A Cultural Ambassador
Our tour guides are the most important part of our business. They are responsible for creating outstanding memorable travelling experiences for our passengers. This can be hard work, but it is extremely satisfying. Travel memories last a lifetime.
Our tour guides work with many different nationalities and personalities under ever-changing conditions. You will need to build trust and friendship with your tour group, so patience, empathy, and an open mind will be of great value .
While on tour you will be away for at least two days at a time, most likely more. We have 7-day a week departures so you will be required to work weekends and public holidays. But you do get days off between tours to relax and unwind!
- Management and care of small tour groups
- Conducting guided interpretive walks (approx. 2-3 hrs) each day
- Cooking and preparing all meals in basic campsites/accommodation. Guests assist and participate in these activities (includes gas cooking, and camp-oven cooking over a fire).
- Driving one of our fleet of 24 seat Mitsubishi Rosa buses, 21 seat Toyota Coaster buses and 16 seat Mitsubishi Cantor 4WD trucks
- Collecting firewood and preparing small fires
- Camping in permanent tents, swagging out under the stars, or staying in rooms at accommodation venues.
- Basic cleaning & tidying of camp sites and vehicle
- Adhering to all Local, State and national legislation and OH&S.
- Interacting with domestic and international travellers, providing a high standard of customer service and communication.
Basic Tour Guide Kit
To kit yourself out, here are a few essential things you will be required to obtain prior to the commencement of employment:
- Small First Aid kit
- Basic toolbox
- Hands-free microphone
- iPod (or similar)
- Hiking boots
- Akubra Hat (or similar wide brimmed hat)
Interview with a Guide
"TK" – Scott Russell - Tour Guide based in Darwin
What made you decide to become a tour guide?
I always wanted to see my country, and love working in the outdoors. Originally I was working full time as a tree surgeon, I was very happy doing that job but I broke my wrist and was unable to continue climbing trees. Looking through the internet one day for a new job I stumbled across an article about touring in Central Australia and the Top End. Sounded fun.
Why the Northern Territory?
I originally started in Alice Springs. I think I was attracted to the remoteness of the place. It was quite appealing to me to pack up and move to a place so different for where I had lived my entire life, in Sydney. The whole sleeping under the stars in the Outback just did it for me.
What kinds of training/experience do you have?
I studied Botany for three years at uni to be an Arborist so that gave me a good background with the Flora to be seen out there. Then after I was hired I went through a training course. That lasted for about 1.5 months during which we spent time with National Park rangers, anthropologists, and senior tour guides to teach us the finer details of the job.
In an average week, what does your schedule look like?
It varies quite a bit from week to week.In our busy season here, from May to October, I can be working up to 6 days a week. This is when all the tourists arrive and the weather is very comfortable.In the quieter season I'll be working 3 or 4 days a week. This is great as I can rest up after working hard during the busy times, and I can even fit in time to do fishing in-between my tours!
What do you enjoy the most, and the least, about your job?
The best parts of the job would have to be meeting so many people from so many different places and cultures and getting to show them this beautiful country. I learn as much from passengers as I hope they do from me. I don't really have a least favorite part though I really don't like doing any paperwork.
What are some common misconceptions people have about Australia?
The pure size of the country would have to be number one – it is so much bigger then most people can grasp until they visit. Then there's that whole thing that the snakes and spiders are everywhere and will go out of their way to get you!
Where are you from originally?
Born in Sydney and lived there until I moved to Alice Springs for this job. These days I live in Darwin though, been here over four years now.