Meet Our Team

Home to many of Australia’s most experienced and sought-after travel advisors. we are a team of avid travellers; between us we have the globe covered and we’re passionate about travel.

Our mission is turning travel dreams into memorable experiences.

Mike Dwyer

Principal

Mike Dwyer

Despite more than four decades of working in travel, Mike has lost none of his enthusiasm for travel, or his passion for elevating the role of travel advisors from salespeople to genuine advisors.

After graduating college in Melbourne, Mike worked as a travel agent in London for over 3 years, first in leisure before cutting his teeth in the corporate travel space. This was followed by postings to Tonga and then New Zealand, before eventually moving back to Australia.

After joining Contiki as a sales rep in Brisbane, Mike met the lovely Mandy (now wife and partner), and together they relocated to Sydney where Mike was appointed as State Manager for Tourism Qld. This was followed by several years in Asia, first in Singapore and later Hong Kong, where Mike was the Regional Director Asia/Japan for TQ.

Mike opened Main Beach Travel in 2000, and Mandy joined him in the business 3 years later.

Mandy Dwyer

Director/ Owner

Mandy Dwyer

Having spent more than 40 years in various sectors in the travel industry, the last 20 years as Owner/ Director of Main Beach Travel has by far been her most rewarding, and maybe challenging too!

 With a comprehensive portfolio of discerning travel clients, Mandy’s network of partners and contacts ensure her clients are treated like VIPs wherever they may be.

 Mandy’s enviable reputation means she is often sought by media for her views & recommendations.

3 most memorable experiences

  1. Antarctica: En-route to the White Continent right now!
  2. South Africa:  Spending time  on safari at the Mala Mala Game Park , just fantastic, plus beautiful Capetown, my favourite city in the world.
  3. India: I cried when we went our our private visit to the Taj Mahal, this was magical and breathtakingly beautiful.  

Top Travel Tips: Keep travelling= keep growing

Karen Birch

General Manager Operations

Karen Birch

Karen has worked in the Travel Industry for 35 years, both with airlines and travel agencies.

Karen returned to Main Beach Travel in January 2020, bringing with her a wealth of leadership and industry expertise. Little did she know what was ahead of her for the next two years. She is a key cog in the everyday running of the business while also working closely with both the Corporate and Leisure specialists.

3 most memorable experiences

  1. Russia: A fascinating place full of so much rich cultural history, exquisite & grand architecture, unique bars and restaurants.
  2. New York:  This city just encapsulates you, with its fast pace and energy, famous landmarks you see in movies, endless museums and galleries, Broadway and of course shopping and more shopping and a foodie heaven.
  3. Oman: The Bedouin values shine through in the kind , hospitable people. A land of rich heritage, stunning beaches and amazing souks!

Top Travel Tips: learn a few foreign words in the country you are visiting, take an extra credit and ATM card, and a copy of your passport

Tina Duckmanton

Corporate and Groups Manager

Tina Duckmanton

Industry Experience: 27 years

3 most memorable experiences

  1. Canada: Skiing in Canada, you can’t beat it,  no crowds. bluebird powder days, stunning scenery everywhere and let’s not forget the après ski!
  2. Peru: Travelling by scenic train from Ollantaytambo to Agues Calientes  to explore the ancient site  Machu Picchu nestled in the high slopes of the Andes was special. 
  3. Japan: Exploring Japan, full of traditions and culture  with the family. And skiing in Furano, snow like a pillow and the snow mobile ride which was epic fun!

Top Travel Tips: Travelling with your children when they have grown up is so rewarding and a great way to connect with them on a different level.

