Take a look at what our past customers have to say about their touring adventures with Coates.
"Travel well - travel Coates. Where to go to get the best value for money is a question we face more and more in these hard economic times. Our holidays and where to spend them are even more vigorously scrutinised and budgeted for. Apart from finance, the single most important factor of a holiday is what value we are going to get for our expenditure.
Having now taken two trips with Coates Wildlife Tours and both having been so successful, yet so different I could do no more than highly recommend them to anyone wishing to see Australia. Travelling with Coates gives maximum return for every dollar spent and leaves impressions of Australia which one will long remember. One golden rule worth remembering is when you are onto a good thing stay with it. When you give them a try I'm sure you will feel the same way about Coates."
"Congratulations on your business and choice of leaders. The trip was all it was advertised to be and more, plus the knowledgeable and caring leaders made our trip a happy get-together of keen naturalists. Thank you."
"I'd like to thank Coates for the wonderful tour. It exceeded my expectations; I'm now back home with souvenirs that will last a lifetime. The organisation was impeccable, lodgement and picnic/coffee breaks were well provided. I really enjoyed it, I think the same goes for all participants."
Carnarvon Range Expedition
"The trip to Carnarvon Range was a fantastic experience.
Arriving in Perth in pouring rain on Sunday, I was relieved that it was not raining when we commenced our journey on Monday. Rick explained that this trip was a trial and had taken two years to come to fruition.
Finding our way to the meeting place with Lindsay took longer than anticipated, but he was eager to show us the places we could travel to after he and the other DEC people had gone.
The smoking ceremony at the waterhole was a real initiation into Aboriginal culture and was much appreciated by all. We were then allowed to climb around the rocks and take photos.
The presentation that night by Hamish assisted by Lindsay was a credit to them both - a powerpoint presentation out in remote bush using a computer and battery with a screen. It was informative, original and gave us a good basic understanding of the complexities of Aboriginal culture.
I was also impressed that Ben (I think that is his name) came with another Elder, a lady and a three year old child to be a part of the presentation. Maybe more opportunities for people to meet Aborigines on their own land and to gain some understanding of their history will help to close the gaps.
Rick, Martin and Red worked so hard for the entire trip.There was a lot of driving, setting up, preparing amazing meals and even entertaining us as well. They did a fantastic job.
Thank you for persuing the desire to make this expedition happen. It was a priviledge to be a part of it."
"On behalf of the 9 passengers I wish to convey our appreciation for the reception we were given and the interaction we enjoyed among the Martu people in the Carnarvon Range.
It was a great privilege to be welcomed to their country and shown some of its special sites such as Talbot Rockhole and Virgin Springs by Martu elders Timmy and Lena and Birriliburu rangers.
We also had the presence of D.E.C. scientists who gave us detailed background on culture, history, biology and vegetation. In particular we do thank Lindsay Langford who facilitated our meetings with the visiting Martu elders, and Hamish Morgan who gave an inspiring Powerpoint presentation by the campfire to give us a conceptual framework and highlight differing values (his 'rope of time' demonstration was clever and engaging). With Mark and Nadine we were able to get up close to various desert species such as Spinifex Hopping Mice, the feisty little Ningaui, several skinks and insects.
We were treated to a smoking ceremony on approaching Virgin Springs, with three ranger guides and elder Timmy alerting the Water Snake of our coming. This 'proper way' created a respectful attitude among our party. It was really appreciated that we had the younger rangers with us, even though Lindsay did the explanation of the site and the rock art. Later we had the opportunity to chat with the elders Lena and Timmy at the lower pool.
Botanical highlights: Flowering Calytrix, Gompholobium, Halgania, Tetratheca chapmani, Aleuta maisonneuvii, Desert stylidium, Desert Snow, four species of Grevilleas. Corymbia deserticola - some fine specimens of these trees.
Birding highlights: Bustards, emus, many raptors including a sighting of the uncommon Grey Falcon, Spinifex Pigeons, Painted Finches, Black and Pied Honeyeaters."
Christmas & Cocos Islands
"Just a short note to say how much I enjoyed the trip to Cocos and Christmas Islands. The accommodation and food were great and Rick's knowledge of the birds, crabs, etc. was incredible."
