Food on tour
There is usually a choice of meals, but some of our meal-providers live a fair way from the shops so it helps to know in advance if you have special dietary requirements
Disabilities and health conditionsAre you:
Half-day, one-day, overnight to a week or more ...
Would you be interested in activities including:
NOTE: the true outback takes about a day to reach, so a one or two-day outback visit is not possible.
See samples of past customised tours
What we can't doPlease don't ask us to contravene rules of health, safety , animal welfare or conservation
We can't function safely on minimal sleep. If we have taken you on a late-night spotlighting tour we cannot safely rise at dawn to take you birdwatching and then go on a long drive: what we can do instead is lend you a pair of binoculars and show you where you can safely do your own pre-breakfast birding (or platypus or wallaby watching). If you want to have a leisurely evening meal and then do a long spotlighting session afterward, especially in summer: this can interfere with everyone's sleeping patterns (including ours - and we have to drive you safely next day!). Depending on the season, if you want a long spotlighting session (which we are very happy to provide) it is best to either (in summer) have an early dinner before the sun sets, so we can start the spotting right on dusk, or (in winter) have some brief refreshments and do our spotting first, then settle down for dinner.
Please understand that we are not supermen (or women). If - on a camping trip - we get tired pitching everyone's tents after a long day of guiding, we will be less able to spend time and energy taking you to other interesting places and seeking more wildlife. If you choose the camping option, please be prepared to assist in putting up your own tent (unless you have a disability). We will assist you with it.
We don't disturb the wildlife any more than we can avoid. We do not flush birds to satisfy anyone's life-list, or make close approaches to nesting birds. We do not allow short-range flash flight photography into the faces of nocturnal animals. We do not allow feeding of the wildlife, except in a few controlled situations (e.g. the bird feeding area at O'Reilly's). There are various ways that feeding can interfere with ecological processes or with the well-being of individual animals, or encourage them to become nuisances to other visitors. Nor can we normally allow you to handle native animals we find along the way, except some invertebrates. If you would like us to include a reptile show where you get a chance to pat turtles and crocodiles and (for a few dollars) hold a python, this can be scheduled into the first day of our wildlife overview tour. We certainly can't allow you to leap from the car and wrestle animals, as one guest wanted to do (we've been running since 1997, and only had that particular request once!)
We can't know precisely where a wild animal is at any particular moment. One guest has said "you know where the animals are - take us to them.' With some species this actually is possible (usually), but that is not generally how seeking wildlife in the wild works. We do always see wildlife, and usually a good variety, but we never know for certain where particular animals are. We know where many of them very often are, and we do take you to the places where we're likely to see them, but cannot guarantee most species. It can take time and patience to find wild animals, which is one reason we decided to allow two nights of nocturnal searching on our tours - some nights we see a lot, others not much at all. And if you want to be absolutely sure of seeing a different animal species every few minutes, you really need to visit a zoo (but then you miss out on getting a better understanding the animal's habitat).
Please either be flexible with your meal times or be content not to see so many species if you need regular meal times. We can't change the animal's behaviour to fit regular human meal times, so we can't always schedule meals at the most comfortable times and simultaneously maximise our wildlife-viewing. Please let us know at the outset which is most important to you. Most Australian mammals are nocturnal (some are also active early morning and late afternoon), and day-lengths change throughout the year. Although we aim for a reasonably regular schedule there are times when we need to give you the choice of whether you wish to stick to your normal mealtimes or head into the areas where the animals live at the time of day they are most active. Some guests are more concerned with just having a holiday, enjoying long meals at the times they are accustomed to, and happy if they see just a few animals at convenient times and miss out on others. That is fine, if you let us know. Others want to see as much as possible and don't mind changing meal schedules to do that. That is fine as well. What is difficult is when people for instance want their dinner at the time the bats are flying but also want to see them fly (and don't want to have a picnic dinner near the bats that could combine the two). The bats simply won't listen to us if we ask them to fly at a different time. Nor will platypus stay out of their burrows while you sleep in, have a leisurely breakfast and then stroll don to the creek (you may actually be lucky with this one , but usually not).
Remember we do not have telepathic powers that we are aware of. If you don't tell us what you would like, it is sometimes difficult for us to know. If for example you feel too tired for spotlighting and would really prefer an early night, please tell us this before we set out. If you would like something extra (e.g. a visit to a winery or an Aboriginal museum or souvenir shopping) it is best for you to let us know before you arrive for the tour, so that we can schedule this in and inform others who contact us to book for the same tour.
Please realise that we have planned our schedules to optimise wildlife viewing and minimise mileage, and that while we are happy to be flexible, large deviations can interfere with the enjoyment of the tour by others. For instance, if you are not interested in seeing wild kangaroos on the first afternoon of the three-day wildlife overview tour and would prefer to go ahead to the accommodation early, that is fine if you are our only guests or others agree. However if others do want to see kangaroos this is not fair on them, because we don't get another chance on that tour to return to the area where the kangaroos are without missing out on other things. If you are interested mainly in a relaxing time in the mountains without making an effort to find animals, we may be able to do a customised tour so you can do just that, at a time when we do not have keen wildlife enthusiasts also booking.
We do really try to make your holiday as satisfying and enjoyable as possible for you - we just have a few limits on what s possible or safe.