Left to right is Sensory Tourism Australia Founder and Managing Director James (Buck) McFarlane, Tourism Australia Chief Marketing Officer Susan Coghill and Sensory Tourism Australia Co-Founder and Director Kellie Hayes together on stage. Buck is holding the gold award for Excellence in Accessible Tourism at the 2023 NSW Tourism Awards. There is a giant screen behind them with a picture of a Cocky Guides group on the summit of Mount Kosciusko.
2023 NSW Tourism Awards. Picture: Gregg Porteous

Sensory Tourism Australia is led by James (Buck) McFarlane and Kellie Hayes, the team that founded Cocky Guides, the most awarded group tour operator for blind and low-vision Australians. Sensory Tourism Australia exists to share unique Australian experiences for blind and low-vision international guests.

Sensory tourism is an emerging concept that presents destinations
differently, with less emphasis on traditional sightseeing. Physical
and multisensory aspects of a destination are the priority to
enhance the tourism experience for blind and low-vision travellers
with their other senses – hearing, taste, smell and touch.

Sensory Tourism Australia provides one-on-one support for blind and low-vision International travellers in Sydney and Melbourne.

In addition, Sensory Tourism Australia works closely with the award-winning, slightly off-beat and uniquely Aussie tour operator Cocky Guides. Together, they curate unique group itineraries and experiences for fit, independent, mobile blind and low-vision international visitors who want to share their Australian expertise with others.

Departures throughout the year from Sydney or Melbourne are 8 to 12 days long, with a maximum of 16 travellers. Blind and low-vision travellers can select their preferred choice of two support levels – 1 in 2 or 1 in 4, a ratio of trip leader to guests.

Since launching in August 2018, Cocky Guides have specialised in providing unique, multisensory adventures for the blind and low-vision community. More than 1,250 travellers have visited 60 destinations with Cocky Guides. Cocky Guides is a licensed Parks Eco Pass operator with NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service and is the recipient of the Gold Award for Excellence in Accessible Tourism at the prestigious 2023 NSW Tourism Awards.

For more information about Cocky Guides, visit www.cockyguides.com.au.