Guest Tour Testimonials
“Would like to let you know we very much appreciated the recent tour you organized for us, the 7 day trip to Longreach. Everything ran very smoothly, with special thanks to our informative and helpful bus driver, Brad. The highlight was the farm visit and the Thomson River cruise, which were both run by dedicated people who obviously have a love for their jobs. It was good to have all our food needs met, no wasting time looking for restaurants, etc. Would not hesitate to travel with you again if we see a deal that attracts us, thanks once again.”
T & A Inns – Outback Adventures in Longreach & Winton – Nov 2013
“Would just like to say a huge thank you, out trip outback was fantastic, bus and train trips all matched in well had no hiccups at all. Thank you very much for your wonderful organization of our trip”.
J Barker – Legendary Longreach & Winton – Sep 2013
“What a fabulous holiday you arranged for us. Simply the best ever tour. The driver Kevin Nearey and hostess Joyce Nearey from Great Value Holidays were fabulously wonderful and very accommodating in every aspect. They went out of their way to make sure everyone had an enjoyable time, and they were excellent organisers dealing with constantly changing venues and meals. When it came to people’s health they were very caring in their approach to peoples needs and their privacy . All touries got along so well. I even got to act as hostess on the coach to Paronella Park after Joyce and some other touries came down with a tummy bug after our visit to Port Douglas. They got people who wanted to be involved in the days activities and assisting in various other things throughout the tour. All in all Donna, a fabulous experience for both of us. Please keep us up to date with tours that Kevin and Joyce are conducting. We are wanting to go on a Tassie tour in the months of February to April. If you could keep us up to date on guided tours they are conducting. Many thanks”.
M & D Sykes – Cowboys Caves & Castles – Oct 2013
“I just wanted to advise you that I had a fantastic tour of Longreach and Winton with Outback Aussie Tours. The driver Ian and his lovely efficient wife Carol were so professional and a friendly couple. We saw some amazing things and events. It was packed with so many things to do and see. It was my first trip in a couple of years and a great one to do. I will certainly be touring again with that company”
Betty Thompson – Legendary Longreach & Winton – Sep 2012
“Just thought I would let you know that Jane and I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Longreach. There were quite a few highlights. The River cruise on the Sunday evening was great as was the tour to the property. Thinking of the Whitsundays next year. Thanks for your service”.
H Glen – Outback Adventures in Longreach & Winton – Sep 2012
“Thank you for your welcome home. I had a great trip. All the arrangements worked smoothly. Flights were on time, accommodation was comfortable, AAT Kings tours operated as planned, the drivers and guides were very professional, informative, friendly and helpful. We had perfect weather (of course), I saw some fantastic places and took lots of beautiful photos. What more could I ask? I even did the Kings Canyon Rim Walk – not for the faint-hearted but it was well worth-while, the scenery was fantastic! Thank you again for all your help in arranging my trip”
B Anderson – Red Centre Tour – June 2012
“Just wanted to tell you I had a fantastic time on the trip. I don’t usually write back to company’s to tell them, but I had to in this occasion. John Major was truly inspirational and knowledgeable. (What a treasure). And the tour package itself is spot on to what I consider people would like to experience. In the future I will certainly be looking for other tours you do, and tell anybody who is listening to go with your company. Thankyou.
W Robinson – 3 Days Lake Eyre by Air – June 2012
“Just returned today from trip to Tassie. It was spectacular…beautiful weather, fantastic accommodation and meals, really well run by AAT Kings. The other people on the tour were easy to get along with and once again I have probably made some new friends. So, thanks, Donna, for another great success!”
