Covid-19, Cancellations & pre-tour planning
Mandatory Vaccinations from October 2021
Until further notice: from 1st October 2021 Echidna Walkabout will require that all participants on our tours must be fully vaccinated with a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved vaccine against Covid-19. Before boarding a tour you will be asked to produce a vaccination certificate/passport (digital or otherwise) that is acceptable to Australian Federal and/or the relevant State/Territory jurisdictions through which you are traveling with us.
You must carry or have access to this certificate at all times during your journey with us and show it to any person in authority who asks to see it eg. police or public health officials.
Covid Safe Plan
Echidna Walkabout has produced a comprehensive Covid Safe Plan (CSP) to ensure protection of guests and staff from the Covid-19 strain of Coronavirus. Please be assured that we will have done everything in our power before the tour to ensure that when you join us you should not come into contact with Covid-19. However the nature of the virus is that it is almost impossible to stop it from moving through the community – only diligent hygiene controls and contact tracing appear to reduce its movement. With your help we can work together to ensure that the virus is not passed on as a result of our tours.
You can view our full CSP here.
The following is an overview of the immediate requirements of that plan:
Before joining a tour you must:
- provide evidence of being double-dosed with an approved Covid-19 vaccination (see above)
- advise us if you have any of the following COVID-19 symptoms or have had any of these symptoms in the 14 days prior to the tour. (our contact information is at the bottom of this page):
- Sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Body temperature exceeding 37.3 degrees Centigrade
Your temperature may be tested before you join a tour or at any time during the tour. This will be done using a non-invasive method.
To protect and prevent any risk of COVID-19 infection within the community Echidna Walkabout will not provide services to anyone who does not have an approved vaccine certificate and we may not provide service to anyone experiencing the above symptoms.
If on the date of travel our staff determine that a customer is displaying the above symptoms, or you refuse to provide a vaccine certificate, allow us to take your temperature or refuse to wear a mask, you will not be able to enter our vehicle and your tour will be cancelled. This may also apply to any other guests that are travelling with you.
If we cancel your tour as a result of an issue related to Covid-19 we will provide you with a full refund (CAUTION: you may need to consider any other obligations you have with your booking agent).
If you do not agree to provide a vaccination certifcate, allow a temperature test or fail to wear a facemask or refuse to comply with any reasonable Covid-19 related requirements (as determined by Australian Federal or State/Territory Law or Regulations) you will be unable to join our tour and we will not offer you a refund.
You must adhere strictly to the CSP requirements provided by our staff/guides before and during the tour. These may include, but are not restricted to:
- social distancing
- the wearing of full mouth and nose covering masks (you MUST bring your own mask)
- the use of hand sanitiser (we will have sanitiser on board but you should bring your own too)
- using the same seat throughout the trip
- contact tracing information
- sharing equipment with other people on the tour
Covid-19 on tour.
If you show symptoms OR test positive to Covid-19 whilst on tour you may be required, under local laws, to self isolate for up to 7 days. We will assist you to find a place to do this however we will NOT cover any associated costs.
If you contract Covid-19 during the tour and require medical services we will assist you to that but once again we will NOT cover the associated costs.
We highly recommend that you bring at least one Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) per person on the tour. We carry a very limited number of RATs for our guides and for emergency use however we will NOT supply the test unless there is no other option available to you. If this happens we will charge $20 for each test we supply. Please DO NOT depend on us to supply RATs
If during the tour Covid-19 causes the tour to be abbreviated or aborted we will NOT refund any tour costs that you have paid nor will we cover any other costs that you may have incurred pre or post tour.
We highly recommend that you have comprehensive travel insurance.
COVID RELATED REFUNDS – NB: for bookings that were made outside 21 days prior to the tour date
If any COVID-related travel restrictions are in place that may impact your ability to travel with us we will make a final review 21 days prior to the tour departure date. If travel is not possible at that time, we will cancel your tour and provide a full refund.
If no Federal or State COVID restrictions are in place our normal cancellation policies will apply (as outlined below):
GENERAL CANCELLATION POLICY
A lot of pre-tour planning and effort goes into making your small group or private tour special. We always aim to minimise waste – of food, fuel and all resources – as part of our commitment to improving the planet so that wildlife can continue to be experienced in the wild.
Our company is small, our team are dedicated, passionate professionals, many with over 20 years experience in Wildlife Guiding. Six of them have been with Echidna Walkabout for over 10 years and another four for over 5 years. We believe that Wildlife Tourism is a professional industry, and as such, members of that industry deserve reliable working conditions, and a reasonable income. Guests who travel with us often comment on the Guide’s enthusiasm, that they really love their job, the smooth running of the tour, and the excellent teamwork between Wildlife Guide/s, Koala Researchers and office staff. That comes as a result of a happy team, which consistently delivers a very high standard of service and experience to our guests.
Our tours are generally for small groups – usually with a maximum of eight or ten adults. The small group experience is better for the traveller, for the Guide, for the local community and for the wildlife. However, it does mean that one cancellation can change a tour a lot.
Please contact us as soon as you can if you need to change or cancel a booked tour – we will always try to re-schedule your tour if we can.
If you must cancel a booking made by your agent (or direct) please note our cancellation policy. Your agent may have other fees or policies too.
All extended (multi-day) tours – private, special and groups:
including Great Ocean Road, Wildlife Journey, Mungo Outback Journey, Wild Top End, Maximum Wildlife, Quolls & Birds in FNQ, Island Birds & Humpbacks Ningaloo
– cancellations made over 45 days before tour start – loss of deposit.
– cancellations made 44 to 30 days before tour start – loss of 30% of total tour cost.
– cancellations made 29 to 10 days before tour start – loss of 50% of total tour cost.
– cancellations made 9 to 0 days before tour start – no refund.
All Group day tours:
– cancellations made 29 days to 10 days before tour – loss of 50% of total tour cost
– cancellations made 9 days to 0 hours before tour – no refund.
We highly recommend you take out a comprehensive travel insurance policy. We DO NOT sell travel insurance.