape a larger Dinosaur, seeking lunch some 65 Million years ago. On our outback tour we can show you this in the exposed geological record.

What can be discovered in Australia, from the past and the current environment, is simply fascinating once the traveller escapes the cities and ventures into the outback. You can’t really capture the outback spirit from a seat in an aeroplane. You need to get out into the Northern Territory and Western Australia, or at least to drive across the Hay Plain on your way to Lake Mungo . We don’t, however, ignore the cities entirely as major cities, including Sydney , Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, Perth , Darwin & Hobart , where the vast majority of the population lives, each have their contribution to make to an understanding of modern Australia. Our Victorian Gold Rush and Gardens tour begins and ends in Melbourne, there’s a dedicated tour to Adelaide in South Australia or you can take a tour that concentrates on Canberra , the nation’s capital.

Odyssey wants travellers on an Australian small group tour to experience the extraordinary variety that this country has to offer. We want you to be surprised by information that has been recently discovered by Europeans but known to Indigenous Australian for thousands of years. In the outback of Western Australia, for example, just down the road (well only a few hundred kilometres), from the UNESCO World heritage site at the Purunululu National Park (home to the Bungle Bungle rock formation ) is the world’s second largest meteorite impact crater. A meteorite struck this part of the planet some 120,000 years ago at Wolfe Creek. This crater remained unknown to Europeans until it was spotted from the air in 1947, though the local indigenous community had been telling stories of the event for many thousands of years!

Is tipping customary in Australia?

If you’re on an Odyssey tour, we take care of tipping so you don’t need to give it a second thought. However, in your free time, or if travelling independently, it’s essential that you tip an appropriate amount for services. Tipping is common in Australia; A small tip of a few dollars in showing appreciation for services is greatly appreciated.

What is the time zone?

Australia has multiple time zones. Some of them are half-hour and quarter-hour time zones. Not all states and territories use Daylight Savings:

Australia has 5 standard time zones:

  • UTC+8:00: Australian Western Standard Time (AWST)
  • UTC+8:45: Australian Central Western Standard Time (ACWST)
  • UTC+9:30: Australian Central Standard Time (ACST)
  • UTC+10:00: Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)
  • UTC+10:30: Lord Howe Standard Time (LHST)

What is the best way to tour Australia?

For Odyssey Travellers who tend to be retirees and mature or older travellers travelling as a couple or as a solo travellers, we suggest an organised group tour as being the best way to tour Australia for senior travelers.

Odyssey’s collection of small group Australian vacation packages escorted tours of seek to be an organised tour that get off the beaten track whether on a regular escorted tour or a walking tour somewhere on Australia ‘s east coast . Odyssey’s Australian holiday packages are all inclusive, with the exception of some meals particularly when on an Australia holiday package tour of a city.

Odyssey’s Australia tour packages are for a small group tour of 12 people (Maximum 15) allows you the freedom to enjoy the journey on one of our small group escorted tours of Australia whilst your tour guide looks after the logistics of the tour operation and getting you and your fellow travellers to the next place of interest.

What destinations do Australia escorted tours visit?

An escorted Australia tour has a tour itinerary schedule that typically will visit all the popular destinations a traveller seeks when visiting Australia.

For Odyssey Travellers joining one of our seniors holiday packages , we seek to journey onto the road less travelled! small group escorted tours of Australia that explore.

Our Australian vacation packages ( senior holiday packages ) are small group tours for seniors that explore and provide opportunity to learn as you travel to the Kimberley , Tasmania, Flinders range, South West coast of Western Australia , Outback Queensland or the Canning stock route. Places where Aboriginal stories come to life, the wildlife can be seen, landscapes leave you in awe and the settlement history creates the time to pause and wonder. This is a package holiday offered by an experienced tour operator, though we ask you to arrange your domestic flights ensuring you get the best travel deals available to the start of the perfect holiday.

What are the best places to visit in Australia?

Australia is unique in that this vast island continent contains such a diversity of experiences to meet all types of interest that a traveller may have. It is recognised that for many it is seeking the icons.

For Odyssey Travellers a small group tour is getting beyond the “Best” but to reach the places of interest, to satisfy the curiosity and to learn. Our portfolio of small group escorted tours of Australia to each state seeks to achieve this in groups of typically 6 to 12 people, with a maximum of 15, plus an experienced leader to provide an Australian holiday package experience to be remembered.

Besides the historical towns and outback Aboriginal communities, which many of Odyssey’s tours include, we recommend that you don’t miss the following Australian highlights:

  • Far north Queensland
  • Barossa Valley
  • Broken Hill
  • The Kimberley
  • Blue Mountains
  • Southern Highlands
  • Whitsundays

How far in advance should I plan a trip to Australia?

Bookings for an upcoming tour with Odyssey , open upto 2 years in advance to allow you book onto your preferred Australia tour .

A deposit will typically secure your place with final payments falling due between 90 to 60 days before departure.

A reputable travel company will allow you pay by credit card or direct bank transfers in the currency of your choosing.

How much does an Australia escorted tour cost?

For a small group tours for seniors of typically 12 people in this post pandemic environment you should considering an allowance of AUD$550-$600/day per person on a twin share basis. This should cover all travel , entrances, breakfast and one other meal a day, plus tipping. For holidays for solo travellers over 60 Australia should allow AUD$650-$675/day

A large group coach tour of up to 50 senior travelers will operate with a lower cost/ day.

How much does an average trip to Australia cost?

For a small group tour for seniors with Odyssey Traveller you should allow for AUD$3500 for a 8 day city coach tour to Adelaide and AUD$12,500 for a 16 day inclusive tour of the Kimberley .

Location, distance, sights and duration all influence the tour price of coach tours in Australia for seniors .

What is a holiday package to Australia?

Odyssey Traveller specialises in educational small group tours , for seniors , typically groups between 6 to 12 people. Odyssey has been offering this style of adventure and educational programs , since 1983.

We offer a wide range of educational, cultural and heritage journeys that expand horizons and broaden the mind. Our tours are designed for active , inquisitive travellers in a small group environment.

What are the public holidays in Australia?

  • New Year’s Day – 1 Jan
  • Australia Day – 26 Jan
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Saturday
  • Easter Sunday
  • Easter Monday
  • Anzac Day – 26 April
  • Queen’s Birthday – 14 June
  • Labour Day – 4 Oct
  • Christmas Day – 25 Dec
  • Boxing Day – 26 Dec

This is a link to Australia’s School Holidays: https://info.australia.gov.au/about-australia/special-dates-and-events/school-term-dates

Including South Australia on a small group tour of Australia?

South Australia should not be missed during your Australian adventure – a state famous for its wine regions ( Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills ), its wildlife and stunning nature. Do not miss Adelaide (state capital), the Eyre Peninsula and Kangaroo Island .

South Australia holds a lot of the history of Australia’ s outback and Kangaroo island is a popular destination . Geologically unique, Aboriginal culture , wildlife and European settlement is all part of the mix you can organise as part of a guided tour program in this state. Whilst Adelaide and its hills provide some of Australia’ s finest Victorian buildings and design collections from this era, as well as wines on a day tour , it is the outback of South Australia’s Flinders ranges National park, places like Brachina gorge and Lake Eyre National park , Wilpena pound , Coober Pedy and Woomera that can inspire you when on a escorted tour of this region.

What to see in New South Wales on a tour of Australia?

The oldest state in Australia, New South Wales (NSW) is home to one of the world’s most beautiful cities: the stunning harbor city and capital Sydney , with its unmissable Sydney Harbour Bridge, Opera House and sprawling natural harbor.

Odyssey concentrates our tours on the outback NSW – discover ancient landscapes, unique rock formations and rich Aboriginal culture in places like Broken Hill , Bourke , White Cliffs , Lightning Ridge , Cobar and Mungo National Park .

Odyssey offers easy, convenient and relaxed escorted small group tours to NSW outback. There are important authentic Aboriginal sites , historic colonial towns, World Heritage National Parks , large multi-cultural cities and spectacular scenery, all waiting to be explored on one of Odyssey’s NSW tour packages with a well-organized outback NSW itinerary designed for the senior travellers.

What to do in Tasmania as part of a tour of Australia?

Odyssey lets you explore the sights and history or Tasmania , from the cerulean waters on the east coast, to Cradle Mountain and the capital city if Hobart . With its distinct flora, fauna, geology and climate patterns, Tasmania is one of the most fascinating places you can visit and we are sure you will create memories you will never forget.

Tasmania is a scenic destination with many national parks to explore complete with pure stands of virgin bush, unique wildlife such as the Tasmanian devil to see and learn about in a rugged mountain and wilderness areas, particularly Cradle mountain national park . Our selections of c oach tours of Tasmania for seniors are typically for 15 days. For those interested in European and British history, Tasmania will readily share its often uncomfortable past, both social and the issues surrounding logging and mining. An escorted tour of either the wildlife or cultural history will always be a fascinating tour , the Tasmania tour (s) visit Tamar Valley , the Gordon river , Bruny Island and Lake st Clair .

The capital, Hobart is a pretty city with a vibrant waterfront and harbour built on reclaimed land. It is also associated historically with the convict era as depicted at the Port Arthur Historical site, an ex-convict prison. The contentious private art gallery MOMA is a good place to visit whilst in Hobart.

Should a traveller visit Western Australia as part of a tour of Australia?

During Odyssey’s escorted, small group tour for seniors to Western Australia , we will take you to sites of ancient Aboriginal history , World Heritage Sites , breath-taking Wildflowers blooms, all with spectacular scenes on the way.

The state of Western Australia is dominated by the city of Perth . Beyond Perth regional towns support Wheat farms, Mining and Tourism. Distances on any Western Australia tour are substantial, but the history goes back some 60,000 years and there is plenty to see that this is a destination for a planned tour of Australia on its own. It is Aboriginal history and culture , the wet and dry season of the Kimberley and the Australian outback landscapes of Rainforest, gorges and desert after the coastal town of Broome . But there is more with Ningaloo with its manta rays exploring the Indian ocean . The Kimberley region reveals the bungle bungle and the pinnacles desert . In the eastern part of Western Australia there is or was gold and the worlds second biggest meteorite crater at Wolfes creek that struck this spot 120,000 years ago. On the South West coast of Western Australia , just a few hours drive from Perth city , from June to November endemic Wildflowers come into bloom drawing enthusiasts from around the world to come and observe the season. Travellers explore from Esperance to the wine tasting in the Margaret river region on organised day trip as part of our Western Australia tours .

