I recently went on a tour of the Whitsundays with Via Travel Australia. We had a small group and I... read more
I recently went on a tour of the Whitsundays with Via Travel Australia. We had a small group and I... read more
Hello, I´m Pablo and I wanted to share my experience with you. Last december I got married to... read more
What a totally amazing trip. Via Travel have small group Travel sorted. It’s a long way from Sydney to Cairns even if you do fly the bit from Brisbane to Proserpine and Ralph, our brilliant tour guide, made sure we packed as much into 2 weeks as possible. I am a regular visitor to Australia but thanks to Ralph and his “let’s get off this highway and see the real Australia” attitude the whole trip has given me a greater understanding of this wonderful country, it’s geology, history and culture. There is some typically touristy stuff (Sydney, Hunter Valley) but more importantly lots of interesting places and activities off the beaten track on this tour. Although it is a very busy schedule, it seemed there was always time for a swim here, in waterfalls and swimming holes, a bit of kayaking or surfing there, and some free time to do as you wanted. A certain degree of fitness is required not to mention a love of the outdoors - bush walks and visits to small family run animal sanctuaries give a brilliant insight into Australian flora and fauna. Ralph is incredibly knowledgable about everything Australia and was always ready to share this with us and enthrall and entertain us with his stories of bush life. A week on from finishing the tour I am still on a high and already planning the next one. Thank you Ralph and Via Travel for helping me make so many wonderful memories.
Thanks so much for taking the time to write such a fantastic review for our 14 day Sydney to Cairns east coast Australia tour and your guide Ralph. He is an gentleman and his passion for Australia, the community and environment makes his tours amazing.
It makes our small team so happy to hear your feedback about the unique style of our tours - we are very proud of the small group, off the beaten track experiences that we include in the tour :D
Thanks again from all of us at Via Travel!
The Australian East Coast tour was breathtaking. Each day was full of a great variety of activities. The highlights include a trip to the stunning Whitehaven Beach and a 4WD excursion to Fraser Island. Luke Holcombe, our guide, was exceptional; incredibly knowledgeable, prepared, professional and delightfully witty. I would highly recommend this tour!
Thanks for taking the time to drop us a review, we love that you thought the East Coast was 'breathtaking'! We do too : D
Luke is a amazing guide and your comments some him up so well! We are lucky to have him in the team!
Thanks again from myself, Luke and the small team at Via Travel Australia : D
This is an extremely well curated taster of what the east coast has to offer.
The adventure was made all the better with our superb guide Luke Holcombe. His vast knowledge and passion for his country is inspiring, humour infectious and sensitivity towards the group considered and professional. Particularly impressive given it was his 'maiden voyage' leading this tour.
As mentioned be prepared for early starts, sleeping in a different bed (almost) every night and travelling long distances but it's so worth it. There are some absolute stunners on this trip and I feel very privileged to have experienced them. Would happily book with Via again.
Thanks for taking the time to review our small group east coast Australia tour! Luke was over the moon to have such a amazing group of individuals for his first tour with us. His experience guiding tours all over Australia certainly add to his impressive knowledge and understanding of such a big country!
Thanks for the comment that our tour is a 'extremely well curated taster of what the east coast has to offer". This really means a lot to the whole team as we have worked very hard for years to develop the itinerary and inclusions... we want our guest to see all of the great highlights that the east coast of Australia has to offer but we also want everyone to come away feeling like they have connected with the environment, people, history and modern culture....so thanks again from myself, Luke and the team at Via Travel Australia!
I booked this tour on a punt - without being able to see any reviews - because of the route it took and duration. I’d been fixated on mainly seeing Sydney Opera House and the Great Barrier Reef but, my word, there are some stunning places in between. Fraser Island and the Whitsundays were two of my highlights - unforgettable days out.
Luke - our tour guide, driver, DJ, herder, wit and raconteur - was awesome. He knows so much stuff about so many different things and is generous with sharing his knowledge. I learned so much from this bonza bloke.
We stayed in a variety of accommodation, some excellent and some a bit iffy, and saw some great natural wonders. So much was packed into each day that, having been up at 6am most days for a 7am start, the latest I went to bed was 10pm, exhausted by the travel, tempature and itinerary.
Via Travel are open and receptive to feedback. I mentioned one accommodation in particular that I didn’t think was appropriate; a train ride previously planned (that, actually, I’d been looking forward to) was changed after feedback from previous travellers. Luke also made tweaks during the trip based on the weather and timings to ensure we had the best trip.
This was a fabulous way to see the best bits of the east coast. It’s a fast pace, with only one (very welcome) day to yourself in Byron Bay, but you do feel you’re getting your dollar’s worth. Highly recommended.
Thanks for the taking the time to write your open and honest review and we are so glad that you had a excellent time on our Sydney to Cairns east coast Australia tour : D
We have been working hard to make small but very positive changes to the itinerary, hotels and suppliers of some of our activities so that we can constantly improve our tours and we welcome all feedback so thanks again : D
Your guide Luke and our small team, loved you description of him.. in your words "our tour guide, driver, DJ, herder, wit and raconteur - was awesome. He knows so much stuff about so many different things and is generous with sharing his knowledge. I learned so much from this bonza bloke".
