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Australia’s Absolute Best Tours of 2018

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Roam the streets of Australia with refined knowledge of its hidden history. Taste the culinary delights passed down from generations. Feast your eyes (and your appetite!) upon the many stores and restaurants alive in the nightlife. This is your list of the most unforgettable to-do’s, handwritten by those who know the cities the best.

 

Photo by Spencer Watson.
Photo by Louis Amal.

It’s the new corners of the sea, surf, and restaurant scene that are waiting for you.

 

Photo by Leio McLaren.

Best Exploration Tours

 

1. Localing Private Experiences  |  2. Grampians Helicopters | 3. Top End Day Tours

4. Aperture Tour  | 5. Hobart Walking Tours  |  6. Eco BBQ Boat Tours

7. River to Rainforest  |  8. Hop On Hop Off  | 9. Paronella Park

10. Eureka Skydeck | 11. Willie Creek Pearls | 12. Melbourne Street Tours |

13. Tour Townsville | 14. The Private Tour Guide

 

Best History Tours

 

1. Melbourne Murder Tours |2. Murray River Paddlesteamers  | 3. Lantern Ghost Tours  |

4. J Ward Lunatic Asylum Ghost Tours  | 5. Outback Opal Tours  |

 

Beer and Wine Tours

1. Grampians Wine Tours |2. Two Fat Blokes Gourmet Tours and Kitchen

3. Hop On Brewery Tours | 4. Dave’s Brewery Tours & Pub Walks

5. Elevate Wine Tours | 6. Mornington Peninsula Plunge Wine Tours

 

Culinary Delights

1. Sweet Farm Tours |2. Walk Melbourne Tours

3. Taste Cultural Food Tours | 4. Tip Top Tours

5. Daintree Ice Cream Company | 6. Hidden Secrets Tours

 

1. Localing Private Experiences 

Photo by Annie Spratt.

Location: Victoria, Australia

Seasonal Operating Date: Year Round

Price: $660

What To Explore:

Catch a flight and visit a new city, we want an experience – not to see its lifestyle from the sidelines, but to feel as if we’ve lived there for years. Meet the people behind the iconic local bars restaurants, and independent retailers as you spend the day as a Melburnian would, thanks to the intimately creative experience crafted by Localing Private Experiences. Twirl to live music, smell the allure of Melburnian coffee beans, and wander the roads of vibrant street culture.

For more information, visit Localing Private Experiences here.

 

2. Grampians Helicopters

Location: Western Victoria, Australia 

Seasonal Operating Date: Year Round

Price: $60 per person – $790 per person

What To Explore:

Claim Australia from the sky as you soar in a helicopter over the epic Grampians National Park. Your tour guides will educate you on the most fascinating of aboriginal history from the region – as over 80% of Victoria’s aboriginal art sites are located here. After your educational fancy has been tickled, descend into a 155-year-old winery for a picturesque picnic in the olive grove- dream after dream at a 2 Hats restaurant! You’ll appreciate the experience that much more with your richer cultural understanding before you board the helicopter and sail the skies away.

For more information, visit Grampians Helicopters here.

 

3. Top End Day Tours

Photo by Georgia Dixon.

Location: Northern Territory, Australia 

Seasonal Operating Date: May 1 – October 31

Price: $279 per day from Jabiru and $299 per day from Darwin

What To Explore:

Some of the world’s oldest living culture calls the Injalak Hill home – venture into the Arnhem Land on a day tour to witness the most incredible of rock sites. Unique to Top End Day Tours, the Arnhem Land is typically considered remote and exclusive. Brimming with billabongs, birds, and escarpment, your wide-eyed exploration won’t cease for the entire day – inspired by the expertise of your passionate tour guides!

For more information, visit Top End Day Tours here.