Should a traveller visit Queensland as part of a tour of Australia?

Queensland covers an area about 7 times the size of the U.K and has a rich and diverse landscape, featuring lush rainforests, beautiful beaches, coastal islands, deserts and the world-famous Great Barrier Reef, as well as the metropolitan state-capital, Brisbane .

For the majority of people on vacation, Queensland represents the beach in their minds. The Great Barrier reef , Cairns , East coast beaches at Noosa or the Gold coast , the Whitsunday islands , Fraser island , the worlds largest sand bank and Brisbane.

For the majority of visitors, they hug the east coast not venturing into the Australian Outback to discover the history of Aboriginal settlement, the river boat traffic down the Murray river or the impact the railway lines brought to regional towns at the begining of the 1900’s. But if you can get beyond Australia’s E ast coast and the G reat Barrier reef particularly in going inland into Queensland then the history is revealed from Winton with the discovery of complete dinosaur skeletons , the town where Waltzing Matilda was first played or where the airline Qantas was the germ of an idea in Longreach, then the stories and history are quickly exposed and become intriguing as they reveal the Australian character. However, the Great Barrier reef , is a UNESCO world heritage site and like Uluru Ayers rock , the Sydney Opera house and the Sydney harbour bridge or the Blue mountains the Great Barrier reef should be seen by the first time visitor to Australia’s east coast . Whilst you are in based in Cairns the Daintree rainforest is also ecologically important and should be visited. Many travellers will base themselves in Cairns when visiting the Great barrier reef , taking an escorted tour up to Port Douglas as a day tour .

Should a traveller visit the Northern Territory and Darwin as part of a tour of Australia?

During Odyssey’s escorted, small group tour for seniors to Darwin and the Northern Territory , you will learn about deep Aboriginal culture , the colonial history and the landscapes that inspire. There is enormous variety of spectacular scenery, history, wildlife and cultural activity.

The Northern Territory with its capital Darwin, has a small population of some 250,000. Famous for the natural waterholes in the Red Centre to the sprawling wetlands of Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks, the NT has more diverse landscapes to explore than most countries. This state is 75% arid even though is sits above the tropic of Capricorn. Kakadu N ational park and Uluru Kata Tjuta National park are both key places to visit in the Northern territory, though they are located at each end of the State. Uluru Kata Tjuta National park is associated with the red centre or Australian outback .

Darwin is small, yet cosmopolitan mainly due to the mix of different ethnic cultures which one finds here. It is handy for a visit to both the Charles Darwin National Park , one of Australia ‘s largest wetlands and the Kakadu National Park , the country’s largest national park with its crocodiles, unique birdlife and the largest collection of Aboriginal rock art .

Where should I go on the East Coast of Australia?

Odyssey offers a range of tours on the East Coast of Australia, including our Outback NSW tours – one to Western NSW and one to North East NSW.

What to do in Perth?

During Odyssey’s escorted, small group tour for seniors to Western Australia and its capital Perth, we will visit the new Perth Museum, the Mint Museum, art galleries and many grand Victorian buildings, i.e., the Government House. We will head out of the city to nearby historic Avon Valley, visiting towns such as Beverley, York, Northam and Toodyay. We cruise the Swan River to Fremantle where we take a guided tour of the historic centre and visit one of the world’s best-preserved examples of a 19th century port streetscape. You will explore National Trust properties such as Peninsula Farm and the grand Woodbridge mansion.

What are the best sights to see during your time in Sydney on a tour of Australia?

The UNESCO world heritage listed Blue Mountains , some 2 hours from the city of Sydney, is a great place to start a day tour . The unique formations of dramatic scenery encompass steep cliffs, some of Australia ‘s finest eucalyptus forests, waterfalls and small villages. The mountains include the Three Sisters, some of the world’s most beautiful awe-inspiring pinnacled peaks. In the Blue Mountains there are 140 kilometres of walking trails. However, the B lue mountains should be treated as a journey in to Australia’s outback . For the novice an escorted tour or guided tour onto any of the walking trails in the Blue mountains would be prudent. Should one wish to spend time here, beyond the day tour then the best place as a base in the Blue Mountains would be Katoomba, a small town offering arty boutique shops. Another region a two hour drive away from Sydney and a suitable day tour is the Hunter Valley , a wine producing region with over 120 wineries and some of Australia ‘s finest bloodstock. To the south of Sydney , just off the Hume highway, the road to Melbourne are the Southern highlands and the regional centre of Bowral. This regional town has a tulip festival each spring as well as an amazing National trust property to visit. The Southern Highlands and Bowral are also a suitable day tour from Sydney .

These are Odyssey top 10 recommendations for your Sydney visit:

Sydney Opera House

  • Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Sydney Beaches
  • Taronga Zoo
  • Art gallery of NSW
  • The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
  • The Sydney Tower Eye
  • Barangaroo Reserve

Odyssey’s small escorted group tours for seniors are mainly transported by modern, air-conditioned coaches, however, we have recently developed a range of “ Air tours ”. Our scenic air tours, with privately chartered small aircrafts, enables the time restricted traveller to view some of the iconic destinations, more efficiently and also with a great view!

If you prefer travelling by land, our coaches used on our small group tours, are typically kneeling (the coach can be lowered to the ground upon embarking/disembarking vehicle), 14-to 21-seater, business style coaches with reclining chair, USB ports, Wi-Fi (when available) and an on-board toilet.

What to do on a Melbourne vacation as part of a tour of Australia?

During Odyssey’s escorted, small group tour for seniors to Melbourne , we enjoy a collection of day trips, based from Melbourne CBD . We explore Melbourne’s history and architecture through its labyrinth of laneways, guided by a knowledgeable tour leader and local guides. You will see the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Royal Exhibition building , as well as the Parliament House and the Old Treasury building, where you will learn how the Gold Rush transformed Victoria .

Melbourne , Sydney’ s “rival”, is a sophisticated metropolis and should also be included as part of the itinerary on a small group tour of Australia .

Central Melbourne is the most European of Australia’ s cities and is its cultural capital. Its unique character includes its trams and its Victorian-era architecture. Melbourne offers excellent shopping and cultural sites such as art galleries and museums. Central Melbourne has colourful neighbourhoods such as Fitzroy and the beach side suburb of St. Kilda, just a Melbourne tram ride away. A Day tour out of Melbourne can be to Daylesford for a spa or to Phillip Island to watch the Penguin activity at sunset. The gold rush towns of Ballarat and Bendigo are a comfortable day tour if Melbourne is your base during your time in Victoria. A long day tour would be along the scenic Great Ocean road including the unique rock formation of the Twelve Apostles, returning back to Melbourne along the inland route or onto Port Fairy.

Odyssey’s Australian escorted small group tours for seniors vary in costs. Please see all our Australian tours by clicking on this link:

https://www.odysseytraveller.com/destinations/australia/

What is the internet access like in Australia?

Residential broadband Internet access is available in Australia using ADSL, cable, fibre, satellite and wireless technologies. According to Okolo’s Speed test Global Index, Australia’s average download speed is 58.83Mbps with an average upload speed of 21.44Mbps (as of December 2020). That puts Australia 61st in the world.

Do you need a visa to travel to Australia?

Unless you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen, you will need a valid Australian visa to enter the country. New Zealand passport holders can apply for a visa upon arrival in the country. All other passport holders must apply for a visa before leaving home. You can apply for a range of visas, including tourist visas and working holiday visas, at your nearest Australian Embassy or Consulate.

What to do when visiting Adelaide as part of your small group tour of Australia?

Adelaide is an easy going, relaxed and garden-like city. The Adelaide Museum and the art gallery collections will surprise and delight the visitor seeking history.

Port Adelaide is also well worth a visit. A guided tour of the Barossa Valley or the McLaren Vale wine districts are suggested in order to appreciate the impact different nationalities have had on the settlement of South Australia. Kangaroo Island with its abundance of wildlife and Cleland Conservation Park where you can get up close to many of the country’s indigenous animals is best as a mulit-night stay rather a day tour .

For those with an interest in train journeys, you can catch a train from Adelaide to the Northern Territory capital Darwin through the outback to Alice Springs , where you join a guided tour to Uluru Ayers rock , before continuing on through the Northern Territory to Darwin. This journey puts any tour of Australia into context as the kilometres of rail pull you the traveler through Australia’s outback to Darwin.

What to do when visiting Australia’s capital, Canberra as part of your small group tour of Australia?

Australia’s capital city is Canberra , some 4 hours by road from Sydney and about 6 hours from Melbourne . The serene unhurried and purpose-built and planned capital, is located around the attractive artificial Lake Burley Griffin. Some of the major landmarks are the old Parliament House, the traditionally designed Parliament Building and the Australian War Memorial. Canberra is home to the National Art Gallery and National Museum which are worth visiting.

What to do in the Australian outback as part of a tour of Australia? 

The Australian Outback is actually a vast area which comprises most of Australia and which is made up of either semi-arid or desert land. It is not an exact location. One of the best-known towns is Alice Springs , and it`s the perfect place to explore the Australian Outback , which is also known as the “Red Centre”. It is also the home of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Activities here can include camel rides from one of the many camel farms, stargazing as the town exists under amazingly clear skies and hot air ballooning. One can visit the nearby King’s Canyon and the MacDonnell Range of mountains located in National parks. There are escorted group tours out of Alice Springs along the Canning stock route or the trek of the Duracks across to the Kimberley. Trails and routes of endurance and often hardship in part of the most arid places in the world.

From Alice springs 450 kilometres/270 miles away is Uluru Ayers Rock in the Uluru Kata Tjuta National park . The huge sandstone monolith which stands out starkly in the surrounding desert is one of Australia ‘s iconic sites and is typically included on a overseas visitor first visit to Australian. Uluru is classified as a UNESCO world heritage site is 348 metres/1142 feet in height. To the Aboriginals, Uluru is a sacred site of spiritual significance and was an integral meeting point on ancient trading routes.

Touring Australia

The need to know

Getting around

Odyssey travels by coach and occasionally uses local transport, including trains and ferries. Specifics for your Australia trip are always outlined in your tour itinerary. Bus services are widely available, with long-distance buses and shuttle buses providing services across the country. The train services are somewhat more limited in terms of transportation coverage, though remain a comfortable and very scenic way of getting around Australia.

