Adventures Beyond Group is a market-leading group of brands offering adventure tourism and outdoor education throughout Australia.
The first brand in the group, Surf & Sun was founded in 2001 by Luke Talbot-Male, and the business hosts around 30,000 participants a year through the various activities on offer.
Brands in the group include Surf & Sun – South Australia’s surf school and
Beyond the Classroom – Outdoor Education Camps and Programs.
The group has won 5 State Tourism Awards, been awarded numerous Gold and Silver Tourism Awards, and been a National Tourism Award Finalist 5 times. In recent years, brands in the group have been listed in Fast Movers as a finalist in the Top 25 Fastest Growing Companies for 4 years in a row.
Adventures Beyond Group is known for running world-class adventure-based businesses that focus on delivering exceptional experiences each and every time.
Adventures Beyond Group was formed in 2011 by entrepreneur Luke Talbot-Male. Luke had founded, built, and sold many different businesses over a 12-year period and Adventures Beyond Group was formed to act as the umbrella for the multiple brands in the marketplace.
Back in 2001, Luke had a great idea to start a tour company. After many years working as a tour guide and cameleer throughout remote parts of Australia and launched Red Sun Safaris. Starting with an overnight Camel tour and a surf school offering a learn-to-surf day tour out of Adelaide, South Australia the dream was brought to life and a vehicle was purchased and the experiences began.
In 2002, by trial and error, the camels were swapped with Sea Kayaks, the name changed to Surf & Sun Safaris, the business expanded to offer surf lessons to groups, schools, and the general public and the momentum began to build. With some great advice from a close friend, the decision was made to “Chase the Sun” and when winter arrived the vehicles and equipment were relocated 4000km to Exmouth, Western Australia, and the business ran surf lessons and sea kayak tours on the famous Ningaloo Reef. It was the perfect lifestyle with the endless summer running the business and surfing, snorkeling, fishing, and enjoying the adventures that this amazing area had to offer.
2003 saw the introduction of tours on Kangaroo Island, South Australia for backpackers. The business was growing quickly and employed its first staff members. Tours later grew to depart twice daily.
In 2005, the Snow & Surf Travel Company was founded with a business partner, it was a travel agent specialising in snow and surf holidays around the globe which also offered an opportunity to share resources and gave the business a presence in one of Adelaide’s busiest city streets. In the same year, an opportunity arose for Luke and the team to start providing team-building activities and the brand “Beyond the Boardroom” was introduced. Surf and Sun Safaris was also rebranded to “Surf & Sun” with 2 arms – Surf & Sun Kangaroo Island Tours and Surf & Sun Surf School.
In 2007, the business was outgrowing its facility on Kangaroo Island, and founder Luke and his Fiancée (now wife) purchased a 40-acre property at Seal Bay on Kangaroo Island that boasted a 230-seat licensed cafe, cabins, and a backpacker hostel. The property was renamed Seal Bay Tourist Park and the backpacker tours were then run from this location for the next few years.
The group of brands was at this point a multi-million dollar operation with 50 staff in 3 different operating centres. 2009 after tough trading conditions including huge bushfires on Kangaroo Island followed shortly after by the GFC the tough decision was made to exit the Seal bay property and focus on the tour company, surf school, and travel agent.
2010 saw the introduction of a Backpacker party night in Adelaide and a bush-walking tour on the Heysen trail called Hike the Heysen. The tours were fun and well-received but not the most viable of experiences in a seasonal location. A second office was opened in Adelaide and a joint tour packaging brand was formed between Surf & Sun, Temptation Sailing, and Heading Bush. Beyond the Boardroom launched “Adelaide’s Amazing Race” and started to gain some momentum.
In 2011, Adventures Beyond Group was introduced as the umbrella for the various businesses in the group. The same year Adventures Beyond was founded, it was a wholesaler turned online travel agent that packaged together multiple operators throughout Australia to offer small independent tour companies the opportunity to work together. The Kangaroo Island Tours were also renamed Kangaroo Island Wildlife Adventures.
The end of 2011, and the beginning of 2012 saw a redefining period for the group with the sale of the iconic Kangaroo Island Tour Operation. The business regrouped and opened a surf shop and office in Middleton on the Fleurieu Peninsula for the surf school, snow and surf travel agent, team building brand, and online travel agency. The team scaled back to the bare basics with only a few staff. Another packaging website called Fleurieu Adventures was launched which enabled adventure operators on the Fleurieu Peninsula of South Australia to work together to promote each other and build a network.
Midway through 2012 Beyond the Classroom was born, an outdoor education brand to compliment Surf & Sun, and worked hard on building up travel agencies and surf school businesses.
2013 Beyond the Boardroom started to gain interest and the team began building new products and experiences.
In 2014, Snow & Surf Travel Company was sold to a business partner enabling more time to be spent on Beyond the Boardroom and the surf school brands.
By 2015, Beyond the Boardroom began offering team-building programs Nationally and the surf school / outdoor education business had a good steady base of regular clients.
Throughout 2016 the group focused on growth and refining systems and by early 2017 the Adventures Beyond online travel agency was sold.
In October 2017 an acquisition was made in the Blue Mountains which saw Everest Team Events and Segway Tours Blue Mountains join the group giving the business a strong position on the Eastern Seaboard of Australia. The same month Beyond the Boardroom ran its first international team event in New Zealand.
In 2018, Beyond the Boardroom ran its second international event in Tokyo Japan, and in 2019 Eco Adventure Group was acquired by joining Beyond the Classroom to offer a complete outdoor education offering in South Australia.
In 2022, Beyond the Boardroom was sold, however, the group continues to run these brands.
The group now comprises brands including Surf & Sun and Beyond the Classroom,
Willow Creek Adventure Camp, Fleurieu Adventures, Eco Adventure, and Off the Bluff.
The group has approximately 30,000 participants in various activities throughout the years.