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Adventure Update

December 2016 - Christmas Issue!

Christmas Stocking

* 20-Year Anniversary Party * Caravan Wildflower Report * NEW Pop-Up Tours! *
* Meals on Wheels in Kennedy Ranges * Tour Guide Training Success * 4WD Show Buzz *
* Holland Track Heroes * Shaggy Dogalong Story * Kimberley Capers * Upcoming Tours & more!


Well, we promised to host a huge party for the whole Gypsy family to celebrate our 20th year in business & now it's going to happen! Lock in Saturday afternoon, March 18, 2017, from 4 – 7 p.m. & join us on the beautiful South Perth foreshore in McCallum Park for a real Aussie sundowner! We'll turn on a complimentary sausage sizzle & snacks – you just need to BYO drinks & a camp chair!

Our outback/in-town BBQ will be coordinated by Trackcare WA - just by attending & scoffing a snag you'll be helping to support their numerous track rehabilitation projects (particularly the Canning Stock Route). Catch up with loyal gypsies from previous Aussie & overseas tours, chat with new and potential gypsies, meet our staff & suppliers, swap stories with like-minded adventurers & enjoy a relaxing afternoon on the shores of the Swan River with Jan & Jeremy & the team. Stay tuned for more news on our magic mega 20-year milestone event!

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Wildflower Safari 2016

Thanks to Mum Nature, our caravan safari in October was treated to the best wildflower season ever! A big bouquet goes to our 'wildflower guru', the aptly named Jenny Rose, for sharing her knowledge & enthusiasm once again, to RAC Travel for co-sponsoring & promoting the tour, to George Day Caravans who generously provided us with the lead caravan (a very comfortable Luna Stargazer!) & a huge thank you to the convoy of gypsies who made the trip so much fun! Kimbal & Lisa Curtis, Peter Gillon, Gary & Helen Nazarri, Rob & Anny Sefton & Peter & Shirley Turner – you were fabulous company!

Highlights included the amazing (& prolific!) wreath flowers at Pindar; fields of multi-coloured blossoms just about everywhere, nightly serenades by talented muso Rob, a special 'gypsy song' written & performed Wildflower Safari 2016by Helen (with assistance from Rob), an 'open house' which saw everyone become a 'scrubber', a great night out at Finlay's seafood restaurant in Kalbarri, yummy & creative 'potluck dinners', stunning wildflower walks & a rockin'n'rollin sunset cruise in Kalbarri where we practiced our balance, found our sea legs & spotted a whale!

We'll be running another Caravan Wildflower Safari next August (dates TBA) & we'd love to have you along! Now that we've planted the seed, let the idea take root. Express your interest early - don't leaf your booking too late or your holiday will wither on the vine!

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The Perth 4WD Show just gets bigger & better each year! Our tonsils get tortured but what a great turnout – over 40,000 visitors! We had a tremendous amount of interest in our tours & training courses at this year's event & were delighted that so many of you stopped in to say hello.

Now we're gearing up for the 2017 Caravan & Camping Show from March 22 – 26 at Claremont Showground. The Caravan Industry Association has once again invited us to give a series of reversing demos each day to reinforce their commitment to caravanning safety & towing training for novices. Thanks for asking us, guys, it will be a real pleasure & hopefully will help out a lot of caravanners.

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We never know what to expect on our Holland Track Expedition weatherwise– rain?hail? earthquake? tsunami? But to our delight, our November tour was not only a huge hit, but we also scored a brilliant combo of balmy weather, warm sunshine & a bevy of wildflowers! Hooray! Even track conditions were perfect providing just the right amount of 4WD'ing – dry & with some challenges but with plenty of evidence of earlier rains showing how incredibly difficult it could be in the wet. Our group handled it all like heroes!

Run in conjunction with our friends at RAC (WA), our second Holland Track adventure this year attracted a top band of keen (& mostly new!) gypsies. Thank you for joining us Wendy & Colin Christensen, Mike Dawes. Ray Dawson, Terry & Pauline O'Hara, Chris & Keryl Rutter, Alan Williams, loyal gypsy Gerhardt Strumpher & our hostie-with-the-mostie, our very own Nigella of the Outback, Jo Clews.

Highlights included mouth-watering 1000-star meals, cozy campfires, discovering a dinosaur egg in a 'gnamma hole' (see photo evidence below!), visiting the Pioneer Cemetery & reliving the history of this iconic track with a great bunch of people. Thanks for a top time, everyone!

Holland Track Heroes 2016 Holland Holland Track Heroes 2016 Holland Track Heroes 2016

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Dogalong Tour 2016Our third Dogalong Tour was another howling success & this time we shifted the venue to Kulin! "Where?" you say? Well, listen up! Kulin is a tiny little town in WA's wheatbelt that has cleverly introduced some unique tourist attractions that have really put it on the map - like the Kulin Bush Races & the whacky "Tin Horse Highway" that's adorned with crazy & humourous equine figures! We saw all the local sights including Jilakin & Yeerakine Rocks; Tressie's & Kulin Museums; Mulka's Cave; Kondinin Lake & the undisputed star of the show – the Tin Horse Highway. We'll definitely run this tour again next year & all woofers are welcome!

Thanks for joining us Anne McMullan & "Cooper"; Valerie Milne with "Gigi" & "Whitney"; Helen & Derek Walker & "Sophy"; Neil & Anna Warren & "Katie" & "William"; & Bruce & Renee White & "Billy". And doggone it, thanks again to George Day Caravans for sponsoring our home on wheels!

