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Thread: Cape York reptile safaris
Cape York reptile safaris
Guided Cape York Wildlife Tours, who would be interested.
Ok APS members, I want to know your honest opinions and thoughts regarding Guided tours of Cape York. Would people on APS (or their friends) outlay their hard earned money on a guided tour? The reason I ask is because I have been toying with the idea of offering a Reptile and Bird watching orientated tour of Cape York for the last 18 months but have never taken the idea to the next step.
Finding and photographing native animals in a natural environment is one of the most rewarding things that I have experienced and I believe that many people would have the same opinion if they were given the opportunity to do so?
The idea behind the tour would be to enable people to have the ability to experience Australia’s remote and often inaccessible areas such as Cape York at a reasonable cost.
The question that I have is how many Aussies would be interested in participating in a similar tour?
Firstly I would need to address the insurance side of things in case of any accidents ect.
Pricing is something that would obviously need to be addressed in further detail if I was to go ahead with the idea. The average Cape York camping tours contain approx 8-22 people and are priced between $350-450 per person per day. Although this may seem excessive, the cost of hiring a four wheel drive, diesel, camping equipment and fuel alone would quickly add up to this. Pricing would be significantly more affordable than any of the existing tour companies.
I am a chef by trade and meals would be as detailed or as simple as required. There are not too many dishes that cannot be cooked whilst camping to please the most fastidious eaters.
Transport would consist of a late model 100 series Land Cruiser with all camping equipment (swags, tents, and cooking facilities’) with all fuel and meals supplied. Depending on the location of the tour pricing would be adjusted to allow for the required QPWS and Indigenous permits.
The tour would have a strong focus on Reptiles and Bird watching in order to photograph some of the many endemic species of Cape York such as Palm Cockies, Eclectus Parrots, Riflebirds and Green Pythons (season and weather permitting). However, I have a strong personal interest in Aboriginal culture and feel that a Cape trip would not be complete without visiting some of the many ‘Quinken’ Rock Art galleries.
The tours would be designed for both individual and small groups with a maximum of 4 people. Depending on what specific species or interests one may have, tours would be designed to suit. Guided reef fishing, Indigenous presented Rock Art tours and guided Pig Hunting could also be addressed at an additional cost.
Tours would usually leave from Cairns Airport, however, depending on location, length and specific target species, tours could commence from Cooktown
Any thoughts or suggestions?
Great idea, if i had the time i would love to go.
You should be posting this on some of the OS forums.
I have been contemplating doing one of the birdwtaching tours in the next few years, but if I could get birds and herps together even better, so would definitely be interested.
Sounds like a fantastic idea viridis.
Be interesting to see what you had in mind of accomodation??
As you know I hate camping, but would enjoy the bushwalking etc
Maybe do the odd non camping one??
RIP LUCY 2002-2008
RIP VICKY 2002-2013
There is nothing like a Dane!
I would love to do a herp safari with a bit of fishing and hunting along the way.
I think you have an awesome idea and if you can afford to price in within the reach of the average person you could have a real winner.
I envy you for being able to combine your passion with your job!
Last edited by Cheyne_Jones; 10-Aug-09 at 01:30 PM. Reason: I cant spell!
- 10-Aug-09, 01:27 PM #6
- Join Date
- between Newy and Maitland
i second Fay,bloke....sounds like an awsome idea
my 1 thought was that it should be for small groups (4 - 6) and u answered that for me lol
also if you got it up and running,possibly look at tourists(like craig says)
keep us all updated on ur progress
- 10-Aug-09, 01:32 PM #7
- Join Date
- Hobbiton, Middle Earth.
If set up correctly and advertised in the right way it will do fine, it's one of the best places in the world and many tour operators run successful operations in the area. I think your main target audience would be OS though, and you would probably find more people interested in birds than snakes, even frogs would probably be more liked than snakes... a good general fauna / flora knowledge is a must for such a buisiness, I'd be selling it more as a general nature tour instead of limiting those who only like birds and herps.Herps.... an itch that just never goes....
- 10-Aug-09, 02:41 PM #8
Jason, as you said, there are already number of tour companies doing CY and some of them would be very hard to compete with. However, non of them have any knowledge in reptiles and I think there is a niche for Nick. Most of the companies are working around the clock during the dry season and they couldn't care less who their clients are as long as they fill the seats and get as many tours on the way as possible each season. Not all their clients come back satisfied. If Nick can be more selective (instead of money-hungry) and provides a top quality professional service, the business will grow. Personally, I would suggest to him to specialise in reptiles and frogs (although there aren't too many frogs to be seen in the dry season) and leave the birds to the others. To be good in all around natural history is also essential to fill the gaps. That's just my opinion.
- 10-Aug-09, 03:21 PM #9
- Join Date
I imagine the possibility of pig hunting would bring in some extra clients, especially from OS. Im planning a tip to Iron range and the McIllraith's in the next 12 months, to go herping, birding, hunting, and just generally exploring, and I imagine there are a number of people out there that would love to do the same but not have all the resources or the ability to pull them together. If you can provide the equipment, Im sure people will come.Take it or leave it.
- 10-Aug-09, 03:55 PM #10
Rednut, how are you planning to get to McIlwraith Ranges? It's almost impossible in these days unless you have an indigenous relative living in there.
Pig hunting and natural history tours don't fix too well (dogs, guns, etc.,) you couldn't go to any of the NPs and that would take the best part of the tour away. For example, at Iron Range, there is no other place to camp but inside the NP.
- 10-Aug-09, 04:14 PM #11
- Join Date
Waterat....you almost nailed the first bit, but there is one other way that I know of, and yes, it is legal.
I've been hunting since I was 9, and never used a dog since I was old enough to go by myself.....I don't see the need to pit one animal against another, do the dirty work yourself
I regularly combine hunting and 'natural history', that's how I started out herping, Herp when the hunting is bad, hunt when the herping is bad, do both at night with a powerful spotlight. We're visiting Iron range, but not spending the trip there, or hunting, obviously. I guess it depends on what people are more interested in. I mean, if we go looking for pigs in amongst a set of lagoons, we take time to stop and admire the birdlife and plants (Im a Zoologist/botanist, and the 3 mates are all botanists or ecologists), but when the game is found we don't worry too much about gunfire scaring the birds away.
No firearms in NP's, but that's easy to deal with if you know people in the area, we take a ute and troopie, only take the gear we need into the NP's, leave everything else in the ute (including drums of fuel) with the firearms locked inside, at a stationhouse.
I said there would be demand from people who don't have all the resources or the ability to pull them together.....that's not me...Take it or leave it.
- 10-Aug-09, 06:14 PM #12
I have nothing against hunting, fishing and other outdoor sports. I am just thinking, it would be somewhat awkward combination if one wants to get eco-tourism accreditation, etc..
I believe it's better to be a specialist / professional in one aspect of tourism rather than try to cater for all.
- 10-Aug-09, 06:22 PM #13
Something I have thought about for quite a while now.Showcasing the native wildlife of the Redlands, Qld, Australia.
Approved by Admin
if your old man was doing the tours , no dramas. but you is a different story.
Thanks for the advice guys. If I go ahead with the idea it will be set up accordingly. Just hard to try and fill the gaps in an already 'busy' area of work.
Waterrat, I agree that the eco accreditation is a winner for the o/s visitor side of things.
Thanks for the positive words and advice,
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