THE 10 BEST Victoria Tours & Excursions

Tours in victoria.

  • Wine Tours & Tastings
  • Sightseeing Tours
  • Up to 1 hour
  • 1 to 4 hours
  • 4 hours to 1 day
  • 5.0 of 5 bubbles
  • 4.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 3.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 2.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • Likely to Sell Out
  • Special Offers
  • The ranking of tours, activities, and experiences available on Tripadvisor is determined by several factors including the revenue generated by Tripadvisor from these bookings, the frequency of user clicks, and the volume and quality of customer reviews. Occasionally, newly listed offerings may be prioritized and appear higher in the list. The specific placement of these new listings may vary.

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1. Great Ocean Road Small-Group Ecotour from Melbourne

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2. Phillip Island Penguin, Brighton Beach, Moonlit Sanctuary from Melbourne

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3. Great Ocean Road Reverse Itinerary Boutique Small Group Tour

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4. Great Ocean Road Tour Plus Koalas, Forest Walk and Morning Tea

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5. Small-Group Yarra Valley Wine Tour: Wine, Gin and Cider

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6. Full-Day Phillip Island Tour with Kangaroo, Koala and Penguin Parade

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7. Small-Group Phillip Island Afternoon Day Trip from Melbourne

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8. Spirit of Melbourne Lunch Cruise

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9. Complete Melbourne Walking Tour

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10. Puffing Billy And Healesville Sanctuary Scenic Tour

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11. Phillip Island Penguins, Wine Tasting and Dinner from Melbourne

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12. Grampians National Park Small-Group Eco Tour from Melbourne

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13. Melbourne: Yarra Valley Wine, gin and chocolate Tour

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14. Yarra Valley Wildlife & Wine Day Tour from Melbourne with Healesville Sanctuary

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15. Highlights of Melbourne Cruise

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16. Melbourne: Yarra Valley Wines, Beer, Cider, Gin Tour with Lunch

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17. Great Ocean Road Reverse Itinerary PREMIUM Tour

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18. Small-Group Phillip Island Penguin Parade Day Tour from Melbourne

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19. Melbourne Foodie Discovery Walking Tour

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20. Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne

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21. Puffing Billy And Phillip Island Penguin Parade Bus Tour

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22. Yarra Valley Wine & Food Day Tour from Melbourne with lunch at Yering Station

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23. Melbourne Luggage Storage

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24. Phillip Island Penguin Parade Day Trip with Koala Conservation Reserve Visit

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25. Great Ocean Road 12 Apostles Tour

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26. Phillip Island Penguin Parade, Wildlife and Beach Boxes Bus Tour

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27. Phillip Island Penguin and Koala Highlights Day-Trip from Melbourne

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28. Great Ocean Road Sunset Tour from Melbourne

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29. Full-Day Great Ocean Road and 12 Apostles Tour

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30. Famous Melbourne City Bike Tour

What travellers are saying.

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  • Wilfred L 1 contribution 0 5.0 of 5 bubbles May 16th tour The tour was great! Long but worth it. A lot of scenic sites and the guide was very knowledgeable and funny throughout the trip. If you only have a few days in Melbourne, this tour is one to consider for the itinerary. WL Read more Review of: Great Ocean Road Tour Plus Koalas, Forest Walk And Morning Tea. Written 16 May 2024 This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Kyle M 1 contribution 0 5.0 of 5 bubbles Amazing, Customizable Wine Tour Experience This was such a fun day trip from start to finish! Getting to meet new friends in a small group, multiple wine tastings, a delicious lunch…what else could you ask for? I also love that you have options at a free points in the day. I’m not a gin drinker so kept on the wine tastings but also had options around lunch and loved finishing the day at the chocolate and ice cream shop. Callum is the best tour guide who’s ever taken on Yarra Valley, I guarantee it. Super accommodating and keeps everyone on track but with a smile on his face. Truly a legend! Read more Review of: Laid back,Small-Group Yarra Valley Wine Tour :Wine,Gin,Cider+more Written 16 May 2024 This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Liv S

  • Book Tickets
  • Hop-On Hop-Off CitySights
  • Butchart Gardens Experience
  • Reasons to go
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Double Decker Digest

City Tours & Beyond

Gray Line Sightseeing Victoria tours are the best way to explore Victoria!

Explore Victoria at your own pace with our flexible tours. Hop on our iconic Double Decker buses , enjoy a comfortable motor coach tour to Butchart Gardens , or immerse yourself in the city lights on our Evening City Sites tour .

With over 100 years of experience, Gray Line is synonymous with exceptional sightseeing. Join us for a memorable journey beyond expectations.

Explore Tours

The Butchart Gardens Experience

Explore the world-famous garden with its captivating themed gardens, exotic plants, and serene water features. It’s an unforgettable experience that will leave a lasting impression!

Hop On Hop Off

Unlimited sightseeing stopping at the best attractions around the city. Is there a better way to explore Victoria? Experience Victoria like no other aboard one of our open top double-decker buses. Sightseeing Victoria’s Hop on Hop off Tour allows guests great flexibility to explore the many popular attractions Victoria has to offer.

Reason to Go

The Butchart Gardens Sign

Butchart Gardens

Victoria Inner Harbour Coho Ferry

Steamship Terminal Pier / Coho Ferry

Old Town

Old Town / Chinatown

Fishermans Wharf

Coast Victoria Hotel and Marina

Cook Street Village

Cook Street Village

Beacon Hill Park

Beacon Hill Park

Gray line victoria in motion, graylinevic.

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Safe Travels

The health and safety of our visitors, staff and community continue to be our top priority as we move forward in our recovery efforts. The SafeTravels Stamp was created for travelers to recognize destinations and businesses around the world which have adopted the SafeTravels health and hygiene global standardized protocols. Learn More

EV Tours

Unforgettable times in Victoria, BC and Southern Vancouver Island

Private tours - drive and walk, your personal tour guide.

Discover the unparalleled beauty of Victoria, Southern Vancouver Island, and Salt Spring Island with a tailored private tour designed to align with your interests. Immerse yourself in the charm of Victoria, exploring its vibrant cityscape, exquisite wines, and breathtaking gardens.

EV Tours is a Victoria-based tour guide company. We provide extraordinary private tours customized to suit your schedule, interests, and pace. Knowledgable guides and luxury vehicles.

We specialize in small private tours for up to 6 people. Please call us to arrange for larger groups.

  • Info Private Tour
  • Hour Glass 4-5-6 Hours

Where the Dragon Meets the Tiger

Embark on an unforgettable experience with our exclusive “Where the Dragon Meets the Tiger” a private tour on Vancouver Island, and immersive exploration seamlessly blending the breathtaking beauty of nature, invigorating hikes or walk, and the captivating tales of the Juan de Fuca coastline.

  • Most Popular!

Backcountry Roads to Butchart Gardens

Private Victoria, BC tour to Butchart Gardens. Take a scenic drive through the countryside to the Butchart Gardens and experience the finest floral displays in the world. On your private guided tour you’ll see the gorgeous countryside of the Saanich Peninsula.

  • Hour Glass 4-5-6-7 Hours

Discover Southern Vancouver Island: Ultimate Family Exploration Tour

Experience Unforgettable Family Fun on Our Southern Vancouver Island Discovery Tour! Explore Enchanted Forests, Admire Totem Poles, Delight in a 19th-Century Castle, and relax on beautiful beaches. Perfect for All Ages!

