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Martin Randall Australasia

Martin Randall Australasia is the point of contact for all Australian and New Zealand clients and enquirers of Martin Randall Travel. 

Please note:

1) Our Australian office provides a full and personalised MRT service, from your first enquiry to your post-tour feedback.

2) You can meet any tour at the destination, or you can join group travel from the UK. There is a reduction in the tour price if you do not take the air or rail travel from the UK.

3) Payment for most tours is in Sterling. Details of how to pay are found here or contact us for assistance. These tours are payable in Australian dollars.

4) We print and despatch brochures from Brisbane to ensure our Australasian subscribers receive information at the same time as those in the UK.

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About us

Martin Randall Australasia has had the pivotal role of being MRT’s exclusive Australasian representative since its inauguration in 2000. We are an independently-owned Australian company, though fully integrated with MRT. 

Over the years, we have seen our role diversify, but then, as now, our cornerstone is personalised service. We enjoy building long-standing relationships with our clients, which enables us to respond to, or even pre-empt, individuals’ preferences. We have thus developed an evolving awareness of how Australasian clients’ requirements differ from those of UK clients.

We have always championed changes born from this understanding and will continue to do so. We encourage you to tell us what developments you would like to see so we can enhance the experience for Australasian clients.

To ensure your full financial protection, MRT (UK) processes all bookings. Everything up to this step is handled by our office and we will guide you through the booking options which are straightforward. A list of FAQs can be found here.

Kelly WardKelly Ward, founder and Director of MRA

Kelly was born in Auckland but grew up in rural Buckinghamshire. She joined MRT in London in 1997, newly graduated from Oxford University with first-class Honours in Classics, a Masters in Classical Archaeology and fluency in Italian from two years living in Perugia.

Moving to Brisbane with her Australian husband in 1999 gave her the impetus to convince Martin Randall that he needed boots on the ground to properly look after his clients here. Australasian clients have now become a thriving and very welcome inclusion in almost all MRT tours.

Her three little boys have taken her on a much steeper learning curve than university ever did, and more than compensate for the fact that tour managing is currently impossible!

Her most cherished MRT tour memories include a breathtaking private viewing of the Sistine Chapel, an intimate performance of Corelli concerti in the sumptuous 18th-century Palazzo Doria Pamphilj and, most emotive of all, visiting Leptis Magna where a few moments of solitude on site let the centuries roll back to the time when Septimius Severus completed the resplendent embellishment of his hometown.

While her fascination for Classical art, archaeology and history remains, many rewarding years with MRT have expanded her enthusiasm (and occasionally her knowledge) for the glories of the art world post AD 476.

Stephanie Bourgeois, Client Manager for MRA

Steph was born in Sydney and grew up in Tweed Heads. She also has personal connections to New Zealand, having a Kiwi mother.

She completed a BA in Interior Design at the Queensland University of Technology, followed by Honours in Art History at the University of Queensland. Steph’s special study interests were Modern art and architecture and Contemporary Australian Indigenous art, which was the theme of her thesis.

She joined MRA in 2010 as our Client Manager and has since then accompanied several MRT tours and a Martin Randall Festival in Seville.

In late 2016, Steph was able to bookend her honeymoon, travelling the Basque country & Portugal with her husband, with an assistant gig on two MRT tours: St Petersburg and Modern Art on the Côte d’Azur. She was astounded (and pretty exhausted!) by the vast riches of The Hermitage Collection and impressed with the comprehensive overview of The Russian Museum, from early icon paintings to the daring & dynamic energy of the Russian Avant-Garde. On the Côte d’Azur, Steph was immersed in the gorgeous landscapes the modernist artists were drawn to there. In particular, she remembers one serene morning in The Maeght Foundation sculpture garden, where dappled light dancing through the trees threw playful shadows among the installations. 

Steph relocated from Brisbane in 2016 and now lives with her husband and young son in the Byron Shire, where she is able to work remotely and enjoy the relaxed lifestyle and natural beauty the region has to offer. Her weekends usually involve family walks to the beach, dog in tow, swimming, yoga and plenty of time in the kitchen.   


Kelly Ward

Francine McFadden, Client Support & Process Coordinator for MRA

Francine was born and raised in Brisbane but feels most at home when living and travelling abroad. 

She has travelled to 31 countries, and some of her favourite destinations include Mexico, Spain, Italy, France and Vietnam. Her most memorable experiences include travelling to Israel, Palestine and Egypt, trekking to see the Gorillas in Uganda, and volunteering with Maasai women before going on safari in Tanzania. She also loves the USA, having lived there for 7 years. 