Thanks - we all had a god giggle at this! Hope the rest of your travels in Australia were just as enjoyable!
Thanks again from Stu, Luke and the team at Via Travel - Boutique East Coast Australia Tours.
If you have interest in seeing the highlights of the East Coast of Australia over a fortnight, I would strongly encourage you to consider Via Travel’s 14-Day Australian East Coast Adventure from Sydney to Cairns.
Your journey will begin with a welcome dinner in Sydney during which you will be introduced to your fellow travellers. The following day includes a full day of seeing the sights around Sydney including the iconic opera house. The long journey to Cairns begins on Day 3. Along the way you’ll get the opportunity to sample wines in Hunter Valley, walk around a wildlife park, take a sunset cruise in Port Macquarie, visit a koala hospital, enjoy the lush waterfalls at Dorrigo National Park, spend two days in Byron Bay, traverse around Fraser Island by 4WD, take in the view of the extremely picturesque, breath taking Whitsunday Islands, spend some time learning about Indigenous Australian culture at the Ingan Cultural Centre in Tully, see a massive Curtain Fig Tree and take a scenic walk around Lake Eacham. You’ll arrive in Cairns on Day 13. The final day of the trip includes a boat trip from Cairns to visit the Great Barrier Reef during which there is an opportunity to snorkel or scuba dive.
There is a quite a lot to cover in the two weeks, but you will still find the time to shop, swim at the beaches, lakes and waterfalls and of course explore the food, drink and nightlife that each place has to offer.
Aside from the flight that takes you from Brisbane to Proserpine, the majority of the journey is on a private van, which is driven by the group’s tour guide and as such each day will involve several hours of driving. Our group was extremely fortunate to have Luke Holcombe as its tour guide. Originally from Queensland, Luke’s vast knowledge encompasses matters related to Australian history, geology, geography, wildlife, nature and sports. Between the beautiful scenery along the way and Luke’s highly diverse music playlists, the hours of driving seemed to go by quickly. Additionally, Luke would also prepare and deliver to us talks about the next destination that we would be about to visit when en route. He would frequently include his own personal experiences in these talks as a well as elaborate on interesting historical events that had happened. Luke was also happy to answer specific questions about Australian history as well as prior and contemporary politics. During all his conversations Luke provided a balanced viewpoint and frequently integrated his answers to individual questions into his general talks when applicable.
In addition to the incredible scenery during this trip, one of the highlights of the trip is the meeting that we had with the Grant family to gain a better understanding of Indigenous history and culture. I have to give Luke credit for giving our group the initial exposure to the topic of Indigenous history at the early stages of the trip and discussing with us several notable developments including; the White Australia policy, the 1967 Constitution Alteration and the 1992 Mabo Judgment to over rule the terra nullius doctrine. Luke also shared with us a map of Indigenous Australia put together by researcher David Horton. Luke’s talks leading up to the meeting with the Grant family enabled us to have a more meaningful discussion with them about both Indigenous history and their hopes for the future.
Having lived abroad in Germany, the U.K., Central America and South America as well as having travelled abroad extensively, Luke was also able to ensure that a diverse group of travellers from multiple countries and cultures were able to get along smoothly. Luke had previously worked as a guide in Western Australia, so he was also a tremendous resource for suggestions on what to see in that part of the country as well. During the course of the trip, if I was looking for conversation about how the Out of Africa Theory relates to Indigenous Australians, the presence of stromatolites in Western Australia proposed changes to the lbw law, or the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow, Luke was always willing to discuss these and other matters over a beer at the end of each day.
Overall I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who is looking to spend a fortnight absorbing the highlights of the East Coast of Australia. You are bound to observe some spectacular scenery, meet some interesting people and you are highly likely to obtain some post-card worthy photographs along the way.
Wow again! Thanks so much for another incredible review of the tour and your guide Luke! There have been 5 amazing reviews from your tour and our small team are so happy that we are walking on sunshine - we are doing the right thing!
It is a pleasure to have like minded people like yourself on our tours, you have described the tour so well.... and the messages that you took away is exactly what we are trying to achieve on our small group east cast tours.
We are all very passionate about Australia and giving a balanced view to our international friends, so you take away so much more than just visiting mainstream tourist attractions - we love that Luke gave you such a in depth understanding of Australian history as well as our current affairs and our future.
Reviews like yours inspire us so much, thanks again from myself, Luke and from the small team at Via Travel Australia!
Just leaving Australia after a great trip. This tour from Via Travel was informative, varied, comprehensive, great value for money and a lot of fun. Can only give it the highest recommendation.
Our tour guide, Luke Holcombe, was very well informed, gave some great insights into Australian culture, was attentive to the group's needs, dedicated to ensure we all had a great time and got the most out of the trip and, most of all, good company throughout.
Would definitely book something similar with Via and with Luke as a guide.
Thanks so much for taking the time to write this, we really appreciate it!
Luke and our whole team were so happy to read yours review and other reviews from your same tour! I am repeating myself but We are very passionate about Australia and giving a balanced view to our international friends so they take away so much more than just visiting mainstream tourist attractions.
Reviews like yours inspire us so much - thanks again from myself, Luke and from the small team at Via Travel Australia!