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.
An Antipodean travel company serving World Travellers since 1983
Small group tour of Australia
For Odyssey, our limited collection of Australia small group tours 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 and has been offered with a 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 in a travel package range for mature travellers that are often guaranteed.
Discover the World Heritage Sites of the southern states of Australia travelling in a small group tour. A journey of learning around the southern edges of the Murray Darling basin and up to the upper southern part of this complex river basin north of Mildura. We start and end in Adelaide, stopping in Broken Hill, Mungo National Park and other significant locations.
Explore on a Motorbike tour in the Outback and learn about historic Alice Springs, The MacDonnell ranges, and Uluru-Kata Tjuta national park. This escorted small group Motorbike tour for mature and senior travellers, travelling as a couple or solo travellers also visits the Hermannsburg Lutheran mission plus Henbury meteorite site learning about the Aboriginal outback and contemporary art.
Explore and learn about historic Alice Springs, The MacDonnell ranges, and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. This escorted small group tour for mature and senior travellers, travelling as a couple or solo travellers also visits the Hermannsburg Lutheran mission plus Henbury meteorite site learning about the Aboriginal outback and contemporary art.
This small group tour to the Yorke Peninsula, Eyre Peninsula, and the Gawler Ranges is designed for mature and senior traveller or solo traveller to discover the hidden gems of South Australia. Visiting the lesser-known western half of South Australia to explore the pristine coasts of the Yorke Peninsula and Eyre Peninsula – often strikingly underdeveloped compared to the East Coast of Australia – and the rugged landscapes of the Gawler Ranges. Delve deeper, and you’ll find a fascinating and often unexpected local history.
To short break in Queensland’s Outback is a small group tour taking for a glimpse of the landscape and history of the state. We you to learn about the Carnavorn Gorge, and also we travel high up into North Queensland to see the Dinosaurs of Winton and incredible Aboriginal rock art at Cathedral gorge.
Escorted program for couples and single travellers visiting Hobart, Launceston through the Tamar Valley along the rugged coastline of the north coast and heading back south to the pristine wilderness around Cradle Mountain and then on through Strahan, Queenstown and past Lake St Clair, before arriving back in Hobart. This 18 day small group tours to Tasmania for mature and senior travellers interested in the colonial history of Tasmania. We follow the footsteps of the colonists, visiting the churches where they worshipped, the houses in which they lived, the taverns where they drank and some of the mills in which they worked.
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.
Small group tour for couples and solo travelers touring most of the Australian territory, travelling through the outback and visiting many of the famous sights as well as off the beaten track locations, giving you the opportunity the explore and meet our people in the most remote locations. Learn about the history of the people who explored the deserts, from indigenous communities to Europeans, as well as Burke and Wills, visit Bourke, Normantown, Charters Towers far north Kakadu, returning back along the Stuart Highway to Adelaide and cross country to Sydney through the Blue Mountains.
Small group tour for senior couples and solo travellers touring most of the Australian territory, travelling through the outback and visiting many of the famous sights as well as off the beaten track locations, giving you the opportunity the explore and meet our people in the most remote 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.
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 2021 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. You can make your booking direct for your Australia escorted tour with us or via your travel agent or travel consultant.
Summer School tour that examines the Historic homes and the history of their occupiers.
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.
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.
This course examines the world and role of the Archaeologist in the study of ancient and contemporary history. Our small group will explore in tutorial environment the influences of Archaeology beyond the walls of the museum.
Discover five masterpieces of French cinema in this new Summer School tour.
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.
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.
Spend a week in Leura, Blue Mountains, attending this summer school course which traces the early life and development of the comic genius of the twentieth century through to the end of the silent era. It is set against the phenomenal growth of the American film industry and lasting impact of Chaplin’s life and art upon the world. It goes deeper than the knock about comedian, pantomime artist and Little Tramp that we see in his early short films.
The course focuses on the early years of white settlement in NSW. The subject is vast and, obviously, impossible to cover in just one week. This course will, however, serve to whet the appetite for further study, and will also provide the opportunity for an interest filled week in pleasant surroundings with congenial company.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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Learn about the wet and dry season in the Kimberley to support your understanding of the Aboriginal communities lifestyle as you explore on a small group package tour for mature and senior travelers exploring as a couple or solo traveller. Read our peace of mind statement for post covid-19 travel.
The town of Mount Barker and the nearby Stirling Range National Park are one of the best places in Western Australia to see the state's incredible collection of wildflowers, that we visit on this small group tour of Western Australia Wildflowers.
Understand why Lake Argyle exists before joining a small group package tour for mature and senior travellers of Western Australia's Kimberley region in the preferred dry season. Limited to 12 travellers for your peace of mind we learn about the landscapes and the aboriginal stories often via the rock art in far North.
Wildflower Way itself runs 309 kilometres from Dalwallinu, north of Perth, going north and west to the coast of Geraldton, covering 21 meaningful sites developed to educate travellers. This small group tour for mature travellers of Wildflowers visits wildflower way.
Read about one of the most remote World heritage sites on Earth. Odyssey takes you to visit as part of a small group package tour for mature and senior travellers in the Kimberley for couple and single travelers We travel in the dry season from Broome via Lake Argyle to this National park.
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. 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. An Australian outback tour 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 coach tours within Australia and overseas. Our aim is to create Senior holiday packages that 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. We hope, like Robert Frost, to take the road less travelled. These may not be adventure Australia tours but they are wildlifeAustralia 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 ofWestern 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 certaily 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 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. 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!