Victoria Drive & Walk Excursion

Experience Victoria’s thriving Inner Harbour with its gorgeous Parliament Buildings and the famous Empress Hotel, then enjoy a scenic drive along the seaside to see mansions, a castle, and Fisherman’s Wharf.

  • Hour Glass 5-6-7 Hours 

Mystical & Enchanted Vancouver Island Tour

Unveiling Heritage Castle, Breathtaking Scenery, Forests, and Beaches

  • Hour Glass All Day

Magic of Salt Spring Island

Enjoy a 30 minutes water crossing through the stunning archipelagos of the BC Gulf Islands and explore a charming artist colony while enjoying the breathtaking surroundings.

  • Hour Glass 5-6 Hours

Victoria’s Wild Wonder Salmon Run Tour

Private tour from Victoria, BC beautiful Goldstream park to watch salmon spawning in the estuaries along the forest streams.

Experience the best of Victoria and Vancouver Island on a private tour catered especially to your interests.

Enjoy the peace of mind of excellent transportation and a knowledgeable local guide who makes sure you enjoy our vibrant city, wonderful wines, spectacular gardens, and more. We pick you up at your port of entry or hotel and take you to wonderful places by way of the most scenic roads. 

Expert local guides. Fabulous itineraries. Superior standards.

Hatley Castle near Victoria, BC, Canada

Five-Star Reviews on TripAdvisor

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Amazing experience! I had a wonderful time in Victoria and its surroundings thanks to EV Tours. Great service, right on time and excellent tour guide! I will use them again without any doubt! Qué increible experiencia! Pude disfrutar de la belleza de Victoria y sus alrededores gracias a EV Tours. Un excelente servicio, cumplidos y un quia entretenido y con mucho conocimiento. No dudaré en volver a usarlos en mi próxima visita a Victoria. Thank you! Gracias!

K, TripAdvisor

Our 'girls group' spent a day with Chris of EV Tours. Chris was friendly, personable and professional. He showed us around Victoria and was flexible when we wanted to stop somewhere or veer off the itinerary. I highly recommend EV Tours!

Carol bio photo

John picked four of us up from our cruise ship for a 5-hour tour. We drove around neighborhoods and viewed scenic and historic sights before heading for Butchart Gardens. John is a very smart and personable guy. He answered all our questions and adjusted the tour to what we wanted to see.

Kileen

We recently had a driving tour of Victoria on our Motorcoach. Our guide's name was John and he was excellent. He really knew his facts and presented the information in a very informative way. Looking forward to having John as our guide again next year.

tour companies victoria

We booked a private tour of Victoria and Butchart Gardens through EV Tours, and it was excellent! The car was clean and comfortable. Garth, our tour guide, planned the tour to fit around our needs and preferences. It was a happy and positive experience!

Lajema

We visited Victoria in Canada. Elizabeth our tour guide had suggested we visit the Butchart Gardens. She was amazing and patient with 2 kids, 1 baby and 3 elderly. At the same time, she was informative and fun for the rest. We highly recommended her!

tour companies victoria

Elizabeth (our guide) was very knowledgeable of Victoria and knew the answer to every question we asked. I recommend this private tour service wholeheartedly, especially if you don't want to be on a massive bus in a large tour group.

CVS Tours

Sightseeing Victoria

tour companies victoria

Hop-On Hop-Off Tours

Unlimited sightseeing, stops at the best attractions around Victoria, BC, what better way to explore the City! Hop aboard our open top double-decker bus and explore all the popular attractions Victoria has to offer.

The Butchart Gardens Experience

Explore the world-famous garden with its captivating landscapes, exotic plants, and serene water features. It’s an unforgettable experience that will leave a lasting impression!

tour companies victoria

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Experience the

Great ocean road, about lorne tours.

Welcome to Lorne Tours! We are a locally-owned and operated tour company based in the beautiful town of Lorne, Victoria, Australia. Our founder and lead tour operator, Jimmy Kambouris, has lived in the area for many years and has a deep passion for sharing its natural beauty and rich history with visitors from all over the world.

Our specialty is providing unforgettable tours of the iconic Great Ocean Road, including stops at the famous Twelve Apostles rock formations. We offer a variety of tour packages that cater to different interests and time constraints, from half-day trips to full-day excursions. Our tours are designed to take you on a journey through the stunning coastline, with stops at key locations that offer breathtaking views, opportunities for wildlife spotting, and chances to learn about the local history and culture.

What sets Lorne Tours apart is our commitment to providing personalized and authentic experiences. We keep our tour groups small so that we can give each guest individual attention and make sure that everyone has the best possible experience. Jimmy is an experienced and knowledgeable guide who is passionate about sharing his love for the region with others. He takes the time to get to know each guest and tailor the tour to their interests and preferences.

We also pride ourselves on our commitment to sustainable and responsible tourism practices. Whether you are a solo traveler, a couple, or a group of friends or family, we invite you to join us on a journey along the Great Ocean Road. Let Lorne Tours show you the best that this spectacular region has to offer.

Pickups from Melbourne or Avalon Airport, Geelong, Torquay, Lorne & Apollo Bay.

OUR EXPERIENCES

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Experience award winning wineries with options across The Bellarine, Moorobool Valley, Surf Coast and Otway Hinterland. Enjoy a day out with the best gourmet food and wines in the region. Local Breweries & Gin Tastings can be included.

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GREAT OCEAN ROAD

Join us to explore Australia's #1 travel destination. Our epic journey covers beaches, waterfalls, lookouts, coastal towns and The 12 Apostles region. We will create a bespoke experience combining your interests with our local knowledge.

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LORNE DAY TRIP

Explore the beauty of Lorne on our 4 hour day trip. See waterfalls, lookouts, historical sites and the Great Ocean Road, with local stories to keep you entertained. This trip is designed so that you can see more, do more and explore more!

LORNE TOURS REVIEWS

A 5-star rating doesn’t seem enough to capture just how great our day out and about on the great ocean road was with jimmy. what a legend jimmy’s local knowledge is second to none and his willingness to ensure everyone’s every needs are met is really great. this tour is excellent value for money and in a very comfortable vehicle, jimmy is the perfect host and wonderful storyteller. do yourselves a favour and book this fabulous day tour. you will be so glad you did..

Debra Howe, Mar 2023, Airbnb Review

#LORNE_TOURS

GET IN TOUCH

0436 026 488

[email protected]

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ACCREDITATIONS

​We are an Official Licensed Tour Operator with Parks Victoria.

We have an 8-seater van with a Commercial Passenger Vehicle license.

We have Public Liability insurance to run as a tour operator.

We provide COVID safe interactions and comply to all government health regulations to ensure your safety and wellbeing.

​​We are members of the Lorne Historical Society.

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Victoria Small Group Tours

Uncover new and exciting adventures in Victoria by taking part in our small group tours. Go sightseeing at your own pace surrounded by travellers like you. Provided by top tour operators & travel companies, our small group tours in Victoria will offer you the perfect balance between spending time on your own and group activities. View all small group tours .

