Rail Tours

Ian McFadyen Interview

What sparked your interest in train travel and railways?

I think probably getting the Big Book of British Trains when I was about 8 followed by a classic Triang train set when I was 9.

Do you think your inner David Rabbitborough (Attenborough) might make an appearance on this tour? You will be seeing some spectacular wildlife!

I’m sure David Rabbitborough would be fascinated with many of the people and sights we will see along the way. I’m not sure if his safari suit still fits him but he may well have some comments about both travellers and locations.

David Rabbitborough

What are some of the most memorable train journeys you have had?

Mostly ones I experienced as a student in the Sixties travelling around Australia to film the last of the steam engines: crossing the Nullarbor in comfort on the old Trans-Australian train only to change onto something resembling cattle trucks at Kalgoorlie, riding in guard’s vans on remote outback lines where there was no passenger service, even getting a lift in the cab of a steam locomotive.

What do you love about travelling?

Experiencing spectacular landscapes and the romance of going to places you’ve never been before.

Have you had any really hairy train journeys?

The cattle-truck-like train from Kalgoorlie to Perth in 1968 felt like it was going to come off the tracks but the most arduous was sitting up all night on the Rockhampton Mail, train that went overnight from Brisbane to Rockhampton stopping at every town.

What highlights can members of the upcoming NZ Railway tour expect?

Breathtaking scenery, a superb cruise ship experience, wonderful company and a very entertaining host.

You have become renowned for your paintings – will you be bringing your brushes on tour?

Alas, turpentine in your luggage tends to trigger anti-terrorism responses. In any case there is too much spectacular scenery to ever have time to paint, so my camera will have to do the painting.

Tour details here

Golf Tours

Robert Stock Interview

When did you start playing golf? And what sparked your interest?

I started playing golf before I was 10 years old. My father played golf and I used to caddy for my uncle in the Saturday morning competition for 50p. When did you realise you wanted to make a career from playing golf and was it a difficult process? I wanted a career in golf when I was at secondary school but on leaving school I decided to go to university to get a degree. I later became a P.G.A. Golf Professional in my twenties. Playing and training to become a P.G.A. Pro requires you to pass exams and play good golf. That is not so difficult to achieve. Making money through playing tournament golf is very difficult.

Who are the most inspiring golf players for you?

Of the recent generation I think Jason day is very inspiring particularly with his upbringing and what he has had to overcome. Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson inspired me most when I was growing up.

What are the most challenging aspects of playing golf for you?

The most challenging aspect of golf is managing your own expectations. You judge each shot not only on the result, but how it feels, how it looks and even how it sounds. If you can learn to enjoy the walk instead of the outcome it makes golf more enjoyable.

What are the most rewarding moments playing golf for you?

Hitting the ball perfectly and watching the ball do what you want it to do is very exciting. Spending time on the golf course with like minded people is very rewarding too.

What do you love about travelling?

Every time I go away I come back with a different perspective on life. Travel makes my life so much richer in so many ways.

What were some of the highlights from your recent Golf Cruise?

The highlights on the New Zealand Golf Cruise were

  • Playing golf in the Bay of Islands, Taupo and Wellington – I love playing World Class Golf Courses.
  • The cruise through Milford, Dusky and Doubtful sound – breathtaking.
  • Celebrity Solstice – A really luxurious ship and the karaoke super fun.
  • The tour members – everybody got on and enjoyed each other’s company

What can tour members expect on the upcoming Asia Golf Cruise?

Tour members can expect to play on some of the best golf courses in the world in exotic locations. We play a new championship course at every port of call and have a fun prize giving once we get back on the ship in the evening. With superb food and the excellent evening entertainment on board I’m looking forward to it already.

Exotic Asia Golf Cruise with Robert Stock Tour

Exotic Asia Golf Cruise with Robert Stock Tour Details here

Escorted Cruises

Terry Robson Interview

Terry Robson is EditorinChief of WellBeing Magazine, founding Editor of EatWell Magazine, host of “The Happiness Show” and cohost of “The Bite” for ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Local Radio and Digital Radio. He is leading the Travelrite International Wellbeing at Sea Cruise in February 2018.

Was there a turning point for you in your life when you decided to focus on wellbeing and happiness?

