Travel Guides

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Next week on Travel Guides your favourite holiday critics venture to Taiwan – a trip that prompts laughter, tears, and in one case, fainting.

Escaping to their quirkiest destination yet, the guides begin their journey in the kooky capital, Taipei, home to seven million people.

After checking into the Chinese-style Grand Hotel they head to the city’s landmark tower Taipei 101 , which stands more than 500 metres high. Our guides attempt to take in the dizzying heights of its 101 storeys.

As night falls, it’s time for sensory overload in the city’s beating neon heart, the Ximending district. The Target Boys all decide to get their first tattoo, but it ends in disaster. And newlyweds Deepesh and Sage experience a far dodgier “couples massage” than they ever expected.

Then it’s off to experience one of Taiwan’s strangest and most popular pastimes, our guides try their hand at urban shrimping. In their quest for a seafood bounty, one guide experiences a nasty accident.

There’s even more kookiness around the corner – a visit to (would you believe it) Taipei’s Modern Toilet Restaurant. The toilet-themed menu leaves our guides absolutely gob smacked. Will it leave a bad taste in their mouth?

To flush the city out of their system, our travellers take the fast train two hours south to the magnificent Taroko National Park, where soaring mountains and deep marble gorges are the backdrop to their stay in a traditional hotel owned by the local indigenous tribe.

For their next adventure they go hiking in Taiwan’s greatest natural wonder, the Taroko Gorge, where they traverse the valley with glorious views but despise the confronting encounters with bats.

On the final day of their seven-day Taiwan trip, the guides visit some of Taipei’s animal cafes, dining with feline friends and even alpacas, leaving them delighted and dismayed.

Taiwan provides first-time encounters, random expeditions and bizarre experiences, from the bustling city to the tranquil countryside that’s a sight to behold. But what do our Travel Guides rate it out of five stars?


If you watched Tuesday’s episode you would have seen that there was a moment where one of the couples referenced overhearing the Fren family singing the Sound of Music songs in Salsberg.

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Next week our intrepid travellers spend seven days touring India’s Royal State of Rajasthan, where the colours, culture and chaos delight, excite and surprise, Travel Guides, Tuesday at 9.00pm on Nine.

Arriving in Rajasthan’s capital, Jaipur our guides take an exhilarating journey through The Pink City (Jaipur). Twins Stack and Mel are stupefied when they learn locals worship cows - for them this is inconceivable.

Our guides are treated to a royal welcoming ceremony at the Taj Rambagh Palace. This jewel of Jaipur has played gracious host to many illustrious guests, including Prince Charles, Diana and Jackie O, once home to the Maharaja (King) of Jaipur - even natives Deepesh and Sage are spellbound by this architectural masterpiece with its elegance personified.

In the evening the guides trawl through the crowded food markets for some authentic street grub. The Target Boys discover Rajasthani dishes are rich and spicy, they entertain the locals with their King Kong attempts trying the eye-wateringly hot delicacies.

Our guides leave the hustle and bustle behind and head 6 hours west, arriving in Bishnoi village. Imagine their shock when they’re asked to participate in what’s introduced as an opium tasting ceremony.

On the fringe of the great Thar Desert is Jodhpur - the Blue City. Amazed by its beauty, our guides check in to one of the world’s best and most opulent hotels - the Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace, which is still home to the local King and a famously extravagant celebrity wedding hot spot.

From there it’s a chaotic tuk-tuk ride downtown to a local favourite, the Sardar market. This market sells more than just fruit and veg. Cathy and Victoria Fren soak up the vibe and celebrate with a spiritual henna tattoo, startled by what wanders by.

On their last day in India our Travel Guides get a farewell dose of the royal treatment at the palace. But will regal Rajasthan get the thumbs up? Tune in on Tuesday, March 5, at 9.00pm on Nine and 9Now to find out.


Season 3 will premiere on TVNZ 2 in New Zealand on Monday March 11 at 7.30pm. That means two programs which air on Nine on the same night (MAFS and Travel Guides) will go head to head across the Tasman.




Next week on Travel Guides it’s an outrageous road trip in search of the best food and booze South Australia has to offer, at 9.00pm Tuesday on Nine.

And along the way our intrepid travelers will be subjected to a double dose of nudity.

Starting in Adelaide, the guides hit the streets on the bizarre HandleBar - the only pub in Australia where you can drink, cycle and sight-see all at the same time.

After hitting the road to the McLaren Vale wine region, the Fren family are shocked by what they find at their farmstay accommodation and struggle with the realities of country life.

