The RAW Travel story
At RAW Travel we believe in offering a limited selection of the world's best walks but doing it really well!
We still get excited by maps and love the thrill of planning a great walking adventure for our travellers that can excite, inspire and challenge them. We still believe nothing beats good old fashioned service and love to connect with our customers in the flesh and not just virtually. So visit us at our offices, come to our training days and information nights and get real service from real hikers!
Meet the Team
Travellers, trekkers, true-life adventurers...all kinds of people form our RAW Travel Team both in the office and field. We have our base in the lively seaside town of Mornington, Victoria. We can't fit our team in one photo as they are spread across our destinations from the Great Ocean Road to far western Spain, the Alps and Japan. All our staff are united by a common love of active travel and a mission to turn our clients travel dreams into reality. Read more about the individuals who make up the RAW Travel team here.
"96% of our travellers say they'd travel with us again"
RAW Travel has always been a small, family owned business. David & Melinda Reynolds are the long term owners of RAW Travel, with a history of leading and operating walks worldwide for 20 years now. They were attracted to each other by a shared passion for trekking and globetrotting in far-flung places and that thrill of adventure has always remained a constant in their relationship - now shared with their kids!
David led his first active adventures in the 90’s into corners of Asia that were just opening up to the outside world. It was an exciting time of discovery and the sustainable ethos of travelling by foot or by bike meant meeting the locals on their terms rather than whizzing past them on a bus or plane, giving great opportunities for authentic encounters whilst also enjoying a physical challenge. David became an enthusiastic advocate for active adventures and leading people to remote corners of the world.
Trekking the Simiens Mountains Ethiopia 1999
one of the 300+ charity challenge groups we led
Soon after arriving in Australia, David launched ‘Intrepid Challenges’ in 2002, which later morphed into RAW Travel. The passion was always for active adventures on foot and by bike, and the trips raised money for local charities. We are proud to say the challenges we have run have raised over $18 million in funds from 2003-2017 for charities based in Australia and New Zealand.
Challenges raised awareness of many important issues such as human trafficking, poverty, mine clearance, disability and homelessness. Participants were privileged to visit and support projects everywhere from remote Aboriginal communities in Australia to homeless children in Ulan Bataar or trafficking survivors in Cambodia. The partnership with over 40 well-known charities and corporates also helped introduce countless people to taking part active adventures all over the world.
Why Less is More
As RAW Travel grew we made a decision to focus on operating the walks and treks that we loved and to make the business a niche operator. RAW’s ambition is to really own whatever walk we offer our clients and concentrate on quality rather than quantity with our product offering. That's why you'll never find hundreds of walks on our site; we'd sooner offer less trips but do them really well.
The slogan of ‘we know because we go’ is real with us, as we send our office staff out on the walks they look after. Meaning you can get essential and relevant advice first hand from people who've done it themselves.
what's in a name?
RAW Travel was an unusual name for a travel company when we chose it but we felt it encompassed the best type of travel experiences: those natural and authentic encounters with people and places that become everyone's favourite travel memories. The stuff money can't buy.
Active travel on foot or bike offered an edge that couldn't be matched by other forms of travelling. Not always comfortable in some locations that's for sure, but the rewards for the effort was real connection and achievement in addition to being the purest form of sustainable travel!
RAW was also an acronym for 'Real Adventures Worldwide' - the aim being to show people amazing parts of the planet on trips that would both thrill and physically challenge them. As more people have embraced this style of travel and personal growth we have been lucky to grow apace.
exploring THE WORLD... ONE STEP AT A TIME
We passionately believe a walking trip offers unique travel experiences & opportunities that vehicle bound travel can’t. Travelling on foot means you slow down and really see the world around you.
Walking is a great detox to the stresses of modern life.Life on the trail is an enriching experience that energises, stimulates and excites the senses but allows you to escape daily routines.
Walking offers opportunities to share experiences with new friends, connect more deeply with one another and the local people on their terms as you immerse yourself in different cultures.Exploring regions on foot is very eco-friendly, not to mention what it does for your health and fitness.
In today’s world travelling lightly is no longer just an admirable sentiment but a necessity. We always look for ways to improve our impact on the ground by monitoring our group’s environmental and cultural impacts. At RAW, we have achieved advanced eco-certification on our Great Ocean Walk and have always been committed to ‘grass roots’ tourism. In particular we favour small local suppliers to ensure the benefits of travel are distributed equally and to the people who need it the most. We also donate to KIVA micro-lending throughout the world and encourage you to also look at this commendable scheme.
RAW Travel is also going through a certification process to become a Benefit Corporation ( B-Corp), assessing our impacts on the environment, our staff, our customers and our community. So, rest assured, your travel with us will leave a positive, lasting impact on you and the places you visit.
We won’t cut corners or ever intentionally compromise the quality of your trip. We don’t want to run thousands of trips every year – because the quality of your experience is much more important than quantity to us. We’re still small enough to care about our travellers as individuals and we want to stay that way!
We know that nowadays people desire a certain level of comfort along with their adventure, so great accommodation and discovering local food is a feature of our trips. RAW operates its own adventures, with our own staff on the ground in many destinations so we are able to keep control over the quality of our trips at the same time as we offer you reassurance and support. We take notice of the feedback you give us and your opinions help shape our trips.
As a primarily ‘direct to customer’ company we avoid the commissions and overheads associated with the traditional travel distribution network. We charge fair prices but still provide great advice before you go, experienced leaders who love their groups, good quality accommodation and value for your money.