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             Small Group Tours: Travel for Women

Travel Testimonials


La Dolce Vita- Tour Italy May 2019 

" I made the decision to travel to Italy for the first time, my husband had travelled there on business a few times and didn't want to journey there. I found Mary by searching for safe Australian women's tour to Italy .

I chose Australian Woman's Travel. This was the best decision I'd ever made. I've had the good fortune to holiday in most countries around the world. "The La Dolce Vita " tour with Mary in May 2019 was perfect . After meeting my travel companions for the first time , we shared Mary's care and faultless preparation , the wonders of Italy didn't disappoint . This was the trip I dreamed of the food , tours , all stress free ,great like minded women travellers. Mary's shared her love and knowledge for everything Italian ,with us all .

We were driven like VIP's to the door of each beautiful city's accomodation, and dropped right at the starting point of each wondrous day of exciting discovery.

I count Mary and my travelling "buddies" as friends , four months 

later we are still sharing emails.This trip was wonderful and exceeded all my expectations,

I'm so happy to be able to highly recommend Mary's travel.'

Darcey QLD  

Best Exotic India - February 2019

. " I’m asked over and over “what was the highlight”.  I have to answer that the whole trip was one huge highlight.  Thank you SO SO much for making the trip possible   Louise and I appreciated all you and Rose did for us.  Nothing was too much trouble and you were so patient when anyone wanted just that extra photo or just had to go into one more shop!!!  As you’d suggested I did travel with an open mind and I found it all just so fascinating.  Each place we stayed in was so interesting, the landmarks we visited, the local people we met, the alleyways we explored – so much to reflect on.    And as well meeting you and Rose and all the ladies in the group.  Again – all with interesting stories and everyone willing to help each other."

- Celia B, Norfolk Island 

Italy: La Dolce Vita - May 2018

" I have travelled twice with Mary of Australian Womens Travel - in 2012 through Italy and France and again recently in 2018 in Italy on the La Dolce Vita tour.  The 2012 tour was just perfect and whetted my appetite to have another trip with Mary – just wish it hadn’t taken so long to do. Marys care and diligence in organising everything for her travellers is faultless – we were very spoiled and the only decisions we had to make each day was what to wear and what to eat each night! Her passion and huge knowledge of Italy meant that each day was a wonderful learning experience about the country’s history, culture and art. Mary also takes her ‘girls’ off the tourist track to interesting sights and places that the average tourist would never find.  The dynamics of a group of older, solo women means that you feel very much with kindred spits - we shared lots of great experiences, fun and laughter. I would highly recommend Australian Women’s Travel to anyone wanting a small, personalised tour group which has the bonus of a wonderful, caring, enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide. Molte Grazie Mary."

 - Karen H , NSW
Italy: La Dolce Vita - May 2018

"I have already passed on your details to several women who are interested in travelling with you after hearing my glowing report of my recent Italian holiday. What a great experience, without a doubt one of the best holidays I've ever had (and I've had lots!) A great itinerary and inclusion and a lovely group of women to experience it all with. You got the right balance between organised sightseeing and free time to do your own thing, making it feel very personal. I'd do it again in a heartbeat! "


- Liz F , Melbourne

Italy: La Dolce Vita - May 2018

"In May 2018 I went on an incredible adventure to Italy with Mary, Rose and eight travel companions. I have travelled in larger groups; however I loved the small group experience and would do it all again should I have the opportunity in the future. The modern people movers we travelled in were very comfortable and we each had a window seat. Every day was exciting and different, the adventure Mary had planned for us exceeded my expectations! I believe we were able to see and do so much in the time we had due to Mary's extensive knowledge and attention to detail. It was a joy and privilege to travel with you Mary."

-Carolyn  D,  NSW

Italy: La Dolce Vita - May 2018

" I had an awesome time on your Italy trip and have many fond memories of the places we stayed as well as the ladies that were on that tour." 

- Sharon H, NSW

Best Exotic India-Feb 2018

" Northern India ...... what a magical experience I’ve just returned from shared with a team of ten amazing women, including our fearless & selfless “leader” Mary who is clearly enchanted by this magical country which she shared with us & Jann, (Mary's helper ) who pushed herself continuously to ensure that our entire experience, in addition to being fun was as safe as possible.  Add to this two Indian gentlemen who’s job description would have been addition to driving and looking after the luggage etc, they generously attended to all sorts of little details ensuring that we were well taken care of such as stopping for some yummy chai in pretty remote places, pulling up for that magical photo moment, finding an atm!

I have travelled extensively but this was my first small group tour....awesome.....we didn’t have to get moving quite so early, we could stop wherever it took our fancy, change the itinerary to suit, tables could be found at our stops or meals easily and so on.

A huge part of the success of the tour however comes into the openness & flexibility of the travellers. Each woman was different which made the mix work....we had so much fun together....the pace was relaxed. Without exception the favourite part of the trip for each of us was discovering a 

magical place that became our very own Best Exotic Marigold experience for two could be yours too!"

- Rhondda M , NSW

Best Exotic India-Feb 2018

" I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your wonderful tour of Northern India.  It was a last minute decision for me, and I certainly am pleased I decided to join the trip. 

With every day there was amazing scenes and the opportunity to meet and mingle with the people of India.  The hotels chosen were right in the heart of things, so it made it easy to wander around and shop at leisure.  The people were so friendly, and it was wonderful to see their culture and customs.  