11 Victoria small group tours with 51 reviews

3 Day Melbourne to Adelaide Overland (One Way) Tour

  • Coach / Bus
  • Hiking & Trekking

3 Day Melbourne to Adelaide Overland (One Way)

Bon guide bon groupe et great ocean magnifique dommage pour alimentations

Great Ocean Road & Grampians Adventure Tour

Great Ocean Road & Grampians Adventure

I have just filled in the review for Inspiration I am confused about which company organised it we have Intrepid., Inspiration and Tour Radar. I found the organisation poor and the amount of detail given to passengers lacking and confusing as other passengers had different details at times eg. the number of breakfasts some had 3 others had 5. The tour guide was not given enough details as he often had to ring the office for clarification eg. which motel we were booked into. We were not informed of the starting point and I had to ring to find out and then it was very vague eg told The Melbourne GAllery but we went there and it was closed so looked up the street to find the bus in a gutter with the doors open so assumed it was the one. The guide was excellent and deserves a pat on the back for his patience when he was not informed of details of motels or meal arrangements. We saw a great deal of very interesting views and places. Well worth the upsets and confusion .but very hesitant to use your company again due to lack of organisation .

Hike the Great Ocean Walk Tour

Hike the Great Ocean Walk

3 Day Great Ocean Road and Grampians Tour

  • In-depth Cultural
  • Sightseeing

3 Day Great Ocean Road and Grampians

This was our first time to Australia and we saw & learned so much in four packed days. Pierre was amazing, a non-stop stream of information on just about anything. I was constantly asking questions and never had one that he didn’t have the answer for. For example, while on the road between stops, I asked about the indigenous peoples of Australia and got a half hour thorough (and sometimes sad) lecture on their history. The hotels and included meals were first rate. Highly recommended.

Tour de Murray to Mountains Rail Trail - Group Weekend Tour

Tour de Murray to Mountains Rail Trail - Group Weekend

Our trip was self guided. Was well organised with great accomdation, meals and support.

Tour de North East Victoria - Active (Guided) Tour

Tour de North East Victoria - Active (Guided)

Walk Victoria\'s High Country Tour

Walk Victoria's High Country

Melbourne to Kangaroo Island Adventure Tour

  • Christmas & New Year

Melbourne to Kangaroo Island Adventure

Walk the Grampians Peaks Trail Tour

Walk the Grampians Peaks Trail

Melbourne to Adelaide Tour 3 DAYS Tour

Melbourne to Adelaide Tour 3 DAYS

It's a fun trip! 5 out of 5. Value for Money!!

Great Ocean Road and Grampians 3 DAYS Tour

Great Ocean Road and Grampians 3 DAYS

Brilliant tour, just made by our brilliant guide Darren. Fantastic scenery along Great Ocean Road, Lots of wildlife to be seen at Tower Hills and Halls Gap. And Darren was so informative and helped us spot the animals as well as sharing his fantastic photos. Also adjusted itinerary on the fly to deal with the weather, cooked us a barbeque, joked around, sorted any little issues and drove the bus. Put in 18 hour days, we are in awe.

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Best Melbourne Tour Companies

Search 37 Melbourne tour operators and travel companies, with 36 reviews.

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G Adventures

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Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T. Tours)

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Go Ahead Tours

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Great  Rail Journeys

Great Rail Journeys

Titan Travel

Titan Travel

Tourboks

World Travellers' Club

Cosmos

EF College Break (EF Ultimate Break)

Gate 1 Travel

Gate 1 Travel

Adventure Tours Australia

Adventure Tours Australia

Thirsty Swagman

Thirsty Swagman

Senior Coach Tours

Senior Coach Tours

Road Scholar

Road Scholar

Tauck

37 match your criteria (1 - 20 shown)

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View Melbourne trips

Plan your Melbourne trip

Melbourne Reviews & Ratings

Yvonne Brown

Highlights of Australia and New Zealand

Great look at locations in both countries

Annette Jolley

Well planned and we saw so many beautiful places in both countries.

John Cottreau

It was good. The hotels were good, But, for reasons noted above, the purchase was only good.

Merrie Mulka

The hotels were exquisite! However, I would have preferred to save some money by staying in 4 star rather than 5 star hotels and transporting my own luggage. The i...

Cecilia Hermsdorfer

Tastes of Southern Australia

I would call it "once in a lifetime," but am convinced I will go back!

See all Melbourne reviews

Trip planning

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EXPERIENCE VICTORIA

   proudly certified in sustainable tourism through travelife and biosphere committed..

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Experience Victoria is a premier Destination Services & Tours Company. Offering only the top rated tours and attractions, saving you time and money. Don't miss a thing with Experience Victoria.

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Find your adventure on the water, up a mountain, surrounded by gardens, flying through the tree tops, or back in time with high tea, carriage rides, and historic castles.

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Find treasures and gifts in quaint shops, local markets, and modern shopping centres. Victoria's unique shopping scene offers everything from local art, fashion, and antiques, to high end designs.  

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Victoria's culinary scene is second-to-none. Feast on fresh, local seafood and farm-to-table dining that will impress the most experienced foodies.

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  • Frequently Asked Questions
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  • Vancouver Island Tours
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Making Your Vancouver Island Dream a Reality

Open yourself to the possibilities waiting for you here on Vancouver Island, and let us take you on an unforgettable tour of a lifetime. Watch the Full Video

Start Your Journey

Boutique Island Tours That Inspire

With a whole island to explore, we have access to a rich variety of experiences for you to enjoy, no matter your interests. Imagine a feast of freshly foraged ingredients served by a five star chef in the middle of a rainforest, our signature cocktail in your hand. Or an exhilarating backcountry adventure that takes you high into the alpine meadows. Romance, nightlife, Indigenous culture, diverse wild spaces – it’s all within reach on this floating piece of paradise called Vancouver Island.

Upcoming Tours

West coast garden safari.

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Curated Just For You

We create unique and authentic experiences custom-tailored to your tastes and interests. Our deep connections in the community allow us special access to both hidden places and popular highlights. Maybe you want to be whisked to the top of a mountain by helicopter for a proposal. Or maybe you’ve always dreamed of circuit-racing a high performance car. You name the adventure, and we’ll create it for you.

Learn About Us

Some Call It The West Coast. We Call It Paradise.

Located off the North Pacific coast of British Columbia, Vancouver Island is 456 kilometers from end to end, and 100 kilometers at its widest point. Its coastline ranges from long stretches of luxurious sand, to wild and rocky with breathtaking views. Lakes, rivers and even waterfalls abound, and it’s one of the only places in the world where you can golf and ski in a single day. Did we mention we have the mildest climate in Canada? There’s a reason we play outside year round!

Browse Our Tours

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Your Island Concierge

As a Destination Management Company in Victoria, British Columbia, we’re in the business of making even the wildest dreams come true. From scuba diving and cave spelunking, to luxurious spa retreats and culinary experiences, we create boutique tours designed around our guests’ unique interests. Are you a traveler looking for a grand adventure? You’re in the right place. Are you a travel advisor or luxury cruise line looking for a curated experience for your guests? We’re here for you, too. Let’s explore the possibilities together.

Ready to Book Your Adventure?

Bring us your dreams, and we'll craft the island getaway of a lifetime.

Plan Your Tour

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KENYA: Oct 6-24 2024

an AMAZING African Safari

We offer small group tours

Royal Heights Tours is small, family built, “boutique” tour company based in Victoria BC Canada. During  our 23+ years of operations we have escorted over 200 tours to 60+ countries.  We limit our  group size to 16 people and have MANY repeat travelers.  For us, this becomes like travelling with family and friends and we love what we do.  We take your ‘trip of a lifetime’ seriously and  strive to give you the best possible travel experience.

Please click  “BOOK NOW” at the top of the detailed itinerary to join our tours .  We do NOT sell our tours through travel agents and invest 100% of our time & energy in delivering first-class service.  Our prices are in Canadian dollars.