I don’t really think of myself as being focused on wellbeing and happiness. I think of myself as being interested in life; who we are as a species (hence I studied paleoanthropology and ancient history) how we encounter the world around us (so I studied psychology) and what are the biological patterns and rhythms that govern how we relate to our environment (my reason for studying natural medicine). Out of all of that, I find that wellbeing and happiness, whether we have them or not, are an integral part of what it means to be human.

What do you love about travelling?

Travelling takes you out of your everyday sphere and that means you have a chance to get out of your habitual way of being and into making conscious choices.

Do you have any daily rituals that contribute to your happiness?

A coffee, watching the ocean as the day begins.

What other authors in the field of wellbeing do you enjoy reading or listening too?

I like writers who truly examine life and are honest in doing so, for me that amounts to wellbeing. I think emotional and intellectual dishonesty are truly damaging to quality of life. I like Hemingway but find him confronting on occasion, mind you, that’s a good thing. I love reading Terry Pratchett, in his fantasy world he reveals many truths about our own. Dashiell Hammett is a magnificent writer from the ’30s, gritty crime novels but unrelentingly truthful. At the other end of the scale I like Richard Bach, no grit there but some beautiful writing.

Which sports/fitness activities really work for you, and how important are they to you?

Swimming. For me it is both meditative and physically explosive, a mix that appeals.

Will there be any particular New Zealand cuisine that you will be keen to sample on the upcoming tour?

I don’t know if there will be an opportunity but a Maori Hangi would be a great experience. Other than that a NZ persimmon (if in season) would be something I’d like to try.

What can tour members look forward to on the upcoming Wellbeing at Sea Cruise to New Zealand?

Companionship, exploration, communal wisdom and the chance to let the cares of the world float away as they reset themselves (if they want to).

Tour Details here

Cinematic Tours

David Stratton Interview

We asked David Stratton about his passion for film

What ignited your passion for film as you were growing up?

It was going to the cinema on a regular weekly basis with my grandmother that triggered my passion for movies.

What were some of your favourite films from your childhood and films that really awakened your mind as a young adult?

I loved the Disney features, comedies with Bob Hope and Danny Kaye, musicals, westerns, thrillers – in fact almost anything.

What do you love to do when travelling?

When I travel I love to learn about the history and culture of the places I’m visiting, as well as sampling the food and wine.

What were some of the highlights from the last Travelrite Film Festival at Sea?

Highlights of the last FF at sea included the visit to Ingmar Bergman’s island, Faro; the Hermitage in St. Petersburg; and exploring cities like Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn, Copenhagen and Amsterdam. The films I selected reflected the places we visited: BARBETTE’S FEAST in Copenhagen and ONE TWO THREE in Berlin were among the highlights.

What can people look forward to on the upcoming Film Festival at Sea cruising from Amsterdam through the UK and Ireland?

Margaret and I haven’t yet got together to discuss the films we’ll show on the coming cruise, but we can promise some interesting choices, both recent and not so recent, and some lively discussions.

David Stratton

David Stratton AM was the well-known co-presenter of At the Movies on ABC television. He is also a former director of the Sydney Film Festival, former film critic for international film industry magazine Variety, and is currently film critic for The Australian. A recipient of the Australian Film Institute’s Raymond Longford Award, David has also served as a former president of the International Critics Jury for the Cannes and Venice film festivals, authored two books and is now lecturing in Film History as part of the Continuing Education Program at the University of Sydney. He is the successful leader of four previous Film Festivals at Sea. David’s decades-long involvement with movies makes him the ideal person to lead this exciting cruise.
Senior Tours

It’s ok to be a solo traveller.

Almost a third of people who join Travelrite Tours do so alone. There may be a host of reasons including the loss of a partner, but the most prevailing one is simply that many solo travellers have partners who do not share their interest or passion. Travelrite Tours provide a fantastic opportunity to meet and travel with like-minded people, sharing unforgettable experiences and exploring fascinating destinations.

Our quilting and garden tours are joined mostly by women dedicated to their craft or garden and are led by an expert in the field who shares knowledge, and introduces the group to places and people they might not have otherwise met. We also have a range of Senior cruises to destinations such as Antarctica, the Mediterranean, the Baltic Sea including an unforgettable visit to St Petersburg, Japan and many more.

Each Tour is managed by a dedicated Tour Manager who will escort the group and look after all the members in the group, facilitating wonderful ways to meet and get to know each other. Each Tour begins with Welcome Drinks, and meals are enjoyed as a group. Evening meals usually start with a pre-dinner drink, and there are opportunities to engage in group activities organised by the Tour Manager such as Trivial Pursuit, as well as all the fantastic special interest items on the Itinerary.

There may be bucket list items you have always wanted to achieve or experience, such as:

  • Have lunch at the Eiffel Tower, or dinner and a show at the Moulin Rouge
  • See the groundbreaking new gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show
  • Enjoy the spectacular Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
  • Travel on the iconic Orient Express
  • Soak up the excitement of the Monaco Grand Prix
  • Travel from New York to London onboard the sumptuous Queen Mary 2
  • Attend the British Open and play golf at the world’s best golf Courses
  • Learn to paint from a World renowned artist

Jill Mansfield recently lost her husband – the celebrated radio host Bruce Mansfield. They were going to travel on a group cruise together before he passed away. She decided to travel with her cousin on a cruise around Scotland and the UK hosted by Glenn A Baker.

“There were sad times and there were very happy times” she said. “I had wonderful health and came back feeling really well.”

Her trip took her back to where she grew up as a child in Aberdeen, Scotland. She visited Loch Lomond where she had enjoyed her first swim as a child.

The highlight of tour was “going to a little place in France called Honfleur. It was a beautiful little fishing village. I tried mussels for the first time – it is the most exquisite little town – I’d love to go back there”

Jill enjoyed meeting new people “There were some lovely people on the trip”

Travelrite offers flexibility with room and cabin arrangements too. You can either have a room to yourself, or be matched with someone of a similar age in a double room to reduce costs.

Many people make friendships for life on a Travelrite Tour. It is a great opportunity to meet people from all places and walks of life to explore new destinations and uncover knowledge and experiences about your passion or interest.

Please contact us and have a chat with one of our friendly consultants on 1800 630 343.


Malcolm Carver Interview

Malcolm Carver Interview

What inspired you to get into architecture?

As a school student I was in total awe of the design for the Sydney Opera House. This exceptional breakaway concept from traditional buildings, caught my imagination and began the inspiration for a lifetime pursuit in contemporary architecture with respect to the past. I am still in awe some 50 odd years later and I am proud that my former architectural practice is now doing significant refurbishment to the Opera House with new and upgraded facilities over the past three years

You love the interplay of light and architecture. What are some of your favourite aspects of this? Time of day? Angles?

My fascination with architecture is only matched by an absolute passion for sketching and painting the light. With an eye for simplification of detail and an obsession with light, I draw and paint constantly in sketchbooks whilst travelling the world for inspiration and pleasure. Some buildings are art, so those which successfully handle  the joy and drama of light become the favourites. This are not just contemporary buildings but also historic classical favourites like the Pantheon in Rome. Its all about light.

Could you name your favourite architects and what you love about them?

Favourites are not just the current day ‘starchitects’ Many classical legendary architects like Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446) in the design of the Florence Cathedral are favourites. There are over 100 favourites in my contemporary world. The scale today of major projects requires more than a single person to conceive, create, document and deliver. Most big ‘names’ today are figureheads or leaders of large practices so the name is a ‘brand’ and more important than the individual. An example of a contemporary architect today, is like Britain’s Lord Norman Foster, perhaps the most prolific international architect in the world with up to 1000 employees, many of those are acknowledged as being part of a team are listed in alphabetical order in the published credit list for each project as is Foster himself.

What do you enjoy discovering when exploring a new building or space?

Each grand architecture tour is unique. There will always be the absolute favourites like Frank Lloyd Wright’s ‘Fallingwater’ but each tour incorporates very recent work that is included for the very first time. There is always excitement in sharing the well known classics with guests as well as discovering recent works is equally a thrill. The success of contemporary work can also be considered in context with its location, respect for heritage as well as innovation in current technology. Inclusion of new works is also reinvigorating traditional tours that encourages a high percentage of guests to return again on our pilgrimages.

What can our travellers expect on the upcoming European and American tours?

Our next tour to the eastern side of Europe will again revisit the great classical cities for the first time since 2007 mostly in Prague Austria Italy and Greece. Whilst we have included classical historical buildings, the primary focus has been to follow a path of recent and iconic modern and contemporary buildings. Classical cities also require new infrastructure, new buildings, new uses for old buildings and essentially new contemporary facilities dovetailed into the historic fabric. Its not about ‘look at me’ buildings that can show disrespect to neighbours. The USA tours have also been upgraded to cater for different expectations and guestr feedback from our past traditional tours. Our first tour in 2017 will reach beyond Chicago to focus on the eastern seaboard states reaching down to Mexico enabling a leap for some to extend their tour into Cuba. Our second USA tour in October is more the much favoured trail following the work of Frank Lloyd Wright.

