10 Day Western Wildlife Experience Trip Notes

10 Day Western Wildlife Experience

Last Modified: 19 Aug 2015
10 Day Western Wildlife Experience
Trip code: PAP10
Validity: 01 Apr 2015 to 31 Mar 2016
Travelling across the vast Nullarbor Plain is not only one of the world's great road trips, but a unique opportunity to encounter native Australian wildlife up close. Spot kangaroos, wombats, emus and rare birds in remote national parks, learn to surf off the South Australian coast, enjoy stunning bush scenery and kick back in character-filled Aussie outback pubs. Up through southern Western Australia to Margaret River wine country and finishing in Perth, this adventure tour is ideal for those wishing to experience a nature-filled journey through Australia's wild landscapes.
Table of Contents
StyleTippingFinish point
ThemesDeparture taxEmergency contact
MapImportant notesEmergency funds
ItineraryGroup sizeVisas
We also recommendYour fellow travellersIssues on your trip
Itinerary disclaimerSingle travellersWhat to take
Culture shock rating AccommodationHealth
Physical ratingMeals introductionSafety
Physical preparationMealsTravel insurance
Included activitiesTransportResponsible Travel
Optional activitiesGroup leaderA couple of rules
Money ExchangeJoining point The Intrepid Foundation
Spending moneyArrival complicationsFeedback
Style
Basix
  • Our Basix style trips are designed for travellers who want exceptional value, plenty of free time and having the flexibility to choose where and how their time and money is spent. By working plenty of free time into the itineraries and keeping many of the activities optional, we aim to make travel possible for those on even the most slender of budgets. After all, why pay for an activity or excursion you wouldn’t otherwise be interested in? Or a level of comfort you don’t require? As a wise person probably once said, a bed's just a bed when there's exploring to be done.
Themes
Wildlife
Map
10 Day Western Wildlife Experience
Itinerary
Day 1 Adelaide/Flinders Ranges
G'day and welcome to Adelaide.
Journey into the rustic, rugged gorges, abandoned homesteads and Red Gums of the Southern Flinders Ranges. With a break at Clare for those that were unable to get their morning fix of coffee/tea we take a small break to do so. We then head north to one of the oldest mountain ranges on earth, the Flinders Ranges, where we venture to the bottom of Alligator Gorge and walk through the narrows and onto the terraces formed from an ancient seabed. Look for and feel the ripples of the sand still there in the rock today.
After lunch we make our way along the eastern edge of the range towards Warren Gorge, stopping for a break in Quorn. Quorn is home to the Pichi Richi Railway, which played an important role in linking the different gauges of railway line crossing the continent. It wasn’t until 1970 that the Indian-Pacific (Transcontinental) made its first unbroken run from Sydney to Perth. By 1980 the Pichi Richi line was obsolete. We stop at Dutchman’s Stern Conservation Park where we take the time to walk to the top of the range. Named by Mathew Flinders in 1802 for it’s resemblance of a Dutch sailing ship, this spectacular walk is a great way to finish the day and gives us our first real look to the West.
Tonight we roll out our swags and bush camp for the first time. There are only toilet facilities at the bush camp. No showers or electricity.
Today we drive approx. 600 km in total with stops along the way. (LD)
Included Activities
  • All National Park entry fees
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Days 2-3 Eyre Peninsula
The Eyre Peninsula is one of those great secrets many people have not yet discovered. Teeming with some of Australia's most amazing and outstanding real wildlife experiences, the lack of a major airport and too far to drive for most domestic travellers, this piece of paradise is one that only those who have been, can give that knowing smile of discovery of a very special place indeed.
Back on the road we pass through Port Augusta and onto Kimba. If you are lucky you might be able to spot the biggest galah you have ever seen! We will have lunch at Kimba and then we head for Talia Caves, a walk the south headland at Venus Bay and sand board the Lake Newland Sand dunes.
In the late afternoon we arrive at Coodlie Park Farm Retreat. This working farm has traditional cropping, sheep and a project of tree planting on their own land to offset their own carbon emissions.
Today we drive approx 250km in total with stops along the way. (BLD)
For those wanting to experience one of Australia's most unique wildlife experiences of swimming with dolphins and sea lions. This incredible optional wildlife experience involves a four hour boat cruise. We find the friendly populations and swim and snorkel amongst them. There is nothing that can parallel the feeling of communing with wild creatures such as these. If you wish to take up this option please notify us in advance so we can make the necessary arrangements. As most passengers love to do this optional tour, the company has no other activity planned this afternoon, so if passengers do not participate they will be waiting on shore for the tours return.