$ 13,130.00

African Safari: Kenya 2024

$ 9,660.00

Jordan & Egypt Nov 2024

$ 6,975.00

$ 7,865.00

Spain & Portugal

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Small groups and character hotels

tour companies victoria

We design our tours to maximize your time in each country so we can explore the sights that make that country unique. Wherever possible, we slow the pace and stay 2 or 3 nights in the same location- we love to stay in small “character” hotels close to the centre of town.   Our tours are designed by company president Norman Bruce and most are led by Norman and Julie together, along with the knowledge and experience from our expert [and amazing!] local guides.

Interact with our upcoming tours.

Click through the markers on the map to view the full tour itineraries

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Latest Updates

Cairo, Egypt As our days in Cairo draw to a close, we take the opportunity to visit the Grand Egyptian Museum. (GEM) The museum only has the "great hall", open, which is the entrance hall. When it opens in mid 2024,  will be one of the largest museums in the world  #royalheightstours

D.S. – Victoria, BC to Italy

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Vancouver to Victoria Travel

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Closed / Open Boat

The largest vessel in the fleet, Perfect for all ages, build unforgettable memories together!….

4 Ever Wild tour boat with orca and Mount Baker WA

Our beautiful 4 Ever Wild catamaran offers protection from the weather and open-air viewing!

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Ready for an adventure? These mid-sized open-air boats pack some speed!….

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Daily Sighting Report

Thrilling sights from our daily tours.

Today was a fun day on the water, and as always we had great sightings! Orcas, Steller sea lions, fallow deer, bald eagles, and turkey vultures!

Upcoming Trips on Friday

We still have availability for tomorrow's trip. Please call 1-250-384-8008 to book by phone or visit our tour page to book online.

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TERRITORIAL LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Hay’sxw’qa si’em (hy-sh-kwa sea-em)!  This means, “Thank you, respected or honourable one.”

Welcome everyone to Fisherman’s Wharf and the Salish Sea. We’re privileged to work, play and educate thousands of people every year from all over the world. We’re able to do this on the traditional territories of the Lekwungen-speaking peoples of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations.

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Our usual cancellation policy is 48 hours before your tour . However, we understand that unforeseen circumstances can pop up. If this happens, we kindly request that you communicate with us via phone or email as soon as possible!

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BC Sustainable Tourism

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Transient killer whale punts…

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Biggs Orca hunting a…

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Exploring the Salish Sea…

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Marine Mammals

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Marine Birds

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Whale Watching in Victoria on Vancouver Island!

TripAdvisor has voted Eagle Wing Tours #1 since 2007   for whale & wildlife watching in Victoria, BC on Vancouver Island. We respect the investment our guests make to join us and we are dedicated to making your trip the experience of a lifetime.

We focus on delivering every guest into the supernatural realm of the Salish Sea, introducing you to orca whales, humpback whales, minke whales, seals, sea lions, and the diverse variety of local marine animals who call Victoria, BC their home. We’re bringing the wild to life onboard our “Floating Classrooms”

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British Columbia’s Environmental Stewards

Eagle Wing Whale & Wildlife Tours is proudly Canada’s first 100% carbon-neutral  whale watching company and the first to support the  1% For The Planet  initiative; we donate a minimum of 1% of our annual sales to environmental programs! Excited about sustainability? Sign our Go Green pledge and start making a difference! Don’t take our word for it – we have won numerous awards . Twice winning Canada’s Top Sustainable Tourism Business!

The natural world has massive demands being placed upon it. As stewards of the Salish Sea, we actively work to protect the marine ecosystem we love. We are privileged to work in the presence of natural beauty and feel it is our duty to help make sure it will be here for generations to come. Our tours are fun and educational, which greatly enhances the value of the experience! As compassionate mariners, educators, entertainers, marine stewards, Eagle Wing Tours inspires the conservation of our marine environment, with a thrill! R U Wild 4 whales and wildlife?

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Guaranteed Whale Sightings!

Eagle Wing Tours is Victoria, BC’s very first premier Guaranteed Adventure and Whale Sighting company. We literally do go the extra mile (or 50!) for our guests.

We offer a year-round whale guarantee which means if you don’t see any whales, we invite you back on complimentary tours until you do see whales! We go above and beyond for every departure, maximizing guest satisfaction, overall comfort and delivering the exceptional experiences! Every boat has many extras and on-board hydrophones so you can listen to the whales!

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Top Tours in Victoria, British Columbia

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1. Victoria and Butchart Gardens Tour from Vancouver

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2. Half-Day Whale Watching Adventure from Victoria

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3. Discover Victoria & Butchart Gardens Tour from Vancouver

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4. Victoria Whale Watch Tour

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5. Same Day Round Trip from Seattle to Victoria

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6. Victoria Guided Food and History Tour

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7. Victoria and Butchart Gardens Day Trip from Vancouver

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8. Full Day Guided Tour in Victoria with Butchart Gardens

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9. Small Group Cultural and Historical Walking Tour in Victoria

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10. Downtown Victoria Food & City Tour

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11. Beacon Hill Park Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour of Victoria

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12. COMBO Victoria City Tour & Butchart Gardens & Entry Tix

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13. Victoria and Butchart Gardens Tour from Vancouver

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14. Whale Watching Cruise with Expert Naturalists

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15. Indulge in a Wine & Food & Farms (Cheese) Tour - Cowichan Valley

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16. 60-Minute Beacon Hill Park Tour

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17. Pedicab Tour of Victoria from Cruise Ship Terminal

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18. Victoria City Bike Tour & the Coastal Shoreside Ride | 3-Hour

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19. Vancouver to Victoria Seaplane Day Trip with Butchart Gardens

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20. Whale Watching Tour in a Zodiac Boat in Victoria

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21. Experience Victoria City Tour

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22. Victoria Whale and Wildlife Cruise

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23. Pickle Pub Crawl in Victoria's Inner Harbour

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24. Two Hour Luxury City Tour of Victoria

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25. Hip & Hidden Chinatown + Old Town Food Tour Victoria

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26. Zodiac Whale Watching Adventure from Victoria

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27. Victoria City and Butchart Gardens Private Half-Day Tour

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28. Ghostly Walking Tour in Victoria

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29. Victoria Tips-Based Walking Tour | 2.5-Hour

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30. Malahat SkyWalk General Admission Tickets

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Victoria Tour and General Trading Co., Ltd (also known as Victoriatour) was established in 2012. After only a short period of operation, Victoriatour has risen to become one of the leading travel brands in Vietnam. Vietnam. Each year, Victoriatour is proud to return more than 500,000 customers with high-quality and diverse travel experiences tailored to their individual needs. Starting with a small room in the beautiful capital Hanoi, Victoriatour has now expanded its network with many representative offices throughout Vietnam and the world. We have experienced, creative employees and always strive to win back the best services to our customers.

In addition, Victoriatour also participates in activities in many different fields such as accommodation – resort services, restaurant services, translation, tourism communication with the goal that visitors can “enjoy life” ( Enjoy your life). We always put the satisfaction, expectations and trust of customers first, so in any field, Victoriatour’s products and services are always trusted by customers and partners.

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10 Victoria Attractions You Shouldn’t Miss

Victoria attractions that keep me coming back.

I first fell in love with the charm of Victoria, B.C., when I visited soon after moving west to Calgary from Atlantic Canada in 2007. The Victoria Harbour is reminiscent of the Halifax Harbour (providing a taste of home for me) and the city offers beautiful scenery, kind people and endless adventures!