Just down the road, South Australia’s naked beauty is exposed when they visit Australia’s first legal nudist beach. Cathy and Victoria strip down and fully embrace the experience at Maslin Beach. But who else will brave the beach in the buff?

It’s not their only encounter with naked bodies. A life drawing class at a nearby vineyard and gallery proves to be confronting for many, and the resulting works of art need to be seen to be believed.

As the highlight of their food fest, our guides visit McLaren Vale’s most out-of-the box cellar door experience, The D’Arenburg Cube. Stack and Mel are thoroughly confused by the winery’s “sniffing room”, but Kevin and Janetta can’t get enough of the fine food and wine.

Back on the coast, our guides find themselves in wetsuits at one of SA’s most unexpected attractions – swimming with giant tuna at Victor Harbour. The boys are no help to Teng when he becomes terrified by the schools of fish.

At Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement, Hahndorf, the Frens embrace their German heritage with a frenzy of polka, steins, sausage and schnitzels.

Our guides end their holiday back in the big smoke to take on Adelaide Oval’s new roof climb experience.

Diehard cricket fan Deepesh recites Bradman’s averages as he makes his way around the roof of the oval, while Stacks and Mel are overwhelmed by the dizzying heights.

Find out what they rate their South Australian sojourn out of five stars on Tuesday at 9.00pm on Nine.


MAFS will smash it, quite ironically. It’s such a hit for Three.


The Philippines


Next week on Travel Guides the holiday critics escape to The Philippines for an unexpected island-hopping adventure packed with beautiful beaches, bizarre scenery and rare wildlife.

But the kookiest experience comes in the alien landscape of the Chocolate Hills Nature Reserve, when they’re given the chance to make like E.T. and go cycling in the sky. The dizzying heights of the treetop bike riding leave some travellers petrified.

Tune in on Tuesday, March 19, at 9.00pm on Nine as our guides land on Bohol, a tropical island where the first challenge is just getting to their resort aboard colourful jeepneys and trikes.

Not far from the creature comforts of their five-star resort, the Fren family head into the jungle, searching for the nearly extinct primate called a Tarsier . The biggest struggle is staying quiet enough to avoid scaring away these tiny and very cute fuzzballs.

A cruise up river brings their first encounter with Filipino karaoke, but are the locals ready for an Australian take on some pop classics?

Even that is not as terrifying as their attempt at tinikling, a potentially ankle-breaking Filipino tradition which combines dancing with incredibly fast-moving bamboo poles.

Our travellers then fly to nearby Basuanga Island, gateway to the Insta-worthy Palawan Archipelago.

The jaw-dropping limestone islands and turquoise waters are best explored on a traditional wooden boat called a bangka.

The big-ticket attraction here is snorkeling amongst stunning reefs and the submerged wrecks of Japanese naval ships bombed in World War II.

Unfortunately for the Fren family, much of their snorkelling gear becomes submerged as well. But that setback is nothing compared to their struggle to get back on the boat.

Find out what our critics score their island-hopping holiday out of five stars.


Casting for next season



The Nine Network today announced the return of one of Australia’s favourite shows, Travel Guides , for a fourth series – and are now searching for new groups of holidaymakers to become travel critics.

In 2019, the third series of Travel Guides has been a ratings smash, consistently winning its timeslot and topping the key advertising demographics. With an increase in free to air audiences year on year of more than 14%, making it the most watched season to date*. Add to that huge increases with video on demand of 79%.

Nine’s Head of Content Production and Development, Adrian Swift, said: “Forget spending hours trawling the internet for holiday ideas when our Travel Guides can do it for you and make you laugh along the way.

“Australian audiences have proven once again they love to watch our travel critics deliver their own unique take on destinations, whether it be a luxury or budget holiday and everything in between.”

The Nine Network is looking for new groups of holidaymakers to join the next series – people who love to travel, express their opinions and enjoy having a laugh.

In the fourth series, many of your favourite Travel Guides will also return.

Each week our Travel Guides experience the same international and domestic holidays, review the same accommodation, food and local sights, and then rate their stay out of five stars.

Head to to complete the online application. Applications close at midnight on Monday, April 15, 2019.


I always wonder how much time commitment would be required to film a show like this, especially given this is a much longer season. I’m assuming they do a couple of big overseas trips to film a few of them back to back. Then they always have the random ones in Aus which I guess could be filmed over a weekend.

Anyway I think next season they should remove the new Indian couple… I don’t think they’ve really added heaps to the show. I personally am a bit over the Fren family but they are too popular to get rid of. I do quite like the older couple as they put a different perspective on things. For me Stack and Mel and the target boys are ok but replaceable.


