Small Group Tours, Guided Tours from Sydney

Category Archives: Ecotourism


Small Group Tours, Guided Tours from Sydney

Posted by in Ecotourism,Farmstay Blue Mountains,Guided tours,Outback Australia Tours,Small Group Tours,Things to do in Sydney,Tours From Sydney | February 13, 2014

Ever been on one of those huge tourist buses with 65 other people?

They pull up at some sight or attraction “OK, you’ve got 30 minutes, if you’re not back, we leave without you!” the guide barks.

Aussie Farmstay and Bush Adventure tours are NOT like that. We cater for groups from 2 to 11 people, in comfortable vehicles with a guide who gets to know you and who caters the visits to what you want to see and how long you want to stay.

Small group tours are the popular way to travel these days. Travelers invest a lot of time, effort and money getting to places where they will be immersed in a different culture, see interesting, spectacular or beautiful sights and meet new, different and fascinating people. Therefore they want to ensure that they receive a personalised experience to make the most from what they have invested.

Sally leads a small group on a bush walk in the Blue Mountains National Park

Sally leads a small group on a bush walk in the Blue Mountains National Park

On an Aussie Farmstay and Bush Adventures tour passengers are more than just part of group, they are individuals who have a say in the progression of the tour. At every part of the itinerary, from visiting the wildlife parks, wineries, caves and villages to experiencing horse riding or bush walking, the scope of the activity and time spent enjoying it are entirely up to the customers. Not interested in fossils? OK, we can leave earlier and move on to something else. Need more time patting the kangaroos? No problem, we always have some time to be flexible.

It’s these kind of specialised itinerary alterations that make Aussie Farmstay and Bush Adventures tours so personal and so special.

Special and personalised experiences make your tour unique and memorable

Special and personalised experiences make your tour unique and memorable

On the other hand, another feature that customers value in Aussie Farmstay and Bush Adventures tours is that everything is planned and organised. Travelers don’t have to make bookings, organise transport, reserve accommodation or buy and prepare food. Everything is done for you on tour, just sit back and relax and let Sally do the driving for you.

The venues visited have been hand picked by Sally to provide a varied range of genuine Aussie bush experiences. She’s done all the hard work in researching, networking and negotiating to come up with the best opportunities to see the real Australia. And her inside knowledge whereby you meet her family and childhood friends, gives visitors the kind of insider experience that few international visitors could ever hope to organise for themselves.

Meet Sally's family and friends - Real Aussies

Meet Sally’s family and friends – Real Aussies

So tours combine the perfect mix of a guided tour and a personalised experience. Every day travelers with Aussie Farmstay and Bush Adventures are given choices in the exact experiences available and/or the time spent enjoying each one, but once they decide all they need to do is relax and enjoy!

Off the Beaten Path

Posted by in Ecotourism,Outback Australia Tours,Things to do in Sydney,Tours From Sydney | January 21, 2014

Lots of travellers these days want to get off the beaten path and away from the usual tourist traps. Sure they want to see the iconic sites that a destination is known for, but they also want to see some of the things that run of the mill tours don’t include. They want to discover the type of experiences that locals enjoy.

Canowindra, a quiet country town full of history

Canowindra, a quiet country town full of history

Getting off the beaten track isn’t so easy though. Where do you get advice?

You’d have to ask a local!

And that’s where I come in. On an Aussie Farmstay and Bush Adventures tour I will take you off the beaten path and introduce you to things that normal tourists never get to experience.  Sure, you will get to see the most important and famous parts of Sydney and the Blue Mountains, but you’ll also discover some truly unique and personal experiences which will give you an insight into what Australia is all about.

Bill uses horses to reap his crop of oats on Inglevale

Bill uses horses to reap his crop of oats on Inglevale

Foremost on the list of Off the Beaten Path places we go is the Farmstay at Inglevale. This isn’t a dude ranch set up for tourists, it’s a genuine working sheep farm, where farmers Bill and Mary welcome visitors for a night of demonstrations and entertainment with themselves and other locals who turn up for the fun. My parents and Bill’s parents are usually among the locals, as well as various other family and friends.  Inglevale is an operation straight from the past where the cropping is still carried out using horse-drawn equipment. Learning about this unique farm and meeting with friendly locals around the campfire over a True Blue Aussie meal is about as far from the Beaten Path as you can get!

Stalactites in Abercrombie Caves

Stalactites in Abercrombie Caves

Other highlights on an Aussie Bush Adventure which are not offered by other tours include a visit to the magical Abercrombie Caves. These caves are just as spectacular as the very famous Jenolan Caves, though not as extensive and very much more remote. Jenolan can get tens of thousands of visitors each month making it the most visited attraction outside of a capital city in Australia. But Abercrombie is remarkably quiet. Sometimes our tour brings the only visitors and we have the entire area to ourselves. That’s probably why we so often see native wildlife in the Conservation area surrounding the caves, including kangaroos, lyre birds, echidnas, wallaroos and more.

