ACHING FOR REMOTE AREA TRAVEL? EXPERIENCING AUSTRALIA IS EASIER WITH BIG SKY TAGALONG TOURS
After two rocky years of lockdowns and border closures, husband and wife duo Jacqui and Dave are excited to be back on the road again. Dave, with 30 years as a professional driver- trainer, and Jacqui having an extensive background in workplace training in Industry, operate Big Sky Tagalong Tours.
Dave and Jacqui are passionate about sharing this wonderful country of ours. The family have led convoys comprising 10 or so vehicles, many towing caravans, through some of Australia’s prettiest destinations off the beaten track.
“I love just seeing people who have never been out of the city enjoy our country for what it is,” they say. “The patterns the setting sun makes on the desert sand or looking as far as the eye can over the Salts of Lake Eyre, Uluru at Dawn or riding the Gulflander along the Savannah Way.”
Tours chasing the unique stories of the Darling River or from Broome through the Savannah are hot favourites, not to forget the Outback Loop Tour, starting at Tibooburra taking in places like Innamincka, the Dig Tree, Birdsville, Farina and Cameron Corner.
But there’s also desert splendour via iconic tracks or steps to follow on the Burke and Wills tour.
“It’s the history of the places we go; it reminds you that people and things were different a long time ago. You learn historical and cultural sites, give a sense of identity to places and develop a better understanding of those who lived before us,” they say.
The family has picked up a tip or two from the locals on unique, hidden experiences after many years on the road. “We seek out local information and history. Many communities have local Indigenous tour groups willing to guide us through their country. We often find activities you might miss or not get the chance to participate in as a solo traveller.”
Small things can make the difference, too: “Watching the sunset with a glass of bubbles, movie nights along the track or a games evening. We always like to include a surprise or two.”
Travellers will choose a tagalong tour for many reasons: companionship, access to unique experiences or to improve their skills travelling through remote regions.
“We get a lot of people with different levels of experience. Some of our guests come to us never having driven on a dirt road.
“With those travellers, we spend time with them initially, answering questions, assisting with things such as vehicle checks, tyre pressure, gear selection and approach as we travel through different terrain.”
After a couple of days, you can see a change in confidence.
“You see it happen within the group… those who stick close to us at the beginning move further down the line as their skill and capabilities grow. A lot now say, ‘we have the confidence to go alone’.
“It’s really rewarding to see the change in confidence. We are there to help them through it.”