 

4. Aperture Tour

 

Location: Melbourne, Sydney

Seasonal Operating Date: Year Round

Price: $38

What To Explore:

Your Australian getaway is undoubtedly one to remember – give yourself the gift of photography with the Aperture Tour! Document Sydney’s most surreal sites alongside other aspiring photographers with the help of experts, and follow the locals to the greatest vantage points for your perfect shot. It’s the perfect opportunity to master a new artistic talent while stumbling upon the most breathtaking views of Sydney!

For more information, visit Aperture Tour here.

 

5. Hobart Walking Tours

Region: Tasmania

Seasonal Operating Date: Year Round

Price:$38 for two hours, to $70 for three hours

What To Explore:

They say the best way to get to know a country is to explore its small towns – Hobart, Australia is a charming destination to explore; rich with history from its grim colonial past, its known for its culinary masterpieces and detailed architecture. Stroll by the waterfront and working port and experience Hobart for its delectable wines and dishes, all while learning the fascinating stories of its colonial past from your tour guide.

For more information, visit Hobart Walking Tours here.

 

6. Eco BBQ Boat Tours

Region: Mandurah

Seasonal Operating Date: October 1 – April 30

Price: Boat Hire Fee for 10-seater boat: $240 for 2 hours | Boat Hire Fee for 6-seater boat: $180 for 2 hours

What To Explore:

Are you in the mood for a tranquil day on the water – and wanting to see what the “barbie” is all about? Take the “barbie” aboard as you spend the day in an Eco BBQ boat! These award-winning vessels sail around the glorious Mandurah Ocean Marina, brushing sails with yachts and gliding into trendy seaside bars and the infamous Dolphin Pool. It’s the perfect experience for eating, drinking, and being out on the water – a relaxing vacation in the most luxurious of circumstances, in the unique city of Mandurah – the only city in Western Australia in which you can enjoy this unique experience!

For more information, visit Eco BBQ Boat Tours here.

 

7. River to Rainforest

Photo by Steve Bittinger.

Location: Tasmania

Seasonal Operating Date: Year Round

Price: $143

What To Explore:

From the river to the rainforest – sip savory cider at Frank’s Cider Bar and indulge in a lunch upon the famous Huon Pine. Sail on the D’Entrecasteaux aboard historical Tasmanian wooden ships and meet the owners of the gorgeous vessels you travel upon! But, the vacation really begins when you arrive at the vibrant rainforest airwalk at Tahune. Glimpse the tropical trees and florals from above. This day tour is as educational as it is picturesque, centered in the heart of Huon Valley – one of Tasmania’s most legendary destinations.
For more information, visit River to Rainforest here.

 

8. Hop On Hop Off

Photo by Alex Wong.

Location: Sydney

Seasonal Operating Date: Year Round

Price: $50AUD One Day Pass

What To Explore:

It’s Sydney at your own pace – Hop on, then hop off, then hop on again the Hop-On, Hop Off-Tour! Take the roads where sun, surf, sand, and city merge to experience the theatres, museums, restaurants, and beach barbeques that await on Sydney’s coastlines and booming nightlife. Take in the dazzling cityscape through experiencing entertainment, bars, harbours, and beaches!

For more information, visit Hop On Hop Off here.

 

 

9. Paronella Park

Region: Tropical North Queensland

Seasonal Operating Date: Year Round except for Christmas!

Price: $45

What To Explore:

Tucked away in Queensland is the otherworldly Paronella Park; featuring a dignified Spanish castle built by Jose Paronella, spend the day like royalty as you roam the picnic area, tennis courts, and bridges. The castle is situated in the colorful, lush rainforest of Tropical North Queensland – making it an architectural masterpiece with the backdrop of the best Australian nature has to offer. From the stunning waterfalls to the corridor of the awe-inspiring Kauri Pines, exploration of the park is limitless.

For more information, visit Paronella Park here.