Famous for its wines, Mudgee also produces great craft beer

Famous for its wines, Mudgee also produces great craft beer

The wine growing region of Mudgee is a favourite with local Sydneysiders who enjoy weekends there, but it is pretty well off the beaten track for international visitors. Only an Aussie Farmstay and Bush Adventure tour will take you to Mudgee, to taste the wines from its dozens of vineyards, try the beer from its brewery and sample the wide variety of foods produced in the region including cheeses, honey, hazelnuts, olives and olive oil. Every day bus loads of tourist travel from Sydney to the Hunter Valley, another prime wine producing region, but Mudgee is off the beaten track, as are the regions of Orange and Canowindra which we also visit on an Aussie Bush Adventure.

Historic villages like Canowindra are full of stories, and in Canowindra’s case a world class exhibition of a local fossil discovery in the Age of Fishes museum. Hill End is a relic from the 19th century when thousands of prospectors flocked to the town in search of gold. To explore the village now is a very quiet experience given its remoteness.

It’s experiences such as these which enhance the uniqueness of an Aussie Bush Adventure and give the traveller who’s looking for that something special the type of Off the Beaten Path experience they could only dream of if travelling by themselves.

 

 

Australian Aboriginal Culture Tourism

Posted by in Ecotourism,Indigenous Tourism,Outback Australia Tours,Tours From Sydney | December 20, 2013

The Aboriginal Australian culture is the oldest surviving culture in the world. When Europeans arrived on the Australian continent in the  17th and 18th Centuries they encountered a people who were living as they had for over 40,000 years. The first Australians arrived on the oldest continent on earth where resources were scarce and they eked out an existence which relied heavily on respecting the country and living in harmony with each other. In his seminal work The Future Eaters Tim Flannery discusses how this evolution took place.

Aboriginal artifacts (photo courtesy Uptuyu)

Aboriginal artifacts (photo courtesy Uptuyu)

The indigenous culture was largely dismissed as primitive and of little meaning by the early European immigrants to Australia. But more recently discerning people have come to realise the complexity, diversity and strength of the Australian Aboriginal cultures. Australians and travelers from elsewhere in the world are eager to learn about Aboriginal art, languages, skills, customs, ceremonies and stories before they are forgotten or lost.

One way in which this rich vein of history and culture can be and is being preserved is by making it of commercial value by sharing it with the world through Aboriginal experience tourism. There are a multitude of excellent tourism ventures all over Australia which introduce elements of Indigenous culture to visitors to Australia and locals alike.

An Uptuyu tour (photo courtesy of Uptuyu)

An Uptuyu tour (photo courtesy of Uptuyu)

One which has recently been internationally recognised for its excellence in providing genuine experiences is Uptuyu Aboriginal Adventures. Neville Poelina from Uptuyu was one of three global winners of the 2013 Adventure Travel World Summit  Tour Operator Scholarships, who received financial backing to attend a summit held in Namibia, Africa. Neville’s tours in the Kimberly of North Western Australia are custom designed and offer travelers the opportunity to visit a range of Kimberly locations and experience different aspects of Aboriginal life and history. Congratulations to Neville and I wish him the best in his endeavours to educate the world about his country and his stories.

Closer to my home in Sydney and NSW there are also some very good Aboriginal experience tourism operators. One that I use regularly and highly recommend is the Waradah Aboriginal Centre near Echo Point in Katoomba, The Blue Mountains. During the regular shows at the Waradah Centre Aboriginal dancing from around Australia is performed and explained and Didgeridoo playing is demonstrated and described. But the best part of the show is the personal segment where one or more of the indigenous performers talks to the audience about aboriginal life in the past and present, aboriginal mobs and languages, traditions, tools, skills and anything that wish to share. They welcome any questions and answer with a genuine sincerity.

A performer at the Waradah Aboriginal Centre

A performer at the Waradah Aboriginal Centre

 

Now is the time to visit the Blue Mountains

Posted by in Ecotourism,Farmstay Blue Mountains,Tours From Sydney | November 7, 2013

At the beginning of this month there were serious bush fires in the Blue Mountains.

But, they are contained now, and pose no threat to visitors to the region.

The fires were huge, one more than 50,000 hectares and with a front longer than 200km.

But the Blue Mountains National Park is MASSIVE, at over 1,000,000 hectares, so the fires affected only a small fraction of the National Park as a whole.

Most of the Blue Mountains spectacular bush was untouched by the bush fires

Most of the Blue Mountains spectacular bush was untouched by the bush fires

The fires were very serious with lives, houses and infrastructure threatened. Almost 200 houses were destroyed and millions of dollars of damage was recorded (though thankfully no lives were lost).

