Last Modified: 15 Feb 2013
Sydney Bush Adventure
Trip code: PPAS
Validity: 01 Apr 2012 to 31 Mar 2013
Discover the Aussie bush spirit on this four-day adventure through country New South Wales. Have quintessential Aussie experiences as you stay at a country pub, camp out under the stars and bunker down in the heart of the Aussie bush. Meet some of Australia's iconic wildlife, tempt you taste buds with campfire treats, and share a yarn and a bush poem or two with our farmstay hosts. And the best part is that all of this is a mere stone's throw away from Sydney. Come and experience it!
Table of Contents
- Original trips are classic Intrepid adventures. With a mix of included activities and free time, they offer plenty of opportunities to explore at your own pace and take part in activities that really get beneath the skin of a destination. While the occasional meal may be included, you'll have the freedom to seek out your own culinary adventures. Accommodation is generally budget or tourist class (2-3 star), but you're as likely to find yourself as a guest of a local family as staying in a hotel or camping. Transport will vary as well. Depending on the destination and the itinerary you could find yourself travelling on anything from a camel to a train or a private safari vehicle. It's all part of the adventure! Original travellers have a desire to make the most of their travel time and really get to know a place, its people and cultures.
Short Breaks - Group Adventures
Day 1 Sydney/Mudgee
G'day and welcome to marvellous Sydney! We recommend you arrive early and get out and explore Sydney.
Please advise Intrepid where you are staying so that we can arrange pick up. We depart Sydney and the first stop is the Koala Park Sanctuary where you have the opportunity to see and even touch hundreds of examples of the unique and wondrous Australian wildlife. Animals including koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, echidnas, dingos, emus, cockatoos and other birds are present in an attractive and quiet bush setting. We have morning tea at the Sanctuary before setting off for the drive into the World Heritage Blue Mountains National Park.
A lunch stop under the trees of the park can be accompanied by a short walk in the bush.
Mudgee is our final destination for the day. We have the choice of visiting cellars of local vineyards to sample some of the Mudgee food and wine, renowned throughout Australia, a local olive cooperative to taste the finest olive produce in Australia, a honey and mead establishment or one of the many fine arts and crafts galleries.
After our sightseeing we book into our first night's accommodation, the Oriental Hotel, a traditional country pub with comfortable twin or double rooms and a friendly bar. Dinner can be enjoyed at any of the many restaurants or hotels in Mudgee, including the Bistro in the Oriental Hotel where we stay. After dinner we relax in the Oriental and can get to know our fellow travellers better or meet the locals in the bar.
- Koala Park visit
- Blue Mountains National Park
Local pub (shared facilities) (1 nt)
Day 2 Inglevale Homestead
After breakfast we drive out of Mudgee on gravel bush roads to Hill End. In Hill End we have the opportunity to explore this historic gold mining town and artist's village, where old buildings still stand lovingly maintained and the history of lost buildings is related through many interpretative signs with photographic records of past magnificence.
Morning tea is served here before the drive along more bush tracks and through other historic hamlets and towns.
In the grand city of Orange we take advantage of the magnificent Cook Park with hundred year old trees, floral glass houses and native bird aviaries to have lunch.
Just an hour away is the farm and homestead of Inglevale, the childhood home of Laurie and Bill Norris, our farmstay host with his wife Mary. Spend the evening immersed in traditional farm culture. Bill or other guests will demonstrate sheep herding, yarding and shearing, droving on horseback and the use of skilled sheep dogs. There may be displays of draught horses used in ploughing or cart rides, trick ponies, show dogs, whip cracking and more.
Dinner will be cooked by BBQ and camp oven on the open camp fire, including damper, lamb chops, kangaroo meat and other traditional Australian bush tucker. After dinner you will be treated to Australian bush poetry or folk songs and story telling around the campfire, and if weather permits an exhibition of the glorious night sky stars with explanation of the Southern constellations and their Aboriginal legends.
Sleep under the stars in an established camp site surrounding the farm homestead, with twin share tents equipped with comfortable camp beds.
The camp has the use of a bathroom with hot showers, and a kitchen should bad weather interrupt the evening, so this is luxury camping.
Farmstay (1 nt)
Day 3 Bathurst/Blue Mountains
After breakfast we traverse scenic New South Wales Explorer Country this morning through several historic villages with abundant rustic country charm. First stop is Canowindra. A charming curved main street is lined with majestic double story shops with wide verandas. There are antique and curio shops to peruse and we enjoy morning tea here.
