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LIST: UK TOUR OPERATORS TO AUSTRALIA

These are UK-based tour operators and specialist travel agencies featuring holidays, tours and travel in Australia.
AAT Kings 020 8225 4220 Australia’s largest coach tour operator with tour programmes throughout Australia and New Zealand, including accommodated escorted tours, coach and camping tours and coach charters
Anzcro 01872 266899 Escorted coach tours, self-drive itineraries, golf tours, and tailor-made.
All Ways Tailormade 01628 526585 Specialists with over 24 years experience in creating bespoke holidays to New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific.
Archers Direct 020 8879 7070 Escorted tours around the classic sights, eg Great Barrier, Ayers Rock, etc
Australian Pacific Touring 020 8879 7444 Mainly fully-inclusive escorted classic coach tours, but with cruising & independent tour options, and tours with outdoor activity & adventure.
Austravel 0870 166 2070 starAustravel have been selling holiday packages and components to Australia for a quarter of a century and are easily one of the best-known brand names in that market (TUI is the parent company, so the brand is a sibling of Thomsons) as well as one of the most awarded - they were 'Best Tour Operator 2005'. A huge range of packages, fly-drive, flights, accommodation etc, and their own charter flights from the UK.
Bridge & Wickers 020 7483 6555 starNew tour operator launched in the winter 04 by two well-known names in the travel business: David Wickers, one of Britain's most authoritative travel journalists, and Jerry Bridge, founder of the well-known Bridge the World travel agency/operator. They specialise in both tailor-made and off-the-peg holidays to Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. Their brochure offers a range of holidays focused on action and adventure, wildlife and scenery, stylish accommodation, family travel, beach life and culture.
British Airways Holidays 0844 493 0 787 Pound sign Self-drive independent holidays, locally escorted tours, rail tours and tailor-made.
Carrick Travel 01926 514113 Tailor-made itineraries plus a programme of escorted tours.
Carrier 01625 547030 Upmarket tailor-made specialist offering 5-star hotels, designer lodges and luxury island hideaways, with private aircraft transfers and star treatment all the way.
Collette Worldwide 0800 804 8705 American tour operator now operating from the UK and offering a choice of tailormade holidays to Australia or a wide range of fully-escorted tours.
Contiki Travel 020 8290 6777 Operator for 18-35 holidays
Dreamtime Travel 01424 734747 Australia/NZ specialists offering tailormade travel to parts not reached by other operators.
Elegant Resorts 0870 333 3382 A selection of luxurious resort hotels in Western Australia, Queensland, Sydney & Perth, plus multi-centre holiday itineraries and tailor-made options.
Experience Holidays 01323 416699 Tailor-made tours, motorhomes, self-drive, rail tours & coach tours.
Explore! 0845 291 4541 Pound sign Small group exploratory tours all over Australia
Freedom Australia 0870 742 4000 All the componants - hotels, campervans, car rental, rail tickets, flights, cruises, etc - for self-assembly holidays in Australia.
Goldenwings 0800 964 428 Programme of fully escorted tours all over Australia, operated by Scenic Tours.
Grus Travel 0800 089 0003 Family-run travel company specialising in luxury small group tours in Australia. In particular a leisurely 35-day fully-escorted highlights tour.
Hayes & Jarvis 0870 366 1636 Tours and resort stays for independent travellers. Large range of resort & hotel accommodation.
Hedonistic Hiking 01858 565148 Small group food & wine walking holidays. Mick and Jackie Parsons are an Anglo-Australian couple who lead guided hiking tours and tailor-made experiences in south-east Australia and Italy.
Hemmingways 01737 842 735 Hemmingways are the motorhome & motorbike touring specialists.
Intrepid Travel 0800 917 6456 Pound sign Small group exploratory and adventure tours mostly to the coastal and outback regions of Australia.
Jetset 0870 700 3000 Tailor made specialists for over 30 years offering resort stays & multi-centre itineraries for independent travellers. Part of MyTravel group.
Journeys of Distinction 0161 491 7616 JOD specialise in fully escorted coach tours worldwide. They use scheduled flights & upmarket hotels and pledge to 'take away the worry not the adventure'. Their tour itineraries are between 27-31 days. They sell direct, not through travel agents.
Kuoni 01306 741 111 Pound sign City & resort stays, coach & rail tours, self-drive & independent tours.
