Savvy ways to find travel discounts across Australia for senior travelers
Australian senior citizens get great deals with their senior cards issued by the government, but so do non-citizen seniors who are travelling within the country. Savvy seniors travelling in Australia know how to find and get those deals.
Ticket offices for cable cars, tourist sites, buses, museums, and a huge variety of other travel-related services nearly always ask how old seniors are before collecting their money. Seniors often are entitled to discounts. If the service doesn’t ask, the savvy senior should. This may be the only time you are ever willing to admit your age to strangers, but it doesn’t hurt, not when you consider the savings to your travel budget. Even if you’re no older than 50, you might save a little. There are also add-ons services for seniors, especially at hotels. When booking, there is no harm in asking for add-ons like free use of the gym, spa or Internet service.
Before leaving for the land down under, do some online research. Most tours, hotels and rail travel arrangements can be made in advance, but the discounts come at the time of booking. Online research will let you determine where to find the best senior discounts that can range from 5% to %50 off the regular adult cost. If you are travelling with an Australian senior, you may reap the same rewards he gets with his government issued senior card.
Not all travel-related companies advertise that they offer senior discounts, but that doesn’t mean they don’t, so while travelling through Australia, always ask before purchasing bus tickets, eating in restaurants, or booking hotel rooms.
Victoria Samplings for Seniors: Summer to Winter
When you’re in Corio Bay on the south-west coast of Australia don’t miss the lunch cruise along the the Port of Geelong for a little as $28 as a senior.
If you love flowers, make your way to the Tesselaar Tulip Festival in Silvan. It’s a one-hour drive from Melbourne. The festival takes place from the middle of September to the middle of October. During the festival, every Friday is senior day with free horse and carriage rides, tea or coffee, and live entertainment.
If you’re a skier and travelling at the right time of year, make your way to Falls Creek or Mount Buller in Victoria. At Falls Creek, skiers who are 70 or older don’t have to pay for their ski passes. Younger skiers from age 65 can ski for half price. Baby boomers can spend a couple of days at Mount Buller and get the second day ski passes free.
Queensland Adventures for Savvy Seniors
Leave the knitting and football matches behind and have a little adventure, Queensland-style. Instead of retiring to the couch, make your way to Australia’s tropical regions, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Outback.
Queensland has a lot to offer older travellers who have a love of adventure. Take a pontoon tour around the Great Barrier Reef, a hike through the rain forest, or a jeep tour into the rugged outback. There are senior discounts for nearly every activity. If you’re not asked if your a senior when you book these activities, then don’t be shy. Ask if a senior discount applies to the cost.
How about an easy ballon ride over Cairns and Australia’s tropical north? Price per adult is $30 AUD for 30 minutes. You can include this as part a tour. Be sure to ask for your seniors discount upon booking. More information can be found at godo.com.au.
Make your way to the Mossman Gorge, located less than an hour from Port Douglas. It’s a great opportunity to see the rain forest, and wildlife. Swim in natural swimming holes, take a cable ferry across the Daintree River or take river cruise and enjoy the scenery from the water.
See the Great Barrier Reef by air. Fly by helicopter from Cairns and be swept over the Coral Sea. It passes over Green island, Upolu Cay, and Arlington Reef. Senior prices begin at $325 AUD for a 30 minute flight. It might burn the travel budget, but what a way to see the reef.
If you’d rather cruise the water than the air, there are several tour boat boat operators all along the Coral Sea that will take you out to the reef for several hours. Prices for seniors begin at about $200 AUD.
Northern Territories: If It’s Tuesday, It Must Be Alice Springs
Do some advance planning and find a bus tour into the middle of Australia. You’ve read the book, now see the town. There are a number of bus tours from major cities in the south into other parts of Australia. Each day of the tour offers something different to see and do, a different town, region or points of interest.
How about a round of golf at Alice Springs Golf Club. It’s known as one of the world’s finest desert courses – a scenic green course with the backdrop of the MacDonnell Ranges. Travel with an Australian senior and look for a discount. A round of golf is about $20 AUD.
No visit to the Northern Territories is complete without seeing the famous monolith, Ayers Rock, located in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. There are several tours that will take into the park to see Ayers Rock with overnight stays of two, three or five nights. You will experience Aboriginal culture as the tours take you from Alice Springs with overnight stays at Kings Canyon Wilderness Lodge. Prices begin at approximately $400 AUD. Ask for a senior’s discount when booking.
Most large tour companies, like popular AAT Kings Tours, offer senior discounts to Australian citizens who possess senior cards, but few promote discounts to seniors travelling from foreign countries. Always ask at the time of booking. If you’re travelling with Australian seniors in your group, you are more likely to get the same discount. Unfortunately, this is the same situation with all bus, train, and car rental transport. With good research, you will find great rates and companies who are willing to offer add-ons or further percentages off the adult rate.
Booking and arranging your Australian holiday in advance is a great way to ensure you get those deals and senior discounts. Even small touring outfits, ticket offices, or restaurants may offer discounts to seniors. Savvy seniors will save up to 50% on some costs. The land of Oz awaits.
About The Author: Gemma Hobbs, a Travel Insurance Specialist, has submitted this article on behalf of Covermore.com.au
Photo Credits – #1 stock.xchng, FLickr: #2 Linh-iOm, #3 graste, #4 KeesStaver