Old rusty car at Koondala Homestead in the Nullarbor National Park South Australia

Tour Guide Tales – 60,000km across the Nullarbor and counting! 

I get so many questions on my trips, a few of my favourites include:

  • Do we saddle emus and ride them like we do with the kangaroos?
  • If it’s raining will the sea lions still come into the water and play?
  • Why is the road so straight?
  • Do the camels actually live out here in the middle of nowhere?
  • Why is the sky so blue?
  • How long is the 90 mile straight?
  • Why are there so many bugs out here in the bush?

I could go on all day!  The two questions I get asked the most though are one, “Do you ever get bored doing the same trip across the Nullarbor?”

Every month for the last 8 months I have driven 8500kms with two groups of Nullarbor Traveller passengers.  I can stand with my hand on my heart and say that no moment in my 60,000kms this season has been the same as the last. These epic adventure tours across the Nullarbor are so unique and there is an unbelievable amount to be seen between Adelaide and Perth. It is two thirds of Australia after all!

Plus if you have seen any of the videos we put up on the Nullarbor Facebook page, you would understand there is no time for getting bored with such shenanigans to be created!

The second most common question is about one of my many favourite places on the Nullarbor trips.  People ask, “The Great Australian Bight – what does it mean”?

Great – large, magnificent, epic (yes its certainly all of those!)

Australian – part of this great big amazing country we call home, Terra Australis.

Bight – in nautical terms, a large open bay.  Large as in 1160kms running from Cape Carnot in South Australia to Cape Pasley in Western Australia.

The Great Australian Bight is the longest continuous cliff coast line in the Southern Hemisphere. Epic indeed and a place that takes my breath away every single time I stop there and proudly showcase it to my passengers. Seeing their responses, the emotion and their reconnection to nature is absolutely one of the best parts of the job and makes those 60,000km so enjoyable!

My passengers and the questions and enthusiasm they share are one of the most rewarding parts of my job. I meet so many amazing individuals and there is always at least one question on tour that is a new one!

In my last blog I spoke about the 60,000km I’d clocked up as a guide for Nullarbor Traveller this season and even though the itineraries stay the same, every single tour is different and that’s what keeps my job so interesting! As an experienced tour guide, I am trusted to make decisions based on the group of people I have on board. Their individual interests, bucket lists and abilities are all factors in providing our travellers with the best adventure tour experience we possibly can. Does it kind of sound like we make it up as we go? Well don’t tell the boss but we kind of do!

To give you an example, one of our amazing travellers turned 70 on board a trip from Adelaide to Perth recently. The Nullarbor had been a bucket list item for her for decades and finally she was doing it! When she asked about stopping at a roadhouse in the middle of nowhere to take a photo on the Nullarbor Links golf course, (the worlds longest golf course albeit very brown), of course I replied “Sure, lets do it”! On the same trip we had our oldest sand-boarder ever at a ripe young age of 82, take his first run down the sand dunes in Fowlers Bay on the Eyre Peninsula. This was such an amazing moment and a reminder to me that age is no barrier. Travel keeps us young at heart!  And in my case brings back fond childhood memories.

 

Something I get asked all the time by passengers is “Jodie, what’s your favourite part of Australia?”  This is the hardest question to answer and it would just be impossible to pick one spot!  I’ve been lucky enough as a tour guide to travel a large amount of this beautiful country we call Australia.  There are a lot of spots that I could quite easily disappear to and happily call home.  Places of beauty and nature that are far enough off the beaten track that they are relatively untouched. However the place I really call home is the South West of Western Australia. This is my favourite part of Australia.

I grew up on a farm for most of my childhood in a small country town in the middle of the South West, about 400km from Perth. My Nanna and my Dad love to explore and from a very early age they’d take us camping, fishing and holidaying to some pretty amazing spots. This is when my passion for the outdoors began.

Frenchmans Peak overlooking Cape Le Grand National Park Western Australia

These childhood experiences gave me such a passion and enthusiasm about the area and how lucky am I the Nullarbor tours pass through these regions and I get to show them off to people from all over the world.  Every time I come to this beautiful place words slip out of my mouth like “this is where we used to camp when my Dad would take me fishing as a kid” or “my school holidays were spent at this beach”.  Passengers even learn where my Nanna’s favourite spot is and see the beach a rogue wave swept me out to sea.  Luckily my dad reefed me out of the back wash by my leg”.

There are many stories of the area that fill my heart with happiness. These stories make the white sandy beaches of Lucky Bay, crystal clear waters of Twilight Cove, magical tingle forests of Walpole, picturesque hikes and exquisite mountains of the Stirling Ranges, even more beautiful.  Stories and memories of locals that grew up in the area in a time before smart phones could capture it all, that are forever held by the landscape.

My passengers seem to love that they are reliving my childhood with me!  Getting to see all of the best bits of the area that has been well explored in years gone by. Or at least they never seem to complain about it.

Discover the stunning destinations  visited by Jodie and tour groups for yourself on the Secrets of Esperance tour with Nullarbor Traveller.

Check Out Our New Margaret River Tours.

Tour guide jumping at Dutchmans Stern in Flinders Ranges South Australia