Adventure Update - June 2022

18 June 2022

YEE-HAH! WE’RE BACK IN THE SADDLE!

Well, pardner, we’ve rounded up the travellers, circled the wagons & headed out West! To remote parts of Western Australia, that is – and in four-wheel-drive vehicles! Yep! We’re back on the road after three long years in the wilderness - and not the kind of wilderness we usually enjoy! Over the past few months we’ve taken some very happy clients on some fabulous outback tours & we’d like to tell you all about them!

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We’ve also delivered more towing/reversing courses than you can poke a jockey wheel at & saved a few marriages in the process! Plus we’ve added a new towing trainer to our professional team - welcome aboard Ross Healey! On the downside we’ve had to put our 4WD training courses on hold till November when the touring season winds down ‘cos we just can’t keep up with demand. Crazy times indeed!

Since the easing of most COVID restrictions, many caravan parks, campgrounds, hotels, 4WD dealerships, caravan manufacturers, motor mechanics, auto electricians, hire companies, tour operators & other travel-related suppliers have been inundated with bookings from local & interstate travellers wanting to “Wander Out Yonder” here in WA. DIY travel seems to be the flavour of the decade & even with international borders now open, a high percentage of Aussies are still a tad nervous about going overseas & just can’t get enough of exploring their own backyard in their 4x4, caravan or camper-trailer.

After such a long hibernation, there have been some changes though & being a traveller today takes more patience, more planning & more pennies as well as a different mindset than it did before. For example, iconic destinations are more crowded now (even the outback ones), travel insurance costs have risen & there are staff shortages in most sectors of the tourism industry. The war in Ukraine (Go Zelensky!!) has seen fuel prices double while weather & other factors have caused food prices to soar & made some consumables hard to get. And COVID has created a whole new set of ground rules we need to abide by & preventative measures we need to take.

But, hey! There are hundreds of wonderful attractions & heaps of new tourism products (particularly cultural experiences) that we want to see & do & hopefully you’ll be joining us! We feel extremely fortunate that our loyal clients are still hanging in there with us - thanks, so much folks! We are humbled & extremely grateful for your support & we love you all to pieces!!!


WHAT’S UP WITH THE CANNING?

Everyone’s asking us what’s up with the Canning Stock Route! Well, the truth is – until mid-June we didn’t have a clue! The Stock Route has been closed for the past two years due to concerns about the health & welfare of the remote & vulnerable Aboriginal communities. Then on June 15 it was suddenly opened! Unfortunately this was too late for us to run a tour this year as we had to make the tough decision to cancel our annual CSR expedition some months ago. Instead we’ve planned a thrilling (and fully booked!) Kennedy Range Expedition.

BUT! Currently we are sitting in Perth tormenting our well-worn worry beads praying that the rain that has been bucketing down up north will stop in time for our tour! Fingers, toes & all other body parts are crossed & hopefully the weather gods will be kind to us. Watch this space & read the next issue of the newsletter to find out what happened!!! We’ll also keep you posted about our plans for the CSR in 2023 & beyond.

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‘OUTBACK STATIONS SAFARI’ – SO NICE WE’RE GONNA DO IT TWICE!

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Our inaugural Outback Stations Safari was such success that we’re running a second tour! It's happening from September 22 – 30 & bookings are now open! To join in the fun, click your shears here: https://www.globalgypsies.com.au/tours/outback-stations-caravan-camper-trailer-motorhome-tour


We like doing new things & so do our clients, so to tap into the craze for ‘slow travel’, we decided to run a leisurely Outback Stations Safari for caravans, motorhomes, camper-trailers & 4WD’s back in April. Over 10 days, we planned to visit three of WA’s best outback stations - Murchison House, Melangata & Wooleen in the State’s Midwest for three nights each.

Along with Jeremy & Jan (who had been provided with a super-comfy Manta Ray by our friends at New Age Caravans), we had a full contingent of eager gypsies all from WA - Steve & Anne Archer; Jim & Lisa Bond; Rose Farrell & Rodney Powell; Vicki & Ross Healey; Graeme & Sue Hughes; Peter & Shirley Turner; Lloyd & Pam Webb & Keith & Janet Woollard.

Our first stop was Murchison House, just outside of Kalbarri, where we were well looked after by our hosts, Belinda & Calum. Our campsite was prettily perched on the banks of the Murchison River & for the first two days, it was an idyllic pastoral setting with a gentle stream trickling past. Then WHOOSH! Heavy rains up north saw the water begin to rise & before we knew it, our peaceful water frontage had turned into a speeding, swirling, surging river!

Fortunately we’d already done some fantastic 4WD’ing on the north side of the property ‘cos we couldn’t have accessed it once the crossing was flooded. We also went exploring in Kalbarri National Park & visited the Skywalk (excellent!), drove to the lovely southern coastal spots & even went on a sunset cruise! All in all our stay at Murchison was marvelous!

Kalbarri Skywalk

Unfortunately unseasonal rain washed out access to Wooleen, so we stayed a bit longer in Murchison than intended, then made our way to Melangata where we spent a terrific few days being spoiled by owner/managers, Jo Clews & Ken Darnell, with a 4x4 & walking tour of the property, guided tour of the historic homestead, camp-oven cooking class, a morning tea that the CWA would be proud of & a bang-up al-fresco 1000-star Farewell Dinner at the homestead! In return we helped retrieve their seriously bogged farm vehicle from a muddy paddock!

Melangata Farewell Dinner


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BRILLIANT BIGHT LIVES UP TO ITS REPUTATION!

