Spirit Of The Kimberley Trip Notes

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Last Modified: 08 Aug 2012
Spirit Of The Kimberley
Trip code: PKOSC
Validity: 01 Apr 2012 to 31 Mar 2013
Experience the stark beauty of the Kimberley as you roam from the saltwater Bardi culture, pristine beaches and rugged red cliffs of Cape Leveque to the surreal rockscape of the Bungle Bungle beehives and the hidden waterfalls and palm oases of Echidna Chasm and Cathedral Gorge. This trip is like no other as it explores both well-known sights and some of the hidden treasures of this extraordinary, remote part of Australia.
Table of Contents
StyleDeparture taxEmergency contact
ThemesImportant notesEmergency funds
MapGroup sizeVisas
ItineraryYour fellow travellersIssues on your trip
Itinerary disclaimerSingle travellersWhat to take
Culture shock rating AccommodationHealth
Physical ratingMealsSafety
Physical preparationTransportTravel insurance
Included activitiesGroup leaderResponsible Travel
Optional activitiesJoining point instructionsA couple of rules
Money ExchangeArrival complicationsThe Intrepid Foundation
Spending moneyFinish point Feedback
TippingFinish point instructions
To save you money and the hassle of booking multiple trips, this journey is a combination of some of our most popular adventures so your leader and the composition of your group may change.
Style
Basix
  • The best value journeys on the planet! On a Basix trip you can expect amazing experiences, but none of the inclusions that you may not want. Which means budget (1-2 star) accommodation, plenty of free time, activities that are optional and the freedom to choose meals to suit your budget. On some trips you may be camping and required to set up your own tent. You'll also have access to a group leader to offer advice and help you uncover the region's hidden gems. On a Basix journey, the way you travel is all a part of the adventure. Depending on the destination and the itinerary, you could find yourself travelling on anything from a donkey to a bus or a private safari vehicle. These trips are ideal for first-time travellers seeking fun and independence with the support of a group leader. They're also ideal for independent travellers looking to make the most of their travel time with minimum hassle and maximum experiences.
Themes
Overland
Map
Spirit Of The Kimberley
Itinerary
Days 1-2 Broome/Cape Leveque
This tour starts at approximately 6.30am with a complimentary pick up from your hotel in Broome. From here we head off on our adventure. The Dampier Peninsula is a delightful blend of pristine beaches, dramatic coastlines and traditional Aboriginal culture. Travelling up the red 4WD track, learn about the regions fascinating history from our guided commentary and documentary DVDs.
Our first stop is the Beagle Bay Aboriginal Community, home of the Beagle Bay Church and its glimmering pearl shell altar, for morning tea. Further north, we discover Kelk Creek Bush Retreat, where our Aboriginal guide Deborah Sibosado and her family introduce us to their traditional Bardi saltwater country. A fascinating leisurely guided bushwalk offers an in-depth insight into their Indigenous lifestyle and culture while the freshly made damper and billy tea at the end of the walk is well worth the wait!
After a delicious lunch we travel to beautiful Cape Leveque to set up camp right on the edge of the Indian Ocean. A spectacular Kimberley sunset is a great way to end the day, before our famous Kimberley BBQ under the stars.
The day at Cape Leveque is yours to enjoy as you please. You may like to join our guide on a snorkelling or fishing adventure (included), or take up one of the many optional extras on offer including embarking on an Indigenous sea kayaking adventure, hiring a dinghy or splurging on a scenic flight across the archipelago and horizontal falls. Alternatively you may prefer to spend your time simply enjoying the pristine beaches and rugged red coastline that Cape Leveque is famous for. Whether you like swimming, snorkelling, sunbathing or long walks along the beach, Cape Leveque is a great way to relax away a day.
Included Activities
  • Permits for National Park walks & gorge vsiits
  • Beagle Bay Pearl Shell Church Visit
  • Snorkeling or Fishing Adventure, Cape Leveque
  • Kooljaman Bush Tucker Walks
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Day 3 One Arm Point/Broome
After breakfast we journey to the One Arm Point Community perched on the tip of the Dampier Peninsula. This is the perfect place to view the spectacular Buccaneer Archipelago and witness the huge tidal flows of the Kimberley.
We visit the Community's aquaculture hatchery, complete with barramundi and trochus shell. Travelling on, we enjoy lunch in the laid-back Lombadina Community, a beautiful and welcoming community, which is home to a local craft shop and interesting bush timber church. The challenging Kimberley terrain leads us back to Broome, arriving at approximately 5.00pm.
