We asked Premier Aussie Specialist, Rob Hill to share his favorite experiences in selling Australia.
Question 1: What is your favorite destination in Australia and why?
Tough question, with too many good answers. I’d have to say Tasmania. Being able to drive between Cradle Mountain and Freycinet Peninsula, two phenomenally beautiful and yet complete disparate places, in less than a day amazes me. It may look small on a map, but there’s so much to see and do.
Question 2: What is the most unique Australia adventure you’ve booked for clients?
A tie between cage diving with great whites at Port Lincoln and swimming with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef. My clients knew they weren’t in Kansas anymore.
Question 3: How does the Premier Aussie Specialist Program support you and your business?
The Premier Program is invaluable. Beyond providing instant credibility with new clients who want assurance that I know the country, the Premier Program offers excellent web-based and on-site training and an opportunity to connect with local suppliers and other industry members who have a similar commitment to selling Australia. It’s both a resource and a community.
Question 4: What Tourism Australia marketing materials help you promote destination Australia?
The website – www.australia.com – is a fantastic tool for getting descriptive information on destinations and experiences in front of clients quickly. And, as archaic as it makes me sound, I still use Tourism Australia printed brochures a lot. They are so well done, providing a brief but impressive pictorial overview of Australia as a destination. It’s a great takeaway for clients and prospects to get them excited about their trip.
Question 5: Tell us about a close encounter you’ve had with an indigenous Australian animal?
The best was while hiking in Flinders Chase National Park on Kangaroo Island. I rounded a corner on a trail and there at shoulder height sitting on a tree branch was an adult koala. During the day you expect koalas to be high up in the tree canopy and sleeping, but this one was munching on some leaves for lunch just above eye level. He/she was completely unfazed by my presence and provided me with some great photo ops.
Question 6: What is your favorite Aussie slang term?
A tossup between “good on ya” (I’m being complimented) and “too easy” (I’m getting what I want).
Question 7: What is your favorite Australian capital city and why?
Another tough one…they’re all great, unique cities, but I love Perth. There’s water everywhere, it seems like everyone has a boat, and the beaches are fantastic. Rottnest Island is a gem, where you can bike and snorkel all day after a short ferry ride from the city. The people are among the nicest anywhere, too.
Question 8: What itinerary would you suggest to your clients if they wanted a Restaurant Australia experience?
Travel in March for the Melbourne Food Festival and sample some of the country’s best restaurants – Vue de Monde, MoVida, Attica and Cutler & Co. are all great choices. Then drive west to the Great Ocean Road and the Grampians, with detours to dine at Gladioli in Inverleigh and The Royal Mail in Dunkeld, which are both amazing regional restaurants. For something more casual on that route, you can’t go wrong in Lorne with fresh fish and chips or one of the best burgers in the world at The Bottle of Milk.
Question 9: Name a favorite up and coming Australian supplier that you love including in your client’s booking and why?
Though they may have arrived from “up and coming”, I’m a big fan of Bonza Bike Tours in Sydney. It’s such a unique way to see the city. Their guides are fantastic and it’s great for anyone. I’ve had grandparents biking with their grandkids on Bonza’s tours.
Question 10: Why do you think ‘There’s Nothing Like Australia?’
Because after years of travel I haven’t found another place that combines awe inspiring natural beauty, amazing wildlife, sophisticated cities, varied landscapes and excellent food and wine the way it comes together in Australia, all the while being hosted by the most welcoming people on the planet. There really is nothing like it.