H Powell – Best of Tasmania – April 2012
“When our daughter bought this tour for her father’s retirement and then told me "sorry Mum but you’ll have to pay your own way” I though OMG how can I justify spending that amount of money. Well Donna I have no problems at all and have told everyone who will listen that they must put this experience on their ‘Bucket List’. When I first saw Billy [our pilot] I thought he’s about the same age as our grandson!!! What a delightful, competent young man he is. John, our bush poet also a fantastic personality and so suited to the job at hand. Our son, who works in remote W.A. rang, spoke to his Dad first then me. He said Mum I know you have seen some fantastic sights overseas but after listening to the excitement in Dads voice describing the last few days I’m so glad you have now seen this part of the world. My little digital camera did me proud. I have some fantastic photos of something I’ll probably never see again. Our trip was so exhilarating, informative, pleasurable and exciting. Thank You,”
J & J Bess – Lake Eyre – Oct 2011
“Just a quick note to let you know how much the Chinchilla clan enjoyed the trip. We had a great time and would like you to know that Billie and John looked after us all. You have a great team with the 2 of them. They made us all feel like one big happy family. Billie’s sense of humour and willingess to help us all was outstanding. Not to mention his ability to guide the aircraft through some very rough and challenging times with ease. John’s wit and storytelling is something that we will always remember. You are on a winner with his knowledge and experience throughout the area. Once again thank you”.
From Iris, Jean, Colin, Ian and Greg – Lake Eyre Oct 2011
“Just wanted to let you know we had a great time at the Birdsville Races and the tour was terrific. John Major was a delight and very entertaining. Paul (the pilot) was an Ace. Thank you”.
T & M Fraser, Townsville – Lake Eyre and Birdsville Races Sep 2011
“Just a line or lines to say how fantastic my Lake Eyre tour last weekend was. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. My praises go to John Major, our Bush Poet and Billie Garbutt, our pilot. John is one of a kind. He showed extreme enthusiasm throughout the whole trip. His poetry reciting kept us entertained during the whole trip. He entertained not only the tour party but the guests at the Quilpie Caravan Park camp fire and the patrons and guests at Birdsville Hotel. He was helpful and obliging and looked after us pretty good. He is a gem, a credit to your Company. As for Billie, his skill as a pilot is sublime. His text book landings of the aircraft each time were impressive. A very polite and obliging young man. Any girl would have been proud to take him home to meet her parents. Ooops, I hope he is not married. If you are Billie, sorry, LOL!! Billie is your second gem in your Company, lucky you!! I must also congratulate our tour operators of Skinny Dingo, Trevor, our tour bus driver at Charleville, David at Quilpie and not to forget Ken at Birdsville. They all gave us informative and funny tour of the towns. This was the first time I have seen the Australian Outback and the experience is unforgettable. My fellow travellers were all really nice which contributed to an enjoyable trip. I have exchanged contact numbers with a number of them. Everything was well organised. I would recommend this tour to any friends and strangers. Now, I have a job to sort through 500 odd photographs I have taken. A task I am looking forward to because I get to relive my experience all over again. I had travelled extensively in the past. This trip is among the top five. Anyway, thank you so much. Tell John & Billie I will forward them photographs when they are sorted. All the best”.
L Tiong – Lake Eyre Jul 2011
Once again I have to say that the trip we have just been on was outstanding. What more could be said: perfect weather, companionship, hospitality and of course a very professional pilot. My compliments to Blacky and his team for putting together such a wonderful adventure, I felt like I was treated like a King, I hope that everyone else felt the same. I hope that I was not too intrusive during the trip and if so please forgive me. Over the next month or so I will be working on the movie of our adventure, I have put pen to paper on the content and will work on some background music and perhaps try and get the recordings of the poems that Blacky read during our flight. It was great to meet you all, you are a wonderful bunch of people.