 

10. Eureka Skydeck

Region: Melbourne, Victoria

Seasonal Operating Date: Year Round except Christmas and New Years

Price: $22

What To Explore:

Peer out over the magnificent Victoria cityscape in Melbourne atop the Eureka Skydeck. This gold plated skyscraper boasts a glass cube that projects from the 88th floor, suspending visitors almost 300 meters high above the Melbourne City. It’s a bird’s eye view with a thrill. Take in the panorama of Melbourne’s world-class venues and wondrous urban sprawl; the perfect place to plot your next Melbornian adventures!

For more information, visit Eureka Skydeck here.

 

11. Willie Creek Pearls

Region: Broome Western Australia

Seasonal Operating Date: Year Round

Price: $105

What To Explore:

“The world is your oyster” – and Willie Creek Pearl Farm offers a once in a lifetime experience to see the complex operation of extracting pearls from oysters! Take a ride on the vessel Mutiari Putri and witness the pearl farming operations on the water. This hidden treasure of a day tour will leave you believing that it is pearls – not diamonds – that are a girl’s (And guy’s!) best friend.

For more information, visit Willie Creek Pearls here.

 

12. Melbourne Street Tours

Region: Melbourne

Seasonal Operating Date: Year Round

Price: $69

What To Explore:

Admire the vivacity of the vibrant wall art on the streets of Melbourne. Proving that the fruits of talent and artistic vision are hidden in plain sight, this tour will take you down the back alleys and around the bends of Melbourne to see some of the greatest wall art creations. From whimsical sketches to three-dimensional canvases, you’ll feel an urge to sign up for an art class of your own afterward!

For more information, visit Melbourne Street Tours here.

 

13. Tour Townsville

Region: Townsville, Queensland

Seasonal Operating Date: April 1 – December 1

Price: $55-150 per day

What To Explore:

Tucked away is the town of Townsville – explore with the knowledge and charisma of Tour Townsville’s tour guides. Learn about Townsville’s history and peer out over the cityscape from the best views. It’s an experience of your own creation – choose between tours to military sights, river to mountain views, or go at night to watch the city sparkle as far as the eye can see.

For more information, visit Tour Townsville here.

 

14. The Private Tour Guide

Region: Melbourne

Seasonal Operating Date: Year Round

Price: Depends on type of tour!

What To Explore:

Imagine personalizing your tour of Melbourne – what will you explore? The culinary scene, the views of the water, the cultural undertones, the best glimpses of the cityscape? It’s up to you. With The Private Tour Guide, see only what you want to see – and spend your time lingering! It’s Melbourne on YOUR terms.

For more information, visit The Private Tour Guide here.

 

Jump To Any Camp By Clicking Here:

Best Exploration Tours

1. Localing Private Experiences  |  2. Grampians Helicopters | 3. Top End Day Tours

4. Aperture Tour  | 5. Hobart Walking Tours  |  6. Eco BBQ Boat Tours

7. River to Rainforest  |  8. Hop On Hop Off | 9. Paronella Park

10. Eureka Skydeck | 11. Willie Creek Pearls  | 12. Melbourne Street Tours | 13. Tour Townsville | 14. The Private Tour Guide

 

Best History Tours

1. Melbourne Murder Tours  |2. Murray River Paddlesteamers  | 3. Lantern Ghost Tours  | 4. J Ward Lunatic Asylum Ghost Tours  |5. Outback Opal Tours  |

 

Beer and Wine Tours

1. Grampians Wine Tours |2. Two Fat Blokes Gourmet Tours and Kitchen

3. Hop On Brewery Tours | 4. Dave’s Brewery Tours & Pub Walks

5. Elevate Wine Tours | 6. Mornington Peninsula Plunge Wine Tours

 

Culinary Delights

1. Sweet Farm Tours |2. Walk Melbourne Tours

3. Taste Cultural Food Tours | 4. Tip Top Tours

5. Daintree Ice Cream Company | 6. Hidden Secrets Tours

 

Best History Tours

1. Melbourne Murder Tours

Location: Victoria

Seasonal Operating Date: Friday and Saturday nights year round

Price: $30

What To Explore:

If you’re looking for a cultural thrill, take this spooky tour down murder memory lane – this historical three blocks was home to over 35 accounts of murder, crime, drugs, and ghosts! The infamous Jack the Ripper preyed on his victims here. Step back through time as your tour guides, dressed in period costumes, take you through the darker side of Australian history.

