Stories on The Big Bus are written by travellers for travellers. We have an amazing team of regular contributors, with writers based in most Australian capital cities and in several international hubs. If you are interested in contributing to the site, please drop us a line.
Ruby Boukabou is a travel, culture and food writer based between Europe and Australia. She has written for The Age, The Australian, Qantas, Issimo, The Diplomat, Paris Voice and Inside Film. She has also produced culture and travel stories for the ABC, SBS and Screen Australia. When Ruby’s not writing, she is probably tap dancing. She is a founding member of the Paris Tap Crew (which produces the monthly Paris Tap Jam) and a member of jazz/world music group Le Shuffle Project.
Vanessa O’Hanlon is an Australian television news presenter with the Nine Network and an avid traveller. Her travels began with a flight to Egypt, a visit to the pyramids and a camel ride, and she knew there was no turning back. Since then, Vanessa’s backpack has seen a thing or two — from exploring relatively untouched Bhutan to braving the cold on the peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Julietta Henderson is a Melbourne-based travel and feature writer. Originally planning to visit London for six months, she ended up staying for ten years and now divides her time between her home in Australia and several months of the year in the UK, Italy and France. Julietta has travelled extensively through Europe, North America, Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia and Russia, and believes the keys to a great travel experience are an open heart, an open mind and an open-ended ticket.
After spending years as a music journalist and beer taster, Alexis Buxton-Collins sold everything he owned and spent three years travelling the world. He now writes about his experiences on the road, both abroad and at home in Adelaide. Alexis has written for Australian Traveller, Qantas, Virgin, Lonely Planet, Wild, and many other publications. He’s currently undertaking a comprehensive search for McLaren Vale’s best value bottle of wine.
Melinda Healy is an Australian-made journalist who enjoys roaming the globe and writing about it. She’s just returned to Australia after four years working in the media in Abu Dhabi, most recently as section editor of a weekly lifestyle newspaper supplement. Mel is a destination expert for Telegraph Travel and Culture Trip and has had bylines in The Times, The Independent, Etihad Airways’ Atlas online, Ultratravel Middle East, Conde Nast Traveller Middle East and The Upsider.
Linda Moon is a freelance travel, health and lifestyle writer. Her work has appeared in Voyeur, the Sun-Herald, the Sydney Morning Herald, the NZ Journal of Natural Medicine, Nature & Health magazine, the New Daily, Essential Kids, Australian Family magazine, Weekend Notes, WellBeing magazine, and Retirement Living Today. Based in Katoomba in the beautiful Blue Mountains, Linda has been blessed to explore the wonderful cultures and magical lands of Vietnam, Cambodia, Switzerland, Tahiti and Moorea, Japan, India, Koh Samui, Vanuatu, Lifou and New Zealand.
Jennifer Morton is a freelance writer and photographer. The Canadian expat has lived all over Canada, New Zealand and Australia. She also spent six months working on a cruise ship in Europe. When Jennifer is not writing about travel, you may find her lounging on the beach, fishing with her son, sipping coffee at a cafe, reading a book or zooming in on a beautiful scene. She’s also likely to be boarding a plane — or jumping out of one.
Hailing from Aotearoa New Zealand, Karllie Clifton is an avid midlife traveller and blogger who loves an adventure. At the end of 2015, Karllie left her teaching profession, sold her home and became a nomad for the next few years. It sparked a real passion for budget solo travel, which she now loves to inspire others to do. In the last few years alone, Karllie has visited over twenty countries and ticked off more than 50 cities across three continents. She loves the great outdoors — especially hiking and anything to do with the ocean.
Bonita Grima is a Perth-based freelance travel writer with a background in television and radio production in Australia and the United Kingdom. She believes travel to be a powerful tool that can challenge, inspire, educate and encourage empathy by providing a window into the worlds of others. After years of living and exploring overseas, she is now back in Perth, rediscovering and enjoying the West Australian lifestyle and all that it offers. When not working on a story, you’ll find her at the beach, on a hiking trail, drinking great coffee, discovering what’s new about town, and dreaming up her next adventure!
As a travel blogger and photographer, Neil Brook travels the world looking to meet interesting people, taste great food, and find different angles from which to write about his adventures. He is privileged to have lived in Australia, the Philippines, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the United Kingdom. More a traveller than a tourist, Neil prefers to mix with the locals, learn their history and culture, and walk the backstreets to uncover hidden gems worthy of praise in words or quiet moments of private reflection.