For Odyssey Travellers who tend to be retirees and mature or senior travellers travelling as a couple or as a solo travellers, we suggest an organised group tour as being the best way to tour Australia.
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 holidaypackage 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.
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 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 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 though we ask you to arrange your domestic flights ensuring you get the best travel deals available to the start of the perfect holiday.
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.
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.
For a small group tour 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.
A large group coach tour of up to 50 travellers will operate with a lower cost/day.
For a small group tour for seniors with Odyssey Traveller you should allow for AUD$3500 for a 8 day city 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.
The majority of Australian holiday packages will start in Sydney on Australia’s east coast, the country’s largest city known as “The Harbour City” due to it being mainly built around Sydney Harbour.
Sydney has been recognized as one of the world’s most beautiful metropolises. Probably the two most iconic and outstanding and dominating landmarks are the huge Sydney Harbour Bridge (also known as the “Coat Hanger”) and the Sydney Opera house with its sail-shaped structural designed by Jorn Utzon in the late 1950’s when he was a young architect in his mid 30’s. If you are not attending a performance in the Sydney Opera house , then you can always have a drink at one of the cafes around the house, looking across at the Sydney Harbour bridge and watch daily life on the Sydney harbour.
Sydney is situated on miles of ocean coastline and has a number of sandy surf beaches within easy reach as a day tour from the centre of Sydney . Some of the best known beaches are Bondi beach and on the north Shore of Sydney , Manly beach , and a day tour to them should be included on your tour of Australia .
A very popular activity is to take a Sydney harbour cruise which takes in not only the skyline of Sydney but also the attractive nearby suburbs spread out around the harbour. Of course you can also get onto the Sydney harbour by grabbing a ferry ride to anywhere, just to be out on the water and include a going under the Sydney harbour bridge, though some visitors choose to walk over the top of the Sydney Harbour bridge.
The city of Sydney boasts several very beautiful and scenic parks as such Centennial park and The Domain which contains both the interesting Royal Botanical Gardens but also the resplendent Government House. A great walk is through the Domain and the Botanic gardens round to the Sydney opera house following the edge of Sydney harbour. Nearby are the National Art gallery of New South Wales, the Museum of Sydney and the Australian Museum.
Interesting neighbourhoods to stroll around are The Rocks with its Art Deco buildings and Paddington with its grand Victorian homes and its lively cafe and restaurant scene.
From Sydney are theUNESCO world heritage listed Blue Mountains, some 2 hours from the city of Sydney 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 Blue mountains should be treated as a journey in to Australia’s outback. For the novice an escorted tour or guided touronto 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 .
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.
A Melbourne tour should be based in the cente of the city. 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. For those with more time, the Great Ocean road allows you time to also explore the Otway National park or enjoy a guided tour of the walk that follows the Great Ocean road from Apollo Bay.
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.
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 travelelr through Australia’s outback to Darwin.
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.
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 East coast and the Great 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 upto Port Douglas as a day tour.
Brisbane is also located on Australia’s east coast, a 90 minute flight from Sydney, or 2 1/2 hours from Melbourne. Australia’s third largest city and is known as the “City of Sunny Days” due to its sub-tropical climate. The Brisbane River dissects the city and adds to the charm and character. A major attraction is the nearby Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, the world’s largest with some 120 + Koalas on site. From Brisbane you can reach as a day tour the Gold coast in the South or head North along Australia’s east coast to the Sunshine coast.
The Gold Coast is a commerical strip of high rises on the beach. With some 30 beaches along the Gold coast most of which are manicured the region includes its best known beach, Surfers Paradise. Behind the Gold coast strip is a hinterland offering scenic national parks, mountains, waterfalls and rainforest to be explored. Two of Queensland best parks here; Lamington national park and Springbrook. North is the Sunshine Coast which has 70 kilometres/ 44 miles of uncrowded white sand beaches and lush green scenery to attract the visitor. The scale on Sunshine coast is low rise. Noosa heads and the national park would be a highlight for a day tour and beach visit.
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 their 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 bloomdrawing enthusiasts from arond 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.
What to do in Perth ?
Perth city , although off the beaten track attracts the repeat visitor or inter state visitor. Perth on the West coast is Australia’s fourth largest city. The city of Perth is not only laid-back quiet and safe, but it is also culturally diverse with attractive uncrowded beaches, gardens and a good zoo. A major landmark in the city is King’s Park is a landmark, this is larger than Manhattan’s Central Park and encompasses an excellent botanical garden for visitors to Perth to explore and take time out in. From Perth , one can take a day tour to visit the winelands of Western Australia in the Swan Valley and at Margaret River. Perth is also a good starting for an escorted tour in to the Australian outback of Western Australia .
The Northern Territory with a human population of some 250,000 centered on Darwin is a the red outback in the South of the State down to South Australia, to the tropical rainforests and mangroves in the wet season of the North. This state is 75% arid even though is sits above the tropic of Capricorn. Kakadu National 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 the largest city in the Northern Territory. 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. A traveler can arrive and leave Darwin to reach Adelaide on the train that provides a ride through these amazing landscapes of the Australian outback.
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 program of Coach tours 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.
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 tro the Kimberley. Trails and routes of endurance and often hardship in part of the most arid places in rthe 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.
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.
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.
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 18th and 19th 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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
Wifi is widely available in Australia, and should be freely accessible in most hotels, cafes and restaurants.
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.