FFor more information, visit Melbourne Murder Tours here.

 

2. Murray River Paddlesteamers 

Region: Murray River, Victoria

Seasonal Operating Date: March through November

Price: $545

What To Explore:

Many years ago, the iconic Paddlesteamer PS Emmylou saw its glory days; this majestic riverboat still recalls the same sense of rich river history. Take a cruise into the past as you feast upon Australian cuisine upon the only wood-fired Paddlesteamer in the world offering regular river cruises. This two-night excursion upon the Murray River is an uncommon and special way to see the coastal waterways of Victoria – and, they just announced a three-night cruise with private ensuites launching in Septembers.

For more information, visit Murray River Paddlesteamers here.

 

3. Lantern Ghost Tours

Photo by Bernard Tuck.

Region: Melbourne, Victoria

Seasonal Operating Date: Year Round Thursday-Sunday every week, private tours on demand other days and times.

Price: $24-$75

What To Explore:

Feeling spooky? Become a ghostbuster on the hair-raising Lantern Ghost Tour! Led by Certified Paranormal Investigator Jacqueline Travaglia, hunt ghosts in heritage sites of Melbourne, such as the Pentridge Prison. It’s your opportunity to meet the true Australian locals – those who have lived in the streets for hundreds of years with their silent, haunting presence!

For more information, visit Lantern Ghost Tours here.

 

4. J Ward Lunatic Asylum Ghost Tours 

Photo by Erik Muller.

Region: Ararat

Seasonal Operating Date: Year Round

Price: $36

What To Explore:

The most chilling ghosts are found within the J Ward Lunatic Asylum – start in the museum, then take a ghost tour to follow the notorious crooks such as Chopper Read and William Wallace. The dark corridors lead to gravesites, the governor’s bathroom, and the hangman’s gallows – Halloween came early this year! This site is one of Ararat’s premier tourist attractions.

For more information, visit J Ward Lunatic Asylum Ghost Tours here.

 

5. Outback Opal Tours

Photo from Lightning Ridge.

Region: Lightning Ridge, NSW

Seasonal Operating Date: Year Round, 7 days a week

Price: Town Tours $45/$50 and Full Day Tours $90/95

What To Explore:

Australia’s gemstone, the Black Opal, is one of the most revered and glorified gemstones in the world. Pretend you’re an opal miner as you explore Lightning Ridge, learning about past miners, peering into Amigo’s Castle, and of course, trying your own luck as you fossick for opals! Will you strike rich? As opal mining is a historical pastime, this experience is chock-full of stories of authentic Australia from decades ago.

For more information, visit Outback Opal Tours here.

 

Beer and Wine Tours

1. Grampians Wine Tours

Region: Grampians, Western Victoria

Seasonal Operating Date: Year Round, every Saturday

Price: $75-175

What To Explore:

Delve into the rich knowledge of Australian wines in the Grampians region, brimming with local cuisine and the crowd favorite underground cellar tour. Central to Australian culture is the Silo Art Tour – indulge in world-renowned street art atop wheat silos as you stroll, wine in hand, with that special someone! The history of these streets echo in the wines; hear from your tours how the winemaking here began over 155 years ago.

For more information, visit Grampians Wine Tours here.

 

2. Two Fat Blokes Gourmet Tours and Kitchen

Region: Hunter Valley

Seasonal Operating Date: Year Round

Price: $69

What To Explore:

They say food is an international language – it brings a sense of unity to all amongst a globe! And, what better delicacies than cheese and wine for such a union? Pair nine cheese and nine wines on this ‘food integration’ tour in the esteemed Hunter Valley. Your highly trained tour guides know this region like the back of their hand – taste the exploration in the heart of the Pokolbin!