Accommodation

In major cities on your Australian tour, Odyssey stays in centrally located 3-4 star hotels, with easy access to public transport. In smaller towns or rural areas, we usually stay in family-run hotels or guesthouses. On our longstay tours, during which you spend the length of the tour in a single location, we use serviced apartments.

Tour guides

Odyssey always engages local guides with regional knowledge to ensure an authentic experience during which you can learn as much as possible about the history and culture of places you visit.

Geography, Environment, & Weather

Australia comprises a land area of about 7.692 million square kilometres.

Although this is just five per cent of the world’s land mass (149.45 million square kilometres), Australia is the planet’s sixth largest country after Russia, Canada, China, the United States of America and Brazil. It is also the only one of the largest six nations that is completely surrounded by water.

Australia is the smallest of the world’s continents. It is also the lowest, the flattest and (apart from Antarctica) the driest.

Due to the size of the country, Australia has serveral different climate zones. The northern section of Australia has a more tropical climate, hot and humid in the summer, and quite warm and dry in the winter, while the southern parts are cooler with mild summers and cool, sometimes rainy winters.

World Heritage Sites

There are 20 properties in Australia listed on the World Heritage List. You can view the listed properties here: (https://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/au). Australia listed properties include:

The Great Barrier Reef: a site of remarkable variety and beauty on the north-east coast of Australia. It contains the world’s largest collection of coral reefs, with 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 types of mollusc.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, formerly called Uluru (Ayers Rock – Mount Olga) National Park, features spectacular geological formations that dominate the vast red sandy plain of central Australia. Uluru, an immense monolith, and Kata Tjuta, the rock domes located west of Uluru, form part of the traditional belief system of one of the oldest human societies in the world. The traditional owners of Uluru-Kata Tjuta are the Anangu Aboriginal people.

Australian Convict Sites, includes a selection of eleven penal sites, among the thousands established by the British Empire on Australian soil in the 18 th and 19 th centuries. The sites are spread across Australia, from Fremantle in Western Australia to Kingston and Arthur’s Vale on Norfolk Island in the east; and from areas around Sydney in New South Wales in the north, to sites located in Tasmania in the south.

Festivals & Events

Whether it’s the adrenaline rush from the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, a chilled-out break soaking up the music at the Byron Bay Bluesfest or experiencing history and culture at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair in Queensland, Australia has an event that’s sure to feed your passions.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival takes place in February every year with a colourful and happily chaotic street parade.

Australia has no shortage of riveting sports events, like the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and the Australian Open, it’s no wonder sport-lovers come from all around to experience the adrenaline-inducing atmosphere and world-class athletes.

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and South Australia’s Tasting Australia, are two of many events focused on the culinary side of what Australia has to offer.

Reading list

True Girt: The unauthorised History of Australia, by David Hunt.

A History of Australia, by Mark Peel.

Dark Emu: Aboriginal Australia and the Birth of Agriculture, by Bruce Pascoe.

The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines made Australia, by Bill Gammage.

Eating & Drinking

Australians love their food and this nation is built on a strong history of migration so it’s no wonder that we’ve become famous to the culinary world for our ‘fusion’ food. English and northern European cooking styles have been a part of Australian food since colonisation. Then in the 1970s many Asian cuisines including Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese and Indian began to influence the Australian food landscape, as well as the many southern European and Middle Eastern influences such as Spanish, Balkan, Hungarian, Turkish and Lebanese.

Australians are the second largest beer drinkers in the world! Our beer is essentially a cold lager with a strength of around 5 per cent and the list of breweries is endless, including Tooheys, Carlton Draught, Coopers, Boags, Cascade (which is also the oldest that’s still operating), Hahn, James Squire, Victoria Bitter, Emu Export and Little Creatures.

With many great wine regions on the doorsteps of Australia’s largest capital cities, the international reputation of Australian wine has never been greater, currently being the fourth largest exporter of wine worldwide at around 750 million litres per year.

Health & Safety

Generally speaking, Australia is safe to travel in, though always exercise common sense while travelling.

You may wish to read this article on face masks and on being Covid safe when travelling

Electrical Supply

Whenever you travel overseas, it’s always wise to take an appropriate travel adaptor. The electricity supply in Australia runs at 230V and 50Hz. Australia uses the Type I electric plug, so make sure you have the right travel adaptor with you.

The best of Australia

Aerial view of Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef

Located on the north east coast of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system, visable from space.

Sydney Opera House

One of the 20th century's most famous and distinctive buildings, located next to Sydney's famous Harbour Bridge.

Mitchell Falls, Kimberly region of WA

Kimberley Mountain ranges

Western Australia’s sparsely settled northern region, known for large swaths of wilderness defined by rugged ranges, dramatic gorges, semi-arid savanna and a largely isolated coastline.

Tour Reviews

I had high expectations of all aspects of the school and they were met.

Participant 2018

Enjoyed the local knowledge from Pavel and especially loved his garden.

Very knowledgeable coach drivers, courteous and friendly (as were they all) but Stuart bent over backwards to show us various landmarks around Hobart on our last day.

Morning teas and lunches were superb.

Romans settling Britain & Gaul | Summer School course

Our leader, David Daintree, did a fantastic job. He was able to impart his knowledge and keep an easy-going vibe to the course. Most enjoyable. The two guest speakers were great. As I was reading Alison Alexander's book I was especially pleased to meet her and hear her talk on convicts in Tasmania.

I would like to do it again!

Was nice and leisurely

Mal's knowledge of her subject was outstanding and notes a great help.

Nick Mooney is an excellent leader. His knowledge in so many areas is extensive. It became obvious when meeting other local people that he is regarded very highly. As with Trevor, our driver, nothing was too much trouble for him when trying to make our trip memorable. 10 out of 10.

Nick had interesting comments and views on his field of expertise. Made me think about some of the things I took for granted.

It was my first time with Odyssey & I enjoyed it very much

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole program!

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole program

David is extremely knowledgeable, courteous and friendly. He wasn't rigid with the itinerary (times) as he wanted all the participants to enjoy and see what interested them the most. He did an excellent job.

Great course. Left me wanting to explore more. Plenty of variety in presentation methods. Continually engaging.

Very knowledgeable with a good sense of humour. Well prepared.

It was a first-rate program and fully met expectations

It all worked out very well - as usual!

Mal Bock was an Excellent Program leader & made it a very Pleasurable Experience. I would certainly like to attend further things led by her.

The leader had a great deal of knowledge and good sense of humour also.

Responsible travel tips for Australia

  • Before departing, make sure you have a number of AU dollars in a range of denominations. You don’t want to be carrying around enormous amounts of cash, but take enough to make it easy to pay in locations that might not accept credit card. It will also help you avoid card transaction fees, and it makes tipping a breeze.
  • Carry a card in your wallet or purse from your local hotel, to assist you with the return journey if you do become lost.
  • Always ensure that you are covered by travel insurance. If you need advice on this feel free to contact Odyssey and we’ll be able to help.
  • Before departing, make sure you have a number of AUD in a range of denominations. You don’t want to be carrying around enormous amounts of cash, but take enough to make it easy to pay in locations that might not accept credit card. It will also help you avoid card transaction fees, and it makes tipping a breeze.
  • When travelling independently, make sure you check the opening hours of shops and museums so that you don’t miss out! Also be certain to check whether your trip coincides with any public holidays, so you can plan accordingly.
  • Before departing on your trip, contact your bank to inform them that you may be making purchases overseas. Otherwise, they may flag any activity on your account as suspicious. Also, check which ATMs and banks are compatible with your cards, to ensure you can withdraw cash with minimal fees.

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Australia Tours & Trips 2024

Australia is home to the oldest indigenous culture in the world, and some of the best beaches you'll ever lay your eyes on. Fall in love with the hazy sunset over the dusty outback plains , walk through the vibrant alleyways of Melbourne , go swimming with bountiful marine life in the Great Barrier Reef , or enjoy a sensational dinner cruise on Sydney Harbour. With such diverse landscapes and vibrant cultures, combining your Australia adventure with the mountains of New Zealand would make for a remarkable travel adventure to the Lands Down Under.

250+ Australia tour packages with 3,123 reviews

Oz Intro Tour

  • Active Adventure
"Sean was the best! *drops mic*"

Brisbane to Cairns Experience: Sand Dunes & the Whitsundays Tour

  • In-depth Cultural
  • Christmas & New Year

Brisbane to Cairns Experience: Sand Dunes & the Whitsundays

"Awesome guide that provided a lot of information and well picked places for dinner. Fraser Island was super cool"

7 Day Perth to Exmouth Explorer Loop Tour

  • Coach / Bus

7 Day Perth to Exmouth Explorer Loop

"It was a long way to drive but a very good experience. The accommodation varied from very basic to very comfortable. It would have been good to have more information about the tour before departure. I didn’t realise it would be mixed dormitory rooms. Luckily we were able to get an upgrade. The scenery was stunning and activities were excellent. Snorkelling over the coral reefs was unforgettable."

UltimateOz - Gap Year | ULTIMATE Tour

UltimateOz - Gap Year | ULTIMATE

"The first few days of the tour were great with meeting everyone and going to base camp. Chloe is such a great guide and made the experience even better!"
  • €35 deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Famous 5 - 5 day Tour of Tasmania Tour

  • Hiking & Trekking

Famous 5 - 5 day Tour of Tasmania

"One of The Best tours I have ever had! A lot of activities, hiking and landscapes, all of that is just worth the price!"
  • €65 deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

6 Day Perth to Exmouth Coral Coaster (One Way) Tour

6 Day Perth to Exmouth Coral Coaster (One Way)

"it was a fantastic tour with lots of exciting things to do and see"

Oz Intro + Work Tour

Oz Intro + Work

"Had an amazing time with intro travel. They were so friendly, organised and helpful- especially with onward travel plans. Would definitely recommend."

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Explorer Six - 6 Day Tour of Tasmania Tour

Explorer Six - 6 Day Tour of Tasmania

"Had a wonderful & memorable 6 days tour in Tasmania with an experienced tour guide. Enjoyed. Happy days:-) Thank you."

6-Day Esperance & Margaret River Adventure Tour Tour

  • Coastal Walks

6-Day Esperance & Margaret River Adventure Tour

"No regrets booking this tour. Awesome guide and small group. The destinations are stunning. The food was delicious with a great variety. Despite the driving we still managed to see so many places and spend quality time at the beaches and hiking. It was perfect! Enjoyed camping in the swags too"

Learn To Dive (5 Days) Tour

Learn To Dive (5 Days)

  • €100 deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Highlights of Tasmania Tour

Highlights of Tasmania

Sydney to Brisbane Experience: Bushwalks & Surfing Tour

  • Walking Adventure

Sydney to Brisbane Experience: Bushwalks & Surfing

"Molly was a fantastic tour guide and really created an unforgettable week for everyone in the group. Her enthusiasm and kind spirit made us all feel at ease. She also was able to share the history of each place we visited and anecdotes that we wouldn’t have known without her !"