The highlights for me were:-

- The Taj Mahal in Agra, 

- The township of Ramgarh which is off the tourist map and is a bustling, vibrant township. The people of Ramgarh were just as fascinated to have us visit as we were to have had time with them.  We soon found the word had got around that we were in town, and we were greeted with smiles wherever we went.   On two occasions we were invited into private homes.  One family proudly showed us through their Haveli and they insisted we have photographs taken with them - from grandparents through to grandchildren.

- The beautifully decorated Forts and Temples.  Centuries old, but the subtle beauty of the decoration was timeless and simply outstanding.

- The assistance we received from Ramzan (your tour manager) and the Sharif (driver) was excellent.

- The tour of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.   I simply 'loved' it.  

- The problems of India were obvious.   You were able to show it all to us.  After having visited this great country, I have come away more aware of its magical history and the reality of India today.   To see it on a documentary is just not enough.   Now I know why those who have been to India, say 'it is such an amazing country' and that it is.

A top tour Mary.."

- Kathryn L, Sydney NSW

Best Exotic India-Feb 2018

" I have just spent most of February 2018 travelling in Rajasthan, India with Mary Hamilton Smith from Australian Womens Travel.  Mary was a fabulous travel guide, full of joy and vitality, and she has an amazing knowledge of India, its religions and ceremonies.  Mary was extremely helpful with hints on travelling, assistance with visas and inside information prior to the trip.  Mary did not tire of the endless questions our group of eight ladies put to her, and was happy to answer every question in full.  Mary had a driver and a co-driver on the tour bus with us and they directed us to good clean places to eat on the road, they drove carefully, and were extremely helpful with luggage (which grew as the tour continued) and were always in good spirits.  

I cannot recommend Mary's tour more highly...there was never a dull moment but with free time to rest up. Mary's energy and enthusiasm drove the tour, there were a great group of ladies to travel with, all of whom were as eager to see India as I was, and it was a fantastic and wonderful tour.  I am so thrilled to bits I was able to be on the ride. "

Mary - a Huge Thankyou From Me.........

- Rosemary A , NSW

Best Exotic India-Feb 2018

" I have just returned from India and would like to thank Mary HS for all her efforts to make sure our group enjoyed our holiday.

It is not an easy job keeping everyone happy and dealing with a mix of personalities and unforeseen challenges that may come along in such a country.

It was good to feel safe and confident in Mary’s abilities.

It’s a most interesting destination and well worth exploring.

Many thanks Mary."

-Sally O, Melbourne, Victoria

Best Exotic India-Feb 2018

"The India trip was something I shall treasure, the people,the colour, the majesty of the Taj,forts, and rawness of Varanasi is something I shall remember always. Thank you for  your expert guidence of the trip."

- Sarah W, Fairlie New Zealand 

Best Exotic India-Feb 2018

" Our trip with Mary to India was mind blowing. It far exceeded my expectations. It was extremely well organised, Mary had written up a book on our itinerary and all the facts and figures of places we were visiting, and general info. The country is so incredibly different  culturally to anyplace I had visited, but I loved the rawness, the differences, colour, noise, the food, and the people!!  Mary’s passion for the country is self evident, and I think we all caught a small taste of it. I am so pleased I went - I would highly recommend the trip to anyone who wants to see a country different to our own, and is willing to walk a little outside the comfort zone!!"

-Barbara A, Fairlie New Zealand 

Ciao Bella Italy- May 2107

"Thank you for a very successful tour of Italy.  I loved travelling through the countryside in the vehicles with our Italian drivers. The ease of travel and relaxed meandering through all the country towns was fantastic, taking in all the sights and sounds. Stopping at various authentic Italian towns and places to experience the Italian culture to its fullest. The group were a delight and a joy as we supported each other to experience the tour to its fullest potential.  Well done!!!"

- Sharon Y, Adelaide, S.A

Ciao Bella Italy- May 2107

"Mary, you have the perfect personality and temperament for organising and handling such diverse groups of women, making sure that we all go home with wonderful memories and some new friends.  

Thank you Mary for helping me to fulfil a long held dream and a loving daughter's wish. I loved everything about Italy, from the incredible history, the ancient monuments, the breathtaking artworks and the beautiful scenery to the simplest of things - the colourful homes and their wall gardens to the friendliness of the Italians everywhere we went (except for cranky waiter), the spontaneous discoveries as you turn another corner such as the beautiful music being played by the roller-blading girl - a magical moment. 
Thanks to you and your meticulous planning and your love and knowledge of Italy I got to see places that I'm sure I never would have seen with any other tour group."

- Rhonda L, Sydney, NSW

Ciao Bella Italy- May 2107

" Well what a fantastic trip we had thanks to you girls!

Mary it was wonderful to travel with you again and as last time the organisation,  sights, walking, information, and accommodation were all fantastic not to mention the fun, laughter and lovely company of the amazing women that we shared company on this trip."

- Sandra T. Melbourne, Vic

Best Exotic India- February 2017 

" I have recently returned from Best Exotic India Trip February 2017! 

This trip was my third with Mary of Australian Women's Travel and true to form it was a wonderful experience.  The sights, sounds and colours of Northern India were quite incredible and coupled with Mary's well planned itinerary and her extensive knowledge of the many fascinating tourist sites added to the mix of travelling through small villages and towns and gave a colourful and diverse picture of everyday life in India!

We were always warmly welcomed on arrival at our hotel accommodation and enjoyed wonderful meals as well as safe driving with Mary's private drivers and guides, it truly was a great adventure!  I highly recommend Australian Womens Travel for anyone thinking of travelling through this region of India!"

-Margaret L. Canberra, ACT.

Best Exotic India - November 2016 

“Thank you” for the amazing trip to India with you, your drivers, and the wonderful group .

