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Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

What a beautiful day it was with our wonderful tour guide Craig! Not only is he knowledgeable he is hilarious!! From goats at our Main Ridge Dairy cheese tasting , to freeze dried fruits at the Mock orchard and many varieties of wine at T’Gallant and Red Hill Estate wineries. Let’s not forget the incredible chai tea chocolate at MP Chocolates in Flinders and the humongous fresh strawberries at Sunnyridge Strawberry Farm . I would highly recommend this tour and Craig as the guide

Thank Lauralee47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

What a great day we had. Thank you Craig for making our day so enjoyable and fun. Full of laughs and history. I was not a wine drinker but Craig I might just go buy a bottle now!! What a beautiful part of Melbourne we got to see today. Thank you.

Thank kellieoconnor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I’ve been a member on Trip Advisor since 2009. In nine years I have unfortunately only written ten reviews. It should have been more with all the travel I’ve done and the wonderful companies I’ve dealt with. Still, the point I want to make is...I have only written glowing 5 star reviews in these nine years. I have never even written a 4 star review or a 3 star...but I’m going to make the jump to a 1 star review for this company. Simply because I honestly haven’t dealt with a worse company while traveling in over 50 countries in the last nine years.

I wanted to do the Reverse Great Ocean Road tour out of Melbourne, but I couldn’t decide on what company to go with (oh the irony!). So I waited and waited, and finally I found myself in the airport at Uluru about to take off for Melbourne. My Australian friends tried to help in my search, and they found this company Autopia as we were sitting in the airport. Everything seemed good, so I booked a tour for two the very next morning (Nov. 4) at a total of 250 AUD ($194 U.S. dollars).

Shortly after this we boarded the plane. The captain came on and informed us that a technical issue was going to force us to disembark. I immediately emailed Autopia (this was within two hours of booking!), I explained the situation in detail and asked if there was any way I could get a refund. They responded with a hard “no”. Even an airline lets you cancel within 24 hours of a booking! They gave me two choices: get reimbursed by my travel insurance or pay $25 per person to change the tour to a different date (what?!). Even the Australians in our terminal who knew the story were horrified by this lack of customer service, sympathy, humanity, you name it. They were the ones who actually encouraged me to write this review!

In the end, we were taken on a bus for over 5 hours to Alice Springs to be put up in a hotel until the next day. Our flight to Melbourne on the 4th didn’t even take off until well after this tour began. Look, I’ll get my money back from my insurance. It’s not about that. I would rather LOSE the money if it meant I could still write this review. The problem is that my insurance will be paying me and this joke of a company that should be refunding me, is not. They still get their money despite not doing anything and showing no sign of compassion. What if I didn’t have trip insurance?! When you are in the customer service industry (which I am), you just have to do a better job. There is no excuse for this merciless, heartless greed.

Their terms and conditions will be cited here, and I will beat them to the punch. It is specifically stated that “Although every effort is made, Autopia Tours Australia shall not be liable for any illness, injury, damages, loss, delay or failure to join the tour that may occur due to factors beyond our control.” I get it, companies must protect themselves. But in this specific case and these specific circumstances, EVERY EFFORT was not made. How much effort does it take to refund someone within two hours of booking?? If their “effort” can’t manage that, then good grief...imagine something that actually requires real effort from these people?! It’s clear and they have made it so...they truly do not care about you. It’s scary to imagine the depth of ineptitude within this company.

Thank Sanjuro2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GLTCustomerService, Front Office Manager at Autopia Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Ben, we do so wish that we could upload screenshots on to these responses, as it would be very beneficial for the Trip Advisor community to see the actual correspondence that you sent us with the time stamps.

I invite anyone reading this review to please email us to receive screenshots of Ben's initial email 4 hours after booking explaining their flight was delayed and that they hopefully would not have to change the date.
At this point the offer to transfer the tour for the $25pp transfer fee was made as bus pick up routes, food and staffing had been organised for their tour that was in less than 10 hours.

We then received no reply until 2am - 5 hours before the tour, when Ben advised he would rather take the offer of a letter to provide to his insurance company.
I wonder what Ben would have to have said about our customer service had we cancelled his booking before this which he had previously asked us to keep in place as he was hoping to be put on a later flight?

Our cancellation policy is in-fact that within 48 hours no transfers can be made, however our staff still gave Ben this option as they understood he was in a tricky situation.
Sadly this grievance was only voiced after the assistance from us for Ben to secure a refund from his travel insurance provider had been provided.
Unfortunately, for a tour operator, even when we do make efforts such as offering transfers and providing guests with assistance in claiming from their insurance companies we still risk suffering reviews such as this. #DontBeABen

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Right from the 7:15am departure from St Paul's cathedral, we knew this was going to be a AMAZING day out. Henning our tour guide is 10 star awesome, his sense of humour & knowledge about the tour was on point.
Our first stop was Beaufort & had a cuppa & a biscuit. Then we made our way to Halls Gap & visit the cultural centre where we learnt about the aboriginal culture. Lunch is included in the ticket price & we got a large pizza between two people. OH. MY. GOD.
Then we spent time visiting Mackenzie Falls. Fitness level is 3 out of 5 rating.. Walking down the Falls is fine but walking all the way back up is challenging, so if you're fitish then you can do this, if you have medical problems maybe just walk to the falls lookout.
You won't be disappointed with this trip.