The Great Ocean Road Melbourne - Adelaide 4 day 3 night Tour Tour

  • Wine tasting

The Great Ocean Road Melbourne - Adelaide 4 day 3 night Tour

"THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD MELBOURNE TO ADELAIDE 4 DAY 3 NIGHT TOUR – 30/9/2019 We have just returned from the Great Ocean Road Melbourne to Adelaide tour. We were very pleased to have found this tour as we had been looking for something that would offer a leisure tour with a small group as we did not want to rush the sightseeing. The mini coach was very comfortable with big windows to see all the beautiful scenery along the great ocean road and the rest of the journey. Steve our tour guide was friendly and very knowledgeable about all the places we visited and looked after us very well. I can honestly say we loved everything about this tour. All the places we visited were very interesting and we met some lovely people. The accommodation at each of the 3 places we stopped for the night was excellent. The different restaurants we stopped at for breakfast and lunch & dinner were very good. We would recommend this tour to everyone. You will see and get everything the brochure has offered and more. Thank Dallas and Nikki from tours “See Adelaide and Beyond” for putting together such a great tour. G & F Toowoomba"

Taste of Tasmania Tour

Taste of Tasmania

8-Day Adelaide to Uluru Tour Tour

8-Day Adelaide to Uluru Tour

Reviews of australia tours.

"Our guide, Rhys, was the best and I’ve made sure we all had an amazing time. However, 27 people to one guide is just entirely too much, not to mention dangerous. Aside from that, my only further complaint is that Intro should be more picky about the hostels they put their guests in. Nomads in Sydney was my first ever hostel experience and all you have to do is read the google reviews to know to stay away from there."
"A great way to see Queensland with a group of like-minded people - so much to see and so much to do!"
"It was an incredible all-round experience: incredible places, the itinerary was designed to perfection, with optimal timing management to always be in the right place at the right time. The guide, Laura, was exceptional, she was able to make even long driving journeys light and fast. An experience that I would recommend to anyone, it will always remain in my memories!"

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  • Australia Travel Guide | All You Need to Know
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International Versions

  • Deutsch: Australien Rundreisen 2024
  • Français: Circuits et voyages en Australie 2024
  • Español: Circuitos y Viajes por Australia 2024
  • Nederlands: Australië Rondreizen 2024

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From Deserts to Reefs

G’day, every day, Australia! Beaches to “barbies,” koalas to wallabies, Outback to ocean…where to begin your Australia tour on this island-country-continent? Travel in Australia and you'll find unique wildlife and dramatic landscapes, no doubt. Or perhaps the sun-kissed Harbour City of Sydney, Melbourne’s art scene or Barossa Valley’s world-class wineries. Go as far back as Aboriginal life in places like Ayers Rock and Alice Springs to discover how to survive in the bush, throw boomerangs and play a didgeridoo. Whatever your fancy, Australia welcomes you.

Explore More

Destination must-see's.

Australia ms1

Ayers Rock (Uluru):

You will find this towering sandstone rock formation rising from the desert floor in the southern part of the Northern Territory of central Australia. It sits in a remote part of the Outback 208 miles southwest of the nearest large town, Alice Springs. The rock is one of Australia’s most recognizable natural landmarks and rises 1,142 feet… making it 2,381 feet above sea level.

Australia ms2

The most populous city in Australia is located on Australia’s east coast. This lively metropolis is surrounded by one of the world’s largest natural harbors. The first British settlers founded the city of Sydney in 1788, but it is said that the area had been inhabited for many years. Millions of tourists visit Sydney each year to see its natural features such as Sydney Harbour and Bondi Beach, as well as its man-made marvels like the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Australia ms3

The city was founded on August 30, 1835 and is located on a large natural bay – Port Phillip. Today it is often referred to as Australia’s cultural capital because of its renowned performing and visual arts scenes. Melbourne is known as the birthplace of Australian dance styles, the Australian film industry, Australian impressionist art and the Australian television industry.

Australia ms4

Kakadu National Park:

This protected area in the Northern Territory of Australia is about 100 miles east of Darwin. It is the largest national park in Australia covering 7,646 square miles, and measuring nearly 125 miles from north to south and 62 miles from east to west. The park is roughly half the size of Switzerland. Kakadu features many diverse landscapes perfect for outback adventure travel, nature activities and most of all, experiencing aboriginal culture.

Destination Must-Do's

Australia md1

Great Barrier Reef:

Experience one of the seven wonders of the natural world when you set off by boat for the Great Barrier Reef. As the world’s largest living organism, you’ll find over 2,800 individual coral reef systems which are home to amazingly diverse marine life. Their bright colors look remarkable against the turquoise waters. Jump in the water to snorkel and really experience the Reef in an immersive way! Stroll along the shore, relax on the beach, or just watch the fish and sea turtles swim past from the pier. It’s a truly good day at the Reef, mate.

Australia md2

Barossa Valley:

The valley located in South Australia is known as a major wine-producing region. In fact, it is renowned as one of the finest wine producing regions in the world. Located about 37 miles northeast of Adelaide, the valley is formed by the North Pala River, is home to more than 550 growers, and is famous for its Shiraz.

Australia md3

This island state that includes the island of Tasmania and the surrounding 334 islands is 150 miles south of the Australian mainland, separated by the Bass Strait. It may be famous for its Tasmanian Devil but it is also very eco-conscious with 45% of its land being reserves, national parks and World Heritage sites.

Australia md4

Phillip Island Penguin Parade

The little penguin is the smallest species of penguin. They are found on the coastlines of southern Australia and New Zealand. In Australia they are often called fairy penguins and in New Zealand they are known as little blue penguins or blue penguins. These penguins emerge from the shore at Phillip Island nearly every evening and make their way to their evening resting spots.

Expert Advice

diana

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The 10 Best Group Travel Tour Companies for 2023

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Caroline Morse Teel

Caroline Morse Teel is the Managing Editor for SmarterTravel Media. Follow her adventures around the world on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

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For those truly epic, once-in-a-lifetime destinations, you want to leave your itinerary to the experts. Whether your dream is to see the Big Five on an African Safari, trek tall mountains, explore European cities, or something even wilder, a group tour is the easiest way to do it.

However, picking the wrong group tour company is the quickest way to ruin your trip. Make sure you choose a tour company that aligns with your goals and travel styles. Do you want an intimate group tour or do you prefer to make lots of new friends in a big group? Does the price line up with what you like (luxury vs. budget)? Is the itinerary going to all the places you want to see? 

We’ve done the research and found the very best group travel tour companies for 2023 for every type of traveler.

Best Overall Group Travel: Exodus Travels

Images of nature around the mountains and lakes of Slovenia as seen on the Exodus Travels' Lakes and Mountains of Slovenia walking tour

With trips on every continent, Exodus Travels covers anywhere on this planet that you could possibly want to go, from popular destinations like the Amalfi Coast to well off-the-beaten path adventures like Tajikistan. This award-winning group travel company boasts thousands of repeat customers who sign up for trips year after year (97% of past participants would recommend Exodus Travels to a friend). 

These small group tours operate with only around 12-16 people, and always feature experienced local leaders who can give you a unique insight into your destination. Exodus Travels caters to any type of travel style, including trips broken down by type of activity (think walking, cycling, multi-adventure, winter, or cultural) as well as type of traveler (family, age group, etc.). There are curated collections (coastal, “away from it all”, European wilderness, and trips of a lifetime) to inspire you, as well as self-guided options for when you want all the benefits of a group tour planner without the actual group. Looking for that special safari? Exodus Travels just partners with the African Wildlife Foundation to create carefully curated luxury adventures that go above and beyond the standard safari. 

Exodus Travels tours work for almost any budget, with options that range from affordable to premium. 

Top Trip: Explore under-the-radar Europe by foot on Exodus Travels’ Lakes & Mountains of Slovenia walking tour .

A Taste of the Sweet Life in Slovenia

Best Adventure Group Travel: World Expeditions

Groups of hikers walking and camping around the mountains of Kilimanjaro with World Expeditions

World Expeditions has been taking adventurous travelers to remote locations all over the world ever since its first group trek through Nepal in 1975. Today, World Expeditions offers active itineraries on every continent. Intrepid travelers can opt for trips themed around mountaineering, rafting, cycling, hiking, and more. 

World Expeditions aims to leave communities and places where they operate tours better than they found them. Trips are created using the company’s Thoughtful Travel Charter as a guideline, which emphasizes respect for the environment, sustainability, having a positive impact on local communities, protecting wildlife, and more. 

World Expeditions’ trips are capped at just 16 people to provide a good experience for participants, and there are no single supplements for solo travelers willing to share a room with someone of the same gender. 

Top Trip: Summit Africa’s tallest mountain on a fully-supported trek up Kilimanjaro on World Expeditions’ eight day trip up the beautiful Lemosho Route . 

Best Budget Group Travel: G Adventures 

People visiting famous sites around China with the G Adventures' China Express group travel tour

For travelers on a budget, G Adventures offers cheap group tours that make dream destinations accessible to nearly anyone. (Think: sailing the Galapagos for just $1,124 , criss-crossing India’s Golden Triangle for $559 , or spending 8 days in Bali for less than $800.)

G Adventures is one of the best tour companies for solo travelers as well, as most trips don’t have a single-supplement. You can choose to share a room with another G Adventures solo traveler, or pay extra to have your own space.

G Adventures keeps costs down by opting for cheaper hotels and local meals, and making certain activities optional (for an additional cost). Pick your travel style—options range from “basic” to more luxe tours run in partnership with National Geographic. Family tours, local living tours (featuring homestays), and wellness-focused tours are also available. 

Top Trip: G Adventures’ China Express trip is a great way to see the highlights of China if you’re short on both time and budget. 

8 Trending Destinations to Visit in 2023

Best Educational Group Tours: EF Go Ahead Tours

australian group travel company

When you really want to learn about a destination, consider a group trip with EF Go Ahead Tours . EF is the world’s largest private education company, and the Go Ahead Tours arm capitalizes on the company’s relationships with local educators, historians, and tour guides to create group trips that take you deep into a destination. 

