Heading Bush Outback Adventures

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Heading Bush Outback Adventures was established in 1989 and is the original Adelaide to Alice Springs Tour Company. The company was founded and is still owned and managed by Mick Murdoch who is 5th generation of two outback, pioneering families. His passion for the past 18 years has been to take international and local travellers into these rarely visited desert regions, so our passengers can truly say they have been introduced to Aboriginal culture and experienced the real outback.
Member since: 06 Nov 2007

How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...

Economic responsibility

  • We support local businesses and communities throughout the duration of our tours. We visit many small outback towns from Adelaide to Alice Springs. Our vehicles refuel, purchase food, use facilities (eg showers, pools, camping grounds), visit local shops and of course tourist attractions. Our guides also use and arrange accommodation in Alice Springs for our travellers. We stop at small outback hotels along the way for our passengers to purchase a cold drink or a beer and pass time with the local identities.
  • We support Iga Warta Aboriginal Community with a commitment that is included in our itinerary for all of our tours. We are committed to spending the second night of our trip at this community. We pay the community to camp there and join in some uniquely Indigenous Australian activities (eg. Mud pit painting and songs and storytelling around their campfire). The community appreciates our financial support.
  • The nature of outback communities ensures that local staff and produce are utilised at all times. In the remote outback towns that we visit, almost all of the businesses are run by locals and while some produce is transported in we always give preference to local fresh produce.

Environmental responsibility

  • Heading Bush is a certified Eco Tourism Australia Tour company. This certification involves an indepth submission regarding economic, environmental and social sustainability. The rigorous standards for this certification are found at www.ecortourism.org.au We are very proud of the certification and our company, and all our employees, abide by these guidelines. Our aim is to conserve and sustain the use of resources natural, social and cultural
  • Due to the arid and isolated nature of the areas we visit an understanding of minimal water use is essential. All water is carried in and grey water carried out. We purchase reusable items (utensils and containers) and buy food in bulk with minimal packaging. All waste is carried out and disposed of in an appropriate manner.
  • Part of the outback experience is to see native animals and local flora in their environment. Our guides all have a keen interest and respect for our flora and fauna. Wildlife is viewed but never provoked, chased or cornered. We explain to our passengers that noise must be kept to a minimum, to avoid rapid or sudden movement and to avoid camera flashes and to use safe night lights. Disturbance of flora is kept to an absolute minimum.

Social responsibility

  • The primary social/political situation in the areas that we visit relates to indigenous issues. Our guides have broad understanding of all the issues involved and are sensitive to the indigenous perspective. These issues are present and discussed with passengers throughout the tours. As an example, the traditional owners view Uluru/Ayres Rock as a sacred place and prefer it not to be climbed. Whilst climbing the Rock is an accepted Tourism activity with most companies, our guides explain the spiritual significance and the vast majority of our passengers take pride in not doing so.
  • We support Iga Warta Aboriginal Community with a commitment for an overnight experience that is included in our itinerary for all of our tours. At Iga Warta our passengers are introduced to the local culture through various activities including songs and storytelling by the community elders. At Umoona Mine (in Coober Pedy) our passengers are shown through the mine and underground displays by local tour guides
  • During our trips we visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the Oodnadatta School (primarily Aboriginal), the Oodnadatta Hospital and the School of the Air. We make donations to these enterprises and encourage any passengers so inclined to do the same.

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