about us & Reviews
FOUNDER & TOUR LEADER
Flynn’s Tours founder, Johnny Gannan is passionate about sharing the Australasian and Oceanic region with it’s scenic splendour and it’s First Peoples culture and their hospitality towards global travellers. He has toured extensively throughout Papua New Guinea, East Timor – Timor Leste, Indonesia, South East Asia, India, China, Japan, New Zealand, the Australian continent and even Antarctica over the last four decades.
Since 2007, his tours enhance travellers' life experience through the discovery, adventure and cultural immersion of high quality tours. His mission is to design and conduct safe, educational and exciting tours which cater for a range of ages, interests and budgets; respect local communities; promote sustainable tourism, and make possible special memories.
Johnny was born in Melbourne where he was awarded his Queen Scout Award as a teenager. He commenced publishing Community Newspapers, aged nineteen and developed two publishing groups in different markets enabling their purchase by global publishers, News Limited and Fairfax Media. He has owned and run numerous major events and holds tertiary qualifications in event management, vocational training and marketing. Johnny has also enjoyed farming a variety of animals and crops.
See more "About Us" information below Reviews & Testimonials
“My desire is to design and conduct safe and informative tours of adventure and excitement which cater for a range of ages and interests; respect local communities; promote a love for nature, culture and history and make possible special memories.”
Flynn's Tour Founder and Tour Leader
Reviews and Testimonials
We have been on two of Flynn’s Tours (PNG 2017 and Japan 2019) and are booked on his Ultimate Queensland Odyssey in May. Both previous tours were fabulous with great itineraries that connected us with local culture and people wherever we went.
For us keen birdwatchers, John organised a one week guided Japanese islands birdwatching extension and also made sure PNG stops included opportunities for more bird-watching.
The Japan tour took us into some wonderful rural areas with great (and roomy) traditional inns, wonderful food and culture. His adapability in the face of local obstacles (eg PNG airline strike, blizzard in Japan) and opportunities (eg adding an extra night when perfect snow fell in Spring on Mt Fuji) is amazing.
We love small group adventure tours and know that a friendly, enthusiastic tour leader makes a big difference to all on board. Throw in the description of “Aussie larrikin” and that is John to a T. We’re looking forward to travelling with him again.
During my time working for an international organisation in Papua New Guinea, I was fortunate to have travelled to all 22 provinces. Some of the best visits were with Johnny on a couple of his Flynn’s Tours. He is knowledgeable, well organised, has an excellent rapport with the community and runs a fun adventure.
I would recommend his tour to the magnificent Lake Kutubu - the Island in the Clouds - in the remote Southern Highlands for the annual festival. Our trip down the enormous Sepik River was also fascinating with access to intricate carvings and displays of cultural practices, particularly at night in an enormous Spirit Houses was a special bonus….. deeply engaging.
It is also commendable that Johnny sponsors the education of young Papua New Guineans from the proceeds of his tours. I look forward to being able to travel to Australia in the near future and go on one of Johnny’s Outback Tours
United States of America
My time in the desert at Mungo National Park and it’s very ancient Aboriginal story was very special. It was one of the highlights of my holiday Downunder.
I was really pleased when Flynns did a Springtime tour to Japan in 2018 and hope I returned his hospitality meeting his Aussie clients in my country for a day - Arigato gozaimasu Johnny
My trip to PNG was truly memorable and Johnny was able to connect me with my childhood memories of Wewak Town. The Wewak Islanders were great fun! The Highlands scenery was stunning as were the many corals and fish on the scuba dives. A holiday that I didn’t want to end!
My time spent with Johnny exploring the Sunshine Coast Hinterland gave me some of my best memories of Australia. He also went out of his way to source quality Kangaroo hide locally for my leatherwork craft that I do back home in Bavaria and advised on customs procedures.
Good Times !
I have found your many informative comments about tourism in PNG very helpful and appreciate your feedback to my post.
I contacted the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority who advised that "Yes we have heard good feedback from Flynns Tours so you should feel comfortable booking a tour with them."
We have booked a day tour in Rabaul in February, and I will put some feedback online when we return.
Re: Tour operator query
5 years ago - 2016
We have just returned from our cruise to PNG. John from Flynns Tours booked us on a private tour with his on the ground staff in Rabaul, which was great; value for money, safe and interesting, with a wonderful guide. No hickups!
- Feb 2nd 2016
I’ve visited Cairns and North Qld before but never like on your trip. I didn’t realise what a wonderful place Cooktown is. Just getting there was an adventure. We loved the visit to Willie’s family lands and the rock art galleries. Sitting in his father and grandfathers birth cave as he explained their customs and traditions, along with the story of Captain Cooks time in the area was very interesting. We will be back next year to do your scenic flight to the Torre Strait islands and the tip of Australia. Our friends young niece is still talking about the friendly lizard!
