Hi Bruce, what is the name of your tour activities and where are you located and what do you offer as products?
We run a six day tour going from Adelaide to Alice Springs and also a six day tour returning from Alice Springs to Adelaide. We're located in Hindmarsh in Adelaide South Australia and both tours are both at six days and five night duration.
What age demographic do you usually travels on these tours?
Generally bottom age is around about 18, but we cater for all ages as long as they have a reasonable level of fitness.
What is the level of fitness required to participate on this tour?
We recommend a medium to high level of fitness because one of our walks actually includes about a hundred metre elevation on some fairly steep stairs to get up to the top of Kings Canyon, so they need to be prepared for that.
Do you offer a range of pick up and drop off locations? What's the average pick up and drop off time? And is it all mainly based in the Adelaide CBD?
Most of the pick ups are in Adelaide, we can cater for Northern pick up locations, we're generally picking up from about 6:30am in the morning, and we drop and also pick up in Alice Springs and all major hostels.
So it's a good chance to meet and share experiences with other nationalities and have a good time.
What time do they be arriving in Alice Springs on day six? Or in Adelaide on day six?
Generally on arriving, arrival time into Alice Springs can vary, depends on whether they want to go camel trekking at Stuart's Cove but generally around about 5:30pm to 6:00pm in the evening and a similar sort of time depending on the traffic in Adelaide.
Is it possible to jump off at day six at lunch time to catch a cheap flight back to Melbourne to Sydney from Ayers Rock?
Yes, on the Adelaide to Alice Springs absolutely. We've tailored the tours to fit in to accommodate for the two flights to Melbourne and Sydney.
In regards to the popular Field of Lights activity, can they organise that optional activity on these tours?
Yes, they certainly can. What they do need to do though is they need to advise us at the time of booking and also remind the tour guide on day one. What happens is the tour guide will get in touch with the operations person we'll arrange a booking to get the passenger on the tour itinerary, so we make sure we get that locked in.
Do you need to book Field of Lights well in advance?
In our peak period between November and April, yes it is a good idea to. But we prefer that we make the bookings to suit the itinerary route rather than the client's actually booking the activity and dictating how the tour runs.
What are some of the tips to bring or have prepared before arriving for the run?
Most importantly to have a minimum of about a 1.5 litre water container. We can refill that during the tour, but they need to be able to carry at least a litre and a half of water. Take a good hat. Need some good walking shoes. Most important is a sense of adventure.
What kind of training do your guides receive and how experienced are they?
All our guides basically are trained in senior first aid, we do drive assessments and driver training and trailer training here with them here in Adelaide. They do a food, hygiene and handling course. They do the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park accreditation and also the Watarrka safety induction so that their level of skills, a lot of our guides actually work for a lot of other tour companies in the low season, some of our guys have been with us well in excess of six to eight years. And they're generally the drivers will train our new guides as well.
What type of vehicle do you offer for the guests to travel in?
We run Toyota coasters mainly because of the weather conditions and the mileage we're covering on the tours. We're averaging carrying around between 16 to 21 people.
Is food included on the tours?
What kind of options would they be looking at? Do you cater to travellers with dietary requirements?
We certainly do. All of our guides are very proficient in dealing with the different requirements, gluten free, lactose intolerant, halal diet, we're pretty well experienced in all the different options there.
Can you run me through an itinerary of what the client will experience on the tour and keeping in mind it's going be the same in reverse for the tours, the six day Adelaide up to Alice Springs or in reverse.
Right from the get go, we travel approximately 2400km on each trip, so the average days are around about 400km on day one. We depart Adelaide, we go up through the Clare Valley, stop for lunch generally up around Melrose near Mount Remarkable and in the afternoon we go for a walk through Alligator Gorge in the national park there. And then we settle down for the night in Wilmington.
Then an early start the next morning we're just going to head up the highway through Port Augusta, we go through, some guides will stop and have a look at Woomera depending on time and arch time. We have a look at the salt lakes at Lake Heart. We end up in Coober Pedy probably around midday/ one o'clock for lunch.
