Tour Information Kit
Date: Saturday 25 March 2023
This all-day tour takes place in between The Stars Descend Porongurup dance on Friday 24 March, and the Fitzgerald Biosphere (Ravensthorpe) dance on Sunday 26 March.
Transport: Bus or self-drive
Our bookings page will allow twenty three (23) passengers for the small bus, and up to seven self-drive vehicles with about 14 people in total. Sorry – The tour is now sold out – continue to the ticketing page to add your name to the waitlist in case of a cancellation.
Start time: 7:45 am sharp
- All guests please meet at Handasyde’s Café & Strawberry Farm, 382 Chester Pass Road, Walmsley, on the outskirts of Albany.
- Departure will be prompt after a coffee order, toilet stop, short induction and an essential dieback hygiene check.
- Parking at Handasyde’s Café: self-drive vehicles can park outside the café; bus passengers need to leave their cars in the café’s overflow carpark in the paddock, ready for pick-up on return at about 5.30 pm. When parking in the paddock, please keep away from the entrance to allow easy access for other café customers.
- After you arrive, please locate the ‘sign posted’ Gondwana Link crew. As part of the tour’s dieback hygiene measures, we will check your footwear and underneath your vehicle, including wheel arches and below, to ensure they are clean of mud and soil. Keith Bradby and Evelyn Collin will then welcome you and outline the day. Coffee and tea orders will start arriving from about 7.50 am so please don’t be late!
- Tour convoy: self-drive vehicles are to make their own way from Handasyde’s Café to the first stop at Wellstead (93 km). From Wellstead, the bus will lead the convoy. Please read the Self-drive Kit and note you are responsible for your driving safety.
Finish time: Self-drive 4:00 pm; bus 5:30 pm
Self-drive vehicles: tour concludes at about 4:00 pm at Boxwood Hill Roadhouse (i.e. you’re free to leave for your next destination)
Bus passenger guests: the bus will leave Boxwood Hill Roadhouse at about 4:00 pm for the drive back to Handasydes Café, 382 Chester Pass Rd, Walmsley. We anticipate being back by 5.30 pm but our arrival time could be up to 30 minutes later.
Tickets (see ‘Eligibility’ below)
Bus passenger guests: ticket price is $90 per person to cover some of the tour’s cost, including catering, bus hire and fuel, and logistics. BUS TICKETS SOLD OUT – go to the ticketing site to add your name to the waitlist
Self-drive guests: ticket price is $60 per person to cover some of the tour’s cost, including catering and logistics (but no bus related costs included). SELF-DRIVE TICKETS SOLD OUT – go to the ticketing site to add your name to the waitlist
This is not a fundraising event, however any donations to Gondwana Link, via the tour booking form, are very welcome!
Cancellation and refunds
Refunds (less Humanitix fees) are available up to midday Monday 20 March, so we have time to offer your ticket to others.
- This special tour was initially offered only to ticket holders of at least one of The Stars Descend dance performances, but is now open to the wider public.
- A moderate level of fitness and balance is required for climbing about 25 stairs unaided at Nowanup and walking around the restoration properties on uneven terrain on quite a tight timetable; unfortunately, this particular tour is not suited to people with mobility impairments
- If you wish to self-drive a hire vehicle, please check the hire terms and conditions carefully as this tour requires 37 kms of gravel road driving which may not be permitted by the vehicle hire policy
- Camper trailers are acceptable as long as they are being towed by a high clearance vehicle
- For reasons of low clearance on tracks, extensive travel on gravel roads and our time schedule, we can’t accept:
– motorhomes/campervans with a long wheelbase, i.e. longer than a standard parking bay
- No pets
Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea (a cold drink and snack) will be provided. A variety of menu options are available when booking including omnivore, vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and/or dairy free.
- Handasyde’s Café, where we rendezvous for the start of the tour
- At Wellstead, where we will stop about 1 hour after leaving Handasyde’s Cafe
- There’s a Porta-loo toilet in a room in the Wajon’s shed at Chingarrup
- Nowanup has toilets
- There are no toilets at Monjebup North
- Boxwood Hill Roadhouse is closed on Saturdays so no toilet access.
Mobile phone reception
Telstra is the only phone service available for much of the tour and the service is variable.
Essential clothing, personal care and other items
- Comfortable clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt and long pants, jumper or similar (please do not come dressed in a t-shirt, shorts and thongs)
- Sturdy, non-slip, covered footwear (preferably farm or bushwalking boots) and longish socks
- Hat, sunblock and insect repellent
- Water bottle
- If you have binoculars and/or a camera, feel free to use them
The personal care items above may address some of the risks to you, including sunburn and bites from ticks, mosquitos, and ants.
Please follow the above advice and take responsibility for your personal wellbeing. We will have a first aid kit and at least one person with a current first aid certificate. We recommend that you have an ambulance subscription.
Roads: the tour travels 2WD gravel roads for about 37 km, as well as some medium grade, narrow gravel or sandy tracks on the properties (not steep). If there’s wet weather, this will make the roads and tracks slippery. Please ensure the driver and vehicle are suitable for gravel road surfaces and tracks. We will also travel on a highway and are likely to encounter semi-trailers and caravans.