But the major tourist attractions of this world renown region were untouched by the fires. All the favourite venues, Scenic World, Waradah Aboriginal Centre, Segway Tours, Norman Lindsay Gallery, Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens, Aussie Farmstay and Bush Adventure tours and more are open for business having not been affected.

Horse riding with Aussie Farmstay and Bush Adventures at Centennial Glen Stables in the Kanimbla Valley of the Blue Mountains

Horse riding with Aussie Farmstay and Bush Adventures at Centennial Glen Stables in the Kanimbla Valley of the Blue Mountains

Whilst the fire emergency lasted hundreds of Mountain residents gave up their usual jobs and acted as volunteer fire fighters, helping to save lives, property and the bush.

But now that the fires have been contained these hard working men and women (or heroes as we like to refer to them) are back at their usual employment. For many of the Blue Mountains population that means serving the tourist trade.

World Heritage wilderness of the Blue Mountains National Park, the view from Shipley Plateau to the Megalong Valley, completely untouched by the fires

World Heritage wilderness of the Blue Mountains National Park, the view from Shipley Plateau to the Megalong Valley, completely untouched by the fires

The Blue Mountains is a World Heritage Wilderness area, so very little commercial activity can be conducted. The tourist industry which facilitates responsible access for visitors to appreciate the many natural wonders that the Blue Mountains has to offer, is the major source of income for the many villages which line the thoroughfares through the mountains.

Unfortunately bad news spreads like the wild fires which ravaged parts of the Mountains, however good news doesn’t quite get the same media attention. So many tourists heard that the Mountains was in trouble, few have since learnt that the mountains are back open for business.

So now is the perfect time to visit the Blue Mountains. The weather is glorious, as spring is one of the best times to see the Mountains. The population are ready to welcome you with open arms, so come on back to the Blue Mountains today!!

Join Us on Social Media with Facebook Twitter & Pinterest

Posted by in Ecotourism,Farmstay Blue Mountains,Social Media,Things to do in Sydney,Tours From Sydney | July 3, 2013

One of the best ways we connect with people around the world who are interested in travelling both to and around Australia is through our social media portals.

Currently you can find us on the following social media platforms:

tours from sydney blue mountain tour travel industry social media australia facebook

Facebook

Of course! It’s been a great platform for sharing the best images of the Australian bush with the most Likes coming from countries beyond Australia – as we’re exotic to foreign nationals while often being humdrum to the locals!

tours from sydney australian travel industry social media twitter

Twitter

We’ve been doing twitter for four years and recently cracked our 16,000th follower! All organically developed, have never bought any followers – we have a fantastic rate of engagement going on.

australian travel industry social media pinterest tours from sydney blue mountains itineraries

Pinterest

Pinterest is another great way of showcasing the simple glories of the Australian outback. Some of the boards we’re developing are things to do in Sydney and Blue Mountains tours while we find our best images regularly experience (modest admittedly) small bursts of viral sharing.

Instagram?

Sorry call me a Luddite but I don’t have a smart phone!

A Return on Investment

The truth is that our social media activities have not yielded a massive return for the hours and content that we’re published.

However what they have done is help us sharpen our wits around what messages we’re putting out there – the images we publish, the albums we create, the words we use to convey what we’re about as a small boutique Australian tour company.

Pinterest in particular is great as a way to publicly catalogue our images. There are times when I’m out on a tour and thinking gee I need to access our logo to send to a magazine manager needing our logo for an ad, and suddenly I remember I can grab the logo straight from Pinterest!

Inevitably social media is an investment in creating your own magazine so give me another 2-3 years and I should have my own little small-magazine-audience – lots of work ahead of course.

Happy travelling!

- Sally.

Most Searched Terms: Australian Travel Industry, Social Media, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tours From Sydney, Blue Mountains Tours, Horseback Riding Blue Mountains, Things To Do in Sydney.

 

 

Ecotourism Australia

Posted by in Ecotourism,Farmstay Blue Mountains,Outback Australia Tours,Tours From Sydney | May 31, 2013

Aussie Farmstay and Bush Adventures is proud to be accredited with Ecotourism Australia. Ecotourism Australia is Australia’s internationally recognised body for the promotion and advancement of environmentally sustainable and culturally responsible tourism.

Eco Logo

There are 3 levels of accreditation, starting with Nature Tourism: Tourism in a natural area that leaves minimal impact on the environment, progressing to Ecotourism: Tourism in a natural area that offers interesting ways to learn about the environment with an operator that uses resources wisely, contributes to the conservation of the environment and helps local communities, and advancing to Advanced Ecotourism: for those operators who can show world’s best practice..

