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FRESH FACES: AAT Kings’ Matthew Cameron-Smith


Matthew Cameron-Smith, new managing director of AAT Kings & Inspiring Journeys, shares with us his top travel tip, as well as the very special location of his next trip.

 

Where is the last place you’ve travelled?

I recently travelled with my family on a Trafalgar guided holiday to Tasmania, it was stunning. The natural beauty really shines through, from the lavender fields in Bridestowe to the incredible landscapes of Cradle Mountain and Freycinet National Park. 

Of course, the spectacular food and wine that Tasmania is famed for did not disappoint. We happened to be there at the same time as the Taste of Tasmania festival, a spectacular sampling of some of Tasmania’s best produce.  

We were also lucky enough to partake in a ‘Be My Guest’ lunch experience at Josef Chomry wines in the Tamar Valley. ‘Be My Guest’ experiences are offered on both AAT Kings and Inspiring Journeys and are a favourite with guests, offering authentic dining experiences, whereby travellers are welcomed into locals working farms and vineyards for a meal with their family whilst connecting with guests and sharing their stories.

 

Where are you going next?

I’ll be heading to Uluru next to see Bruce Munro’s Field of Light exhibition. AAT Kings is the only company that offers this unique viewing experience at sunrise which, I’m told, is magnificent.

Viewing the lights in the darkness with the sun slowly coming up behind Uluru in the distance will be a sight to behold and because of our exclusive access at sunrise, it’s a much more intimate experience compared to the sunset viewing. 

 

Besides your passport, what’s one thing you always take with you on your travels?

A good pair of running/walking shoes. I like to try and fit in some exercise when I travel if I can. And there’s nothing like exploring a city destination on foot to get a real feel for it.

 

Why did you move from Trafalgar to AAT Kings?

Given my passion for Australia and New Zealand, combined with the experience gained through Trafalgar’s innovation of the guided category, this is a great opportunity for me to grow my career and take this as the ideal next step.

AAT Kings is operated solely from Australia so to head up the entire operation which consists of over 400 staff, it’s an exciting move for me and I look forward to the fresh challenge.

 

Tell us something people might not know about the company?

Travelling responsibly and giving back to communities is so important and something we ensure to do at AAT Kings and Inspiring Journeys through our own brand initiatives and parent company The Travel Corporation’s non-for-profit TreadRight Foundation - which works to ensure that the environment and communities we visit remain vibrant for generations to come. 

We are proud to support a number of important projects with a focus on wildlife conservation in Australia - including the Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal to protect these endangered mammals from the fatal Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) epidemic; their donation supports vaccine research and works towards finding a solution to conserve Australia’s native wildlife.

We’ve also teamed up with Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors to support the Koala Rehabilitation Project at their Wildlife hospital – the country’s busiest wildlife facility. Along with koala rehabilitation, they also support the building of eco-friendly habitats to protect the sick and orphaned. We’ve since rehabilitated 2000 koalas!

 

What’s the main thing consumers should know about AAT Kings?

AAT Kings has been showing travellers the best of Australia and New Zealand for over 100 years.  We’re evolving every year with the help of our customers’ feedback, turning guided holidays into a lifestyle choice.

 

What’s your top travel tip?

Pack light! I travel much lighter these days. I also always take a breathable laundry bag with me. Makes it easier to keep track of what needs laundering and equally easy to either take it to a laundromat or just tip it in when you get home.  

 


Written by: Matthew Cameron-Smith as told to Traveltalk
Published: 13 May 2019


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