Forward Travel's Rose Toohey takes five with Great Walks to talk about the walking tour company's plans for the rest of 2020 and beyond.
What has your company been doing during lockdown?
Our priority was getting all our travellers back to Australia, (including me), then amending all future bookings. Once we had achieved that, we started thinking about how we were going to move Forward…
Before COVID, we were 100% about International travel. We were thinking about adding travel in Australia but were just too busy to do anything. COVID really was a case of one door closing and a whole country opening.
Now that people are free to travel again what destinations are you focussing on and do you have anything new?
All our Australia journeys are new for us, and it’s exciting to open up our own country to our travellers.
Our speciality has always been taking travellers to amazing places off the tourist trail. We created our exclusive series of Backyard Journeys, combining authentic experiences and amazing places with great guides, local insights, and private transport. They are perfect for people looking for active and engaging holidays that go beyond the tourist trail and cover multiple destinations.
Our first Journeys leave from Sydney, and as borders open up and interest grows, we plan to start from other places too.
These fantastic small group journeys cover lesser known areas, finding the raw beauty, untouched and uncrowded landscapes travellers search for. We love meeting people and finding local products in regional towns and supporting these communities is a key goal of our trips.
All our journeys are all individually planned, with group and vehicle size chosen to match the experience. Our Outback journeys travel with 2-4 people in luxury 4WD vehicles to give great comfort, access and safety. Other Journeys may take up to 15 travellers and travel in larger vehicles to give space and comfort as well.
Some of our favourite trips are:
- 10-day Murray River, History and High Country with a 5-day River Cruise. (8-15 travellers)
- 12-day Wonders of NSW by 4WD trip follows the rivers and towns of the Outback. (2-12 travellers)
- 7-day Coast to Country Walking Journeys combine 3 full day hikes in different regions. (6-10 travellers)
- 7-10 day Focus Journeys. Photography themed outback NSW and Victoria. (6-10 travellers)
- 10-day hiking in highlights in The Flinders Ranges. (6-10 travellers)
How will you be dealing with issues like social distancing, hygiene etc to guarantee clients safety?
- Our journeys are private tours with our own transport, so we are self-contained.
- We travel to isolated areas and avoid crowded places.
- We use vehicles larger than necessary to allow for social distancing.
- Our chosen hotels all observe Covid-19 safety guidelines.
- Our 4WD trips have a maximum of 5 people in vehicles that can take 7.
- Families and groups can book the whole vehicle, removing contact with other people
- Cleaning and sanitiser is used in all our vehicles and available for all travellers.
- We comply with regulations on Covid-19 safety
- Our 4WD partner has completed the South Australian Covid-19 Aware training program
- Our Murray River cruise is a private charter of the entire vessel
What would you say to a Great Walks reader who is considering going on a walking tour like yours?
1. Book quickly. These trips are unique and limited in numbers, so get in touch as soon as you are interested to ask questions and book your place.
2. Call us. We can tailor a trip just for you, or your group, starting with just 2 people.
For more info click here.