Australia. A country where the adventures are as vast as the horizons. Home to some of the most dramatic, diverse and inspiring landscapes in the world, the opportunities for exploration here are endless. And in 2018, thanks to a crop of new tours, there are even more ways to see its mesmerising beauty firsthand.
From the scorched landscape of the Red Centre and grandeur of the Tasmanian Wilderness, to the country’s longest train journey and sightseeing by private jet; these 10 new homegrown tours offer something for every traveller.
- TICK OFF A BIG TASSIE ADVENTURE
- FOLLOW IN MICK DUNDEE’S FOOTSTEPS
- EAT UP IN WA
- GO ON THE COUNTRY’S LONGEST TRAIN JOURNEY
- TAKE IN THE RED CENTRE’S HIGHLIGHTS
- CLIMB SIX MOUNTAINS IN ONE DAY
- BOARD A HELICOPTER WITH YOUR SWAG IN TOW
- EXPLORE VICTORIA’S GEMS IN A WEEK
- EXPLORE AUSTRALIA BY AIR
- PADDLE THE SNOWY RIVER
The most ambitious Tassie trek ever created, the upcoming Great Tasmanian Traverse tour will be the first of its kind in Australia. Launched by specialist walking operator Tasmanian Expeditions, guests will cover the entire length of the Apple Isle over five weeks, ticking off its most iconic adventures.
Kicking off in Northern Tasmania and finishing at Australia’s southern most town, the guided trek will journey through remote, pristine and untouched landscapes and World Heritage areas. Standout experiences include hiking the famous Overland Track running from Cradle Mountain and a wet, adrenaline-pumping adventure down the surging rapids of the celebrated Franklin River.
The inaugural tour departs in February and will be repeated yearly.
Before Crocodile Dundee’s release in 1986, Kakadu wasn’t even a blip on the tourism radar. However, thanks to many of the flick’s scenes being shot in the spectacular national park, it’s now well and truly on the map. And for travellers looking to retrace Mick’s steps and go walkabout in the country’s rugged heartland, G Adventures’ six-day Alice Springs to Kakadu tour could be the answer.
Australia’s largest terrestrial national park, covering almost 20,000sq km, Kakadu’s spectacular wilderness promises parched red landscapes, rushing waterfalls, towering gorges, crocodile encounters, hot springs and giant termite mounds.
Famished foodie? Gluttonous gourmand? Listen up, this new Western Australia tour is for you.
Situated 300km south of Perth, the Southern Forests region has a reputation for producing some of the best food in the country with its ultra-fertile soils housing a variety of gourmet producers including wineries, cheesemakers and truffle and livestock farmers.
Launched last year by the Southern Forest Food Council, the Genuinely Extraordinary Southern Forests Food and Farm Experience allows passionate foodies to see, smell and taste, while actually meeting the producers and farmers behind the mouthwatering fare.
The ultimate paddock-to-plate experience, the multi-day tour operates over the first weekend of each month.
Named after the two oceans the train encounters on its coast-to-coast journey, over four days and three nights, the Indian Pacific takes passengers from Perth to Sydney over more than 4300km, making it Australia’s longest rail journey.
A must for holidaymakers who enjoy the slow pace train travel allows, over the journey the landscape will transform from lush vineyards and barren landscapes to heaving cities and sparsely populated ghost towns. And in 2018 there’s even more reason to book. In addition to existing off-train tour excursions included in fares – Adelaide, Broken Hill and Kalgoorlie in WA – from April this year eastbound guests will be able to disembark in the Blue Mountains and visit its Scenic World attraction where they can board the world’s steepest train, take the skyway or cable car and see the Three Sisters rock formation.
Want to see the Red Centre’s greatest natural attractions in under five days? Easy. Perfect for Northern Territory first-timers and those that want a refresher, AAT Kings’ new Red Centre Highlights tour gives travellers a taster of the region’s otherworldly beauty – from the country’s most iconic outback town, Alice Springs, and the unique formation of boulders that is Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), to the deepest gorge in the Red Centre (Kings Canyon) and, of course, the most famous landmark, Uluru.
The iconic red monolith is a go-to for almost every visitor, but to see the giant rock at its most spectacular, witnessing a sunset and sunrise (both of which are included on the tour) is essential. After seeing the landmark in breathtaking glory guests can enjoy an award-winning Uluru barbecue dinner under a canopy of NT stars.
It’s often espoused that travel is about the journey and not the destination. Well this is one such experience where that quote is definitely applicable. Brand new for 2018 the Six Mountains in One Day trek is not for the faint of heart.
Taking in, as the name suggests, six of the Sunshine Coast’s most impressive mountains in one day, this tour is a must for adventure and fitness enthusiasts.
The itinerary covers the smallest (and most accessible) of the Glass House Mountains, Wild Horse Mountain, through to the one with the steepest incline (Mount Beerburrum) and then the most famous, Mount Cooroora, complete with its 360-degree hinterland views. Speaking of, each summit offers fabulous vistas of surrounding mountain ranges and beaches.
A helicopter journey over South Australia’s stunning Flinders Ranges followed by a night sleeping out in the open bush under a star-filled outback sky. Sounds appealing, right?
Rawnsley Park Station’s new Heli-swag Experience sees guests depart from the Flinders Ranges station on a scenic late-afternoon helicopter flight, taking in the stunning red peaks, gorges and valleys of the ancient land before landing on the Chace Range in time for sunset.
While visitors enjoy the epic view, staff set up swags and make camp, leaving a two-course camp meal to be prepared at leisure, before they depart for the night.
The experience can also be incorporated into both the three and five-day Walking the Flinders Ranges guided tours, also operated by the company. Whatever combination you opt for, it’ll be unforgettable.
A new addition to the 2018 Inspiring Journeys program, Victoria’s Hidden Gems tour takes travellers through some of the state’s highlights. Cosmopolitan cityscapes, quaint villages, scenic coastal drives and national parks – over seven days small groups of up to 20 will explore the best of what Victoria has to offer.
Beginning in Melbourne with its wealth of hidden laneways and quirky coffee shops, the tour then continues along one of the country’s most lauded road trips, the Great Ocean Road, traversing spectacular coastline, surfing hot spots and the Twelve Apostles, before reaching the beautiful Grampians National Park.
Throughout, guests will stay at hand-selected boutique accommodation and feast on gourmet, locally produced food.
See a new side to the Top End high-roller style in your very own private plane. Offering private air safaris across the country, Air Adventure Australia’s Wet Season Spectacular tour allows travellers to experience the normally arid, dusty landscape of the Outback during its lush and green wet season.
Set over five days, the all-inclusive experience also takes tourists to sacred Aboriginal sites and ancient rock art galleries.
It’s hard to believe the Byadbo region of southern Kosciuszko National Park and its Snowy River is only a stone’s throw from Canberra’s centre. Yet despite the proximity to the nation’s capital few have explored this accessible wilderness.
Specialists in white water rafting and paddling expeditions, River Alpine Adventures’ new white water kayaking and river camping tour options range from one to 10 days allowing thrillseekers the chance to paddle through white water rapids past scenic valleys and rocky gorges.