About Essential DownUnder Travel
Essential DownUnder Travel (EDUT) has been planning award-winning custom itineraries since 1999. We have worked with hundreds of travelers who want to experience what they see – not dash from place to place. Most had never used a travel agent before, but wanted advice from somebody who had “been there, done that” so their time and money was well spent.
Some wanted five star resorts; some wanted to try at least a bit of camping under the stars. Most wanted to “mix it up.” They wanted to meet some Aussies and Kiwis so they could understand what life was like downunder. They wanted tours that appealed specifically to their hobbies, interests, and lifestyles. They wanted professional guides and small group day trips and experiences rather than “mass market” big bus tours.
EDUT has earned five coveted Opal Awards from Tourism Australia as well as awards from Tourism New Zealand. But the best testimony of all: over 90% of our clients are repeat clients or folks who were referred by former clients.
EDUT is owned by Tammy Lindsey, a California native who has over twenty years of experience selling trips to Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. Before buying EDUT in April 2016, Tammy worked for some of the top wholesalers in the travel industry. She was highly respected as “tops in the business” for her work skills and her extensive knowledge of the destinations. She has traveled throughout Australia, New Zealand and many islands of the South Pacific.
Tammy’s favorite Aussie experience is Kangaroo Island. And no wonder! It’s the favorite of 97% of our Aussie travelers! She also loves diving, and is an avid horseback rider at home.
What Tammy loves most about New Zealand is “Scenery, scenery, and more scenery! From kayaking the Abel Tasman, to rafting the Shotover River in Queenstown, NZ is breathtaking!” Top experience: heli-hiking on Franz Joseph Glacier.
Former owner Karolyn Wrightson had been a writer/journalist for thirty years before starting EDUT. In 1993 she traveled New Zealand from top to bottom and then skimmed the highlights of Australia to write some travel articles. Along the way she bought a book written by a female Aussie journalist who left her comfy life in Sydney and spent five years traveling the outback – alone, during the Great Depression. “I had to buy a map to figure out where she had been!” Karolyn recalls. “I quickly realized she was seeing the Australia I wanted to see.”
In 1995 Karolyn returned to Australia and spent three months following that journalist’s trail, taking notes for a book describing how Australia had changed. But she kept meeting Americans who said “you are on the trip I wanted to be on! How did you plan it?” She wondered: was there a niche market for planning trips like hers? Karolyn started EDUT in 1999. In the next years she spent many more months visiting the quaint nooks and crannies of New Zealand and soaking up the immense variety of what Australia has to offer.
In 2016 Karolyn sold EDUT to Tammy Lindsey. She serves as a consultant to EDUT and is finally writing her book: The Great Australian Sprit: One Woman’s Journey Inside the Outback.