Australian Wildlife Adventures
One Stop Adventures caught up with Jason to find out what makes crossing the Nullarbor such a unique and exciting journey.
So Jason, what's the name of your tour activity, where are you located, and what do you offer as a product?
Nullarbor Traveller, we run camping tours from Adelaide to Perth and Perth to Adelaide as well as 6 day tours of the Eyre Peninsula and the South west coast of Australia. We're based in Adelaide now, we used to be based half way across but now we have our own depot and we run all of our tours out of there.
What age demographic usually travels on your tours?
We do appeal to the backpacking market but most of our travellers are aged anywhere from 18 to 40. Sometimes we get people that are 50 plus, sometimes 60 plus so we get a varied age of travellers.
What level of fitness would you say you need to participate on the tour?
You need a medium level of fitness, we do a fair bit of hiking, swimming but if you don't feel like you're capable of something on the tour there's always something else that you can do.
Do you offer a range of pickup and drop off locations? What's the average pickup and drop off time?
We pickup from most of the hostels in Adelaide and the bus station as well, there are three or four drop off and pickup locations in Perth too. Pickup is usually around 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. and drop off, anywhere between five and six.
A lot of travellers choose the East Coast but once they get out into the bottom of South Australia and West Australia and some of the locations we go to are just phenomenal, photographers, this would be a dream for them, this is the best part of Australia.
What are some things people should bring on tour?
It’s a camping tour, so you need clothing for all types of weather, a sleeping bag, swimwear, hat, sunscreen, towel, hiking shoes and a water bottle as well.
When you say hiking shoes are runners okay or would you recommend getting a pair of decent hiking shoes?
You will get away with runners so long as they're a decent brand.
What kind of training do your guides receive and how experienced are they?
Our guides are a big part of what make our trips amazing. Most of our guides work all around the country whether they work in the centre during the winter, up the West Coast. They're very well trained, remote-area guides and extremely passionate about what they do.
Do you have safety systems and procedures in place for travellers on the tour?
Of course we do. All our guides are experienced, first aid trained, carrying Satellite phones and first aid kits.
So they're going to be able to tell the passengers about the flora and fauna and about the history of the area when traveling through each destination?
No matter how experienced a guide is they all go through an intensive training program including a trip with another guide before they can go out by themselves. An important part of their role is to educate passengers about the flora and fauna, historical facts, responsible travel and indigenous culture. And of course this is delivered in a fun and entertaining way.
What qualifications, certificates, or awards has your company obtained?
Environmental sustainability is really important to us. We are the only tourism company in Australia that offsets 100% of our carbon emissions by planting trees on our property at Coodlie Park on the Eyre Peninsula. We are an Advanced Eco Accredited company as well as being Climate action certified as a ‘Climate Change Innovator’ by Eco Tourism Australia. We have also been through the Australian Tourism Accreditation Program (ATAP) adhering to highest standards set by the industry.
Our company is also holds a Respecting Our Culture (ROC) certificate which is a program Eco Tourism Australia run that encourages the tourism businesses to operate in ways that respect and reinforce Indigenous cultural heritage and the living cultures of Indigenous communities. We have great relationships with the Elders of the communities we travel through and our guides educate our passengers on indigenous culture.
In 2017 we were a finalist in the Golden Backpack Awards.
What type of vehicle does your company offer guests?
We drive Toyota Coasters, they’re 21 seat vehicles, we take a maximum of 18 people though so there’s a bit of extra room on the bus.
How much luggage can people bring on their tour?
We understand that people are moving from one destination to the other so most people bring their backpacks, as long as they're not moving house we're fine.
Is food included or available to purchase on the tour? If so, what are the options? Do you cater for travellers with dietary requirements?
All meals are included as stated in the brochure - breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. If you're a big eater, I always think it's good to get a few snacks.
This is probably the biggest question, can you run me through the itinerary of what the client will experience on the 10-day Adelaide to Perth?
We leave Adelaide and we head out through the Clare Valley, we usually have a little pit stop in Clare, get some supplies, snacks and have a coffee before we head to Alligator Gorge. Here we'll go for a bit of a hike in the Flinders Ranges and down through the Gorge, maybe spot some yellow-footed rock wallabies or kangaroos and then we'll head out to our first campsite which is out at Warren Gorge where a lot more wallabies and kangaroos. That's where we camp and that's our first night under the stars.