Tyson Franke

Corporate & Groups Travel Advisor

Tyson Franke

Industry Experience: 19 years

3 most memorable experiences

  1. New York: Where to start- so many wonderful things to do… I have very fond memory of lunch with my wife at Loeb Boathouse Restaurant overlooking The Lake in Central Park. Book well in advance to get an outside table ( don’t be late for your reservation either) 
  2. Helicopter Trips:  In magnificent locations – Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountains/ New York (spend the extra in New York to take the longest ride you can afford, you won’t regret it..
  3. Orlando Theme Parks/ Disney Cruise with Kids: Very happy family times- great for kids, but even better for the child in you!

Top Travel Tips: Change money at airport- do not waste your precious holiday time trying to find a better rate in town.

And always  carry Lomotil with you .

Natalie Brough

Groups, Corporate Travel Advisor & Cruise Specialist

Natalie Brough

Industry Experience: 14 years

3 most memorable experiences

  1. New York: Wandering the streets of NYC and just taking in the vibrant energy of such a bustling and fun city
  2. Paris: Fulfilling my dream to see the Moulin Rouge.
  3. Malta: Connecting to my roots and visiting my heritage in beautiful Malta.

Top Travel Tips: Plan ahead and book day tours in advance prior to departure, so you do not miss out on your preferred choice and waste precious time organising logistics.

Margot Knispel

Cruise Master & International Travel Advisor

Margot Knispel

Industry Experience: 30 years

3 most memorable experiences

  1. Russia: The history is intense, the architecture grand, and their culture food & art and centuries if tradition is truly something everyone should experience
  2. Kenya: Kenya left a huge imprint on my heart. The freedom one feels when on safari in the Mara seeing the animals running wild and free is a heart warming, liberating experience.
  3. Antarctica/ The Arctic: Being within arm’s length of the wildlife was a privilege and humbling experience. The scenery majestic and ‘otherworldly’.

Top Travel Tips: Read up on the history, nature and culture of your destination prior to departure, and you will experience a much greater appreciation of the destination.

Jackie Low

International Travel & Cruise Advisor

Jackie Low

Industry Experience: 20 years

3 most memorable experiences

  1. Patagonia: Exploring Torres Del Pain National Park in Chile, which is just out of this world; so scenic with snow-capped mountains, turquoise lakes and glaciers, the wildlife – heaven on earth and just took my breath away.
  2. Lucerne: A favourite spot in Switzerland; standing on Chapel Bridge with the setting of the lake and alps in the background just hold a sweet area in my heart.
  3. Oslob: Swimming with whale sharks, these gentle giants are just amazing up close and it was such a privilege to swim with them in my home country- the Philippines.

Top Travel Tips: Don’t skimp on your accommodation, it sets the tone for your holiday and having accommodation that you look forward to retreat to after a days sightseeing will enhance your holiday experience 110% so choose right with no regrets!

Hollie Johnson

International Travel & Cruise Advisor

Hollie Johnson

Industry Experience: 26 years

3 most memorable experiences

  1. Botswana: Getting up close with animals of the wild, seeing herds of Elephants, experiencing the twice daily GAME drives, catching a fish on the Okavango Delta. GnT’s at sunset.
  2. Italy: Skiing in Italy: Club Med Pragelato Sestriere, all-inclusive takes the sting out having a bill when you depart.  All you need to do is “EAT, SKI & SLEEP repeat, kind of Holiday
  3. California, USA-Drive Holiday: Exploring  California in the convertible, from Napa Valley to Yosemite, driving the Tioga Mountain Rd through the Sierra Nevada range, visiting Mt Whitney and Death Valley National Park which is 86m below sea level to then explore Mammoth lakes which are 3,350m above sea level!.

Top Travel Tips: I love to always buy something on my travels that I can place in my home, that reminds me of the places I have been !

Jolee Gallagher

Marketing & Events Manager

Jolee Gallagher

  • Industry Experience: 27 years
  • 3 most memorable experiences
  1. South Africa: Being on safari, sipping a G&T at sundowner, watching the vast array of animals interact at the waterhole as the sunsets.
  2. Galapagos: Snorkeling in the deep blue waters with sea iguanas and being lucky enough to witness a Blue-footed Booby mating dance.. too special!
  3. Lake Como: sailing Lake Como exploring the gorgeous villages & waterfront mansions, swimming off the back of the boat and finishing the day with a gastronomic feast at Villa Serbelloni.

