Mar 6 - 14, 2022
9 days
$7,480per person, twin share (land content only). $1,580 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.

Tour Leader

Robert Gay
Mar 6 - 14, 2022

Tour Leader

Robert Gay$7,480per person, twin share (land content only). $1,580 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.
  • Tour Info
  • Itinerary
  • Tour Leader
  • Hotels
  • Inclusions


Academy Travel is delighted to present a nine day trip to Adelaide, timed to coincide with a superb run of performances at the 2022 Adelaide Festival.  Since 1960 the Adelaide Festival has been a highlight of the Australian cultural calendar. Under the current directors, Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy, the Festival continues to burnish its international reputation.

Academy Travel is the only travel company to be partner sponsors of the Adelaide Festival, guaranteeing access to excellent tickets and the opportunity to meet artists and directors at the Festival. Around the Festival performances we’ve built a program of gallery visits, excursions and an opportunity to participate in Adelaide Writers’ Week, which coincides with the festival.

Accommodation is at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, located close to many of Adelaide’s attractions. The group is limited to just 16 participants.

COVID-19? Book with confidence
If Government imposed COVID-19 restrictions mean that we cannot run a tour, or that you cannot travel to join a tour, then you will be given a 100% refund of all monies paid to Academy Travel for your tour.

Vaccination requirements
Academy Travel requires all participants on its tours to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. We reserve the right to inspect your digital vaccination certificate.


Adelaide Festival Performances

Barrie Kosky’s production of Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel, premiere of a new Australian ‘oratorio’ directed by Neil Armfield, two international dance troupes, the return of a recent smash-hit new Australian stage work.

  Adelaide Biennale of Australian Art

The 2022 biennale is curated by indigenous artist Sebastian Goldspink and features contemporary work by artists from every Australian state and territory.

Talks and receptions

Meet Festival directors Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy at a private reception; get the most out of performances with background talks by the tour leaders


Visit the Adelaide Hills; tour the McLaren Vale wine-growing area and the mouth of the Murray River; visit superb private house collections in Adelaide

Itinerary Overview

Arrive early and refresh: Let us know if you would like to arrive in Adelaide a day before the tour commences, so you can begin refreshed.

Day 1: Meet at the hotel at 12.00pm; at 2.00pm, performance 1 (dance) at Adelaide Festival; check in after the performance; welcome dinner

Day 2: Introductory talk by Robert and Penny Gay; Visit the Adelaide Biennale at the Art Gallery of South Australia; lunch; optional Writers’ Week events; at 6.30pm, performance 2 (stage show) at Festival

Day 3: Talk; visit contemporary art exhibitions at the Samstag Museum; optional Writers’ Week events; at 6.30pm, performance 3 (oratorio) at Festival

Day 4: Talk; visit David Roche Foundation in North Adelaide; lunch; reception with Festival directors; performance 4 (The Golden Cockerel ) at Festival at 6.00pm

Day 5: Free morning, visit McLaren Vale for wine-tasting and lunch.

Day 6: Indigenous heritage at South Australian Museum; break; travel to the Adelaide Hills to Hans Heysen’s estate, The Cedars; dinner at Ukaria Cultural Centre, followed by performance 5 (baroque vocal music) at 7.30pm

Day 7: Talk; visit Carrick Hill Estate; free afternoon; at 6.30pm performance 6 (dance) at Festival

Day 8: Free morning; farewell lunch; at 6.30pm performance 7 (stage show) at Festival

Day 9: Tour ends after breakfast

Detailed Itinerary

Start & Finish

Meet your fellow tour participants on Sunday 6 March at 12.00 noon at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Adelaide.
The tour ends after breakfast on Monday 14 March in the hotel.


Sunday 6 March – Arrival and dance Performance

Meet Robert and Penny Gay and your fellow travellers at the hotel at 12.00 noon for a sandwich lunch. We then head off by coach to the newly-renovated Her Majesty’s Theatre for our opening performance. A classic of contemporary dance, Pina Bausch’s 1975 choreography for Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring is paired with a new work by Germaine Acogny, a contemporary of Bausch’s and a driving force in dance in Africa. Her Senegal-based company of 38 dancers come from 14 African nations. After the performance, we enjoy a welcome dinner in the hotel. (If you are planning to arrive in Adelaide today, please be sure to book a flight that arrives no later than 11.00am. Please note that you will NOT be able to check into your hotel room until after our matinee performance. If you would like to arrive a day before the tour commences, please contact us so we can arrange additional accommodation.) (L, D)

Performance details
Venue: Her Majesty’s Theatre, 2.00pm
Title: The Rite of Spring / Common Ground(s)
Company/ Performers: Pina Bausch / Germaine Acogny & Malou Airaudo, Pina Bausch Foundation, École des Sables & Sadler’s Wells