Lets Trek Australia 020 8772 3770 Small group adventure, camping and lodging tours of Australia. Lets Trek Australia is an Australian company based in Sydney but part of the the Trek America Travel group which is based in London and is, in turn, part of First Choice (oh what tangled webs...!).
Nomadic Thoughts 020 7604 4408 Tailor-made itineraries around Australia
OzAdventures 0844 567 8500 Oz Adventures offers tailor-made adventure holidays and tours to Australia and New Zealand. The company also has unique gap year travel packages.
Qantas Holidays 0870 5673 464 Wide choice of accommodation for independent travellers, soft adventure tours, eco tours, self-drive programmes, and escorted coach tours.
Quest Worldwide 0870 442 3513 Tailor-made long-haul specialists with a wide range of classic escorted coach tours and tailor-made itineraries & components. Especially strong on Queensland (their Australia product manager, Mandy Parker, is a native Australian and that's her patch). They launched their first ever dedicated Australia brochure in Feb 04 - before they included Australia & New Zealand together. Tours include a day trip by air over the Blue Mountains to visit to a working outback sheep & cattle station plus a wine-tasting and deer farm visit; a guided day tour through Queensland's World Heritage Rainforest; an Ayers Rock Motorcycle Tour on the back of a Harley Davidson; and ski Trips to Mt Buller.
Real World Travel 0870 736 4757 Escorted group tours, independent tours and treks. Also tailormade.
Steppes Travel 01285 880 980 Tailor-made travel adventure itineraries in a number of regions including Tasmania.
Tailor Made Travel 0845 456 8006 Tailor-made. That's what they're called. That's what they do!
Thomas Cook Tours 0844 879 8018 Tour operator division of Thomas Cook specialising in 'fully escorted' tours (door-to-door chauffeur service, scheduled flights, quality hotels, tour managers, and virtually all other travel requirements taken care of). They have a couple of 2+ week tours in Australia. TCT won 'Best Escorted Tours Operator' at the British Travel Awards 2011.
TrailFinders 020 7938 3939 Mega-agency that originally started out as a flight-only specialist. Over the years more and more travellers have bought cheap long-haul flights 'down-under' from them, plus accommodation and other travel components. In 2003, a staggering 20% of all travellers from the UK to Australia made their travel arrangements through Trailfinders according to The Australian Tourist Commission. The company operates out of 18 travel centres across the UK, Ireland and Australia, selling everything from hotels to car hire, tours to cruises.
Travel Australia 01603 488664 Tailor-made travel arrangements throughout Australia.
Travelbag 0870 890 1456 Tailormade programmes and component parts (ie hotels, flights, car hire) or escorted tours to the classic sights (ie Ayers Rock, Sydney harbour, Great Barrier Reef, etc), and train journeys (ie the Ghan, the Overlander, etc).
Travel Portfolio 01284 762255 Australia and NZ specialists in tailormade holidays. Plus cricket & rugby supporters tours.
Travelsphere 0844 318 8132 Pound sign Classic tours of Australia from a 22-day air & coach tour visiting Sydney, Melbourne, Ayers Rock, Perth and a selection of destinations in between, to combined Australia-New Zealand programmes. Travelsphere specialise in fully-escorted worldwide tours out of the UK.
Truly Australia 01435 872666 Self-assembly holidays for independent travellers with a selection of unusual and interesting ground tours, cruises, excursions and experiences. Among them, the Ozback Explorer, a private train that offers 'rail cruising'. It travels at night, arriving each day at a new destination where you can take minibus excursions (the minibuses are their own. They travel on flatbed trucks with the train) or do your own thing, before the train departs again in the evening. (If you are trying to find it on their website, look under the 'cruise' section, not the 'rail' section!)
Turquoise 01494 678 400 starTailormade luxury holidays in a huge range of quirky rental properties, boutique hotels, remote ranches, sophisticated wineland B&Bs, and luxury island resorts. Turquoise like to build full-strength holidays and honeymoons rather than short breaks. Their focus is on new destinations & properties with something special.
Virgin Holidays 0844 557 3865 Beach stays, escorted tours, fly-drives, motor homes, city stays, rail tours and mini-tours, plus a wide range of accommodation from rainforest lodges to boutique hotels.

Notes

  • Captain Cook Cruises (01483 222 093) offer small ship cruising (2-7 nights) around the Great Barrier Reef, the Murray River and Sydney Harbour. They have an office (agent) in the UK.

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