During that afternoon they'll do a tour through an Opal mine. We have a pizza dinner organised and also they go and have a look at kangaroo orphanage where there is a wild life rescue place as well so that give them a chance to get up close and personal with kangaroos if they haven't seen some already.
Next day is a big day, we're heading from Coober Pedy to round about 750km and we're heading up to Kings Creek Station where we'll stay the night. And next morning we get up and we climb that Heartattack Hill, and have a good look at Kings Canyon.
Once we're finished that basically we hop back in the bus and we start heading down towards Uluru. Along the way we'll drop in at Curtain Springs so we can get a bit of a rustic outback pub feel. And on arrival in Yulara we'll go to our campsite initially and then say you got business in the cultural centre. They we'll do base walk or Mala walk at Uluru and then sit down and just relax and watch the sun set. Dinner.
Next day, up nice and early and again we're off, we're out to the Valley of the Winds for a fairly arduous walk out through the Valley of the Winds around about 11km, fairly rough terrain, beautiful place, place with a lot of aboriginal men's business.
In the afternoon they get a chance to maybe out some adrenaline activities such as skydiving or camel tours and then basically we're heading the next morning back into Alice Springs. So, that's our itinerary. If we have drop offs on the last day we'll drop them at the airport at Yulara as we mentioned, bring them up through Stewart's row, another chance for a camel ride on the way up. And then drop them safely in their hostel in Alice Springs.
How much would people be looking at roughly for a camel ride or a skydive or something like that?
Okay, camel rides can range from around five to $30 depending on whether their going to do a yard walk or a little bit extended time. Skydiving at Uluru is very special, the prices are round about $325 and if they wanted to do photo and video of the activity so they can actually prove they jumped in the heart of Australia it's an extra $125. There is a change for quad tours at King Street Station, that's around about $100.
Do you have high and low season? If so, how far should people be booking advances here to clear a spot on the tour?
High season is between November and April and during that period probably minimum two weeks to a month to secure a seat on the tours.
Why should travellers choose the six day Adelaide to Alice Springs cheap as chips tour?
It's an experience of a lifetime. It's a camping tour. We go into the very centre of Australia. Uluru is very sacred place in the Anangu culture. They get to see quite an extensive part of the outback. We got some unique towns like Coober Pedy, something they're not going to see every day. And a good chance to get involved in some good walks and experience nature on the way. Our guides will keep them entertained and show them what wildlife's available. Chance to see Wedge Tailed Eagles on the roadside. All sorts of things like that.
So there's plenty of awesome sunsets and sunrises to be had?
Oh absolutely. Absolutely every day.
Swag camping, so just want to touch a little bit on that. So swag camping, what's that all about?
Okay so we have swag, which is basically an envelope with a vinyl base. It's a canvas with a mattress inside. A place to put your sleeping bag. Basically the swag camping is pretty much like the old Australian swag when you used to do it, so it's on the ground experiencing nature, but having said that there are a couple of nights on our tours where it could be where we have dormitory accommodation depending on weather in the northern Flinders ranges we have a back up there for dormitory accommodation. And passengers can inquire if they want to upgrade their accommodation. However, the only place we can't change our accommodation is at Yulara, so there are accommodation upgrades available at most of our other venues.
Is there any other tips or advice or anything we've missed that you would suggest to travelers?
Yes, look, clients need to know that in the summer, temperatures can range anywhere from the mid 30s to the low 40s. So hydration is very critical out there and they need to be very conscious of it. They can hire sleeping bags from us at the cost of about $30. Wifi is not available everywhere unfortunately because we're in the outback, but it's a bit of an experience of a lifetime I reckon.
Yes it's good to disconnect for a while and you get back to nature.
Absolutely and you know and make some new friends. There's a difference for the tour with a 6 day duration you actually get a chance to know those people you're traveling with and people make long lasting friendships that have endured way past the tour time as well. So it's a good chance to meet and share experiences with other nationalities and have a good time.