"Just a note to say thank you once again for your part in making my recent visit to Christmas Island so enjoyable. Your assistance, with that of both Rick and Red made all the difference for me, and other 'not so active' members of the group. Despite the heat and high humidity, we all achieved our goals in exploring so many aspects of the island, from seeing the endemic birds (though a couple were very shy), to visiting a Chinese Joss House, and everything in between.
I was amazed at the destruction caused by the extraction of the phosphate over all those years, and most pleased when the Ranger explained how they are working on rehabilitation.
From the thousands of red crabs, the robber crabs, blue crabs, butterflies, blowholes, the various native palms, rainforest trees, heath shrubs and even feral plants and trees, I felt quite satisfied that I had seen all aspects of the natural island. I could go on recalling my impressions and memories, captured on film as well as in my mind's eye. Smells and sounds are also well remembered.
Once again may I say what a wonderful trip you arranged, and what an excellent leader you have in Rick."
Holland Track & Great Western Woodlands
"I so enjoyed the Holland Track & great Western Woodlands tour. What a wonderful, magical experience to travel through those woodlands with all those beautiful trees and other vegetation, flowers and marvelous rocks. This vast area continues to grow and renew itself without any assistance from we humans.
Good companions added to the enjoyment. Our leaders Peter and Red were just marvelous, ever patient, cheerful and helpful (especially with the tents), full of knowledge and very skilled and careful drivers. Red produced lovely meals including some camp oven treats. All the food was excellent. Peter and Red certainly helped make a memorable trip."
Marjorie Joy Fleay
"We had a fabulous time and took lots of photos. One poor lady broke her leg at Prince Regent’s River, which provided us all with a lot of interest, unfortunately for the lady and her husband who were planning to drive round Australia in a caravan. It was very illuminating seeing the powers that be running around and how hard they worked. It is such a remote place as well. The staff were marvellous and we all put on several pounds with all the delicious food. Me especially with all the yummy gluten free food that I never normally make for myself. The staff were EXTREMELY hard working."
"We both had an absolutely fantastic holiday. Maurice and Chris are great, the meals were wonderful. We will definitely recommend a Coates tour to anyone interested and we are also considering another ourselves."
Judy & Rob Dawkins
"I just wanted to say thanks for a fabulous experience with the recent Kimberley trip led by Red & Peter. Everything was fabulous. Red is such a careful experienced driver, I felt very safe; his cooking was beyond my expectation, not to mention his wonderful friendly, patient way. Pete did a great job keeping everyone interested and included in whatever was happening, and his knowledge of the country, flora & fauna plus the night sky added to the whole experience. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who wants to get an insight into the Kimberley, and the same time be looked after so wonderfully."
"I am writing this to say how much I enjoyed my trip with your tour company to the Kimberley in June. I wanted to say a big thank you to Chris and Peter who made the trip so great for me and the other people on the tour.
They in particular had to contend with my special diet requirements as I am a coeliac and both of them have to be congratulated for their efforts, I was very impressed with their meals as I know it must have been a pain for them to have to cook some different or extra meals at times. Once again I appreciate what they did.
I had been planning this trip for some time and for various reasons have had to delay it, but I am very glad I was finally able to go and I think Coates was the best choice. I will certainly be recommending your company to anyone who will listen (as I have already). Once again thank you and I expect you will be hearing from me again as I have my eye on some of your other tours both here in Australia and O.S."
"I wanted to thank you for my recent holiday in the Kimberley. It was a fantastic holiday; I wasn't expecting such a wonderful experience. I have learnt a lot about the birds and plants and have seen some amazing sights and can't wait for my next adventure.
Also a big thank you to Peter and Chris for being so informative and introducing me to the wonders of the wildlife and how beautiful it is and teaching me a lot and being very patient with me. I would do it all again, they were fantastic at their job and the food was great."
"Just a quick note to thank you for the most memorable tour we have just completed of the Kimberley. The tour went without a hitch and I must especially praise the efforts of our two guides, Peter and Chris. The two "boys" were absolutely exceptional and the tour would never have been such a success without them. Nothing was too much trouble for them and whatever we wanted, every effort was made to accommodate us. They were always organised, cheerful, informative and lots of fun. Everything ran like clockwork and both complemented eachother's skills.
Peter's meals were outstanding (considering most of the women on the tour themselves were excellent cooks), tasty, nutritious and plentiful. Two meals especially stand out; the barramundi fish barbecue (which everyone said was a lot better than the $50 meal eaten the night before at the Kununurra Pumphouse) and the damper made in the camp oven that was absolutely sublime.