As a small company Aussie Farmstay and Bush Adventures is proud to be Ecotourism accredited. To have gained this prestigious title at the level IV certification tours need to be organised in such a way as to ensure that operations are carried out always with the environment in mind. All tours operated by Aussie Farmstay and Bush Adventures use transport which is the minimum necessary for each group. The accommodation we provide minimises energy and resource use. We act responsibly in waste disposal and recycling and advise our passengers in the best practices to preserve the environment.

Aussie Farmstay and Bush Adventures also fosters business in the regional areas we visit by purchasing materials locally, using local services and engaging local staff to assist in tour operations. We educate passengers in indigenous culture by visiting Aboriginal centres and sites and providing culturally appropriate information.

What comes naturally for Aussie Farmstays and Bush Adventures is good for the environment and good for local communities and good for Australia and we are proud to be recognised for that!

Links:

Tours from Sydney

Blue Mountains Tours

Outback Australia Tour

Most Searched Terms: Tours from Sydney, Blue Mountains Tours, Ecotours in Australia, Ecotourism Australia, Farmstay Australia, Itineraries from Sydney, Aussie Bush Adventures, Food & Wine Tours Mudgee, Travel Industry Social Media, Outback Australia Tour, Eco-friendly Tours From Sydney.

Things to do in Sydney

Posted by in Ecotourism,Social Media,Things to do in Sydney,Tours From Sydney | May 31, 2013

When you come to Sydney for your tour to the bush, you’ll want to explore the city itself because it has a wealth of natural, cultural and historic attractions to discover.

Here’s my tips:

Coastal Walks:

There are several opportunities to take scenic walks along the coast in Sydney. My favourite is the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Track. This is a long walk, but can be broken into many small jaunts if you don’t want to do th entire length because there are many public transport links to the several beaches along the way.

Starting from the famous Bondi Beach walkers will pass through Tamarama, Bronte and Clovelly beaches on the way to Coogee Beach. You also traverse rocky headlands over Gordons Bay and several cliff top parks, not to mention the beautiful and historic Waverly Cemetery. All within sight of the glistening blue sea and never too far from cafes and public amenities.

The baths at Bronte Beach

The baths at Bronte Beach

Another great walk is the Manly to Spit walk

Sydney Living Museums

This organisation was until recently called the Historic Houses Trust. They operate several exquisite historic museums and properties in and around Sydney. They’re small museums which focus on particular themes or areas. For example The Museum of Sydney is an expose on the history and culture of the city itself, the Museum of Justice and Police tracks the history of law enforcement in NSW (and considering the city stated as a penal colony, there’s a lot of history in that field).

Susannah Place Museum

Susannah Place Museum

My favourite Living Sydney Museums property is Susannah Place, a row of terraces in Sydney’s Rocks area which traces back through the layers of history of the occupants of the houses from the early 1800s. But if you’re interested in knowing about Sydney’s history there are 12 museums in their care and all are fascinating.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

It’s pretty hard to avoid the Harbour Bridge, but there is more to do than just look at it. If you want to invest the money, as well as 3 hours of time that you’ll never forget, you can do the Bridge Climb. This is one experience you can brag about! The views from the top are outstanding and the commentary your guide provides on the way is informative as well as funny at times.

You won’t regret having climbed the bridge, but if your finances don’t run that far you can always walk across the Bridge for free. The Eastern footpath provides spectacular views of the harbour and the city and on either end of the bridge there are interesting neighbourhoods to explore and accessible public transport links to take you back to where you started.

Sydney Harbour Bridge during Vivid Festival 2013

Sydney Harbour Bridge during Vivid Festival 2013

Or if you want the experience of seeing the Western Harbour views you’ll need to get yourself a bicycle as that path is for bikes only, and provides a wonderful cycling experience.

Chinatown

I’ve been around the world and I can honestly say that Sydney’s Chinatown is the most vibrant I’ve seen outside of Asia. There are the Chinese Gardens right on the edge in Darling Harbour, there are more restaurants, cafes and grocery and produce stalls than you can poke a stick at and there are dozens and dozens of other stores selling everything from Asian travel to oriental artefacts.

Dixon Street in Chinatown Sydney

Dixon Street in Chinatown Sydney

The busy Markets which have operated in the area for decades provide lively shopping from food to fashion, electric goods to eclectic jewellery. If you’re a shopaholic you can’t fail to be excited. And when you’ve finished browsing or shopping you can enjoy an Asian feast from one of the many food outlets, fine 5 star dining to street stalls.

Of course there are one hundred and one other things to do before you head off on your tours from Sydney, but let that wet your appetite and add to it soon!

Sally

Ecotourism Accredited

Posted by in Ecotourism | March 7, 2013

Aussie Farmstay and Bush Adventures is an ecotourism accredited company, certified by Ecotourism Australia

Aussie Farmstay and Bush Adventures ECO IV 2013 Certificate - Ecotourism2