We have been running tours around the world since 2010 and have noticed that we often get more women than men, and once - by chance - we actually had an all-women’s group and the dynamics were amazing: Guests told us it gave them the opportunity to relax and just be themselves in a totally
welcoming and non-judgmental environment where all levels of photography were accepted, no question seemed too stupid and where they could escape being a mother, partner, business owner, sister, aunt or grandmother for a while and just indulge in their passion and meet other like-minded women who love the outdoors and photography.
It's true that the photography industry (particularly in Australia) is male dominated and we want to work to change this - and having a women's only tour - run by women, for women - is a great way to start! By celebrating women in photography, we hope to change the landscape of the photography industry in Australia helping bring female photographers to the front.
Loved by non-photographers too, our photo tour holidays offer the ultimate, small-group travel experience to the world's most wonderful and unique places - with special access away from the crowds. I love to travel, but I hate being stuck with loads of other people (especially when we've got nothing in common), being taken to the regular, over-crowded tourist attractions or wasting hours in an amazing country just relaxing by some pool. I want to get the most out of my holidays - I want to see as many different animals as I can, I want to travel through different landscapes and be shown hidden gems off the beaten path, I want to experience the culture, taste the food, meet new friends with similar interests, enjoy some luxury and importantly, I want to have the time to take some beautiful and unique photos of it all. This is what we strive for with our photography tours and workshops.
It's not enough for me to spot a distant lion, tick it off and move on - I wan't to have the option to try and get closer, on the correct side for best lighting and even wait for him to lift his head and stare directly down the barrel of my camera lens for a great photo - or to move on when I'm done - I want flexibility. I want the inside tips for the best photo location to be ready when the sun rises over the horizon and spills across the bay onto those boulders - and if I can't quite get my photo to work, it'd be awesome to have a friendly pro-photographer right there to offer advice (not one who'll stand in front of me to get the best shot themselves!). If there's a seal colony out on an island nearby, then I'd want to charter a boat tour out there just with my friends onboard so we can spend as long or as short as we want to get the photos without being crowded on a regular sight-seeing tour. If the seal colony was a bit of a tourist attraction on a local beach then I'd want to wait for the crowds to leave, and go down onto the beach after hours - just us as a small group, and a private ranger guide to photograph them at our leisure in beautiful evening lighting.
You don't even need to be a photographer to love this style of holiday - who wouldn't like a bit of luxury and a bit of extra patience from their tour leaders, or to be given the opportunity to fly over lakes covered in pink flamingos in Africa in a doors-off plane or over a beautiful coastline in a doors-off helicopter for some epic views? Stay on a private island, learn some new skills with your photography, make some new friends and have an unforgettable, unique holiday - all at the same time! Sound good? Well, there's a reason more than half of our guests come back again, and again on our photo tours!
Absolutely not! We have many non-photographers (and partners of photographers) enjoy our tours! As one guest said "It didn’t matter that I’m not a photographer - I used my iPhone. Just experiencing all these amazing locations at a relaxed pace, in comfort and without the crowds was wonderful!". The expert photography tuition is a bonus - the incredible access to experience the best places in a tiny group is the main thing! If you're traveling to take photos, or just as a holiday - in the end, it's all about seeing as many of the amazing animals as possible, experiencing the local food and culture, admiring the landscapes, breathing the fresh air and enjoying the whole unforgettable experience with a small group of friends. Whether or not you put a camera in front of your face doesn't really change this. We've had many non-photographers come on our tour, enjoying just spotting animals, identifying them, or watching their behaviour and by the end of the trip many of them do start picking up a camera (or borrowing one of ours) and start getting excited about photography too! Some have later gone on to become full-on photographers, to the delight of their partners! Either way, they have a ball and often come away with us again and again.
Most photography guests are beginner to keen-enthusiast level - so no need to stress that your photography may not be good enough - the whole point is to improve your photography, no matter what your level! Our tours are enjoyed by everyone from non-photographers, iPhone and happy-snap photographers right up to serious professionals. We start each tour with a quick photography crash-course, and our expert photography guides are there to help you throughout the whole tour. There is no better way to improve your photography than spending a solid week or two practicing, surrounded by amazingly inspiring subjects, with a small, friendly group of like-minded people. You will be amazed how much your photography will improve. We're there to offer as much or as little assistance as you'd like, at whatever level of complexity you're ready for.
The level of physical activity varies for each of our tours, however none involve strenuous hiking or anything like that. In Kenya, for example, the hardest thing you'll have to do is walk to and from your tour vehicle mostly, other destinations involve things like optional snorkelling, or may include short walks or humid conditions. We've had 83 year old guests, guests with bad knees and even heart-conditions do even what we consider our most strenuous tours, so rest assured the tour you're looking at is very likely achievable. If you're concerned, just ask us. The tour information booklet we provide for each tour gives a clearer indication of what's involved for each destination. We're very mindful of the abilities of our guests and can always provide less demanding alternatives for those wishing a break.
