Sunset Yoga Lucky Bay Western Australia

Tour Guide Tales – It Feels Like Home

Darwin was headed into wet season. The heat had sky rocketed along with the humidity, the parks were closing down, the tourists were slowly leaving and I was unsure of where I was headed for summer. A chance conversation with a friend had me on the blower to Hassie, the owner of the Nullarbor Traveller who was looking for guides for the summer season.

Apparently one recommendation from a trusted friend was all he needed and the promise of a challenge was all that I needed. With no more than my hope in the honour of a word, from a man who I had never set eyes on, I left my home and friends in Darwin to set out on a new adventure. Just down the road and around the corner about 3015kms, give or take a few, was Adelaide and Nullarbor Traveller.

Now I’m not going to lie. I was shitting myself a little (a lot!).  Ten days on the road being responsible for the welfare and travel dreams of up to 17 excited adventurers?! Yep it is safe to say I didn’t sleep a lot before my first trip training which was led by the Nullarbor’s tour guide extraordinaire, Craig.

Before I knew it three months had flown by! The camping adventures were stacking up along with the mountains being climbed and the scenery between Perth and Adelaide was getting even more beautiful. The good times spent around campfires were countless and I was surer than ever that this was where I was meant to be this summer.

The only thing I was missing was that feeling of home. Passengers have asked me countless times “where do you live?” And technically at the moment I’m homeless, so that’s what I generally reply with. This then leads to a lengthy discussion and ends with me saying my home is Australia. Many people are bewildered that I don’t have a house I call home and that when I finish camping with them for 20 odd days that I prefer to go back out bush instead of staying in the city.

Nullarbor Traveller tour guide with passengers on Perth to Adelaide tour

To be honest if you had of told me five years ago this is what I’d be doing with my time off I would have laughed. But being in the bush and discovering the beauty that Australia holds is what gives me the passion for guiding. It took me 26 years to start to figure out what amazing beauty was in my backyard and I get so excited to share it with anyone that will give me the time. So being technically homeless isn’t such a bad thing but it doesn’t always fill that hole that family and friends can. It was with this longing for that home that I found myself getting excited on each tour as we grew closer to my home away from home, Coodlie Park Farm Retreat. Coodlie Park is a 3000 acre coastal/rural property about 800km west of Adelaide, on South Australia’s stunning Eyre Peninsula. This is where Hassie and his wife Jo live and work and welcome many a traveller with the enthusiasm of someone doing their first day on the job (still 12 years later!)

Greeting guides and friends with a massive hug and heart-warming welcome every time we drive in the gate. Coodlie Park is truly a special place. It’s where all walks of life are welcome. It’s where a bucket of hot water for the eco-showers gives you the best 5 -10 minutes of your life (especially after 3 days on the Nullarbor!), the BBQs are great, the company is amazing and the campfire burns hot enough to warm your bones on the coldest of Eyre Peninsula nights.

Jo and Hassie have made something incredibly special on their little bit of heaven on the Eyre Peninsula that brings so many different people together. Everyone loves being at Coodlie Park and you can see it in the faces of each and every traveller. Coodlie Park to me feels like home, my home away from home. I can’t tell you how nice it is have a place on the road that feels so welcoming.

So while the beaches may be beautiful, the wine tastings may be delightful and the endless sights and adventures are amazing…my favourite thing to share with my passengers is the little farm tucked away, just around the corner from the massive dunes we go sand boarding on. Days are spent swimming with dolphins and sea lions, afternoons spent exploring local caves and idyllic beaches and the evenings sharing stories around the campfire with my second family.

I hope to see you on tour soon so I can share some of these amazing places with you too.

Visit some of these great foodie locations on our Margaret River Tours; 3 Day Margaret River Tours & our Margaret River Tours from Perth.

Nullarbor Traveller passnegers sitting in swags around the campfire