For more information, visit Two Fat Blokes Gourmet Tours and Kitchen here.

 

3. Hop On Brewery Tours

Region: QLD

Seasonal Operating Date: Year Round

Price: $160

What To Explore:

Gold Coast and Brisbane will tantalize your beer craving – upon the “Hop On” Brewery Tours, you’ll meet the most talented of beer brewers, taste an array of brilliant beers, and learn the tips and tricks behind how to craft the perfect beer. Oftentimes, Australian tourists solely taste the beers in restaurants – this tour takes you behind the scenes to change your perception of the beer-crafting process.

For more information, visit Hop On Brewery Tours here.

 

4. Dave’s Brewery Tours & Pub Walks

Region: New South Wales

Seasonal Operating Date: June 25 – August 12

Price: $120-$170

What To Explore:

There’s no craft brewing quite like Australian craft brewing – foamy, refreshing beers crafted by pub favorites and beer connoisseurs. Walk the streets of Sydney Harbour where the first Australian beers were created and feel yourself as a part of Australia’s liquor history – an experience with a wealth of knowledge and insight on the art of brewing and other liquor distilleries!

For more information, visit Dave’s Brewery Tours & Pub Walks here.

 

5. Elevate Wine Tours

Region: Mornington Peninsula

Seasonal Operating Date: Year Round

Price: $145

What To Explore:

You want to personalize your own wine tasting experience – and get the five star treatment for every minute of your day of tasting! Organize an intimate tasting finasco aboard a specially designed touring vehicle, equipped with leather reclining seats and refreshment. Kick back, relax, and let the wine keep flowing! This Peninsula Wine Tour can become a tour of all Australia has to offer – it’s up to you! Ask to visit a strawberry farm, a cider house, a brewery, or all of the above – the day, and the Mornington Peninsula, is all yours!

For more information, visit Elevate Wine Tours here.

 

6. Mornington Peninsula Plunge Wine Tours

 

Region: Mornington Peninsula

Seasonal Operating Date: January 29 – April 1

Price: $330

What To Explore:

Imagine: sinking your teeth into scrumptious strawberries in the morning sun, to tasting the delectable cheeses of Main Ridge and Red Hill on the shore, then taking a swim in the refreshing Pinot Noir medleys of celebrated winemaker Geraldine McFaul. Your day tour on Flinders Pier will offer the best Australia’s humble seaside has to offer – fish for fresh mussels to be cooked for you and dip your toes in the sand as you sip your Chardonnay.

For more information, visit Mornington Peninsula Plunge Wine Tours here.

 

Culinary Delights

1. Sweet Farm Tours

Location: QLD

Seasonal Operating Date: Year Round, but closed in February

Price: $29

What To Explore:

Calling all chocolate lovers! Authentic Australian cocoa is waiting. Treat yourself to an educational tour of the sugarcane farm for Australian Origin Chocolate Tastings and Sugarcane juice tastings – it’s a mouthwatering mission! The farm is also home to a Koala Food Tree Plantation – a rare opportunity to experience! A must try is the authentically Australian grown vanilla – this culinary experience will bring a refined appreciation for Australia’s gourmet restaurant scene.

For more information, visit Sweet Farm Tours here.

 

2. Walk Melbourne Tours

 

Region: Victoria

Seasonal Operating Date: Year Round, six days a week

Price: $99

What To Explore:

Melbourne is beloved for the most mouthwatering of characteristics…namely, the dumplings and coffee! Peer out over the cityline on the rooftop bars and indulge your sweet tooth on Melburnian desserts. It’s the tour girls of Walk Melbourne tours that know where the most tasty of the treats lie – often, off the tourists’ track where the locals wander! Eat, drink, and be merry.