Over the years, Victoria has become the vacation spot of choice for my fiancé Paul and me. Our favourite time of year to visit is in May just before the height of the tourist season, and where the weather is generally more temperate than Calgary.

We typically arrive on Thursday and stay until Sunday, spending our nights at a lovely local hotel, and our days exploring the city and beyond.

The hotel is situated on the water, and is within walking distance to downtown Victoria, which features an eclectic variety of shops and restaurants. We like to head to Victoria’s historic Chinatown , in particular, Fan Tan Alley , to check out a wonderful ice cream shop and a chocolatier.

Discover more historical landmarks every Canadian needs to visit.

Water taxis are available in regular rotation from a dock next to the hotel and they are an inexpensive and enjoyable way to reach the Fisherman’s Wharf in the Inner Harbour. Keep an eye out for harbour seals that surface from time to time along the wharf.

Whale watching is an experience not to be missed while visiting the island. There are several operators to choose from along the wharf, and they offer a variety of vessels ranging from Zodiacs—brace for a cold, bumpy ride on the waves—to catamarans. You might encounter orcas, humpbacks, seals and sea lions while at sea.

Check out the best wildlife experience in every province .

Plan to take a drive along the coast of Victoria to an area called Oak Bay with beautiful seascapes, as well as to Ogden Point for breathtaking sunsets. There is a stunning viewpoint of the city from Gonzales Hill Regional Park , and you might be lucky enough to see a few deer while you’re there.

Some of the most memorable experiences that we’ve had during our visits to Victoria have been connected to the people that we have encountered during our travels.

When we landed at the airport during our last trip, while picking up a red Mustang convertible for fun, Paul overheard a man at the car rental counter saying he was in a bind as he couldn’t remember his PIN number for his credit card. Paul offered to drive the man to his bank to get it looked after, we waited for him, and then took him back to the airport. He was a great guy, very appreciative, and it was easy for us to do it. Paul’s kindness and social personality are two huge reasons why I love him so much.

We also met two lovely elderly ladies in Tim Hortons with whom we visited for ages. As it turned out, one lady was originally from an area of the Maritimes near where I lived for years—how I love “small world” stories.

On our last full day in Victoria, we drove for half an hour to Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park , a very picturesque area that we had heard about from a friend during our trip. While there, we met an older gentleman who had recently moved to the island, and Paul took his hand and helped him up on to the rocks to walk along the beach with us. We spent a couple of hours with this man, listening to his stories and enjoying his company while we all explored nature.

Explore more of Canada's greatest hikes .

I highly recommend engaging with locals and other tourists while on vacation as it truly feeds the soul. Do talk to strangers, as it is sure to enhance your Victoria experience!

If you enjoyed this roundup of Victoria attractions, don't miss our countdown of 25 unforgettable things to do on Vancouver Island .

The post 10 Victoria Attractions You Shouldn’t Miss appeared first on Reader's Digest Canada .

For traveller Maria Powell, Victoria's Fisherman's Wharf is reminiscent of Halifax Harbour.

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The huge solar storm is keeping power grid and satellite operators on edge

Geoff Brumfiel, photographed for NPR, 17 January 2019, in Washington DC.

Geoff Brumfiel

Willem Marx

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NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of solar flares early Saturday afternoon. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says there have been measurable effects and impacts from the geomagnetic storm. Solar Dynamics Observatory hide caption

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of solar flares early Saturday afternoon. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says there have been measurable effects and impacts from the geomagnetic storm.

Planet Earth is getting rocked by the biggest solar storm in decades – and the potential effects have those people in charge of power grids, communications systems and satellites on edge.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says there have been measurable effects and impacts from the geomagnetic storm that has been visible as aurora across vast swathes of the Northern Hemisphere. So far though, NOAA has seen no reports of major damage.

Photos: See the Northern lights from rare solar storm

The Picture Show

Photos: see the northern lights from rare, solar storm.

There has been some degradation and loss to communication systems that rely on high-frequency radio waves, NOAA told NPR, as well as some preliminary indications of irregularities in power systems.

"Simply put, the power grid operators have been busy since yesterday working to keep proper, regulated current flowing without disruption," said Shawn Dahl, service coordinator for the Boulder, Co.-based Space Weather Prediction Center at NOAA.

NOAA Issues First Severe Geomagnetic Storm Watch Since 2005

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"Satellite operators are also busy monitoring spacecraft health due to the S1-S2 storm taking place along with the severe-extreme geomagnetic storm that continues even now," Dahl added, saying some GPS systems have struggled to lock locations and offered incorrect positions.

NOAA's GOES-16 satellite captured a flare erupting occurred around 2 p.m. EDT on May 9, 2024.

As NOAA had warned late Friday, the Earth has been experiencing a G5, or "Extreme," geomagnetic storm . It's the first G5 storm to hit the planet since 2003, when a similar event temporarily knocked out power in part of Sweden and damaged electrical transformers in South Africa.

The NOAA center predicted that this current storm could induce auroras visible as far south as Northern California and Alabama.

Extreme (G5) geomagnetic conditions have been observed! pic.twitter.com/qLsC8GbWus — NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center (@NWSSWPC) May 10, 2024

Around the world on social media, posters put up photos of bright auroras visible in Russia , Scandinavia , the United Kingdom and continental Europe . Some reported seeing the aurora as far south as Mallorca, Spain .

The source of the solar storm is a cluster of sunspots on the sun's surface that is 17 times the diameter of the Earth. The spots are filled with tangled magnetic fields that can act as slingshots, throwing huge quantities of charged particles towards our planet. These events, known as coronal mass ejections, become more common during the peak of the Sun's 11-year solar cycle.

A powerful solar storm is bringing northern lights to unusual places

Usually, they miss the Earth, but this time, NOAA says several have headed directly toward our planet, and the agency predicted that several waves of flares will continue to slam into the Earth over the next few days.

While the storm has proven to be large, predicting the effects from such incidents can be difficult, Dahl said.

Shocking problems

The most disruptive solar storm ever recorded came in 1859. Known as the "Carrington Event," it generated shimmering auroras that were visible as far south as Mexico and Hawaii. It also fried telegraph systems throughout Europe and North America.

Stronger activity on the sun could bring more displays of the northern lights in 2024

Stronger activity on the sun could bring more displays of the northern lights in 2024

While this geomagnetic storm will not be as strong, the world has grown more reliant on electronics and electrical systems. Depending on the orientation of the storm's magnetic field, it could induce unexpected electrical currents in long-distance power lines — those currents could cause safety systems to flip, triggering temporary power outages in some areas.

my cat just experienced the aurora borealis, one of the world's most radiant natural phenomena... and she doesn't care pic.twitter.com/Ee74FpWHFm — PJ (@kickthepj) May 10, 2024

The storm is also likely to disrupt the ionosphere, a section of Earth's atmosphere filled with charged particles. Some long-distance radio transmissions use the ionosphere to "bounce" signals around the globe, and those signals will likely be disrupted. The particles may also refract and otherwise scramble signals from the global positioning system, according to Rob Steenburgh, a space scientist with NOAA. Those effects can linger for a few days after the storm.

Like Dahl, Steenburgh said it's unclear just how bad the disruptions will be. While we are more dependent than ever on GPS, there are also more satellites in orbit. Moreover, the anomalies from the storm are constantly shifting through the ionosphere like ripples in a pool. "Outages, with any luck, should not be prolonged," Steenburgh said.

