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Study Tours

The Geographical Society of New South Wales supports a varied program of study tours that open up opportunities for members of the general public as well as specialist geographers to see and experience places in ways that might not otherwise be possible.

Over several decades, the Society’s study tours have visited almost every part of the globe, and exciting plans are underway to provide even more groundbreaking study tours in the future.

The Society’s study tours are currently organised by several experienced leaders.

Colin SaleColin Sale, the Senior Group Tours Manager at ACR Travel, has been organizing and leading group tours to all parts of the world since 1975, and most particularly, since 1988, the last 58 Study Tours programmed by the Geographical Society of New South Wales. Besides having been a Geography teacher in High Schools in Australia, England and Canada, and a Lecturer in Teachers Colleges, Sydney University, and at a college in USA, he has been travelling the world for much of his life, and has explored more than 120 countries. Colin recently announced his intention to step down from leading any more study tours, but he expects to be overseeing all future Study Tours that are operated by ACR International Travel & Tours for the people who have replaced him – Heather Rushton and Stephen Codrington. 


Heather Rushton, Tours Manager at ACR, is a keen traveller. Her first extended overseas trip was in 1982 and since then she has visited over 100 countries on all seven continents. A ‘veteran’ of 20 Geographical Society Study Tours with Colin Sale, Heather understands the appeal of more unusual destinations.  Although Heather’s background is English and History teaching rather than Geography, she has a great interest in the way that environment has shaped and continues to shape the way people live.  Heather (right, in photo) had planned to co-lead tours with her long time companion, Sandy Smith (left). Sadly Sandy lost a brief battle with cancer early in 2014 but in honour of Sandy, Heather intends to carry on with planned trips. Information about planned tours can found in Heather's newsletters ( the latest is here) or contact Heather by email at


Stephen CodringtonStephen Codrington is a former President of the Geographical Society, an international educator and a well-known author of many geography books, who conducted a number of study tours for the Geographical Society of NSW in the 1980s and 1990s before leaving Australia to work overseas in several countries. While working overseas, Stephen continued to conduct many tours, and as a result of both his work and his travels, Stephen has now visited 134 countries. Because of his wide travel experience as well as his highly respected organisational ability (he was the Head of several international schools before returning to Australia), he is now organising and leading study tours for the Geographical Society.



Upcoming Tours

Namibia and Botswana - April 2017

The 22 day tour commences in Windhoek, Namibia. From there it heads by small bus to the coastal region dominated by massive and stunning sand dunes. It then turns inland, crossing incredible desert landscapes and calling at a number of wildlife rich National Parks in both Namibia and Botswana before finally arriving at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Accommodation is in 3 to 4 star hotels/lodges and one luxury tented camp. Game drives, boat cruises, cultural visits and a fly-in stay in the Kavango Delta are all included.

For the full itinerary with further details including prices and dates see the brochure.


Greenland and Iceland - September 2017

Greenland is the world's largest island and has the world’s lowest population density. It is a rugged, mountainous, contrasting land with the enormous Greenland Ice Sheet at its centre and an adventurous people at its core. It is, however, not easy to reach and travel within the country is difficult. Furthermore, the fabulous National Park in the north of the country is only accessible by expedition cruise.

Enter G Adventures. The 15 day Arctic Highlights cruise departs from the island of Svalbard within the Arctic Circle, crosses the Greenland Sea and explores the coast of Greenland including the National Park, finishing in Reykjavik, Iceland. Along the way there is the opportunity to see spectacular Arctic landscapes, unique wildlife and even the Northern Lights while being aboard a comfortable and warm ship with only about 130 passengers.
Please view the full itinerary for the cruise here.

A nine-day tour of Iceland will follow, taking in its cinematic landscapes and intriguing geological features. Starting in Reykjavik the tour will travel clockwise around the island in a small bus driven by a local guide, staying in 3 or 4 star hotels. Lava castles, glaciers, waterfalls and lakes will all feature as well as many examples of geothermal activity and the chance to swim in a warm lagoon. Iceland is a fascinating and exciting place to visit and this tour
aims to show as much as possible within a short time.

The price for the full tour is a competitive $19 840 per person (twin-share) but it is possible to split the tour. The Iceland only component is $11 240 (twin-share with a single supplement of $1 115).

Departing: Thursday 31 August 2017

Returning: Tuesday 26 September 2017

27 days / 26 nights (full tour)

Cost: $19,840 twin share (full tour)

         $11,240 twin share (Iceland only), single supplement $1,115

Click here for the tour brochure with full itinerary.


Japan - October/November 2017

Japan proved to be a popular destination last year and a return is planned with a tour that will cater for both first time visitors to Japan and those who have previously toured the main island of Honshu. This is another Autumn tour commencing with 10 days on the scenic northern island of Hokkaido before following the changing season south for another 10 days visiting the more well known areas. Again, the tour can be split so you can visit only Hokkaido, or only Honshu. Offering a great variety of scenery, culture and modes of transport the itinerary will allow experience of both modern and traditional Japan. A brochure is being prepared and will be available shortly


Past Tours

Colin Sale has led 58 Study Tours with more than 1000 people having participated, and with many becoming regulars undertaking more than 10 tours each.  Reports on the more recent past tours include:

2011 South America study tour
2011 East Canada and New England
2008 China, Balkans and India tours - Newsletter No. 98
2009 Spain and Portugal tour - Newsletter No. 99
2010 Indian Ocean study tour - Newsletter No. 100
2011 South America study tour
2011 East Canada and New England
2012 Myanmar, Yunnan and Tibet
2012 Scandinavia
2012 Mekong in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam
2013 Western USA National Parks
2013 Ethiopia and East Africa
2014 Bangladesh

To access and download these study tour reports go to the Study Tours category in our  Resource Library.

For reports on Colin’s earlier Study Tours see Society Newsletters. A list of all study tours that Colin has led is available here.

Heather Rushton has now led four Geographical Society tours.  In June-July 2014 she led a tour of South Korea and Mongolia.  A report is available in our Resource Library, or for direct download here.  Heather also led  tours to South India in March 2015 and to Japan in November 2015.  A three-part report on her most recent 2016 tour to Tropical South America and Cuba can also be found in our Resource Library.


Stephen Codrington has led five study tours for the Geographical Society as follows:

            • 1986 - China (via Thailand, Burma and Hong Kong)

            • 1989 - Papua New Guinea and Indonesia (Irian Jaya)

            • 1991 - USSR (Russia, Estonia and Uzbekistan)

            • 1996 - Myanmar (Burma)

            • 2015 - North Korea and China

Click HERE  to read the report of the 1996 Burma Study Tour (813 KB).
Click HERE to read the participants’ collective diary of the 1996 Burma Study Tour (8.4 MB).
Click HERE  to read the report of the 2015 North Korea Study Tour (5.4 MB).
Click HERE  to read an illustrated daily diary of the 2015 North Korea Study Tour.


Last updated: 31 Aug 2016 of page