The Local


Edition 2

As many of you may know, as well as providing quality Day Tours to a range of varying locations, that see you – the traveller – back home in your own bed of a night time; we also pride ourselves on providing memorable tours away (Extended Tours) for our Over 50’s travellers.
These can range from Short Stay tours (2-3 nights) in our own “backyard”, to places such as Bright, Warnambool, and Lakes Entrance.
Or, they can take the shape of multiple days, and even weeks, away, to places such as the Red Centre, Northern Queensland, NSW High Country, and even over to WA.

Right now, as I write this, both Joanne and myself (no, we haven’t killed each other yet) are out on a 9 Day, All Inclusive Extended Tour of the South Australian Copper Coast, with a local Probus Group.
Thus far, it has been an absolutely amazing tour – blessed with good weather, good times, and good company.
So I thought this would be a good time to give you a little insight as to what goes on behind the scenes on these sorts of tours – as many of you have often asked what we get up to when we are away and behind “closed doors”

Keep in mind, we are two up here – which essentially means one of us (me, thus far) acts as the driver, and the other one of us (Joanne thus far) acts as the Tour Guide.
Although for many of our Extended Tours it will just be the one of us acting as a Driver-Guide, with a group of 26 on board, we pretty much need x2 crew so that we don’t get burned out by Day 2.

Wake up – if not earlier, we are normally up and about by 6.30. Generally we try to get in a few minutes of “alone time”, to go for a walk, contemplate thoughts, or just catch up on recent events

Review of the Day to Come – we need to know where we are going, how we are getting there, and ensure all bookings are in place.
We also use this time to review our commentary for the region. Being that we travel all over Australia, we dont get the luxury of only needing to know a select bit of information…we need to know it all!

Breakfast – we meet our travellers in the dining room, and partake in the mornings breakfast. This is normally buffet style – so yes, we do eat quite well on tour (hence the walk in the morning).
We ensure our thermoses are full for the days morning tea, and all other morning tea gear is taken care of.

Office Check In – although we are on tour, the phone still rings, and the emails still come in. We do our best to get back to as many emails as can, when we can.
Please accept this now as an apology if you have called or emailed us in recent weeks and not been able to get a hold of us – as you’ll see below, we arent deliberately ignoring you, it’s just when we are on tour, our mind is in tour mode.

Bus Check – our bus is our most important friend whilst out on tour; if we look after her, she looks after us. We ensure the windscreen is clear of bugs, the inside has been swept and sanitised, the bins have been emptied, seatbelts straightened, log book filled out, and all other checks are complete.
We need to be ready to roll, day in, day out.
Bags are generally put out at this time, and we partake in the days gym workout loading 20+ suitcases underneath our bus in a style that’ll make even the most hardened Tetris player proud of us.

Boarding the Bus – this is the general time we set out on tour, sometimes its earlier, sometimes later, depending on where we need to be and by when.
We welcome our passengers back aboard, and give them a rundown for the day. For them (and for you) the day is just beginning, for us, we are already 2-3 hours deep.
The touring fun now begins

9.00am – 4.00pm:
Touring – obviously this time is very dependant as to what we have scheduled on our itinerary. Whilst two-up, one of us will be driving and the other one will generally be interacting with the passengers, providing some insightful commentary, telling some (awesome) jokes, and simply ensuring the day runs smoothly.
On top of this, we also are constantly calling ahead to venues and letting them know of our ETA, ensuring that everything is going to plan, and ironing out any little hurdles that befall us (nothing ever goes exactly to plan…that’s just part of the job).
If our travellers get to the days end and have enjoyed themselves, then we consider this a success (and, being modest of course, we are very successful in what we do)

Check in – arriving into a new motel in a new location means that we need to check in. Rooming lists need to be collected, keys handed out, luggage cleared from under the bus, passengers given instructions as to how to access their rooms, where to go for dinner, where to go to access the pool, how to get to town – all the good stuff.
It’s always go go go when arriving somewhere new for the night.

Bus Check – we park up the bus, ensuring she is fuelled, swept out, and ready to be put to bed for the night.
Log books are finalised, reports conducted, and we switch her off.

Into the Room – we check into our room, putting down our bags, and pulling out our books. We have a little debrief (or self debrief) as to the happenings of the day, what went well, and what we could do better for next time (we are always looking to improve).
We familiarise ourselves with the next days itinerary so that we know where we need to be and when, and thus know the timings to provide to our passengers.
We do a bit of office admin, we review some commentary – and we might take a few minutes just to put our feet up.

Dinner Time – generally our passengers are thirsty after an exciting day on the road, and thus, the bar is frequented by about 6.15.
We join our travellers to talk about the day, and revel in the days happenings.
Dinner is served, consisting of Mains and Dessert, and we ensure that everyone is satisfied and well fed.

Signing Off – we bid goodnight to our travellers, and make our way to our room. There might be a little bit of extra time to review our notes, or access some emails. Or perhaps a nice twilight walk is in order, to simply unwind from the day – after all, the places we frequent are generally absolutely stunning, and who can avoid going for a little twilight wander in Australia’s most remarkable locations.

Bed Time – by this time, we are normally done. Exhausted, and rightfully so, we head to bed knowing that we’ve succeed in another successful day of touring, providing our travellers many memorable and enjoyable experiences along the way. We head off to sleep, ready for that 6.30am wake up call, and ready to do it all again!

We love touring, and we wouldn’t do what we do unless we had the passion to do what we do day in day out.
And as exhausting as it can be, it truly is a pleasure to travel this great land, meeting and getting to know some great people along the way, all whilst calling it a “job”.
So if you are on tour with us, please don’t feel you can’t approach us for a chat – we genuinely love interacting with our amazing travellers.
All we would say, is that if you see us sitting alone, or standing in the distance, or simply looking at phone – and you think “hmmm, they aren’t doing much”…you probably couldn’t be more wrong.



Yering Station | Wine Yarra Valley
DAY TOUR – Winery & Brewery Tour
Cloe took out a private group to the Yarra Valley for a custom made winery tour, visiting Yeering Station Winery and the Coldstream Brewery.   

No description available.
DAY TOUR – Bottomless Brunch by the Bay
Sue took out of ever-popular Bottomless Brunch by the Bay, with a group out of the Peninsula.
This group had the honour of joining us on the Bottomless Brunch by the Bay 2.0 – where we added an ADDITIONAL winery visit at the Red Hill Estate, including an amazing wine tasting here!

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O50’s EXTENDED TOUR – Copper Coast of South Australia
Joanne and I departed this day on our Copper Coast Tour of South Australia. This 9 Day Tour takes us all the way up to Port Pirie, where we unpack for 5 nights, travelling out on day trips to some of South Aus’s most magical and memorable locations!

Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition - What's On
O50’s DAY TOUR – Sistine Chapel in Melbourne
Sue took a trip to Melbourne with a small group, to explore the amazing Sistine Chapel Exhibition in Melbourne.
Together with a visit to the Fitzroy Gardens and St Patricks Cathedral (largest in the country), this was definitely a great tour for those interested in fine art and fine architecture.  

Silo Art Trail: St Arnaud grain silos to be transformed through Creative Activations Fund | Bendigo Advertiser | Bendigo, VIC
O50’s EXTENDED TOUR – Spotlight on Silo Art
Joanne headed off on one of our most beloved Extended Tours, the Silo Art Trail. This one is a shortened version from our 5 day one, and sees our travellers out for only 4 days, but still witnessing the best of the Victorian Silo Art Trail.
Absolutely memorable stuff!