For each of our tours, we've carefully prepared (and keep updated) a detailed information booklet covering everything including our recommendations for what kind of camera & lenses we'd consider well suited for that trip, as well as also everything else like clothes, what type of power plug, what currency, what the climate is like, language tips and plenty of other information to help answer all your questions! We'll send you a copy of this information booklet when you book, or you can email us for one in advance. We also have a selection of lenses including telephoto lenses for hire, please email us in advance if you're interested.
We do have a selection of lenses (including macro, wide and telephoto lenses, for both Canon and Nikon) available for hire. Please just ask us about this if you're interested during your booking. There's no need for amazing camera gear though to enjoy our tours - some guests come as non-photographers or just with an iPhone camera and still absolutely love the experience of small-group, luxury and relaxed-pace travel to these very special places. It's up to you how serious you want your photography focus to be, and we do provide an information booklet for each tour including our recommendations for what kind of camera & lenses we'd consider best suited to maximise your photography for each trip. We'll send you a copy of this information booklet when you book, or you can email us for one in advance.
Fear not - more than half of our tour guests travel solo. To help you make friends before you even leave and to be reassured and aided by the advice of your fellow-travellers (and those who have gone before you), we've created an interactive Facebook group for our CBP Voyager Club members (that's anyone who's been on, or is going on any of our tours, which also gives them 10% OFF any future tours!). You can find out who's coming from your area, perhaps even meet up beforehand or fly together. This is a great resource and we encourage you to make the most of it if you're on Facebook! Anyone can read the CBP Voyager Club Facebook page, but you can only interact once you've paid your deposit.
We recommend that you book your flights and travel insurance with our dedicated, friendly travel agent Brenda as she can try and put you on the same flights and accommodations as your fellow travellers pre/post tour. Before you depart you'll be told exact details for who will be meeting you at the airport, holding what sign, and also give you contact phone numbers to call in the unlikely event that you are delayed or plans need to change.
And do not worry that most accommodation is twin-share - we're good at pairing you up with a roomie who you'll get along with - it has been the start of long-term friendships for many! We can't guarantee that we'll always be able to have you sharing with someone of the same sex - it depends on the gender split, but we do our best. You can request to purchase a single supplement (a room to yourself) if you really need to (subject to availability) though keep in mind that you're usually only in your rooms to sleep as we fill your waking hours with plenty to do, and the couple of occasions we have had guests request rooms to themselves, they end up regretting it when they see the amazing friendships that form between the other roomies.
Of course we can - even in places like Kenya we've successfully catered for vegan, gluten-free, lactose-intolerant and vegetarian guests, and all have had a wonderful tour.
Rest assured that we do not travel through any of the major danger hot-spots like those highly warned against in travel advisory boards etc. For example, in Kenya, we do not even pass through downtown Nairobi and we operate completely away from the coast / Mombasa region and the Somali border. The fact that we like to take you to the more tranquil, less-touristy places on our tours conveniently means we only ever spend minimal time in busy, built up areas or large tourist attractions where thieves or terrorists might target - most of the places we stay at are quite rural and private, and you'll quickly feel right at home & safe.
Our cancelation policies are in line with other leading tourism operators, and you can read all about them here in our Booking Terms and Conditions. We are proud to employ industry best-practices such as holding your payments in a trust-fund and have been awarded the T-QUAL tick (Australian Government's national symbol of tourism quality).
The Voyager Club is our photo tour loyalty program! As our photo tours apparently can be very addictive (we've had guests come to more than half a dozen of our tours!), we created the Chris Bray Photography Voyager Club, giving repeat guests 5% OFF future tours with automatic Silver Membership, and then 10% OFF as Gold Members after their fifth tour with us.
Either click the 'Book Now' button above and fill in your details, or simply contact us and let us know which tour you're keen to join us on, and we'll send you a deposit invoice to secure your spot, along with the tour information booklet and our Booking Terms and Conditions.
We'll pick you up in our tour minibus from Hobart Airport Tasmania or the town itself this afternoon and chauffeur you to our modern, hillside accommodation in West Hobart. Here you can chill-out for the afternoon as we wait for each of our fellow photographers to arrive. We'll all come together in the early evening for a welcome slideshow and photography crash-course, followed by a hearty BBQ dinner.
After an early breakfast, we'll head up the coast of Tasmania to catch the ferry to Maria Island, a must-photograph location. We've privately chartered the boat to show us parts of the island that are otherwise difficult to see before heading out to the Ile de Phoques – a rocky island full of gigantic sea caves and famous for its Australian Fur-seal colony. Keep your lenses ready for dolphins and sea birds such as Albatross too! Back at Maria Island we'll disembark the boat to explore the old settlements and walk to the 'Painted cliffs' for the afternoon before heading back to mainland Tasmania and driving to our two luxury houses at Coles Bay, overlooking the spectacular Hazard mountains.