Johnny’s family history has been enriched by adventurous travel. His Great, great, grandfather, the Irishman, Patrick Gannan arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania), the cruelest penal colony in British Empire, in 1838 at the age of 16 on a convict ship. As a free man he crossed Bass Strait and settled in Victoria in the early 1840’s during the first decade of the colony’s European settlement. Johnny’s Grandfather, Jim Gannan, served in the Australian AIF during World War One and traveled to Europe where he survived a wounding by a German machine gun at the “Battle of Poziere” , during the “Battle of the Somme” in France in July 1916. Australian official historian Charles Bean say’s the Pozieres ridge “is more densely sown with Australian sacrifice than any other place on earth”. Johnny’s Father, Tony Gannan served in the Australian AIF during the Second World War serving in Palestine and Syria in the Middle East and closer to home in Papua New Guinea for an extended period in battles that included the “Battle of Wau” in the rugged ranges above the coastline of Salamaua in January 1943. Corporal Gannan distinguished himself in the “Siege of Milak” near Maprik in the East Sepik region in March of 1945. (ref: pg 415 “Hell’s Battlefield” by Phillip Bradley, Allen & Unwin 2012). Tony passed away, aged 93 years old in January 2014.
Pictured above left : Tony Gannan sitting in a foxhole after the "siege of Milak" in the Torricelli Mountains in the North-East of Papua New Guinea in 1945. Married during the war years, Tony and his much loved wife Mary lived for over seventy years in Ferntree Gully, Victoria. Both lived active family lives into their nineties.
Pictured left : Jim Gannan whilst serving in the AIF following his wounding
at the "Battle of Poziere" on the Western Front in France. His injury did not preclude him from an active working life following the First World War, raising a family of 6 children with his much loved wife Maggie and playing a handy game of billiards and lawn bowls.
Whilst earlier generations of the Gannan’s journey’s are mired in the cruelness of a harsh penal system and the mud and blood of two world wars, of the next generation, Johnny has crafted his combined passions for travel and service to provide unique and adventurous tours to global travellers.
Johnny Gannan who independently owns Flynn’s Tours enjoys his work providing a lightheartedly informative and educational perspective to his clients travelling experience. He is known for seeking out the quirky, the curious and that chance encounter as well as collaborating with the most experienced and congenial local guides.
He has a sound knowledge of the region where Flynn’s Tours operate and strong personal relationships with the associated service providers including airlines, hotel and guesthouse owners along with boat and vehicle operators as well as local characters and village chiefs.
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
Johnny chose the name Flynn’s Tours to acknowledge the adventurous spirit of the world renowned Australian born actor, Errol Flynn who travelled the globe acting out the lives of history’s more swashbuckling characters. Errol spent his early years before his movie career, in real life adventures, played out in a region stretching from the south coast of Tasmania to the New Guinea Islands on the Equator.
This region happens to be where Flynn’s Tours operates as well as where Johnny’s family history has played out since the early nineteenth century. Errol Flynn commenced life in 1909 in Hobart, on the island of Tasmania located off the south-east coast of Australia. He was born to parents Theodore Flynn, a respected biologist, and his mother, Marelle. As a young man in 1927, he went to Papua New Guinea seeking and failing to find his fortune. For a time he held a position as a Cadet Patrol officer at Kokopo in East New Britain.
Many adventurous jobs followed, as a gold prospector in the Wau – Salamaua area, a slave recruiter and a manager of coconut and tobacco plantations. He went hunting after the elusive Bird of Paradise for it’s feathers along the length of the Sepik River and lazed on his yacht “Sirocco” off the beaches and reefs of New Ireland.
Escaping life on the edge, he appeared in the lead role of Fletcher Christian in the film “In the Wake of the Bounty” (1933). He furthered his career at England’s Northampton Repertory Company before becoming a Hollywood movie star after appearing as a swashbuckling “Captain Blood” (1935).A succession of popular films followed including “The Charge of the Light Brigade” (1936), “The Adventures of Robin Hood” (1938) and “Seahawk” (1940), establishing his zeal for the action-adventure genre. He was accused of been a fascist sympathizer who spied for the Nazis. These refuted allegations would seem at odds with Flynn’s political beliefs that were left-wing. Errol, was an ardent supporter of the Spanish Republic, where he served as a war correspondent and was a supporter of the Cuban revolution. He admired Fidel Castro and considered him a personal friend.
Flynn had a reputation for womanising, hard drinking, and for a while in the 1940’s narcotic abuse. Married 3 times Flynn fathered 4 children. Controversy was never far away and in 1943, Flynn was aquitted after been accused and charged with statutory rape. After quitting Hollywood, Flynn lived in Jamaica in the early 50’s, where he was largely responsible for developing tourism. He popularised river trips on bamboo rafts. Flynn died whilst on a trip to Canada in 1959, most probably from a pulmonary embolism. A life of hard living had taken it’s toll on Eroll’s body, but, oh what a life it was!