Every little adventure each day lead to enormous and quite unbelievable scenery,hard to explain to anyone who has not been to India.

Varanasi was my highlight, the sunrise and the evening boat ride, the yoga lesson, most certainly one of the most interesting places I have visited.

Also the Marigold Hotel was a surprise, and the magnificent Mawari horses so many special places.

I will most certainly be recommending your travel to all my friends, thank you Mary."

- Judith L. Perth, W.A

Best Exotic India -November 2016

"I have recently returned from an 18 day tour of India with Australian Women’s Travel.

I found the trip to be extremely interesting and totally enjoyable.  We stayed for the most part in Havelis which were full of character and gave us a real feel for the area we were in. The number of people on our tour was restricted to 8 with two tour leaders,( Mary Hamilton-Smith and Rose Walker), and this gave us an opportunity to get to know our fellow travellers, exchange travel stories, and make new friends.  We covered approximately 2,500 km by road in a very comfortable 10 seater van, with a very competent driver and an Indian guide, and each day there would be something new to see;  women working in the fields in their colourful saris or carrying large loads of sticks etc on their heads, men herding goats or sheep or driving a camel or donkey in a cart, the locals shopping in the colourful markets, brightly painted trucks(with a message on the back’ BLOW HORN’) lavishly decorated tractors and also the beautiful buildings in the various towns and cities where we spent time.

 India is colour!

As with all tours, the Tour Leader is the key, and Mary’s bright personality and knowledge of the areas we covered, made this tour a most memorable one for me. I would recommend Australian Women’s Travel to any lady traveling alone or two ladies travelling together, as I am quite sure it would be an enjoyable and memorable experience for them too."

-Esmée Cruickshank. Perth, W.A 

Best Exotic India - November 2016

 " Touring India with Australian Women's travel was a great first time India experience.

 An introduction to the best of highlights of Rajasthan was a real adventure and a pleasure to share it with like-minded women.

I would never have braved India as a solo traveler, the group size was great and Mary and her local contacts really made India a special place to explore! "

-Tammy. H. Adelaide 

Tour Italy 2016

"I have just returned from my second overseas trip with Australian Women’s Travel. This trip was The Best of Italy 2016." I was not disappointed. Mary was well organised and the trip went seamlessly right down to transfers to and from destinations. Mary has thoroughly researched local attractions and amenities and knows exactly where to find anything that her travellers may require. This trip was different to the first trip even though we went to some of the same cities. Mary ensured every traveller was able to have the best experience possible. There were too many highlights to single out. Having some free time in each destination allowed the travellers to further explore places and activities of personal interest. I give my full recommendation to these tours and thank Mary for another wonderful overseas experience."


- Eve H. N.S.W

Tour Italy 2016

"Once again the tour was an exceptionally wonderful experience, from the historical and fascinating cities of Rome and Florence together with the picturesque scenery of Sienna and surrounding villages in the countryside of Tuscany, the relaxing seaside time spent in Cinque Terre, the majestic Italian Alps of Lake Como and last but not least the excitement of Venice a city not to be missed. Although this was my second visit to some of the places it was still an unforgettable experience and coupled with Mary's meticulous planning and organisation, made travelling with a small tour group very comfortable and friendly and Mary's helpful and good knowledge of our surroundings was very much appreciated.

The whole trip was all that I had hoped for and again I would not hesitate to recommend Australian Women's Travel to anyone whether solo or with friend(s).


Thank you again Mary for your great planning, valued friendship and exceptional travel organisation!"


- Margaret L. Canberra

Tour Italy June 2016

"Dear Mary,

I just can’t thank you enough for all the beautiful memories you have given me, having just done your wonderful trip to Italy. It was so much more than I expected, loved the history, culture, food, people, scenery and shopping, and I now appreciate your notes in the booklet, having looked at them often already, thank you. Your tour was so well organised in all aspects, great accommodation, just so central to everything, free time which we all loved,you took us to special places (not everyone would know about) always felt safe, and thank you for your patience, knowledge, passion and company most off all, which was shared with the other lovely ladies.

Thanks again for an unforgettable experience and holiday, and I highly recommend Australian Womens Travel to all I see, we were so well looked after. Hope to travel with you sometime again." 

- Irene Joyce. Sunshine Coast Queensland.

Tour Italy June 2016

"Thank you so much Mary, for the incredible holiday I shared with you in Italy. Italy is more beautiful than I had imagined. I enjoyed how you shared your passion for the country, the people, its history, customs and not to mention the food and wine. You gave us so much information about every place we visited and I’m more than grateful for the folder you sent with a wealth of information that I can call on to jog my memory. I can’t choose my favourite place, when friends ask me, because every day and every place we went to, was a “wow” moment with breathtaking scenery or incredible things to see. Loved the hotels  we stayed in, being so central to all our needs. I would recommend  Australian Womens Travel to anyone wanting a small group of women to travel with, in a safe environment and everything organized for you.

Thank you Mary, for a trip of a life time."

- Sandra Lee. Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

Freedom Tour May 2016

"What a fabulously enriching, awesome tour to Europe!  I have just returned from my 4th  trip with Australian Women's  travel and it has once again been incredible. I don't think people realise the amount of effort and detail Mary packs into her planning and choice of hotels and venues for dinner! With a small group of 8 we were able to fit into any restaurant or coffee shop and go places together in a comfortable mini van without having to wait for 40 per 50 people to get off a large bus!