For more information, visit Walk Melbourne Tours here.

 

3. Taste Cultural Food Tours

Location: NSW

Seasonal Operating Date: Year Round with the exception of holidays

Price: $99 for Adults, $89 for pensioners, $79 for youths, $55 for children, and free for infants aged 0-5

What To Explore:

Many of the world’s hottest cities sport a Chinatown – a must-visit no matter where you are! But, move over San Francisco, because Sydney’s ChinaTown is conveniently located in the heart of the bustling city of Sydney – delight yourself on a lotus-flower shaped gelato after feasting upon traditional hand made noodles and dumplings! Short on time? An authentic tea ceremony will give you an unforgettable taste of Chinatown culture. Sydney’s ChinaTown is the highlight of Australia’s collision of renowned global cuisine.

For more information, visit Taste Cultural Food Tours here.

 

4. Tip Top Tours

Fresh tequila sunrise ready to drink.

Region: Victoria

Seasonal Operating Date: Year Round, every Saturday

Price: $59

What To Explore:

Imagine an expert on Melbourne who has tried all the restaurants and all the cuisine – and hand delivers their personal favorites to you. Learn about the gourmet food scene as you treat yourself to countless samples of the best Melbourne has to offer – handpicked by culinary experts! The restaurant venues are as memorable as the delicious dishes and succulent wines.

For more information, visit Tip Top Tours here.

 

5. Daintree Ice Cream Company

Location: North Queensland

Seasonal Operating Date: Year Round except Christmas

Price: $5-$8

What To Explore:

Taste the Daintree Rainforest! Feast upon handcrafted tropical fruit gelato and sorbets grown organically in the Daintree National Park orchard. The seasonal flavors are enjoyed with the most picturesque of ice cream shop backdrops – the splashy and vibrant canopy walls of a rainforest! Immerse yourself in the scenery on the Self Guided Orchard Walk to learn more about the fruits that made your treat.

For more information, visit Daintree Ice Cream Company here.

 

6. Hidden Secrets Tours

Region: Victoria

Seasonal Operating Date: Year Round, Monday through Saturday

Price: $95

What To Explore:

Admit it – no matter how much you research a city before you visit, you’ll never know all the hidden secrets the locals know. In the Hidden Secrets tour, you’ll be given the keys to Melbourne like you’d never see it otherwise – from authentic coffee and wine sampling to the cafes the locals rave about. Stroll the streets and learn about the unique architecture and city planning in your small group no larger than 8. You’ll consider yourself a local by the end of the day!

For more information, visit Hidden Secrets Tours here.

 

Jump To Any Camp By Clicking Here:

Best Exploration Tours

1. Localing Private Experiences  |  2. Grampians Helicopters | 3. Top End Day Tours

4. Aperture Tour  | 5. Hobart Walking Tours  |  6. Eco BBQ Boat Tours

7. River to Rainforest  |  8. Hop On Hop Off  | 9. Paronella Park

10. Eureka Skydeck | 11. Willie Creek Pearls | 12. Melbourne Street Tours | 13. Tour Townsville | 14. The Private Tour Guide

 

Best History Tours

1. Melbourne Murder Tours  |  2. Murray River Paddlesteamers  | 3. Lantern Ghost Tours  | 4. J Ward Lunatic Asylum Ghost Tours  |5. Outback Opal Tours  |

 

Beer and Wine Tours

1. Grampians Wine Tours |2. Two Fat Blokes Gourmet Tours and Kitchen

3. Hop On Brewery Tours | 4. Dave’s Brewery Tours & Pub Walks

5. Elevate Wine Tours | 6. Mornington Peninsula Plunge Wine Tours

 

Culinary Delights

1. Sweet Farm Tours |2. Walk Melbourne Tours

3. Taste Cultural Food Tours | 4. Tip Top Tours

5. Daintree Ice Cream Company | 6. Hidden Secrets Tours

 

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