Cruise ship shore guide, tour guide – that’s me

Meet Busselton’s newest tour guide

The last cruise ship for the season sailed into Geographe Bay on 22 March this year. I have a friend who meets the ships, and acts as tour guide on the buses for a variety of the tours. Two days prior to the 22nd I received the call – the situation was desperate, there weren’t enough tour guides for the the shore excursions from the last ship of the season, would I do one? It’s easy he says. Just take their tickets, advise them of the times the bus will be leaving after each stop, and count heads when they’re all back on the bus. Yep, I think I can do that. So I agree.

He came around that night to give me a few more details including suggestions for the spiel. Three hours later I knew I’d been suckered. Of course, a spiel is required! Silly me.

I’m a bit of a chatterer that’s for sure, but a public speaker I’m definitely not. I was nervous (understatement). I spent a good few hours learning some additional facts to relate, and Paul drove the route my bus would be taking whilst I practiced a bit of a commentary.

My tour was a four hour trip around the top half of the Margaret River region. Only two stops were scheduled, one at Canal Rocks, and a long one of almost two hours in the Margaret River township. The time spent in Margaret River was free time for the tourists to explore at their own leisure.With such a big chunk of free time it made it all relatively easy compared to some of the other, more involved, tours that were leaving that day.

Wanna take the tour with me, ok buckle up, here’s how it went –

Facts provided:

Population of Busselton approximately 36,000

Geographe Bay is approximately 70 Kms wide stretching from Bunbury to Dunsborough. It’s approximately 30 metres deep at the deepest section, but only around 9 metres at the end of the jetty. That’s why the ships anchor way off shore and tenders are needed to ferry the passengers into shore.

The jetty is the longest wooden pylon jetty in the southern hemisphere. It was saved from complete demolition by the people of Busselton after it was all but destroyed in 1978 by Cyclone Alby. It’s now Busselton’s most iconic structure.

Busselton Jetty, the longest wooden pylon jetty in the southern hemisphere

The Margeret River region stretches for approximately 100kms in length, and is approximately 30kms wide.

The area includes five large towns, Busselton, Dunsborough, Augusta, Margaret River, and Cowaramup, as well as many more little villages.

Landmarks pointed out and discussed:

Canal Rocks

Canal Rocks

The Chick on a Stick at Laurence Winery

Laurence Winery’s ‘chick on a stick’

Vasse Felix Winery

The first winery to be established in the Margaret River region

The rump on the stump at Cowaramup (Cowtown)

Cowaramup’s version – ‘rump on a stump’, or ‘roast on a post’

The cows in Cowtown

There are 42 of these life size sculptures in the small town of Cowaramup (Cowtown)

and I couldn’t help but point out our own little place on our return into town.

I pointed out the most important house in Busselton – our house

Apart from that I prattled on commenting on the obvious – we’re now passing Millionaires row where the house prices range between $2,000,000 and $14,000,000. Look to your left you’ll see our deer farm with its venison farm shop. This side there’s a skate park, and over there a maze. I even pointed out two cows napping under a tree. And of course I apologised profusely for the clouds in the sky….

Thinking of previous guided tours that I’ve taken, I know I’ve heard better, and I think I’ve heard similar. I’ve certainly heard worse. I started out very nervous, with a stilted commentary trying to follow a bit of a script. About half way through my script was folded away, and that’s when the prattle started I think it went better with a bit of relaxed prattle. In fact once I relaxed it was much the same as chatting to Paul on any road trip, just commenting on the obvious, but with a few facts thrown in for good measure.

Will I do it again? You know what, I enjoyed showing tourists the places I love, so yes, I think I would. It’s a pleasure to show off our little corner of WA to the world. Next season when the cruiseliners anchor in Geographe Bay, count me in!

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23 thoughts on “Cruise ship shore guide, tour guide – that’s me

  1. Thank you reading. I’ve had a quick look at your new blog, it looks good. On mine you’ll notice a ‘follow’ widget on the right hand side. I didn’t see one on yours. If you have the follow widget, people can follow along and will receive an email each time you put up a new post. If you look through the comments at the bottom of fellow bloggers posts, you’ll notice a great community of support for blogging, and by following along their blogs you get to learn about all sorts of things. Welcome to the blogging community. I hope you find as worthwhile as I do. Let me know if you have a follow widget somewhere that I missed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You did amazingly well Chris, a lot of people just couldn’t do that at all. What a challenge and you came through with flying colours. Sounds like you may get into it more now, good for you.

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  3. How cool, Chris! It sounds like you did an awesome job and what fun! I would love to take a tour and you be my guide. 🙂 Oh, Canal Rocks is beautiful, look at that gorgeous colored water, wow!

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  4. Goodness me it would be nerve-wracking to start with. Just remember to breathe!!! Lol. It sounds like you got a lot out of it, and the tourists benefited from someone with specialist local knowledge. To me, that always helped when I was travelling.

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  5. There were 43 in the group. The cruise set sail from Sydney, and most of the passengers were Australian. There were four from NZ and some apparently from Canada.The first thing I asked the group was if anyone was from overseas, but no-one put their hands up. I only found out later in the tour. It was great fun once I’d relaxed into it, but a little nerve wracking to start with.

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  6. What fun, Chris. If I retired, I think this is exactly what I would love to do, and what’s more, I would do it for free. As kong as the group wasn’t too large and they give me a microphone, (as a I have a soft voice). How big was your group and where were the tourists from, may I ask?

    Liked by 1 person

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