Across Land and Sea: Top Ten Tours of Australia

Photo of Melissa Pearce
9 February 2017

Australian history is diverse and eventful, and includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Modern Australian culture is commendable for its egalitarianism and laid-back way of living, and is home to wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef and 40,000 year-old cave paintings. With innumerable things to see and do, Culture Trip looks at ten of the best ways to absorb the cultural heritage and natural beauty of Australia.

© Pudakul Aboriginal Cultural Tours

Pudakul Aboriginal Cultural Tours

This family-run tour company share their local knowledge as they take visitors on guides around an area just outside of Darwin. Highly praised manager Graham ensures that visitors led around these parts are as engaged as possible with educational information whilst simultaneously taking part in traditional activities and having fun. You will learn how to do a variety of activities from making dilly bags to throwing spears. With hands-on contributions from local Australians making these trips stand out, they are worthwhile for those willing to experience Australian culture and try new things.

© Aboriginal Cultural Tours South Australia

Aboriginal Cultural Tours South Australia

Run by Irene and Quentin Angus, Aboriginal Cultural Tours South Australia promotes an authentic view of South Australia through emphasis on their connection with the country. Quentin outlines the importance of not only experiencing the natural side of Australia, but the history of its culture and aboriginal people. The genuine passion and enthusiasm for their history and cultural identity is portrayed in the nature of their tours; walking you through both physical and spiritual journeys, you will learn about Aboriginal beliefs and heritage from these Nationally Accredited guides.

© Air Whitsunday

Air Whitsunday

The award-winning tour company Air Whitsunday specialise in scenic flights across one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef, in addition to the Whitsunday Islands, Whitehaven Beach and their surrounding areas. The company has been flying visitors over the reefs since the 1970s, and their knowledge and expertise on the area is evident. Small groups travel in glass-bottomed vessels, with the option to snorkel the Reef open for those more adept in the waters. For a day of pure luxury, you can be taken by seaplane to the world class Hayman Island Resort in the North of Queensland.

© Gecko Canoeing

Gecko Canoeing and Trekking

Camping out under the stars by night, floating down the Katherine River by day, Gecko Canoeing and Trekking are a locally based company with over 15 years of experience to guide you through the best rivers and hiking spots in the Northern Territory. Much of Australian cultural heritage is based around stories about shapes seen on the horizon, across the landscape. To experience this world first hand, with no distractions, these tours are ideal. Suitable for travelers who want to trek more independently, and those who might require a little more support.

© TASafari


TASafari provides travelers with the opportunity to view the stunning island of Tasmania through relaxing walks, trekking and camping. Exploring some of the most well-known parts of the landscape such as Cradle Mountain, in addition to some of the lesser known spots on this unique island state, the journeys vary from four days to two week trips and are intimate with no more than 9 people to each tour group. Organisers of the tours are local, and have an admirable passion for the culture of Tasmania. Their years of knowledge and experience are guaranteed to enhance your trip.

© Bogong Horseback Adventures

Bogong Horseback Adventures

Traveling Australia by horseback is an experience like no other, and Bogong Horseback Adventures will allow you to submerge yourself in the culture, heritage and natural beauty of the areas across the Great Dividing Range with the depth and professionalism that comes from over 30 years of experience. Organisers of Bogong Horseback Adventures use natural horsemanship to care for their horses and ensure their comfort, which in turn guarantees the best experience possible for visitors on the tour. Traveling by horse in small groups allows you to see some of the more remote parts of the range, away from the crowds.

© Tribal Warrior Association

Tribal Warrior

The Tribal Warrior Association is a non-profit indigenous organisation, organised and directed by the Aboriginal community. By organising tours and through their charitable work, they are able to encourage the teachings of Aboriginal culture and provide further opportunities for those within the Aboriginal community. On their Authentic Aboriginal Cultural Cruise departing from Sydney harbour, you will experience authentic Aboriginal culture fused with maritime lifestyle. This includes ancient fishing techniques as well as learning the historical names and meanings of all the monumental structures and buildings in the area.

© Boutique Tours Australia

Boutique Tours Australia

Boutique Tours Australia supplies easy going and personable experiences, exploring the areas in and around Sydney. Providing information on the landscape of the Southern Highlands and the exquisite tastes of wines from the Hunter Valley, their tours to the Blue Mountains are particularly notable as they guide you to some of the lesser known spots within the area, which are easily missed without professional guidance. Providing information on the cultural history of the area and the opportunity to plan your own itinerary, this family-run business offers a quieter way of seeing these popular areas.

© Australian Pacific Touring Company

Kimberly Wilderness Adventures

Run by the Australian Pacific Touring Company, Kimberly Wilderness Adventures combines comfort in travel with an ethical sense of obligation to adhere to the needs of local people and minimise the negative effects of tourism. Through working with local indigenous peoples, they aim to provide in depth knowledge of their cultural heritage and the land on which they live in order to enhance visitors’ experiences. KWA offers a selection of tours and their stunning private wilderness lodges enable you to have a truly individual and intimate experience of both the vast natural surroundings and the rich history of the country.

© Bike Beyond

Bike Beyond

Often known for their active lifestyle, Australians utilise the best of their country’s landscape. Bike Beyond provides tours for cyclists across all levels of experience, from novices on two wheels to experts. Navigating through various backdrops, such as the barren outback of Australia, or across neglected railways, unsealed roads and through mountain ranges, Bike Beyond has a range of expeditions available. Some of these serve as more relaxed cycling trips whereas others allow cyclists to challenge themselves and learn new things along the way.