1  Thank ash_natb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GLTCustomerService, Front Office Manager at Autopia Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thank you for such a wonderful review! Henning certainly is 10 Star awesome and we believe his knowledge of the Grampians is incredible!
So glad you also enjoyed all the food inclusions, hopefully the Pizza set you up right for the 250 odd steps back up from Mackenzie Falls.

Many thanks again and we wish you safe onward travels

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Reviewed October 9, 2018

My husband and I went on the reverse tour with Grant on September 29. The scenery was stunning. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole day. Grant explained the history and geography of the Great Ocean Road as toured many different locations. The 12 Apostles were incredible. It was a long day but well worth it.

Thank Judith H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GLTCustomerService, Front Office Manager at Autopia Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thank you so much Judith.
Yep, a long day but well worth it is certainly a good tagline for the Great Ocean Road! We see as much as possible in our day and the Reverse tour is awesome for avoiding the crowds :-D

Many thanks and we will let Grant know about your lovely Review.

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Reviewed September 29, 2018 via mobile

It was all amazing! One of the most beautiful experiences in my life. Everything well organised, fantastic guides, in particular Paul, a such intelligent man!
All perfect

1  Thank Silvia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GLTCustomerService, Front Office Manager at Autopia Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

That is awesome! Thank you Silvia, Western Australia are our latest touring experiences and the feedback has been fab!

We encourage any guests to head over to our listing in Perth WA for tours and activities to blow your mind. Paul will be chuffed by your kind words!

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Reviewed September 22, 2018 via mobile

It was my birthday when my boyfriend told me to pack my bags because we are going for a trip somewhere. Early in the morning we and 3 other travelers were picked up by Tara, our amazing guide!

To be honest, I do not like group trips but this one was an exception. We were only 5, everyone from different nationality which was great cause it was an additional culture exchange

To make the story short, we went for a 2 days tour to the Great Ocean Road and Grampians. We have seen amazing Australia’s landscapes escorted by Tara’s brilliant stories, we have watched koalas, kangaroos, emus, cockatoos and other animals in the natural habitat, and all this without a hassle enjoying and taking our time at the same time being right on schedule thanks to Tara’s clear and wise instructions.

It was my first experience of traveling in Australia and getting out of Melbourne, and it was a great and a very memorable adventure! I would not mind to do another tour with Tara in the same small group :)

Thank MarinaC830
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GLTCustomerService, Front Office Manager at Autopia Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Woohoo! Thank you Mariana! Tara infact said that your group was also amazing and she had a great few days with you all!
We are pleased you had such a good birthday, make it a tradition and come see us every year!

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Reviewed September 22, 2018 via mobile

17 September 2018

I just want to clarify what really happened on the trip to the Great Ocean Road. The story goes like this:

It was marketed as a SMALL GROUP tour to the GREAT OCEAN ROAD but to be honest 30+ guests is not considered small, it is HUGE! Due to the size of the group, it took a long time for Kelly to finished the pickup. Four of us joined this tour booked through Viator operated by Autopia Tours which was led by Kelly. We were picked up on time and at the place agreed upon at the time of the booking. All instructions were stated crystal clear on the confirmation page sent through email. All went smoothly until 3 of the 33 customers on this small group tour decided to choose their own seat even if the majority of the customers already settled on their seat on the first part of the tour. We were on our first stop at the Brighton bathing boxes when a lot of the customers on the bus noticed that their seat was taken by another person when they got back from the beach (Luckily, i left my backpack on the seat so we were not displaced). There were families, friends and solo travellers on this tour ( all race, shapes and sizes). On our second stop, another changing of seats happened again, this time its WORST. Two elderly ladies were displaced and one of them was forced to take the seat at the back to keep the group from waiting any longer. We were shocked and angered with what happen.

On our way to lunch, one customer whose seat was displaced, asked Kelly to address the issue because we cannot be having this problem every time we get off the bus. So, Kelly spoke to the family of 3 nicely stating the reason why they cannot take other people’s seat just like that. He even asked them if they were seated separately at the back and they replied NO!. The reason behind it was, they don’t want to seat beside the guy that they referred to as “the BIG GUY” (which I believe is blatantly rude and extremely disrespectful). The “big guy” they are referring to is willing to move to accommodate them at the back (btw,he is travelling alone ) Kelly was left with no choice but to to give them 2 options, to get off the bus or take their original seat at the back. It took almost half an hour for them to decide, they even took video of Kelly asking them to leave or get the police involved. Kelly stepped off the bus and decided to let his company know what’s happening, while all of us waited and asked the family of 3 to get back to their seat so we can leave and go on with the tour but they stubbornly decided not to.

We left the spot where the argument happened and Kelly then returned to the bus and drove off (seating issue not yet resolved). We reached this place before Apollo bay and the family decided to alight at the bus stop (not deserted, NOT IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, they even have the option to take the bus to go back to Geelong). Immediately after they decided to get off the bus, All customers inside the bus rejoiced, applauded and thanked Kelly for standing up for the majority of us (total 30 guests). We reached Apollo bay to have lunch, while at the restaurant, the gratitude for Kelly’s actions poured in.
The rest of the tour went so well and we had a GREAT time! If not for Kelly’s bravery risking his job just to be able to resolve the issue the family of 3 could’ve ruined our trip for a simple seating issue. We went to the places as planned. Kelly is a very nice guy, effective tour guide and most importantly POLITE and HELPFUL. He is a handy photographer too. He gave us a lot of suggestions to where are the beautiful spot for photos. He loves the Great Ocean Road so much that he had so many good memories to share while on the road. His playlist was also mentioned but there’s nothing wrong with it. I’m considered a gen X but can still relate to his playlist (is Hotel California considered a bad choice of song?).

The issue here is not about how much is inside your pocket, not your race, and not even your shape and size. The real issue here is how to be COURTEOUS, RESPECTFUL and being CONSIDERATE to other people. If you think you cannot get along with other people, why not book a PRIVATE tour where you don’t need to deal with the “big guy” on the bus. There are a lot of bad things happening around the world already, being KIND to one another is the only best thing we can do❤️❤️❤️. You don’t have to be an ***HOLE to prove your point.

3  Thank Charito23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GLTCustomerService, Front Office Manager at Autopia Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thanks so much for setting the record Straight Charito23!

Kelly was very touched by your support and we are really pleased that he dealt with the situation to ensure that the rest of the group had a great day out! - Even though we coped a negative review from them your lovely words and enjoyment of the Great ocean Road are why we are in this business!

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Reviewed September 21, 2018 via mobile

We booked this tour because they have the Reverse Great Ocean Tour. The good thing was we were not with hundreds of people at the same time. We got some nice pics of the Twelve Apostles without too many people.
It was a small bus (24 seats), with only 18 pax. So it was a comfortable 6 hrs round trip for us.
Richard was our tour leader. It was only his second tour and he did such a great job!Good driving skill, genuine, friendly, and knowledgeable.
We were not lucky with the weather, it was cold and raining on the way back. We didn’t get to see much of the supposedly great ocean road. Make sure you have good weather on the day of the tour.

Thank widawida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2018 via mobile

Being kicked out from the bus by the tour guide, Kelly attempted to dump the tourists on a beach in the middle of nowhere, after we refused, he dumped us in Lorne, Kelly discriminated us on race and body shape.

33 people is not a small group, there is only 34 seats in the bus, everyone has the right to have a seat.

We joined a small group tour (24 people max) from another agent, there were 6 people (all Asian) waiting at the bus stop, a bus has been there for a while and the bus has no sign and the driver did not come down to ask if we are the people for his bus tour, until a man asked him, then he found all of us and got up to the bus, our family of 3 is the last one to get into the bus and there are only 4 seats left, one big guy occupied 2 seats and my daughter and myself have to sit with his other 3 family members at the back of the bus, only part of our bum can be sat and don’t even think of leaning our back on the seat or able to fasten the seatbelts because we are bum to bum, leg to leg without any gap, we couldn’t sit like this for a 14 hours tour, so we switched our seat after the first stop and everyone was ok until the second stop, the big guy occupying 2 seats moved to the front after the second stop, the people got angry then the tour guide blamed on us because we moved the seat first. We told him we are unable to sit at the back and request him to ask the big guy to sit with his family at the back, then my daughter and I take his 2 seats, the big guy will still have 2 seats because they have only 4 people on the back row, the driver refused to do so, he said he offered him to take 2 seats before.

The question is that guy is not the only one in big size on the bus, why he gave him 2 seats before the other 6 people (all Asians) are picked up.

Kelly said this is the way it is, he didn’t even asked the guy if he mind to sit with his family (as their family has 4 person, he still have 2 seats) he asked us to leave the bus because we refused to go back to the original seat (which is 1.5 seats for my daughter and myself).

He asked us to leave the bus which was on a beach in the middle of nowhere

We refused, than he stopped the bus in Lorne, a small town and asked us to leave again, we left because we felt our day has already been ruined and we couldn’t stay with the group for another 12 hours in this way.

Very upset being discriminated and we have never seen other Australians like this before, especially in the tourism industry

The poor agent that we booked the tour originally offered to pay us the taxi fee from Lorne to Geelong, which costs A$135, from Geelong we took the train back to Melbourne.

Aside from this incident, Kelly is not qualified as a tour guide, he doesn’t count the people on the bus after a stop, and he is too negative on weather and road traffic, his music choice is for himself only.

6  Thank CelloB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GLTCustomerService, Front Office Manager at Autopia Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

We are sure most guests reading this will be able to tell that there was clearly another side of the story to the above review.

So we were delighted when another guest took it upon themselves to set the record straight and write a review called "Kelly, the best tour guide..."

We encourage anyone keen for the other side of the story to have a read of how others on the bus saw this situation unfold and give the review on the 22nd of September a read!

We also cannot help but point out the irony of the accusations of discrimination based on race and body size in a review that is littered with references to other people races and weights.

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