We’ve always said the WA southern coast is one of the most beautiful parts of Australia & our recent Brilliant Bight Safari proved us right! What spectacular scenery, fascinating history & fourbie fun! This tour had everything - drama, adventure, romance, storms, sunshine, comedy, tragedy & triumph! Our gypsy mob couldn’t have been a better mix – joining Jeremy & Jan were Tony & Jan Christian; Anne Gilkes; Dave Holland & Sandy Berges; Russell & Lois MacLean; Ross McGillivray & Gerry Edwards; & a very naughty little gremlin!

The gremlin first made his presence felt when he closed some Shire roads so that we had to work out a Plan B to reach our destination. Then he turned on the water tap making camping such a soggy proposition that we all ‘wimped out’ & booked into rooms on several nights (yes, we know we’re princesses!). On one occasion we were just 2kms from our coastal camp when we saw that heavy rain the previous week had turned the 4WD track ahead of us into a lake! So we had to make a U-turn on the rough track & drive back the way we’d come for a tense 2½ hours! We arrived in our new makeshift bushcamp near the aptly-named Mt Ragged just as it was getting dark & stormy. Can’t remember ever being so pleased to sit round a warm campfire & climb into a cozy tent!

Anne’s cheeky little Jiminy was impressive as it bounced over washouts & corrugations like a tennis ball while Dave’s vehicle spat the dummy & demanded a new fuel filter in the middle of nowhere. He somehow managed to source a new one & met up with us at the next stop – well done, Dave!

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We toured the old homesteads of Balbinia & Deralinya & were escorted around by retired stonemason & resident caretaker ‘Roger’ who is voluntarily renovating both properties. Some great history there & our group passed-the-Akubra & raised $200 to help him get on with the job! We also watered the flower bed where roses were planted by the original pioneers.

We went on bushwalks, sand-drives, did a spot of fishing (glad we bought some tinned tuna!), had an ocean dip, cooked up some damper & a dodgy cake, spied a python climbing a tree to raid a nest, saw some fabulous birdlife & seasonal flora (Royal Hakea in particular) & just generally had a ball. Our Farewell Dinner at Rustlers in Albany was a night to remember & we were all a bit sad to sad goodbye! Thanks everyone, it was a wonderful trip - even the gremlin had fun!

To read some rhyming silliness about this terrific trip, check out the latest entry in our Big Bold Bwana Blog here : https://www.globalgypsies.com....


AN UPDATE ON TRAVEL INSURANCE

We included a bunch of info on travel insurance in our last newsletter - here’s an update. We had used Covermore for 20 years for our corporate & personal travel policies. However, with many travel agents choosing post-COVID NOT to sell insurance unless they handle your other travel arrangements (fair enough, too), we needed to go direct to the provider for the first time ever. We phoned Covermore, left a message & completed an e-form but never got a response. We’d been recommended to NIB as an alternative so we phoned them. Talk about chalk & cheese! They answered our call within TWO minutes, took all our details & responded to our questions efficiently, patiently & pleasantly. Then they emailed us a proposal – within FIVE minutes! Apparently their price was considerably cheaper than what Covermore would have quoted anyway so now we’re happy NIB customers!


RED CENTRE SAFARI – IT'S MEANT TO BE IN ’23!

Sorry, folks, still no details, but we’re definitely planning on making this tour happen in June 2023! We’re compiling a list of keen gypsies now so if you’d like to be included, please let us know ASAP!


OUR TANZANIA SAFARI HAS GONE WILD!

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Though we still haven’t confirmed the details, the level of interest in our “Treasures of Tanzania Safari” in August 2023 has gone wild! We hope to witness the annual migration on the Serengeti, soak up the history, culture & natural beauty & have a herd/pride/flock/pod of spectacular wildlife experiences. We’re only taking expressions of interest at this stage, but if you’re an ellie-fan, hippo-hugger, lion-lover or giraffe-junkie & would like to join us on this awesome African adventure, make like a meerkat - pop up & put your name on the list! For more info see https://www.globalgypsies.com.au/tours/treasures-of-tanzania-safari-2023


KIMBERLEY HERE WE COME!

After ongoing uncertainty about venue closures & road access, we’ve finally got the green light to lead an intrepid gypsy band on a fully-booked 4WD tour of the magnificent Kimberley in July/August! It’ll be the first time we’ve run a tour there for several years so are thrilled to bits! Watch this space for a report when we return!

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DUTCH TREAT

In November we’ll be saying “Welkom vrienden!” to a group of 16 adventurers from The Netherlands who are hiring 4WD vehicles from RedSands to travel through some of WA’s most challenging destinations for 31 days on a tag-along-tour. They will cover over about 4000 kms & will be led by Jeremy with assistance from trusty offsider (& honorary gypsy!) Grahame Edgar. Growing up in Africa, Jeremy learned to speak Afrikaans – as it’s based on ‘high’ Dutch it will come in very handy on this trip!

The ‘caterpillar convoy’ (their cute description!) will travel from Perth north to Kalbarri, Steep Point & Dirk Hartog Island with its famous Dutch history; then head into the desert traversing several legendary outback tracks before returning to Perth via the pristine beaches & lush forests of the State’s Southwest. What a trip! “Geweldig, mate!”.

The Ocean2Outback Expedition is being organized by Rotterdam-based travel agency, FiveSenses. This will be the third joint inbound tour we’ve worked on with our friend, JP Ponte, & we’re delighted to be involved with this special “Dutch Treat”. Here are just some of the things they'll see along with a snap of JP fine-tuning the itinerary with Jeremy during a recent visit to Perth.

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Well, gypsies, that’s it for now! We hope to see you on a tour or training course soon!

Until then happy travels from

GLOBAL GYPSIES TOURS & TRAINING
P.O. Box 123
Scarborough, WA, 6922
Phone: +61 8 9341 6727
email: admin@globalgypsies.com.au
web: www.globalgypsies.com.au
Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/globalgypsies
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