• McLachlan Experiences FAQ

FAQ

Who is McLachlan Experiences?
What destinations do you offer touring services in?
What types of experiences can I expect from each category of touring?
How impartial is the advice given by your specialists?
Am I on my own when I am overseas?
How familiar are your Regional Specialists with the areas they specialise in?
Can I combine more than 1 tour?
What style of touring do you offer?
What style of accommodation can I expect?
What are Star Inclusions?
What is an "Exclusive Extras" tour?
How do I travel around a country?
What is the booking process?
Can McLachlan Experiences book my airfares and other travel arrangements?
Why don't the tour prices include airfares?
Is my money safe with McLachlan Experiences?
I have seen your itineraries and want to customize my own itinerary. Is this possible?
What is a bolt on tour?
How strenuous are your Active Tours?



Who is McLachlan Experiences?

McLachlan Experience is part of McLachlan Travel Group Pty Ltd (www.mtgroup.com.au), a family company that has operated in the Australian travel industry since 1979. The company has broad experience in tour management, media and retail travel operations.

McLachlan Experiences began in 2007, when military historian and author Mat McLachlan combined his passion for Australian war history with his family company's travel credentials and launched Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours (www.battlefields.com.au). In five years the company has grown to become the leading specialist battlefield tour operator in Australia, offering tours to Europe, Asia and the Pacific Islands. Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours pioneered several initiatives designed to bring battlefield history to life, including Life at the Front, an educational experience for school groups that enables students to spend a day as an Australian WWI soldier, complete with uniform, rifle and even a bully beef meal!

The company's dedication to providing quality travel products and unique experiences led to the launch of McLachlan Experiences, the company's brand for non-battlefield tour products. McLachlan Experiences is a specialist tour operator that caters for groups of all sizes, and themed touring of all interests.

McLachlan Experiences sets itself apart by the unique travel experiences and flexibility it offers to travellers. McLachlan Experiences passengers don't just visit a destination – they are immersed and live it. Food and wine tours, cultural exploration, amazing festivals and other truly unique and inspiring experiences are all part of a McLachlan tour.


What destinations do you offer touring services in?

McLachlan Experiences has recently expanded its tour offering by partnering with expert local suppliers in Africa, Asia, Middle East and South America and, combined with its established expertise in Europe, now offers a truly global product.

Our parent company, McLachlan Tours has an FIT department which covers not only the destinations covered in our core touring product range, but also far beyond as well. From rural home stays in a Mongolian Ger, temple stays in Japan, river cruising down the Mekong to Polar trekking in the Arctic Circle through to luxury lodge and wellbeing experiences. We like to think outside the box. McLachlan Tours can be contacted at reservations@mclachlantours.com.au
 

What types of experiences can I expect from each category of touring?

Culture & Festivals
Amazing lands of diverse sights, incredible landscapes, intriguing but captive traditions and beliefs, character filled people, bold passion, core values, striking dress and unique experiences only on offer in that particular region make up the culture of a destination. Local and traditional festivals engage all your senses, with their colours, scents, tastes and passion – the sheer rawness and spontaneity epitomise the whole experience while your curiosity to understand, experience and be involved draws you in. Our culture and festival based itineraries focus on, and embrace these core elements allowing you to truly live and breathe your destination. Enjoy meals with local villagers after spending the morning learning their way of life, throw colourful paint at locals whilst celebrating India’s Holi Festival, stay in remote hilltop temples and participate in alms with monks, jump with the Masais and hunt with Zulu tribes, follow the Great Migration in mobile camps, release thousands of paper lanterns into the night sky. Watch Mongolian wrestling and elephant round ups, cuddle baby pandas and learn about conservation, listen to stories from witch doctors and eat food that’s been cooked beneath the earths surface for days. Participate in traditional tea ceremony’s, witness shy geishas dancing delicately, tango in the streets of Buenos Aires, take a hot air balloon over the scattered temples of Burma. The experiences are endless and McLachlan Experiences brings them to life for you.
 