These small group tours generally cap at 38 travelers, and feature unique educational experiences. For a bucket list trip, EF Go Ahead Tour’s special event tours are particularly enticing, as they offer behind-the-scenes access to tough-to-plan trips like Oktoberfest in Munich or Cherry Blossom season in Japan. 

Intimidated by solo travel? EF Go Ahead Tours is a great option for solo travelers, since it offers designated trips for solo travelers , where everyone is traveling alone, making it less intimidating.  

Top Trip: Bring the tastes of Italy home with you on EF Go Ahead Tours’ Food & Wine: Piedmont & Tuscany tour (operated in partnership with America’s Test Kitchen), where you’ll learn how to make local dishes. 

Best Responsible Group Travel: Intrepid Travel

Shots from around Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and accommodations provided by Intrepid Travel's Premium Uganda & Rwanda trip

Looking for a responsible group travel operator that focuses on bettering the communities and destinations they visit? Intrepid Travel is the world’s largest travel B Corporation, a certification for companies doing good. 

Intrepid Travel’s tours focus on sustainability, diversity, inclusion, and sustaining communities. The company has its own charity, The Intrepid Foundation , which has donated over 7 million dollars to over 130 community organizations. 

Intrepid Travel’s small group tours attract a wide range of travelers, but they are especially great for younger travelers, as they have a large number of trips designed for people aged 18-29 . (Other trips, including family-focused trips, are geared toward any age.)

Top Trip: Experience unforgettable wildlife encounters on Intrepid Travel’s Premium Uganda & Rwanda trip which includes time with the mountain gorillas of Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. 

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Best Private Group Travel: Kensington Tours

Aerial shots of various islands and coastlines around the Croatia and Dalmation Islands and shot of sailboat belonging to Kensington Tours

Whether your group consists of just two people or involves taking the entire extended family, Kensington Tours will take all the hassle of planning out of the equation. This private group operator creates personalized trips and itineraries tailored to your preferences, while their experts handle all the logistics and bookings. 

Plans are entirely flexible, and can even be changed while on the trip on a whim. Need some inspiration? Browse Kensington Tours’ travel ideas , to get some ideas for your next adventure. 

Top Trip: Sail around the stunning shores of Croatia and the Dalmation Islands on a private luxury catamaran on Kensington Tours’ fully customizable tour . 

Best Polar Group Travel: Chimu Adventures

Shots of the interior and exterior of the Ocean Adventurer ship and shots of nature around Antarctica as seen on the Chimu Adventures' Antarctica Fly Cruise

Whether you’re headed north to the Artic or south to Antarctica, Chimu Adventures has the perfect polar group trip for you. Chimu Adventures has some of the most variety for polar trips, with options to fly, cruise, or a combination of both to get to your destination.

For an ultra-unique Antarctica trip, Chimu Adventures offers cruises departing from Australia or New Zealand (most Antarctica trips depart from Argentina). Can’t stay long? Book one of Chimu Adventures’ scenic flights to Antarctica , which fly as far as the south pole in one spectacular 16-hour day.

Chimu Adventures is one of the cheapest group trips to Antarctica, with rates starting under $5,000.

Top Trip: If you’re pressed for time (or simply don’t have the stomach for the Drake Passage), Chimu Adventures’ Antarctica Fly Cruise will get you to the ends of the earth quickly and smoothly.

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Best Group Tours for Solo Travelers: For the Love of Travel

Collage of images from the For the Love of Travel Lapland Tour

Group tours can be a great way to meet new people, but they can sometimes skew on the older age range. If you’re between 25-39 and a solo traveler looking to meet new people, you’ll love For the Love of Travel . All participants on the trips are between 25-39, and according to the company, 80 percent are solo travelers—so you’ll make friends fast. Hoping to meet someone who will be more than just a friend on your next trip? Trips include a balanced number of “gal and guy spots” to ensure an even balance of genders within groups (and of course, non-binary genders are always welcome). 

For the Love of Travel offers weeklong (or longer) international trips as well as shorter weekender trips to nearby destinations like Mexico or Denver—perfect for people without a lot of vacation time.

Top Trip: Sleep in a glass igloo under the Northern Lights, go sledding with huskies, and warm up in traditional saunas on For the Love of Travel’s Lapland tour , already booking dates for 2024.

Best Biking Tours Group Travel: DuVine Cycling

Collage of shots from DuVine's Holland Bike Tour

Biking through the rolling hills of Italy or across the mountain roads of Chile sounds like a dream, but the logistics seem daunting (especially if you don’t want to haul all your own stuff from point-to-point). Enter: DuVine Cycling , a luxury small group tour company that specializes in bike trips. 

With trips across Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the United States, DuVine Cycling is a cyclist’s dream. Choose from all-biking trips or mix things up with a cycle and sail bike tour or a multi-sport adventure —no matter what, everything is included, from luxury boutique accommodations to top-quality name brand bikes. 

Top Trip: DuVine’s Holland Bike Tour promises “tulips, windmills, beer, and cheese”—what more could you need?

Best Luxury Group Travel: Abercrombie & Kent

Collage of images from the different cities involved in the Abercrombie & Kent Wildlife Safari: Around the World by Private Jet trip

Abercrombie & Kent has been delighting discerning travelers since 1962. Today, they take travelers on unforgettable adventures across over 100 different countries and all seven continents. Although Abercrombie & Kent’s trips are pricey, they encompass once-in-a-lifetime experiences like private jet tours around the world or luxury chartered cruises .

There are trips designed for solo travelers and families , and the small group journeys max out at around 14-18 guests.

Top Trip: Swim with whale sharks in the Philippines, feed proboscis monkeys in Malaysia, and photograph wild tigers in India on Abercrombie & Kent’s Wildlife Safari: Around the World by Private Jet trip , already booking dates into 2024.

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7 Best Australia Tours to Take in 2024

These australia tours make it easier to visit the land down under in 2024..

Megan duBois

The Scoop: What to Know About Trafalgar Tours

From the bustling streets of Sydney to the vast expanses of the Outback, adventure awaits in the Land Down Under. But with so much ground to cover, planning an Australia vacation can feel overwhelming. That’s where guided Australia tours come in. Many of the best Australian tours include a visit to the Outback, but some also offer winery tours, opportunities to dive at the Great Barrier Reef, and even the chance to get up close to koalas. These group tours make seeing the massive country easy and accessible for everyone. 

2024’s Best Small Group Tours of Australia

This year’s best Australia tours come in a variety of trip types and for different budgets, and with the help of expert guides you’ll have everything you need right at your fingertips. From large group coach tours to luxury private tours that cater to your every need, these are my picks for the best tours of Australia in 2024.

WORLD’S BEST:  15 Best Group Travel Companies for Guided Tours in 2024

1. Aboriginal Culture and Australian Highlights Tour

Australia tour guests particicpating in a Dot painting workshop, Uluru, NT, Australia

If you want to come away from your Australia vacation with a deeper sense of what the country’s Aboriginal culture is like, consider the Aboriginal Culture and Australian Highlights tour from Trafalgar . The 13-day Australia tour takes you from Melbourne to Cairns with a focus on indigenous people groups. Starting in Melbourne, the experience kicks off with a walking tour of the city with an Indigenous guide. The tour continues with a few days in Uluru, where you’ll see ancient rock art, learn about dot art, take a scenic helicopter flight, and sip local wine as the sun sets.

FUN FOR THE FAMILY:   10 Best Guided Tour Companies for Family Tours in 2024

Day seven is a full day in Sydney, where you can explore the Opera House and enjoy an Aboriginal cultural cruise through the harbor. The adventure ends with a day at the Great Barrier Reef and a day in Cairns where you can either hop on the scenic railway or take time to explore the city. On some days, there are different options to choose from. For instance, on the third day, choose between a coastal drive or seeing tiny penguins on Phillip Island. 

  • Length: 13 days
  • Starting price: $7,209
  • Average group size:   40 people
  • More tours: 10 Best Trafalgar Tours to Take in 2024

2. Brisbane to Cairns Experience: Sand Dunes and the Whitsundays Tour

G adventures.

Australia Fraser Island Beach Sunset Water Reflections

Younger travelers who are looking for a fun way to visit Australia without breaking the bank may enjoy the Brisbane to Cairns Experience: Sand Dunes and the Whitsundays tour from G Adventures . The 10-day tour is specifically designed for 18- to 39-year-olds. The itinerary starts in Brisbane, where you’ll kick off your Australia tour with a day exploring on your own before meeting the group leaders and fellow travelers. 

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The tour continues to Noosa, known for its beaches; and Fraser Island, where you’ll explore the only rainforest in the world that grows in sand. In Airlie Beach and Whitsunday Islands, the group will enjoy a day on a yacht and sailing along the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. The itinerary ends in Cairns for adventure sports like skydiving or white water rafting before a night out on the town. 

  • Length: 10 days 
  • Starting price: $1,724
  • Average group size: 20 people 
  • More tours: 10 Best G Adventures Tours to Take in 2024

3. Highlights of Australia: The Great Barrier Reef to Sydney Tour

Ef go ahead tours.

If you’re looking for a tour of Australia that hits both big cities and the beach towns, the Great Barrier Reef to Sydney tour from EF Go Ahead Tours hits all the highlights of Australia. The trip starts in Sydney, where you’ll take a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House, visit Bondi Beach, and have a free day in the city. Later in the trip you’ll fly to Cairns, which is the launch point to get to the Great Barrier Reef.

OLDER TRAVELERS:   8 Best Senior Travel Tour Companies in 2024

En route to the ocean, you’ll stop at Mossman Gorge to see the overlooks and learn about life from an indigenous guide. While at the Great Barrier Reef, you can pick to see the reef from a glass-bottom boat or don a snorkel and see the colors underneath the water. The itinerary ends in Melbourne, where you’ll get a walking tour of the city and then have a day of free time before leaving Australia. 

  • Length: 12 days
  • Starting price: $3,449
  • Average group size: 15 to 35 people

4. Wings Over Australia Tour

Abercrombie & kent.

Australia; Victoria; Moonlight Head Lodge; Aerial view of cliffs and ocean

If the budget is no consideration, go big with Abercrombie & Kent’s 13-day Wings Over Australia private luxury tour. The deluxe itinerary, which features private charter flights between all of the major destinations, starts with two days in Melbourne, where you’ll explore the city and visit a few nearby wineries for tastings.

