You are here

Meet Our Team

Team Leader, Australia: Nicole Ballard

Nicole has travelled 6 out of 7 continents and lived in London, Canada, Australia and returned in 2015 after almost 3 years in USA. She is passionate about adventure travel and has worked in the travel and hospitality industry since finishing her University of Queensland degree in Business and Tourism Management in 2002. In Asia, Nicole has dived in Thailand, seen the orang-utans in Borneo, eaten moving octopus in South Korea, bargained in Hong Kong, travelled on the night safari in Singapore and is enchanted with the cultures of all of Asia. One of Nicole’s favourite experiences in Vietnam was exploring the fresh markets in Hanoi and then participating in a 3 course cooking class with a beer in hand!

In 2015, Nicole attended the PATA Travel Mart in Bangalore, India and then explored the Golden Triangle. Nicole is fascinated by the local culture, food, history, religion, and customs and even had an amazing surprise arranged for her own Indian Hindu wedding (second wedding). Nicole was privileged to visit a local orphanage, Mother Teresa charity house, elephant conservation park, and Bollywood movie and was impressed with the sound and light show at Amer Fort in Jaipur.

In June 2016, Nicole explored Nepal and Bhutan and highlights included Rhino Safari at Chitwan National Park, sunrise at Pokhara overlooking Himalayas, and flying over Mt Everest. Bhutan is her favourite country in Asia as like a small paradise ruled by a King with gifted democracy to the people. Tigers Nest Monastery and Bhutan should be on everyone’s bucketlist! In September Nicole went hiking volcanoes and viewing turtle hatching in East Java Indonesia.

In 2017 Japan was the flavour of the month skiing in Hakuba, go karting through the streets of Tokyo in Japan and in March Nicole explored Kerala South, India and danced in colour at the Holi festival on our Getaboutasia annual photography tour. Nicole cruised the Li River, marvelled at the Terracotta Warriors and climbed the Great Wall of China. She loved the portugese egg tarts in Macau and was impressed the with Las Vegas type casinos.

In 2018 Nicole stepped back in time as she cruised the Irrawaddy river in Myanmar (Burma) and floated in a hot air balloon over the thousands of pagodas in Bagan. In September Nicole experienced the mysterious Mongolia by attending a local Nomads Day Festival with wrestling, horse racing, archery and stayed in Gers in the Gobi Desert surrounded by desert, snow capped mountains with wild horses, camels, nomad families and dinosaur fossils. 

To talk to one of our Asia Travel Experts please contact us.

Destination Specialist, Australia Andrew Boyd

Andrew began his career in travel back in the 80’s working with various airlines in the Asia-Pacific region, including Garuda Indonesia. After an extensive and varied career with Qantas and most recently as a travel consultant in Melbourne, he recently celebrated 30 years in the travel industry.

Working with Indonesia’s national airline provided him with the opportunity to explore the archipelago well beyond Bali, cruising the spice islands of Nusa Tenggara - visiting remote villages, exploring deserted islands and coming face to face with the legendary Komodo dragons. He has travelled overland from Bali to Sumatra - climbed Mt Bromo volcano at sunrise and explored the palaces and temples on Java, including the amazing Borobudur and Prambanan, just outside his favourite Indonesian city, Yogyakarta. Sumatra is top of his list for the best national parks in Indonesia – the only place in the world where elephants, tigers, rhinos and orangutans co-exist. His interest in “soft” adventure also took him to Sabah on neighbouring Borneo for yet more encounters with unique wildlife as well as pristine beaches and rainforests and an interesting and diverse history and culture.

India was at the top of Andrew’s bucket list and after two month long visits it still beckons. His list of must see places and must do experiences is endless but includes; cruising the Ganges at Varanasi and the tranquil backwaters of Kerala; exploring the grand temples, forts and palaces of the Golden Triangle including the breath-taking Taj Mahal; celebrating festivals and parades with the locals – the camel fair in Pushkar, Diwali in Jaipur and Dussehra in Mysore; and going “on safari” in one of India’s many forest reserves or in the deserts around the mystical fort city of Jaisalmer.

