When We Go
WE TOUR ALL YEAR ROUND
Nature Trail operates all year round and in most weather including rain. The only restrictions on not proceeding with a scheduled booked tour would be due to environmental conditions either for safety reasons or due to access closures in which case we shall advise each booked guest as early as possible.
Nature Trail places the safety and welfare of our tour guests at paramount importance. As part of our Trip Planning Policy, we analyse each tour for hazards and plan to mitigate risks, however any risks that cannot be mitigated which we consider to be unacceptable, and likely and beyond our control, will likely mean us cancelling a particular tour.
Nature Trail’s List of ‘Environmental Conditions’ that trigger a Tour Cancellation
- Bushfire activity in the national park of the tour
- National Park access closed to the specific hiking tour route
- Road closure preventing access to the tour area
- Actual or forecast temperature of 30 degrees Celsius or higher in the tour area
- Actual or forecast temperature of zero degrees Celsius or lower in the tour area
- Actual or forecast thunderstorm (lightning risk) in the tour area
- Actual or forecast wind gusts of 30kph (16 knots) or higher in the tour area
- Actual or forecast sleet/snow in the tour area.
Logically, our Road Tours to Country Fairs are only run at the dates of those particular events.
Nature Trail reserves the exclusive right to cancel a booked tour due to vehicle problems, tour leader illness/injury, last minute withdrawal of minimum guest numbers, other tour guest concerns or for any other reason.
Any tour cancellation that Nature Trail initiates shall be met by a prompt 100% refund of the pre-paid tour price to each booked tour guest.
MORNING & FULL-DAY TOUR TIMES
At Nature Trail, we appreciate the benefits that an early morning start provides. There are few if any people around, its the time of native bird chorus, the conditions are cooler, and the light is better and more conducive to nature photography.
Being based in Katoomba in the heart of the Blue Mountains, we’re up at first light and like to head off after a light breakfast with our gear prepped from the night before.
Guest meetup is typically 06:45am for a 7am SHARP tour start time from Katoomba. Transfers need to be prearranged at the time of booking.
Morning Tours finish time tends to be around 11am in Katoomba.
Full-Day Tours finish time is generally between 4pm and 5 pm. Note that in Katoomba last light in summer this tends to be around 8pm and in winter around 5pm.
AFTERNOON TOUR TIMES
Guest meetup is at 11:45am for a 12 noon SHARP tour start time. Transfers need to be prearranged at the time of booking.
Afternoon Tours finish time is 4pm, unless otherwise stated.
Prior bookings, tour agreement for each guest, and any guest transfer requests are required 36 hours in advance of the schedule tour start time.
TOUR PROGRAMME DATES
The dates of our Scheduled Tours are indicated on our Tour Programme Calendar for each season – Spring, Summer, Autumn Winter.
PRIVATE CHARTERED TOURS
Timings of private chartered tours are negotiable with each guest group at the time of booking.
WE DON’T TOUR AT NIGHT
Being diurnal we tour by day, and for reasons of safety and to protect wildlife. Kangaroos and other native animals tend to be active around dawn and dusk so we avoid driving at these times. Out bush the night we consider is for noctural wildlife.
Our Trekking Tours (2-Day and Multi-Day) involve overnight backpack camping. It is on these tours on foot that we mostly experience wildlife sightings by chance. As part of Nature Trail’s Governance Policy we schedule campsite arrival to be two hours before last light for safety to re-assess tent positioning, setup camp, have dinner and clean up before retiring for the night.
We recognise that other tour operators do night tours.