Jennifer Johnston is a Brisbane-based freelance writer and blogger inspired by travel, health and wellbeing. She juggles pursuing her passion for writing with raising three rowdy young men, a dog and a couple of goldfish. Jennifer has explored much of the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States (including Hawaii), Canada, New Zealand, Egypt, Israel, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Japan and Fiji. When she’s not writing, you may find Jennifer hiking in some distant part of the world.
Dixie Lamers is a freelance writer and travel blogger based in Coffs Harbour in northern New South Wales. When she is not writing about travel, you will find Dixie and her partner enjoying an Aussie caravanning lifestyle.
Louise Reynolds made up her mind at the age of about four that she would one day travel the world — and has so far visited around 30 countries across five continents and the Pacific. A hopeless Francophile, she has a particular love for France, its language and pretty much all things French. Her favourite way to explore the world is on foot and her boots have taken her walking on famous trails in Europe, South America and New Zealand. Louise also has a passion for her home state and loves exploring regional Victoria.
Marianne Diaz is a research scientist by day and a freelance travel writer by night! She has travelled to Sri Lanka to explore her children’s part-heritage, and enjoyed research trips to Japan, and Bloomington, Chicago and Boston in the USA. Marianne’s main travel goal is to get to the Italian Aeolian Islands to check out the other half of her children’s background. She also loves exploring history-laden Australian country towns.
Sydney-based journalist Francesca Muir fell in love with the Greek blue of the Mediterranean while living on the island of Crete in the late 1980s. She has written about Greece for Living Postcards, Crete Travel, Politismosmuseum, Stigmez, Athens News, TV Soap, Soap World, Gourmet Traveller, Vogue Entertaining, Vogue Living, ITA, Way to Go, Travel Abroad, the Sun-Herald and the Sunday Age.
Roslyn Jolly is a freelance travel writer whose work has appeared in Luxury Travel, Get Up & Go, The Sunday Telegraph and The Australian. In her former career as an English Literature academic, Roslyn studied and taught the work of great travel writers, such as Henry James, Herman Melville and Robert Louis Stevenson, and became fascinated by the history of travel and tourism. Two years at school in Wales and three years at university in England allowed her to travel extensively in Europe and North America, which she continues to do.
Chris Bright is a freelance writer based in Melbourne with a passion for travel, food, music and film. He’s travelled to South-East Asia, India, Japan, parts of Europe and much of North America. Chris is willing to try anything once, whether it’s leaping from great heights or eating things that don’t look the least bit appetising. When it comes to travel, he loves nothing more than meeting new people and sharing a laugh over their local drink of choice.
Monica McInnes is a keen traveller and is always on the lookout for her next big adventure — even before the current one has concluded! Having recently returned from a three-month road trip with her young family through the Red Centre, the Kimberley, the Pilbara and along the Coral Coast, Monica is convinced that Australia is the most beautiful country on earth. She blogs about her travel exploits at Jiggety Jog.
Joanne Karcz is a Sydney-based writer and blogger. She published a blog when she walked the Camino de Santiago some years ago and has been writing about her travels ever since. She is also an aspiring travel photographer and takes her camera wherever she goes. Joanne has travelled through Europe, South America and Southern Africa. She loves discovering new things to see and do in her own Sydney backyard, and blogs regularly about the city’s suburbs.
Nannette Holliday was obviously born to travel — Holliday is her real name. A former TV and radio presenter, Nannette’s globetrotting has earned her the nickname ‘International Woman of Mystery’ amongst friends, while also providing a rich library of experiences to draw on creatively. Many are woven into her first novel: The Sting of Fate, and Nannette is currently working on the sequel. When she’s not drafting chapters for herself, Nannette writes for a variety of magazines, and even ghostwrites books for other people. It all helps keep her in the manner she has become accustomed to — indulging in world travel, fine food and great wine!
Katie Dundas is a freelance writer and travel blogger based in Sydney. Originally from the US, Katie has lived in Australia for about six years and is always searching for the next big adventure. She can often be found hiking, diving or just enjoying Sydney’s amazing weather. Read about Katie’s travels by heading to her blog: The Accidental Australian.
Sue Wallace studied law at Melbourne University, then swapped to journalism and worked as a finance reporter for The Australian. She soon discovered that the world of travel writing was much more appealing than crunching numbers. Based in Albury (New South Wales), she wrote for The Border Mail (Fairfax) for 29 years and now writes freelance. Sue has bunkered down in luxury hotels, sailed on impressive boats, stood in awe of exotic blood-red sunsets and made the first footprints on pristine beaches at sunrise — but it’s the people she meets along the way that make the story.