Top Travel Tip: Travelling with families make the best memories…  and always use packing cells!

Linda Merten

Accounts Manager

Linda Merten

Industry Experience: 20 years

3 most memorable experiences

  1. San Francisco& Napa Valley :  The city of fog and fabulousness. where anything goes.  Driving over the Golden Gate Bridge through tumbling fog to descend into the stunning Napa valley. A world class wine country where a glass of two of Cab Sav is my recommendation!
  2. NZ – South Island: Our self drive adventure of the South Island was unforgettable , with  jaw dropping scenery that just kept giving from lakes to glaciers & fiords.
  3. Edinburgh: Wandering the  streets of Edinburgh, it’s so quirky and cute , its narrow cobblestone streets, quaint pubs and rich history. A view   from the Edinburgh Castle at night  is a must!

Top Travel Tips:

Travel by yourself at least once. Also try and learn a little of the language before you go!

Jan Naughton

Head of Accounts/ Finance

Jan Naughton

Industry Experience: Many

3 most memorable experiences

  1. Zimbabwe: Being chased by a bull elephant on Northern Zimbabwe. We made it back to our car (very quickly I might add) and got away!
  2. Afghanistan: Visiting the amazing gigantic Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan before they were destroyed by the Taliban.
  3. Spain: Visiting our daughter when she was on student exchange in Seville. A wonderful city and one of my very favourites.

Top Travel Tips: Always allow extra time at the airport/train station etc. It can be very expensive  if you miss your connection.

Independent Travel Affiliates

Jade Proske

Personal Travel Manager

Jade Proske

Industry Experience: 35+ years

3 most memorable experiences

  1. Santorini: Sunset cocktails with classical arias whilst overlooking the caldera at Franco’s Bar- Fira, Santorini.
  2. Reims: Wining & dining through the Champagne region of Reims and Epernay, France.
  3. Egypt: Cruising the Nile and following Agatha Christie’s Egypt.

Top Travel Tips: Take the time to do at least one special escapade a year, it will seem expensive at the time but he memory and joy, will last a lifetime, far after the expense is remembered. And if possible reserve Club Rooms at hotels where possible.

Vicki Carmichael

Personal Travel Manager

Vicki Carmichael

Industry Experience: 14 years

3 most memorable experiences

  1. Malaysia: Experiencing my first MotoGP race at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.
  2. Alaska: Exploring South East Alaska on an expedition cruise onboard National Geographic Quest with Lindblad Expeditions.
  3. Europe: Discovering quaint villages and wonderous sights river cruising from Budapest to Amsterdam and coming home engaged..

Top Travel Tips: Travel by yourself at least once and pack your patience, it makes you a happier traveller!

Richard Muff

Personal Travel Manager

Richard Muff

Industry Experience: 20+ years

3 most memorable experiences

  1. Scandinavia : Dog sledging through the snowy wilderness under the aurora borealis and topping the night off sleeping under the stars with a local stew cooked over an open fire. 

  2. Africa :Being woken to the sounds of lions making their claim to their territory, enjoying breakfast views of the local watering hole and all the animals, prey and predators alike.  Visiting Giraffe Manor to get up close & personal  with these amazing animals.                                                    
  3. Australia/ NZ : Visiting the majestic natural wonder of Uluru under sunrise & sunset and learning the stories / local traditions of the Anangu people. Cruising through three of the most spectacular fjords in Fiordland National Park: Milford Sound, Dusky Sound and Doubtful Sound. 

Top Travel Tip : Don’t be afraid to get purposefully lost. Wandering aimlessly through a new city is a good way to get off the beaten path, and you just might be surprised by the hidden gems you find!