M & H Carter – Lake Eyre Jul 2011
“Well no wonder you are so passionate about the three-day trip you are selling to Lake Eyre via Charleville, Quilpie, Innamincka (instead of The Dig Tree because of the big wet), William Creek Hotel on Anna Creek Station and back through Birdsville, Charleville and home. What a truly amazing (even magical) few days. Donna your passion for what you are selling and your excellent customer service, including the fact that you are so generous and willing to go the extra mile for your clients, is what sold your trip to us in the first place, but the actual experience turned out to be far more wonderful than we could ever have imagined. Thank you for such a well-planned and well-organised few days. In addition, we had simply the best pilot… I am not a keen lover of airplanes, and even less a lover of small planes, and yet I felt completely safe with Howard as our pilot. He is so competent and is also so passionate about his job and sharing the experience with his passengers. Absolutely top marks go to him and to his commentary and knowledge of the places we visited and/or flew over. He is to be commended and must be a fantastic asset to his employer. It was lovely too that he joined in and could relax with us all over the three days. Our thanks go to Trish also for the wonderful part she played during our three-day journey. She was a great guide and was constantly there to assist us and to support us along with the pilot, and of course, we all enjoyed her poetry and her reciting—a great lady! Both Trish as the guide/bush poet, and Howard as our pilot for the three days, are to be commended on jobs well done. We have attached a few photo samples, but really, every moment of every day we were away held some point of interest and provided us with beautiful photo shots and wonderful memories. I used the 26 letters of the alphabet and found it so easy to find many adjectives to describe what we saw and experienced using all of the 26 letters with the exception of the final three letters. We would both do it all over again given the opportunity. So Donna, a really big and a most sincere “THANK YOU”. Also just as a point to make… We notice the following: Winner – Best Rail Consultant at Australian Travel Weekly Awards 2011, Highly Commended – Best Rail Consultant at Australian Travel Weekly Awards 2010, Finalist – Best Domestic Consultant at Australian Travel Weekly Awards 2010… and wish to pass on our Congratulations. If all of your trips are as well organised and sold with such wonderful passion and enthusiasm then you deserve even more such awards in the future—perhaps for your flights to Lake Eyre!!!! Your customer service is exceptional – again THANK YOU”.
D & S McDougall – 3 Day Lake Eyre by Air – Apr 2011
“Back home from our 3 day Lake Eyre ‘Experience’ & what an experience. The team from Skinny Dingo Tours really looked after us at both Birdsville & Quilpie with accommodation, tours & meals. Would you believe that out of the 10 passengers, 6 of us were from Newcastle; all unknown to each other before Sunday. Yesterday morning in some free time in Quilpie, Barb was buying some quilting material & the shop proprietor, after enquiring where we were from, said “I was in Newcastle on Sunday”!!! Having Rupert McCall, poet & writer as our tour guide was also a real bonus & contributed a great deal to the enjoyment of the trip. Even though it was his first stint with Reef n Outback he handled it just like the professional that he is & of course seeing the lake in its flooded state was a sight that we will long remember. Another sight that we never, ever thought we would see was the Bourke & Wills ‘Dig Tree’. Both of us had learned about that fatal expedition at school, but never dreamed that we would actually stand in that location. Thanks from both of us for a great 3 days”.
I & B Wright – 3 Day Lake Eyre Tour – June 2010
“I just wanted to send a BIG THANK YOU for organising a wonderful trip…3 day to Lake Eyre. 20th, 21st, 22nd June 2010. Howard our pilot, was very professional, friendly and went out of his way to find out information about various aspects of our trip…….THANKS HOWARD. Rupert McCall, like wise was his first trip and he was great also…..It was a great surprise and certainly something special to me to meet and have Rupert as tour guide as my family have been a great fan of Rupert for nearly 15 years… When he recited Green & Gold Malaria at “Big Red Sunset” it bought tears to my eyes. THANKS RUPERT. I would also like to mention the staff and tour guides from the caravan parks at Birdsville & Quilpie certainly went out of their way to make us welcome and feel at home….Also the accommodation was good. My husband and I had a wonderful trip, great memories, plenty of pictures and made some new fellow travellers…..A once in a life time experience…Would recommend the trip to everyone”
M & A Lewis – 3 Day Lake Eyre Tour – June 2010
“Just wanted to let you know what a great trip we had to the Lake. It couldn’t have been planned better our pilot Howard was great and Rupert was brilliant and have recommended my friends to make the trip if possible. Can’t thank you enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Greg & Ann Duley – 3 Day Lake Eyre Tour – June 2010
“Well, what can I say? Thank you for organising my journey to Lake Eyre – where everyone should visit – and for ensuring the trip to be such a success. Our Hostess Trisha was great and caring and conveyed all the bits and pieces we all want to know about. The plane and the Pilot were A1 and we all loved Damian and his professional skills. It was truly an amazing experience to see what our outback is really like this year and perhaps I might one day experience it when not in such a wet season. I have been to the Central Desert on 3 occasions as my daughter is a Remote Area Nurse and my son was an Australian Environmental Scientist working in the same desert with the Elders, so I know what that feels like and I love it. Accommodation was very comfy and sufficient for my needs and the Hosts in each town very welcoming. Food was great and I particularly loved the Quilpie Camp Fire and what it produced. Bush poetry on 2 occasions was lovely. I bought 2 of Tim’s books. We certainly covered a great area and the stops very rewarding experiences. Thank you again for such a good organised and exciting trip”.