The accommodation is interesting, often quirky and historical and extremely comfortable with all necessary comforts provided after a long day of sight-seeing. One feels like one is living in the area with the locals rather than stuck out in a large hotel on the edge of town with the same type of hotel food every night! Even revisiting some of the same places was awesome because ones confidence to do things independently on 'free' days increases and one sees sights, situations and people that are interesting and often enlightening! I thank you again Mary and would like to tell any one who is considering a trip with Australian Women's travel that you won' t be disappointed!Once you have been the world out there will not become smaller but bigger and will fuel a desire to see more!

How lucky have I been to experience travel with Mary from Australian Women's Travel!"

 - Karin A. Sale Victoria 

Freedom Tour May 2016

"There is not a day that goes by without me talking or thinking about our wonderful holiday! 

Mary, I know you always put our safety first and that's another reason why I recommend Australian Women's Travel to anyone and everyone! I wanted to say a huge thank you Mary, and Shannon and all our lovely ladies for making my first European adventure such a wonderful experience. Miss you guys."

- Rhonda K. Melbourne, Vic.

Freedom Tour May 2016

"I was so lucky to experience the Freedom Tour with Mary and 6 wonderful women. The sites we saw were magnificent, the accommodation was charming and the restaurants Mary chose were great. We laughed, ate and drank through 3 countries. Mary's knowledge and wonderful happy personality made it fun and relaxing, I have recommended Australian Women's Travel to all my friends because everything about the trip was perfect.  Thank you Mary!" 

- Sue Bathurst, NSW.

Tour India February 2016

"My recent adventure to India with Australian Women's Travel was absolutely marvellous. Mary is a lovely warm hearted fun lady who knows India very very well. The group of ladies all bonded together in our enthusiasm to enjoy the wondrous sights. Due to Mary's experience in India and her ongoing connection with the friendly bus drivers and Guides, her knowledge of the Indian "ways" the trip was a huge success, full of unforgettable sights, sounds, and memories. Do India - and do it with Australian Women's Travel."

- Julie W. Victoria

Tour India February 2016

"Travelling with Australian Women's Travel has been one of the best experiences of my life. To travel with a group of women led by Mary was one of the best decisions I have made. At once the group became a tight group of friends. A group where the common denominator was a love of travel and experiencing life outside our comfort zone. Mary as our fearless leader ensured that we were all comfortable and happy.The whole trip ran seamlessly with no hiccups along the way. But like all good leaders Mary always had a plan B.

Because of Mary's extensive knowledge of India she ensured that we saw the best of everything and even some unexpected things along the way. We certainly had the benefit of her experience.

India is an eye opener for all who come to visit. As far I am concerned a must do on anyone's travel bucket list. Australian Womens Travel is a fantastic way to experience other cultures.

I have no hesitation in recommending Mary to anyone who wants to broaden their horizons and embrace the liberating experience of travel."


- V. Boyd, NSW.

Tour Italy & France 2016

"I have just experienced the holiday of a lifetime. Mary's sense of humour, patience and tremendous knowledge of India made this holiday as well as a great group of ladies. You just can't describe in words the excitement of visiting India, the sounds, colour and smells, it's like nowhere else in the world and with Mary you get to experience the best bits and the real India. 

I would definitely travel again with Australian Women's Travel."

- Angie R. Nottingham, UK
Tour India February 2016

"I have just returned from my second trip with Australian Women’s Travel  within the last six months and can thoroughly recommend this company to any ladies of any age wishing to join in a small group tour. Last September I went with Mary to Italy and France and this trip was to India. Both trips have been fantastic. They were personally escorted by Mary, founder of the company, who was extremely knowledgeable, willing to please, patient, kind ,and has  a great sense of humour.

All information given prior to the trip was very comprehensive and informative, and extremely detailed in respect to the history, customs etc, of the countries visited. Being part of a small group meant that we could stay in good accommodation close to the points of interest, and more accessible than if we were in a large coach. Mary’s knowledge of the areas she tours is excellent, and she knows of places that large groups would not be able to visit.

Having now done two tours in a small group, I can honestly say this is the way to go."

- E. J. Page, South Australia

Tour Italy & France 2015

 "I was looking for a small group touring company where I would feel comfortable setting off on my own.  I found Mary and Australian Womens Travel.  I have just returned from Italy and France and what a great time we had!  Mary’s knowledge of the places we visited is amazing, giving us background information that made history and it’s people live. We stayed in the most amazing hotels -  a far cry from the internationals that the big companies use – and they were very conveniently situated and loaded with character. For all travellers, Mary, before departure, shares so much information to make preparations easy and without guesswork .  The itinerary is set out with info on the points of interest visited during our travels – comes in very handy on return when reliving and going through photos snapped along the way.  Prior to leaving “ introductions ” via email  to fellow travellers by way of a short profile is the start of  “getting to know you”.

Before setting off for Italy and France, I booked for India, knowing this was the way to go – small numbers, character filled hotels, knowledge of the destinations, fun and the ability to pop into any little restaurant or coffee shop along the way…

Travelling with Australian Womens Travel is a great way to go…..thank you Mary."

- L.L., Sydney , NSW


Tour Italy & France 2015

"I recently went on the 2015 Italy and France tour with Mary and had a wonderful time with lots of laughs. Her organisation, good humour, patience and extensive knowledge about all the places we went to, meant that a great holiday was experienced. I would happily recommend this tour and any other that Mary organises." 

- Margaret M. Victoria 

Tour Italy & France 2015

"Dear Mary, thank you for an amazing trip to Italy and France. As you know, I have done a fair amount of travelling, but never before have I had a tour operator who has gone to so much trouble both before and during the trip to ensure that all was great. Your attention to detail is second to none.  You were extremely patient and helpful to all travellers at all times. Your knowledge of the areas we visited was amazing and your help in reading menus written in French was appreciated.

