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 –
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.
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:
The Chick on a Stick at Laurence Winery
Vasse Felix Winery
The rump on the stump at Cowaramup (Cowtown)
The cows in Cowtown
and I couldn’t help but point out our own little place on our return into town.
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!