Samantha Wasson is a Sydney-based freelance writer and former educator. She lived in Vietnam for three years and has travelled extensively in Asia, Europe and the United States, with a brief sojourn in Africa. Travel highlights to date have included studying German in Freiburg, volunteering at an elephant rehabilitation project outside Chiang Mai, and travelling by motorbike through the Mekong Delta. A lover of literature and travel, Samantha subscribes to Augustine of Hippo’s observation that ‘the world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page’.
Andrea Francolini is a Sydney-based sailing photographer. He conducts regular photo tours to Pakistan for small groups up to six people. Tours to other destinations such as Japan and Italy are in the making. He is also the founder of My First School — a trust which has the aim of facilitating education in northern Pakistan.
Susan Hinchey is a freelance travel writer who, even as a teenager growing up in country New South Wales, knew she wanted to see the world. A couple of years out of high school Susan embarked on an eight-week European Contiki tour. Since then she has visited Alaska, Canada, Thailand, Vanuatu, Fiji, Greece, parts of North America, and Britain several times. Susan’s go-to getaway is a camping trip anywhere along the Australian coast. Her favourite travel moments have included sailing the Mediterranean and visiting Denali National Park in Alaska.
Jade Harrison is a presenter on the Tour the World travel series on Network Ten and a freelance travel writer, and has travelled to New Zealand, Hawaii, Canada, USA, Mexico, the UK, Europe, Thailand, Brazil, India and Nepal. Jade loves all aspects of travelling and adventure — from roughing it in the Himalayas, to backpacking through Europe, to enjoying some five-star luxury along the way.
Stephen Hodges was a teacher and a social worker before he left Australia for a three-year overseas adventure. While travelling, he worked as a grouse beater in Scotland, a chicken farmer on a Kibbutz in Israel and a camp counsellor in France. On his return to Melbourne, Stephen began working in the travel industry and set up a business, which he ran for six years. He still has a passion for travel and believes life is all about experiences — and that you can find them in the most unlikely places, if you look hard enough.
Geraldine Massey won her first writing prize when she was eight for a story about travelling with Howard Carter on his expedition to discover Tutankhamun’s tomb. It was an early indicator of her lifelong enthusiasm for writing and travel. An experienced corporate communicator and editor, Geraldine once wrote text for Centrelink payment brochures and is now a writer and editor for WeekendNotes. In recent years she has become a ‘wedding traveller’ — using family weddings in New Zealand, Argentina and the USA as jumping-off points for further exploration.
Emily McAuliffe is an Australian travel writer and photographer based in Portugal. Her work has featured in national publications such as the Qantas, Jetstar and Tigerair inflight magazines, Get Up & Go and Women’s Fitness. Visit Emily’s blog for more inspiring Portuguese travel stories.
Katherine Sellers has travelled to over 30 countries. She worked in country pubs and resorts in England and Wales, been a travel agent in Sydney and Brisbane, a croupier for high rollers on Christmas Island, a reservationist at Jenolan Caves House, a guesthouse manager on Lord Howe Island, and a hostess on board a luxury catamaran sailing the Ningaloo Reef. Recently Katherine completed a lap of Australia with her husband in their motorhome. When she’s not flitting about the country, she puts pen to paper.
Len Rutledge has been travel writing for 40 years. During that time he has written thousands of newspaper articles, numerous magazine pieces, more than a thousand web reviews and around 35 travel guide books. Len has lived in nine countries and currently resides in Townsville. His travels have taken him to more than 100 countries and his writings have collected a PATA award, an ASEAN award, an IgoUgo Hall of Fame award and other recognition. He is the author of the Experience Guides series of travel books.
Justine Glen considers herself to be one of the lucky ones. Having worked on an overland safari truck for three years, before residing in the safari capital of Tanzania for 12 years, a large chunk of her life has been dedicated to showing visitors the awe-inspiring destination that is Africa. Now with over 20 years’ experience, Justine has brought a dream to life by founding her own Africa travel company — Reis Voyage. Launched in 2015, Justine’s aim at Reis Voyage is to share her knowledge, passion and experiences in Africa and to inspire clients with a bucket list of luxury African adventures.
Linda Botting is a freelance writer, photographer and travel blogger based in Adelaide, South Australia. Her work has appeared in Great Walks, SA Weekend and International Traveller. She has travelled extensively through Western Europe as well as the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australia. Linda has lived in London, trekked Peru, practised yoga in Bali, studied Italian in Italy and played polo in Argentina. She seeks to inspire like-minded independent and solo travellers to explore new cultures and learn more about our amazing planet.