Health, Harmony & Wellbeing
Do you like to reward yourself and like to treat yourself to a bit of TLC and pampering when you travel? McLachlan Experiences Health, Harmony and Wellbeing itineraries are about just that. Soak in natural hot springs in the hills of the Andes, wrap yourself in mud from the therapeutic Dead Sea or collect your thoughts in a meditation retreat a top a mountain in the Himalayas. Enjoy Tai Chi classes in front of the Temple of Heaven, revitalise with a yoga retreat on the coast of Vietnam or soak in your giant plunge bath watching elephants wander past your room along the riverbed in breathtaking Africa. Participate in soul healing ceremonies, traditional earth ceremony rituals and melt at the touch of your expert masseuse. Spend time studying the art of Chinese Medicine, discover the therapeutic benefits of traditional herbs and investigate the popular Chinese notion ‘you are what you eat.’ Indulge in nature’s beauty and experience wellness villages.
These elements combined with your choice of destination has allowed the creation of these perfected itineraries for those looking to interweave cultural immersion with unique experiences to keep the body, mind and soul in perfect harmony.
 
Active
You don’t have to be an adrenaline junkie to experience these itineraries. A love for the great outdoors and a reasonable level of fitness is enough to ensure enjoyment of most of these multi-activity tours. Take to the back roads of Laos on bicycle, kayak across the turquoise waters of volcanic craters, hike the Inca trail or head off the tourist tracks and overnight in local homestays in remote villages and temple stays with monks. Experience the thrill of a gorilla trek, explore some of the greatest off the beaten track destinations sometimes only accessible by foot allowing you to mingle with those locals who don’t regularly see western travellers. These itineraries are perfect for those keen to keep active in their travels while making the most of the culture and traditions around them whilst having a minimal impact on the environment.
From a simple city tour on foot through quaint streets not accessible by vehicle or a leisurely bike ride along the Li River for those wanting low impact active elements in their holiday, to those looking to be challenged by some of the world’s toughest treks and terrain, you are sure to find an Active tour to fit your fitness level requirements.
 
Family tours
Can you imagine you and your family flying kites in Tiananmen Square, cuddling a baby panda or making noodles in China? Spotting tigers in India? Wandering through the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu and exploring inside an Egyptian pyramid? It is important to get families away together, sharing and discovering new experiences, making new friends and learning something new along the way allowing you to encounter genuine life experiences as you travel. From playing cricket with local children in Sri Lanka to patting cheetahs in the vast plains of Namibia, the experiences on offer are endless.
Focused on family entertainment and enjoyment, our itineraries offer opportunities to gain so much more than stay put holiday packages. Getting off the beaten track will stimulate the whole family and provide a fun, authentic and educational experience for all. We know that travelling with children has to be clean, easy, safe and fun with the right mix of culture, comfort, variation and of course relaxation. Having children shouldn’t mean the end of your adventures. It can be as rewarding travelling with children as without as you watch your children see and experience things for the first time. Our family experiences offer something all kids will love – even big kids!
 
Food & Wine
Let your tastebuds lead you along with your personal chef as you explore local markets learning about the freshest produce and ingredients. Learn why they are chosen, what elements they bring to a dish and what benefits they have on the body before whipping up a meal in a village home and sharing your culinary conquests with a local family. You will be swept up in wafting aromas and your mouth watering from bursting flavours, your mind racing with how you are going to show off your newly acquired skills to your friends and family. Be led by an expert guide as you taste some of the world’s best street food - some of it culturally challenging! Dine in some of the finest restaurants on earth, sip you way through world class wineries as well as discovering many upcoming wine producing areas which you never knew existed as you build your knowledge from expert sommeliers. Perfect your hand at creating local delicacies as you learn the tradition and culture behind the inspiring food of each region you visit. Spend a day in the life of a local farmer, pick tea leaves in the hill tops, learn and understand the philosophy of “you are what you eat” and share a meal with the chairman of gastronomy clubs and editors of culinary art magazines.
Combing these extraordinary food and wine experiences with the culture of each destination, McLachlan Experiences creates the perfect balance, allowing you to get the most out of your holiday while still exploring the main draw cards and tradition of your destination with a focus on your passion that is food and wine.
 
