As we face a momentous new year, and new millennium, and a new tax, (the GST) GO BUSH Safaris is continuing to adapt and move with the times and adjust to an increasing number of challenges.
In 2000, we plan to out-source some of our meal catering. This will reduce the number of chores shared amongst safarists such as food preparation and washing up. This already applies to Lord Howe Island. Increasingly other safaris will dine out more where this is practical and can be done without dramatically increasing safari prices.
Our 1999 program was both very exciting and very popular. We rarely travelled with vacant seats. We have continued to fine tune our program while maintaining a very clear focus on Australia's precious World Heritage sites. However, as the number of World Heritage sites grow, we are trying to visit them all annually.
In 1999, we increased our cultural components and involved more Aborigines in positive and constructive interactions. This has encouraged us to plan increasing Aboriginal participation in coming years.
Our most culturally interactive safari has been our Kimberley Adventure. This year benefitted by involving some Hervey Bay Aboriginals, Barry Fisher and Joe Gala, who are helping to develop cultural tours at Hervey Bay and on Fraser Island. We will continue to foster this development through future Kimberley Adventures.
As our 2000 brochure goes to press we are still 12 months off seeing the start of the GST in Australia. However, five of our 10 safaris in 2000 will be subject to it. We have set a price without knowing just exactly how the GST will impact on GO BUSH Safaris costs. For safaris before June 30 will be relatively cheaper.
Our 1999 Kimberley Adventure was notably richer. We expect to develop the cultural component further next year when we camp in traditional Gidja lands rather than making a long detour to the more conventional tourist centre of Broome. The demand for the Kimberley Adventures has been such that in 2,000 we have added an extra Kimberley safari. Although it will be accommodated, it will be cheaper and four days shorter than our camping trip. It avoids the rigours of camping, and stick much more to the bitumen. However, some magic parts of Kimberley, including gorges of the Gibb River Road will be omitted.
Our visit to the ERISS Institute at Jabiru during our first Kakadu in the Wet safari coincided with International Wetlands Day. We were treated to a wonderful morning tea to celebrate the occasion. It was one of many highlights of a trip which explores Kakadu at its most exciting time. Regrettably, we can offer only one Kakadu in the Wet in 2000 due to the pressure of other commitments. Only 20 fortunate people can share this unique experience with Ian Morris, the Guru of Kakadu, an that outstanding naturalist, raconteur and educator.
Ian Morris has guided all our Kakadu and Kimberley adventures since 1989. As all safarist who have shared an experience with him can attest, he adds an extra dimension of local knowledge to our Northern safaris. In other areas we involve other people to enrich safarists' experience. GO BUSH Safaris focus on the whole environment, plant animal, landscape and people. Our guides ensure that we experience every dimension. We are indebted to all our excellent crew members who all help to make each safari such a pleasurable experience. While sister-in-law, Dal Connolly, retired as Catering Assistant with the 99 Tasmanian safari, Su Dawson worked wonders in the Kimberley.
During our Tasmanian trip, Geoff Mosley, of ACF renown, joined us at short notice to share the enclyclopaedic knowledge of the Apple Isle gained during his doctoral studies and many marathon bush-walks there since. In addition to Tasmanian 2000, Geoff will share the his knowledge of the Blue Mountains, gained over decades, which led to its World Heritage nomination.
Chris King's new job prevented him joining our last Discovering Tasmania safari, but Geoff Mosley gave us a wonderful background to the stormy history of the island's many environmental battles. Eddie Smith and others added to our appreciation of the island state. All safarists endorsed the proposal to add Maria Island and Port Athur to the World Heritage List as part of the Australian Convict Heritage site. They are amongst the favourite destinations on this popular safari.
Our Lord Howe Island safaris benefit enormously by the input of another long-time friend, Jim Dorman. President of the island's Historical Society, Jim has added a lot to our understanding of the island and its community. He joined us to sample many island eateries for dinners. Lord Howe offers much more opportunities forwalking than other trips.
Our Tropical Rainforests and Reef safari has also had a full complement and also benefitted again from the input from our local networks from Cardwell to Cape Tribulation.
Next year our Shark Bay - Western Wildflowers safari will coincide with the peak of the wildflower season and follow the Spring flowers from north to south. By substituting the visit to Albany for the longer run to Ningaloo, we have reduced the long distances.
We have suspended our wonderful trips to Mungo and Naracoorte caves, two World Heritage sites, for 2000 only. Instead we are offering a Blue Mountains safari for the first time to mark its inscription on the World Heritage List. This safari will be guided by one of the architects of the nomination & visits some fascinating places few Sydney-siders have seen.
Our first Bush Christmas to the Border Ranges last Christmas was a wonderful experience focussed on the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves (CERRA) World Heritage area. We will return there for Christmas 2000.
The GST is not something we welcome but it affects every industry from 1 July, 2000 and particularly domestic tourism. It adds significantly to our administrative costs and affects prices. We don't relish this impost.
The inspiration which comes from GO BUSH safaris is always impressive. We have collected the interesting literary efforts into two anthologies and we are now starting on our third (NFS). We have also seen some wonderful art produced. Our 1998 Mungo produced some wonderful sketches from several artists.
As this Bulletin goes to the printers, John is undertaking a 10 day walking trek with his four sons to Fraser Island from Sandy Cape to mark his 60th birthday. He will return in September for 4WD safari. GO BUSH Safaris continues to support Fraser Island conservation efforts. We are also helping ecotourism in Thailand in 2000 & other conservation projects. Details of our contribution to conservation can be found at :
www.fido.org.au and www.sinclair.org.au
Internet users can find full details of our safaris at — www.gobush.com.au. John's personal home page is www.sinclair.org.au .
GO BUSH Safaris success is due mainly due to recommendations of many satisfied safarists. We aim to add to that number during 13th year. We thank everyone who has supported our ventures during the past year and look forward to your support in the future.
John Sinclair & Sharan Daly
GO BUSHSafaris (ACN 053 411 706) Australia's World Heritage Area Specialists
PO Box 71, Gladesville, NSW, 1675 — Phone (02) 9817 4660 — Fax (02) 9816 1642
Let us take you up country and show you the bush