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.

Crafted Tours for Mature World Travellers

All Australian Tours

The Darling River Run small group tour

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.

Departing Oct, Apr

Long tour of Australia for a small group

 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.

Departing Mar

Wildflowers tour of 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.

Departing Aug, Sep

Small group tour; Broken Hill and back

 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.

Departing Mar, Oct

Small group tour of Flinders Island

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.

9 days
Departing Mar, Nov, Oct

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.

19 days
Departing Mar, Nov, Feb

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

Some Articles about Australia

Tips for Packing Light

Weight limits imposed by airlines and travel companies and a desire to collect some souvenirs serves the need to understand how to pack light, we hope this article assists you whether taking a tour to New Zealand, Europe or Britain.  Odyssey Traveller is a Antipodean travel company serving World Travellers since 1983 with small group educational tours for senior couples and mature solo travellers.

The Nullarbor Plain: A Definitive Guide

Article for travellers interested in Australia and some of the iconic places in Aboriginal and the short colonial history. The Nullarbor plains adjacent to the great Australian bight are part of this set of icons to explore. Odyssey traveller is an Antipodean travel company serving World Travellers since 1983 with small group educational tours for senior couples and mature solo travellers.

Norman Tindale

An Antipodean travel company serving World Travellers since 1983 with small group educational tours for senior couples and mature solo travellers. Tours are supported by a collection of articles to inform and extend the travellers knowledge of Aboriginal culture and history.  This article supports an understanding of kinship systems.

Tenterfield

Tenterfield, New South Wales

Tenterfield Tenterfield is a historic town in the rolling New England region home to heritage-listed buildings, elegant wineries and superb wilderness, surrounded by rugged mountains and impressive national parks. Sometimes referred to as the ‘birthplace…

West Macdonell ranges

Religious Beliefs of the Arrernte: Traditional Spirituality and Catholicism

Article supporting  small group tour for senior couples and solo travellers  of central Australia. For the Arrernte, their language goes to the core of who they are, including their cultural identity, their belief systems and their social order. Speakers do not just share the Arrernte group of languages but also an understanding of the way the world is organised and how it came to be that way. This all encompassing and enduring world view is known as Altyerre: the creation of the world and the things in it, and its external existence (often termed “The Dreaming” in English).

Oodnadatta

The Oodnadatta Track, South Australia

Oodnadatta track follows a traditional Aboriginal trading route along a line of natural mound springs feeding from the Great Artesian Basin – the same route taken by the explorer John McDouall Stuart on his third expedition in 1859, and that chosen for the Overland Telegraph Line and old Ghan railway line. Explore and learn on small group tour for couples and solo mature travellers on a small group tour into the Outback.

Wentworth, New South Wales

Article for mature and senior travellers travelling on a small group tour  to this historic town situated on the junction of the Murray and Darling Rivers in southwestern New South Wales. Once Australia’s busiest inland river port frequented by paddle steamers.  Many historic buildings remain today from its heyday including the Old Gaol, the Courthouse, the Convent and the Customs House, defining the character of this New South Wales Town.

Australian Outback Cattle King

These mature and senior programs for couples and senior travellers explore the outback Sidney Kidman sought to tame in the Channel country to the Birdsville track, Marree  and Farina.  Our escorted small group tours of the Australian interior explore history, cultures and landscapes that we experience as we travel from the previous time to the contemporary.

The Aurora Australis

Witness the incredible sights of the Aurora Australis, the Southern Lights. Much like its northern counterpart, the dancing lights of the Aurora are a magical, and unforgettable sight. For the fortunate traveller, you just might catch a glimpse of this phenomenon on your trip to Tasmania or New Zealand. Odyssey offers small group tours for mature and senior travellers, couples, and solo travelers to Australia and New Zealand.

Aboriginal Art

Senior and mature couples and solo travellers remain curious but often informed about the role Aboriginal art plays in the indigenous community and the various styles. This article seeks to provide a platform for this collection of small group tours of upto 15 people into the Australian outback where often Aboriginal art styles are encountered.

Archaeological mysteries of Australia: How did a 12th century African coin reach Arnhem Land?

Consider the impact of Portuguese, Spanish and Chinese followed by the Dutch trading in the Spice islands to the North of Australia from the 11th century. The probability of African coins reaching a beach become real. Learn more on a small group package tour to Kakadu and Arnhem land or the Kimberley where shipwrecks have been found to consider the impact on Aboriginal history and rock art. Tours for seniors couples and singles. 

Small Group Summer School Experience

Summer School Experience for Odyssey Travellers

5 mins read AustraliaTasmania

Each January Odyssey offers typically a fortnight of classes in Hobart, Tasmania in a classroom setting on a range of topics. The classes are small typically up to 15 retirees sharing a passion and enthusiasm for what their interests maybe. Our students are often regular attendees to Hobart having made lasting associations on our collection of Small group tours  or exploring what a Odyssey program is like before travelling with us.

Pilbara wildflowers WA

The Australian Outback: A Definitive Guide

Explore learn and consider what is the outback in this article. For mature and senior travelers considering joining a small group package tours into the outback to see, learn and explore about this unique place, not only the landscape but the Aboriginal approach to living. On each of the tours for couples and the single traveler you learn something different but fascinating, from Outback Queensland, the Flinders, Broken Hill and the Kimberley and the wildflowers all contribute to this question, what is the outback?

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 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 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!

FAQs

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.

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)

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.

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.

 

 

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.

 

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:

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 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.

 

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.

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.

  • 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

 

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.

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.

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 coach 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.

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.

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 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 up to Port Douglas as a day tour.

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 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 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

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.

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.

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:

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 Blue 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:

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The need to know

Touring Australia

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 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.

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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.

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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