An invitation to train Qantas staff in China took him to Beijing, with the chance to visit the most celebrated sites with new found friends and colleagues. He has climbed the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall and eaten every part of a duck, from tongue to tail, at the Beijing’s most well-known Peking duck restaurant. In all his travels, Beijing people are among the friendliest he has ever met. They love the history and culture of their ancient city and take great pride in sharing it with visitors.  Curious to see the modern glitz of Shanghai took him back to China again, this time to enjoy the grand buildings, museums and galleries and the fabulous restaurants, bars and shopping.   

His trip to Japan is among the most fascinating. Expecting something extremely modern, he was surprised to discover how accessible its ancient history and peaceful forests were. With limited time, after a crazy and frenetic few days in Tokyo, he headed to the compact Kansai area where it is easy to be transported from the neon buzz of Dotomburi to the spiritual tranquillity of Nara in around an hour. For first time visitors he recommends taking a guided tour of Kuromon Ichiba Market or a street food tour in downtown Osaka to sample gyoza dumplings, octopus balls and ramen noodles. He guarantees you’ll be eating like a local in no time.

Where to next for Andrew? Cruise the Irrawaddy in Myanmar or explore Sri Lanka’s rich natural and cultural heritage? Maybe both!

Relationship Manager, Australia - NSW, ACT & SA: John Gartner

From sampling sushi and sake in Japan, admiring the rice fields of Vietnam and island hopping in Thailand, John's passion for Asia is as diverse as it is profound and if there is one thing he just can't get enough of it has to be the ancient civilizations and ruins. Lots of ruins. 

So far, John has explored the old forts around the Golden Triangle of Agra, Jaipur, in India, and visited some other amazing destinations on this breathtaking continent such as Bali, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Japan. 

What John loves the most about working in the travel industry is sharing the excitement of something new and different with customers who are yet to experience it. "There is nothing I find more rewarding than getting people excited about something that I know will change their lives forever."

John's professional background spans from extensive cruise experience (he's been on 15 cruises to date!) to six years as a consultant in several agencies in Queensland, specialising in cruises, as well as several years as a personal TravelManager running his own business in Bathurst. 

Relationship Manager, Australia - VIC, TAS & WA: Tenille Hunt

Having worked in the travel industry for 15 years, I've been lucky enough to travel across all continents and Asia is certainly one of my favourite places to visit. Asia was the reason I caught the travel bug, my first overseas trip ever was for a family holiday to Indonesia and it was the trip that started the beginning of a lifelong love affair for travelling to Asia. 

In my early twenties I backpacked around South East Asia for several months, island hopping my way around and falling in love with Asia all over again, one stunning island at the time. 

There is nothing I love more than going to a local market in Asia and getting lost in the sites and smells trying to blend in with the locals. 

Some places and experiences that really blew me away were the quiet island of Koh Lanta in Thailand, wandering the quaint and sleepy streets of Laos' Luang Prabang, admirning the stunning French colonial architecture of beautiful Hoi An in Vietnam, a place I would go back to any day. Sri Lanka always kept a very special place in my heart too with its friendly locals, the amazing food (dahl for days!), green and lush scenery and stopping for fresh mangosteen at local countryside markets. 

Japan must be the place that really wowed me the most. From its amazingly welcoming locals to the cute quirky cafes in Tokyo, being a geisha in Kyoto for a day and sampling saki and sushi in a traditional restaurant, there is just so much character about this country. 

Next on my wish list: Nepal and Uzbekistan. 

Relationship Manager, Australia - QLD & NT: Tara Adam

Tara Jane Adam has travelled to six out of the seven continents and spent time living and working in both Spain and South Africa where she started her own small guided tours. With a diploma in Business and Tourism, Tara has built a career to enable her to live her dream of exploring the world. Tara has been a flight attendant, travel agent and tour guide and her family is from Singapore.
 
