The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) and Tourism Australia recently surveyed ATTA members about adventure travel in Australia, which uncovered interesting trends on the most popular experiences and a few misconceptions. Here are the most asked for experiences and answers on what it is really like to travel Down Under.
A Hiker’s Paradise
The #1 experience ATTA survey members want to include in programs is hiking and walking. It’s easy to see why when you’re spotting Aussie wildlife on a walk in the Outback or along the spectacular coast.
The Great Walks of Australia represents a premium collection of guided, multi-day, independently owned walking experiences, led by expert guides with a deep understanding of the environment. Past participants report the best part of these walks is the in-depth exploration of destinations, hearing the stories behind the places, and settling down each night in comfortable hosted accommodation.
Some of the top walks include untamed Tasmanian wilderness and beaches, the beautiful Great Ocean Road coastline not far from Melbourne, ancient volcanic plateaus near Brisbane, and the magnificent outback of South Australia and the Northern Territory.
© Tourism Australia
A World-Class Fishing Destination
Members identified fishing as an experience that is capturing clients’ attention. With thousands of miles of coastline, nearly 4,000 marine species, and a multitude of lakes, rivers, and billabongs, it’s no wonder Australia has some of the best fishing in the world.
Great Fishing Adventures of Australia is the catch of Australia’s best fishing operators. Whether heli-fishing in the Outback or chasing giant black marlin off the Great Barrier Reef, Australia is an angler’s paradise. Fishing is year-round in Australia, but there are extra bragging rights for those who want to catch Australia’s Dreamtime dozen or spend a U.S. winter fishing an Australian summer.
Home to the World’s Oldest Living Culture
Did you know Australia’s Aboriginal people are the custodians of the oldest continuous culture on Earth? The survey confirmed adventure travelers are always on the lookout for cultural experiences. One of the best ways to add this to an Australia itinerary is with an Indigenous guide. Whether on a guided walk in Sydney or the Daintree rainforest, experiencing these ancient stories is unforgettable.
Discover Aboriginal Experiences is a flagship suite of more than 130 cultural and immersive encounters. Aboriginal guides are warm and welcoming, and they guide their guests through a variety of activities including exploring labyrinths of ancient and contemporary rock art, quad biking, kayaking, whale watching, fishing, mud crabbing, hiking, walking tours, and even staying in a lodge in areas teeming with wildlife.
© Tourism Australia
Weird and Wonderful Wildlife
It’s no surprise Australia wildlife experiences rank highly. Travelers are naturally fascinated by koalas and kangaroos to the lesser-known quokkas and quolls. And conservation continues to be a key theme in which people want to experience wildlife.
Australian Wildlife Journeys is a group of top wildlife travel operators who have come together to meet this need. With a commitment to conservation, passion for nature, and interpretation of wildlife in natural habitats, each journey offers exceptional warmth and hospitality for their guests.
Australia is Closer Than You Think
The survey also showed there’s a perception that Australia is just too far away. Yet Australia is comparable in distance to other destinations visited by North Americans including Africa, Asia, and parts of Europe.
And with more than 140 direct services per week from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, Honolulu, Dallas, and Houston, there are more choices on modern and larger aircraft with surprising levels of comfort. The recent announcement by Qantas regarding its upcoming services from Chicago to Brisbane will also open the first non-stop flights from the Midwest to Australia (subject to regulatory approval).
Australia in Two Weeks?
The survey also showed many think you need a lot of vacation time to even consider a trip to Australia. Like the United States, which is roughly the same size, you wouldn’t try to do the whole country at once. Two weeks is a good amount of time to explore two to three places. We recommend spending a few days in one of the gateway cities enjoying the famed food and cultural experiences before heading out into a region to explore nature at its best. Australia has a high repeat visitation rate, so travelers experience a few places on one trip and often return to explore another few regions.
On Sale Now!
Australia was also perceived as an expensive destination in the survey. However, due to the current exchange rate — Australia is on sale! Americans find their dollar buys a lot more and the increase in air capacity has resulted in some good value airfares. This coupled with the flurry of hotel developments resulting in increased rooms in cities and regions makes now the time to visit.
Sell More as an Aussie Specialist
One of the best ways to get more of this insider information is through the Aussie Specialist Program. After completing the three core modules, you can choose from a range of special interest modules including those relating to walks, fishing, Aboriginal culture, and wildlife experience. Your reward? Access to the Travel Club with special rates to explore Australia and newsletters with tips and trip ideas!