It was a pleasure being part of this small group and I look forward to sharing another trip with you next year."


- Joan P. Clare South Australia  

Tour Italy & France 2015

"I had a wonderful trip with Mary and the girls. Having heard about Mary's trips for years, I got to see first hand her care and professionalism in organising, and all the small details that she sees to.

We were all constantly grateful for travelling in a small neat group, as we watched the hordes of large tour groups stream past us. Mary is a very kind person with an even, happy disposition, even through the rare hiccup, always concerned that everyone is happy.

Also really appreciated her 'local' knowledge of good value restaurants everywhere we went, (and being a small group,we could go to!)and her infectious enthusiasm for the history/culture of where we travelled.

Highly recommend her trips to anyone!"


- Margie E. Adelaide 

Tour Italy & France 2015

"A huge thank you for a wonderful holiday through Italy and France. For me this trip was at the top of my "bucket list"and covered the places I most wanted to visit. Your knowledge and passion was amazing. The information and daily schedule you provided was great, as this has also helped to identify some of my many photos. 

I had such a terrific time with a bunch of lovely ladies and have some wonderful memories."

- Jenny R. Brisbane Queensland 
Tour Italy & France 2015

"I recently went on the 2015 Italy and France tour with Mary and had a wonderful time with lots of laughs. Her organisation, good humour, patience and extensive knowledge about all the places we went to, meant that a great holiday was experienced. I would happily recommend this tour and any other that Mary organises."

- Margaret M. Victoria.
Tour Italy 2016

"Thank you for a lovely trip Mary - I did enjoy the whole thing so much.  You looked after us all so well, keeping us organised and well informed at all times. Your historical info and all your little tips were most helpful. Your hotel selection was just marvelous – each one SO well situated and each with its’ own charm. I think I loved Monterosso, & the hotel there, the best – maybe it was that it is such a laid back place – maybe the beachy feel – maybe simply the position it was on the timeline, a ‘rest place’ in the middle of the trip? It really all was divine. I might just have to go back to Italy!

Your wonderful book which you issued us all with – that is more valuable to me now than it was before or during, because I can now also reawaken memories by reading it."

- Belinda D. Queensland
Freedom Tour 2015

"This was my third trip with Australian Women's Travel and once again I was totally impressed with Mary's attention to detail, her caring for different traveller's needs and the sheer joy she spreads with her enthusiasm and love of travel. The time saved with clever pre-booking of tickets and the relaxed yet comprehensive coverage of all the things to see and do is exceptional. The fact that not all meals are included is also a positive thing because it means one can choose if, when and what one wants to eat!


From a personal point of view I can' t thank Mary enough for the rich experiences she has added to my life! Thank you Mary!!!"


- Karin A. Sale Victoria.

Freedom Tour 2015

"I would like to say a big thank-you for being such a personable, passionate and knowledgeable host and guide.  The itinerary and daily activities were meticulously organised and the hotels were fantastic and perfectly located.  All in all, it was an awesome (amazing!) trip that I would highly recommend to others.  I enjoyed every moment and only wish it could have gone for longer.  There is so much to see in all of the exciting places we visited.  Thank you most of all for your friendship, it was a pleasure travelling with yourself and Shannon."

- L. Nicholls, Melbourne.
Freedom Tour 2015

"Just a note to thank you for a wonderful trip- The Freedom Tour 2015! Everything went so well due to your great itinerary and organising skills. Loved your sense of humour and ability to ensure we were all enjoying ourselves. It was a fun fascinating and awesome travel through great places."

- Margaret L. Canberra
Tour India 2015

"Thankyou Mary for taking me on a wonderful journey of India! A journey filled with a kaleidoscope of colour, movement, sights, faces and unforgettable experiences! The journey Mary creates for you is one where you can experience some of the realness of life in this country of beautiful people!

From the humbling rawness of life in Varanasi to the excitement of a ride in a tuk tuk that is better than a show ride, to the grandeur of the Taj Mahal, the fun and hilariousness of a camel ride, the local foods, shopping, colourful saris, beautiful Havelis, crazy traffic that has to be seen to be believed, amazingly built Forts and the stunning beauty of McLeodganj in the Himalayas, this is a trip that is both challenging but enthralling!

A trip that has it all! It will stretch you to your limits but also allow you to soak up the uniqueness of the special country that is India!

Thankyou Mary for your expertise, humour and genuine caring in  a country that I would never have contemplated visiting on my own!

I had an exceptional time and have ticked some very big boxes on my bucket list!"

- Karin A. Sale Victoria.

Tour Italy & France Sept 2014

"I wanted to send you a big thank you for the wonderful trip you organised which |I thoroughly enjoyed. Your knowledge of Italian history, which carries over to France, made my trip one I will never forget. I understand that history is one of tyour great loves, but I want to thank you for sharing it all with me and the other girls.  Mary, it is plain to see you love what you are doing and your enthusiasm and stamina from the tine you wake in the morning to late at night is incredible. You treat all of your girls in a very fair and professional way and for that I commend you. Thanks again for a fun and unforgettable trip and I look forward to the next one."

- Jenny E. Melbourne
Tour Italy & France Sept 2014

"Since I have returned, not a day goes by without me re - living some of the wonderful adventures we spent together as a "family".... I  have told so many people about you and what an exceptional tour leader and friend you were to us all...nothing too much trouble, always checking on ahead to make sure all went smoothly.

As I replay back my photos to my friends, I find I am enjoying it over and over again. actually appreciating it more fully. I have your amazing itinerary/reference material to refer too,so many people who had a copy of the itinerary were so impressed by it.

