Steve Gatland, Coach Tours Australia

Comments (1) Interviews

Hi Steve. Thanks for speaking wth FOCUS about Coach Tours Australia. You’ve had a very busy 2018. Tell us about some of the exciting tours, events and performances you have in store for 2019?

Yes Sarah; we’ve had a very busy 2018, with one of the highlights being our trip to Kangaroo Island via The Great Ocean Road. Also very popular on the 2018 program were coach trips to see Celine Dion and Andre Rieu.

Our 2019 program will be even more exciting, with performance trips to see Daniel O’Donnell, Human Nature and Elton John. Our annual trip to See Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour always attracts a full coach. Most of my performance and event tours are initiated through popular demand or by knowing my customer preference.

Extended tours on our 2019 program include “The Silo Mural Art Trail”, which takes us through outback Victoria visiting Warrnabool, Port Fairy, Ballarat, Sheep Hills, Patchewwollock and Bendigo.

We also have our Dubbo Zoofari tour, where we spend overnight at the zoo in luxury huts with the front door of each facing the zoo residents. I’m told staying over at the zoo feels like we are actually on safari in Africa.

Also in the planning is an epic adventure to Queensland, where we tour The Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest.  

Our “Tasmania 2019 Autumn Leaves” tour departs on March 30 and returns April 12. This trip includes the best of our past six trips rolled into one, including new highlights such as Emu Valley Rhododendron Gardens, Hellyers Whisky Distillery, Flowerdale Lobster Ponds, Mt Wellington Summit, Bruny Island Traveller with Pannicott Wilderness Journeys, and one I’m really looking forward to is the Maria Island Buffet Cruise, where we circumnavigate the island and spend two hours on Maria Island.

Your patrons are certainly looked after whilst travelling in coach luxury. What are some of the key points of difference the coach offers, with particular reference to catering for seniors?

Well Sarah, in these times of tough competition and customers looking at “value for money”, I believe providing a personal service where the traveller can pick up the phone and speak directly with the driver, with the tour planner, with the one who’s keeping them safe throughout the adventure, making sure that every aspect of the tour goes according to plan, will shine through. When a potential customer calls Coach Tours Australia, they will be speaking with me.

Our senior clients can expect the following:

  • to be picked up and dropped off to your home town from Taree to Pacific  Palms. 
  • all tours are sensibly paced, with no less than two night stays in 4 to 5 star accommodation, with 9am departures from the hotel
  • no long haul days (no fun sitting on a coach all day)
  • all trips are fully escorted, with no less than two crew on-board for every trip
  • I have set up the coach like a mobile cinema, with three large DVD screens with a wide range of entertainment in ultra high definition
  • On-board wi-fi, so you can send photos and messages to loved ones whilst on-tour
  • we provide wheelchairs and assistance for the long walks at airports and other locations
  • excellent air-conditioning and on-board chilled water
  • morning tea stops on all trips

What do you enjoy most about your owner/operator business, and what have been some of your highlights from the past year?

I very much enjoy the clapping of hands in appreciation when we near the completion of each trip. I enjoy providing access to tours, performances and events to those who wouldn’t normally be able travel on such adventures. 

I enjoy seeing my guests making new friends and in some cases, close relationships whilst on tour. Our on-tour dinner banquets are a great example where these situations arise.

My highlight of the past year was taking 46 guests on a stroll through a wild seal colony at Seal Bay on Kangaroo Island – one of the only two places on Earth where you can walk amongst rare Australian Sea Lions. 

For bookings for upcoming tours and enquiries, how can people reach you?

People can reach me by calling 0411 568 022 or email me at – you can always check out the Coach Tours Australia website: to see our planned tours, performance and events. I really like people calling me, and I’m happy to answer any questions, especially on weekends. You can call me outside of business hours, on weekends and public holidays.

Thanks Steve.

One Response to Steve Gatland, Coach Tours Australia

  1. Marie sweeney says:

    Hi Steve when do your tickets to Elton John tour go on sale?

Leave a Reply