We work our way, heading towards Coodlie Park where the owners of the company are located and we stop off at The Big Galah. Australia has a lot of big things, this is one of them and It’s a great photo opportunity. We then head to Venus Bay and do a little coastal walk there, where the bay meets the ocean. We see dolphins out there and then we'll head to the Talia Caves, get some great photo opportunities before we go sand boarding up in the sand dunes.
There’s an optional part of the tour where we go down to Bairds Bay and we go swim with the dolphins and sea lions. It's probably the highlight of the tour for most people. If passengers don't wish to do this the guide will take them off to a place called Point Labatt and they'll actually see sea lions in the wild there as well.
Do you have to be a strong swimmer to do that?
You do have a wetsuit, which will keep you afloat. It's always good to let the guide know of your swimming capabilities but most people are fine with it. The sea lions are actually in shallower water and you get to take the boat through rocks to get there. They do have shark repellent equipment and I've never seen one out there. It's a really great experience because it's a small family-owned company that runs it.
Sounds awesome! What’s in store on day four?
After we've been on the dolphins and sea lions we head down to a little place called Fowlers Bay, just at the start of the Nullarbor, it's a beautiful little fishing village, quiet place, it’s also got these massive sand dunes so off we go sand boarding.
we're heading across the Nullarbor, basically we get to the border and get some photos before we head into Western Australia. Just across the border is a little place called Eucla, they have one of the old telegraph stations there, so we'll go down to the beach and have a look. Usually down there we'll see emus, kangaroos, white-tailed eagles and more wildlife.
Is there a chance to see the famous sign with the emu, wombat, and kangaroo?
Yeah, for sure, there's a couple of points along the way just as we head across the Nullarbor we'll see that and we definitely stop for that photo. Everyone loves it.
After a night of bush camping it’s onto day 6 where we’re basically out in the middle of nowhere, we work our way across to get to Cape Le Grand, just out of Esperance. Cape Le Grand is probably one of the most magical places in Australia, white sand, crystal clear water, kangaroos on the beach, people get there and they can't believe their eyes. People want to go over to Fiji and places like that to see beaches like this but we do have it in Australia, it's just not as well known. We spend a couple of days here, we do some hikes up Frenchman's Peak. We do a coastal walk going through Hell Fire Bay, Lucky Bay, and this is a real highlight of the tour for a lot of people.
In terms of kangaroos on the beach, they're pretty much always there?
What’s after Cape Le Grand?
We take a different turn and we head inland a little bit towards a place called Mt. Trio and we have several hikes we can do out there up into the mountains where we get amazing views over the farming country through that area.
After that we head to Albany where we see the large tingle trees, we're also going to go and climb a lookout tree which was used to look out for bush fires, the diamond tree. The large tingle trees are some of the massive trees that are growing throughout the forest on the West Australian coast.
How does the tour end?
We head towards the Margaret River area and get our cultural experience at the Ngilgi caves with Josh from Koomal Dreaming . He'll take them there and introduce them to some of the plants and the uses local Aboriginal people have for them in that area. There's theses amazing caves that they take you down into and he also plays the didgeridoo down in the caves for you as well.
Once we get to Margaret river we sample of a bit of chocolate, cheese, wine, beer that makes the region famous. After that we arrive in Perth.
When arriving in Perth would you recommend that people don't book a flight out that night, the group would maybe go out for a dinner or something?
Yeah usually that's the case. I think most people will be too tired to get on a plane at that stage after 10 days of camping in the wild.
When you're saying camping as well, is that in a swag and customers need to bring their own sleeping bag?
Yes we do swag camping, people will need to bring a sleeping bag and we do have tents if the weather does get bad.
Is there a high or low season? What's the best time of year to travel on your product?
The season starts in September and goes all the way through to May. In September we might see whales across the Great Australian Bight but summertime of course you've got the warmer weather, the beaches are amazing.
How far in advance would you recommend to book this tour?
Sometimes there is the possibility to book it last minute if you like but most people are prepared and will book it a month or so out.
Why should travellers choose the Adelaide to Perth tour?
I think it's part of Australia that's untouched. A lot of travellers choose the East Coast but once they get out into the bottom of South Australia and West Australia and some of the locations we go to are just phenomenal, photographers, this would be a dream for them, this is the best part of Australia.
Would you be one of the only tour companies that travels this bit?
We are the only tour company that does this.
Are there any other tips or advice or anything that we've missed that you would suggest to travellers?
I guess if you love camping, if you love Australia, and you want to see the best parts, get on this trip. You will not regret it.