What are your favourite things to do when touring?

Introducing the buildings to guests for their appreciation, sharing the background stories, enjoying the company morning noon and night over great meals with like minded people who more often are just lovers of great architecture and not necessarily architects. My appreciation is also to record those moments and absorb the building revisited or newly discovered through sketching along the way. Mostly fun and lots of laughs. The WOW factors are a gauge to the best moments. The path we travel may follow the architecture but the special unexpected moments can be the most memorable aspects of travel.

What were the highlights from the last tour you hosted with Travelrite International?

Our last tour in 2015 was to Europe starting in Finland, following the work of Alvar Aalto down to Berlin and Switzerland across France to Bilbao for Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum with great highlights of Foster’s Bridge along the way. We finished in France on Bastille Day and thoroughly enjoyed Paris in the last few days. The particular highlights were Jean Nouvel’s Cultural Centre in Lucerne and Fosters Reichstag Parliament Building in Berlin. Aalto’s work was so inspiring that we will return in 2018 with an extensive tour of all the Scandinavian countries as well as contemporary architecture in Britain.

What do you love about travelling?

The planning, the constant research, the discovery of new gems, particularly the buildings with high wow factors, sharing the travels with like minded wonderful people who all contribute, in every which-way, to memorable moments that last forever. None of this would be possible without the support, backup, management and exceptional organisational skills from my dear friend Jim Webber and all at Travelrite. In brief, a great sense of fun and pleasure.

For more details about Architecture Tours with Malcolm Carver please contact Travelrite International on 1800 630 343 or view the Tour Information our website.

Malcolm Carver Tour

Malcolm Carver Tour


Garden Tours

Deryn Thorpe Interview

Interview with Deryn Thorpe

What inspired you to get into gardening?

I started gardening in a big way after my husband and I bought our first house about 30 years ago. At first I just wanted a beautiful garden with lots of flowers but later I became obsessed with design and plants and studied horticulture to get more skills.

What can our travellers expect on the upcoming tours?

I am a passionate gardener and love looking at new gardens and discussing with our tour group about the plant selections and the design. Sometimes we discuss what we would do if we were the head gardeners! We’ve had some very constructive conversations about taking out trees to expose views and using more subtle perennials instead of garish annuals. I enjoy discussing these things as a group as we all have something to contribute and learn, me included!

My next tour is a cruise to Canada and the US in their fall where we are going to see some amazing autumn colour!

In March, 2017 I take my yearly tour to Ballarat and the Melbourne Flower and Garden Show where I have handpicked some of Victoria’s very best private gardens to share with the group.

In May 2017 we see some of England’s traditional cottage-style gardens (and I think that the English are probably the world’s best gardeners) before visiting the Chelsea Garden show and finishing with a luxurious 12 night cruise that takes in grand gardens in the Baltic, including St Petersberg in Russia.

New Zealand’s wonderful volcanic soil and mild climate helps create some of the best gardens in the world and we will see some spectacular gardens on a cruise starting in Sydney on October 30 2017 which sails around New Zealand.

What are your favourite things to do when touring and while cruising?

Well, like everyone I totally love being spoilt when cruising and enjoy getting dressed up for the five star meals and onboard entertainment. Meeting up with the tour group each evening for dinner is also a highlight as there is nothing nicer than getting to know some new people over a special occasion meal and a glass of wine.

When touring I love the sense of adventure as we often get to explore new sites and experiences together. After we have seen something wonderful or been on a great tour of a historical city with one of Travelrite’s local guides I love the way we are all talking excitedly on the coach, or at dinner, about what a great day we have had. We usually try to rank the experiences and it is great the way that different aspects of our trip are highlights for different tour members.

What aspects of your gardening do you find the most challenging, and the most satisfying?

This year I am opening my home garden to the public so it’s challenging trying to get everything perfect for one week in October. I live in Perth, which has the least fertile soils in the world, so the most backbreaking aspect is continually improving the sandy soil with compost and clay. Spending a day or two perched on ladders pruning the climbing roses also gives my muscles a good work out!

While I always want to achieve a ‘pleasing display’ the real satisfaction is being able to share my garden and its produce with others.