Monday 7 March – Adelaide Biennaial and a one-woman play

This morning, Robert and Penny give an overview of the Festival program. We then head to the nearby Art Gallery of South Australia. As well as the excellent permanent collection, the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art will also be occupying much of the Gallery. Curated by indigenous artist Sebastian Goldspink, the Biennial features work by 25 artists, young and old, from around the country. After lunch at the Gallery restaurant, there is time to catch an afternoon session of Writers’ Week before we travel to the Odeon Theatre to see the State Theatre Company South Australia’s production of Dennis Kelly’s Girls and Boys, an internationally acclaimed one-woman show, directed by Mitchell Butel and starring Justine Clarke.  (B, L)

Performance details
Venue: Odeon Theatre, Norwood, 6.30pm
Title: Girls and Boys
Company/Performers: State Theatre Company South Australia, Justine Clarke

Tuesday 8 March – Contemporary art and a new oratorio

This morning, we visit the Samstag Museum of Art on North Terrace to see contemporary UK artist Isaac Julien’s spectacular, multiple-screen video installation. The early afternoon is then free to attend Writer’s Week sessions. Late in the afternoon we transfer to the Adelaide Festival Centre to see what promises to be one of the most discussed works at the Festival. Neil Armfield directs the world premiere of a new oratorio based on the shocking murder of academic Dr George Duncan in Adelaide 50 years ago. The libretto is by Alana Valentine and acclaimed novelist Christos Tsiolkas, with music by exciting young Australian composer Joseph Twist. (B)

Performance details
Venue: Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre, 6.30pm
Title: Watershed: The Death of Dr Duncan
Company/Performers: Adelaide Festival, State Opera South Australia, Adelaide Chamber Singers

Wednesday 9 March – David Roche, Directors’ reception and Festival opera

This morning, Robert gives a detailed introduction to this evening’s opera. We then head to Fermoy House in North Adelaide to view the renowned David Roche Collection. In his lifetime, Roche assembled one of Australia’s best collections of European fine and decorative arts, today housed in purpose-built galleries as well as the original residence. After a café lunch in North Adelaide, we return to the hotel. The afternoon is free to relax or attend a session of  Writers’ Week. In the later afternoon, we return to the Festival Theatre for a private reception with the Festival directors Rachel Healy and Neil Armfield. This is followed by the ‘flagship’ production of the 2022 Festival, Barrie Kosky’s production of Rimsky-Korsakov’s last opera, The Golden Cockerel, featuring an international cast and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra conducted by Arvo Volmer. (Please note that the day and time of the Directors’ reception is subject to confirmation.)  (B, L)

Performance details
Venue: Festival Theatre, 6.00pm
Title: Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel
Company/Performers: Adelaide Festival/Aix-en-Provence Festival/ Opéra National de Lyon/ Komische Oper Berlin, Pavlo Hunka, Venera Gimadieva, Andrei Popov, Arvo Volmer (conductor)

Thursday 10 March – Excursion to McLaren Vale

Located in hilly terrain south of Adelaide, McLaren Vale is one of Australia’s most highly regarded wine-growing regions, known especially for its shiraz. In the late morning, we have a wine tasting before enjoying lunch at a restaurant in the vineyards. We return to Adelaide in the later afternoon. This evening you might choose to attend one of the more casual events at the Festival, or perhaps investigate one of the other Festival installations in the city.  (B, L)

Friday 11 March – Indigenous heritage, Adelaide Hills and Ukaria

This morning we tour the Indigenous galleries of the South Australian Museum. The collection of artefacts from Central Australia and the Top End is considered among the best in the world and will be shown to us by an Indigenous guide. This afternoon we head to the Adelaide Hills. Our first stop is The Cedars, the estate of the early 20th century artists Hans Heysen and his daughter Nora. The property houses the studios where Hans and Nora each worked, a walking trail showing where some of Hans’ best-known works were painted, and the arts-and-crafts residence of the Heysen family. With more than 200 original works on display, it is one of the best historic artist house-studios in the world. We then head to the stunning Ukaria Cultural Centre near the town of Mt Barker, created by philanthropist and music lover Ulrike Klein. Here, after dinner, Sydney’s Pinchgut Opera performs a delightful program of selections from Monteverdi’s collection of vocal works in the early baroque style, Selva morale e spirituale, and songs by Venetian composer Barbara Strozzi.  (B, D)

Performance details
Venue: Ukaria Cultural Centre, 7.30pm
Title: Consecration, works by Monteverdi and Strozzi
Company/Performers: Pinchgut Opera, Erin Helyard (organist and conductor)

Saturday 12 March – Carrick Hill and contemporary dance theatre

This morning Penny gives a talk covering our final two performances. We then head to Carrick Hill, a superb historic house perched at the foot of the Adelaide Hills. The house features a fine collection of mainly early 20th-century British, Australian and European art, remarkable furniture and extensive gardens. We return to Adelaide in the mid-afternoon. Later, we walk to the Scott Theatre on the nearby campus of the University of Adelaide for Juliet & Romeo, a contemporary piece based on Shakespeare’s play, presented by UK-based dance/theatre/circus troupe, Lost Dog.  (B)

Performance details
Venue: Scott Theatre, 6.30pm
Title: Juliet & Romeo
Company/Performers: Lost Dog, Solène Weinachter and Kip Johnson (dancers)

Sunday 13 March – Farewell lunch and theatrical event

This morning join Robert and Penny for a leisurely stroll through Adelaide’s lovely Botanic Garden or catch up on Festival happenings that you may not yet have had time to see. We enjoy a relaxed farewell lunch at a fine restaurant in the city centre, before returning to Her Majesty’s Theatre for our final performance. Eryn Jean Norvill stars in a revival of the Sydney Theatre Company’s 2019 hit, The Picture of Dorian Gray, in which she plays all 26 characters simultaneously. Adapted by Kip Williams from Oscar Wilde’s eponymous novella, the piece was also directed by Williams using a remarkable mix of on-stage camera work, pre-recorded video projection and conventional stage acting. It will certainly ensure that our visit to the 2022 Adelaide Festival concludes on a high note!  (B, L)

Performance details
Venue: Her Majesty’s Theatre, 6.00pm
Title: The Picture of Dorian Gray
Company/Performers: Sydney Theatre Company, Eryn Jean Norvill

Monday 14 March – Departure

The tour ends at the hotel this morning after breakfast. (B)


Robert Gay

One of Australia’s leading music tour leaders and music educators, he has designed and led more than 90 tours.

Since 1987, Robert Gay has managed to combine his passion for music and his love of teaching with his enthusiasm for travel. He has visited the great opera houses and concert halls of Europe and America and heard most of the great singers and instrumentalists of the last half-century. Robert was President of the Sydney Schubert Society for eighteen years, and for several years was a guest lecturer for ADFAS.

After gaining a BA, Dip. Ed. from the University of Sydney, Robert trained as a lyric baritone in London and Munich before turning to the field of music education with a position at 2MBS-FM. He has taught music history courses at Sydney University’s Centre for Continuing Education since 1985. Robert’s musical expertise ranges wide, from baroque to modern. He particular enjoys placing works in their larger contexts – musical, biographical, social and historical.

In the early days, Robert always designed his tours to include a visit behind the ‘Iron Curtain’ – whether it was Berlin, Dresden, Prague or Budapest – thereby providing fascinating insights into a world which has now largely disappeared. His tours, which total nearly 90, have regularly featured the great musical cities of Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Russia, as well as Scandinavia and the United States of America.

“It has been an enormous privilege to have travelled the world for the last 30 years taking groups of music lovers to the great musical and cultural cities of Europe and America,” Robert says. “There is something magical about music – an art form which only truly lives as it is performed – which seems to bind people together so effortlessly and harmoniously.”

“I have always been a great believer in ‘the spirit of place’,” says Robert. “You can read and research and google all you like, but it cannot for a moment match the thrill of standing in the beautiful villa on the shores of Lake Lucerne where Wagner and his beloved Cosima first lived together; or of hearing a service in Bach’s unassuming St Thomas’s church in Leipzig; or seeing a performance in the old Paris Opéra, the auditorium ‘crowned’ by its superb Chagall ceiling celebrating both opera and ballet. Such experiences are treasurable and unforgettable!”

View Bio & Upcoming Tours


Crowne Plaza Hotel Adelaide

Our group will stay at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Adelaide. Crowne Plaza Adelaide offers modern accommodation in the heart of the city, overlooking the CBD and Adelaide Hills.

Tour Inclusions

What is included in the tour price? 

Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:

All tours

  • All accommodation at properties mentioned in the itinerary
  • Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Taxis may also be used for short trips on some tours. Some city stay tours may involve local transport
  • All breakfasts
  • Lunches and dinners indicated with the letters L and D in the itinerary
  • Beer, wine and soft drinks at sit-down lunches and dinners. Picnic and light lunches may not include alcoholic drinks
  • Services of tour leader throughout tour
  • All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • Local guides at some sites
  • All tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals

On international tours only

  • Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required, and when stated as included
  • Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
  • Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
  • Some trips may be made by public transport such as high-speed train and subway

What is not included in the tour price?

Our tours do not include the following:

  • Air or land travel from your home city to the tour start/end points
  • Local taxes and airport levies that we are not able to prepay on your behalf. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
  • Lunches and dinners not specifically indicated with the letters L or D in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses such as passports, laundry and phone calls
  • Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity
  • Airport Transfers on international tours
  • Tours may begin at either the arrival airport or the first hotel. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel, and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers

Airport Transfers

Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.

Travel Insurance

We require all tour participants to have adequate insurance coverage.

  • For domestic tours, Medicare and your private medical insurance should be used to cover any medical expenses.
  • Domestic travel insurance is available and strongly recommended to cover non-medical expenses such as cancellation.
  • For international tours, we require you to have comprehensive travel insurance. Prices vary according to your age, your pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the length of your journey abroad.

Tour Details



Fitness Requirement

Grade One

A Grade 1 tour is appropriate for travellers in good health with good mobility, who can comfortably participate in up to 3 hours of physical activity per day on most days.
More Details


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The consultant for this tour is Hannah Kleboe. For further information or to have the consultant call you, please email.
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