What Causes The Northern Lights? Scientists Finally Know For Sure

What Causes The Northern Lights? Scientists Finally Know For Sure

The radiation from the storm could have other undesirable effects. At high altitudes, it could damage satellites, while at low altitudes, it's likely to increase atmospheric drag, causing some satellites to sink toward the Earth.

The changes to orbits wreak havoc, warns Tuija Pulkkinen, chair of the department of climate and space sciences at the University of Michigan. Since the last solar maximum, companies such as SpaceX have launched thousands of satellites into low Earth orbit. Those satellites will now see their orbits unexpectedly changed.

"There's a lot of companies that haven't seen these kind of space weather effects before," she says.

The International Space Station lies within Earth's magnetosphere, so its astronauts should be mostly protected, Steenburgh says.

In a statement, NASA said that astronauts would not take additional measures to protect themselves. "NASA completed a thorough analysis of recent space weather activity and determined it posed no risk to the crew aboard the International Space Station and no additional precautionary measures are needed," the agency said late Friday.

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People visit St Mary's lighthouse in Whitley Bay to see the aurora borealis on Friday in Whitley Bay, England. Ian Forsyth/Getty Images hide caption

People visit St Mary's lighthouse in Whitley Bay to see the aurora borealis on Friday in Whitley Bay, England.

While this storm will undoubtedly keep satellite operators and utilities busy over the next few days, individuals don't really need to do much to get ready.

"As far as what the general public should be doing, hopefully they're not having to do anything," Dahl said. "Weather permitting, they may be visible again tonight." He advised that the largest problem could be a brief blackout, so keeping some flashlights and a radio handy might prove helpful.

I took these photos near Ranfurly in Central Otago, New Zealand. Anyone can use them please spread far and wide. :-) https://t.co/NUWpLiqY2S — Dr Andrew Dickson reform/ACC (@AndrewDickson13) May 10, 2024

And don't forget to go outside and look up, adds Steenburgh. This event's aurora is visible much further south than usual.

A faint aurora can be detected by a modern cell phone camera, he adds, so even if you can't see it with your eyes, try taking a photo of the sky.

The aurora "is really the gift from space weather," he says.

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Victorian government makes biggest venture capital investment yet — in space tourism

The Victorian government has invested $37 million from its Breakthrough Victoria venture capital fund in a US satellite imagery and space tourism company.

The company, Arizona-based World View, is selling tickets for near-space tourist flights from the Great Barrier Reef but has yet to receive approval for that venture.

The investment represents the fund's biggest bet and came  via an announcement made just days before Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas released the state budget.

In March, 7.30 aired calls for the $2 billion fund to be wound up due to concerns about a lack of transparency, and uncertainty taxpayers will get a return.

An advertisment for balloon flights over the Great Barrier Reef.

According to Breakthrough Victoria, its $37 million investment in World View will see the company establish its Indo-Pacific headquarters in Melbourne and set up an advanced manufacturing facility in Victoria, creating up to 200 jobs in engineering, mission control and flight operations, and data and material sciences. 

Established in 2012, the Arizona-based company manufactures and operates remote sensing balloon systems called stratollites, which can launch up to 30 kilometres into the stratosphere.

According to World View, its near-space imaging technology has applications in agricultural, environmental and defence industries.

The company’s website lists seven international space travel destinations around the world including the Great Barrier Reef. 

In 2022, it had signed up 1,000 reservations for its balloon flights, which will take customers 30 kilometres above the Earth’s surface, and announced it was planning to start commercial passenger flights in 2024.

It had also previously announced it would commence commercial passenger flights in 2016. 

The company's latest plan is to start flying people to the stratosphere from the Grand Canyon in 2026. 

7.30 understands World View has not applied for regulatory approval for passenger space travel in Australia.  

However, World View is still allowing people to reserve $US50,000 ($75,000) tickets for space travel from the Great Barrier Reef with a $US500 deposit.

Hollywood star power

World View has recruited actor Adrian Grenier — best known for his role in television series Entourage — as its 'chief Earth advocate'.

Grenier spoke with the US Today show in 2022 about his excitement in being appointed to the role.

In 2017, World View teamed up with KFC to launch a burger into the stratosphere with one of its high altitude balloons. The mission was scheduled to take four days but according to media reports was aborted after 17 hours due to a small leak in one of the company's innovative new altitude-control balloon systems. 

World View was embroiled in a six-year legal battle after US conservative think tank Goldwater Institute, successfully sued Pima County for its investment in the company. 

World View secured a $US15 million investment from Pima Country in 2016 to set up its base in Tucson Arizona, and originally promised to deliver 400 jobs.  

However, Timothy Sandefur from the Goldwater Institute told 7.30 World View has only delivered a fraction of the 400 jobs it promised when securing funding from Pima County.  

"We sued the county for devoting taxpayer money to what they admitted was basically being an angel investor to this business. And we ended up winning," Mr Sandefur said.

"The court declared that the arrangement was basically a handout of government money to a private company and was unconstitutional.

"The county was forced to rearrange their agreement with World View in order to make it so that they weren't subsidising the company with government funding."

In December 2017, World View also captured the attention of US media after one its balloons exploded in an unmanned test flight at its Tucson site.

'Complete waste of money'

A leading economist and a mental health advocate have both questioned the Victorian government's priorities after the state budget released earlier this month included $23 million in cuts to cancer research, delays to mental health services and revealed the state’s debt is still growing . 

A man wearing a suit, smiling.

Venture capitalist and former chair of Mental Health Australia Matt Berriman told 7.30 Breakthrough Victoria should be shut down.  

“Are we try to be the Elon Musk of Australia now? It’s a complete waste of money, and should have been shut down a long time ago,” Mr Berriman told 7.30. 

Economist Saul Eslake said the latest Victorian budget has not done enough to rein in Victoria’s soaring debt, which is expected to hit $188 billion by 2028. 

"What it means in practice is that it is spending money on interest," Mr Eslake said.

"That's getting close to $10 billion per annum by the end of the four-year forward estimates period. That could otherwise be spent on hospitals, schools, community protection, policing, and other things that Victorians value."

In the latest Victorian budget, while $380 million was trimmed from Breakthrough Victoria over the next four years, the life of the fund was extended from 10 to 15 years. 

Mr Eslake has also called for the state government to shut down Breakthrough Victoria. 

A man wearing a suit and glasses.

"Playing venture capitalist is not what we expect state governments to do," he said.

"And for a state government that is under so much financial pressure … it does seem like a luxury the state can ill afford.” 

Director of Government Ratings at ratings company S&P Anthony Walker says while the intention of the government investment fund is to help develop businesses and grow the economy, it does come with risks.  

"Private equity is not something you play with lightly," Mr Walker said.

"It can lead to problems and we saw that in Victoria 20 or 30 years ago where it did do investment in these type of projects and didn't pay out.

"We are seeing other countries, Singapore is a great example, where they've done it and it's worked out well with them."

S&P downgraded Victoria’s credit rating from triple A to double A in December 2020. It has the lowest credit rating of any Australian state.

'World View to drive innovation'

Tim Pallas appears serious as he stands outside, speaking in a suit.

Mr Pallas, Breakthrough Victoria and World View all declined 7.30's requests for interviews.

A spokesman for Mr Pallas said in a statement that the Victorian government is: "Proud of the work it is doing to drive Victoria's innovation and economic growth through investments in priority sectors like advanced manufacturing and clean energy."

A spokesman for World View said "there are many use cases and customer sets in the Indo-Pacific region that can benefit from the technology and services available from stratospheric high-altitude ballooning.” 