Luxury
As you return from the humidity of the day, hot sweaty and thirsty, imagine being met with a cold towel and cool juice made from exotic fruits as you relax in your air-conditioned suite, take a nap on your oversized bed and engorge in multicourse meals. This is luxury at its best. It is pure bliss. Luxury accommodation, friendly staff, spectacular designs, warm hospitality, unique locations and surreal experiences are ensuring that our Luxury tours are making a great name for themselves. McLachlan Experiences recognises that some people are looking for a little more of the creature comforts whilst on holiday, without sacrificing their need to explore. Many of the properties used in McLachlan Experiences Luxury itineraries have been individually designed to complement their environment and feature traditional furnishings, cultural influences and unique dining experiences drawing menus and famous chefs from all over the world. From private game lodges and luxury beach bungalows, to glistening palaces and traditional riads of the Middle East, from the exclusivity of a private cooking lesson in the home of a world class chef to a private table under the stars in the rolling dunes of the world’s largest desert. Explore some of the greatest wonders on earth, where experiences await you and where for the more discerning traveller, some of the world’s greatest spectacles can now be experienced in greater comfort.

How impartial is the advice given by your specialists?

Our Specialists are extremely well travelled and use their hands on knowledge when matching you to your perfect tour or building your dream itinerary with the assistance of our local team on the ground in the country you are heading to. We offer accurate and up to date advice and ensure we throw in a few unique suggestions to ensure you have a once in lifetime experience with us.

Am I on my own when I am overseas?

As McLachlan Experiences tours are based on a request basis, there is a chance that you will have an exclusive tour to yourself. Our most popular tours, do tend to have more people travelling on the same dates, so there is still the opportunity to meet new friends as you travel. If you prefer the exclusivity and attention of your own private guide, please ensure you notify us at the time of booking.

How familiar are your Regional Specialists with the areas they specialise in?

McLachlan Experiences has amazing relationships with local ground crew in regional territories. McLachlan Experiences believes in using guides who are born and bred in the destination they are guiding in. We believe they have the best local knowledge of life and society for their particular culture and they can get you off the beaten tourist track. They focus on knowing their areas inside out and we feel it is better to know a lot about a little area than to know a little about a lot.

Can I combine more than 1 tour?

Yes – McLachlan Experiences find that many of our travellers do tend to combine 2-3 of our itineraries to build that perfect holiday. With short bolt on tours being attached longer itineraries or combining your chosen tour with a festival that is on in the area is the perfect way to ensure you get the most out of your chosen destination!

What style of touring do you offer?

McLachlan Experiences offers a small group style of touring categorised by various genres to specifically cater for like-minded travellers. McLachlan Experiences prides itself on our slower paced and thorough itineraries ensuring you have enough time to “experience” your destination rather than be rushed through. McLachlan Experiences is about experience, not a whirlwind blur of a holiday where you need to rely on your photos to tell you where you have been.

What style of accommodation can I expect?

McLachlan Experiences offers a variety of accommodation options to cater for everyone's budget. Each tour will show you the categories on offer for that particular itinerary from Standard through to Luxury with the odd homestay for those more culturally inquisitive!

What are Star Inclusions?

'Star Inclusions' are the extra things we provide each day that make your tour really special. You don't pay extra for Star Inclusions - they are included in the tour cost, and many of them are exclusive to McLachlan Experiences.

What is an "Exclusive Extras" tour?

"Exclusive Extras" tours are our tours which offer wonderful experiences that are truly unique and not readily found elsewhere. We have included these activities to enhance your journey and ensure you get the absolute wow factor you are looking for when travelling.

How do I travel around a country?