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Then the group flies to Tasmania for a visit to a bird sanctuary, an art museum, learning about local oysters, and more. Days six through eight are spent in Uluru, where you’ll dine among the dunes and see cave paintings. Then the group moves to Hayman Island to learn first-hand about the Great Barrier Reef before ending in Sydney, where everyone will enjoy a harbor cruise and a behind-the-scenes visit to the Sydney Opera House.

  • Starting price: $46,995
  • Average group size: 11 people

5. The Kimberley Coast by Sea: Northwest Australia and Indonesia Tour

National geographic expeditions.

Ship National Geographic Orion on the Hunter River, Kimberley Region, Northwest Australia

One of the most unusual and interesting Australia tours is an expedition cruise with National Geographic Expeditions. An epic 18-day trip with a price tag to match its ambitions, the Kimberley Coast by Sea: Northwest Australia and Indonesia starts in Perth, though the official sailing date isn’t until day four in Broome. Everyone in the group will board the National Geographic Orion before setting out to sea. 

TOURS FOR TWENTYSOMETHINGS:   7 Best Group Travel Companies for Young Adults in 2024

Day five is where the real adventure begins, with a day at Rowley Shoals, which is a popular diving spot to see coral reefs. Days six and seven are spent at sea navigating the Kimberly Coast. Groups then venture to Bigge Island to see the cave systems and artwork, and to search for Monkon rock wallabies. Day 14 is when the group makes landfall in Indonesia at Savu Sea Marine National Park to see whales and turtles. You’ll also get to see Komodo dragons and Pink Beach in Komodo. The trip ends with a traditional wedding ceremony and boxing match on the island of Sumbawa before heading to Denpasar to catch a flight home.

  • Length: 18 days
  • Starting price: $16,577
  • Average group size: 102 people 

6. Australia Family: Koalas, Reef, and Rainforest Tour

Kensington tours.

Lush green rainforest and flowing waterfall in sub-tropical rainforest Queensland, Australia

Families looking to take younger kids to Australia will want to dive into the Koalas, Reef, and Rainforest private family tour from Kensington Tours. The 12-day itinerary starts in Sydney, where you can enjoy free time on your own to see everything from the harbor and Opera House to animals at the Wild Life Sydney Zoo. For more animal fun, the second day in Sydney includes a trip to the Taronga Zoo along with a tour from a zookeeper. 

TAKE A HIKE:   9 Best Travel Companies for Walking Tours and Hiking Tours in 2024

Day four is when your family will pack up and move to Hamilton Island to explore on your own or take advantage of the hotel’s complimentary water sports just off the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. The trip ends in Port Douglas as you join a marine biologist for a snorkel tour and a trip to Daintree National Park. 

  • Starting price: $4,795
  • Group size: Just your family (private tour)

7. Gems of the Red Center Tour

The Gems of the Red Center tour from Globus takes you to the middle of the Australian Outback, allowing you to experience the desert and Indigenous culture up close. This Australia tour starts in Alice Springs with a visit the Standley Chasm with the help of an Indigenous guide. Day three brings the real adventure as the group moves through the Outback to Kings Canyon, where domes, gorges, and sandstone walls dot the landscape. Here, the group can enjoy a morning canyon rim walk before moving to Uluru to see the Mutitjulu Waterhole and Aboriginal rock paintings. Before leaving Uluru for your journey back home, you can enjoy optional excursions like a camel ride or helicopter tour.

  • Length: 6 days
  • Starting price: $3,339
  • Average group size: 20 people

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From exclusive islands to magnificent beaches, some of the world's greatest treasures are only accessible by water travel - and we'll help you discover them in style. Blue Horizon can arrange day-trips by speedboat or sailboat from a particular destinanation, or plan full city-to-city vacations via private cruise or yacht charter. We can also arrange necessary flights and accommodations on land, as well as an itinerary of attractions, to make your moments off the boat as magical as your time at sea. Blue Horizon works with each of its clients to plan a customized trip according to their interests. How you spend your time onboard, which ports you call on, what amenities you prefer, culinary requests - every detail of your vacation can be personalized and optimized, allowing you to fully enjoy your comfortable and luxurious holiday.

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At Blue Horizon, we work hard to provide our guests with a holiday they'll never forget, and we have a phenomenal team in place to help that happen. That includes professional yacht crews, shoreside support teams, and a network of renowned hospitality partners around the world who work with us to make sure every request or detail is accounted for. Behind the adventurous spirit of Blue Horizon stands a passionate and young, but very experienced team: John R. - C.E.O Tomas R. - C.F.O Lina W. - Marketing Peter B. - Development Max V. - Logistics We are energetic, dedicated and we are here to plan and create your next dream vacation.

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You can spend time exploring the galleries in Electrostal History and Art Museum in Elektrostal. Take in the museums while you're in the area.

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Yes! The majority of room reservations are refundable if you cancel prior to the hotel's cancellation deadline, which is often 24 or 48 hours before your check-in date. If you have a non-refundable reservation, you might still have the option to cancel and receive a refund within 24 hours of booking. Filter your search by fully refundable to find flexible hotel deals in Elektrostal.

To access more information about rescheduling or cancelling your trip to Elektrostal, head over to our customer service page .

Apart Hotel Yantar is one of the top choices for your stay based on our traveler data, and this 3-star hotel offers free parking and free WiFi. It's located 1.9 mi (3 km) from Electrostal History and Art Museum. Another good option is Apartments , located 4.6 mi (7.4 km) away.

Hotel Mys Otdykha Nadezhda : Offers spa services, an indoor pool, and free parking. Park Hotel Yahonty Noginsk and Areal Congress Hotel are a couple of other choices that feature an onsite pool.

Visitors can enjoy all that Elektrostal has to offer including its museums. There are 37 hotels and other accommodations in the surrounding area. Find out more about Elektrostal .

A favorite place to visit is Electrostal History and Art Museum . You'll also find History of Russian Scarfs and Shawls Museum and Central Museum of the Air Forces at Monino in the area. Check out what more to see and do in Expedia's Elektrostal guide .

The hottest months are usually July and August with an average temp of 63°F, while the coldest months are January and February with an average of 22°F. The snowiest months in Elektrostal are February, December, January, and November, with each month seeing an average of 29 inches of snowfall.

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Blue Horizon Records was a British blues independent record label, founded by Mike Vernon and Neil Slaven in 1965, as an adjunct to their fanzine, R&B Monthly, and was the foremost label at the time of the British blues boom in the mid to late 1960s.

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Travel Disruptors: Capturing B2B growth

In 1996, Expedia—then under the auspices of Microsoft—debuted as one of the internet’s first online travel agencies (OTAs). Expedia Group is now a publicly held company encompassing brands such as Expedia, Hotels.com, and Vrbo. It sees more than six million average daily visitors and more than one billion average monthly searches across its sites and apps.

Ariane Gorin joined Expedia Group in 2013 and is now president of Expedia for Business. She oversees the company’s fast-growing global B2B ecosystem, which counts Walmart and United Airlines among its partners. Gorin’s advice to young people who are thinking of entering the travel industry? “Go for it,” she says, “because once you get in, you’ll never want to leave. What we do as an industry is help people create memories, and that’s incredibly meaningful.”

In this installment of Travel Disruptors , Gorin spoke with McKinsey’s Emma Loxton about the industry’s postpandemic recovery, Expedia Group’s B2B offerings, and how generative AI (gen AI) might change the business of travel. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.

McKinsey: As the travel industry continues to bounce back from the pandemic, we see people traveling and interacting with travel companies in slightly altered ways. How has Expedia Group responded? Where have you invested to deliver for customers?

Ariane Gorin: It’s been an interesting few years. One thing that’s certain is that people need to travel, want to travel, and—no matter what barriers are put up—will find a way to travel.

At Expedia Group, when COVID-19 arrived in 2020 and borders closed, we saw consumers shifting to Vrbo, which is our vacation rentals brand. People were concerned with health and safety and wanted to be in their own bubbles, so they started renting whole homes. This meant that, while the air and hotel businesses didn’t do as well, the Vrbo business thrived.

Then, as vaccinations began and international borders opened, we saw people returning to international travel, hotels, and airlines. At Expedia Group, we have a diversified business, both geographically and in terms of brands and lines of business, so that as travel patterns changed, we always had an answer.

In terms of investments, I think we’ve led the way in having a focus on self-service and automation. When the pandemic began, we needed to handle a sudden onslaught of requests for cancellations, refunds, and credits. We were prepared because we’d already made a lot of investments in self-service technology. We quickly developed the ability, for example, for people to self-service airline credits, which was important for travelers but also really important for our airline partners. We let consumers make modifications using chats on our platform, instead of having them spend time on the phone with an airline trying to cancel or modify a ticket.

We also took advantage of the past couple of years to replatform our entire company. We have a number of brands—Expedia, Hotels.com, Vrbo, and others—that were each running on different technology stacks. In a world where having access to data and scale can be an advantage, the idea that we had these separate stacks and couldn’t innovate on them all at the same time was a problem for us. We found we had an opportunity, during a period of depressed demand, to do a lot of technology work under the covers and to then reemerge with a great platform that had scale and modern infrastructure and that allowed us to use modern data science to innovate faster for our travelers.

McKinsey: Countries have taken different paths back from 2020, and travel markets are developing at varied paces. How do you see the industry evolving in different markets?

Ariane Gorin: There are parts of the industry that have grown past where they were prepandemic, but other parts haven’t fully recovered yet. For example, air capacity in the United States is above prepandemic levels, but airlift between the United States and China is still only a fraction of what it was. Corporate travel is expected to recover, at a dollar value, in 2024 to where it was prepandemic, but when you factor in inflation, it means that from a volume perspective it still won’t have fully recovered.

There remain a lot of areas where there could be waves of growth. When you look at the middle-class population in Asia, it was about 2.0 billion people in 2020, but it’s expected to be 3.5 billion people by 2030. India, over the past decade, has issued 100 million passports, but still only 7 percent of the Indian population has a passport—compared with more than 40 percent in the US.

McKinsey: You’ve been instrumental in developing B2B offerings for Expedia Group. What was the genesis of that effort, where does it stand now, and what’s your value proposition for the different organizations that you work with?

Ariane Gorin: I started working on B2B initiatives in 2014. At the time, B2B was a small part of our business—basically using our hotel inventory to power other travel companies—and it wasn’t growing much. I think there was a perspective that the B2B business was sort of a sideshow.