I wish you all the very best with 2015 and I would certainly consider travelling with you again in the future.....I found you an inspiration!"

- L. White, Melbourne

Freedom Tour May 2014 

"What a wonderful experience with Mary from Australian Women's travel! I was very tentative to take part in this trip because of great sadness in my life! However, from the first time I spoke with Mary on the phone, she instilled confidence in me and gave me the courage to make the commitment to participate.

Oh wow, what a wonderful experience! My fellow travellers Leonie B, Leonie S and Sandra have said exactly how it was in their testimonials and I would encourage anyone to feel 100 per cent confident of having the best possible travel experience. Mary is warm, funny and the most genuinely caring person you could meet! Nothing is a problem! From organising a dentist in Venice, to making the best possible use of the time available whether we were in a museum or making our way at night to experience the wonders of the Eiffel Tower. The group size is perfect because you never feel like you are part of a tour at all, just a happy group of friends finding new adventures every minute of every day!

Congratulations Mary on developing a travel company that is so personal and tuned in to the individual needs of your participants! You make a difference in the lives of many women and I for one cannot thank you enough.

However, there was never anything to worry about because it was all quietly and efficiently taken care of!"

- Karin A., Sale Victoria 

India 2014

"Returned last week from India, a country which I’d never thought I would get to! I’ve done quite a bit of travelling over the years, but India just seemed too hard. I contacted Mary on the recommendation of a friend who had travelled to Europe with Mary three years ago. Over the phone, Mary sounded sensible and very understanding of my concerns. I decided to commit. Experiences in India can be confronting, but we were well prepared. Mary had sent me a number of emails advising on health concerns, money concerns, even weather updates! And, a few weeks before we left, Mary sent a comprehensive folder of background notes on all the places we were to visit, with a day-by-day summary of what to be prepared for (e.g., “we will visit the Taj Mahal before breakfast, so we will get snacks the day before”). The attention which Mary gives to pre-planning means that you feel very excited before you leave, with a strong sense of confidence that Mary is on top of it all.

Mary loves India, and there is nothing like travelling with such an experienced, passionate guide. Her strongest advice is “that India isn’t for the faint-hearted”, so you go well-prepared for a lot of colour and movement! Mary’s depth of experience means that she selects places to stay which provide a real journey, not a Western “sanitised” trip. Her use of the traditional, and renovated, havellis to stay in will be one of my best memories, I’m sure, and our evenings over dinner on the rooftops were delightful.

Because Mary only takes a handful of travellers on each trip (and of course they were women who all wanted to travel in India) we all grew relaxed together very quickly.
I think we were all aware that Mary was keeping her eye on us as individuals, sensitive to individual tiredness, or someone just having a bit of a bad moment…. and she is a very determined woman when it comes to going the extra distance to ensure each person’s comfort. I feel very guilty about whinging about the cold when we arrived in Mcleodganj, in the foothills of the Himalayas. Mary went off into the little village and returned with five hot water bottles! Genius.

I am feeling so lucky to have had so many varied, stimulating, memorable experiences in India.So, if you want to go adventuring, if you are flexible and have an open mind, and like to exercise your sense of humour, I whole-heartedly recommend Mary’s India tour to you."

- Jan P. Melbourne


Freedom Tour 2014 

"I have just returned from Mary's "Freedom Tour of Europe 2014" and what an experience it was!
Mary leaves nothing to chance and makes sure everyone's needs are met. She is fun to be with and it's impossible not to enjoy yourself. Her passion for Italy, it's culture and history, rubs off on you very quickly. She wants everyone to know it like she does.

Being a small group enabled us to see and experience things a large group would not have time to. The mix of full days and time to ourselves in each place was well balanced. Her choice of accommodation was exceptional, allowing us to savour the history of each hotel we stayed at and, being centrally located in every city, enabled us to visit as many places of interest as time allowed.

If I have the opportunity to travel again, I will not hesitate to contact Australian Women's Travel."

- Leonie B. Melbourne.

Freedom Tour 2014 

"Mary, I thank you for opening our minds to history and our hearts to beauty.

Singapore: A clean city with unexpected surprises and a wonderful start to a great adventure.

Italy: who can explain the feeling of this expected but unbelievable time where time stood still and we were welcome for a short time to taste a area where a small church bought me to tears.

Paris: We all felt the romance and perhaps for some felt the envy of a time which eluded or passed us by.

London: A history taught to us as children

Istanbul: My most favourite city, yes crowded, a little confronting, who could forget our taxi drivers. A memory of Aya Sophia after dark and evening prayers with hundreds of seagulls, bodies sparkling souring into the sky, will light my soul forever.


I met some very special women. To you all, I thank you for a trip and friendship I won't forget."

 - Leonie S. Orange NSW

Freedom Tour 2014

"I would like to thank you so very much for the most wonderful experience of travelling that you provided me. I cannot begin to tell you how fantastic every detail was from the bookings, wonderful accommodation, choice of places we saw, events and different travel arrangements and certainly not to mention great company, thoughtfulness and lots of laughter and fun. This trip has opened my eyes to so much all thanks to you and given me the confidence to do so much more travel including with you on other adventures. We were also so very lucky with our wonderful group who hopefully will all stay in touch."

- Sandra T. Melbourne

India 2014

"Just a few words about the recent India trip that I did with Mary. It was a great tour and Mary has endless knowledge and such enthusiasm for Northern India. We had a great time and saw so much being based in comfortable central hotels in each place we stayed. It was well organised and I would certainly recommend the tour to anyone who wants to see Northern India in a small group tour."

