Tony Wheeler, AO

Author and Lonely Planet Co-Founder
Victoria , Australia

Tony Wheeler, AO, lived an itinerant life during his childhood, growing up in Pakistan, the Bahamas, Canada, the United States and England when his father worked for the British Overseas Airways Corporation. These experiences paved the way for a lifetime of great adventures around the world.  

In the early 1970s, Tony and his wife, Maureen, completed a remarkable trip across the iconic Hippie Trail and then hitchhiked on a yacht from Bali to Australia. Based on these travels, Tony and his wife wrote a book called Across Asia on the Cheap, a guidebook that sparked the idea for the couple’s future travel guide company, Lonely Planet. 

Together, Tony and Maureen transformed their travel guide business into the world's largest independent travel publishing company. With more than 100 million Lonely Planet guidebooks published in English between 1972 and 2010 and more than 500 different titles, Tony and his wife have created an extraordinary legacy in travel publishing. Additionally, Tony has authored several travel books of his own over the years, including Bad Lands and Unlikely Destinations. 

After departing Lonely Planet, the Wheelers have shifted their focus to social, health and educational issues in the developing world. They founded the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development at the London Business School and the Wheeler Centre and the Planet Wheeler Foundation in Melbourne. He serves as a director at the Australian Himalayan Foundation and remains involved with the archaeological work of the Global Heritage Fund. 

Tony Wheeler, AO on Viking.TV (1)