Frequently Asked Questions

Get The Answers To Your Questions

N/B The words “we, our or us” in this form means Coates Wildlife Tours 

Policy Statement

To participate on any Coates Wildlife Tours activity or tour all customers and staff must be full vaccinated (2 doses plus any additional booster vaccinations that may be required in the future).    

Policy Reasons 

There are a number of reasons why Coates Wildlife Tours requires customers and staff to be vaccinated, these include: 

  • It is possible some customers or staff may have a Government requirement to be vaccinated due to a risk of being infected with coronavirus e.g., international visitors, interstate visitors, quarantine and border workers, and health workers. 
  • It is likely that some customers, staff and those we may interact with are particularly vulnerable to the health impacts of coronavirus e.g., people aged 70 years and over, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and people with significant disabilities and underlying medical conditions.
  • It is likely there will be face-to-face interaction between staff, customers, and the public, particularly interaction with people at risk of infection, or vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19. 
  • Freedom of movement. As our tours require an element of mobility to operate freedom of movement is operationally essential to running the tours. To reduce the risk of this freedom being diminished by unexpected and indefinite closures or lockdowns in areas we are travelling it is important that all tour participants are fully vaccinated. 

Staff and Customers 

Due to the potential transmission between staff and customers, our business vaccination policy will apply to both staff and customers. 

Policy Flexibility 

Coates Wildlife Tours vaccination policy applies broadly for the reasons specified above. However, our vaccination policy provides flexibility for individual circumstances such as individual staff who do not have face-to-face interactions in the normal course of their employment or customers and staff who have a cultural tradition or medical condition which precludes vaccination. 

Patronage and Other Risks 

This vaccination policy will assist us in mitigating the risks of COVID-19 transmission to customers, staff, populations living in remote communities plus the general public that we interact with during our work and the associated risks to us.

Customer Booking Conditions 

Coates Wildlife Tours booking terms and conditions should reflect and implement the vaccination policy. Please note that the terms and conditions of existing bookings cannot be amended without written agreement of the customer. 

Staff Engagement Conditions 

After consultation with exisiting staff, from the 1st November 2021 employment conditions will reflect the vaccination policy for each engagement of casual, seasonal, or new permanent employees. 

NOTE: As at the 19th October 2021 the existing staff have indicated that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and strongly support our decision to implement this policy.

Tom Grove

Managing Director

25th October 2021

Enhanced cleanliness and sanitation.

All our naturalists and guides have undergone specific tourism SARS-CoV-2 hygiene training on prevention, transmission, symptoms, and hygiene procedures. We are implementing a best-practices protocol for enhanced daily cleaning and sanitising of vehicles and equipment. Hand sanitiser will be offered freely to all guests throughout the trip, and masks will be available should anyone develop symptoms. 

We ask that you bring a small personal container of hand sanitiser that can be refilled throughout the tour, and that all guests hand sanitise upon entry and exit of vehicles.

Flexible booking policies on selected tours. 

We wish to provide you with the reassurance that you can book your trip without worrying about uncertainty during these times. On selected tours, all payments will be refunded in full if the tour cannot proceed due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Please see individual trip dossiers to determine if this flexible booking policy applies.


During mealtimes, we are making every effort to reduce shared items. Where possible, food will be served to guests by our guides instead of self-service, including fresh fruit throughout the day which will be available at all times by request. Guests and guides will be required to wash hands with soap and water prior to meals, and guides will continue to be required to wear disposable gloves while preparing and serving food. 

Coates Wildlife Tours is family owned and the first company in Western Australia to operate authentic nature-based tours over such a wide area. We have brought together a selection of the finest natural history tours available in Australia and beyond for you to choose from.

Most Coates tours have a maximum of between 6 and 12 passengers. Smaller group sizes mean more exposure to our expert guides and not having to share natural wonders with a bus load of tourist.

We very strongly recommend it. The unexpected may happen, either before or during a tour, and having travel insurance can be a great way to help protect you from financial loses. Some international tours may require travel insurance. Please call our office if you have any questions regarding insurance.

On camping trips.

You are welcome to bring a small, personal supply of alcohol with you. Due to potentially rough roads we do not recommend bringing alcohol in glass bottles, cans of beer and/or spirits are no problem. Please plan ahead as even in some larger northern towns there are restrictions on the sale of take away, full strength alcohol. Because of the restrictions once a tour has started you may not be able to buy any more during the trip. Please note that on a small number of tours, that travel through Aboriginal communities or lands, may have further restrictions regarding alcohol placed on them by Commonwealth Law. Restrictions will be advised on tours effected.