Having had lunch at the picnic spot at Bairds, we head on to Streaky Bay for any additional supplies. We will then continue our journey to Ceduna.
Today we drive approx 200km in total with stops along the way. (BLD)
Included Activities
  • All National Park entry fees
  • Nocturnal Spotlighting Tour
  • Learn to surf class
Optional Activities
  • Swim with Sea Lions and Dolphins - AUD150
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt), Farmstay (1 nt)
Day 4 Great Australian Bight
Today we blend one of the world’s great road trips with the chance of more wildlife encounters. The Nullarbor Plain and the Great Australian Bight are two of Australia’s icons. Today we are heading into some of the remotest parts on the planet.
We cross the dingo fence, which runs a staggering 5320km from the Bight through to Southern Queensland and head through the Yalata Aboriginal lands. We stop and have your picture taken with the famous wombat, camel and kangaroo road sign, a photo of which has become the metaphor for those who like to really get out there.
We stop to take in the staggering sheer drop of the Bunda Cliffs where Australia suddenly and dramatically ends and drops into the ocean. After lunch, at the border where we must hand over all of our fruit and vegetables we travel on to Eucla and see the way the desert can devour an entire town and head west across Australia's great plain.
Tonight we bush camp.
Today's distance is approx. 600 km. (BLD)
Included Activities
  • All National Park entry fees
  • Head of the Bight entry and Whale watching (in season)
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Day 5 Nullarbor Plain/Great Australian Bight
Settle in for a big days drive across the plain. During one of the stops we will come across Baladonia. Where you can read the fascinating story of Skylab at Balladonia. We drive further towards Norseman. Norseman is a small, sprawling town driven by mining and tourism and dominated by a huge tailings dump. We will have lunch at a look out, take in the fascinating view of Norseman.
After lunch we will be heading to Esperance. When in Esperance, the town can seem like a huge metropolis after five days out in the remoteness of the desert plain. The town is still remote but once you see the magnificent surrounds of the granite, bush and beach you can only wonder for how much longer this area can keep its quaint charm.
Tonight we bush camp - no toilet, shower or electricity.
Today we drive approx 500km. (BLD)
Included Activities
  • All National Park entry fees
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Days 6-7 Esperance/Cape Le Grand National Park
Get set for some of Australia's most beautiful scenery. This area of Western Australia has no less than 9 National Parks which is testament to its beauty and uniqueness. We take in the most spectacular of all, Cape Le Grand National Park. Stunning blue seas mix with powder white beaches and secluded bays allow for stops and swims in what can only be described as a nature lover's paradise.
Get up early this morning and take a walk down to the beach. You might even encounter a kangaroo on the beach - it doesn't get any more Aussie than that!
Today we stretch our legs with a coastal bush walk, which gives us a great overview of the bays and beaches and a stunning views to the islands of the Recherche Archipelago.
We have toilets and showers available at our camp for both these nights but no electricity.
We drive approx 450 km. (BLD)
We are starting the morning with a hike at Frenchmen's Peak. Frenchman's Peak rewards you with a stunning view. After the hike we will head to the Stirling Ranges to explore the Central South/West of Western Australia. Leaving the aptly named Lucky Bay behind, you'll be pleased to know that you haven't used up all your luck, this part of WA has variety of different eco systems and each has something special to offer.
At Lucky Bay we will have lunch and we leave the day flexible as to which park we will visit depending on the time of year and weather. We might seek out an abundance of wildflowers in the spring or a forested area with flowing rivers and waterfalls in the heat of the summer. Everywhere has its greatness at some point in the year and that is where we will take you whatever time you choose to travel. (BLD)
Esperance can seem like a huge metropolis after days out in the remoteness of the desert plain. The town is still remote but once you see the magnificent surrounds of the granite, bush and beach you can only wonder for how much longer this area can keep its quaint charm.
Included Activities
  • All National Park entry fees
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nts)
Day 8 Sterling Ranges
See the Western Australia’s version of the Great Ocean Road by seeing how the waves have an artistry all of their own when it comes to sculpture of the coast. Nature has down its amazing best on the coastline nearby Albany sculpting the granite into incredible formations that will have you reaching for your camera time and again. The Natural Bridge and The Gap are just two of the highlights.