Inspired by her earlier travels, and her need to know and understand more about the people and places she had encountered, Francine completed a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations at the University of Queensland, followed by a Masters in Business Administration. 

Now based in Brisbane again, Francine joined Martin Randall Australasia in late 2017. 

For now, Francine’s own travels are on hold while she focuses on the only thing she loves more than travelling: her twin boys. But her wanderlust continues, and she longs for the day she can venture off into the world again to share her love of travel with her boys. 


Frequently asked questions

How do I make a booking?
How do I make a payment?
Why don't you take payment in AUD/NZD?

Do you book flights from Australia?
Do I have to join my tour in London?
If I am not travelling from London with the group, can I get a transfer from the destination airport/train station to the hotel?
Can I upgrade airline seats or hotel rooms?
Can I change the dates of the group flights?
Can I book a one-way flight?
Can I stay extra nights at the tour hotel?
Can MRT book hotels other than the tour hotel?
Can you recommend London airport hotels?
What documentation should I expect?
I am leaving home several weeks before the tour. Why can’t I get my final tour documents before I leave?
Should I communicate with the Brisbane or London office?
Can I book through a travel agent?
Is there a risk the tour will be cancelled?
Do Australian and New Zealand clients receive details later than UK clients, especially for popular tours?
Can you tell me what visas I will need?
Can you advise on luggage restrictions and dress requirements?
Other helpful websites.

How do I make a booking?

You can either book online or you can contact us to check availability and make an optional booking which can be held for seven days.

To confirm your booking, you can book online or send your booking form and deposit by post, e-mail or fax to our Brisbane office. For protection against fraud, we advise you to provide credit card details by phone or use our online secure payment system.

We are not a travel agent. For licensing reasons, and to ensure clients are protected by bonding, bookings are made directly with MRT (UK). We forward all forms and payments to them.

How do I make a payment?

Payment for almost all Martin Randall Travel tours is made in Sterling (except for tours for QAGOMA). The conversion from Australian or New Zealand dollars will depend on the rate on the day payment is made, and on the charges issued by your bank.

Suggested methods of payment:

1. Electronic funds transfer: International bank transfers usually cost c. AUD$30 and can be arranged through your internet banking or local branch. We recommend bank transfers (particularly for balance payments) as they usually have lower associated bank fees compared to payments by credit card, which often charge a c. 3% international transaction fee. See booking form for account details and please allow for all charges.

There are also a number of international money transfer services you may choose to use, such as and others. These sometimes offer better rates and lower fees than banks. 

2. Credit card. You can pay by credit or debit card online or by calling Martin Randall Australasia. Credit card companies usually charge an international transaction fee (around 3% of the total), but MRT do not charge card processing fees.

You can also use an international travel card with pre-loaded sterling.

3. Sterling cheque or bank draft. Sterling cheque or bank draft: Please post these directly to Martin Randall Travel, Voysey House, Barley Mow Passage, London W4 4GF, United Kingdom. Please write the tour code on the back.

With all payment options, please conduct your own research to see which option meets your individual needs.

Why don’t you take payment in AUD/NZD?

Paying in GBP rather than local currency eventuates in the most cost-effective prices on our tours. It avoids high administrative and regulatory costs associated with taking payment in AUD/NZD, and having to add any buffer on prices that would result in higher costs to our customers. Thorough, complex research into a wide variety of possible payment structures has returned us to this position. Though we understand that there may be potential inconveniences in this method of payment, our team in Brisbane are on hand to assist you. Our extensive analysis has shown that this method is the best value for money we can offer you.

Do you book flights from Australia?

No. You will need to arrange these yourself or through a travel agent.

Do I have to join my tour in London?

No. You can meet the group at the tour destination. If you do, there is a corresponding reduction in the tour price. 

If I am not travelling from London with the group, can I get a transfer from the destination airport/train station to the hotel?

You can join the group transfers at the start and end of the tour at no additional cost. The group coach will not be able to divert from its set route to pick you up/drop you off anywhere other than the group arrival/departure airport (or train station where rail travel is included). 

Can I upgrade airline seats or hotel rooms?

Yes (subject to availability). Please ask us for a quote.

Can I change the dates of the group flights?

MRT can usually arrange for you either to fly out on a different date or return on a different date, but not both. Generally, it is not possible to change the arrival or destination airports of the group flights.

Can I book a one-way flight?

