Last Modified: 02 Jan 2013
Western Wildlife Experience
Trip code: PPOW
Validity: 01 Apr 2012 to 31 Mar 2013
This is not only one of the world's great road trips across the mighty Nullarbor Plain but also an opportunity to encounter the best of Australian nature up close. This journey provides opportunities to encounter kangaroos, wombats, emus and dingoes in the wild. Learning to surf, taking a camel safari and walking in the tree tops make this trip the ultimate for those looking for a wild and nature-filled journey through Australia's outback and remote regions.
Table of Contents
- 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.
Day 1 Adelaide/Flinders Ranges
G'day and welcome to Adelaide. Please ensure that you notify us of where you are staying in Adelaide at the time of booking so we know where to come and pick you up. We recommend the Hotel Paringa in Adelaide and can happily make a booking for you there.
Pickup is from your Adelaide accommodation between 6.30 am and 7.00 am in front of the hotel. Please have your hotel checkout finalised by 6.30am and wait at the front doors of the hotel for your pickup as there is no parking for the vehicle. You will meet your fellow group members on board the vehicle as many of them may be staying at other accommodation.
We head north to one of earth's oldest mountain ranges, the Flinders Ranges and our first experience with this national landscape is at Alligator Gorge - a medium sized walk through the Narrows of the southern Flinders Ranges.
After lunch we travel though to Warren Gorge where we share a campsite with the endangered yellow-footed rock wallaby.
Tonight we roll out our swags and bush camp for the first time. There are only toilet facilities at the bush camp. No showers or electricity.
Today we drive approx. 600 km in total with stops along the way.
- All National Park entry fees
Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Days 2-3 Eyre Peninsula
Today we Leave Warren Gorge and travel the short distance to Dutchmans Stern, a magnificent bushwalk with unbelievable views of the surrounding landscapes. The tour then heads onto the Eyre Peninsula and the stunning coastline of Venus Bay where we can see dolphins surfing in the waves.
After Venus Bay we visit the magnificent Talia caves. Close to the caves are the Lake Newland sand dunes - these are the biggest sanddunes you will ever ride!
Over night at Coodlie Park Farm Retreat - a unique accommodation and experience facility. Our hosts Hassie and Jo take us on an unique nocturnal spotlighting tour looking for Australia's national emblems - kangaroos, wombats and emus.
Today we drive approx 250km in total with stops along the way.
The Eyre Peninsula is one of those great secrets not many people have yet discovered. Teeming with some of Australia's most amazing and outstanding real wildlife experiences, the lack of a nearby major airport and the fact it is too far to drive for most domestic travellers means this piece of paradise remains a local secret.
The next morning we head out to find some of Australia's best waves and spend two hours under the instruction of a qualified surfing teacher learning this most Australian of pastimes. That magic moment where you and the wave all become one as you surf towards the shore could be the beginning of a life long addiction .
For those wanting to experience one of Australia's most unique wildlife experiences of swimming with dolphins and sea lions. This incredible optional wildlife experience involves a four hour boat cruise. We find the friendly populations and swim and snorkel amongst them. There is nothing that can parallel the feeling of communing with wild creatures such as these. If you wish to take up this option please notify us in advance so we can make the necessary arrangements. As most passengers love to do this optional tour, the company has no other activity planned this afternoon, so if passengers do not participate they will be waiting on shore for the tours return.
On the way back we stop in at Murphy’s Haystacks, incredible granite rock formations sculptured into wondrous and weird shapes over millions of years.
Tonight you are back in the same dorm style accommodation with shared limited toilet and shower facilities.
Today we drive approx 200km in total with stops along the way.
- All National Park entry fees
- Nocturnal Spotlighting Tour
- Learn to surf class
- Swim with Sea Lions and Dolphins - AUD150.00
Farmstay (1 nt)
Day 4 Great Australian Bight
The Nullarbor plain and the Great Australian Bight are two of the icons of Australia. Today we are heading into some of the remotest country on the planet.
