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.

Mealtimes

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.

1. Bookings
1.1 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.

1.2 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, Coates Wildlife Tours’ refund and/or credit policy may apply. 


1.3 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 and
When you have received our written confirmation advice.

2. Payments
2.1 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.

2.2 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.

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

3. Recreational Services
3.1 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.

4. Fitness
4.1 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.

5. Health
5.1 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 liability for anything relating to a pre-existing health condition.

5.2 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.

5.3 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.

6. Remote Areas
6.1 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.

7. Safety
7.1 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.

8. Refusal of Carriage
8.1 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.

9. Forced Majeure Event
9.1 “Force Majeure Event” means any act of God, war, terrorism, fire, flood, cyclone or any other extreme weather conditions, loss of power, epidemics or pandemics (including COVID-19), public health emergencies, industrial disputes, slow-downs or other strike, riots or civil unrest, acts of government, semi-government or other authorities, state and or federal government restrictions, including (but not limited to) restrictions on travel and gatherings, inability to obtain any necessary licence or consent and delays caused by subcontractors, suppliers or other third parties (including telecommunications carriers), material shortages or other disruption to Coates Wildlife Tours’ services beyond its control. 


9.2  If any Force Majeure Event results in Coates Wildlife Tours being prevented from, or delayed in, performing any of its obligations to the Customer:

(a)  then such a delay or prevention of performance shall not be deemed to be a breach of contract or any other obligation placed upon Coates Wildlife Tours under these terms and conditions;


 (b)  no loss or damage shall be claimed by the customer from Coates Wildlife Tours by reason thereof; and 


(c)  Coates Wildlife Tours shall use its best endeavours to minimise and reduce any period of suspension occasioned by any Force Majeure Event. 
 9.3 In the event of a Force Majeure Event, Coates Wildlife Tours, in its absolute discretion, may:
(a)  cancel or modify any routes within the product itinerary or objectives set out in the itinerary; 


(b)  substitute different or equivalent routes within the itinerary in place of cancelled or modified routes; 


(c)  postpone, cancel or delay (either in relation to the departure or arrival times or the duration of the itinerary) any aspect of the product if in the absolute discretion of Coates Wildlife Tours it is necessary to do so; 


(d)  offer a transfer of the product, or part thereof, to an alternative date within 12 months (or such longer period as is reasonable and determined by Coates Wildlife Tours in the circumstances), which transfer option is subject to availability; 


(e)  offer a credit, to the value of any monies paid, which credit will be transferable to another person and valid for travel within 12 months from the issue date (or such other longer period as determined by Coates Wildlife Tours in its absolute discretion), provided that:
(i)  any additional costs payable on the new product will be payable by the Customer in full at the time of booking; 


(ii)  additional costs may apply for the product in future seasons; and 


(iii)  the credit, or any balance on a partially used credit, is not redeemable for cash.

10. Responsibility
10.1 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.

10.2 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.

11. Cancellations
Cancellations by Customer
11.1 If you cancel your booking with us, you must notify Coates Wildlife Tours in writing or email info@coateswildlifetours.com.au

11.2 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
11.3 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.

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

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

12. Tour Amendments
Amendments by Coates Wildlife Tours
12.1  Prices and products, including (but not limited to) accommodation and products as shown on Coates Wildlife Tour’s website, are subject to change. Coates Wildlife Tours reserves the right to change this information without notice. 


12.2  Coates Wildlife Tours reserves the right to:
(a)  cancel or modify any routes within the product itinerary or objectives set out in the itinerary; 


(b)  substitute different or equivalent routes within the itinerary in place of cancelled or modified routes; 


(c)  postpone, cancel or delay (either in relation to the departure or arrival times or the duration of the itinerary) any such aspect of the product if in the absolute discretion of Coates Wildlife Tours it is necessary to do so. 


12.3  In the event of any change, modification, cancellation, postponement or delay, the Customer acknowledges that the Customer will have no right of refund and no right to claim compensation for any loss and or cost incurred because of the change, modification, cancellation, postponement or delay. 


Amendments by the Customer
12.4  All booking amendment requests must be received in writing from the Customer via email no less than 60 days before the departure date. 


12.5  Coates Wildlife Tours may consent to the amendment of a portion of or all of the booking at its absolute discretion. 


12.6  The Customer is responsible for ensuring any components booked separately are appropriately amended by the Customer. 


13. Insurance
13.1 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.

14. Equipment
14.1 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.

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

16. No Smoking Policy
16.1 Our vehicles are all entirely smoke-free. Passengers are not permitted to smoke (including e-cigarettes) while onboard.

17. Luggage
17.1 Please note that luggage on tour is limited to one medium-sized, soft-sided bag weighing no more than 15 kg per person due to health and safety requirements. 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.