What do you love about travelling?

The sense of adventure! Meeting new people! Having something to look forward to and creating some amazing memories!

Could you name your favourite gardens around the world?

Cloudehill – Melbourne, Australia; Ninfa – Lazio, Italy; Villa Melzi – Bellagio, Italy; Monet’s Garden – Paris, France; Ayrlies -Auckland, New Zealand; Great Dixter – East Sussex, England; Longwood, Philadelphia, USA

What were the highlights from the last tour you hosted with Travelrite International?

  1. Visiting romantic Ninfa garden, set in the ruins of a small medieval town. An informal, organic garden which has been created so it looks wild and uncultivated. It is very artistic with old roses scrambling up stone towers, crystal clear streams and a kilometre of flowering lavender borders. Outstanding!
  2. I loved our day with our local guide Roberta touring Rome. The whole city is a museum! Roberta skilfully used our coach to ferry us around town so we managed to visit most of the important sites without getting too weary and her commentary brought the city to life.
  3. Italian food – especially home made pasta and artisan gelato. I enjoy a pre dinner glass of sparkling prosecco but it tastes best sitting with friends admiring the Bay of Naples from the rooftop bar of our Sorrento hotel.
  4. Chelsea Flower Show!!! I’ve been three times but it is always THE highlight!

To find out more about the Garden Tours Deryn Thorpe is leading please click on the Tour Images below.

The group beside a fountain in Villa d'Este in Tivoli
The group beside a fountain in Villa d’Este in Tivoli



School Tours

Travelrite International School Tours

Travelrite International School Tours

Travelrite International School Tours works with teachers across Melbourne to assist with planning, coordinating and managing the entire school trip process, enabling more schools to consider an educational school trip experience for their students. Our knowledgeable team will ensure a once-in-a-lifetime trip and work with you to comprehensively cater to all learning objectives.

Benefits of a school tour

  • There is no substitute for real experience in the wider world. School trips provide a great opportunity for students to gain such experience and face a range of challenges that can contribute significantly to their personal development.
  • School trips are one of the things school students look forward to during their school life and the experiences and memories from them are extremely valuable.
  • Enhance learning and student/teacher relationships. The attitude towards learning improves, and students become more confident, capable learners in the classroom. 60% of teachers observe an improvement in their student’s performance in the classroom on return to school.
  • Encourages social and personal development – group activities can develop self-confidence and improve a student’s personal, social and emotional development.

Why Travelrite International School Tours?

Travelrite International School Tours have been working with schools for 10 years to facilitate informative and inspiring school tours around the world. Our experienced team can create customised educational travel

itineraries for your school. All packages are fully inclusive with flights, accommodation, activities and so much more. We have worked with Scotch College, Tintern Grammar, MLC, PLC and Vermont Secondary School on various school tours to Italy, France, Ireland, Scotland and within Australia.

Travelrite School Tours provides an unsurpassed level of support to teachers. From the concept to completion of your school tour, your dedicated school travel consultant will work with you to ensure a memorable and safe experience for your students, parents, and teachers. There is a high level of communication required in order to successfully plan an international trip and our team will ensure the planning is on track to deliver an exceptional school trip.

Our favourite school tours…

International Sports Tour

Improve team building skills playing fixtures against local schools and club teams. Develop interpersonal skills and positive sportsmanship interacting with local host students and experience local culture.

School Tours Sport

ANZAC/History Tours

A trip that will encourage students to reflect with gratitude on the sacrifices made on European soil by their ancestors. Spread across Turkey and France, students will have the opportunity to visit significant memorial sights and battlefields.

School Tours Anzac

Music Tours

We have arranged successful orchestra, choir and pipes and drums school tours around the world. We will create a quality tour tailored to your school’s requirements and will work closely with you to ensure the tour meets the curriculum requirements.

School Tours Music

New Zealand Geography

Explore a variety of New Zealand’s geographical landforms across the scenic south and north islands.

School Tours New Zealand

Art Tours

We have organised several tours to art galleries around Australia, including MONA in Hobart and the National Art Gallery in Canberra.

School Tours Art

For more information Contact:

Helen Leris
School Tours Consultant
03 9836 2522

Patchwork and Quilting

Michelle Marvig Interview

Michelle Marvig

Interview with Michelle Marvig – Travelrite International Tour Leader

What inspired you to get into patchwork and quilting?

