Darrell Wade | University College

Darrell Wade

Darrell was a student at UC from 1979 to 1980.

Darrell is the CEO and co-founder of the Intrepid Group, the world’s largest provider of adventure travel experiences, carrying over 250,000 passengers a year.
Ed Benson, Darrell Wade, Penny Jordan and Aaron Saw
Darrell Wade with UC alumni Ed Benson, Penny Jordan and Aaron Saw

Darrell is living proof that the friends you make at College can have a profound influence on the rest of your life. In 1979, just three years after the College admitted its first male students in 1976, two bright young men, Darrell Wade and Geoff Manchester met on the first day of Orientation Week. Like so many of our students, they forged a lifelong friendship and, after studying and travelling together, almost a decade later on an epic journey across Africa in 1988, they came up with the idea for Intrepid Travel. The company was founded in 1989 as an alternative to mainstream travel offering small groups the chance to experience local cultures at grass-roots level.

As well as a passion for travel, Darrell has a long-standing interest in social and environmental concerns which has been at the heart of his company’s ‘responsible travel’ philosophy. He established Intrepid Travel’s philanthropic initiative, The Intrepid Foundation, which has raised over AUD$4 million for more than 70 projects for conservation and communities around the globe. He has also spearheaded Intrepid’s climate management program, with the company realising its goal of becoming carbon neutral in 2010.

Over the course of his career, Darrell has been recognised as a leader in adventure travel, business and the environment. Some of his achievements include:

• Being selected as one of the first group of Australians to complete Climate Project training with the Al Gore
• Intrepid Travel winning the 2008 NAB SmartCompany Award and
• Along with Geoff Manchester, being named 2002 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year