On accommodated trips.

Coates doesn’t serve alcohol on tour and there is no BYO. However, most restaurants where we will be having dinner will sell alcohol at your own expense.

In Australia – Yes. While traveling away from mains power you will be able to charge via UBS port, 12v cigarette lighter or a 240v inverter. While there are charging facilities please remember that they are limited to when our vehicles are moving and may have to be shared with other passengers. Some overnight campsites have 240V power available for recharging batteries.

International tours – Yes. Charging opportunities and power outlet / voltage varies from tour to tour, please refer to the tours trip dossier or call us for relevant advice on the destination you have chosen.

In Australia, No. Coates supplies washing powder. On international trips it is recommended that you bring a small amount so you can wash small items each evening, if required.

Depending on the tour we have several different vehicles. We two modern Toyota Prado’s that we use for our small group tours (3 passengers per vehicle). These vehicles visit the remotest parts of the country that other operators can’t get to with their larger vehicles.

We also have a 2015 Isuzu 4WD tour bus conversion, this bus has 13 forward facing seats but we only take a maximum of 12 passengers on our standard tours. Should we have a problem, either before or during a tour, with a vehicle that has been allocated to the tour we will replace our vehicle with the most appropriate hire vehicle that is available and suitable for the particular tour.

Please note that due to health and safety requirements luggage on tour is limited to one medium sized, soft-sided bag per person. The maximum weight of the bag should not to exceed 15 kilograms. A small daypack is also permitted. On international tours and some island tours luggage limits may vary, please see the respective tours trip dossier or contact the office for specific weight maximums.

There will be opportunities on most trips to buy snacks, souvenirs etc alone the way but nothing is set in stone. If there is something that you can’t live without plan to buy it before the tour starts as outback and remote towns can often have very limited supplies.
No, however, we ask that you bring your own water bottle (at least 1L) to fill from our supply. We carry plenty of water to resupply your bottle when needed. If you are joining our tour as a tag along depending on the your you may need to carry a small amount of water in your vehicle

Mobile phone coverage is patchy in outback Australia and you will be without coverage most of the time while out on the road. However, Telstra coverage is available in most regional towns, with other larger towns have coverage for all Telcos. For our international tours you will need to check with your specific phone provider however, most of our international tours also visit remote locations outside phone coverage.

Should a family member need to reach you in case of an emergency, please leave our office number with them – 08 93306066. This is attended 24 hours a day (though for emergencies only out of hours). Please be aware that in some cases there may be a delay in relaying a message. Delivery of messages is dependent on where the tour is on the tour itinerary, it may be immediate or it may take a day or two till they are contactable.
A reasonable fitness level will be required to get the maximum level of enjoyment out of your tour. However, if you wish to sit out any of the walks or excursions is always an option. Please contact our office for more details on specific tours.

We recommend you bring walking boots or shoes that are suitable to wear over various types of terrain including rocky ground and poorly constructed tracks. A pair of comfortable shoes or sandals for travelling in the vehicles and around camp are also ideal.

A tour with specific footwear requirements will have the details of those requirements listed in the tours trip dossier.

At Coates we take safety seriously.

Each Outback tour we run is equipped with a Satellite phone which enables us to contact authorities in the event of an emergency. We also carry first aid kits and defibrillators. Our guides all have current first aid trained and will take charge in an emergency situtiuon unless there is a person present with a higher level of training.
However we operate in very remote regions and even with the satellite phone, help can be several hours away.

If you are concerned about undertaking any activity please express your concerns to your guide, do not put yourself in a situation which you consider to be beyond your capabilities. All walks and activities are optional and there is no compulsion to undertake them if you wish not to.

The following terms and conditions apply to all bookings made with Adina Nominees Pty Ltd (ACN 075 427 324) as trustee for the Grove Family Trust trading as Coates Wildlife Tours. We reserve the right to amend these conditions from time to time. N/B The words “we, our or us” in this form means Coates Wildlife Tours.


By Coates Wildlife Tours duty to provide and maintain a touring environment and workplace that is free of known hazards, we have implemented a policy that will help ensure the health of our customers and visitors, our employees, and the community at large from infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, that may be reduced by vaccinations. 

All customers, employees and visitors are required to be fully vaccinated one month before the commencement of their booked tour unless they hold a reasonable exemption that any relevant authority has approved.  

A Certificate of Vaccination for COVID-19 or a copy of a letter of accommodation will be required to be provided before commencing the tour.