18. Wildlife
18.1 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.

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

20. Government Requirements/ COVID-19
20.1  If the Customer contracts COVID-19 (or any other pandemic virus or disease) within 21 days of the scheduled departure date or is instructed to self-isolate by the applicable Government or other authorising body or other persons, the Customer must notify Coates Wildlife tours in writing. In such circumstances, the Customer (and any other guest cancelling as part of the booking) will not be able to and will not be granted permission to undertake or participate in the product. In its sole discretion, Coates Wildlife Tours may offer the Customer a transfer of the product to an alternative date (subject to availability). Coates Wildlife Tours reserves the right to request supporting evidence of any contraction of COVID-19 or instruction to self-isolate. 


20.2  Where the Customer presents with an elevated temperature or other symptoms of COVID-19 or any other communicable disease or virus (whether you are aware of the condition or not), Coates Wildlife Tours may result in its absolute discretion:
(a)  refuse the Customer’s participation in the tour;


 (b)  request that the Customer wears a face mask or other protective equipment; 


(c)  request that the Customer undertakes a Rapid Antigen Test; and or 


(d)  request that the Customer concludes the tour at the earliest possible and safest opportunity. 


20.3  Where clauses 20.2(a) and (d) apply, the tour will be deemed to have been cancelled by the Customer and Coates Wildlife Tours’ usual cancellation provisions will apply. All costs incurred by the Customer and or Coates Wildlife Tours as a consequence will be at the Customer’s own expense. The Customer shall not be entitled to any refund of monies paid by the Customer to Coates Wildlife Tours under these circumstances. 


20.4  Where the Customer presents with an elevated temperature or other symptoms of COVID-19 or any other communicable disease or virus and obtains a negative result to a COVID-19 test, Coates Wildlife Tours may, in its absolute discretion, allow the Customer to participate in or re-join the product. 


20.5  Where the Customer is not allowed to participate in or re-join the product in accordance with clause 20.4 above, the tour will be deemed to have been cancelled by the Customer and Coates Wildlife Tours’ usual cancellation provisions will apply. All costs incurred by the Customer and or Coates Wildlife Tours as a consequence will be at the Customer’s own expense. The Customer shall not be entitled to any refund of monies paid by the Customer to Coates Wildlife Tours under these circumstances. 


20.6  The Customer shall comply with all vaccination and or testing requirements and or directions by:
(a)  the applicable Government (Federal or State); 


(b)  health authority or other authorising body; 


(c)  Coates Wildlife Tours; or 


(d)  any third party provider, 


in relation to COVID-19 (or any other disease or virus) for entry to the location of the product or to use or participate in the product. 


20.7  The Customer will be required to be fully vaccinated from 31 January 2022. Proof of vaccination will be required before utilising or participating in any product, including commencing any product. Where there is any inconsistency between the date specified in this clause for vaccination and any requirement or direction issued by the applicable Government (Federal or State), health authority or other authorising body, any such requirement or direction issued by the applicable Government (Federal or State), health authority or other authorising body will prevail.

20.8  Where the Customer:
(a)  is unable to meet any requirement (including where the applicable Government, health authority or other authorising body requirement is introduced subsequent to the booking); 


(b)  cancels the booking; or 


(c)  is unable to access the location of the product, 
 as a result of a requirement referred to in clauses 20.6 and 20.7 above, the Customer shall forfeit all monies paid to Coates Wildlife Tours. 


20.9  Where the Customer does not comply with any requirement referred to in clauses 20.6 and 20.7 above, Coates Wildlife Tours reserves the right to decline the booking, cancel the booking or refuse the Customer’s participation in the product at Coates Wildlife Tours’ absolute discretion and at the Customer’s cost. 


20.10  Where the Customer is unable to utilise or participate in the product, or any part thereof, due to COVID-19 (or any other pandemic) border closures and or travel restrictions imposed by the applicable Government or other authorising body, Coates Wildlife Tours, in its sole discretion, may offer to the Customer:
(a)  a transfer of the product, or part thereof, to an alternative date within 12 months (or such more extended period as is reasonable and determined by Coates Wildlife Tours in the circumstances), which transfer option is subject to availability; or 


(b)  a credit, to the value of any monies paid, which credit will be transferable to another person and valid for travel within 36 months from the issue date (or such other more extended period as determined by Coates Wildlife Tours in its absolute discretion), provided that:

(i)  any additional costs payable on the new product will be payable by the Customer in full at the time of booking; 


(ii)  additional costs may apply for the product in future seasons; and 


(iii)  the credit is not redeemable for cash or any balance on a partially used credit. 


20.11  The Customer releases and indemnifies Coates Wildlife Tours from any liability, loss or damage of any nature that may occur to the Customer, the Company or any other person (including but not limited to persons departing on the same product or utilising the same accommodation booked). Such liability, loss or damage may include (but is not limited to) all costs, losses and expenditures arising from the Customer’s use or participation in the product, any cancellation of the product, or any injury, illness or death of the Customer or any person. 


Original Document 25th October 2021
Updated 22 Nov 2021
Updated 17 Feb 2022

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