Signature Luxury Travel & Style magazine mention

Find out more about why Bill Peach Journeys is the leader in small group luxury travel throughout Australia & New Zealand.  Read the article below that was published in Signature@home magazine.

 


Explore Australia with Bill Peach Journeys

Join Bill Peach Journeys, the leader in private air tours in Australia. These Australian outback tours provide more time to discover each destination intimately through leisurely cruises, revealing ground excursions and contact with local people.

One guest reveals his experience on the Great Australian Aircruise.

Above and Beyond

After hearing about Bill Peach Journeys from a friend (“I’ve travelled with several high-end Australian travel companies, but Bill Peach Journeys is the best… my trip was flawless.”), we decided to sign up for the company’s signature journey: The Great Australian Air Tour. These famous Australian outback tours depart from Sydney, and then follow a circular route around the northern half of Australia during an adventure-packed 12 days.

There’s an art to these luxury outback tours – making each day brilliant, each experience authentic, each leg flown over that extraordinary country truly memorable.

We flew at low altitude over remote deserts and coastlines; visited private cattle stations; cruised down rivers that were home to crocodiles and exotic birds; explored dramatic gorges and sacred aboriginal sites; and swam off pristine beaches along the Indian Ocean.

The beaut thing about travelling on luxury outback tours with Bill Peach Journeys is it doesn’t matter if you are on the wrong side of the plane when something as incredible as, say, Kata-Tjuta comes into view. The pilots always turn the aircraft to give passengers on both sides ample time to take in the view and get aerial photographs – sometimes from as low as just a few hundred metres.

Bill Peach Journeys makes crossing Australia’s vast distances entirely comfortable, with an average daily flying time of a little more than two hours. Which still leaves plenty of time to experience the greatness of the outback up close and personal on the ground. Try doing this on a commercial airline schedule and you’ll spend half the time in airports.

The legendary Bill Peach

Along the way, we learned about Bill Peach himself and what inspired him to set up these luxury outback tours. Peach founded his Australian outback tours in 1983 after leaving behind a successful career in television (as host of ground breaking This Day Tonight). Having wanderlust, he decided to travel more and to produce travel documentaries.

During his extensive travels (Peach journeyed the equivalent of 50 times around the globe!), he concluded there was a glaring gap in the travel market for “educated travellers who just didn’t want to do it in a tent or travel huge distances by car.” The market was calling out for luxury outback tours and so it all began.

The rest is history. Today the company offers Australian outback tours, as well as short break tours in regional Australia and New Zealand. Sadly Bill passed away in 2013 but his legacy continues.

Kata Tjuta  Bill Peach Purnululu National Park

 

So many highlights

What were the highlights of our journey? It’s hard to single out one experience more fascinating than another. But some moments stand out with these luxury outback tours. A sunset boat cruise in Kakadu National Park, the large World Heritage wetlands offered close encounters with crocs and some of the hundreds of bird species that nest there: magpie geese, black-necked cranes and white-breasted sea eagles, to name a few. Seeing first hand ancient Aboriginal rock art was also a highlight.

Flying at 1000ft above one of the most breathtaking parts of Australia, each of us mesmerised by the unexpected beauty of this serene and untouched coastline. Suddenly, a humpback whale, shadowed by a tiny calf, breaks the surface of the turquoise bay below us – a special moment that brings shrieks of delight from throughout the cabin. We see whales five times more as we continue cruising south in our private aircraft above the islands, tidal waterfalls, and towering cliffs and gorges of Bonaparte Gulf and Buccaneer Archipelago off Western Australia’s remote Kimberley coast. We are told by the pilots that on all of the companies luxury outback tours that “flightseeing” is a main highlight – and we can see why.

Each day on these luxury outback tours is the best for someone. Intricacies of irrigation systems impress a guy in his 40s who has sold his farm to move earth as a business. He is flying over the land to get a better feel for its ebbs and flows, its natural canals, plateaux and river ways. For women travelling solo – there are several in our group – the pearl town of Broome is heaven. Staying at the Cable Beach Resort is blissfully relaxing. A fellow passenger made it clear to us all: “It’s as if you’re seeing your own country for the first time.”

Buccaneer Archipelago  Cable Beach Resort  Yellow Waters Cruise

 

So many inclusions

Throughout the journey, our plane was more than transportation. It was a high-altitude “home” that fostered camaraderie and wholesome fun. The cheerful staff constantly pampered us with gourmet snacks, light meals, beverages (teas, coffees, excellent wines, champagnes) and good conversation. Surprisingly, the distances seemed short. At the end of our trip, one guest concluded, “This is the first plane I haven’t wanted to leave!

On the ground the food & wine on this classic Australian outback tour is first class. In Katherine we sit by the banks of the river – it’s a great barbeque spread and we sit at tables with linen cloth in the fading, golden light. Everywhere we go, effort is made. Another day we’re on board a big yacht, off Darwin, eating fat prawns and oysters. Halfway up the Ord River, we disembark for a picnic lunch fit for wedding guests. At Cable Beach Club Resort in Broome, we sip champagne at sunset overlooking Cable Beach and try pearl meat amongst an incredible collection of paintings by Sir Sidney Nolan, Elizabeth Durack and Humphrey Price-Jones. A personal highlight was the Sounds of Silence Dinner under a starry sky in the Red Centre.

On all of Bill Peach Journeys Australian outback tours you also get to stay at the pick of accommodation, such as Cable Beach Resort in Broome, Sails in the Desert at Uluru and the Mantra in Darwin. In some of the more remote towns the choice is extremely limited for a group of our size (28 passengers), so the organisers more than make up for it when they can.