I had always been happy stitching garments and toys. But in 1991 my parents and I opened a shop in Mudgee, NSW, and incorporated patchwork fabric. It did not sell well, as we had no samples made from the fabrics. I did not live in Mudgee, but worked from home with two small children making garment samples, cushion and toys for the shop. So I went along to my local store to learn how to make a Log Cabin quilt to sell the fabrics that we had in the shop. And I was hooked from the very first quilt top. It was made by a sewing machine and I loved all the gadgets, the rotary cutter, rulers and mats that made life so much faster and easier than working by hand. That was 25 years ago and hundreds of quilts later, I still can’t stitch fast enough to make everything in my manic brain.

What can our travellers expect on the upcoming tours?

Fun and friendship from like-minded quilters. We always explore the tourist highlights of a location, plus the quilt or textile highlight of an area, and just a little bit of shopping (understatement)! I travel with luggage scales to help us distribute weight before our flights.

Depending on the tour we will visit quilt museums, quilt shows, quilt shops, visit stunning locations and eat at fabulous places. I also include two stitching projects in every tour that we do. The first is a smaller project on the land tours that the customers can keep as a monento. I provide all the fabric, etc that they need. The passengers just need to bring needles, threads and pins. The second is an embroidery design block for them to stitch, pertinent to location of the tour. At the end of the tour we collect the blocks from those that wish to participate and hold a “Block Lotto”at the farewell dinner. The stitchery block has now become a very competitive challenge to some of our girls, and it is a lot of fun to see the end results.

What are your favourite things to do when touring and while cruising?

When Travelrite asked me about doing a cruise, I honestly did not know how I would go, but have to say I love them! Cruising allows us to unpack once and explore the different destinations, while sewing in between. The Craft Fair at Sea gives us the ability to use sewing machines in one workshop, so we can get more done. But once class has finished you have so many different areas on the ship to meet up with the girls and sit and stitch, or coffee and cake outside of class times. And the live shows at night are fabulous.

Regardless of which type of tour we are doing, we always visit quilt or textile shops. My favourite thing is to help the customers pick fabrics and projects, maybe pushing them outside their normal comfort zone of choices. And, as I type this, I realise that I also love the teaching aspect of the tours. The first Inside Passage of Alaska Cruise that we did I taught American Hand Piecing with templates, and using a circular block. Most people had not completed anything using this technique, or this complicated, but it started new love affairs for a different style of stitching.

What aspects of your craft do you find the most challenging, and the most satisfying?

The most satisfying is definitely the teaching and being part of the whole process of making a quilt from purchasing the fabric to end product. Margaret from WA came along on one of our tours to Europe armed with a pattern that she wanted to make. She found a vintage toile in the flea markets in Paris, and we picked up other fabrics as travelled, but especially at the Birmingham Quilt Show. Margaret has finished the quilt and sent photos and loves it, as do I . The quilt has so many memories of our trip.

The most challenging would be when making luggage weight for flights!!!!!!!!!! Quilters are shoppers.

What do you love about travelling?

Exploring new destinations, new food and making new friends. We found the Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle by accident and it was fabulous! One year we stayed in Colmar, France and the hotel had a Michelin Star restaurant on site – wow! The memories made in each destination are richer for sharing with fellow quilters. You never know what unexpected pleasures we will encounter.

What were the highlights from the last tours you led with Travelrite International?

I have been busy and lead three tour in the last 6 months. Our tour to Houston last October went via Canada, which was stunning . It was my first time in Canada and High Tea at Lake Louise was icing on the cake. All of Canada was beautiful, but Banff and Lake Louise were special. We saw a bear and fox from the bus while were driving around. I never tire of seeing the biggest quilt show in the world, Houston. The variety of quilts on display, the vintage quilts available for purchase and the show and tell back the hotel at the end of the day is fantastic.

I also lead a tour to Japan in November. It is autumn at this time and the colour of the leaves at the Hida Village, Takayama and the garden at Kanazawa were stunning. Inspirational colour and texture for future projects. But a highlight of this tour would have been sitting on the floor in a small, traditional restaurant in Takayama eating Hida Beef cooked on a magnolia leaf on a small BBQ burner at the table. Very traditional, very tasty and lots of fun. This travel thing is not good for my waistline. And it is the unexpected experiences that enrich the whole tour. Like the hexagon lessons on a Shinkansen fast train between cities in Japan!