Margaret M. Melbourne

Freedom Tour 2013

"I have always had a fascination and yearning for travel. After spending 33 years of putting myself last and looking after my family, when my 4 children had finally grown up, finished their education and begun work, I decided it was my time to fulfill my dreams. But where do I start? I have no-one who has all three requisites for joining me on my quest...time, money and passion. I would not be put off any longer so I began surfing the net for a tour which would tick all my boxes. I found Australian Women's Travel and WOW!!!! am I so glad I did. I contacted Mary and found her so helpful and passionate about her tours... I knew this was the group for me. When departure day arrived my excitement was immeasurable. The first 2 legs of my tour were done on my own, which was both a little daunting and immensely empowering. I met my fellow travellers at the hotel in Singapore. After spending a short stay in Singapore, we flew to Rome where our lives would be changed forever. The knowledge and passion Mary has for this amazing country must surely be unsurpassed by any other tour of this amazing part of the world. Her organisational skills left nothing to chance. 

Private transfers, hotels, pre-booked tickets, local knowledge...everything was taken care of with aplomb. We traveled through Italy, Paris and surrounding countryside, London and the Cotswolds, finally flying to Marrakesh. I don't know if I will ever come down from cloud nine after this tour, and I'm pretty sure I will never transcend this trip, no matter where I travel in the future. Thank you Mary for an unforgettable adventure."

- Rhonda, Cairns

Andiamo Italia 2013

"I want to thank you so much for putting together such a superb trip to Italy and Paris. Your organisation was first class and I just loved the quaint and beautiful hotels we stayed in and, of course, their location. You certainly imparted your knowledge and love of Italy and I consider myself to be very fortunate to have benefited from that. I have been spending many happy hours pouring through your notes and matching them up with my photos. I guess you are looking ahead to your next adventure - as I am mine!"

- Rose. Adelaide

Freedom Tour 2013

"I have just returned home from a wonderful European Freedom Trip with Mary. How good it was to not have to worry about flights, accommodation  & tours & just relax & have it all done for you.  I wanted to travel but being a recent widow I didn't want to go with a group of couples & my friends could either not afford it or they had already been. I found this group answered all my wants. Travelling with a small group enabled us to alter our plans if we needed to & getting seating in restaurants was never an issue. Mary's organizational skills are exceptional. All entrance fees were pre- booked & paid, saving lots of time & stress. She is very friendly, caring  & inclusive. I would definitely recommend joining one of her tours."

- Sue W.,  Melbourne

Freedom Tour 2011/Italy & France 2012

"Australian Womens Travel know the recipe for a great holiday. Take a small bunch of travelling companions on a journey and they quickly become friends. Begin by priming them with information before their departure. Combine some amazing destinations. Spice it up with an interesting well planned itinerary and various methods of transportation. Rest in accommodation in the heart of the areas you visit.

Wisely pre purchase entrance tickets, leaving plenty of time for individual pursuits.
For personal taste add perhaps a shopping tour, get a Parisian hair style, visit a quilt shop. Feast on Mary's knowledge as a well seasoned traveller and Add a sprinkling of other escorts along the way.
Savour the unique experience for a lifetime. Now if that doesn't satisfy your appetite, you can always go for another helping. I did. (May 2011 & September 2012)"

- K. Dean, Adelaide South Australia

Freedom Tour 2012

"WOW!!!!!!!! I had the pleasure of travelling with Mary  from Australian Womens Travel on the Freedom of Europe Tour in May 2012. I have travelled overseas extensively in the past solo and with both family and friends but wanted to try something a little different. And different it was! The attention to detail was astonishing and because of the small number of travellers it was like a girlfriends getaway and everyone involved had an absolutely fabulous time.What a wonderful facilitator is. Her organisational skills shone through down to the tiniest of details and everything ran so smoothly-it was such a relaxing, enjoyable and educational experience. One I will never forget-and I have many photos to prove it. I have made lifelong friends! So if you're considering a tour with Australian Womens Tours -Just Do It. 

I guarantee you wont regret it. A very happy past traveller :)"

- Toni W., Sydney Australia

Freedom Tour 2010

"I was fortunate to travel to Singapore, Italy, France, England and Morocco in a group led by Mary in April-May 2010. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and found her attention to detail, choice of accommodation, knowledge of the regions and communication to be highly professional.

Mary has excellent people skills and her love of travel is inspiring.  I appreciated the work she did in preparing background information on the places we visited and we managed to see a number of wonderful places in a relatively short time due to her foresight in pre-booking many of the attractions. The flights, transfers and daily tours and visits went very smoothly.

I hope to travel with Mary again at some stage in the future and recommend her as an excellent travel planner and tour leader and a lovely person to spend time with."

- (Past traveler- name supplied)

Freedom Tour 2008 

"Just wanted to say what an amazing trip you put together. It has now been 2 years since I travelled with you, but I am still in awe at the magic of all I experienced. It was comforting to travel in a small group with such well experienced women leading us and having all the planning done for me took the pressure and fear out of travel. This trip was the chance of a lifetime and lived up to every expectation I had. The sights and experiences were awesome and as a taste of travel it was the perfect trip. The women on the journey I went on were both supportive and inspirational and a pleasure to share company with. Since undertaking this travel with Mary, I now have the confidence and skills to travel more extensively. It opened up a world for me that I never imagined could exist and taught me more about myself than I though possible."