The whole operation is seamless, effortless, and somehow it’s made to look easy thanks to many years of practice and fine tuning.

Would we embark on another tour with Bill Peach Journeys? You bet. These luxury outback tours had us captivated, surprised and gob-smacked by the ever-changing scenery outside the aircraft window. So go. Go soon. And see your own backyard

 

Gourmet Food  Sails in the Desert  Sounds of Silence

 

Your Tour Highlights

  • Explore a collection of famed outback towns – Longreach, Kununurra and Alice Springs
  • Experience spectacular aerial sightseeing of the ancient Bungle Bungle Range, remote Mitchell Falls and Buccaneer Archipelago
  • Watch the sun set on the Indian Ocean at Cable Beach Resort & Spa, Broome
  • All touring, transfers and meals included
  • Unparalleled Australian outback tours

Contact Us to find out more about our Great Australian Air Tour

Birdsville Hotel  Uluru  Ord river


Short Breaks with Bill Peach Journeys

You can enjoy the ultimate night of opera on Sydney Harbour, or enjoy a world class concert or exhibition with the leaders in small group luxury travel Bill Peach Journeys. As renowned Australian short break specialists, Bill Peach Journeys offers you a fully-inclusive, seamlessly designed travel experience. We’ve designed the perfect getaway for couples and Solo Travellers, wanting a little more luxury and time to explore.

One guest reveals her experience as a solo traveller on one of our popular opera sojourns.

Short break specialists – looked after every step of the way

Swept away in movie-star style, I was greeted at the airport with my name on a sign, escorted to a car with dark-tinted windows and driven to my elegant city hotel.
It started how it went on: special treatment every step of the way, with everything taken care of. After settling in to my generous room, I met up with others on the tour for our welcome dinner, admiring Sydney’s magnificent city skyline.

Enjoying delicious fare, I had easy conversations with several women who were travelling solo as they’re widowed or had husbands who didn’t want to travel. There were also couples who had joined up because they like to be looked after well and appreciate not having to bother with details.

Whilst Bill Peach Journeys are renowned for their outback air tours they also specialise in short break regional tours in Australia & New Zealand, like the one I was on. These are based around a special event, usually a concert or a visiting international exhibition, and the itinerary is woven around that with high-end accommodation, meals and all the fine points travel entails.

A short break might be for the Melbourne Cup, Australian Wildflowers or the Australian Open Tennis. I’m in town for what is widely regarded as Sydney’s best night out and “the ultimate Sydney experience” – Handa Opera under the stars.

Opera House  Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park 

 

A Sparkling Evening Replete with Chandeliers & Fireworks

Every year, Sydney hosts an outdoor Handa Opera production, this year it’s Puccini’s La Boheme. On arrival we have a wonderful French inspired meal with matching wines as the sun sets over Sydney’s spectacular skyline, a magnificent backdrop as dusk falls. All just metres from the magical setting of Sydney Harbour’s Mrs Macquarie’s Point, against the iconic backdrop of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

As it begins to get dark we are taken to our A grade seats and watch as the drama of La Boheme unfolds. This Opera just opens your soul to emotions stirred by Puccini’s passionate music. As the six friends bare their hearts in a Parisian winter, we all fall in love, flare with ache and loss, right alongside them. I turn to look at some of my travelling companions and see quite a number in tears.

Once the clapping had died down, we made our way out of the arena to our waiting coach and passed queues of people waiting for taxis or trekking back to far-flung cars.

Every year there is a different opera but the standard is high and it will be without question, as stunning and as much fun as this production. You can expect rousing, high-energy operatic performances, fireworks, a live orchestra and spectacularly dramatic lighting.

Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour  Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour  Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

 

Interesting touring throughout

The great thing about these small group luxury tours is the variety of day trips that occur. For our tour the group travelled north of Sydney to Hawkesbury River to cruise around its fascinating waterways. On another day we went south along the Grand Pacific Drive and weaved our way through one of the one of the oldest national parks in the world and then over the Sea Cliff Bridge, an engineering marvel. After a local lunch, we visited the charming coastal towns of Coledale, Austinmer and Thirroul, places I hadn’t visited since I was a child.  On other tours it may be a couple of nights stay in the Blue Mountains or a visit to a historic home – the programmes are so interesting and so varied.

Blue Mountains  Hydro Majestic  Scenic World

 

All inclusive

The wonderful thing about travelling with Bill Peach Journeys is that there is nothing to worry about once the journey begins. Absolutely everything is taken care of. On this journey we had gourmet meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We dined in Sydney’s top restaurant Quay – something I had wanted to do for some time. We also had a beautiful seafood lunch on the cliffs at Scarborough and on the cruise of the Hawkesbury a buffet lunch fit for a king.

Our accommodation was at the Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park. All of our rooms faced the park and it was just so lovely to wander around the shops and parklands so close to the hotel.

At the end of the tour I exchanged contacts with several of my fellow travellers. They were an interesting well educated crew; seasoned, motivated travellers who enjoy the finer things in life. I was jealous, hearing their plans to join another Short Break Sojourn but grateful that I had such a wonderful opportunity to see first hand why Bill Peach Journeys is the leader in small group luxury travel.

To find out more about Bill Peach Journeys Sojourn Collection CLICK HERE

Opera House  Handa's Opera on Sydney Harbour  Handa's Opera on Sydney Harbour