An accountant from London by trade, Adam Saunders found his passion for travelling and tourism whilst on his own adventures in Perth, Western Australia. Since then, he has built his own amazing customer centred tour company, Explore Tours Perth. We sat down with him recently to chat about his travels and all the things he loves about Perth.
1. How did you get started in the travel industry?
Adam: When I moved to Perth with my family back in 2012, I was working for a company called RAC WA (the Royal Automobile Company of WA). I was the financial controller of the tourism and travel, helping to buy assets along the west Australian coastline. I was exposed to the tourism and travel industry in quite a big way.
Tourism is [really important] to WA. Seeing this made me realize what a great opportunity it was going to be in 5-10 years time to be a travel company in WA. So that’s how I got the idea, what planted the seeds in my head. I’ve always wanted to start my own business, but never knew what I was really passionate about. It turned out tourism and travel, without me knowing it, is something I’m very passionate about.
One day I was on a wine tour and the experience I had was a bit average, and I thought ‘even as an accountant I could do better, add more charisma.’ So I started doing tours. I’d be working 9-5 at the RAC, come home and do the business admin, and on the weekend, running the tours myself. The focus has always been on consistent high quality tours. We only go to venues that I think are high quality, and we give people a choice. It’s almost as if we give them a personalized tour without it being a private tour.
2. Of all the tours offered by Explore Tours Perth, which is your favorite?
Adam: Our most popular tour is the Best of Perth Tour, which visits the Pinnacles and Swan Valley. That tour really gives people who are time poor, as the name suggests, the best of Perth. We take them to Caversham Wildlife Park, to pat koalas and feed kangaroos, then to Mandoon Estate, which is one of the newest and best wineries in the Swan Valley. They get to see the vineyards, have lunch in a beautiful setting, and taste the food and wine there.
They get to see the Pinnacles, which are weird limestone formations in the desert. On the way home we stop in Lancelin, where they get to try sand-boarding or just enjoy the views of the Indian Ocean.
That’s the one I would recommend to people, certainly the international tourists.
3. What makes Perth Special?
Adam: The proximity of the attractions to the city centre. You can do so many different things within half an hour of leaving the CBD. You can be at stunning beaches, amazing snorkeling spots, wildlife parks, great restaurants, or be on the river. It’s such a beautiful, diverse place.
It’s a really exciting time for Perth since the end of the mining boom. Anyone who’s been before needs to come back because it’s changing. The small bar scene has exploded, and now we have all these underground bars, whiskey bars, loads of them are popping up all over the place.
4. What should visitors to WA be sure to do?
Adam: Caversham Wildlife Park is high on the list. It’s WA’s premier wildlife attraction. They have all the different native wildlife, and it’s not like a zoo, you can walk around and touch the animals and be amongst them.
Rottnest Island. A trip to Perth isn’t complete unless you’ve been over to see the quokkas and got your quokka selfie!
Perth Hills. Even the locals are only just discovering the beauty of Perth Hills. Full of vines, orchards and stunning views, it’s the hidden gem of Perth.
5. When is the best time to visit Perth?
Adam: You’ll be unlucky not to get a clear blue-sky sunny day here all year round. It depends on where you come from. I think autumn, winter and spring are by far the best times. Summer can sometimes be too hot. If you’re not used to the heat, don’t come in summer!
6. Dream holiday?
Adam: Internationally, Argentina. Here in Australia, the Kimberley. The Kimberley is a meant to be unlike any other place in the world.
7. Alright, you’ve probably heard this cliché before, but you’re stuck on a deserted island…what three things do you bring?
Adam: My family…I’d better say that. TV so I can watch the rugby, and probably a good travel magazine.
We have a range of tours with Explore Tours Perth, check them out to experience all that Perth has to offer with Adam and friendly, knowledgeable team.
Keep your eyes on our site for the upcoming Cheese Making and Wine Maker Tour!
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