- Steph A., Perth  Western Australia 

Freedom Tour 2008

"Not a day goes past that I don’t tell a story and experience about the trip. It was a wonderful trip, fun, experiences of all kinds. It was very well organized; we didn’t have to be concerned at all about anything, but to have fun and en joy. I felt so secure travelling in different countries. The details about tickets, admissions, flights bookings were taken care of diligently. It was the best experience of my life.  Wooooooooow!!!!!!!!!!!!"

- (Past traveler - name not supplied)

Freedom Tour 2008

"It is my pleasure to write an acknowledgment of your expertise in organising and leading overseas travel programs.  I heard from several women how much they enjoyed your tours so in 2008 I participated in your May program to Europe. I have traveled extensively over the last 40 years for both business and pleasure and usually make most of the arrangements myself.  It was wonderful to step back and hand over to you, including my complicated ticketing as I only decided to come at the last minute and joined the group a few days into the tour. Every detail was taken care of, including all inter-Europe ticketing, airport transfers, hotel bookings, tours, meals, entertainment, etc. The destinations were well researched and we were taken to many places that were new to me and several that I certainly would not have had the opportunity to access on my own.  

The program was well balanced with group activities interspersed with free time. You facilitated every step of the way. The calibre and breadth of your skills were evident in your management of the tour group. Your attention to detail, understanding of the needs of both the new and veteran traveller and of the dynamics of group interaction, further enhanced the experience for all participants. In all it was a fascinating journey made all the more enjoyable because of the competence with which you lead the tour both as an organiser and an expert in interpersonal skills."

- Jacqui E., Sydney Australia

Freedom Tour 2012

"Australian Womens Travel provide a great opportunity to get away with the girls.

Three weeks of good company, visiting all the must sees i.e. the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Monet's Garden, Westminster Abbey, Oxford, The Vatican to name a few. Plus drinks at the Ritz Paris.

Lots of walking, lots of laughs. Mary gives you heaps of written information on the sights and history  of each place you see.

A small travel group, well organized with pre-booked tickets so no waiting in long queues. You need to be reasonable fit. Bring your sense of humour and curiosity and enjoy."

- Eileen K., Melbourne Victoria

Freedom Tour 2010

"The trip and itinerary was meticulously organised by Mary, who indeed has a gift and a true passion for travel. Her knowledge was amazing and she produced a folder of copious notes to support our knowledge and learning for the trip including all the practicalities of travelling abroad. We also had 2 meetings prior to meet, share information ask questions and aid our preparations. As it was the first time I had travelled overseas and had also recently separated, it was perfect for me and I never had to worry about accommodation, air / train schedules, tourist must-dos etc. As well, I was able to build personal flexibility into the tour e.g. Mary happily made bookings for an extra tourist destination and a variation to the flight home schedule. Nothing was too much trouble. I felt confident that if I had any problems or questions they would be taken care of. Consequently, the trip was a highlight of my life and gave me the confidence to do further travel independently."

- (Past traveler- name not supplied)


Freedom Tour 2008

" I had the pleasure of travelling for an entire month to several European countries in 2008 with Mary Hamilton-Smith as one of my tour guides. All of the more outstanding European icons were delivered to us throughout this tour together with a well researched manual that Mary had prepared beforehand. Given that we toured 6 major cities in 28 days, I know these cities better than people who may spend far more time there because of this intense and thorough preparation. My most memorable portion of the tour was when Mary drove us to U.K.'s South West where we uncovered such historic treasures as Stonehenge (a private dusk tour free of multiple tourists), the Avery Stones, and the Wiltshire White Horses. We even went crop circle hunting. I attended the Chelsea Flower Show where lo and behold, our very own Jamie Durie had a display, and took out the First Prize in his category. The highlight of my day was getting a photo taken with Jamie, so again, THANK YOU Mary for yet another unique experience! 

As a person born and bred in Rome, returning to my native city 34 years later was not easy, but Mary chose such a central position for accommodation that after the first day, orientation came flooding back and I was able to spend an entire afternoon retracing my childhood haunts around this glorious city.
Marrakech was our last stop. What a culture shock this was, and yet it was one I will never forget. Our accommodation was like a picture taken from "Arabian Nights", and the tastes, colours, and interactions showed me a side of the world I was completely unfamiliar with. Very intoxicating.

Mary not only knows her work, she has a way of presenting it in a fun, empathetic, and strictly personal way so that you the traveler, are never left feeling like you would not know what to do if you suddenly found yourself somewhere on your own. 

Thank you Mary. I hope to be travelling again with you again."

- Adel B., South Australia

Freedom Tour 2006/2008/2011

" I have traveled with Mary on two European tours and I am joining them on a third trip departing on April 29th, 2011.  I first travelled with Mary in 2006 and 2008 and now 2011 and I have found Mary's ability to plan and organise these trips of a very high standard. 

Mary takes the fear out of travelling on your own by creating an intimate group of women who have a common goal which is to travel and enjoy the experience.  We are introduced to each other by email at first and then a get together as a group with Mary to ask any questions we may have about the trip.  We are given Daily Information and Daily Schedule booklets as well as a Daily Schedule for our families with contact details. 

Mary demonstrates excellent communication skills with the airlines, hotel accommodation, transportation, finding places to have a meal and taking us on guided tours of a particular area.  She is always well informed about the country and town we visit and provides for us a wealth of information whenever needed. My trips have included visiting Singapore, Italy, France, England, Ireland and Morocco and I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience each time.  I always feel supported and safe when traveling with Mary knowing that she is meticulous with her planning and preparation for the trip. These trips have enabled me to enjoy rich travel experiences, gain confidence and lifetime memories through a personalised service with lots of fun."

- Sharon Y. South Australia
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