We cross the dingo fence which runs a staggering 5320km from the Bight through to Southern Queensland and head through the Yalata Aboriginal lands. At the Head of the Bight we stop to take in the staggering sheer drop of the Bunda Cliffs where Australia suddenly and dramatically ends and drops into the ocean.
If travelling between June and October it is very likely you will get to see some giants of the ocean, the Southern Right Whales. A pod of about 100 whales come every year to this spot to give birth to whale calves. There is no need for a boat trip as the whales come right close to the sheer drop of the cliffs and use the sheltered waters below as their resting spot.
This afternoon head towards Eucla with its famous wombat, camel and kangaroo road sign, a photo of which has become the metaphor for those who like to really get out there. At Eucla we also see the great battle against natures sands as we check out the old town.
Tonight we bush camp.
Today's distance is approx. 600 km.
- All National Park entry fees
- Head of the Bight entry and Whale watching (in season)
Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Day 5 Nullarbor Plain/Great Australian Bight
This morning we head towards the old town of Eucla which struggled and lost in its battle against the ever encroaching desert sands.
Today the reality of the Nullarbor really hits you; this huge expanse of karst limestone has many hidden secrets including the biggest underground lake system in Australia and is the source of many international divers who come here to explore this unique landscape. Today we settle in for a big days drive across the great plain of Australia before our next overnight camping.
In the evening we set up camp in the desert. People say the sky in Australia looks bigger than elsewhere. Tonight you get an IMAX sized version of the great southern night sky. Pick out the star sign constellations, the Southern Cross, planets and be amazed by the show of shooting stars so prevalent in the clear skies of the desert plain.
Tonight we bush camp - no toilet, shower or electricity.
Today we drive approx 500km.
- All National Park entry fees
Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Days 6-7 Esperance/Cape Le Grand National Park
Get set for some of Australia's most beautiful scenery. This area of Western Australia has no less than 9 National Parks which is testament to its beauty and uniqueness. We take in the most spectacular of all, Cape Le Grand National Park. Stunning blue seas mix with powder white beaches and secluded bays allow for stops and swims in what can only be described as a nature lover's paradise.
In the afternoon we stretch our legs on Frenchman Peak which gives us a great overview of the bays and beaches and views to the islands offshore.
This area is too spectacular to experience in one afternoon so we have a full free day for you to take in some hikes, go swimming or relax at the beach. You might even encounter a kangaroo on the beach - it doesn't get any more Aussie than that!
We have toilets and showers available at our camp for both these nights but no electricity.
We drive approx 450 km.
We have another full day to enjoy this beautiful spot. This day is free and it is totally up to you how you want to spend your day.
Esperance can seem like a huge metropolis after days out in the remoteness of the desert plain. The town is still remote but once you see the magnificent surrounds of the granite, bush and beach you can only wonder for how much longer this area can keep its quaint charm.
- All National Park entry fees
Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nts)
Day 8 Sterling Ranges
Today we leave the aptly named Lucky Bay behind and head to one of WA's real charmers in Albany. Great pubs, friendly locals and a stunning location make this town a true delight. En route we'll break up the journey with a hike in one of the National Parks.
We leave the day flexible as to which park we will visit as some are better than others depending on the time of year. We might seek out an abundance of wildflowers in the spring or a forested area with flowing rivers and waterfalls in the heat of the summer. Everywhere has its greatness at some point in the year and that is where we will take you whatever time you choose to travel.
We finish the day in the Stirling Ranges National Park.
Tonight we swag it at a bush retreat with shared showers, toilet facilities and electricity.
It is approx 500 km from Lucky Bay to Sterling Ranges.
- All National Park entry fees
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 9 South West Coast
Nature has done its amazing best on the coastline nearby Albany sculpting the granite into incredible formations that will have you reaching for your camera time and again.