Dieback hygiene requirements
We will visit properties that are dieback free. The introduced pathogen Phytophthora dieback is a microscopic and soil-borne organism that has devastating consequences for susceptible plants, including proteaceous species such as banksias. We all need to be especially careful and respectful about starting the tour with good dieback hygiene.
For self-drive vehicles to join this tour, owners must clean the outside of their vehicle and especially the underneath of the vehicle, including wheel arches and below, BEFORE arriving at the morning rendezvous location at Handasyde’s Café.
All tour guests must wear footwear that is clean of dirt/mud/gravel/soil, including shoe/boot treads. We will check footwear and self-drive vehicles at Handasyde’s Café.
We are hoping for dry weather as this makes dieback control much easier. If we have wet conditions, or dirt/mud has accumulated on vehicles during the drive, we will need to take extra precautions at the entrance to some of the properties. This is likely to include parking the self-drive vehicles at the property entrance and reducing the dieback risk by using the bus to transport guests onto the property in a couple of trips. We will spray 70% methylated spirits to the underside of the bus and footwear. Please be accepting of these requirements to help keep these precious environments dieback free.
Convoy travel and safety
Self-drive guests will be provided with this additional self-drive Information to help everyone arrive safely and on time to tour destinations. Please work as a team on the day to overcome any challenges during our travels.
Fuel – self-drive vehicles
Please arrive for the tour with a FULL tank of fuel as there is only one service station available on the day – at Wellstead on the South Coast Highway, open 6.30 am – 6.30 pm. However, we’d much prefer that you don’t have to think about this during the tour. Boxwood Hill Roadhouse is not open on Saturdays.
The tour is focused on private eco-restoration properties in the Boxwood Hill area, between the Fitzgerald River National Park and Stirling Range National Park. It will be led by Keith Bradby OAM. Keith is CEO of Gondwana Link Ltd; he’s been in a leadership role with the Gondwana Link program since its inception in 2002; and has decades of experience in the landscapes where the tour is taking place.
A PDF of the detailed tour itinerary is provided here. The tour includes three properties:
- ‘Chingarrup Sanctuary’ (572 ha), owned and managed by Eddy and Donna Wajon;
- ‘Nowanup’ (754 ha), owned and managed by Greening Australia and the Eades family;
- ‘Monjebup North’ (1100 ha), owned and managed by Bush Heritage Australia.
The three properties have established restoration plantings of different ages, featuring a range of local species and demonstrating different restoration techniques. The plantings serve as habitat for a range of wildlife, including malleefowl, western whipbirds, southern-emu wrens, Carnaby’s cockatoos and many other bird species; black-gloved and tammar wallabies; western pygmy possums and honey possums.
During the tour, highly knowledgeable landowners, together with Keith, will share rich information and insights about the conservation and restoration properties, and the Gondwana Link program. Restoration ecologist Justin Jonson will join us for part of the tour.
Nowanup is a centre of Goreng Noongar activity focused on healing country – healing people. Camps and events with many thousands of school children, university students, at-risk youth and Noongar families have taken place at Nowanup, and is also the base for the Nowanup Ranger team. Nowanup has 340 ha of former sheep paddock that has been revegetated, and about 400 ha of bush.
The tour highlights and focus will be:
- inspiring restoration habitat plantings and the knowledge and work that goes into ensuring good restoration outcomes – as well as what we know doesn’t work so well
- different restoration techniques and ages of restoration plantings
- the wildlife that is finding new homes and food sources in these plantings
- meeting some of the people who are making all this good work happen
- as an added bonus, views to Koi Kyeunue-ruff (Stirling Range) will be available
The Gondwana Link
The Gondwana Link is an ambitious conservation and restoration program that seeks to reconnect fragmented habitat across southern-western Australia, from the wet forests in the south-west corner to the dry woodlands and mallee bordering the Nullarbor Plain, in which ecosystem function and biodiversity are restored and maintained. The program was launched in 2002 and many wonderful individuals, groups, communities and businesses are part of this remarkable 1000 km effort. Learn more.
Gondwana Link Ltd is a not-for-profit organisation based in Albany. We facilitate conservation and restoration outcomes along the 1000 km of the Link, including conservation land purchases and restoration plantings, Indigenous land ownership and management opportunities, and environmental awareness through projects such as The Stars Descend.
We warmly thank the team of property owners and managers who are welcoming this tour to their special places. Learn more about their fabulous work:
- Eddy and Donna Wajon – Chingarrup Sanctuary
- Eugene Eades and Greening Australia – Nowanup
- Alex Hams, Healthy Landscape Manager WA, Bush Heritage – Monjebup North.
- Justin Jonson, restoration ecologist, Threshold Environmental; see also this Monjebup North page
Our hope is the tour will inspire participants to create powerful and lasting change that benefits the natural environment, First Nations peoples’ aspirations, and the Gondwana Link program!
For further information about the work that’s happening across the Gondwana Link, through the efforts of many wonderful individuals, groups, communities and businesses, please visit our website, YouTube channel and our Heartland Journeys website, including the ‘Stories’ page.
We sincerely hope the tag-along-tour on Saturday 25 March sounds like something you would like to be part of.
Connecting people … connecting nature
‘Malleefowl on mound’ photographer: Eddy Wajon
‘Nowanup meeting place’ photographer: Amanda Keesing
‘Monjebup replanting’ (banner) and ‘Black cockatoos’ courtesy of Bush Heritage Australia; photographer: Krysta Guille