J Simmonds – 3 Day Lake Eyre Tour – June 2010
“Just a quick note to say how much we enjoyed the trip to Lake Eyre and the best part was having Trisha there as tour guide. She was absolutely fantastic and made the experience that much more treasured. Her friend Rhyl was a treasure in herself and added that bit of extra pleasure to all. This is something that will go to the grave for us as we will never forget the images of central Australia in flood. Cooper creek was equally outstanding and our pilot Damien was the cream on top. Words fail me but the memories will not. It was worth every cent…no joke. Warm regards to Reef n Outback for your creation”.
D & C Chapman – 3 Day Lake Eyre Tour – June 2010
“Sorry for the delay in getting to write to tell you that Cath and I had a wonderful trip to Lake Eyre. It was a rare experience and I suspect that we were very lucky to have two people such as Rupert and Howard to guide and fly us around. Rupert was sensational and obviously a very talented poet that made the trip so much more than we expected. I trust your company would give other people on your trips the same bonus that we had. Our pilot, Howard, could not be faulted and nothing was too much trouble for him and he made everyone as comfortable as he could. I should also add that the people at the various landing and overnight stops were hospitable and generous, making the whole trip a pleasure, particularly the people at the Birdsville park where we left our boarding passes behind and all our Reef and Outback info and they kindly faxed a copy of the boarding passes down to Quilpie for us, most appreciated. I would have thanked them personally but I don’t have a contact. Again, thanks, we may see you in the future”.
R & C Black – Lake Eyre – June 2010
“It is nearly a month since we did our Lake Eyre trip … It was a wonderful trip, certainly a trip of a lifetime, we often talk about it and all that we did and saw. Our Pilot Rhys was fantastic, a very capable and responsible pilot, always felt safe with him, his wife Mandy a very good hostess helping your wonderful Trisha. Trisha was an absolute joy and delight to travel with and certainly made sure everyone was enjoying the trip and comfortable. With her “Everyone Happy” & big smile. We love her poetry. All our accommodation was very comfortable and adequate. Lots of people ask “How was your trip”? and are interested in where we went & what we saw, it is quite difficult to explain the variety of colours in the landscape, we have recommended it to all who ask and have passed on your web address as well. Thank you so much for a superbly organised trip, we are so pleased we made the effort to go.”
S & P Bennett – Lake Eyre May 2010
“…we are now back from what Hans and I feel was a brilliant adventure. Your pilot, your guide, the accommodation, the landscape, the weather, the fellow tourists – all made magic together … much appreciated. Big vote of thanks to all concerned.”
Hans & Chris Pommerel – Lake Eyre May 2010
Ann & I enjoyed the trip, the plane was great for this type of sightseeing, and Rhys was able to choose appropriate heights and courses to follow the water. I really enjoyed being able to fly along Cooper Creek to Innamincka. The plane limited the size of the group and I felt that this also contributed to the success of the trip. You may be able to pass on our thanks to the pilot Rhys and his wife Mandy for their contribution to the trip – joining in and making the trip a memorable one for us. The overnight stays were also of good standard. Our Birdsville hosts Ken & Lyn did a great sunset tour and breakfast – I felt that they were very pleased to get the tourist season started. I hope the later tours will also be great successes.
P & A Cook – Lake Eyre May 2010
“Just to let you know that we arrived back safely from Australia on Tuesday. The trip went beyond our expectations. It was extremely well organized and we learnt so much about everything there is to know about the Kimberley region. We had an excellent guide and driver. Fortunately we were only 24 on a bus which could accommodate 52. We all got on very well. Thanks once again for arranging everything for us”.