It is not all about the coast however as the inland areas also are home to some unique and incredible endemic life. The tingle forests once dominated this area. Their ability to grow hugely tall and amazingly straight made them targets for the emerging timber industry. Thankfully many areas are now protected after a long and bitter struggle between conservation and economic factors and you get to experience the majesty of the forest in the Valley of the Giants. We take a tree top walk through the canopy of these huge trees almost 60m up in the air.
Tonight we have a choice of camping in either of two National Parks – Conte, by the sea with evening sea breezes and cooler conditions, or Beedeleup where nature's birdlife is on full display. Limited toilet and shower facilities are available. No electricity.
Today we drive approx 350 km making stops along the way.
- All National Park entry fees
- Tree Top Walk in Valley of the Giants
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
Day 10 Margaret River/Perth
We finish our 4000 km road trip by heading up the west coast via Yallingup in the Margaret River region. Yallingup is a surfer's paradise with strong but manageable waves that are a couple of sizes smaller than the death defying monsters of its nearby Margaret River cousin. The tiny town is bordered by National Park, meaning it has managed to keep its tiny town feel.
Surf is not the only reason this area is famous, however. Wine and caves are the other big attractions and we visit one of the big show caves of the region to get the low-down on the underground world. See the crystalline features of the stalagmites and stalactites up close and personal.
We then get some insight from real experts on the country, the local Aboriginal people. This is a great opportunity to find out about the changes that have happened in the local environment and get a totally different perspective on the culture of the south west.
We pull into Busselton on the home stretch to see one of the coast's boom towns and the opportunity to visit the underwater world there for one final wild encounter before the trip finishes up on arrival in Perth.
We recommend that you book a night for yourself in Perth tonight as although there are no formal activities planned it is usual for the group to get together and reflect on the big journey together over a few drinks and meal. We arrive late in the afternoon and flights should be booked no earlier than 9pm to be sure of making your flight out. There is no accommodation this night.
Today we drive approx. 630 km although driving through Perth city traffic can mean a slower journey than previously.
- All National Park entry fees
- Aboriginal Culture Dreamtime tour
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.
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 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.
ACTIVITIES BOOKED IN ADVANCE:
It is highly recommended that you pre book the optional activities listed in our trip notes as they are very popular and cant be booked at at time of travel. You must request at time of booking, and we will then provide contact details for you to pay the operator directly.
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.
This trip is operated by our experienced local partner Nullarbor Traveller.
Age restrictions apply to this trip: minimum age 7
Please bring a sleeping bag. You may purchase one at the start of your trip for $35.
Maximum of 15 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:
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.
Bush camp (no facilities) (3 nts), Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nts), Camping (with facilities) (1 nt), Farmstay (1 nt)
You will be camping under the stars in swags (bedrolls containing mattress). Sleeping bags can be hired for AU$20. Please advise at the time of booking.
While camping you may be expected to assist with helping push the vehicle when stuck in sand bogs. Due to customer feedback for this trip, we no longer provide tents but use swags only
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.
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.
9 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 9 Dinners
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.
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.
Your Adelaide Hotel
Joining point instructions
Please reconfirm your departure with Nullabor Traveller 48 hours prior to departure on 1800 816 858 or 08 8687 0455.
By reconfirming your place, our tour may be able to collect you from your overnight location or direct you to the nearest pick up point.
Unless prior arrangements are made at the time fo booking ,the pickup point is 0700am at Adelaide Bus station - 101 Franklin Street Adelaide.
Please arrive approx 15 mins before departure.
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.
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.
There is limited space available in the vehicle for luggage storage so please only bring essential items on the trip.
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: You can either bring your own sleeping bag or hire one from us at $25 per person. Please advise us at time of booking if you wish to hire one.
CAMERA: A camera with a good zoom capability is recommended for this trip due to the high number of wildlife encounters possible. Wildlife being wild means it is not always possible to get in really close. A disposable underwater camera is also handy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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:
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