Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours is part of the touring division of McLachlan Travel Group, a family company that has been prominent in the Australian travel industry for more than 40 years.
The McLachlan family first began organising holidays for Australian travellers in 1979, when Mat’s parents, Gil and Leonie, opened a small travel agency in West Wyalong, a town of 3500 people in the NSW wheatbelt. Since then the company has grown, but is still very much a family enterprise.
Today McLachlan Travel Group still owns retail travel agencies, Gil and Leonie run the business, and Mat’s sister Lisa is also an important part of the team managing the Group’s exclusive retail division – Ovation Travel.
As part of McLachlan Travel Group, Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours shares the core values that were established by Gil and Leonie when they opened their first travel agency all those years ago: to provide knowledge and value to Australian travellers, and the best holiday experience possible.
We look forward to welcoming you to one of Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours’ exciting programmes soon.
About Mat McLachlan
Mat McLachlan is a leading battlefield historian, author and television presenter and has spent more than two decades following in the footsteps of Australian troops on battlefields around the world. A journalist by profession, Mat was a writer and magazine editor for 15 years before pursuing his passion for history as a full-time career. He is considered a leading authority on the battlefields of the Western Front, Gallipoli, the Pacific battlefields of World War Two, the Vietnam War and the Normandy landing beaches.
His 2007 book, Walking with the Anzacs, is considered the definitive guide to Australian battlefields on the Western Front. It has been reprinted seven times. Mat’s second book, Gallipoli: The Battlefield Guide, was released in April 2010 and is the most comprehensive guide to the Australian battlefields of Gallipoli yet published.
In 2007 Mat launched Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours, which has grown to become the leading specialist provider of battlefield tours in Australia, sending thousands of Australian travellers to battlefields all over the world each year. The company runs battlefield tours to France, Belgium, the UK, Gallipoli, Germany, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and more. All the company’s tours are personally designed by Mat McLachlan, and the company employs a team of more than 30 historians to escort them.
Mat appears regularly in historical documentaries on TV, most recently in Tony Robinson’s World War 1, which screened worldwide to much acclaim in 2015. In 2013 he hosted a seven-part Australian history documentary called Australia: Life on the Edge, which screened on the National Geographic Channel and Channel 7.
Mat was Associate Producer and on-air presenter of the First World War documentary Lost in Flanders, which was co-produced by the ABC and Screen Australia and aired on the ABC in April 2009. The documentary follows the emotional story of the discovery of the bodies of five Australian WWI soldiers on a Belgian battlefield, and their subsequent identification using DNA testing. Mat conceived the documentary after fulfilling the role of historical consultant on a British archaeological excavation on Australian trenches in Belgium in 2007, the first time modern archaeological techniques had been used on an Australian trench system.
In 2018, Mat was featured on numerous TV and radio stations including The Project to discuss the importance of the centenary of World War One and Remembrance Day.
Mat is passionate about the wellbeing of the current generation of war veterans, and works closely with charities and support groups that assist contemporary veterans. In 2015 Mat launched Australians Joining Forces, an initiative that seeks opportunities to assist veterans and help them transition to civilian life.