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Australia’s Best Guides – Richard Graham | Bespoke Sydney

Richard Graham has travelled to some of the most exotic destinations in the world and he has many amazing photos and stories to keep you entertained for hours – but no matter where he travels, he still calls Sydney home.

His new and exciting concept in tourism has come from a rich family travel history spanning three generations. Richard started travelling at the age of 5 and has travelled to a different country every year since then.

What got you started with showing people around Sydney and what do you find most interesting about it?

For young Australians, going on a solo trip overseas has long been a rite-of-passage. When I was a young man of 24 I went on a 14-month trip to South America where I tracked 16 countries along the Andes. While I referred to my Lonely Planet Guide, I wasn’t interested in following the “gringo” trail. Instead, I would befriend locals and wander back streets until I felt I had uncovered the town or city in all of its gritty glory. On returning, I wasted no time by setting up with little more than myself and a vintage 1964 EH Holden. I’d always had a real passion for the city of Sydney, storytelling, and the unbeaten track, so sharing that with visitors came naturally to me.

How do you bring Sydney to life on your tours?

My point of difference is to bring an element of creativity and surprise into everything I do. My wife always jokes that “no” doesn’t exist in my vocabulary. Because of that, I’ll come up with pretty out-there ideas, like having a barbeque on top of the Harbour Bridge or an open air movie night in the Botanic Gardens. The difference is that my team and I will always find a way to connect our guests to Sydney by giving context to their experience with us.

Why do you think it’s important that people learn about Sydney?

I try to steer clear of the expected, tired, and overdone. I always go beyond by adding an extra layer of knowledge and perspective. I also have a real passion for our country’s Indigenous culture and history, and I work with local elders and communities to incorporate that into what we do.

If people wanted to find out more about Sydney are there any particular books, documentaries or websites you would recommend?

Crocodile Dundee: I know it’s a cliché, but it really is an essential guide to understanding our dry and colourful sense of humour.

Ten Canoes: This is one of my favourite films. I would go as far as to say a masterpiece. A raw and eye-opening glimpse into Aboriginal life before British settlement, Ten Canoes is a great way to get familiarised with the culture and history of the world’s most ancient civilisation.

What’s your favourite Australian animal and why?

Kookaburra as it has the responsibility for singing out to the sun to rise every morning.

What place is Australia’s best-kept secret?

Shark Island in Sydney Harbour.

What haven’t you seen / done in Australia that you’d like to and why?

Follow the songline of the Echidna from Yengoin NSW (a sacred site for Aboriginal people) to Uluru in the Northern Territory. This ancient route was walked along by hundreds of thousands of Aboriginal people and to experience it today with an Aboriginal Elder would be a once in a lifetime experience.

Finally, how can people follow you on social media?

Instagram: @mydetour_australia


Click here to find out more about Australian travel with Alquemie


A new type of luxury vacation in Australia

Been there, done that? Maybe not quite… There’s a new type of luxury vacation in Australia and it’ll show a side of our continent that only a few are privileged enough to see.

For the well-travelled, it’s hard to continue to impress. It’s not just about luxury resorts lest destinations become a bit too same-same but different… variations on a similar theme. And in Australia, many people don’t realise that there is so much to see beyond the Sydney Opera House and Ayres Rock.

This is where Alquemie comes into play. Our team of specialists are more closely aligned with event managers than travel agents and our knowledge of Australia is second to none. We craft the most magical of luxury Australian vacations with exclusive experiences that may even be yet-to-be created.

Allow us to inspire you…

Haggerstone Island

On your luxury vacation in Australia go waterfall exploring on Haggerstone Island
Go waterfall exploring by helicopter on Haggerstone Island

Haggerstone Island is all your Robinson Crusoe dreams come alive at once, entwined with a high level of service, comfort and exquisite food and wine. This private island is hosted by ex-crocodile hunter Roy Turner and his wife Anna. It is exclusive rustic luxury with a huge dose of adventure thrown in, and for families with teens it doesn’t get much more fun.

Luxury Vacation in Australia at Haggerstone Island
You can have Haggerstone Island all to yourself

Aside from incredible fishing and wonderful snorkelling, activities can range from mud crabbing and oyster grabbing to wake-boarding or exploring waterfalls by helicopter. It certainly is a luxury vacation in Australia of a different kind.


Bamurru Plains

View wildlife on an airboat safari with a luxury vacation in Australia at Bamurru plains
View wildlife on an airboat safari at Bamurru Plains

It’s hard to not rave about Bamurru Plains. For people who love the African experience – luxury tented camps, wildlife safaris, bird-watching and Mother Nature at her best, then Bamurru Plains is a must-do.

Spot wildlife from The Hide at Bamurru Plains
Fall asleep to the sounds of the bush on a Tree Top Sleep Out at The Hide at Bamurru Plains


From February to April as the floodwaters of the wet recede, Bamurru Plains near Kakadu National Park in the Top End, is transformed into a fishing lodge, offering anglers the chance to catch and release Australia’s world famous Barramundi in the nearby rivers, creeks and estuaries.

Then from May onwards as the dry season approaches, this Wild Bush Luxury property explodes with wildlife. Guests can fall asleep to the sounds of the bush with the Tree Top Sleep Out experience – a romantic overnight sleep in a luxury swag at The Hide, 6-metres above the ground.


Secret Sydney

Sunset over Sydney Harbour Bridge from Milk beach, Vaucluse Image credit: Elisa Bohle
Sunset over Sydney Harbour Bridge from a secret beach Image credit: Elisa Bohle

Experience a different side of Sydney where ancient ferns and 250 million year old sandstone lead you down a narrow laneway to one of Sydney’s most spectacular skyline views. Explore its back streets, cafes and parks, suburbs rich with Aboriginal heritage, and hidden beaches that most tourists are not privy to. As with every luxury vacation in Australia that we craft, we immerse each guest in a Sydney tailored to their passions and no two visits are the same.

For more inspiration on just some of the magical experiences that we can arrange in Australia, please click here.


Click here to find out more about Australian travel with Alquemie