Included Activities
  • Permits for National Park walks & gorge vsiits
  • Permits for Indigenous Community Visits
  • One Arm Point Aquaculture Hatchery Visit
Optional Activities
  • Pearl Farm Tour Ride (Broome, 4hrs) - AUD90
  • Horizontal Falls Scenic Flight (Broome, half day) - AUD745
  • Night Sky Tours (Broome, 2hrs) - AUD65
  • Sunset Camel Ride (Broome, 1hr) - AUD70
  • Taste of Broome Tour (1/2 day) - AUD139
  • Camel Ride Broome, 30mins - AUD40
  • Trike Flights (Broome, 1hr) - AUD245
Accommodation
Motel (1 nt)
Day 4 Broome/Geikie Gorge
Travel east towards Fitzroy Crossing. Visit the Old Fitzroy Crossing and colourful Mangkaja Aboriginal Arts Centre before joining a local National Park Ranger on a guided cruise through majestic Geikie Gorge that nature carved between the Geikie and Oscar Ranges. Learn of the fascinating geology of this natural wonder and discover the huge array of wildlife, including freshwater crocodiles, birds and fish. That evening, camp by the Fitzroy River and enjoy our famous Kimberley BBQ.
Included Activities
  • Permits for National Park entry, walks & gorge visits
  • Guided Geikie Gorge Cruise
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 5 Purnululu National Park (Bungle Bungle Ranges)
Visit the gold rush town of Halls Creek and see the remarkable China Wall enroute to Purnululu National Park, home of the magnificent Bungle Bungles. On arrival in Purnululu, there is time to orient ourselves and set up camp amidst the spectacular National Park surrounds. After a delightful bush sunset, relax with a delicious meal and evening under the stars.
Spend the next day exploring the highlights of this extraordinary National Park, the most famous of which are the Bungle Bungle domes. Rivers created this landscape of unique orange and black striped 'beehive' geological formations over a period of 20 million years. Unbelievably, only the locals knew it existed until the early 1980's. To protect its unique landscape, the area was made a national park in 1987 and now enjoys World Heritage status. We explore the 2km long Echidna Chasm, known for its towering Livistonia Palm trees, and take a short walk (2-3km) into stunning Cathedral Gorge, where towering rocks create a natural amphitheatre. There is time in the afternoon to take an optional scenic flight and enjoy a birds-eye view of the beehive domes (own expense) to put it all into perspective.
Included Activities
  • Permits for National Park entry, walks & gorge visits
  • Cathedral Gorge Walk (Bungle Bungle)
  • Echidna Chasm Walk
Optional Activities
  • Bungle Bungle Scenic Flight - AUD325
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
Day 6 Itinerary
Included Activities
  • Permits for National Park entry, walks & gorge visits
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
Day 7 Mimbi Caves
Experience a true sense of Dreamtime with our Gooniyandi guide who shares traditional stories and reveals the secrets of Mimbi Caves, a sanctuary of crystal clear pools, rare fossils and ancient rock art. Share fresh damper and billy tea with the Gooniyandi traditional owners before we head for Fitzroy Crossing
Included Activities
  • Permits for National Park entry, walks & gorge visits
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 8 Windjana Gorge/Broome
After another early start we head westwards towards the Lennard River for a chance to experience the stunning natural beauty of an outback oasis is the 3.5 km geological wonder of Windjana Gorge. Beneath gorge walls rising 90 m, we search for freshwater crocodiles, local birdlife and aboriginal bush tucker. After a picnic lunch, the afternoon is spent exploring Tunnel Creek, a 750 m cave system in which we discover stalactites, secret caves and a large variety of wildlife. It is here we also learn the legend of Jandamarra, an aboriginal freedom fighter who used the tunnel as a hide-out in the late 1800s.
We arrive back in Broome at approximately 6:45 pm.
Included Activities
  • Permits for National Park entry, walks & gorge visits
  • Tunnel Creek Walk
Optional Activities
  • Trike Flights (Broome, 1hr) - AUD245
  • Taste of Broome Tour (1/2 day) - AUD139
  • Sunset Camel Ride (Broome, 1hr) - AUD70
  • Horizontal Falls Scenic Flight (Broome, half day) - AUD745
  • Pearl Farm Tour Ride (Broome, 4hrs) - AUD90
  • Camel Ride Broome, 30mins - AUD40
      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.
      ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES:
      Please note due to cultural sensitivities, entry to particular parts of local Aboriginal communities may be unavailable.
      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 generally 2-3 km over rocky, undulating terrain. Some gorge descents can be steep and rocky, though they are generally short. This may be on rough ground and perhaps getting feet wet in rivers and creeks.
      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 for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Intrepid nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Intrepid. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.
      Money Exchange
      The currency of Australia is the Australian dollar (AUD). USD1 = AUD1.01 (rate current for September 2011).
      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.
      It's a smart idea to take some of your money in travellers' cheques of a major brand in a major currency (US$, GBP, AU$ and EUR are all fine). Travellers' cheques have security advantages although please be aware that the exchange rates may not be favourable and that it is difficult to change travellers' cheques in remote locations, on weekends and public holidays.
