Study Tours

Varied Programs of Study Tours for Society Members

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.

Heather Rushton

Heather Rushton

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 120 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. Since 2014 Heather has led tours to diverse locations from the Caribbean to the Arctic Circle. Copies of her Newsletters with information about upcoming tours can be viewed here. To receive information about these tours contact Heather by email at

Colin Sale

Colin Sale

Colin 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.

Upcoming Study Tours

“If India was the Jewel in the Crown of the British Empire, the remote North East of that country is its Hidden Jewel” (Tony Howard). Nestled in the Eastern Himalayas the region is known for its natural beauty, abundant wildlife and cultural diversity. With a strong Buddhist influence, tribal traditions and stunning
mountain scenery, this part of India has a distinctive character setting it apart from the rest of the country.

Please click here for more information, including the itinerary and price.  Please contact the ACR office or Heather Rushton for an application form if you are interested.

India 2 India 3 Namibia 1

This tour has been rescheduled from 2017, allowing time for the price and itinerary to be renegotiated. It will now commence on April 3 2018 and be limited to 8 passengers, the maximum load (plus tour leader and driver) for a Land Rover that will allow access to difficult areas.

Commencing in the Namibian capital Windhoek, the 20 day tour travels through the Namib Desert to Swakopmund on the coast, via the massive and spectacular sand dunes of Sossusvlei. It then turns back inland to the Spitskoppe Mountains to see Bushman paintings and continues into the desert to find the unique breed of elephants that dwell there. Along the way there will be experiences of Damara, Himba and Bushman cultures. The tour will include two days in Etosha National Park, known internationally for its amazing wildlife viewing. It will then continue to the Kavango region along the river of the same name for further wildlife viewing.

After travelling along the Caprivi strip, the group will cross into Botswana and visit Chobe National Park, famous for its vast elephant population. If passengers wish to spend time in the ecologically diverse Okavango Delta there is the option to fly by small plane to a 5 star tented camp located on one of the many branches of the river – a unique and wonderful experience. The tour concludes in Zimbabwe at mighty Victoria Falls, which, after the rainy season, should be at its best.

Namibia and Botswana offer a range of landscapes, a variety of cultures and an abundance of wildlife. These features, along with the quality accommodation (be that hotels, lodges or tented camps), make this destination very worthwhile. In addition, Namibia and Botswana are considered to be the safest countries in Southern Africa and a visit to this fascinating part of the world is highly recommended.

Please click here for more information, including a full itinerary and price.  For an application form, please contact Heather Rushton or the ACR office


The 23 day tour to Eastern Europe, departing September 20th, spends time in four countries. It commences in Romania with a heady mix of culture, history, natural beauty, legends, traditional food and fun. The tour then continues into Hungary for more history, culture and wine before crossing into Slovakia and onto architecturally diverse Bratislava. The tour concludes in beautiful and culturally rich Vienna.

Thursday 20th September to Thursday 11th October 2018
23 days, 22 nights

Please click here for more information, including a full itinerary and price.  For an application form, please contact Heather Rushton or the ACR office

Eastern Europe 1 Eastern Europe 2 Eastern Europe 3

Lying at the cross roads of Europe and Asia are the Caucasus, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. From the shores of the Caspian Sea and historic Baku, through the vineyards of Kakheti and into the spectacular Caucasus Mountains, the tour will be following in the footsteps of Silk Road traders, Crusader Knights and Ottoman Princes. The region is packed with legends, stunning scenery and hospitable people.

More information, including a full itinerary and price, will be supplied closer to the date or you can contact Heather Rushton at

Causasus 1 Causasus 2 Causasus 3

Past Study 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. His 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 our resource library.

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

Heather Rushton has now led five Geographical Society tours.

2014 - South Korea and Mongolia 

2015 - (March) South India

2015 - (Nov) Japan

2016 - Tropical South America 

2017 - Svalbard, Greenland and Iceland 

To see reports about any of these tours please go to 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

To see reports about any of these tours please go to our resource library.

For more information about Stephen and the places he has travelled (including his travel diaries) please got to his website: