‘Sydney Alive’ Tour Services – The unguided guided tours

Sydney Alive has grown out of my experience teaching, advising and lecturing in both the private education sector, and more recently the university sector, coupled with tour guiding experience over the same period.


In teaching, a good teacher should try not to be the ‘sage on the stage’, the centre of attention, that is mostly talking ‘to’ students who passively listen. While this lecture style has had its place at times, arguably too much in the history of  education, it has, I believe rightly, come under fire for not engaging students and helping them to truly learn.

Instead a ‘guide on the side’ approach, where the teacher is there to support the student, not lecture to or spoon feed them, is considerably more effective. When the teacher places the student at the centre of their learning, it can produce a more active, engaging, and authentic learning experience.

It is this departure from ‘traditional’ teaching pedagogy, that can also be applied to tours. Allowing that space for travellers on Sydney Alive tours, by planning and delivering tours with this ‘guide on the side’ approach, supporting, not hindering our travellers, and combining this ethos with the appropriate level of physical activity, and custom itinerary, can produce a more active, engaging, authentic, and truly memorable tourism experience. 

Years ago I visited the Taj Mahal, I was told to get a guide to take care of things, a local who knew the lay of the land, I did and he proved invaluable, but at a certain point he was detracting from the experience so I asked him to allow me some space. I wanted to enjoy this experience without him talking constantly by my side, I wanted to enjoy this wonder of the world in my own way. This is part of the reason Sydney Alive has come about, I want to help you to enjoy Sydney and Australia in your own way.


Rob Puffett



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