1) Our Australian office provides full 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.
4) We print and despatch brochures from Brisbane to ensure our Australasian subscribers receive information at the same time as those in the UK.
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 personalized 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 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 his 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.
Steph was born in Sydney and grew up in Tweed Heads. Like Kelly, she 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 sustainable architecture and design, contemporary and Australian art, and particularly Australian Indigenous art, which was the theme of her thesis.
She joined MRA in 2010 and she is most often the friendly voice you will hear when calling our office.
In 2013, Steph had her first MRT experience on Art in Madrid and the Seville Music Festival. This was followed by Great Houses of the East in 2014. One of her most vivid memories from Seville is being transported to Moorish Spain on dusk while listening to the hauntingly beautiful music of the El Arabi Ensemble at Seville's El Real Alcazar, the last rays of sunlight streaming through the window behind them. On Great Houses, she was able to indulge her interest in interior domestic spaces and her curiosity for looking inside other people’s homes!
Steph now lives with her fiancé in one of the most beautiful parts of the world (the Byron Shire). She works there for three days a week then makes the long trip to Brisbane to spend two days in our office. Steph enjoys yoga and bush walking and is a keen cook.
Phillipa was born in Townsville and grew up in Brisbane. She completed secondary education at an Australian International Baccalaureate (IB) institute, The Queensland Academy for Creative Industries (QACI), where she adopted a love for Spanish Language, Visual Arts and Performance Arts.
Phillipa is currently studying a Bachelor of Design (Honours) (Interior Design) at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). As a part of her elective study she is conducting research with the Australian Indigenous Knowledges Board of QUT, on the topic of inclusive and sustainable architecture and design practice.
Last year, Phillipa tested her language skills as she embarked on travel throughout Spain, Morocco and Portugal. Her most cherished memory of Spain is visiting the almost unoccupied Alhambra on an off-peak winter morning. She plans to one day complete the Camino de Santiago. However, completing her Honours Degree is her most fast-approaching landmark.
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.
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.
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 ofx.com 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.
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.
No. You will need to arrange these yourself or through a travel agent.
No. You can meet the group at the tour destination. If you do, there is a corresponding reduction in the tour price.
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).
Yes (subject to availability). Please ask us for a quote.
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.
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.
Yes. Please ask us for a quote, though you can sometimes obtain cheaper deals by other means.
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.
We recommend a UK booking agent, www.holidayextras.co.uk, tel: +44 1303 815300. Please quote MRT’s reference number: HX174.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rail Europe – 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.