This morning we'll rise before the sun and head just 5min down the road to Coles Bay to photograph a spectacular sunrise over the Hazard mountains framed with orange lichen covered rocks and Azure water. After a relaxed breakfast back at our houses we'll run a Lightroom tutorial followed by private 1-on-1 photography sessions with each of you. Get ready for an exciting afternoon because after lunch we'll jump in our Chartered doors-off plane and map a route over the Friendly Beaches and around to Wineglass for an amazing Arial photography scenic flight! We'll shoot the sunset at Coles Bay this evening and capture the various moods of the Hazard mountains as the golden light fades.
A change of location and scenery today as we head to the Cradle Mountain Wilderness area! But don't worry, it's not all just driving! We'll make a quick stop at the Bicheno Blow Hole before having morning tea at a wildlife park where we can photograph wildlife of Tasmanina close up, from Tasmanian Devils to Pademelons and native birds. En route we'll stop at Liffy Falls - often regarded as Tasmania's most beautiful waterfall. You'll soon understand why as you witness the cascading effect of this waterfall amidst the natural wilderness that surrounds it! This afternoon we'll check into the luxurious Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge. Immersed in the wilderness of Tasmania, this stunning lodge was voted in Lonely Planet's top 10 list of "extraordinary places to stay" in 2014. A short drive takes us to Dove Lake for our sunset photography shoot as we try and get the iconic image of cradle Mountain and the Dove Lake boathouse reflected in the still calm water. Don't worry if you didn't get that dream shot tonight, as we'll have a few other chances to get it right! We'll head back to Peppers for dinner at the Tavern.
We'll be up early this morning to catch the morning lighting and enchanting mist over Dove Lake, once again aiming for perfectly still reflections of Cradle Mountain and the boat shed on the surface of the water. We'll head back to Peppers for our buffet breakfast before we literally ‘lift off' on one of the most exciting activities of the Tasmania tour! We have charted a Bell Jet ranger helicopter to take its doors off and fly us over Dove Lake, Crater Lake, Cradle Mountain, Fury Gorge (Australia's deepest gorge), Barn Bluff and the Overland Track. This will be a remarkable opportunity to photograph the alpine lakes, mountains and get some beautiful scenic shots of the national park. After lunch back at Peppers we'll go for a walk along some of the local trails like the ‘Huon Pine' walk and see ancient old growth forests covered in moss, ferns and fungi or the ‘Enchanted forest' where you can walk beside a series of small waterfalls. Once again keep your eye out for wombats, pademelons and all the other iconic wildlife of Tasmania that come out at this time of day. Tonight we'll have the last crack at the classic sunset over Dove Lake. We'll end this incredible day with an amazing dinner at Pepper's famous Highland restaurant, after which we might even head back to Dove Lake to practice star trails over Cradle Mountain with those who are keen!
If we have managed to nail the iconic reflection shot at Dove Lake we'll let you sleep in this morning - you deserve it! Today we'll head back to Launceston Tasmania, where we'll either drop you off at the airport for your late afternoon flight (3 PM onwards) or at your desired hotel in the city if you are intending to stay on for another night.
IMPORTANT - Ensure you have read our Tour Booking Conditions prior to booking. A copy will be sent with your deposit invoice, and must be signed and returned to us (an emailed scan/photo of your signed copy will suffice), before we accept and confirm your booking. The document covers everything from your rights, inclusions and payment schedule, to our cancellation policy and extent of liability.
All our tours are subject to minimum numbers. Please ensure you have read our tour conditions document for our cancellation policy (above).
All food is provided, and dinners will usually be accompanied by a complementary glass of wine from Tasmania, however, additional alcohol must be purchased at your own expense.
There won't be any strenuous hiking, but a reasonable level of mobility will be required to find the best photography spot, to climb into the helicopter and things like that. The walks to the fossil and painted cliffs on Maria Island involve an easy path walk of several km, however if you'd prefer to take photos around the historic sites around the ferry wharf while we go walking, there'll be plenty to keep your camera busy.
Price does not include flights from your home town into Hobart Tasmania, nor your flight back home from Launceston Tasmania.
After you book, we will email you an extensive information document telling you everything you need to know about the Tasmania photo tour from what camera gear to bring, mobile reception etc.
We can bring some Canon-mount macro lenses and wide-angle lenses to share (ask us in advance) and we'll bring a spare camera just in case but... be prepared to be self sufficient regarding your camera gear. We do hire out cameras and other lenses however if you book ahead.
A non-refundable, non-transferable $1,000 booking deposit is required.