He also said that World View had hired some staff in Victoria, while a spokesman for Breakthrough Victoria said the investment would lead to job creation in the state.

"World View are building an advanced manufacturing facility which will ultimately employ up to 200 Victorians in diverse roles across engineering, data scientists, material scientists, and non-degreed skilled labour."

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Victoria is $126 billion in debt and now the state's big venture capital gamble is looking questionable.

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Grasping billions of dollars of debt can be tricky — we've broken down Victoria's budget with these graphs

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Money blog: Greggs to open new stores in towns across UK - is yours one?

UK bank closures hit a milestone today, marking a "seismic shift" in the industry. Is more expensive steak really better for you? Read about this and all the latest consumer and personal finance news in the Money blog - and leave a comment or your money problem in the box below.

Friday 17 May 2024 09:00, UK

  • 'Seismic shift' as number of bank branch closures passes 6,000
  • New Greggs stores to open in these locations
  • Drivers hit by 'unfairly high margins' on fuel

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  • Is more expensive steak better for you?
  • Basically...  What is PIP - and what could government changes mean?
  • How to make sure your car passes its MOT
  • Cheap Eats:  Michelin-star chef reveals his top steals in London - including an unbeatable sub sandwich
  • Money Problem: My workplace wants to pay us by the minute - what can I do?
  • Best of the Money blog - an archive

Ask a question or make a comment

By James Sillars , business reporter

A lack of strong corporate updates did for the FTSE 100 on Thursday.

A flat end to the day has been followed by a flat end to the week, with the index falling almost 0.1% to 8,433 in early deals on Friday.

Very little around for investors to ponder.

Developments this morning included pharmaceutical firm GSK saying it had raised £1.25bn from selling its entire remaining stake in Haleon.

The consumer healthcare firm was spun out of GSK almost two years ago.

One other announcement of note came from Sainsbury's.

It revealed a five-year strategic partnership with Microsoft that will see generative AI used to boost personalised shopping experiences for consumers, improve search functions and make staff working practices more efficient.

The financial terms were not disclosed. Its shares were 0.4% higher.

Away from the equity markets, it's worth taking a quick look at how oil is finishing the week.

Brent crude is trading above $83 a barrel on evidence of rising demand.

Prices at these levels should not have an impact at the fuel pumps but small recent declines in average costs could be reversed if the upwards oil price trend continues.

Greggs will open eight stores in the next few weeks, as the company continues its expansion plans 

The bakery said it would open a total of 180 new branches before the end of this year. 

We were told earlier this year that the famous sausage roll-seller would open new stores in London, Cambridge and Sale, but Greggs has now revealed where its next eight new branches will be. 

Here are the locations of the eight new sights, revealed by the bakery to The Sun:

  • Saffron Walden, Market Place, England
  • Bangor, Carnarfon Road, Wales
  • Birmingham Prime Park, England
  • Brierley Hill, Merryhill, England
  • Consett Delves Lane Drive Thru, County Durham, England
  • Edinburgh, 60-61 Seafield Road, Scotland
  • Glasgow, Argyle St, Scotland
  • Porth, U3C Geilligron IE, Wales

Drivers are suffering from "unfairly high margins" on fuel sales, Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho has been warned.

In a letter to the cabinet minister, the RAC said the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) must be given the power to take "meaningful action" against companies charging too much for petrol and diesel.

The average retailer margin - the difference between the amount they pay for fuel and the pump price - has been above 18p per litre for diesel since 7 May and is nearly 12p per litre for petrol, RAC head of policy Simon Williams wrote.

The long-term average for both fuels is 8p.

The RAC believes if retailers charged "fairer" margins, the average price of a litre of petrol and diesel would be around 145p, down from the current prices of 150p per litre for petrol and 157p per litre for diesel.

Mr Williams said the current margins being charged by larger retailers in particular were "extremely unfair on drivers struggling to get by in the cost of living crisis". 

"It's very concerning to see fuel margins at such high levels, particularly as this is happening under the close eye of the CMA and while retailers are voluntarily sharing their forecourt prices with the intention of increasing competition," he said.

The RAC spokesman added that the situation would only be improved in the long-term if the CMA took "meaningful action against retailers whose margins are deemed not to be mirroring significant reductions in the cost of wholesale fuel".

It can be hard to balance the demands of eating well without spending a lot.

In this series, we try to find the healthiest options in the supermarket for the best value - and have enlisted the help of  Sunna Van Kampen , founder of Tonic Health, who went viral on social media for reviewing food in the search of healthier choices.

In this series we don't try to find the outright healthiest option, but help you get better nutritional value for as little money as possible.

This time we're looking at meat. 

"When it comes to which type of meat you buy, there's a common misconception the more expensive the cut the healthier it is," Sunna says.

"But fatty meat stores more nutrients than their lean counterparts - vitamins like A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble and stored in animal fat - so, a fillet steak may contain less nutrients than its fatty cousin," he adds. 

The science

We typically turn towards leaner cuts of meat due to the common belief that saturated fat from animals is something to be avoided. 

"Yet, the latest science suggests that saturated fat and cholesterol may not be as harmful as researchers once thought they were," Sunna says.

He points to a  2020 review  in the National Library of Medicine that looked at several studies on saturated fat and heart disease - and found that the association between the two appeared to be weak.

That being said, a large amount of fat in your diet is in no way advisable - but don't be afraid to introduce fattier cuts. 

Sunna swears by mincemeat - preferring it to steak if choosing the fattier kind. 

Most supermarkets sell somewhere between 5-20% versions - and Sunna urges shoppers to put the higher percentages in their baskets. 

"Mince beef with higher fat content isn’t just about the added fat-soluble vitamins; it's also about what comes with it," he says.

"The added tendons, ligaments and connective tissue in mince beef provides collagen."

Collagen is a protein - full of amino acids that supports the structure of your skin, hair, and nails. 

It also plays a vital role in maintaining the integrity of your joints and connective tissues. 

"By choosing mince beef with 20% fat, you're getting a broader nutritional profile, including those collagen benefits," he says. 

Using prices from major supermarkets, Sunna compares his the money and the health for major beef products... 

  • Fillet steak: Around £35/kg, it's the most expensive cut and doesn't provide as many health upsides as other, cheaper options
  • Ribeye steak : Around £24/kg, with added fat that offers more fat-soluble vitamins.
  • Rump steak: Around £15/kg, it’s one of the most economical ways to steak and that nice rind of fat will give you the added nutrition.
  • Steak mince beef 5% fat: Around £7/ kg, it's premium mince but at over half the price of steak, making a great affordable option, but the lower fat content is only really good for reducing the calories.
  • Mince beef 20% fat: Priced at about £5/kg, it's one of the most affordable options that gives you the most health upside - with all the added fat-soluble vitamins, omega 3s and collagen. 

"Swapping a fillet steak a week to 20% mince could save you £182.52 a year and you'd be increasing your nutrition intake considerably," Sunna says.

"Not only does mince beef save you money, but it also provides a versatile base for countless dishes - burgers, meatballs, bolognese, tacos -the possibilities are endless."

Organics and grass-feds

"Whilst all unprocessed meat is healthy, there are benefits to the quality of your meat," Sunna continues. 

"Typically, a local grass-fed cut of meat has higher omega-3 fatty acids which are beneficial for heart and brain health - up to 6x more  in fact than feed-lot cattle," he adds. 

These can often be far more expensive, however. 