Where a person does not comply with this policy, the person will not be permitted to join the tour, premises, event, or service. In such circumstances;

  • For customers, the company’s refund and/or credit policy may apply.

Your booking with Coates Wildlife Tours is confirmed when:

  • We have received your completed booking form and any other additional forms that may be required.
  • Your deposit has been paid and received by us.
  • When you have received our written confirmation advice.


Deposits – please refer to the appropriate tour’s trip dossier. 

N/B International or domestic flights that form part of your itinerary, permits and any accommodation that requires pre-payment must be paid for in full at the time of deposit and are non-refundable. Airline seats are limited, prices are subject to change and not guaranteed until full payment is received. Flight confirmation is subject to availability. 

Final Payments – In most cases, final payment is required at least 30 days before departure. However, some tours may require payment up to 4 months before departure. Please refer to the tour’s trip dossier for specific details.

Credit Card Payments attract a levy of 1.5%. We accept Visa and Master Cards.

Recreational Services

Each Coates Wildlife Tour’s Tour includes recreational services. We exclude and will not be liable for any accident, injury, sickness, delay, irregularity, or damage caused or arising during any tour under its management or otherwise. Tours are often safari trips to isolated areas; they may include off-road driving, bushwalking, snorkelling, swimming and other activities. These, along with wildlife interactions, planned or otherwise involve a certain degree of risk. All travel involves some measure of personal risk that each Passenger has to determine and accept. 


Passengers should have a reasonable fitness level as our tour itineraries contain guided walks on bush tracks to natural attractions. Walking trails vary in length, and some have sections of uneven rocky ground. Please refer to the tour’s Trip Dossiers for more details. All walks are optional, and if you choose not to participate, alternative arrangements will be made with adequate provision for your comfort and safety.


You must notify us if you have any pre-existing medical conditions that might reasonably affect your participation on tour. You release Coates Wildlife Tours from any liability for anything relating to a pre-existing health condition. 

On arrival to join a tour, should you have cold or flu-like symptoms, you will be required to undergo and receive a negative result from a quick COVID-19 test. The cost of the test will be at your own expense.  

Refusal to undertake the test or receiving a positive result will prevent you from joining the tour. A full refund (less any expenses already paid plus a CWT administration fee) will be provided to any person who tests positive to the test. Refusal to take the test will result in the loss of the total tour cost. 

If required, a self-testing kit will be provided by our staff. 

Passengers are required to be able to board and alight the vehicles. Due to vehicle space restrictions, we cannot accommodate passengers who require wheelchairs or walkers. Our vehicles are not equipped with wheelchair ramps or lifters. Passengers requiring physical or mental assistance must be accompanied by a paying companion who is willing and capable of providing such assistance. 

A local facility will provide any necessary medical attention required while on tour at the passenger’s expense. Coates Wildlife Tours is not responsible or liable for any losses or costs incurred due to medical services obtained while on tour or for the quality of the care or services provided.

Remote Areas

Passengers accept that some itineraries include visits to and sometimes many overnight stays in remote areas located some distance from hospitals, medical centres or other forms of professional medical facilities. Any medical evacuation costs incurred will be at the passenger’s expense. 


Passengers accept that tours include participation in recreational services and activities which may involve certain risks and dangers beyond the control of Coates Wildlife Tours. Such activities containing risks include but are not limited to bushwalking, swimming, and travelling in remote, undeveloped locations. The Passenger acknowledges that all recreational services and activities connected to the tour are undertaken of free will and at the passenger’s own risk. In the tour leader’s opinion, passengers will not be permitted to continue on tours when the passenger’s safety is at risk.

Refusal of Carriage

Coates Wildlife Tours retains the right to remove passengers from our tours for reasons that impact the enjoyment or safety of other passengers, such as but not limited to, the physical, medical or mental inability of customers to undertake the arrangements of the tour, unsocial or unruly behaviour, or the carriage of prohibited substances or materials. Onward travel arrangements will be at the expense of the traveller removed from the tour.


Coates Wildlife Tours accepts no responsibility or liability for any injury, loss, damage, change of itinerary or inconvenience caused either directly or indirectly as a result of events that are outside of our control (Force Majeure), including but not limited to: fires, floods, acts of God, unusually severe weather, riot, war, invasion, medical outbreak or contamination of any kind, material change in legislation or government directions, industrial action or commercial flight disruptions. We will not be responsible for any loss, damage, claim or expense caused by the acts or omissions of yourself, of any other third party not connected with the provision of the travel arrangements or services, or due to an event of Force Majeure. While we endeavour to meet scheduled arrival and departure times, we cannot guarantee this. Coates Wildlife Tours and its employees or contractors cannot guarantee exact arrival and departure times and are not liable for any failure to make connections with any other services. Whilst all care is taken, we do not accept liability for loss or damage to baggage, sickness or injury, or additional expenses caused by factors beyond our control.