C & T Alfthan (Switzerland) – Kimberley & Top End Tour – April 2010
“Well we are back after a wonderful trip to Perth; thanks for organising it. The train was superb. Good food, friendly staff; all most enjoyable. Likewise in Perth the Ibis was great; well located; people and food good….Will have to start saving our pennies again to do the Tilt train to Townsville next winter. Thanks again Donna”.
K & M O’Dea (VIC) – Indian Pacific Tour – Nov 2009
“Re: Our Ghan Trip. Just wanted to let you know what a wonderful time we had. From start to finish, it was a tremendous experience. Darwin, The Ghan and Kangaroo Island …… all so enjoyable and we really got value for money having as our K.I. (Kangaroo Island) guide, Kalan, who was a fountain of information and a delight to travel with. Thank you for all your assistance with our planning”.
E & M Maynard (NSW) – Ghan Tour – Oct 2009
“Gino and I were fortunate enough to be on the trip with Allan and Kieran on 3-08-09. I can’t stop telling people about it. Thank you for excellent organisation and the whole planning of that amazing trip. I will treasure the memories all my life. Had we driven that journey and flown for an hour or two over the lake, we would have missed all the wonder of the whole landscape from Brisbane, Birdsville, Warburton, Quilpie etc. I still can’t believe the magic of it all”.
Jeanene & Gino – Lake Eyre – August 2009
“Just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed the trip on 19th July. Our pilot Lisa was great and very careful and Sam was a delightful tour leader. The trip was really well organised and all the people involved were interesting and informative. We really enjoyed the trip and it was one of a lifetime for us. Thanks for a well organised enjoyable 3 days”.
K & M Leinster – Lake Eyre – July 2009
“Just a quick line to tell you how much we enjoyed the 3 day tour to Lake Eyre. What a mysterious, magical & magnificent place it is! The lake was a pale pastel abstract canvass which is hard to describe. To hear a dingo howl close by during the night at Birdsville confirmed that I was not anywhere near an urban area. Noel giving a bush poetry performance as we sat around the camp fire at Quilpie was special, too. He is so talented. Of course I was just dwelling on visiting the DIG Tree. The tree was much healthier than I had expected and the tales Bomber Johnson told in his laconic way made the tragedy come to life. Then there were pelicans, great flocks of them, on the Warburton Creek and the proof that you just need to add water to the outback land for it to blossom completed our excitement about the tour”.
L Cowled – Lake Eyre – July 2009
A most fantastic trip, Donna. Words can’t describe the Lake Eyre experience – you have to see it to believe it. Thank you for organising a “great trip of a lifetime”.
S Goldie – Lake Eyre – May 2009
“Just some feedback on the trip we did on 30th May for 3 days to Lake Eyre. If I had to use one word it would be “WOW”. The big surprise was the area of the Cooper Basin and Warburton River as it approaches the lake. The colours and patterns are magic. Have enclosed a couple of shots I took out the plane window at around 500 ft. Many thanks for all your help”.
R & B Bevis – Lake Eyre – May 2009
“Wow wow Donna what a trip. We can’t find enough words to tell people about our 3 day Lake Eyre by Air Tour. To be able to fly over the Channel country, visit Birdsville, stand on top of Big Red, fly over Lake Eyre, and visit William Creek & Dig Tree in 3 days. That’s what dreams are made of. Thank you for a wonderful trip. We vote the trip 11 out of 10”.
K & S Bryant (NSW) – 3 Days Lake Eyre by Air – May 2009
“What a fantastic trip. To see so much in three days – incredible. John Major was a great leader and entertainer and Pete the Pilot really knows his business. Memories and photos of a lifetime”.
S Hughes – Lake Eyre Tour – April 2009
“Many thanks to Donna Shepherd of Reef N Outback Rail Tours for all the help and friendly advice she gave to us. Both my husband and I were very impressed with the effort she put in on our behalf, to help make our trip truly memorable. We would highly recommend “The Ghan” experience to anyone who is looking for a holiday that is ‘a little bit special’".