MRT can arrange for one-way flights but these are usually the same price as a return (except for some long-haul destinations). Please tell us if you do not wish to use your outbound flight, as MRT need to advise the airline or they will cancel the return sector.

Can I stay extra nights at the tour hotel?

Yes. Please ask us for a quote, though you can sometimes obtain cheaper deals by other means.

Can MRT book hotels other than the tour hotel?

No. But we can give you details of the hotels that we usually stay in. We also can give you a list of recommended hotels in London.

Can you recommend London airport hotels?

We recommend a UK booking agent,, tel: +44 1303 815300. Please quote MRT’s reference number: HX174.

What documentation should I expect?

(i) You will be sent a booking confirmation and receipt for your deposit by post from the UK (by email, if you booked online). Essential Tour Information, containing contact details of the hotels, flight times, weather, recommended clothing etc, will be sent with this confirmation or shortly after.

(ii) Ten weeks before a tour, you will be sent an invoice for the balance of payment, Joining Instructions and luggage labels. You will also be asked for your travel insurance details and your instructions for final documents and joining the group. You can return these instructions to Martin Randall Australasia or enter them online. You will receive a receipt once your full payment is processed.

(iii) Two to three weeks before departure, you are sent the final itinerary and tour documents. These can be emailed and/or posted to your home address or an alternative address overseas. Otherwise, a hard copy will be given to you when you join the tour.

I am leaving home several weeks before the tour. Why can’t I get my final tour documents before I leave?

The final tour documents are ready two to three weeks before departure. They are not finalised earlier in order to keep any changes to the written itinerary (and hence any participant confusion) to an absolute minimum. Opening hours and appointments are double-checked close to departure to ensure maximum efficiency in the running of the itinerary.

Should I communicate with the Brisbane or London office?

You are free to do as you choose. However, Martin Randall Australasia in Brisbane facilitates communication for Australian and New Zealand clients and has many years’ experience focusing on Australasian needs. All communications can come through us and we will pass on all documents and instructions.

Can I book through a travel agent?

No. To ensure you are fully protected by MRT’s bonding arrangements, MRT only accepts bookings directly from clients. However, we are happy to provide tour details to your agent to enable them to make your other travel arrangements.

Is there a risk the tour will be cancelled?

MRT has a very low cancellation rate and would rather run a tour with few participants than cancel it. However, if numbers are so low that the social dynamic would be adversely affected or the tour would make a significant loss, the tour may be cancelled no later than 8 weeks prior to departure, though, in practice, rarely later than 3 months prior. Tours may be cancelled at any stage if there is a risk to your security. Please contact us if you wish to discuss likelihood of cancellation.

Do Australian and New Zealand clients receive details later than UK clients, especially for popular tours?

No. We print brochures in Brisbane and despatch them on the same day as the UK office, to ensure you are not disadvantaged. Post to New Zealand may take a little longer than within Australia.

For popular tours and all Martin Randall Music Festivals, we almost always give you advance warning and encourage you to register your interest. You will then receive advance details before the rest of the mailing list. This is particularly recommended for those requiring a single cabin on a river Festival.

Can you tell me what visas I will need?

Yes. We can advise on what you require and how to obtain them, but we cannot obtain a visa on your behalf. If you need additional assistance to arrange a visa, you can engage the services of Visalink.

Can you advise on luggage restrictions and dress requirements?

In the Essential Tour Information sheet for each tour, there is a section on the airline’s luggage restrictions, and also details on clothing requirements.

There is no dress code, though some clients like to dress more smartly for dinner. MRT will advise in the Essential Tour Information if any places visited on the tour require a particular level of formality or conformity in dress.

We understand that many Australasian clients are travelling for several weeks, and have higher luggage requirements. Please contact us if you wish to discuss this, and particularly if you feel you might like to upgrade your room size. Storage space in some city hotels can be limited.

Other helpful websites

Smart Traveller – the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs’ travel and security advisory.
XE – for currency and exchange rate information.
Time & Date – for world time zones.
BBC Weather – for average and current temperatures worldwide.
The Travel Doctor – for medical and vaccination advice.
TripAdvisor – for hotel reviews and travel advice from the general public.
World Travel Guide – for information on airports.
SNCF – for train tickets and timetable throughout Europe.
Trenitalia – for train tickets and timetable throughout Italy.
Renfe – for train tickets and timetable throughout Spain.
Deutsche Bahn – for train tickets and timetable throughout Germany.
National Rail – for train tickets and timetable throughout the UK.
Transport for London – for transport information in London.
The man in seat 61 – for advice on train travel in the UK and Europe.