Towering old growth forests once dominated the landscape of the South West and we get high in the treetops to explore this beautiful eco system. We take a tree top walk through the canopy of these huge trees almost 60m up in the air.
Then we head off to Shannon’s National Park for our overnight stay.
It is approx 500 km from Lucky Bay to Sterling Ranges. (BLD)
Included Activities
  • All National Park entry fees
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
Day 9 South West Coast
We visit The Diamond tree for an early morning climb. Then onto the Margret River region.
After leaving the Forestry areas we head back towards the ocean and the delicious temptations of Margaret River and surrounding area.
Then it is off to our last campsite of the tour, listening to the Black Cockatoos and Kookaburras one last time!
Today we drive approx 350 km making stops along the way. (BLD)
Included Activities
  • All National Park entry fees
  • Tree Top Walk in Valley of the Giants
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
Day 10 Margaret River/Perth
An early morning stop is made at the surfer's paradise of Yallingup. We finish our 4000km road trip by heading up the Western coast. We visit Ngilgi caves, one of the big show caves of the region to get the low-down on the underground world. See the crystalline features of the stalagmites and stalactites up close and personal. We then get some insight from real experts on the country, the local Aboriginal people. This is a great opportunity to find out about the changes that have happened in the local environment and get a totally different perspective on the culture of the South West.
Although there are no formal activities planned it is usual for the group to get together and reflect on the big journey together over a few drinks and meal.
We recommend that you book a night for yourself in Perth tonight as although there are no formal activities planned it is usual for the group to get together and reflect on the big journey together over a few drinks and meal. We arrive late in the afternoon and flights should be booked no earlier than 9pm to be sure of making your flight out. There is no accommodation this night.
Today we drive approx. 630 km although driving through Perth city traffic can mean a slower journey than previously. (BL)
Included Activities
  • All National Park entry fees
  • Aboriginal Culture Dreamtime tour
  • Swimming with Dolphins and Sealions (PSWDS)
We also recommend
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    Itinerary disclaimer
    Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
    Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
    Culture shock rating

    At times local life here will be familiar to that of back home, and at times very different. Services are available most of the time, English may not be the native language, and there may be some cultural differences.
    Physical rating

    This trip will raise your heartbeat. Moderate physical activities are included and a good level of fitness is required.
    Physical preparation
    To get the most out of this trip you need to be prepared for walks of between 3-8 km on some days. This may be on rough ground and perhaps getting feet wet in rivers and creeks. From Oct to March you will experience temperatures of over 35 degrees Celsius (and sometimes well into the 40’s) so be prepared to endure extra physical stress due to the heat at these times, especially while on walks.
    These extreme outside temperatures can also place stress on the air-conditioning units within our vehicles which can make travelling uncomfortable. Your tour guide will assist with regular breaks and information to assist in keeping well hydrated.
    Throughout the trip there are more adventurous optional activities that require some consideration regarding your physical abilities to complete the activity.
    Included activities
    Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
    Optional activities
    A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
    Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
    It is highly recommended that you pre book the optional activities listed in our trip notes as they are very popular and can't be booked at at time of travel. Please request at time of booking and we will reserve your place on the activity, you will then arrange with your Guide to pay for the activities on the ground.
    Swimming with Sealions and Dolphins $150
    Cage Diving with Great White Sharks $495 (includes wetsuit hire and highlights video package valued at $70)
    Our local operator for the Great White Shark diving option is a licensed Commercial Tour Operator, controlled by the South Australian Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). All skippers are endorsed by the Fisheries Department and strict limitations are in place on how the shark diving activity takes place. When sharks are present at the boat, every effort is made to ensure that no provoked contact is made with the dive cage or boat. The quantity of bait and chum is controlled to ensure they don't start a 'feeding frenzy'. Baits are removed from the water if the shark action becomes 'excessive and when divers enter and exit the dive cage. The cage floats on the surface and is supervised by crew at all times. The operator also assists the CSIRO with shark research by tagging the sharks and providing additional data. They also contribute financially to the CSIRO to enable them to continue their white shark research program and continually make available space on the vessel for research personnel as requested by CSIRO. The Great White Shark dives are conducted in a natural location and the sharks are free to come and go as they please without excessive provocation by the operator.
    Money Exchange
    The currency of Australia is the Australian dollar (AUD). USD1 = AUD1.07 (rate current for August 2014).
