West Coast Safari Northbound Trip Notes

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Last Modified: 22 Jul 2012
West Coast Safari Northbound
Trip code: PIOP
Validity: 01 Apr 2011 to 31 Mar 2012
Australia's west coast boasts some of the world's best beaches, relatively untouched by tourism, set against a backdrop of lush rainforest and rugged outback terrain. Our adventure takes us from Perth to Broome, bringing you face-to-face with the region's natural wonders and exposing you to an exciting range of unique experiences. The distances are vast, amenities sometimes sparse and isolation palpable, but the rewards are rich beyond belief.
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
  • 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
West Coast Safari Northbound
Itinerary
Day 1 Perth
Welcome to Western Australia! Perth, its capital city, is the perfect place to start your holiday. You and your fellow travellers will arrive from all corners of the globe today, so there's no group activity planned. The noticeboard at your Perth accommodation provides many sightseeing and activity options should you arrive early. You could check out Rottnest Island, take a trip to Fremantle or explore the parks and waterways around Perth. You'll also find information about our first group meeting, held this evening at approximately 5pm, which you should make every effort to attend.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Kalbarri
Once you've met your crew this morning, we'll make our way north through the Swan Valley on our way to Nambung National Park, home to the famous pinnacles. Here, a moonscape of coloured quartz studded with fascinating limestone pillars makes a pretty bizarre picture! Definitely one of the photo album! Further along the Coral Coast is a treasure trove of gorgeous beaches, exotic marine life, national reserves and the bluest ocean you'll find anywhere. With the Indian Ocean to the west, we head to Kalbarri where we'll be staying on a 500,000-acre station situated on the Murchison River. Here, you'll find plenty of native wildlife, a run of over 40 horses and plenty of wide open spaces to enjoy. Tonight, after dinner, enjoy star-gazing around the campfire.
Included Activities
  • Nambung National Park (Pinnacles) Entrance
  • Kalbarri National Park Entrance
Accommodation
Farmstay (1 nt)
Days 3-4 Monkey Mia
Today we head to our next stop, Shark Bay and Monkey Mia - home of the wild dolphins. On route we will make a brief stop to see stromatolites; the beginners of life. Tonight we'll join an Aboriginal cultural tour to discover the magnificent sights of Gathaagudu (Shark Bay) through Aboriginal eyes.
On Day 4 relax, enjoy the surroundings and wait for Monkey Mia's famous visitors to arrive. Since the early 1960s, a pod of wild bottle-nosed dolphins began what has now become a ritual. Every day a number of dolphins swim into the clear shallows of the bay to interact with humans. It shouldn't be missed and will be a real highlight of your trip. This afternoon you have time to try one of the many activities* available on land or sea!
Included Activities
  • Wula Guda Cultural Experience
Optional Activities
  • Sunset Sailing cruise - AUD54
Accommodation
Lodge (2 nts)
Days 5-6 Coral Bay
Our drive takes us via the township of Carnarvon to Coral Bay. This is the perfect destination for anyone seeking relaxation, adventure or simply something different. Well-known for its marine life, Coral Bay is a great place to see whale sharks, humpback whales, dugongs, manta rays, turtles and an abundance of fish species (seasonal). Great swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving are available all year.
Day 6 is a leisurely day to enjoy the wonders of Ningaloo Reef Marine Park. This is not only Western Australia's largest fringing coral reef, but one of the largest reefs worldwide that can be reached just by stepping off the beach. Awesome! Swim and snorkel in the crystal-clear waters, enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime manta ray swim, get up-close and personal with the largest fish in the ocean - the Whale Shark! The options are endless.
Included Activities
  • Sub Sea Explorer boat cruise
Optional Activities
  • Scenic Flight Coral Bay - AUD180
  • Scuba Diving - half day - AUD145
  • Snorkel with Manta Rays - half day trip - AUD165
  • Snorkel with Whalesharks - AUD390
  • Whale Watching - AUD110
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Days 7-8 Karijini National Park
Enjoy the colourful coral formations from a submersible craft in the morning - a great way to start the day! We then head away from the coast, where we'll break for refreshment stops at Nanutarra Roadhouse and Paraburdoo before reaching the beautiful Karijini National Park. Haunting in its rugged, red beauty and unbeatable for adventure, the Park is famous for its sheer gorges, waterfalls and cool swimming holes. Our campsite here, deep in the Aussie outback, is nothing short of spectacular.
On day 8 we rise early so that we have plenty of time to explore this intriguing and spectacular National Park. We'll visit Joffre Gorge, Oxers Lookout, Weano Gorge and take a dip this spectacular area. For the more adventurous, the challenging 'spider walk'. Tonight we'll swap stories around the campfire.