Elle Vidovich is a Melbourne-based freelance writer with a love of travel, food and architecture. She has travelled to more than 50 countries across Asia, Africa and Europe. Elle believes that travel can change a person. It can open their eyes to different cultures, make them thankful for what they have at home, and inspire them to make a difference in the world.
Natasha Stewart worried her middle school teachers by submitting an English assignment that was essentially copied from Nick Cave’s Where the Wild Roses Grow. These days the Adelaide-based freelance writer is more likely to be penning restaurant reviews for street magazine Rip it Up than plagiarising musical ballads. Natasha lives by the ethos that you should always be willing to be a tourist in your own town.
Camha Pham is a freelance writer and editor who has recently swapped the cosmopolitan laneways of Melbourne for the sunny beaches of Perth. Struck with the wanderlust bug from an early age, she has travelled extensively through Asia, Europe and parts of North America. When she isn’t travelling, Camha is planning her next adventure and loves nothing more than the thrill of exploring new destinations and learning about other cultures. Travel highlights to date include chasing waterfalls in enchanting Iceland, hot-air ballooning over the lunar-like landscape of Cappadocia and accepting a surprise marriage proposal from her now fiancé at the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto.
Tania Connolly is a freelance writer living in Perth. She loves travelling with her husband and young children. The family regularly heads to beautiful Coral Bay, located twelve hours’ drive north of the Western Australia capital. They have also spent time exploring WA’s south west, and have visited Margaret River, Dunsborough, Busselton and Bunbury.
Cindy Bingley-Pullin considers herself a writer, wanderluster, corporate bee and happy homemaker. In between analysing spreadsheets in the office, she pursues her combined passions of travel and freelance writing. Her work has appeared in Virgin Australia’s Voyeur, International Traveller, Fitness First magazine and the Sydney Morning Herald.
Gayann Walker is a Perth-based freelance writer with a passion for travel, adventure and a good feed. Born in Boston, Gayann has lived in Perth since moving from the Gulf Coast of Florida in 2010. She has a diverse travel style that varies from rugged adventures (such as climbing Mt Kinabalu and roughing it in the jungles of Borneo) to relaxing on beautiful beaches and sipping cocktails. Gayann has travelled extensively through Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States.
Maxine Steinmetz was born and raised on the Gold Coast and now works as a radio journalist for Southern Cross Austereo on the Goldie. Maxine previously worked for Princess Cruise Lines, which took her far and wide — across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. A true adventurer who loves to get off the beaten track, Maxine has also backpacked through Western Europe, and at the age of just 13, took the opportunity to study French as an exchange student in Tahiti. Wanderlust runs deep in her veins!
Barry Johnson is a freelance writer living in Sydney, but with a trail of Aussie souvenirs scattered throughout previous homes in Europe, America, Asia and the Middle East. Barry believes travelling is an adventure where the highlights push you on to the next trip and the lowlights can be laughed at with hindsight. Without a passport, he’d have missed getting lost in the Californian forest a week after the Blair Witch Project went viral, building a giant Buddha on a Cambodian mountain, camel racing in an Egyptian desert and teaching English to Peruvian children as they taught him Quechuan — the language of the Incas.
Linda Bloffwitch is a freelance photojournalist who travels for six to eight months a year around Australia with her travel writer fiancé Grant. Having a number of touring setups available at their fingertips, this adventure-travel-loving duo vary their travelling style between camping, caravanning, off-the-grid 4WD and overland touring, and luxury experiences. Linda and Grant generally choose to travel for two or three months at a time. They like to immerse themselves in a region and experience all that’s on offer before moving on. When they’re not on the road, they’re either enjoying the great outdoors on their hobby farm in South Australia or sharing their travel experiences at My Aussie Travel Guide.
Patricia Maunder has been a media professional for more than 20 years, and has worked in print, online and radio. Currently based in Melbourne, she considers the Canadian city of Montreal to be her ‘other’ hometown — having lived there from 2012 to 2016. Patricia has travelled in every continent except the one that’s beckoned since she was a child — Antarctica. A travel writer as well as an arts journalist, she enjoys culturally themed journeys and nature-based adventures.
Michelle Thomas is a Perth-based writer who loves to pen prose about all things travel and lifestyle. When she’s not running her freelance writing business, Michelle spends her time patting dogs, eating burritos and planning her next travel adventure.