2 April episode


Haha that would have taken all but 3 hours to get through the city.

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Tuesday 26 March

Next week our Travel Guides embark on their most controversial holiday yet, taking in the holy land of Israel on Tuesday night on Nine after Married at First Sight .

When they warm up with the Mediterranean vibes of Tel Aviv our guides hit the beach, but struggle to blend in with the athletic locals. The Frens face a terrifying encounter in the water and Kevin does an unexpected striptease on the city’s gay beach.

After dark our travellers explore the funky bar scene in Tel Aviv’s ancient neighbourhood of Jaffa, where Dorian’s attempts to land a date go embarrassingly wrong.

After heading to the lowest point on Earth, the guides find out whether smothering yourself in Dead Sea mud really does help to cure ailments. And their attempts to float in the Dead Sea, which is ten times saltier than the ocean, have painful consequences.

A pre-dawn trek up to the ancient fortress of Masada tests their fitness. When they reach the top, will the ruins of King Herod’s Palace be worth the climb, or a total fizzer?

In modern West Jerusalem, the travel critics find one of the world’s liveliest markets, where they’re keen to try out “nature’s Viagra”, while Kevin and Janetta find a restaurant for a lunch that turns into a wild party.

The Old City of Jerusalem is home to some of the holiest sites for Christians, Jews and Muslims alike, and the guides discover why it is the most hotly contested square kilometre of territory in the world. And when the boys run into Jesus in one of the ancient city’s alleyways, is it a Second Coming?

The Frens forgo walking to tackle the cobblestone streets on Segways, but will exploring Jerusalem’s Old City be a religious experience or a letdown for non-believers?

How will our guides rate their holiday in the holy land out of five stars?




Tuesday 2 April

Next week on the season finale of Travel Guides , experience the most unlikely holiday ever – in Canberra, Tuesday night on Nine after Married at First Sight .

The Bush Capital has never seen anything like it, as our guides attempt to find out if there’s more to Canberra than pollies and public servants.

On a visit to Parliament House, the Fren family uncover the mystery of the missing Prime Ministerial portraits, before taking part in what could become a new national tradition – rolling down the building’s grassy roof on their bellies.

And when they drop in to the Australian Institute of Sport, will anyone be able to tell our travellers and the nation’s elite athletes apart?

In an effort to take the perfect selfie, twins Stack and Mel accidentally leave their mark on Floriade, the biggest flower festival in the Southern Hemisphere.

Best mates Kev, Dorian and Teng have an unlikely romantic encounter in the basket of a hot air balloon, as they take in the panorama of the nation’s capital.

Their homegrown holiday has a wild side too, when they visit the National Zoo and Aquarium and get closer to the animals than they ever imagined. And after bedding down at the zoo’s five star Jamala Wildlife Lodge, will anyone be able to get any sleep in such close proximity to cheetahs, lions and tigers?

Driving across town, the highlight for some is a glimpse of the Capital’s most notorious, and phallic-shaped, outdoor sculpture.

The cowgirls take a trip to Floriade’s NightFest, where a simple ride on a Ferris wheel hits terrifying heights.

For their final day in Canberra, our guides captain their own boat on Lake Burley Griffin, but the Fren family’s navigation skills leave a lot to be desired.

What will they give their final holiday of 2019 out of five stars?


The Fren Family from Newcastle on A Current Affair.


I’m so over the Fren family. The episodes are so edited towards them now as well it’s annoying. They get double as much airtime of most of the others. In comparison Sage and Deepesh (I think that’s their names) in some episodes would get barely any airtime.




Nine has extended casting for the next season of Travel Guides by one week to midnight Sunday, April 28, due to a large number of applications still in progress.

More than 11,000 applications have already been received, making it the biggest response in the show’s history. It follows year-on-year audience growth for the 2019 season of Travel Guides of 13.6%.

Nine’s Head of Content Production and Development, Adrian Swift, said: “We’re thrilled by the level of interest in becoming our newest Travel Guides but it’s not surprising. It’s the best gig in TV.”

Whilst many of your favourite Travel Guides will return next year, Nine is looking for new groups of holidaymakers to join the next series – people who love to travel, express their opinions and enjoy having a laugh.

Applicants must be a group of 2 to 4 people aged 18 or over, and available between July and November 2019.

If you are the funniest person you know and want to travel the world for free, get in quick and complete your application.




Do you think you’re the funniest person you know? Do you want to travel the world for free? Get in quick and complete your application for the next series of Travel Guides , as casting closes midnight Sunday, April 28 .


I know someone who has already gotten through to the second stage of the audition process.