    The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). This allows you to draw funds from your personal account at a superior exchange rate. Most ATMs will also give you a cash advance on your credit card but be wary of high fees imposed by banks for this service. Bank fees for these withdrawals can be either a flat rate or a percentage of the amount withdrawn. Check with your bank for information on their international fees. There are ATMs (which accept both Visa and MasterCard) throughout the main cities and towns on our itinerary and these are also accepted by the majority of local service providers. When leaving home don't forget your PIN number and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Please note that remote areas and national parks may not have ATM access so it is best to withdraw enough cash in town before heading into these areas.
    Spending money
    Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
    Tipping
    In Australia, tipping is expected for certain things, but not everything. As a guide, tipping applies when you sit down in a restaurant for a meal (10% is a general rule). When using taxis or buying drinks at a bar, rounding up is acceptable.
    You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline AU$2-5 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
    Departure tax
    All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
    Important notes
    LOCAL PARTNER:
    This trip is operated by our experienced local partner Nullarbor Traveller.
    AGE RESTRICTIONS:
    Age restrictions apply to this trip: minimum age 7
    SLEEPING BAGS
    Please bring a sleeping bag. We do not offer hire or purchase on this trip.
    Group size
    Maximum of 18 travellers per group.
    Your fellow travellers
    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.
    Single travellers
    Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
    Accommodation
    Camping (with basic facilities) (5 nts), Bush camp (no facilities) (3 nts), Farmstay (1 nt)
    You will be camping under the stars in swags (bedrolls containing mattress). Please bring your own sleeping bag, purchase or hire is not available on this trip.
    While camping you may be expected to assist with helping push the vehicle when stuck in sand bogs.
    Due to customer feedback for this trip, we no longer provide tents but use SWAGS only
    PARTICIPATORY CAMPING:
    To participate in this trip you must be prepared to assist with preparing meals, cleaning dishes, collecting firewood, setting up and packing up camp every day, in all conditions.
    Meals introduction
    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
    Meals
    9 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 9 Dinners
    Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
    AUD 200.00
    DIETARY REQUIREMENTS:
    Passengers with special meal requirements or food allergies must ensure they or their travel agent inform Intrepid of this at the time of booking. Food for the trip is purchased prior to commencement and special requirements cannot be catered for after departing. Due to the nature of our trips food is basic but plentiful. We are able to cater for vegetarian and gluten free diets, but not for vegan diets due to the difficulty in sourcing this food remotely. Please bring your own staples such as bread and cereal if you require specific foods.
    Transport
    Minibus
    Group leader
    All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by a group leader. In Australia your group leader is also your driver, taking you from start to finish in a specialised safari vehicle. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, organise the camp and cooking for camp cooked meals (though passengers are required to help out) and recommend great local eating venues. They will also introduce you to our local friends along the way. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the areas visited on the trip, including historical, environmental, cultural and social aspects.
    Joining point
    Default pick up YHA Adelaide @ 6:45am
    Adelaide
    Adelaide
    South Australia
    AUSTRALIA
    Arrival complications
    We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the Joining Instructions section above for who to contact.
    If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, again following the Joining Instructions in these trip notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
    No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
    Finish point
    Central Perth
    Perth
    Perth
    Western Australia
    AUSTRALIA
    Emergency contact
    Tour operated by our touring partner Nullarbor Traveller. In the event of an emergency or missed pick up on the day of departure please call Nullarbor Traveller directly on 1800 816 858.
    Emergency funds
    Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
    Visas
    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
    We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
    AUSTRALIA:
    Belgium: Yes - required in advance
    Canada: Yes - required in advance
    Germany: Yes - required in advance
    Ireland: Yes - required in advance
    Netherlands: Yes - required in advance
    New Zealand: Not required
    South Africa: Yes - required in advance
    Switzerland: Yes - required in advance
    United Kingdom: Yes - required in advance
    USA: Yes - required in advance
    All travellers, except New Zealand citizens, must obtain a visa or travel authority before travelling to Australia. Failure to do so means you may not be allowed to board your flight to Australia. Most nationalities can obtain an Electronic Travel Authority via the internet before arrival. Please check the following website or with your relevant Australian visa issuing office for your nationalities requirements. http://www.eta.immi.gov.au/index.html
    Issues on your trip
    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
    We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
    You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
    What to take
    CLOTHING & CLIMATE:
    Winter (June, July, August) night time temperatures can reach below zero. Please ensure you pack appropriately. Warm jacket, thermals, woollen hat is advisable for the colder months. Depending on the region you are visiting, particularly the South, you may also need to pack waterproof trousers and a jacket. Daytime temperatures can be extreme from Oct to March with temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius. Night time temperatures can also be high at this time of year.