The choice of transportation is generally a wonderful combination of private vehicles, internal flights, local trains, boats, and the odd day of soft adventure with trekking and cycling where suitable. McLachlan Experiences offers several styles of travelling so you can choose whether you would like to travel in style or like the locals.

What is the booking process?

Please contact our specialists via the website link on your chosen tours page and complete the enquiry form to the best of your ability. Once in the hands of our experts, you will be contacted within 24hrs and the process begins quickly and smoothly. Once we have confirmed your tour is available, a deposit is required to secure your reservation with full payment due 60 days prior to your travel date. Alternatively, please call our reservations team on 1300 880 340.

Can McLachlan Experiences book my airfares and other travel arrangements?

Absolutely! McLachlan Experiences is part of a fully licensed travel organisation that has won numerous industry awards and is staffed by many of Australia's most credible professional travel consultants. Our years of experience and depth of knowledge ensure your travel arrangements are in good hands. We are happy to arrange your airfares, accommodation, and any other travel arrangements you may need before or after your tour. We'll concentrate on the arrangements so you can concentrate on enjoying your holiday.

Why don't the tour prices include airfares?

Two good reasons: Firstly, McLachlan Experiences attracts customers from all over Australia, so for the sake of your flexibility we don't insist on departure from any particular Australian airport. Secondly, many of our customers join one of our tours as part of a longer holiday. By listing the tour price without airfares, you have the flexibility to simply add a tour (or two!) to your itinerary. If you need us to arrange your airfare, no problem! We have access to some of the most competitive discounted airfares in Australia and many of our passengers entrust their entire travel arrangements to McLachlan Experiences.

Is my money safe with McLachlan Experiences?

100%. McLachlan Experiences is part of a long established travel company that is fully licensed and any funds you pay us are protected by the Travel Compensation Fund. The company is a full member of the Australia Federation of Travel Agents, the Travel Compensation Fund and the Council of Australian Tour Operators.

I have seen your itineraries and want to customize my own itinerary. Is this possible?

Our McLachlan Tailor Made department can customize and create that dream itinerary for the discerning traveller looking for something a little more unique, undiscovered and for those wanting a journey created with passion focusing on specifically what the traveller needs and wants to experience. Catering for all clientele from independent travellers, sporting groups, school groups, friends and family, special needs, special interest through to corporate incentive groups, with no age restrictions, no locked in dates – only guaranteed departures and no minimum numbers, a customised journey could be perfect for you!

McLachlan Tailor Made can be contacted on reservations@mclachlantours.com.au or click here to read further information about our Tailor Made tours.

What is a 'bolt on' tour?

A Bolt On tour is a short tour that is the perfect add on to either the beginning or end of your journey highlighting several key elements of a destination. For example, you may not be interested in doing a 10 day Food and Wine tour of a particular country, but may be interested in just experiencing a taste of this type of tour. The Laos Culinary Bolt On could be the perfect option for you at the end of a longer tour.
 

How strenuous are your Active Tours?

McLachlan Experiences Active tours are graded on a scale of four categories. Each tour shows the grading on the overview page of the tour.

EASY – Slow paced gentle exercise with a small amount of inclines and declines.
 
MODERATE – You require good health and have a reasonable level of fitness. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate.
 
CHALLENGING – A strong level of fitness is required and training prior to travel is recommended. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
 
TOUGH – Previous experience in strenuous travel and activities is a must. These tours require physical training prior to undertaking them. Covering tough terrain, altitude, steep and rough surfaces with long endurance activities.


 

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  • We want to return to see more of Nepal with our 18 and 15 years old sons!

  • The stop with our guide Ray’s mother was particularly memorable.

  • We will remember our guides for their knowledge, fun and kindness.

  • I just had the most amazing conversation with the organiser of this trip and she was over the moon with how everything went!
    I cannot thank you enough! You truly are incredible with arranging these trips so thank you thank you!

    K.J. Travel agent, Sydney