We visit the World Famous Age of Fishes Museum which displays the fossil collection and information about the local 360 million year old fossil site. Next stop is Abercrombie Caves, nestled in a quiet, picturesque valley. We take a tour of The Archway - the largest natural arch in the Southern Hemisphere, or one of the other grand, richly decorated caves.
Taking advantage of the beautiful bush setting and local creek we have lunch in the shade of Gum trees. Our final drive takes us through the city of Bathurst. One of the most beautiful cities of the inland, Bathurst features many stately and historic buildings including the jail and the courthouse.
Then we head back into the World Heritage Blue Mountains National Park, to the Historic Megalong Valley where we make our final camp in the very comfortable Werriberri Lodge Holiday Cabins, set in natural Bush, but complete with all home comforts, including full kitchens where your guide will prepare a hearty home cooked dinner.
- Age of Fishes Museum
- Abercrombie Caves
Cabin (1 nt)
Day 4 Sydney
We cook breakfast in our cabins. We then have the option to visit the Werriberri Trail Rides to take a horse ride on quiet reliable horses through natural bushland. No experience of horses is necessary as Werriberri's professional guides can help novice riders. Please bring long pants should you wish to take the optional horse ride. If horses are not your style your leader can accompany you on a nearby scenic bush walk instead.
After morning tea in the bushland setting we drive to Katoomba, heart of the World Heritage Blue Mountains National Park. Take the world's steepest railway, the Scenic Railway, to the floor of the picturesque Jamison Valley, then explore the well documented and accessible history and natural beauty on the convenient boardwalks.
The cliff tops at Katoomba afford unsurpassed views of the unique rock formations, such as the Three Sisters and lush flora of the Jamison Valley. We take full advantage of these before our final lunch stop in a local park.
On the way back to Sydney we make a final stop in the Blue Mountains National Park to view Aboriginal Rock Art, near Glenbrook, painted by local Australian indigenous inhabitants centuries before the arrival of Europeans in Australia. From here it is only an hour or so back to Sydney where we say our goodbyes.
- Blue Mountains National Park
- Scenic World Railway
- Werriberri Trail Ride, Megalong Valley - AUD77.00
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.
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.
This trip will raise your heartbeat. Moderate physical activities are included and a good level of fitness is required.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
Some of our planned activities are contingent on seasonal conditions. We will arrange alternative activities if this is the case.
Age restrictions apply to this trip - minimum age 5.
Maximum of 11 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:
On some trips accommodation is available only on a shared basis with other travellers, who might not necessarily be Intrepid travellers. Arrangements vary depending on the trip from twin to multishare, so refer to the daily itinerary for more details on your accommodation. In some situations you may have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure you have your own room.
Farmstay (1 nt), Local pub (shared facilities) (1 nt), Cabin (1 nt)
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in your selected accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
Two nights accommodation on this trip are 3 star with shared facilities, and the third night camping in established tents with shared bathrooms available.
While travelling with us you'll have the opportunity to experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. 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.
2 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 2 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.
You will have meals prepared freshly by your guide or by yourself. At the farmstay camp and during morning teas you will experience some of the region’s historic specialities. In Mudgee you will have the opportunity to experience some of this area’s famous fare.
Transport will be either in a people mover or minibus depending on group numbers.
This Short Break Adventure is a "join in group departure", which means the make-up of the group may change during the trip and may also include other non-Intrepid travellers. On most trips you will be accompanied by a group leader who is also your driver. 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, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. 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.
Your Central Sydney Hotel
New South Wales
Joining point instructions
Pick up will be from Sydney CBD or around Glebe/Camperdown/Pyrmont only. Please advise us of your pick up point at least 48 hours prior to travel. In any complications arise please contact our local operator on 0410 405 022.
If you are not staying in central Sydney, please make your way to Bus Bay 4, Eddy Avenue, Central Railway, Sydney where you will be picked up.
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.
Your Central Sydney Hotel
New South Wales
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
In addition to any included activities on your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. Our local representative may be able to assist you with 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 our local representative 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:
Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
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 trip until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by our local representative.
If you have credit card insurance our local representative will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact telephone 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.
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 local representative 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:
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.