Michelle Marvig is leading multiple Patchwork and Quilting Tours for Travelrite International in 2019. For full details click on the links below.

USA Quilting Tour

Quilting Cruise of Hawaii

Quilting Tour to France, Belgium & The Netherlands

Craft Fair at Sea to New Zealand


2017 USA Quilting Tour with Michelle Marvig

Quilting Tour to the USA & Alaska Cruise

2017 Quilting Tour to the USA & Alaska Cruise

Craft Fair at Sea to New Zealand with Michelle Marvig

2017 Craft Fair at Sea to New Zealand with Michelle Marvig Tour Details

2016 Quilting Tour to the USA with Michelle Marvig

2016 Quilting Tour to the USA with Michelle Marvig

Quilting Cruise & Tour of Europe with Michelle Marvig

Quilting Cruise & Tour of Europe with Michelle Marvig

Food and Wine

UNIQUE Gourmet Cruises and Tours 2016

Travelrite International invites you to join them on one of their unique European Food & Wine Tours in 2016. Enjoy rich experiences in history, food, wine and lifestyle. Dine in Michelin Starred Restaurants. See fresh produce and fascinating gourmet producers. Learn the tricks in making real gelato!


Gourmet Eastern Mediterranean Cruise with Lyndey Milan


Lyndey Milan OAM, Australian home-cook hero and a familiar face on television and in print, will lead this unique Gourmet Tour, giving cooking demonstrations and introducing us to some of the Mediterranean’s most interesting markets, specialty food shops and restaurants. The “Gourmet Mediterranean” cruise includes sightseeing tours in the ports of call

Your host Lyndey Milan

Lyndey Milan, Australian home-cook hero, combines a thirst for life and a sense of fun with a love of good food and sparkling shiraz. A familiar face on television and in print, she has been instrumental in changing the way Australians think and feel about food and wine during thirty years.

“Hospitality of the table” is her catchphrase, evidenced in her numerous television appearances, best-selling books and at countless culinary events over the years, as she maintains her position at the forefront of Australian cuisine. She has hosted seven television series, including Lyndey & Blair’s Taste of Greece and is a regular guest on morning television. During her years on Fresh on the Nine Network, she hosted visiting chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein and Gordon Ramsay.

She travels regularly and has an extensive knowledge of Mediterranean food and wine. Lyndey is the host of Fresh with Lyndey Milan on the Lunchtime Lowdown on radio 2UE on Thursdays 2 – 3pm. Her friendly personality make her the ideal person to lead the Gourmet Eastern Mediterranean Cruise. She is looking forward to meeting you.

Tour Highlights:

  • Explore the meandering laneways and bridges of magical Venice
  • 700-year-old Rialto market of Venice
  • The famous resort town of Taormina, spectacularly located on a 200 metre-high rocky outcrop, with views to Mt Etna
  • Taste the local limoncello and see how it is produced in Sorrento. Learn the tricks in making real gelato.
  • Visit one of the best vineyards outside of Orvieto for wine tasting and an included celebration lunch.
  • Cooking demonstrations by Lyndey Milan
  • Villa Carlotta, known for its beautiful setting and spectacular gardens
  • Take a boat to Isola Bella, the most spectacular of the Borromean Islands.
  • Visit local food producers around the Italian Lakes


Gabriel Gate Tour De France

Gabriel Gate Gourmet Tour De France

SEPTEMBER 3 TO 22, 2016

The Gabriel Gate Gourmet Tour will visit some the most interesting areas for gourmet food and wine in France visiting Paris, Loire Valley, Burgundy, French Alps and Provence. Included are special meals at fabulous French restaurants specially selected by Gabriel Gate. The tour is run at a relaxing pace with three and four night stays. We do not try and do too much each day so that you can savour and really enjoy these regions of France. We do not have early starts to the day so you are not rushed. There is also plenty of free time so you can explore or just relax!

Your host Gabriel Gaté

Gabriel Gaté is probably the most popular French chef in Australia. Gabriel was born in the Loire Valley of France. After working at some of the finest restaurants in his homeland, he came to Australia in 1977 with his Melbourne-born wife, Angie. Gabriel is the author of 23 cookbooks, including French Cuisine for Australians, and is the popular presenter of cookery programmes on television and radio.In the mid nineties Gabriel and his family spent almost a year and a half in Aix-en-Provence. This tour will be the ninth in which Gabriel has led an Australian group to France, including the successful Tour de France in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 which everyone enjoyed immensely.

