Testimonial for Adventure Wild

Rob & Cynthia Thomson

Year of Tour: 2023

Commendation – Adventure Wild

We have just returned from the 12-day Kimberley Adventurer Tour with hosts Phil and Liz.  Expectations were high given we coincidentally bumped into a bubbly couple who had just been dropped off from an Adventure Wild tour just as we arrived to booked into our Broome accommodation.

There are many reasons why we recommend this tour:

Pre-tour engagement was best practice.  Simone was our key point of contact prior to booking and in the leadup to arrival.  If you want to check how you might be treated, email Simone a serious question and see how long it takes for her to get back to you.  As newbies to the area, we had many many concerns – she was right onto them all and made us very comfortable to commit.  Simone also turned up just before we departed – for a group photo.

Economical – we did lots of homework and it seemed to us to be very well-priced.  There are a bunch of (usually expensive) add-ons that might be included as obligatory in other operator’s tours and, overall, we still found the arrangement significantly cheaper than the others.  At the lower total tour cost it meant we felt more happier to buy things (artwork, souvenirs) during the tour itself.  The relatively small group size helped a lot to breed camaraderie and gave us more latitude to ask questions.

Young-at-heart tour guides made the difference.  Phil was both brains and brawn, keeping the operation on schedule with his great 4WD skills and geological knowledge.  Phil ensured the luggage was stowed safely on top of the bus and that he was always on the lookout for photo opportunities and firewood.  Liz, however, was the Eveready Bunny who was always looking for how she could look to identify and fix a problem even when it didn’t need fixing (or wasn’t even a problem – a proper mother hen).  Both of these guys were a happily-married couple who were mostly happy but could be serious when they needed to be – the perfect combo for a seamless operation.  I don’t know what they earn but whatever it is Simone should give them a pay rise.

Flexible where it mattered.  Because Simone knows everything about the Kimberley region, she was able to advise Phil and Liz that a particular gorge had just opened after the recent cyclone damage.  So, after consulting us, Phil & Liz slightly adjusted the itinerary to allow us to walk in on our final day.  They also provided some dietary options to one of our tour groups without a hassle, even though it was a last-minute change.  When presented with change, these guys seem unflappable.

Simple but interesting menus.  Liz was great with simple menus that were tasty and didn’t upset any tummies.  They also pre-prepared several dinners so it was a rather quick process after arrival at a campsite.  Cold cuts for lunch were great and easy access to the group esky meant our cold drinkies were close at hand.

Knowledge and experience.  The map indicates a rather simple loop but as newbies to the region we had no idea of the long days between sights and sites.  One 53km section took 3 hours each way.  Efficient logistics are probably the domain of all tour operators but I could see how some would be tempted to avoid a long enjoyable morning tea stop in preference to making it easier on a driver.

Busy.  We had some long days, sometimes leaving a campsite at 6am.  However, after a few days there was no grumbling because we realised Phil and Liz knew how to timetable touristy places in while ensuring we arrived at the next place with plenty of daylight left in which to set up camp.  Liz was also full of fascinating information and wasn’t far from the microphone while we were trundling along.   It didn’t stop some of us from snoozing between stops (even on the Gibb River Road, which indicates how much activity was packed in).

All places unique – none the same.  Photos definitely do not do justice to the age, wildness and variety of landscapes we saw on this trip.  The itinerary crammed in loads of swimmable gorges, and the walks to them weren’t nearly as hard as the notes suggested.  The landforms to see from the bus were also amazing.   The optional air and water tours (also with very friendly and efficient guides) added an extra dimension again, and I’d recommend spending some extra shekels if you can afford to.   Phil and Liz also knew lots of quiet places with interesting things to see.

Very few flies and bities.   From the east coast, I was shocked at the lack of flies and mozzies here.  Perhaps it as the time of year, but the bus’s bottomless Aerogard warded off everything.  And we saw a few freshies who were thankfully less interested in us.

Apolitical.  There is always the risk that a tour guide, or a speaker at a stop-off, might want to use a trapped audience to espouse certain personal points of view.   This was definitely not the case on this tour, and we are sure we found a greater appreciation for the local peoples, and their long and proud history, when we were ‘left alone’ to experience it for ourselves.

Well done team.  11/10!!

August 2023.