Chris's driving skills were outstanding and we would often find him checking out the bus at the end of a hard day's drive. Chris's fabulous sense of humour made us all laugh and Peter's knowledge challenged us continuously. I could actually go on a lot more on how wonderful these two guys were and how they really made our holiday exceptional. So thank you for organising the trip."
"We would like to express our appreciation for the marvelous tour we have just returned from in the Kimberley.
We enjoyed the able guidance, driving skills and wonderful food and company of both Peter Coyle and Peter Bacon on our 12 day wonder tour, and appreciate all the pre-planning, preparation and hard work that went into ensuring such an informative and enjoyable experience.
We are readily able to recommend your services to others of like mind and hopefully will undertake another tour ourselves."
Kath and Ross Pederick
"I am writing to let you both know how much I enjoyed the tour. We were fortunate to have a small number of passengers, but what made it more interesting was the tour leader Maurice and the extremely able driver Alex. Their good humour and tolerance were evident.
It was my first visit to that part of Australia and the first time I have ever been on an organised tour."
"This is just a note to say how much I loved the Kimberley trip. It really was a terrific trip; Rick and Red were just great and such good leaders. Rick has not only a fantastic knowledge of all the birds, he is also a great cook, and Red does well with the desserts.
The Kimberley is certainly a wonder area to see, we just saw so much, the scenery, the rock art, the colours of the area and all the birds. We were sorry to miss out on seeing the Bungle Bungles because of the rain, but we saw all of Kununurra and the Argyle Dam, which we would have missed if we had gone to the Bungles."
"We are regretfully back from a wonderful tour. The purpose of this email is to express our appreciation for the service you provided in seeing the trip through difficulties, and especially to thank Rick and Red for their thoroughly professional but charmingly personal skills and enthusiasm. We are in awe of their positive attitude, bushcraft, catering and management skills. We have been priviledged to have spent the last ten days with them. The whole tour was a great experience and we will be looking forward to our next Coates trip."
Graham and Shirley Fisher
Lord Howe Island
"It has been a little while since we returned from Lord Howe Island, but I wanted to send you a short message about the trip. I went to Christmas Island with you last year and thoroughly enjoyed things. However, this year was even better. It is a magnificent location and the way it seems to be looked after by the residents is terrific. I don't think we could have had a better guide than Ian Hutton and we learned so much about the plants and birds. Thanks once again for a wonderful experience."
Nigel and Anne Harland
"Having just received your newsletter which I very much enjoyed reading, I am prompted to let you know how much Julie and I enjoyed our recent wildflower trip with your company. This was our first trip with you and our expectations were well and truly met.
I can't think of any aspect of the trip where we were disappointed - the flowers were a treasure, the accommodation and meals were very good, and Chris and Joe were both excellent and ideally suited for their roles. You are to be congratulated on this outcome and I hope we will make another trip with you before too long."
New Zealand South Island Wildlife & Wilderness
"I have just returned from N.Z. and wish to tell you how much I enjoyed the whole tour. It was well planned and provided a variety of experiences and enjoyment.
I would like to compliment our guides, Rick and Martin, who were a wealth of information and were great company. Nothing was too much trouble to them. They gave assistance when needed and provided us with much local information.
This was a fantastic introduction to N.Z., this being my first visit. I would like to send my compliments to everyone at Coates."
"I know it's a couple of months since the NZ tour, but I've been meaning to send you some feedback. I had a lovely time and really felt that I'd been taken to places and shown things that I would never have gone to or seen on my own.
I was impressed at how many rare birds we were able to see in their natural habitat, but it was also nice that, for members of the group who couldn't do the more strenuous things, we also managed to get good looks at most of them in wildlife refuges like Ulva Island. Seeing the Mohua in the beech forest, the yellow-eyed penguins hopping down their little path to the beach in the dawn, the kiwis and fern bird on Stewart Island, were all very special moments. It was also lovely to get such close up views, and even interactions, with more common birds like robins, tomtits, riflemen and fantails - I like to be able to really see a bird, not just put a tick on a list. It was good to see birds in their natural environment, doing their characteristic things - spoonbills spoonbilling, for instance.