Here is her experience of Asia!
My love of Asia stems back to my childhood, growing up with a second home in Singapore. I remember running around under the high rise flats in Tampines with my cousins while my dad and uncles played cards on the tables nearby. I would sip drinks of coconut and palm sugar with jelly's out of plastic bags and eat curries on banana leaves for breakfast. A place where a shower consisted of a bucket filled with cold water and what a relief laying on the cool tiles to escape the relentless tropical heat. I remember the bright colours of saris, bangles, purple orchids and henna stains. The exotic smell of incense burning, while prayer bells chimed and anklets jingled. I felt so lucky to be the only person at my Aussie primary school with a pet terrapin turtle, even if it did live with my grandma in Singapore.
 
While visiting Singapore, Tara would add on an extra destination through Asia. Whether that be catching boats over to Indonesia to get massaged while her uncle was on business. Or surfing waves in Bali and riding horse and carts around the Gili Islands. Shopping in Kuala Lumpar, exploring the country side and temples, on the way to Penang while attending her cousins wedding in Malaysia.
 
Tara has wandered the streets of Hong Kong eating delicious pastries and in Thailand; played with elephants, cooked fragrant green curries and went island hopping.  Tara has sailed on a junk boat around Halong bay, had clothes tailor made while cycling around rice paddies in Hoi Ann. Adventured into overgrown ruins in Siem Reap and her absolute favourite of course, the fuzzy orang-utans in the buzzing jungle of Borneo.

Team Leader, UK: Simon Evans

Simon has worked in various roles within the travel industry for the past 15 years and has travelled to 6 of the 7 continents. He’s travelled extensively in South East Asia and toured through India. He’s a firm believer that travel is one of the most important forms of education, and now that he’s settled back in London, Simon's passion is using his knowledge and experiences to guide fellow travellers.

To talk to one of our Asia Travel Experts please contact us.

Digital Marketing Strategist: Marius Wenning

Marius can be found wherever the sun is shining. After graduating in International Tourism Management in Europe, he immediately took off exploring the world. So far he has already lived and worked in four continents and has gained a lot of experience in the tourism industry. And for the reason as to why he ended up working for an Asian tour operator? Well, he loves good food, exotic markets, nature, beaches and beautiful weather… What more is there to say?

GetAboutAsia Founders

In 2004 Chad Carey and Greg Carter created Chimu Adventures that specialises in Latin American and Antarctic travel. Based upon the continued growth of Chimu Adventures the guys were keen to use their knowledge and contacts within the industry to start GetAboutAsia.

Chad Carey
Chad Carey

Chad believes the remarkable success of Chimu Adventures is due to:

…customers' appreciation of specialised advice, better value, and a more authentic travel experience. The large travel companies do not provide the same level of service that our customers expect. And the growing success of GetAboutAsia is further proving this to be true.

Chad has travelled extensively in Asia including Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, Malaysia, China and Japan, and lived in the USA, UK, New Zealand, Peru, the Solomon islands, and now resides on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. When not travelling for work Chad can be found chasing his young children around sporting fields on the weekend.

Chad is a strong believer in responsible travel and the awareness that travel provides. Success in the travel industry has enabled Chad to work with local charities in South America, something that he's passionate about.

Greg Carter 
Greg Carter

Greg likes to practice what preaches and has travelled extensively including most of South East Asia, India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Malaysia, throughout China and Japan. Greg has been based in many countries around the world for work, but now resides in Sydney. Greg spends much of his time travelling between Australia, the UK, Asia and South America where he focuses much of his time on the regional offices.

Greg is a believer in family travel with his youngest daughter becoming a frequent flyer before her first birthday and his oldest daughter being fluent in multiple languages.

Further Information

To learn more as to why GetAboutAsia is the best choice for your trip, consider:

About Us
Our Offices
​Travel for Over 55s
Protecting Your Money
​Our Travel Style

Also consider:

Information & Help
​Destinations & Trips

For questions please contact us, as our Asia Travel Experts are waiting to help.

Filter Trips

Ask Us a Question


 

We’re proud to be

Go to top of page