Updated: 12/15/20 | December 15th, 2020
Few countries capture the imagination quite like Australia. With world-class beaches, unusual wildlife, stunning natural landscapes, a unique history, and a fun and vibrant culture, Australia has something to offer every traveler who makes the journey to the Land Down Under.
While the country is easy to navigate as a solo traveler, there are also plenty of amazing tour options for those who prefer traveling in groups or who might not have the time to plan their own getaway.
I’ve been visiting Australia since 2006 and have used many tour companies over the years (in addition to getting around on my own). So in this post, I share my list of the best travel companies in Australia to help you make the most out of your next trip.
From simple walking tours to in-depth, multi-day excursions, there’s something on the list for every interest — and every budget!
1. Best Bike Tour Company: Bonza Bike Tours
Bonza is a bike tour company in Sydney that offers a number of options, depending on what you’re interested in. The Highlights tour lasts 2.5 hours and will show you all the major points of interest in Sydney. It’s suitable for families and kids as well, costing 99 AUD ($72 USD) for adults and 79 AUD ($58 USD) for children.
For a more in-depth experience, the Classic tour lasts four hours and will give you a much more thorough introduction to this world-class city. They also offer bike rentals so you can just explore the city on your own in case you don’t have the time for a full-tour.
2. Best Walking Tour Company: I’m Free
I always like to start a trip with a free walking tour, as they are a helpful way to get oriented and ask a local all my questions. Both Sydney and Melbourne have insightful (and free!) walking tours offered by I’m Free. Their tours last 2.5-3 hours and are a great way to learn about history and culture from a local. There are a few tour options in each city, so you have some flexibility with timing as well as which areas you focus on.
If you haven’t done much research before your arrival, this is a good company to start with. Be sure to tip your guide at the end!
3. Runner Up Walking Tour Company: iCity Tours
If you find yourself all the way out in Perth, iCity Tours has half a dozen awesome free walking tours. They are organized by Visit Perth and run by volunteers, so it’s a fun way to interact with the locals and really get a sense of what life is like in Australia’s underrated coastal city.
There are six different free tours on offer, each lasting around 90 minutes. The Orientation tour offers a quick introduction to the city and its past. If you have more time, be sure to check out the Convicts and Colonials tour as well. It will give you a sense of what life was like as a convict in Western Australia.
4. Best Party Tour Company: The Magic Bus
This backpacker bus is the perfect choice for travelers looking to party. Each month, the trip departs with 25 backpackers aged 18-35 for 3-4 weeks of exploring the country’s national parks, camping, bonfires, and non-stop parties and shenanigans.
Trips go from Perth north to Broome or east to Melbourne so you have to time your trip accordingly to line up with the set departure. The itineraries are always flexible, as they let riders vote on where to go and what to do, so every trip is unique. They try to keep a balance of 50% men and 50% women, as well as a balance of different nationalities, so there is always a diverse group.
Trips cost $250 AUD ($183 USD) per 1,000km so the price will depend on which route you take and how long your specific journey is.
5. Our Top Tour Pick: Intrepid Travel
Intrepid is my go-to travel company when it comes to multi-day excursions. In Australia, they offer over 60 different itineraries to choose from, ranging from a quick two-day tour to in-depth 18-day adventures around the country.
Unlike some of the companies above, this is not a party tour. They are small groups led by expert local guides with a focus on culture, history, and food, as well as ethical travel and leaving a small environmental impact. You’re guaranteed to return home with a much deeper and more nuanced appreciation of your destination.
And you’ll get a much broader range of ages and travel styles with Intrepid tours too (it’s not just for backpackers). With such a wide range of travelers choosing Intrepid tours, you always end up with an awesome group of people to travel with.
I’ve been on a handful of their tours over the years and have never been disappointed. I always learn a ton and meet amazing people. They make sure you have enough things to do without planning out every minute of the day, so it’s a good balance of downtime and tours. I can’t recommend them enough.
Best of all, as a Nomadic Matt reader, you’ll get discounts on their tours every month!
Australia is a massive country, offering beautiful landscapes, fun outdoor activities, a wild nightlife, and incredible history.
Whether you’re looking for a quick walking tour or a monthlong cross-country adventure — or something in-between — there are plenty of amazing tour companies in Australia to help you make the most out of your time Down Under, no matter your budget.
Book Your Trip to Australia: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner or Momondo to find a cheap flight. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned. Start with Skyscanner first though because they have the biggest reach!
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.
If you’re looking for places to stay on your trip, here are my favorite hostels in Australia!
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- World Nomads (for everyone below 70)
- Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
- Medjet (for additional repatriation coverage)
Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.
Want More Information on Australia?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on Australia for even more planning tips!