Included Activities
  • Karijini National Park Entrance
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Day 9 Eighty Mile Beach
On to Port Hedland, a town whose prosperity had been built on the iron-ore boom of the 1960s. Here, iron ore from some of the world's largest iron-ore mines is loaded onto the world's biggest ore carriers for international consumption. Port Hedland is renowned for its indigenous culture and history, long trains, big ships, salt piles and red dust. Our campsite tonight is on the sweeping shores of Eighty Mile Beach with great views of the Indian Ocean.
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
Days 10-11 Broome
Back on the Great Northern Highway, heading to cosmopolitan Broome. From the rough and tumble of its pearling history and the cosmopolitan character of Chinatown to the turquoise waters, red sandstone cliffs and endless expanses of white, the colours and moods of Broome will blow you away. You'll have the opportunity to visit the historic Japanese Cemetery, Gantheaume Point, nearby pearling houses and experience the world-famous Cable Beach at sunset. Take a camel-ride on the longest and most-photographed camel train in the Kimberley. Tonight you're free to explore this multicultural town or stop at any of the local cafes and restaurants.
Please note your accommodation tonight is in tents.
Day 11 is perfect for relaxing and recharging the batteries. Enjoy the range of water sports at awesome Cable Beach, explore some of the many other activities available or just chill out, Broome-style! A great way to finish your West Coast Safari. Our trip concludes here and you may depart at any time.
Optional Activities
  • Camel Ride Broome, 30mins - AUD40
  • Kayak Broome 3 hrs - AUD70
  • Microlight flight Broome 30 mins - AUD175
  • Pearl Farm Tour Ride (Broome, 4hrs) - AUD90
  • Sunset Camel Ride (Broome, 1hr) - AUD70
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
    We also recommend
    If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
    • Cape Leveque and the Gorges (PKAG)
    • Cape Leveque Experience (PKAC)
    • Kimberley Explorer (PKOEC)
    • Spirit Of The Kimberley (PKOSC)
    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 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 so be prepared to endure extra physical stress due to the heat at these times, especially while on walks.
    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
    WET SEASON & WEATHER:
    Given the unpredictable nature of weather and travel in the tropics, we are sometimes forced to make late itinerary changes due to unexpected heavy rain and/or storms and road closures. In the event of this occurring, itinerary changes may need to be implemented after commencement of you trip. In this event, your Tour Leader/Driver has full authority to change the itinerary and/or order of activities and substitute alternative destinations and activities as necessary. No refunds are available due to itinerary changes and missed activities caused by extreme weather conditions and/or road closures.
    LOCAL PARTNER:
    Please note that this trip is operated in conjunction with our local partner Intrepid Connections. Please look for Intrepid Connections bus and drivers when meeting the group.
    AGE RESTRICTIONS:
    Age restrictions apply to this trip: minimum age 12. Anyone aged under 18 must be accompanied by (and share accommodation with) a parent or guardian.
    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. 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) (5 nts), Lodge (2 nts), Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt), Hotel (1 nt), Farmstay (1 nt)
    Camping consists of portable, easy to erect, pyramid style tents with sewn in ground sheets and full standing room inside. Two people share each tent. Comfortable foam sleeping mats are also provided. Please bring a sleeping bag or you can purchase one for AUD$30 from our local operator.
    While camping you will be expected to erect your tent and pack it away.
    When not camping the standard accommodation is multishare.
    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.
    BROOME ACCOMMODATION
    Accommodation in Broome is in tents at the caravan parks camping ground. If you wish to stay additional nights in Broome either before or after your Kimberley Safari you may wish to book directly using http://www.broomevisitorcentre.com.au/accommodation.asp#
    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, 3 Lunches, 7 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 meals as indicated in our brochure and online. On most days, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be included. Your leader will prepare most of the meals whilst on tour. 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 air conditioned for your comfort, have CD players and/or Ipod connections and large panoramic windows for uninterrupted sightseeing.
    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
    Goodearth Hotel Perth
    195 Adelaide Terrace
    Perth
    Western 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 group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
    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, 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
    Roebuck Bay Caravan Park
    91 Walcott St
    Broome
    Western Australia
    AUSTRALIA
    Emergency contact
    In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency only, Intrepid Connections can be reached on Tel:1300 422 183. For further contact details please refer to the following page:
    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 & MAT:
    Comfortable foam sleeping mats are provided. Please bring a sleeping bag or purchase one for $30. (if you do not wish to keep your sleeping bag they are donated to local charities).
    LUGGAGE RESTRICTIONS:
    Larger suit cases are not appropriate for this trip and risk damage in the loading and unloading of the vehicle.
    Due to the longer haul overland nature of this trip, the amount of camping equipment needed and space limitations within our vehicles, a 15 Kg (33 Lbs) luggage limit per person applies for this trip. If you are travelling with more than this amount of luggage, your driver can assist you to make arrangements to have it couriered to our finishing point city for pick up at the end of your trip. This luggage transfer is at your own expense but is for the safety and comfort of all members of the group.
    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.