Join us to see why we have been voted
Award date: 13 September 2009
Corroboree is an Aboriginal word meaning “A gathering of people, dance or celebration.”
Corroboree 2009 – THRIVE! will be a transformational experience for Aussie Specialists and industry partners alike! Set in Adelaide, South Australia, this event will focus on cultivating relationships and building new business in these challenging times for the travel industry.
Bookabee’s enthusiasm and passion for sharing our genuine Aboriginal tourism shone through at Tourism Australia’s recent Corroboree 2009: THRIVE! international trade event held at the Hilton Hotel Adelaide South Australia. Approximately 150 American and Canadian Travel agents including the Aussie Specialists and Premier Specialists met with 100 of Australia’s top tourism operators during the event. Tourism operators from across the country representing everything from hotel accommodation to Commercial Tour Operators like Bookabee met to inservice our North American visitors on our products.
At the Gala Dinner held on Sunday night at the Adelaide Town Hall, Bookabee’s unique style of presentation was recognised when we received the Opal Award for the 2009 Best New Experience at the event.
2009 Australian Traveller Top 20 Australian Tours
“Organised tours have a mixed reputation. Some are good, most are pretty bad, others are downright ugly. The real trick is knowing which ones are brilliant.”
Gail Liston has hit the road and distilled her extensive travel knowledge to bring us the 20 Top Tours from all around Australia.
To truly experience the Flinders Ranges, hook up with local Adnyamathanha tour guide Haydyn Bromley for this incredible four-day mission of discovery. The luxury 4WD journey visits the natural amphitheatre of Wilpena Pound, Brachina Gorge, Gorge petroglyphs, Bunyeroo Gorge, Italowie Gap, Malkair Rock Art and the Ochre Pits in Bromley’s traditional homeland. He tells the Adnyamathanha Creation stories and traces the path of the Kingfisher Man, who came down from the north to Wilpena Pound followed by Akurra, the Rainbow Serpent, where their squabbles resulted in the formation of the current landscape.
Cockatoos, emus, red and grey kangaroos and, Haydyn’s personal totem, elusive yellow-footed rock wallabies will cross your path and after you nibble on native gooseberries, bush bananas and quandongs you’ll have to agree with Bromley that “no-one went hungry living in this land”. Whatever your bent, this tour fits the bill – and there’s a lot to be said for the air-conditioned comfort of a luxury vehicle on those days when the mercury climbs to more than 40ºC.
Brag Factor // Munch on sandwiches beneath thousands of ancient petroglyphs at a Gorge in the Northern Flinders Ranges.
Date published: 27.05.2009
Bookabee Tours Australia Wins Best Aboriginal Tour Company for third year running at the 2009 South Australian Tourism Awards
Bookabees’ “Brilliant Blend” takes out the Hall of Fame
What do you get when you take an in-depth knowledge of Indigenous culture, a passion for teaching and the courage to combine the two into a touring company?
The answer is an award-winning formula for Bookabee Tours Australia.
Bookabee has been named South Australia’s Top Indigenous Tour Company for the third year running at the prestigious South Australian Tourism Awards.
Haydyn Bromley says the award is a reward for the hard work that he and partner Lele Sanderson have put into building the company, and confirmation that Bookabee Tours is on the right track.
“We started Bookabee four years ago, with two goals in mind,” Haydyn says.
“The first was to preserve Adnyamathanha culture by sharing the knowledge and teachings of our elders.”
“We want to give others an understanding of the value of caring for land and preserving our stories and practices.”
“The second reason was that as a former teacher this proved to be a natural progression where I could continue sharing knowledge.”
“The only difference is that my classroom is now our land and my pupils are the tour guests that come for the experience.”
Haydyn says the award win is a clear sign that they have hit the right market at the right time and that the passion they have for their job is acknowledged and appreciated.
Bookabee offers a range of two-day to seven-day tours highlighting the best of what’s on offer in the Flinders Ranges, Clare Valley and the Outback.
A new tour brings Coober Pedy and surrounds into the mix with a day along the famous Oodnadatta Track.
For those with time constraints there are also half and full day guided walking tours in and around the city.
So far this year, more than 500 guests have enjoyed the Bookabee experience.
That represents a 35 per cent increase on last years’ numbers.
“Our predominant target market, the international traveller is really coming on board,” Haydyn said.
“We have seen a significant growth during 2008-2009 season and have had a 60 per cent increase in international wholesale contracts to deliver Aboriginal and Outback experiences to international inbound experience seekers.”
Bookabee’s biggest markets are the UK, USA, Germany and Europe and the company has seen an increase in tours from countries like Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Denmark.
They also cater for domestic travelers who are looking for quality, genuine Aboriginal culture and knowledge experiences.
“We highlight not only the big tourism points of interest, but the cultural knowledge that can only be shared by an Aboriginal person with local connections and knowledge of the area,” Haydyn says.
“Things like important local sites and those that are not accessible to the general public and mainstream tourism operators.
“This gives Bookabee a discernable point of difference from other operators that value adds to the tourism experience through anecdotes and local knowledge.”
Bookabee Tours Australia, South Australian Winner of the Publicityship: National 2007 Hidden Jewel Awards
Indigenous luxury added to South Australian tourism mix
The Aboriginal experience isn’t usually equated with a luxury. But a demand among discerning travelers for a genuine cultural encounter, without foregoing five-star comforts, has resulted in a growing tourism Niche – Indigenous luxury.
Bookabee Tours Australia can’t help but offer authenticity in its indigenous tours, thanks to owner-operator Haydyn Bromley, who named the business after his grandfather.
And now, with the addition of luxury accommodation to the chauffeur-driven, top-of-the-range 4WDs used to transport guests, Bookabee is able to ensure a five-star Indigenous experience.
Haydyn, from the Adnyamathanha tribe in the northern Flinders Ranges, prides himself on providing the ‘real-deal’ of Aboriginal culture by drawing on knowledge and skills learned during his early life.
Whether he is running a tailored experience for one couple, or a small group tour, Haydyn thrives on personal interaction and conversation with each of his guests.
The word is steadily spreading about his professional yet easygoing style of presentation, and his natural affinity with people from all corners of the globe.
One of many international testimonials encapsulates Haydyn’s personalised style of guiding:
“Haydyn was happy to adapt the itinerary as I made new discoveries and learned new things. When we met kangaroo hunters at the Prairie Hotel, for instance, Haydyn noted my interest and arranged to have me join an indigenous kangaroo hunt with his uncle. Instead of just learning ‘facts’ about the area from a neutral perspective, Haydyn showed the stories of the region passed to him by his grandfather and introduced me to family members living in the area.”
This attention to individual requirements and essential detail infuses the tours with five-star quality, placing indigenous tourism more firmly within the realms of the luxury traveller.
High-end accommodation providers now partnering with Bookabee Tours Australia include Rawnsley Park, which offers luxury eco-villas, Prairie Hotel with its top-of-the-range executive suites, and Wilpena Pound Resort’s Heysen Deluxe Unit.
“We offer an Aboriginal experience second-to-none,” said Haydyn. “And, while there are other mainstream operators out there running Aboriginal tours, we do it in style!”
Bookabee Australia wins Australia’s Best Indigenous Experience which was judged the Aussie Specialist program
We are proud to be associated with this award and would like to thank all the travellers and supporters of Bookabee Australia.
Special thanks to the International & Inbound Marketing Team and Media & Trade Familiarisations Team at the South Australian Tourism Commission.
So much Australia so little time…
There comes a time, usually at about age 40, when it becomes all too evident that too few vacation days will accrue in the years that remain, and too many journeys remain untravelled. When the harsh reality hits, there are essentially two options; sell the house and the kids, or prioritize your holidays to include only the best of the best. For inbound travelers to Australia short-listing can be an impossible challenge, as Australia’s a big country with a lifetime of experiences to offer.
Travelling In Australia Magazine (TIAM) set about finding the best of the best and a panel of hard-core Australia-holics (international Premier Aussie Specialists) determined the following winners…
Category: Best Indigenous Experience
What makes Bookabee the best?
“My husband and I were fortunate enough to take a trip with Haydyn last September, pre-Corroboree. During my many travels to Australia I had never experienced the terrain and history of the Indigenous people as I did with Haydyn, our guide to the Outback. He was fluent in his story telling about the land and the people who occupied it. As an Aboriginal, his pride in the history – his history – was quite evident. Haydyn brought the history to life, was a wonderful host and created a memorable trip.”
Sharon Oberritter, Oberritter Travel, USA