    Australia has relaxed attitudes to standards of dress, however the extreme sunshine can cause sunburn- particularly in summer. We recommend that you bring loose, cool, cotton clothing to protect yourself from the harsh sun. A sun hat, sunscreen and sunglasses are a must.
    From October to March it is likely that you will experience temperatures of over 35 degrees Celsius, and sometimes well into the 40’s. Be prepared to endure extra physical stress due to the heat at these times, especially while on walks. These extreme temperatures can also place stress on the air-conditioning units within our vehicles which can make travelling uncomfortable. Your tour guide will assist with regular breaks and information to assist keeping hydrated.
    Please come prepared for all extremes.
    LUGGAGE RESTRICTION:
    Pack only your bare essentials. Due to limited space and strict road laws limiting gross weight of vehicles, you are required to limit your luggage to one small to medium sized soft bag or backpack (max 15 kg, strictly enforced) and a small daypack, which can be carried inside the vehicle.
    SLEEPING BAG:
    Please bring your own sleeping bag as there is no hire or purchase available for this trip.
    CAMERA: A camera with a good zoom capability is recommended for this trip due to the high number of wildlife encounters possible. Wildlife being wild means it is not always possible to get in really close. A disposable underwater camera is also handy.
    WATER BOTTLE:
    Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
    HEADLAMP OR TORCH:
    A headlamp or torch is recommended for around your accommodation at night. Some properties have limited lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time. It’s a good idea to bring a headlamp or torch to navigate your way around at night.
    Health
    All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
    You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
    Dengue, Murray Valley Encephalitis (MVE) and Ross River Fever occur in northern parts of Australia (the Northern Territory, Northern Queensland and northern Western Australia). All three viruses are transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against them, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn. January 2009 saw an earlier than usual seasonal outbreak of dengue fever in northern Queensland, with over 600 confirmed cases in and around Cairns and Townsville.
    There have been 77 confirmed cases of Whitmore disease (melioidosis) in the Northern Territory, mainly in greater Darwin, but with cases reported in the Katherine and East Arnhem regions too. One case has occurred as far south as Tennant Creek. The risk of melioidosis will continue to be present as long as the rains continue. Those most at risk are those with underlying conditions that impair the immune system such as diabetes. Please visit the NT Department of Health and Families website – http://www.health.nt.gov.au - for more information.
    Safety
    Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
    We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
    Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
    For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
    REMOTE AREA TRAVEL:
    We carry a satellite phone on all of our remote/overland trips to be used by our leaders in the event of an emergency and for your safety. In addition, all of our leaders are First Aid trained and certified.
    HYDRATION:
    Daytime temperatures can be extreme from Oct to March with temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius. Please bring a large refillable water bottle. We strongly recommend the use of dehydration salts and sports drinks as a way to combat dehydration during times of extreme heat.
    BEACH SAFETY:
    Rip currents are the leading surf hazard for all beach users. They can occur at any beach, and can sweep even the strongest swimmer out to sea. Rip currents are responsible for around 15,000 beach rescues and up to 120 people being drowned each year in Australia (source: Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA).
    To enjoy Australia's beaches safely, take the following simple precautions:
    * Always swim between the red and yellow flags, as these indicate it is a supervised location where a lifesaving service is currently on duty.
    * Do not swim at unsupervised locations.
    * Observe and obey safety signage, which indicates current and typical hazards for that location.
    * Ask a lifeguard or lifesaver for advice on conditions; they are there to make your experience safer and more enjoyable.
    * Always swim with a friend; never swim alone.
    * If you get into trouble, stay calm and signal for help by calling and waving your arm above your head.
    Be aware of your own limitations in terms of your physical health and your swimming ability in the given conditions. Never swim while, or after, consuming alcohol.
    TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
    Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
    Travel insurance
    Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
    When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
    If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
    Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
    Travel Insurance for Australians travelling on trips within Australia only: Australians are not required to be covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation for trips within Australia. However we strongly recommend that you have a domestic travel insurance policy which covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
    Responsible Travel
    We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
    A couple of rules
    Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
    Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
    The Intrepid Foundation
    Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
    The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website: