Geoff McGeary OAM ('59)
Geoff is the owner of Australian Pacific Touring (APT).
Australian Pacific Touring (APT) has been a McGeary family business since the 1920’s, when Bill McGeary built a bus body on a tray truck after a tram strike affected the city of Melbourne. Through Bill’s son, Geoff, APT have pioneered Australia’s dynamic travel industry via a diverse range of modes.
In 1961, aged 19, Geoff McGeary obtained a special under-age bus driver’s licence and took over McGeary’s Parlour Coaches. Geoff possessed his father’s entrepreneurial spirit and his own curiosity for discovering new destinations. He seized on Australia’s increasing appetite for domestic tourism and began his pioneering camping holidays to Queensland and Central Australia.
As the 60’s rolled into the 70’s the company moved with the hedonistic spirit of the times. McGeary’s Parlour Coaches became Australian Pacific Coaches and conducted day tours and themed weekends. In the mid 70’s the company was renamed Australian Pacific Touring and took its first foray into international travel with trips to New Zealand followed by Canada and Alaska in 1991. It was here that APT moved beyond its traditional coach touring to include travel by luxury train and cruise ship.
In 2005, Geoff saw an opportunity for a new style of travel and launched APT’s innovative Europe River Cruise business. Since then APT has continued to commission new ships and offer new destinations in Asia like Myanmar and the Mekong as well as the US and South America. In 2014, Geoff’s services to Australian tourism were recognised with the Order of Australia Medal. In 2016 he was honoured as an Australian Tourism Legend at the 2015 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.
Geoff and the family are continually looking in to the future of APT. Their spirit of innovation and their love of travel are set to steer APT in exciting new directions.