Passengers are advised that some service provided by Coates Wildlife Tours is for the booking and packaging of goods and services provided by other operators such as hotels, motels, attractions, cruise lines, airlines and other transportation companies. Coates Wildlife Tours will not be liable for any loss, damage, omission or act of negligence or otherwise committed by these operators, their assignees or agents.


Cancellations related to COVID-19

The customer shall comply with all current and future Government (Federal and State) COVID-19 vaccination or testing requirements for entry into any state where Coates Wildlife Tours are conducting a tour or to access the operator’s tour, property, event or service. 

Where the customer does not meet a vaccination or testing requirement: 

(a) before departure from the customer’s home location, the customer will forfeit any monies paid; or

(b) for entry to the event or venue or access to the service, the customer will not be granted entry and will forfeit any monies paid.

Where the customer cancels due to travel restrictions other than vaccination or testing requirements, the customer will be contacted and offered a refund or credit note (to be used at a later date), where such an offer is at the absolute discretion of the operator. The operator reserves the right to withhold some monies to cover administrative expenses and other expenses already incurred, depending on when the customer gives notice of cancellation. 

Cancellations by You

If you cancel your booking with us, you must notify Coates Wildlife Tours in writing or email to 

Some tours have specified cancellation times and penalties, and this specific information is available on the respective tour’s trip dossier. Where no specific cancellation time or penalties are in place, the following levies plus any costs charged by other parties involved with the tour will apply:-  

(a). The initial deposit is non-refundable. 

(b). Sixty days or less before departure; 100% of the total tour cost is non-refundable.

Cancellations by Coates Wildlife Tours

If an event occurs that is outside of our control and not reasonably foreseeable or preventable by our business, and this event leads to the suspension or cancellation of your tour booking (Force Majeure), we may elect to reschedule your travel arrangements or issue you with a credit equal to amounts paid. 

Any credit note issued by us:

(a). Must be redeemed within three years.

(b). Is redeemable on any future Coates Wildlife Tour.

(c). Is not redeemable for cash.

(d). Is not redeemable against independent suppliers or travel insurance.

If we cancel your travel arrangements for reasons beyond Force Majeure, you will be offered a refund of all funds paid.

Coates Wildlife Tours shall not be held liable for amounts that cannot be retrieved from third parties.

Tour Amendments by Coates Wildlife Tours

Before Travel

Occasionally, we may need to change the itinerary and its inclusions, and you acknowledge our right to do this. If the changes to your itinerary or its inclusions before the commencement of your trip (where the trip can still proceed) are considered significant by us, we will notify you within a reasonable time and give you a choice to accept the change, to receive a refund of the land portion of your trip or to accept an alternative trip if offered.

During Travel

Should Coates Wildlife Tours deem it desirable for climatic or other reasons whatsoever to amend the itinerary, we may do so by shortening or varying the trip, in which case the participant will not object or claim compensation.


We strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance against the imposition of cancellation fees, baggage loss or damage, and extra costs arising from injury or illness.


Transport will be by an air-conditioned custom built 4WD tour coach, minibus or 4WD vehicle, whichever is appropriate for the tour. We provide suitable camping equipment on our camping tours, except sleeping bags and pillows. A second vehicle may accompany the group on tours to remote areas. In the case of breakdown or other unforeseen circumstances affecting the vehicle or guide, the operator reserves the right to substitute vehicles and guides other than those specified, to ensure the operation of a tour.


Seat allocations onboard Coates Wildlife Tours vehicles operate with a daily seat rotation system to ensure passengers enjoy different seating positions whilst on tour.


Our vehicles are all entirely smoke-free. Passengers are not permitted to smoke (including e-cigarettes) while onboard.


Please note that due to health and safety requirements, luggage on tour is limited to one medium-sized, soft-sided bag weighing no more than 15 kg per person. A small day pack is also permitted. International tours and some other tours luggage limits may vary; please see the respective tour’s trip dossier for specific weight maximums.


Coates Wildlife Tours cannot guarantee flora and fauna sightings as stated in our itineraries as they occur in the wild, and their presence is beyond our control. 


Coates Wildlife Tours respects your privacy and will only use your personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988.


Original Document 25th October 2021

Last updated 18 Nov 2021 with pre-tour testing requirements added. 


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