Tour Highlights:

  • Continental breakfasts daily, five lunches, five dinners and one picnic selected by Gabriel Gaté
  • Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, drive along the Champs-Élysées, the Seine, visit Notre Dame and other major sights of Paris
  • Dine at La Grande Cascade
  • Shop at great Parisian markets
  • Château de Chenonceau, spanning the River Cher, which reflects its unique beauty
  • Château du Clos Lucé – residence of Leonardo da Vinci between 1516 and 1519
  • Sample some fine Burgundy wines
  • Annecy, a picturesque town on the shores of a spectacular lake on the edge of the French Alpine region.
  • An alfresco lunch at the home of one of Gabriel’s friend’s restaurants
  • Visit one of the most beautiful villages of Provence and have lunch in a stunning local restaurant.


Mary Valle Tour

Gourmet Tour of Greece with Mary Valle


The fully escorted Gourmet Tour of Greece will be a wonderful food and wine experience. Tour members can meet the locals and experience each region’s history, food, wine and lifestyle. Mary is an engaging and knowledgeable tour leader who will ensure you get the most out of this holiday. Visiting Athens, Chania, Santorini, Mykonos and Ikaria. Includes visiting the Blue Zone island of Ikaria, which has one of the highest concentrations of centenarians in the world! We hope that you can join us!

Your host Mary Valle

Born to Greek parents, Mary grew up surrounded by tradition and great food. Mary’s love of travel, rich Greek heritage and great skill in the kitchen have seen this Melbourne-based cook become one of Australia’s most respected authorities on Mediterranean cuisine. Mary often spends time in her family’s home in Greece and nearby Mediterranean countries, where she learns new techniques and recipes to introduce to her kitchen.She teaches Mediterraneanstyle cooking in Melbourne, sharing her passion and love for food with others. She is the author of the best-selling cookery books, My Greek Kitchen, My Mediterranean Kitchen and Everyday Mediterranean, and contributes to magazines regularly. In addition to this, Mary runs culinary tours around Greece. She lives with her family in Melbourne.

Tour Highlights:

  • Continental breakfasts daily, five lunches, one picnic and four dinners selected by Mary Valle
  • Sightseeing tour of Athens and see many of the world-famous sites
  • Travel to the majestic site of the Acropolis
  • Dine at a seaside restaurant and enjoy the outstanding views of the Aegean Sea
  • Explore the beautiful Venetian harbour
  • A traditional Cretan dinner with live music
  • Ferry trip to Santorini and sample some delicious, simple, fresh local delicacies
  • Enjoy a seafood lunch at a local tavern in Ammoudi Bay
  • Ikaria – A Blue Zone region of the world, with one of the globe’s highest concentration of centenarians
  • A cooking class at the cooking school in Ikaria
  • Enjoy a cheese-making class
  • Meet an Ikarian bee-keeper to understand the background of honey-making


Peter Simic Wine Tour

The Best of Italy Food and Wine Tour with Peter Simic


The 2016 Best of Italy Wine & Food Tour will be a fantastic opportunity to travel with Peter Simic and visit some of his favourite vineyards in Italy. The tour will visit the most interesting areas for gourmet food and wine in Italy. Outstanding locations – visits to Rome, Tuscany (Siena & Florence), Emilia-Romagna (Bologna & Parma), Piedmont (Alba) and Milan, plus Cinque Terre (Portofino).

Your host Peter Simic

Peter Simic, your tour guide, is an ideal host for this trip. With a background in publishing and wine education over 30 years his wine knowledge is vast. In addition to being the founding editor/ publisher of Winestate Magazine, Peter was formerly the founding publisher of Wine & Spirit (US), Manager of the SA Wine Information Bureau, and wine educator with SA Regency College. He is also a regular wine commentator in newspapers and on radio and television.

Tour Highlights:

  • Return economy-class air travel from east coast Australian capitals to Rome and return from Milan. Please call for other departure cities. Passengers will be able to extend their stay in Europe at no extra airfare.
  • Accommodation in four-star hotels with private facilities. Hotel taxes and service charges.
  • A full continental breakfast daily and four special celebration lunches or dinners with outstanding food and wine.
  • Entry, tasting fees and special services at vineyards in each of the regions visited. Sightseeing and general entry fees as detailed in the itinerary.
  • Tour leadership by Peter Simic, editor/publisher of Winestate magazine.