"Choosing between fillet steak and mince beef doesn't have to be a battle of indulgence versus health - both have their unique nutritional benefits, but when it comes to a cost-effective, nutritious option, mince beef with 20% fat takes the win," he says.

The nutritionist's view, from Dr Claire Shortt, lead scientist at  FoodMarble ...

While it's fine to consider cheaper cuts of beef over say filet mignon, it's best to moderate red meat intake given potential links to certain cancers. 

Processed meats are more problematic again, especially from a bowel or stomach cancer perspective. In fact, the World Health Organisation classifies them as a Class I carcinogen (i.e. "known to cause cancer"). 

Read more from this series... 

The number of UK bank branches that have closed forever passes 6,000 today, according to the consumer group Which?

Which? said eight Barclays branches were shutting their doors today, taking the total by the end of the day to 6,005.

This equates to more 60% of the bank branch network since Which? began tracking closures in 2015.

The eight Barclays closures relate to branches in Alperton in Wembley, Andover in Hampshire, Bangor in County Down, Bracknell in Berkshire, Hornchurch in Essex, Inverness in the Highlands in Scotland, Liverpool and Streatham in London.

Barclays has closed 1,216 branches, according to Which?

NatWest Group, which comprises NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank, has closed 1,360 branches and Lloyds Banking Group, made up of Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland, has shut 1,146 sites, the consumer group said.

Which? said 200 closures by various banks were already scheduled for the rest of 2024.

Currently, 24 more bank branch closures have been scheduled for 2025, although more are expected to be announced later this year and next, it added.

While millions of consumers have made the switch to banking digitally, there remains a significant number of people who are not yet ready or willing to make that jump, underscoring the need for accessible alternatives, Which? said.

Sam Richardson, deputy editor of Which? Money, said the closures showed a "seismic shift" had taken place in terms of our banking habits and the character of the British high street.

"While some may hardly notice the closure of their local branch as they seamlessly switch to online banking, for others reliant on face-to-face services, the impact can be disastrous," he said.

Landlords selling properties "represent the single biggest threat to renters", according to the UK's landlord association.

Government data shows 5,790 households were threatened with homelessness between October to December last year due to receiving a notice to end an assured shorthold tenancy (this ends a person's tenancy).

And the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has said 45% have been left needing help because their landlord planned to sell the property in the second half of 2023.

Separately, data from Rightmove found that 50,000 rental properties were needed to bring the supply of rental homes back to pre-pandemic levels.

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA, said the only answer was to "ensure responsible landlords have the confidence to stay in the market and sustain tenancies".

He said it was "vital" the Renters Reform Bill, which is currently being debated in the House of Lords, "worked for landlords as well as tenants".

"Landlords selling up is the single biggest challenge renters face," Mr Beadle said.

Around 16% of high net worth shoppers have cut spending on luxury goods, research shows - with Burberry among the companies seemingly taking a hit.

Data from wealth management firm Saltus , which surveyed 2,000 Britons who had assets of more than £250,000, found 16.29% of respondents had cut down on their personal spending in response to the current high interest rate environment and/or the impact of the rising cost of living.

And 15.78%, said they had cut down on luxury items and designer clothes. 

Meanwhile, just 9.42% of respondents said the current environment had not impacted their lifestyle.

The figures follow data this week from designer store Burberry - which reported a 34% drop in annual operating profit.

Mike Stimpson, partner at Saltus, said high net worth individuals were having to "prioritise spending on essential costs including mortgages and supporting their families". 

"While this reduction is not limited entirely to personal spending on luxury items, it is inevitable that brands like Burberry feel the impact, although different businesses will clearly respond differently to these pressures," he said.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is hiring 2,500 "external agents" to crackdown on "benefit cheats".

The extra staff will check millions of Universal Credit claims for accuracy as part of the government's new fraud plan.

Combined with the DWP's own internal agents tackling fraud, this will take the headcount to nearly 6,000 people.

In addition to this, the DWP is introducing a new civil penalty to punish fraudsters, and investing £70m into advanced data analytics to catch those who "exploit the natural compassion and generosity of the British people".

Work and pensions secretary Mel Stride, said: "We are scaling up the fight against those stealing from the taxpayer, building on our success in stopping £18bn going into the wrong hands in 2022-23.

"With new legal powers, better data and thousands of additional staff, our comprehensive plan ensures we have the necessary tools to tackle the scourge of benefit fraud."

With the new 15 hours a week free childcare funding coming into effect this week for children aged between 9-23 months, research shows grandparents still play a key role in helping with costs.

In April, all two-year-olds from eligible working families became entitled to 15 hours free childcare each week. 

And as of this week, eligible working parents of children aged between 9-23 months are also able to apply to claim the same from September.

The government plans to increase this to 30 hours a week from September 2025.

However, grandparents still play a key role and therefore are still likely to be called upon for help from parents, according to data from the finance firm SunLife .

Data shows that half of the UK's 14 million grandparents provide childcare for their grandchildren during the working week and this rises to 55% of those with grandchildren under the age of one.

On average, the UK's grandparents spend between 22-24 hours a week providing free childcare for grandchildren under three-years-old.

So how much are grandparents saving their families and what if they were paid?

Research suggests grandparents are saving parents around £250 a week in childcare costs on average - this means that collectively, grandparents are saving their families £96bn in equivalent childcare costs every year. 

SunLife's grandparent salary calculator, which uses the average pay for the many roles grandparents are taking to calculate what their "grandparent salary" would be, has also found that if grandparents were paid for the 22 hours a week they would receive an annual salary of £13,188.

Victoria Heath, chief marketing officer at SunLife, said it was   "no wonder" one in five grandparents felt their children would struggle financially without their help.

She said research showed that 13% of grandparents felt they were relied on too much for childcare, and 14% loved doing it but felt it was too much at their age.

"Having said that, most (59%) grandparents who do provide childcare say they love helping out, so it is likely they will still play a key role, because whether they are still 'needed' or not, they are certainly still wanted, and most are more than happy to do it," Ms Heath added.

How can you apply for the 15 hours free childcare?

To apply for the funding you'll need the following: 

  • National Insurance number;
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), if you're self-employed;
  • the UK birth certificate reference number of any children you're applying for;
  • the date you started or are due to start work.

Then, you'll need to go onto the gov.uk website and start an application.

It usually takes 20 minutes to apply and once your application has been approved, you'll get a code for free childcare to give to your childcare provider.

Mortgage possession actions have continued to rise and are currently above the previous year's levels, according to data from the Ministry of Justice .

The latest data shows mortgage claims, orders, warrants and repossessions have continued their gradual upward trend and claims are at their highest since 2019.

When compared to the same quarter in 2023, mortgage possession claims increased from 4,035 to 5,182 - this is a rise of 28%.

Meanwhile, mortgage orders increased from 2,532 to 3,019, warrants from 2,636 to 2,881 and repossessions by county court bailiffs from 729 to 759.

Landlord possession claims also increased from 23,389 to 24,874 when compared to the same quarter last year.

Craig Fish, director at Lodestone mortgages and protection, told Newspage things "need to change and quickly before it's too late".

"Though this data makes hard reading and is extremely worrying, it's not unexpected due to the significantly higher interest rate environment in which borrowers now find themselves," he said.

And Ben Perks, managing director at Orchard Financial Advisers, said he was "concerned these figures will continue to rise". 

He told Newspage: "The Bank of England seems totally oblivious to the plight of the average mortgage borrower, but hopefully this data will kick their hesitancy to drop the base rate firmly into touch. The time to act is now."

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