What my team and I realized was that the travel industry was immense and that the major OTAs, at that time, were only a small portion of it. There was still a ton of business being done through corporate travel, OTAs in emerging markets, offline retail, and loyalty programs. Those were huge pockets of demand that our brands weren’t going after and that our hotel and airline partners wanted to be able to access.

We thought about how we could power all these other companies by bringing to them our technology and, especially, our supply of high-quality inventory. In recent results, B2B was at a record $995 million and growing at a 26 percent increase year over year for us. And there’s still a big runway for helping to power other companies.

The first thing in any B2B effort is understanding what your client or partner needs. For example, we work with an online travel agency in Indonesia. They already understand travel, and they are experts at knowing what their local traveler wants—how to market to that traveler, what payment types that traveler wants to use, and so forth. They know all of that. What they’re looking for from us is mainly access to great hotel inventory in Europe and in the US.

On the other extreme, earlier this year we announced a partnership with Walmart in which we are powering the travel component of its loyalty program. Walmart is not a travel company, so it is looking to Expedia Group to bring in a turnkey travel solution. And that includes not only the hotel inventory and the like but also the front-end technology. It’s our content and it’s our customer support. Similarly, if you go to United Airlines online and you look at the hotel tab, that’s us. They’ll be the first to say they’re not the experts in hotels, so they want our hotel inventory and also the great e-commerce experience that we can bring.

It’s really about listening to your partner and then having modular blocks of solutions—from technology to inventory and all of the support around them—that you can then fit to what the partner needs.

One of the things that’s helped our B2B business succeed is that we are part of a company that also has a B2C business. So we know what kinds of photos, content, and descriptions travelers want, and we are constantly making sure that our technology has the best uptime possible because we’ve got millions of people shopping on our own brands. When a B2B partner decides to come to us for their inventory or their technology, they know that it’s going to be backed by what’s working for these massive consumer brands.

McKinsey: Expedia Group is a very large company in the travel industry. How do you think about working with smaller organizations and entrepreneurs to create value for the traveling public?

Ariane Gorin: We’ve realized there are a lot of small companies or even individuals that want to participate in the travel industry, and we work with them in a number of ways.

One is that we have a program that allows an individual at home to become a travel agent. You can sign up for the Expedia Travel Agent Affiliate Program, which we call TAAP, and we’ll put all the tools at your fingertips to start to sell travel. For example, one woman who lost her job at the beginning of the pandemic decided to start her own travel business through TAAP, and that helped her build back her income.

For start-ups that are trying to make their way in the travel industry, we recently created an accelerator program. Its theme was around making travel more inclusive and accessible, so we chose a handful of start-ups that were working on accessibility. We gave them technical expertise, marketing expertise, access to coaches and mentors in our company, and stipends. It’s a six-month program. And in some cases, we actually looked at whether we could integrate their services into our products. It’s really fun to see how all of those start-ups are evolving.

And, of course, there are the individual property owners using Vrbo. What these entrepreneurs are primarily looking to us for is distribution. And our promise to them is that we’re going to develop a great platform with great marketing that’s going to attract travelers, but we’ll also provide advice about photos, descriptions, and other things they can do to help themselves get in front of the travelers who interest them. We have a lot of intelligence about what makes a property successful that we can share with them.

McKinsey: What’s your view on the biggest use cases for gen AI in the travel industry?

Ariane Gorin: I think smart players are going to benefit from it. We have often talked about how to “put the travel agent back in the OTA”—how to create a personalized experience for people, so they feel that Expedia Group knows them, is recommending things that make sense for them, and is helping them discover new things. I think within that realm of personalization, we can use gen AI to respond more easily to people’s queries and make proposals for them. We’ve already integrated ChatGPT on the front end of the Expedia app and into the shopping flow for our travelers. For example, if you’re looking at a particular property, you can ask questions about amenities, and you’ll have more conversational customer service experiences.

But I think there are also a lot of internal use cases. I have a fairly large team of commercial people who are out talking to partners every day. How can we use gen AI to make them more effective when they’re speaking to a partner? Can we use gen AI to create a summary after a call? Can we off-load some of the less value-add work for them so they can spend their time on more value-add things?

I suspect that in every boardroom, management teams are talking about this. What can you do to make your product better, but also what can you do internally for your company? At Expedia Group, we’re asking what we can do for travelers and for our internal teams, but also what we can do for our partners. We have a lot of information and data about what’s happening in the industry, so we’re wondering to what extent we can provide insights to our partners to help them make better decisions.

McKinsey: What’s one thing you wish you could change about the travel industry?

Ariane Gorin: There’s no denying that, like many industries, we have a big impact on the environment—even though, over the past few years, the growth of the industry has been faster than the growth of our environmental impact. Simply because we’re moving people around the world, sustainability is a real issue. So if I had a magic wand, the first thing I’d do is help us reach our sustainability targets much faster.

Ariane Gorin is the president of Expedia for Business. Emma Loxton is a partner in McKinsey’s London office.

Comments and opinions expressed by interviewees are their own and do not represent or reflect the opinions, policies, or positions of McKinsey & Company or have its endorsement.

This interview was edited by Seth Stevenson, a senior editor in the New York office.

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Commander-in-chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing at an army parade in Myanmar in March 2021. A spokesperson for activist group Justice for Myanmar has called on Australia to ‘impose sanctions on the junta’.

Australian-linked mining companies helping to prop up Myanmar military junta, report alleges

Activist group Justice for Myanmar alleges companies have continued operations in war-torn nation since the coup almost three years ago

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Australian-linked mining companies are continuing to operate in Myanmar , helping to support the military junta and the junta-dominated mining sector, a new report alleges.

The activist group Justice for Myanmar released a report Tuesday detailing the activities of mining companies either linked to Australia or backed by Australian investors, which it alleges have continued their operations in the war-torn nation since the coup almost three years ago.

The violence in Myanmar has led to one-third of the population of Myanmar, or more than 18 million people, requiring humanitarian aid, the United Nations says .

Justice for Myanmar’s report details the activities of “Australian companies, executives and investors [that] are continuing to operate in Myanmar’s junta-dominated mining sector”, despite the violence. It alleges Australian-linked mining companies are either providing the junta with revenue directly, or support the maintenance of a sector that bankrolls junta atrocities.

Yadanar Maung, a spokesperson for the group, alleged that the Australian government was “still failing to take necessary action to block the junta’s sources of funds from mining and other lucrative sectors”.

“The Myanmar military operates as a cartel that is stealing the wealth of the people of Myanmar on a massive scale to fund its war of terror and enrich war criminals,” Maung said.

Muang alleged that “There are Australian companies, executives and investors in the mining sector that are continuing business as usual, financing the illegitimate junta and helping to keep a corrupt and destructive mining sector open for business.

“Australia needs to act now to impose sanctions on the junta, its businesses and [its] cronies and stop Australians from directly and indirectly providing funds and other forms of support to the junta,” Muang said in relation to the allegations.

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The report alleges 10 company networks with links to Australia “have remained active in Myanmar”.

The companies have allegedly either continued exploration, had business dealings with junta-controlled militias, maintained licences and paid fees, or continued to mine materials following the coup attempt.

Melissa Chen, a senior lawyer with the Australian Centre for International Justice, said there was “credible information” suggesting a strong link between the financing of the junta – responsible for human rights violations and crimes against humanity – and the mining and resources sector.

“Australians should therefore be concerned about Australian-linked mining companies continuing to operate in Myanmar due to the risk of money and support flowing to the junta, and the harm that this could lead to in respect of the Myanmar people,” Chen said in relation to the allegations. “Australians involved or connected to such companies can take action to cease operations and likewise the Australian government has the ability to halt funding to the junta through imposing targeted sanctions.”

Transparency International Australia’s chief executive, Clancy Moore, said the allegations in the Justice for Myanmar report shined a “bright spotlight on the significant role of Australian-linked mining companies supporting the corrupt military junta”.

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“Given the prominent role of Australia-linked companies and the junta’s weakening grip on power, the government has a clear window of opportunity to follow the lead of the US and other partner governments to sanction the Myanmar military’s top brass and important state-owned enterprises, including in the mining sector, that the regime relies on,” he said.

Guardian Australia approached companies named in the report.

PanAust said in a statement that it has “decided to exit Myanmar and is in the process of withdrawing”.

“We expect that this may take several months. In the meantime, our focus is on continuing to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our people on the ground in Myanmar,” the company said.

Valentis Asia described the report as being based on “erroneous and outdated information” and said it had divested from Myanmar since the coup. In a statement, the company said the subsidiaries identified in the Justice for Myanmar report were either no longer linked to Valentis Asia, had already deregistered, or were in the process of being deregistered.

“They insinuate that we are involved in business activities which directly enrich and support the junta in Myanmar,” the company said in a statement. “JFM’s report is false, baseless, and scurrilous.”

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Evergrande's liquidation could derail the Chinese economy and have global effects

People walk by an orange logo for Evergrande.

A Hong Kong court has ordered one of China's biggest property developers, Evergrande Group, to liquidate after it was unable to reach a restructuring deal with creditors over hundreds of billions of dollars it owes.

Key points:

  • Evergrande has been ordered to liquidate after failing to come up with a restructuring deal with creditors over US$300 billion in debts owed
  • The liquidator will now attempt to take control of Evergrande assets outside China, but there are fears that could pave the way for other lawsuits
  • It could take years for the offshore liquidator to take control of subsidiaries across mainland China

The liquidation could have severe consequences for the world's second-largest economy, as the Chinese property sector continues to struggle to recover from the pandemic and Beijing grapples with an underperforming economy.

A sharp slowdown in the Chinese property sector — which accounts for about 30 per cent of China's economic growth — could also have damaging consequences for Australia. 

A crackdown three years ago by China on real estate speculation caused a property crisis and left Evergrande owing $US300 billion ($455 billion).

Months later, the firm defaulted on its offshore debt obligations, and a proposal to restructure its debt was rejected last month by creditors.

The winding-up hearing was pushed to January after Evergrande's lawyers argued that none of its creditors were seeking the liquidation of the firm, which has $US240 billion of assets.

Chinese flags near the logo Evergrande Centre in Shanghai, China, on September 24, 2021.

But High Court Judge Linda Chan issued the liquidation order on Monday after Evergrande was unable to come up with a restructuring plan that would satisfy its international creditors.

"It would be a situation where the court says enough is enough," Judge Chan said.