      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, Kimberley Wild Expeditions.
      WET SEASON & WEATHER:
      During the peak of the tourist season May to September, you should generally expect clear blue skies day after day. Heavy rains can occur and may affect road access to more remote areas and this may cause closure of roads. Winter (June, July, August) night time temperatures can reach below zero. Kimberley Wild reserves the right to cancel or postpone any tour due to unforeseen circumstances. Circumstances such as road conditions, flooding, mechanical defect, cultural considerations or other reason. In the event of tour cancellation by Kimberley Wild, an alternative tour or full refund for that tour will be offered.
      BOOKING RECONFIRMATION:
      There is no accommodation included in Broome prior to pick-up on this itinerary. Please advise where you are staying at time of booking and reconfirm the pick-up details with our local operator (ph 1300738870) on the evening prior to departure.
      IMPORTANT BOOKING CONDITIONS:
      The places showing on the dates and availability page are an indication only so please contact Intrepid to check if your preferred date will depart before making any final arrangements, such as booking non-changeable flights
      Group size
      Maximum of 21 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. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit:
      www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
      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 room (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 facilities) (4 nts), Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nts), Motel (1 nt)
      Camping consists of portable, easy to erect, tents - takes about 30 seconds! We can provide single / twin or triple share tents. Comfortable swags (including 2-3 inch mattresses), bottom sheets, pillows and pillow cases are also provided. You can either bring your own sleeping bag or hire one from us at $25.00 per person. If you choose to hire one, we recommend you also bring a sheet liner.
      While camping you will be expected to erect your tent and pack it away.
      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.
      PURNULULU CAMPING
      Some dates the Permanent Tented camp at Purnululu my not be available. In this case camping will be with basic facilities.
      Meals
      6 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 5 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 100.00
      Your tour includes meal as indicated in our brochure and online. You will be provided with delicious, healthy meals featuring fresh ingredients, gourmet salads and local flavours. Please make sure you advise us of any special dietary requirements well prior to travelling and we will endeavour to do our best to cater to them. Our tours are activity and participation based. During your travels with us you will have the opportunity to assist with daily activities such as setting up camp, helping prepare meals and clearing dishes. None of this is difficult however many hands make light work and any assistance provided to crew is always much appreciated. Most people agree that this type of activity helps you feel like less of a tourist and more of an explorer.
      DIETARY REQUIREMENTS:
      Passengers with special meal requirements 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. Vegetarians and those with any special meal requirements may need to provide additional assistance to the leader for meal preparation.
      Transport
      All Terrain vehicle
      You will be travelling in a vehicle specifically designed and built for Australian outback conditions. All our vehicles are custom-built, 20 seat 4WD trucks. Our vehicles allow our small group tours extra space and comfort, and are fully air-conditioned, fitted with media players, reclining seats, map pockets, footrests and PA systems.
      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 instructions
      This tour starts at approximately 6.30am with a complimentary pick up from your hotel in Broome. Please take this into consideration when booking any flights and accommodation. Please advise where you are staying at time of booking and reconfirm the pick-up details with our local operator (ph 1300738870) on the evening prior to departure.
      We recommend you book accommodation in advance for any extra nights either prior to your stay or extend your stay here. If you wish to stay additional nights in Broome before or after your tour you may wish to book directly using http://www.broomevisitorcentre.com.au/accommodation.asp#
      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
      Broome drop off
      AUSTRALIA
      Finish point instructions
      This tour returns to Broome at approximately 7pm. Accommodation on this night is not included, so you will be dropped off at your hotel in Broome.
      We strongly recommend you book accommodation in advance for any extra nights either prior to your stay or extend your stay here. If you wish to stay additional nights in Broome before or after your tour you may wish to book directly using http://www.broomevisitorcentre.com.au/accommodation.asp#
      Emergency contact
      In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency only, Kimberley Wild can be reached on Tel: +61 (0) 8 9193 7778 or +61 (0) 406 380 020.
      Emergency funds
      Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest 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
      What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
      Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
      You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
      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. 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.
      SLEEPING BAG:
      Please bring your own sleeping bag. If you don't have one you can hire one for the tour for AU$25. Please advise us at time of booking if you wish to hire one.
      LUGGAGE RESTRICTIONS:
      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 10 kg's) and a small daypack, which can be carried inside the vehicle. Extra luggage can usually be stored at your hotel. In the event that this option is unavailable, Kimberley Wild can store your luggage at our depot until you return from your tour.
      WATER BOTTLE:
      Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. 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 ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day
      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. 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 group 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 group 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 group 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.
      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 group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
      Feedback
      After your travels, we want to hear from you! This is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next trip if your feedback is completed online within 4 weeks of finishing your trip.