Terms & Conditions

Thank you for booking and/or travelling on a Hands on Journeys tour with Hands on Journeys Pty Ltd (ABN 28 600 227 263) (“HOJ”). These Terms and Conditions (the “Terms”) apply to any travel products and/or services you have booked with or purchased from HOJ, and govern the contractual relationship between you and HOJ with respect to any such travel products and/or services (hereinafter, the “Products”). Please read these Terms carefully as by booking any Product with HOJ , or by travelling on a HOJ tour you acknowledge that you:

i) have read and understand these Terms, and

ii) indicate your express acceptance of and agree to be bound by these Terms. If you have confirmed a booking on any Products with more than one client named and booked on such booking, you shall be deemed to have accepted these Terms on behalf of all clients named in the booking (including minors and those under a disability) and travelling on or otherwise participating in any Products (hereinafter “you”, the “Client(s)”), and by such travel or participation all passengers indicate their assent to these Terms. The Client who confirmed the booking is deemed to be the designated contact person for all other Clients named in such booking. These Terms supersede all prior agreements, representations and understandings of the parties, written or oral. We strongly recommend that you raise all queries relating to your tour prior to booking to ensure that you understand the itinerary, style and physical demands of the tour you are undertaking.

1. Our contract

All bookings are made with Hands On Journeys Pty Ltd (ABN 28 600 227 263). By booking a tour with us you are deemed to have agreed to these Terms (which together with the application form and booking confirmation letter) constitutes the entire agreement between you and us and your booking will be accepted by us on this basis. The Products to be provided are those referred to in your booking confirmation letter.

2. Deposit requirement

You are required to pay a non-refundable deposit of USD$300 per person per tour for your booking to be confirmed. If your booking is made within 65 days of the departure date then the full amount of the tour is payable at the time of booking.

3. Acceptance of booking and final payments

Upon receipt of the deposit and application form, we will issue a booking confirmation letter and invoice. A contract will exist between us from the date we issue the booking confirmation letter. Please refer to your booking confirmation invoice for details regarding final payments. Payment of the balance of the tour price is due 65 days before the departure date. If this balance is not paid on or before the due date we reserve the right to treat your booking as cancelled.

4. Your details

In order for us to confirm your travel arrangements you must provide all requested details with the balance of the tour price. Your booking cannot be confirmed without provision of these details.

5. Cancellation by the traveller

If you cancel some or all portions of your booking cancellation fees will apply. A cancellation will only be effective when we receive written confirmation of the cancellation.

If you cancel a tour:

  • 65 days or more prior to departure, we will retain the deposit;
  • Between 31 and 64 days prior to departure, we will retain 50% of the total booking cost; and
  • 30 days or less prior to departure, we will retain 100% paid by you in connection with the booking.

You are strongly advised to take out cancellation insurance at the time of booking which will cover cancellation fees. If you leave a tour for any reason after it has commenced, we are not obliged to make any refunds for unused services.

If you fail to join a tour, join it after departure, or leave it prior to its completion, no refund will be made. The above cancellation fees are in addition to fees which may be levied by accommodation providers, travel agents or third party tour and transport operator fees.

6. Cancellation by us

We may cancel a tour at any time up to 90 days before departure. We may also cancel a tour at any time prior to departure if, due to terrorism, natural disasters, political instability or other external events it is not viable for us to operate the planned itinerary. If we cancel your tour, you can transfer amounts paid to an alternate departure date or alternatively elect to receive a full refund.

In circumstances where the cancellation is due to external events, outside our reasonable control, refunds will be less any reasonable costs incurred by us. We are not responsible for any incidental expenses that you may have incurred as a result of your booking including but not limited to visas, vaccinations, travel insurance excess or non refundable flights. Please note that different cancellation conditions may apply to some styles of trips, your booking consultant will advise if differences apply.

7. Change of itinerary

While we endeavour to operate all trips as described we reserve the right to change the tour itinerary. Please refer to our website before departure for the most recent updates to your itinerary.

  • Before departure: If we make a major change we will inform you as soon as reasonably possible if there is time before departure. The definition of a major change is deemed to be a change affecting at least one day in five of the itinerary. When a major change is made you may choose between accepting the change, obtaining a refund of money paid on the land portion of the tour only or accepting an alternative tour offered.
  • After departure: We reserve the right to change an itinerary after departure due to local circumstances or events outside of our control. In such emergency circumstances the additional cost of any necessary itinerary alterations will be covered by you. Please note we are not responsible for any incidental expenses that may be incurred as a result of the change of itinerary such as visas, vaccinations or non-refundable flights.

8. Booking amendments

If you wish to transfer from one tour to another or transfer your booking to a third party, you must notify us at least 65 days prior to the proposed departure date. A fee of $200 per person per change will apply. If you notify us less than 65 days prior to the proposed departure date the refund policy applicable to cancellations will apply. Transfers to a third party are only permitted where the transferee meets all the requirements in relation to the tour, and transfers to another departure can only be made to a departure within the current validity period.

Amendments to any other arrangements made in conjunction with your tour will incur a $100 administration fee per booking per change. No amendments are permitted to your booking within 10 days of departure.

9. Prices & Surcharges

Our tour prices are subject to variable and seasonal pricing, both of which are standard practice within the travel industry. This means our tour prices may vary at any time in accordance with demand, market conditions and availability. It is likely that different passengers on the same tour may have been charged different prices. Your best option if you like the price you see is to book at that time. Once you have received a quote the price will be locked in provided you pay the required deposit prior to the quote’s expiry. Any reduced pricing or discounts that may become available after you have paid your deposit will not apply. If you wish to cancel your booking to take advantage of a cheaper price, full cancellation conditions apply. The most up to date pricing is available on our website. We reserve the right to impose surcharges up to 65 days before departure due to unfavourable changes in exchange rates, increases in transportation costs, increases in local operator costs, taxes, or if government action should require us to do so. In such instances we will be responsible for the any amount up to 2% of the tour price and you will be responsible for the balance. If any surcharge results in an increase of more than 10% of the tour price you may cancel the booking within 7 days of notification of the surcharge and obtain a full refund. We will not charge any additional surcharge to any booking for travel once the tour price is paid in full.

10. Age requirements

While most trips are available to travellers 15 years old and up, all travellers under the age of 18 must have an adult accompany them, appointed by their legal guardian. The legal guardian or their designee will be responsible for the traveller under the age of 18 day-to-day’s care. If a legal guardian elects to designate an escort in their lieu, they will be required to complete and sign a relevant document, to delegate their authority.
Hands on Journeys also offers Family Adventure styles of travel that have a range of minimum ages depending on the destination and level of difficulty.

Please note we cannot guarantee triple or joining rooms for families; accompanying adults may be required to share with others in the group on a twin share basis.

11. Health requirements

All Clients are responsible for choosing a trip appropriate to your physical abilities and

  • Travellers Mobility and Fitness
    Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’s is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small buses/coach, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. While our Tour Escorts work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in the Tour details documents for more information.
  • Mental health, anxiety or depression conditions?
    HOJ clients may in the course of the tour be exposed to difficult conditions, unfamiliar environments, with different cultural norms and amongst people from diverse back-grounds. We strongly recommend that you seek your medical practitioner’s advice on whether such a program is appropriate for you prior to completing the application form.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions
    Guests are responsible for being in sufficiently good health to participate on their trip and may be required to obtain a medical practitioner’s clearance. Once a trip has been confirmed medical circumstances will not be considered as exceptions to our cancellation policy. HOJs takes no responsibility regarding medical advice, medications or vaccinations that you or your doctor feel is necessary for your safe participation. All journeys are undertaken at your own risk and we reserve the right to refuse your participation in a particular activity or a complete journey if we believe it is for your own safety and the safety of other passengers.This is to ensure that Clients have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen tour. It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain proper and detailed medical advice at least two to three months prior to travel for the latest health requirements and recommendations for your destination.

12. Illegal drugs

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our Tour Escorts have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

13. Passport and visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your tour vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the duration of the tour.

You must carry a valid passport and have obtained all of the appropriate visas, permits and certificates for the countries in which you will visit during your tour.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of the correct visas, permits and certificates for your tour; please refer to the pre-departure tour Notes for details. We are not responsible if you are refused entry to a country because you lack the correct passport, visa or other travel documentation.

14. Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our travellers and should be taken out at the time of booking. Your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses and emergency repatriation with a recommended minimum coverage of US$200,000 for each of the categories of cover. We also strongly recommend it covers cancellation, curtailment, personal liability and loss of luggage and personal effects. You will be requested to email us a proof of your travel insurance at least 30-days before your tour start date.

15. Flexibility

You appreciate and acknowledge that the nature of this type of travel requires considerable flexibility and you should allow for alternatives. The itinerary provided for each tour is representative of the types of activities contemplated, but it is understood that the route, schedules, itineraries, amenities and mode of transport may be subject to alteration without prior notice due to local circumstances or events.

16. Authority on tour

Our group trips are run by a Tour Escort. The decision of the Tour Escort is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any person participating on the tour. If you fail to comply with a decision made by the Tour Escort, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the Tour Escort may direct you to leave the tour immediately, with no right of refund. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our responsible travel guidelines.

17. Acceptance of risk

You acknowledge that the nature of the tour is adventurous and participation involves a degree of personal risk. You will be visiting places where the political, cultural and geographical attributes present dangers and physical challenges greater than those present in our daily lives. We use information from government foreign departments and reports from our own contacts in assessing whether the itinerary should operate. However it is also your own responsibility to acquaint yourself with all possible relevant travel information and the nature of your itinerary. You acknowledge that your decision to travel is made in light of consideration of this information and you accept that you are aware of the personal risks attendant upon such travel.

18. Limitation of liability

We contract with a network of companies, government agencies and individuals to assist in the running of our trips as agent for these third parties. We are not responsible for the acts and omissions of these third parties. Nothing in these Terms excludes, restricts or modifies any terms, conditions or warranties or HOJ’s liability for them which are imposed or implied by any statute, including but not limited to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Commonwealth) and which by statute cannot be excluded, restricted or modified. Limitations and exclusions are made only to the extent that HOJ may legally do so. To the fullest extent permitted by law:

  • any liability for any loss, death, injury or damage which you may suffer (directly or indirectly) in connection with or arising out of your participation on a tour, or any breach of the Terms, is excluded;
  • you release us and our directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors and representatives from any liability and expressly waive any claims you may have against us arising out of or directly or indirectly in connection with your participation in a tour;
  • any claim by you is excluded to the extent that it is for indirect or consequential loss, loss of profits or economic loss, however it arises, or for indirect, special, punitive or exemplary damages; and
  • any condition or warranty which would otherwise be implied by law into these Terms (Implied Warranty), is to the extent it can be legally excluded is excluded.

To the extent an Implied Warranty cannot be excluded, our liability in respect of the Implied Warranty is limited to (in our absolute discretion):
(i) the provision of a similar tour to an equivalent value; or
(ii) a refund of the total amount received by us from you in connection with your booking.

19. Optional activities

Optional activities not included in the tour price do not form part of the tour or this contract. You accept that any assistance given by your Tour Escort or local representative in arranging optional activities does not render us liable for them in any way. The contract for the provision of that activity will be between you and activity provider.

20. Claims & complaints

If you have a complaint about your tour please inform your Tour Escort or our local representative at the time in order that they can attempt to rectify the matter. If satisfaction is not reached through these means then any further complaint should be put in writing to us within 30 days of the end of the tour.

21. Severability

In the event that any term or condition contained in these Terms is unenforceable or void by operation of law or as being against public policy or for any other reason, then such term or condition shall be deemed to be severed from this contract or amended accordingly only to such extent necessary to allow all remaining terms and conditions to survive and continue as binding. This clause has no effect if the severance alters the basic nature of the agreement or in contrary to public policy.

22. Photos and marketing

You consent to us using images of you taken during the tour for advertising and promotional purposes in any medium we choose. You grant us a perpetual, royalty free, worldwide, irrevocable licence to use such images for publicity and promotional purposes.

23. Privacy policy

Any personal information that we collect about you may be used for any purpose associated with the operation of a Tour or to send you marketing material in relation to our events and special offers. The information may be disclosed to our agents, service providers or other suppliers to enable us to operate the Tour.

Hands on Journeys and its related parties are committed to protecting your Personal Information that you share with us. We want you to understand our Privacy Policy and what it means to you, our customer. We do our utmost to ensure your personal information is safeguarded and protected, by adhering and acting in accordance with all applicable legislation. Hands on Journeys collects personal information only to the extent necessary to deliver the services, products, or information you, or an agent or other passenger booking on your behalf, request. Hands on Journeys, either directly or through our agency and booking partners collects, holds, uses and discloses, only as necessary the following personal information from customers and others in the course of offering services or providing services to you: full name, age, home address, phone number, e-mail address, passport and travel medical information, where required, insurance details, ISIC information, where applicable, nationality, residency, nutrition preferences, tour evaluations, travel & accommodation preferences, comments you provide us, tour destination information, credit card and/or other payment information, etc. The collection of this information is done to allow us to provide services to you as requested.

We may also collect personal information, including contact information, if you elect to enter a contest or sweepstakes with us, to subscribe to our newsletter, or to request a brochure, which we will use only to provide you with the service you have requested (or other substantially similar services directly related to your request).

24. Applicable law

To the fullest extent permitted by law these terms are governed by the laws of New South Wales, Australia and the parties submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of that State and courts of appeal from them. Any disputes in connection with a tour or these Terms must be initiated in the Supreme court of New South Wales, Australia.

25. Postal address

Our address for all written communications is Hands On Journeys Pty Ltd (ABN 28 600 227 263) PO Box 507, Stanhope Gardens, NSW 2768

26. Updating of terms and conditions

The Company reserves the right to update and/or alter these Terms at any time, and we will notify the Client in writing of any such amendments. The latest Terms and Conditions will always be found on the Company website www.handsonjourneys.com.au and will supersede any previous versions.

27. References to Certain General Terms

a) Unless the contrary intention appears, a reference in this agreement to:

  • (variations or replacement) a document includes any variation or replacement of it;
  • (clauses, annexures and schedules) a clause, annexure or schedule is a reference to a clause in or annexure or schedule to this agreement;
  • (reference to statutes) a statute, ordinance, code or other law includes regulations and other instruments under it and consolidations, amendments, re-enactments or replacements of any of them;
  • (law) law means common law, principles of equity, and laws made by parliament (and laws made by parliament include State, Territory and Commonwealth laws and regulations and other instruments under them, and consolidations, amendments, re-enactments or replacements of any of them);
  • (singular includes plural) the singular includes the plural and vice versa;
  • (person) the word “person” includes an individual, a firm, a body corporate, a partnership, a joint venture, an unincorporated body or association, or any government agency;
  • (executors, administrators, successors) a particular person includes a reference to the person’s executors, administrators, successors, substitutes (including persons taking by novation) and assigns;
  • (two or more persons) an agreement, representation or warranty in favour of two or more persons is for the benefit of them jointly and each of them individually;
  • (reference to a group of persons) a group of persons or things is a reference to any two or more of them jointly and to each of them individually;
  • (dollars) Australian dollars, dollars, A$ or $ is a reference to the lawful currency of Australia;
  • (calculation of time) if a period of time dates from a given day or the day of an act or event, it is to be calculated exclusive of that day;
  • (reference to a day) a day is to be interpreted as the period of time commencing at midnight and ending 24 hours later;
  • (meaning not limited) the words “include”, “including”, “for example” or “such as” when introducing an example, does not limit the meaning of the words to which the example relates to that example or examples of a similar kind.