A group of people standing together in bushland. The woman in the front is holding a cane, others are wearing dark glasses.

Tailored tours for blind, low vision and Deaf travellers

by Editorial Team

A new kind of tourism has been quietly achieving exceptional experiences for travellers with specific needs. For the past two years, tour operator Cocky Guides has been delivering sensory group adventures for blind & low vision travellers. More than 350 Australians have experienced Cocky Guides unique interpretation of destinations without sight.

“Our community groups enjoyed trialling day tours for Cocky Guides. They provide outstanding personalised services that embrace activities that suit our client needs and wants. It fills a gap in the tourism market for blind and low vision travellers” says Jordan Ashby, of Client Services NSW for Vision Australia.

James (Buck) McFarlane, the leader of Cocky Guides, is applying a similar philosophy that’s been successful in delivering tours for blind and low vision travellers, to his new enterprise Sensory Tourism Australia. This new business provides fun, accessible & engaging experiences for Deaf Australians.

Two men (left: Jordan Ashby, right: James "Buck" McFarlane) standing in front of shelves of  wine. They're wearing Vision Australia/Cocky Guides polo shirts.
James “Buck” McFarlane (left, with Jordan Ashby, right) are bringing sensory experiences to travellers with specific needs. Credit: Sensory Tourism Australia.

Destinations delivered perfectly different

James explains “We understood that our blind and low vision travellers could access a destination independently with one on one support, but this was an extra expense over and above the cost of a holiday. A traveller could also join a group tour; however, most tours focus on sightseeing and this can negatively impact the traveller’s experience at a destination. To ensure traveller satisfaction, we needed to deliver destinations differently. So, we eliminated sightseeing and highlighted destination experiences by engaging our traveller’s other senses.”

Sensory Tourism Australia provides Day Tours, Weekend Escapes and Sensory Short Breaks that focus on a specific region. Travellers can choose a small group adventure with up to 10 guests & journey to destinations throughout Australia and New Zealand. Tailored trip design highlights sensory experiences that are unique to each destination. Tours are led by a professional trip leader & supported by an onboard Auslan Interpreter.

If you’d love a tactile experience in the world’s oldest rainforest in Tropical North Queensland, enjoy a traditional Maori hāngī in Rotorua or sleep in Australia’s most haunted house in Junee, you’ll be sure to find a destination delivered perfectly different! 

Limitless opportunity

Search scheduled adventures with an Auslan Interpreter and book now with no deposit at Sensory Tourism Australia.

Interested in a specific destination or departure date? There is limitless opportunity to create your very own unique small group adventure with family and friends by calling Sensory Tourism Australia on 1300 657 640.

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