Dogalong Tour 2016 Dogalong Tour 2016 Dogalong Tour 2016

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The resources boom saw a decline in the number of tour guides when so many folks headed off to the mines & more attractive pay packets. However, changing economic conditions & increased government support for tourism have created a renewed interest in tour guiding so we decided to kick-start our award-winning Tour Guide Training Course.

We used the terrific new campground at Yanchep National Park as the venue for our three-day, live-in training session & it was perfect! Just an hour from Perth; koalas, culture & kangaroos within coo-ee of the campground & you're surrounded by natural bush & fabulous walking trails. There's even a conference room in historic Gloucester Lodge!

Tour Guide Training Tour Guide Training

The main lecturers in our 'bush classroom' were Jeremy, Jan & Cherie Toovey (President of Tour Guides WA) with guest speakers Matt Bambach (Kimberley Safaris); Ryan Mossny (Two Feet & a Heartbeat), Derek Nannup (DPAW) & Rusty Creighton (2016 Tour Guide of the Year).

We had a massive response & the course was over-booked! We'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved, but mainly to our enthusiastic, passionate & talented 'students' - Troy & Robbie Bennell, Brian Dennan, Wayne de Villiers, Sabina Fischer, Mick & Kris Hayden, Kayla Moore, Susan Madej, Diana Papenfus, Sonia Vivienne-Thorp & Suzanne Whiting. Thanks so much guys, we learned as much from you as you did from us. It was a joy spending time with you & the industry is lucky to have you!

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What's going on with the universe? We keep hearing that times are tough & people are nervous about travelling, yet every time we put a tour on the calendar lately it sells out! We're not complaining – we're just a bit baffled! Perhaps the planets are aligning for the exciting & very promising Year of the Rooster that lies ahead? To read your 2017 Chinese horoscope, click here. In the meantime, we'd like to crow a little about our terrific upcoming tours!

And there's more exciting stuff to come in 2018 & beyond such as a Back to Botswana Safari, Alaska Wilderness Adventure & a self-drive Caravan Safari through Morocco! Tempted? Let us know that you're interested & we'll set the (crystal) ball rolling!

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Due to popular demand, we've changed our Kennedy Range Expedition in June from a self-catered to a catered expedition with delicious meals on wheels provided by Safari Hostess, Jo Clews! No sooner was this nourishing news announced than we received a flurry of phone calls from hungry clients…now the tour is filling up faster than a Christmas turkey! So make like an early bird & book your place today - it'll be the first time we've been to the Kennedys for seven years & we can't wait to get back!

Kennedy Ranges Tour

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We're usually a bit OCD about our pre-planning & organisation, but sometimes it's fun to be spontaneous! So we're introducing new "Pop-Up Tours" – wonderful, short, affordable & informal overseas journeys to brand new destinations that just 'pop-up' unexpectedly on our tour calendar!

Our first 'Pop-Up Tour' will happen next year from Dec 28 - Jan 8 - a time of year we always find a bit weird with friends & family going AWOL & frequently disappointing (or non-existent!) New Year's Eve parties. So in 2017 we hope to create our own New Year's Eve party in – wait for it! Myanmar (!) & do some fabulous touring there as well!


The 12-day 'discovery' tour will begin & end in Yangon & be escorted, catered & accommodated with transport in a comfy coach & with English-speaking guides. It will cost less than USD$3000 per person (twin share) plus air fares. There's room for just 12 clients & bookings will be on a first-come-first-served basis.

So when you're sitting in your armchair this NYE trying to stay awake till midnight so you can watch the fireworks on TV happening in some exotic location, think how much fun you could be having next year at our "New Year's Eve Party in Myanmar"! Pop-up your hand now & express your interest!

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After several years' absence from the Kimberley, we were thrilled to return last August! The region is a lot busier with far more caravans & camper trailers than we remembered but the sights were just as awesome!

And there was a new wildlife experience we had never witnessed before that just blew us away - millions of bats flying overhead through Windjana Gorge at sunset! If we'd been there at dawn we would have seen an even more spekky (but somewhat gory!) sight. Apparently as the bats return from their 'fruit feed' with full tummies, dozens of crocs waiting in the river below leap out & snap them up as they fly too close to the water! It's real David Attenborough stuff - nature in the raw at its most cruel & chaotic!

Kimberley 2016 Kimberley 2016

But there were lots of happy, less blood-thirsty highlights as well! For example, re-imagining 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' at Bells Gorge; helicopter rides over Mitchell Falls; warm hospitality & homemade scones at Ellenbrae Station; sundowners on the banks of the Pentecost River overlooking the Cockburn Ranges; towing challenges on the Gibb River Road; innovative gadget demos; ancient rock art; sensational sunset views & a swim during a Lake Argyle cruise; & squeezing into the Bungles (Purnululu) with just one day to spare after bushfires had closed the park.

Thanks so much to plucky gypsies Geoff Connor & Linda Reynolds, Ross McGillvray & John & Elaine Stickle from WA; Anne Field & Christine Marsden from Sydney; & Henk Verweij & Woutrina Blom from the Netherlands – you were a magic group & we hope you enjoyed the tour as much as we did!

Kimberley 2016 Kimberley 2016

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We'd like to wish each & every one of you a very happy Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year, Chinese New Year, Pongal - whatever! Have a safe & joyous holiday & look after yourselves & one another! We hope to see you often in 2017!

Until next time, happy travels from –

Christmas HollyChristmas Holly

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