L & R Dahm (QLD) Winners of our ‘Win a Trip on The Ghan’ Competition – March 2009
“Just a short note to say we really enjoyed our tour “Spirit of Outback Queensland Tour” It was well organised and our driver Brian and his assistant Jenny were truly unusually helpful and attentive. They made a good journey exceptional”
R Lake (Christchurch NZ) – Spirits of Outback Queensland Tour – June 2008
“A very belated thank you for arranging such a great tour and Tour Guide in Caty. The tour was well organised and most enjoyable. Caty is very efficient, informative, caring and great fun. She made us feel special and attended to our every need. Her knowledge was extensive and what she didn’t know she found out, a credit to your company. We thank you once again for a great tour and for organising great weather too!!”
T & H Swaisland – Spirits of The Ghan & Uluru – May 2008
“With the help of a million photos, our grey matter will remember this tour for a long time. After many travels – home (“Aus”) is still best”
N & J Newman – Spirits of Outback Queensland Tour – August 2007
“Both the tour director and coach driver were exceptionally good – a lot better than most other coach tours I have been on”
A Coulthard – Spirits of Outback Queensland Tour – August 2007
“The coach driver on this tour was extraordinarily good value in every way and with the tour director made this a very good and most informative, interesting and enjoyable tour”
K Darling – Spirits of Outback Queensland Tour – August 2007
“While we are freshly returned and inspired by our Gem Discovery Tour, we wanted to tell you that we appreciate your decision to let this fascinating tour go ahead with just a small group. The size of the group was a real plus and a feature of the trip. We were lucky to have Jan Watts also as she was an excellent co-ordinator and leader. Our driver Joe Westbrook also deserves praise for doing his part extra well. Shirley and I were in raptures over Carnarvon Gorge N.P. and the historical villages at Miles, Mt Abundance Homestead, Greycliffe Cottage at Biloela and the giant cultural mural there too. Hinkler’s House in Bundaberg must be placed on this list too. The gemfields at Rubyvale was another real favourite – an excellent afternoon activity…Altogether we greatly enjoyed this tour, our second with Reef n Outback Rail Tours, and thank-you for this special opportunity”
D Williams – Gem Discovery Tour – August 2007
“The tour was very good particularly for someone who had not previously travelled north of Brisbane …. Highlights were Carnarvon Gorge: well-designed lodges and interesting walks with our guide and such beautiful surroundings and variety in scenery. The Big Rig was excellent – brief and explanatory…Greycliffe Homestead was most interesting and the people we met were charming and hospitable…The variety of scenery – places with lakes and channels and others in drought, huge coal mines, vast distances and finally cane trains, sugar and pineapples. I am never concerned about food or motels but we had some wonderful meals (most of us ate too much!) and the fact that everything was included was great. The bus driver – Joe Westbrook – was fantastic under all circumstances and so was Jan who was the ideal leader. I have no desire in cruising or sitting under a tree on an island, but want to see new things and this tour filled that wish…Thank you very much and best wishes for the future”
V Judges – Gem Discovery Tour – August 2007
“….I received your DVD of the films Mike (Tour Director) took on our trip to Darwin on The Ghan and also the CD’s Mike made up for me. I have been playing them and they are beautiful….I have had the DVD made up and now have an album of photos of our wonderful trip made special by Mike’s care and attention and all the fun. Many thanks and I hope to be able to do it again one day”
B Clarke – Spirits of the Indian Pacific & The Ghan Tour – July 2007
“….The whole trip from our booking to the end was well organised. Michael, the tour director, was a very sensitive and caring person…John, one of the coach drivers, was extremely professional, and I was very impressed with his knowledge and attention to detail. I had a very special birthday celebration at Kakadu with my special new group of friends. I will always remember this day. As a person living with Parkinson’s I could still enjoy myself with the assistance of your team. I would certainly recommend your tour to people who are interested in outback adventures. Wishing you all the success in the future”
J Fry – Spirits of the Indian Pacific & The Ghan Tour – July 2007
“The Tour Leader and Coach Captain were excellent and most helpful at all times. Highlights were Longreach, Mt Isa Mine Tour and the Cattle Stations….”
J & O Hamon – Spirits of Outback Queensland – June 2007