The guides, Martin and Rick, were lovely. Martin's local knowledge and his ability to communicate his enthusiasm for the mountains, keas, history and the NZ environment was inspiring. I also felt totally secure with his driving. Rick was so good at finding and identifying birds, and particularly at making sure that everyone who wanted got a good sighting, while at the same time balancing the time demands of birdwatching with keeping the group moving and not boring the non-twitchers. I liked the way they accommodated the varying enthusiasms and abilities of the group, so that the people who wanted to do a bit extra could, but the people who didn't weren't pushed to conform. And the music was wonderful - a totally unexpected addition to the tour that made it really special!
I had a lovely holiday, saw some beautiful scenery and fabulous birds, enjoyed some great walks, and generally had a good time. A big thankyou to Martin and Rick for their hard work, patience, enthusiasm and music. I would recommend this tour to my friends."
Pilbara Reef & Ranges
"A quick note to let you know how much I enjoyed my trip to Karijini and the Pilbara recently. Rick was wonderful and worked so hard to make sure we all enjoyed ourselves, as did Mike.
They both made a big effort to look after the two oldest codgers on the trip (Mal and me) and gave us the confidence to tackle the gorge walks. As a result, Malcolm only missed out on one and a half walks, and I only the half walk. We enjoyed the thrill of seeing the gorges fully, knowing this will be the last time we will probably be able to do this. I will never forget the beauty we saw and have told many since returning of our experiences.
Please thank Rick and Mike for helping us in so many ways, AND saving us from an embarrassing rescue by the Flying Doctor, should we have fallen somewhere awkward! Our best wishes to Rick and Mike and to you both for providing such lovely experiences and opportunities to travel in your beautiful state of W.A."
Rudall River Expedition
"I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the trip to Ruddall River with Rick and Red. They looked after us so well, cooked marvellous meals and were great sources of knowledge and fun as well. How lucky we were to see that country after good rains - whole green landscapes and flowering plants wherever they could get a toe hold.
I'll have to save my pennies and come on another trip with Coates - and I'll certainly recommend you to anyone interested."
"Just a short note to say what a great tour I had. The route, logistics, meals and the knowledge given by the leaders Rick and Red was terrific. I had such fun that I have booked 3 more tours online."
"Thank you for a brilliant holiday. We've just been to Rudall River with Rick and Red. It is a spectacular part of the world and we really appreciated the efforts of Rick and Red to make it such an enjoyable experience. Their knowledge, patience, continued good humour and attention to detail really set this trip apart from similar trips we have been on in Australia and overseas. You guys are really good. It was our first time with Coates and we are already planning to travel with you again. Thanks so much also for all the organisation beforehand."
Jo Palmer and Chris Marshall
"We had a fantastic time, the trip was well paced and left lots of time for everyone to pursue their own interests, and this was really appreciated. The three R's were wonderful and we were very impressed by Richard and Red converting the Oka from 4WD to 2WD and then managing to get us in to all the sites except one in this mode.
As usual the food was very good and we felt very spoilt. I am quite sure we will call upon your services again, thank you so much for your terrific organisation."
"Once again many thanks for organising such a great trip. Rick and Red, as usual, were fantastic and it was very nice to get to know Richard. Food was great and the trip was very well paced. We saw a wonderful array of flowers and birds and had a great time - it certainly is one of the most interesting and lovely parts of Australia."
South Australian Outback
"We really enjoyed our tour of the Flinders Ranges and the Lake Eyre Basin in May/June – despite the weather! Chris was an excellent leader – very capable, and always getting on with the job without fuss and with good humour. Wayne’s enthusiasm and very good knowledge of birds also contributed greatly to our enjoyment. The trip allowed us to see parts of the country that we would never have seen on our own."
Mike and Jacquie Gregson
"Congratulations on the best organised trip we have been on. Rick and Red were just wonderful and we cannot compliment them enough on every aspect of their skills, knowledge of the outback, culinary marvels and their kindness whenever help was needed. They are just a superb team and we look forward to travelling with them next year again, if not sooner."
John and Denise Lombard
South West Birds & Botany
"A note just to say it how much I enjoyed and learnt on the recent trip with Peter and Alan. It was a great itinerary and they were such nice people. Peter is a great leader, organiser, driver and experienced wildlife expert and Alan's botanical and historical knowledge and patience seemed to be endless. I would not have had such a fabulous experience of the south west on my own."
