The World Expeditions story began in 1975, when Australian Himalayan Expeditions commenced its operations with trekking holidays in Nepal. In subsequent years, the company expanded its operations into South America, Asia and then Africa.

To reflect the broader spread of holidays on offer, Australian Himalayan Expeditions changed its name to World Expeditions and continued providing high quality adventure holidays to small groups of like-minded travellers. The strong alignment to responsible tourism practices and commitment to supporting local communities remained at its core.

In the next ten years, World Expeditions continued to expand its operations to include all seven continents. Simultaneously, the Australian product range was greatly expanded, to include the first commercial rafting trips on the Franklin River and pioneering the iconic Larapinta Trail near Alice Springs. A merger with Tasmanian Expeditions and its superb range of walking holidays cemented World Expeditions’ place as a leader in the Australian space. All of the Australian adventure holidays were housed under a separate website, Australian Walking Holidays.

To service travellers in other parts of the world, a network of sales offices was established in New Zealand, the UK and Canada, as well as the Australian offices, resulting in a truly international mix on group departures.

In 2005, the company created UTracks to provide guided and self-guided walking and cycling holidays in Europe. The European operations were strengthened in 2012 when World Expeditions acquired UK company, Sherpa Expeditions and its extensive UK walking program. The combined UTracks - Sherpa program now offers more than 400 guided and self-guided itineraries across Europe. In 2017, Sherpa Van, a luggage transfer and accommodation service for self guided travellers on some of England's most iconic walks, was acquired to compliment the existing walking program in England.

Meanwhile, an opportunity to buy into New Zealand’s Adventure South operations was warmly received, with its style of travel fitting perfectly with World Expeditions. Adventure South remains the leading cycle specialist in New Zealand offering an exciting range of holidays ranging from the Otago Rail Trail to road cycle trips around the South Island. As the company saw growth in the self guided active travel market they purchased Trail Journeys, which focuses on self guided cycling trips along New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and on the Nelson Great Taste Trail.


In 2013, the company’s active travel expertise expanded even further with the launch of Great Canadian Trails out of its Ottawa office. Featuring both iconic and lesser-known parks and trails across Canada, Great Canadian Trails offers small group guided adventures plus a suite of supported self-guided hiking and cycling packages, welcoming travellers to the country’s rugged trails and charming communities.

An ongoing focus on the charity sector, is reflected by the company’s not-for-profit arm, Community Project Travel and its work with humanitarian projects globally. In addition to this, World Expeditions has worked over the decades to deliver funds for charities through travel. The company’s expertise in delivering unique itineraries led to the launch of a dedicated charity brand in 2013. Huma Charity Challenge centralizes the entire group’s fundraising trips under one umbrella. Charity challenges are specialised areas of travel, requiring management of fundraisers and the creation of specific charity challenge trips and Huma is poised to become a major provider in this sector.

The Youth Market has also been a prime focus for the company since the late 80s. Its work with schools and youth groups on international and domestic itineraries led to the establishment of World Expeditions Schools (formerly World Expeditions Schools), which was launched in 2010. Today, World Expeditions Schools works with hundreds of schools across the globe to deliver meaningful travel experiences, many of which feature a component of service learning work, providing the added benefit of delivering tangible benefits to communities in developing countries.


The acquisition of Trail Journeys in 2017 cemented our position as the leading cycle operator in New Zealand. The first company to offer any type of bike trip along the now famous Otago Central Rail Trail, Trail Journeys' self guided cycling trips are the ideal complement to the guided range offered by Adventure South NZ. 


In 2018, the World Expeditions Travel Group acquired the Blue Mountains Adventure Company, a long-respected operator of day adventure activities including canyoning, rock climbing, hiking and abseiling based in the Blue Mountains.  It is the 12th brand in the World Expeditions Travel Group and provides a welcome new operational base near Sydney, complementing the existing Australian domestic operations in Alice Springs, Darwin and Launceston.


In 2019, World Expeditions were crowned the Adventure Travel Wholesaler of the Year at The Travel Awards in Australia.


In 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Expeditions Travel Group responded to the surging demand for home grown active adventures with a new range of local, self-guided cycling adventures. Australian Cycle Tours offers active travellers a range of self-guided cycling adventures, crafted to maximum flexibility, affordability and convenience. 


In the same year we also released Great Walks of New Zealand, a brand comprising an innovative range of self-guided and guided walking itineraries in New Zealand’s stunning South Island. Complementing our respected New Zealand cycling brands, the Great Walks of New Zealand range takes travellers to some of New Zealand’s most beautiful trails and allows them to explore them at a pace that best suits them.  


To cater for its expanding client base in the US, in 2022 World Expeditions acquired a majority holding in US-based, small group adventure tour operator, Adventure Travel West. From its base in Denver, Colorado, Adventure Travel West Inc operates multi-day, small group active holidays in the Western US National Parks and in Hawaii, including hiking, active sightseeing, adventure, wildlife, and off-road adventures.


The World Expeditions Travel Group was registered in 2013 to incorporate the various brands into one organization. Collectively, the brands offer diverse and complementary travel products catering to the specific interests and segments within the international adventure travel market.


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