Monday, August 31, 2015

World Tourism Day FREE guided tours of Sydney

Come celebrate United Nations’ World Tourism Day with a FREE guided tour of Sydney’s Bridge Street and surrounds.

Our professional tour guides will make Sydneysiders feel like a tourist in their own city on Sunday, 27 September.

When locals walk through the city, how much do they really know about the places they walk past?

Bridge Street is a site of many firsts in Australia’s history: First Government House, first bridge across the Tank Stream, first public place, first bank and more.

From 10.00 am to 3.00 pm, our free tours run approximately every 15 minutes from Museum of Sydney, finishing at Customs House in Circular Quay and they are wheelchair and pram accessible.

Each tour is 45 minutes. No booking required.

This year, additionally, we are running an audio-described and tactile tour for blind and vision-impaired people. This tour starts at 11.00 am and bookings are required. Email

Thursday, June 11, 2015

With 48 whales already sighted in NSW waters this year, the 2015 whale-watching season is set to be a busy one. And with thousands of whales beginning one of the world’s largest wildlife migrations along the coast of NSW, it’s an exciting time to see these beautiful creatures.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service estimates that 20,000 whales will make the journey north along the NSW coastline this year. As national parks make up almost 50 per cent of the NSW coastline including around Sydney, they provide the best vantage points to spot the ocean’s most majestic creatures.

Find out where to spot whales along the NSW coast.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Vivid Sydney is an annual outdoor lighting festival with immersive light installations and projections. Part of the lighting festival also includes the performances from local and international musicians and an ideas exchange forum featuring public talks and debates from leading creative thinkers.

Vivid Sydney is an 18-day festival of light, music and ideas. Vivid Sydney features many of the world's most important creative industry forums, a mesmerising free public exhibition of outdoor lighting sculptures and installations and a cutting-edge contemporary music program.
Vivid Sydney is where art, technology and commerce intersect.

Vivid Light transforms Sydney into a wonderland of 'light art' sculptures, innovative light installations and grand-scale projections for all to enjoy - for free. It is a magical celebration of light-design excellence and the world's largest outdoor 'art-gallery': a unique Vivid Sydney experience.
Vivid Light engages lighting artists, designers and manufacturers from around Australia and the world to illuminate, interpret and transform Sydney’s urban spaces for 18 nights through their creative vision.
Vivid Music presents a cutting-edge contemporary music program.
From local and international acts performing at the iconic Sydney Opera House, to other large venues and small bars, Vivid Sydney 2015 will host a lively and eclectic range of live performances and ground-breaking musical collaborations.
At the heart of Vivid Music is Vivid LIVE, a program of cutting-edge music which takes place at the Sydney Opera House, Australia’s most famous building.
Vivid Ideas is the Asia Pacific's annual celebration of innovation, creativity and community, building audiences and markets for the creative industries, and offering professional development opportunities across the sector. 

Over the Festival’s 18 days, Vivid Ideas brings together business and creative leaders for professional development, information updates on their industries, market opportunities and innovation: gathering all the conversations, conventions and big announcements in Sydney.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Dockside Group

IATG recommends the Dockside Group 

Take advantage of many special offers from the Dockside Group. Click on the link below to find special deals at many of the restaurants featured below. Deals will not be valid during VIVID festival 2014.

Offering the best delivering more. The ultimate Sydney function venue Dockside is ideally positioned within Cockle Bay Wharf.

Situated on the rooftop of the Cockle Bay Wharf complex and only moments walk to the CBD.
Sydney s most enviable location high above the bustling IMAX theatre complex with sweeping 180 degree water views of Darling Harbour

Boasting awe-inspiring views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the world-famous Opera House Waterfront offers guests the finest harbour front dining position in Sydney

Nestled in an original sandstone storehouse at Campbell's Cove in the historic Rocks precinct Wolfies offers unrivalled views of Sydney's iconic Opera House.

Boasting Sydney s most spectacular views of the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge Italian Village offers an extensive international menu.

We LOVE EATing PIZZA. We LOVE cooking PIZZA. Located below the Imax Theatre Complex in Darling Harbour.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Jack Mundey honoured by IATG

Jack Mundey is known as the Father of The Rocks. Forty years ago he led an extraordinary conservation campaign to save many of Sydney's beautiful historic precincts. The Green Bans as they were known, were a well known feature of the Builders Labourers Federation which he led, and we have Jack to thank for saving some of Sydney's most treasured attractions.

In honour of Jack Mundey the IATG committee organised a special event where Jack addressed guides and dignitaries alike right in the heart of the Historic Rocks precinct which he helped to save.

We want to thank Jack for his time and wisdom and we would also like to thank the many special representatives from government and tourist organisations, who came to support our wonderful day.

IATG guides provide the highest standard in professional guiding services and pride ourselves in learning from special people involved in the shaping of this great city.

Desiree Nahoum IATG Event Coordinator with Jack Mundey

The Hon. Helen Westwood AM MLC with Jack Mundey

Jack Mundey in front of the Wall Sculpture at The Rocks
 which pays tribute to his achievements.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Fine Tour Guide

DIY apps and Googling will never replace a fine tour leader, writes Kate Humble.

You can buy a guidebook to almost any place in the world, from Antarctica to Zambia, and find it full of ideas of places to go and people to organise it for you. The internet will enable you to book everything from your bus ticket to a tree house and help you find the best places to eat. Are we travelling in an age in which a tour guide is surplus to requirements?
Well, no amount of Google searching or guidebook trawling beats a person with local knowledge and know-how. But however knowledgeable that person, is he or she someone with whom you really want to spend all or part of your eagerly anticipated holiday? A good guide will undoubtedly make your trip a rich and rewarding experience; a bad one could make you cut up your passport and never leave home again. So what is it that makes a good guide?
It is a difficult question to answer, because every traveller has his or her own idea of a guide's role. Some people seem to require more nannying than guiding; others will be happy with a city tour on an open-top bus with someone who can tell a few jokes.

I certainly don't want nannying. Nor do I want to listen to the bored drone of someone leading his fourth group of the day.
For me, the perfect guide, whether with me for an hour or a fortnight, gives me an insight and some understanding of where I am that I wouldn't get from a guidebook or Wikipedia.
I was working recently in Ecuador. In a rare hour off I went with our guide, Paul, for a walk in the rainforest where we were filming. Tropical rainforests have among the greatest biodiversity of species of any habitat on the planet but they can seem curiously devoid of life, especially if you're unfamiliar with them.
Paul spotted and caught several species of frog, so tiny and camouflaged that I would have missed them. He identified birds and insects hidden in the canopy from their calls and was able to describe what they looked like and explain why they lived on particular trees and how they fitted into the amazingly complex jigsaw that is the rainforest.
I had endless queries about why the trees were so shallow-rooted, why the soil was considered poor when it was bursting with life, why there was a need for such diversity among plants and animals when, with year-round sun and rain, there seemed little need for a species to adapt to survive. All these he answered as enthusiastically as if he had never been asked before. He brought the forest to life and taught me more in that hour than a month of reading.
You might think a crucial attribute would be a guide's ability to speak your language. But probably the greatest guide I have ever had was a man who spoke not a single word of English.
Amin Beg is an Afghan from the Wakhan Corridor, a spectacular, mountainous finger of land in the far north-east of Afghanistan. In 2009 I went there with a group undertaking a two-week trek in an area rarely visited.
The walking was tough, much of it at about 3000 metres, and the ability and fitness of the group wildly mixed. Amin Beg, despite never having worked with tourists before and having no linguistic or cultural references in common with us, appeared from the outset to read everyone's mind. He knew exactly who was tired and would carry that person's pack. He would spot nerves at a river crossing and help, or even carry, the nervous one across. He would bounce ahead in his plastic shoes and jaunty turban, removing rocks from the path so no one would trip. When he and I were first to reach the highest point of our trek, we celebrated with a snowball fight at 4800 metres. Rarely have I met anyone with such a capacity for kindness and consideration, and such an infectious grin.
But perhaps what makes a good guide is also what makes a good friend: someone whose company you enjoy, who can surprise and delight you, whose advice and comfort you can seek but who also knows when to leave you in peace.

Kate Humble was one of the judges in the World Guide Awards 2011.
- Telegraph, London

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Australian Tourism outperforms World

Click here to enlarge media release for easier reading