"I've just returned from the South West Birds & Botany tour with Alan and Peter as leaders. It was fabulous, the knowledge they shared so readily and their obvious love of nature came through in every aspect of the trip. Their patience was amazing and they ensured we had a wonderful experience with lots of fun filled memories."
"Just a message to say how very much we enjoyed our tour, and how good a job Peter and Joe did. The whole tour was so well organised, and nothing was any trouble, so we felt well looked after all the way. Of course the flowers and the wildlife performed their roles to perfection!"
Eleanor and Warwick Dilley
"Thanks for a brilliant SW Birds and Botany trip. The design and execution were superb. In my view the success of the trip was ultimately dependent on the guides. If they had lacked the expertise, it would have been too long and somewhat disappointing. Additionally they also had great personalities - an expert guide is useless if s/he is not able to relate to all the clients (some can be quite difficult). You are very lucky to have them."
"Sorry to be so long in providing feedback on this tour. I loved it! Alan and Peter worked very hard to give everyone the best tour. Often the needs of the botanists vied for time and sites with the birdos, but we were all well served. Lunches were great. It was everything I hoped for and more. I hope to travel with you again."
"We have recently returned to NZ from WA. Writing to you to say how much we enjoyed the South West Birds & Botany trip last month. It was all very interesting with really good company. Rick is a very competent leader, very good knowledge of birds and ably assisted by Allen with extensive botanical knowledge. All the accommodation was very good and we were very well fed."
"I would like you to know how much I enjoyed the Birds & Botany trip of the South West. My curiosity and deep interest in the wildflowers of Australia was amply satisfied. It was wonderful to have someone with the expertise of Alan Notley constantly at hand. Although getting to know the plant families was my prime objective, I was intrigued to realize that the most memorable things were to do with the other wildlife: birds and the sheer beauty of the landscape, particularly the exhilaration of getting up high on the 'mountains'.
I shall treasure the memories of sighting two whales, even though at a distance that had to be brought nearer by binoculars and the thrill of watching the effortless flight of an albatross. Rick Curtis's knowledge of birds and his ability to recognize them by their calls was astonishing and a challenge to me to try to develop a more sensitive ear. The two outstanding leaders and a lovely group combined to make a memorable holiday."
"Just a note to say thanks again for a wonderful trip in early June, the Tanami Road Expedition. It was very special for me to visit Newhaven, pity about the rain, but I loved the areas we did see. Good company, lovely food, very comfortable tent and sleeping stretcher - all appreciated. Tom and Joe contributed so much knowledge and it was just so wonderful to see the 'outback' flourishing after all the rain."
“We have just returned home from our Western Explorer trip from Broome to Perth. Just thought we would let you know how much we enjoyed our time. We do at least one such small group trip each year - here and overseas - 8 all up now, and this is the best we have done.
We were impressed with the strong client focus, the attention to individual needs and the skills of the staff. Little things like having ‘nibbles’ for hiking days, a good supply of fresh fruit and a 'nothing is too much trouble' approach. We usually travel with 12 or fewer parties and the size of 9 this time was a bonus - good bonding. You are fortunate to have the two Peters. They were great individually and worked really well as a team."
Marina & Rob Roblin
"I want to let you know how much I enjoyed my recent trip. It all seems like a dream now, back in wet and cold Perth, but perhaps I can manage another one sometime in the future.
The two Peters were great - Peter B was a safe and patient driver, efficient packer and unpacker and fantastic cook and Peter C did a great job with the birds and plants and tour participants, leading the way into the pools (brrr) and up the hills (groan) and amusing us with his tall tales. I knew less than anyone but got a big cheer when I saw the first emus from the bus on the second last day!"
"We thoroughly enjoyed the recent Kennedy Range - Mt Augustus tour. Everything is so well organised. Having knowledgeable naturalists on board makes the trip so much more meaningful.
The natural wonders of WA are really special, and your tours do it justice. We got quite a good bird list including a new one, thanks to Rick. Also being a morris dancer/musician was a big bonus! Many thanks to Rick and Steve, great meals too. Thank you."
Rosemary and Brian Sykes
"Having just returned from the Kennedy Ranges and Mt Augustus tour, I felt I must tell you that I enjoyed it very much. Each place we visited was full of interest and I felt we were most fortunate to have Rick as our tour leader followed by Steve who fed us so well. Thank you for such a well organized trip and of course we were so lucky to have a great supply of wildflowers."