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 Heather Rushton. 

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. A copy of her latest Newsletter with information about upcoming tours can be found here. To receive information about these tours contact Heather by email at

Upcoming Study Tours

Experience the breathtaking beauty of the landscapes, the astounding history and the incredible hospitality of these Silk Road countries.

The 21-day tour enters the Caucasus through oil-rich Azerbaijan. After experiencing an amazing amalgam of both ancient and modern in the capital, Baku, the tour heads east through semi-desert towards the lush and beautiful mountains around Seki.

The lovely rural landscapes continue over the border in Georgia’s winegrowing area of Kakheti where sampling the local product is a must. Whilst in Georgia there will be visits to picturesque towns and historic monasteries, a drive up into the spectacular Greater Caucasus mountains and time to explore Georgia’s handsome capital, Tbilisi.

Moving on into Armenia, there will be ancient monasteries in stunning locations, more magnificent scenery and an abundance of fabulous food. The Caucasus tour will conclude under imposing Mt Ararat in Yerevan, Armenia’s lively and friendly capital.

There will be a stop-over in Dubai on the return journey. The tour is priced at $6870 (twin share – Land content only).

The air fares at this stage would be about $3000, bringing the cost to about $10 000. This is very good value which you can easily see as virtually the same tour, being offered by Travel Directors, is priced at $17 000. If you are interested in this tour, the closing date is the end of February. Please contact Heather Rushton ASAP.


This tour features a two-week cruise on a small ship (maximum 140 passengers).

It starts in Manila, ends in Darwin and explores many beautiful Philippine and Indonesian islands along the way. The tour doesn’t follow the usual tourist routes and goes to places that larger cruise vessels can’t reach. The emphasis is on education rather than entertainment.

The cruise passes through regions that abound in biodiversity including rare and endangered wildlife, and the remote tropical outposts visited are equally rich in history, heritage and ancient cultures. Highlights include the Chocolate Hills of Bohol Island, Halea Nature Park on San Miguel Island, Banda Neira in the Spice Islands and the chance to swim with Whale Sharks.

A full itinerary is available on application. Currently the cruise price starts at $12 850 pp for a Main Deck Triple cabin (double and single cabins are available). The price includes one night in a hotel in Manila, a flight to Legazpi City (where the cruise begins), all on board accommodation with meals, on shore excursions and activities.

There is also a program of lectures by noted naturalists. The price does not include airfares. If you are interested in this tour, you will have to act very quickly in order to take advantage of discounts being offered at the moment. 


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 

2018 - North East India

2018 - Namibia/Botswana

2019 - Sri Lanka

2019 - Caucasus

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: