Becoming a Tour Guide

 

The world of tour guiding can introduce you to Australia’s richest natural and cultural experiences and see you working with like-minded souls in world class locations.  You’ll laugh with guests, dive deeper into the fascinating stories of Australia and discover a lifestyle that many can only dream about.

Tour guiding offers diverse career choices and the freedom to travel and explore behind the scenes of your favourite experiences.

The Job Role

Many tour guides are contracted casually. Others take part-time or seasonal employment as different parts of Australia have different peak tourism seasons. You may base where you can work all year round or follow the visitor seasons in the north (April to October) and south (November to March).

If you are a contractor, you will need an Australian Business number (ABN) and your own Public Liability Insurance. These are not required for employees.

Guides are responsible for guests’ safety, education and entertainment, so your life experience and people skills are important.

Different guiding roles may involve driving a coach or boat, walking groups through busy or even remote areas, so you will need to be able to manage a group.

Some tour guides take multiple short tours in a day, others guide longer experiences. You may also help coordinating tour planning, assist in other roles at a resort or contribute to social media marketing.

There is no single model for the tour guide’s role!

Qualifications

There are no specific tour guiding qualifications for most tour guiding jobs, although the following are necessary in some cases:

  • Driver’s Licence including Light, Medium or Heavy vehicle levels
  • Public Passenger Authorisation – State/Territory based check on your medical, driving and criminal history
  • Boat licenses – check specific levels for the type of vessel
  • Working with Children – child safety checks for those working with students or children
  • First aid – recommended for all tour guides
  • Uluru Kata Juta or Kakadu Tour Guide Accreditation – required to guide in these locations

Building Your Skills

To build your confidence and deliver a great visitor experience, consider some professional development. Savannah Guides provides a range of options to help you become a great tour guide.

  • Cultural Awareness – learn about Australia’s Indigenous heritage
  • Field Schools – join tour guides and operators for workshops and networking at incredible locations
  • Accreditation – start your journey as an EcoGuide, Savannah Guide or Wet Tropics tour guide
  • Online courses – coming soon!

Getting a Job

  • Download our Introductory Tour Guiding Kit – a workbook on how to start your guiding journey
  • The Savannah Guides network includes our Enterprises in northern Australia that employ seasonal guides April to October. Ask them about available positions.
  • Our wider tourism networks extend across Australia. Contact us for leads in different regions.
  • Check Seek or other job websites; Join Facebook’s “Tour Guides Australia” Private Group or simply approach tour operators or attractions you’d like to work for. There are currently many vacancies for tour guides around Australia!