"I consider that it is appropriate for the court to make a winding-up order against the company, and I so order."

Will there be further lawsuits?

The liquidator will now attempt to take control of Evergrande assets outside China, but there are fears that could pave the way for other lawsuits.

Trading was halted in the Hong Kong-listed shares of Evergrande and two of its subsidiaries after the ruling.

Evergrande's shares were trading down as much as 20 per cent before the hearing.

"Evergrande's liquidation is a sign that China is willing to go to extreme ends to quell the property bubble," said Andrew Collier, managing director of Orient Capital Research in Hong Kong.

"This is good for the economy in the long term, but very difficult in the short term."

Redmond Wong, chief China strategist at Saxo Markets in Hong Kong, said for Evergrande shareholders in Hong Kong "the likelihood of getting anything out of the winding up process is very low".

He said the winding up of Evergrande's Hong Kong listing entity has been widely anticipated and should not impact the general market much.

"The restructuring and winding up of developers are necessary for cleaning up the excesses in the Chinese property sector," he said.

But Kenny Ng, a securities strategist at China Everbright Securities in Hong Kong, said the liquidation "may further impact the confidence of mainland creditors and increase the difficulty of Evergrande's restructuring in mainland China".

"At the same time, this may also affect investors' confidence in the mainland real estate industry and the willingness of mainland residents to purchase properties," he said.

"This has the potential to have a dampening effect on the economy and the capital market."

Will China recognise and enforce Hong Kong court decision?

Whether offshore creditors can apply for the sale of Evergrande's assets in mainland China will depend on whether the mainland courts recognise or enforce the winding-up order from Hong Kong.

It could take years for the offshore liquidator appointed by the creditors to take control of subsidiaries across mainland China.

"If recognised or enforced, offshore creditors have a chance to claim for the assets in the mainland," Mr Ng said.

"Otherwise, they can only apply for the liquidation of assets in Hong Kong."

The liquidation petition was first filed in June 2022 by Top Shine, an investor in Evergrande unit Fangchebao which said the developer had failed to honour an agreement to repurchase shares it had bought in the subsidiary.

Evergrande had been working on a $US23 billion debt revamp plan with a group of creditors, known as the ad hoc bondholder group for almost two years.

Its original plan was derailed in late September when Evergrande said its billionaire founder Hui Ka Yan was under investigation for suspected crimes.

Man looking into the camera

Speaking outside the courtroom after the hearing, Fergus Saurin, a partner at law firm Kirkland and Ellis, which represents a key group of Evergrande creditors, said: "We are not surprised by the outcome. It's a product of the company failing to engage with [us].

"There has been a history of last-minute engagement which has gone nowhere. And in the circumstances, the company only has itself to blame for being wound up."

Other developers including Country Garden, China's largest real estate developer, have also run into trouble. The impact has been felt throughout the financial systems inside and outside China.

The Reserve Bank in a recent financial stability review, warned that problems stemming from the "sharp deterioration" in China's property sector could lead to a global slowdown , weaker commodity prices and "reduced Chinese imports of Australian goods and services".

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Norilsk: The city built by gulag prisoners where Russia guards its Arctic secrets

Environmental activists are frustrated by how authorities handled a diesel spill which poured into two Arctic rivers in late May.

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Moscow correspondent @DiMagnaySky

Friday 3 July 2020 23:41, UK

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Arctic suffers worst ever industrial spill

The drive from Norilsk airport to the city takes you past mile after mile of crumbling, Soviet-era factories.

It looks like an endless, rusting scrapyard - a jumble of pipes, industrial junk and frost-bitten brickwork. If you were looking for an industrial apocalypse film setting, this would be your place - but you're unlikely to get the permissions.

Norilsk was built in Stalin's times by gulag prisoners. This gritty industrial city is a testament to their endurance both of the cruelty of Stalin's regime and of the harsh polar climate. There were no thoughts then on how to build to protect the environment, just to survive it.

Norilsk in Russia. Pic: Anastasya Leonova

Vasily Ryabinin doesn't think much has changed, at least in ecological terms. He used to work for the local branch of the federal environmental watchdog, Rosprirodnadzor, but quit in June after exposing what he says was a failure to investigate properly the environmental impact of the gigantic diesel spill which poured into two Arctic rivers in late May.

At 21,000 tonnes, it was the largest industrial spill in the polar Arctic .

Despite the Kremlin declaring a federal emergency and sending a host of different agencies to participate in the clean-up, just last week Mr Ryabinin and activists from Greenpeace Russia found another area where technical water used in industrial processes was being pumped directly into the tundra from a nearby tailing pond. Russia's investigative committee has promised to investigate.

"The ecological situation here is so bad," Mr Ryabinin says.

"The latest constructions such as the tailing pond at the Talnack ore-processing plant were built exclusively by Nornickel chief executive Vladimir Potanin's team and supposedly in accordance with ecological standards, but on satellite images you can see that all the lakes in the vicinity have unnatural colours and obviously something has got into them."

Nornickel Plant and container (on the left) which had the leak. Pic: Anastasya Leonova

Mining company Nornickel would disagree. It has admitted flagrant violations at the tailing pond and suspended staff it deems responsible at both the Talnack plant and at Norilsk Heat and Power plant no 3 where the diesel spill originated from.

On Thursday it appointed Andrey Bougrov, from its senior management board, to the newly-created role of senior vice president for environmental protection. It has a clear environmental strategy, provides regular updates on the status of the spill, and its Twitter feed is filled with climate-related alerts.

But what investors read is very different to the picture on the ground.

21,000 tonnes of diesel oil has spilled into two rivers in Norilsk

Norilsk used to be a closed city - one of dozens across the Soviet Union shut off to protect industrial secrets. Foreigners need special permissions approved by the Federal Security Service (FSB) to enter the region. It would take an invitation from Nornickel to make that happen and, for the past month since the spill, that has not been forthcoming.

Unlike in Soviet times, Russian citizens are now free to come and go. That's why our Sky News Moscow team were able to fly in and travel around the city, even if getting to the spill site was blocked. What they were able to film provides a snapshot of the immense challenge Russia faces in upgrading its Soviet-era industrial infrastructure, particularly at a time when climate change is melting the permafrost on which much of it was built.

The Russian city of Norilsk. Pic: Anastasya Leonova

Just downwind from one of the rusting factories on the city outskirts is a huge expanse of dead land. The skeletal remains of trees stand forlorn against the howling Arctic winds. Sulphur dioxide poisoning has snuffed the life out of all that lived here. Norilsk is the world's worst emitter of sulphur dioxide by a substantial margin.

"For 80km south of here everything is dead," Mr Ryabinin says, "and for at least 10km in that direction too. Everything here depends on the wind."

Sample took by Vasily Ryabinin near the Nornickel plant in Norilsk, Russia, on the day of an accident. Pic: Vasily Ryabinin

Immediately after the spill, Mr Ryabinin filmed and took samples from the Daldykan river just a few kilometres from the fuel tank which had leaked. By that point the river was a churning mix of diesel and red sludge dredged up from the riverbed by the force of the leak. Norilsk's rivers have turned red before and the chemical residues have sunk to the bottom, killing all life there. Nothing has lived in those rivers for decades.

In his capacity as deputy head of the local environmental watchdog, Mr Ryabinin says he insisted that he be allowed to fly further north to check the levels of contamination in Lake Pyasino and beyond.

Nornickel at the time claimed the lake was untouched by the spill. Mr Ryabinin says his boss encouraged him to let things be.

"I can't be sure I would have found anything, but this sort of confrontation - making sure I didn't go there with a camera, let alone with bottles for taking samples, it was all very clear to me. It was the final straw."

Rosprirodnadzor refused to comment to Sky News on Mr Ryabinin's allegations or suggestions that the agency was working hand in hand with Nornickel.

The Nornickel plant and the place where diesel meets red water (polluted by other chemicals). Pic: Vasily Ryabinin

Georgy Kavanosyan is an environmental blogger with a healthy 37,000 following on YouTube. Shortly after the spill, he set out for Lake Pyasino and to the Pyasina River beyond to see how far the diesel had spread.

"We set out at night so that the Norilsk Nickel security wouldn't detect us. I say at night, but they've got polar nights there now, north of the Arctic Circle. So it's still light but it's quieter and we managed to go past all the cordons."

He is one of the few to have provided evidence that the diesel has in fact travelled far beyond where the company admits. Not just the 1,200km (745m) length of Lake Pyasino but into the river beyond.

He says his measurements indicated a volume of hydrocarbons dissolved in the water of between two and three times normal levels. He thinks after he published his findings on YouTube, the authorities' vigilance increased.

Greenpeace Russia have spent the last two weeks trying to obtain samples from Lake Pyasino and the surrounding area. They have faced difficulties getting around and flying their samples out for independent analysis.

They are now waiting for results from a laboratory in St Petersburg but say the samples remain valid technically for just four days after collection and that they weren't able to make that deadline due to the authorities' actively obstructing their work.

Vasily Ryabinin and Elena Sakirko from Greenpeace. Pic: Anastasya Leonova

Elena Sakirko from Greenpeace Russia specialises in oil spills and says this has happened to her before. This time, a police helicopter flew to the hunter's hut where they were staying and confiscated the fuel for the boat they were using. Then a deputy for the Moscow city parliament tasked with bringing the samples back from Norilsk was forced to go back empty-handed.

"We were told at the airport we needed permission from the security department of Nornickel," Ms Sakirko says. "We asked them to show us some law or statement to prove that this was legal or what the basis for this was, but they haven't showed us anything and we still don't understand it."

Nornickel announced this week that the critical stage of the diesel spill is over. The company is now finalising dates for a press tour for foreign media and for other international environmentalists.

Mr Ryabinin thinks this should have happened weeks ago.

"If we don't let scientists come to the Arctic region to evaluate the impact of the accident, then in the future if anything similar happens, we won't know what to do."

A spokesperson for Nornickel said the company "is actively cooperating with the scientific community and will meticulously assess both the causes and effects of the accident."

The Russian city of Norilsk. Pic: Anastasya Leonova

Nornickel considers permafrost thawing to be the primary cause of the accident, but is waiting for the end of investigation before making a final statement, the spokesperson said.

They added that the company "accepts full responsibility for the incidents on its sites these past two months and holds itself accountable for any infrastructural deficits or poor decisions by personnel.

"The imperative is to do everything to clean up our sites, instil a stronger culture of transparency and safety in our workforce, and ensure that such situations do not occur in the future."

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