WITH visits to 180 countries under his belt, Brisbane property developer and art collector Peter O’Mara should be in the running for an entry in the Guinness Book of Records.
He has used Captain’s Choice Tours for many of his trips. The Australian-owned luxury operator charters commercial jets, decks them out with luxury business-class seats and serves passengers copious quantities of champagne and fine wines. Itineraries can range from the Angkor Wat temples in Cambodia one day, to the Taj Mahal the next.
O’Mara, who says he has made about 40 Captain’s Choice trips costing around $20,000 each, was in the national spotlight three years ago when paintings worth about $2 million from his Norman Lindsay and Arthur Streeton collections were stolen from his apartment in Sydney’s Darling Point. The paintings were discovered a couple of years later in an outer-western Sydney house, virtually untouched.
Despite his travails with art and the fall of his $70m property business in the global financial crisis, travel remains O’Mara’s ultimate experience. Antarctica is one of his favourites.
“It’s pristine, no roads, no infrastructure, just ice. It’s rock and ice and nature,” he says. “It hits you so hard. It is different.differe And then you see the animalani life, the penguins, seals, whales – the natural beauty is phenomenal.phenomenal “Captain’s Choic Choice put together a very goodg itinerary. You are
not wasting t time. You get to see a lot in two o or three week weeks. Everything is organised organised, including your bags.”
Despite the significant pricepric of some tours – the Ultimate So South America by priv private jet, for example example, starts at $69,500$69,50 per person – O’Mara argue argues that the trips are good value forfo money.