business-opportunities

Proud Mary

What a truly amazing, colourful, relaxing, inspirational holiday set in a truly magical part of Australia and shared with the happiest, most interesting, caring travel companions possible.

The glorious sunrises showcased many different birds, ibis, gulls, whistling kites, cormorants, swallows, kookaburras and of course the wonderful pelicans. The pelicans followed the boat with an amazing show of flying directly at the stern of the boat so we were sure they would crash but at the last moment landing and gently gliding back on the wake and taking advantage of any fish the ship’s motor tossed up for them.

Each evening we moored at riverside stops with delightful names like Walker Flat, Mannum, Blanchetown, Portee Landing and Wood Lane where the boat’s spotlight showed us yet another magnificent aspect of the huge river red gums.

The many shore excursions acquainted us with experiences such as visiting a canoe tree, spotlighting for Southern Hairy Nosed Wombats, kangaroo and other wildlife. Whilst other outings showed the magnificent Old Days/Old Ways exhibition of restored farm machinery and household memorabilia. An outstanding sighting was the daylight viewing of three Tawny Frogmouth quietly resting and amazingly camouflaged in a dead tree.

Quietly gliding in the tender through the river and its associated lagoons allowed us to get very close to the cliffs we had been admiring from the boat. What a wealth of bird and insect life the cliffs shelter including the rowdiest corellas and cockatoos ever. The lagoons provide refuge and safe breeding for many fish species, insects, frogs and abundant plant growth.

Each activity provided more information about the history and the vital role the Murray, Murrumbidgee, Lachlan and Darling River system plays in the production of fresh food for a large part of Southern Australia. Aboard the boat there were fascinating DVD’s available to supply more information and Captain Cameron explained about this section of the river system, a system he obviously loves.

Our visit to Ngaut Ngaut with our aboriginal guides took us to the site of the first aboriginal excavation which clearly demonstrated how many generations had used these rich food and fish sources and recorded much information on the protected cave walls. Our guides captured our attention with their interesting tales of tribal life and how to quickly deal with relationships, difficulties and misdemeanours.

The original hospital and school at Swan Reach showed what an important port this has been when the river provided transport, shopping and other exchanges. Our tour of the almond orchard, where the almonds were being sorted, dried and distributed, showed what a large business this can be in this ideal climate. On a smaller scale we were delighted to learn about the production of yabbies for fine dining from an aquaculture expert.

Proud Mary food could not be faulted. Every  meal was culinary delight overseen by Mauritian born Jack and his offsider Tim. Meals, highlighting loads of local fresh produce, including oysters, prawns, roast meals, fish, salads, chicken, steak, and, of course, the Captain’s Dinner complete with pre dinner cocktails, a major event on any cruise, all presented very expertly and deliciously prepared as was the on shore barbecue. Desserts were available at each meal and a supply of fresh fruit always available, even a cake for our birthday girl, Jean. The food was excellent.

Evening entertainment was provided by David, a local singer, song writer, a trivia quiz  and spotlighting. Games were available too and some chose to learn some new board games or recall known ones as the world flowed gently by.

A visit to Myopolonga School on our last day provided a brilliant insight into what can be achieved by working together. The school needed computers, no money, the apricot orchardists needed helpers in the school holidays when the fruit ripened, somebody combined the two ideas and a business was born. The children and families are encouraged to assist with the picking, the children then learn how to dry and package the fruit, market the product, develop their interpersonal skills by welcoming visitors, directing them to the school shop, managing the money, profit margins, and balancing the books and, voila, many of their tool subjects are not only learnt but developed in a practical learning experience.

Captain Cameron and the Proud Mary staff could not have been more friendly, helpful, cooperative and committed to our enjoyment on this outstanding cruise.

Merv & Sue McConchie
Probus Club of Dingley Central 

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    • Our "FAMIL" program is an excellent way for Group and Tour leaders to go and experience a destination first hand. You get to sample the airline, meet the accommodation and touring providers and sample the local cuisine. It is a WIN/WIN situation and a lot of fun!Mark O'Brien
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    • Our recent Trade Travel “A Big Week Outback” trip with the Probus Club of Breakfast Point showed us how important it is to look at the country in greater depth. Travelling with the Probus group enabled us to delve beneath the surface and see real outback families and experience the outback in all its many and varied facets. We would recommend the Trade Travel “A Big Week Outback” to all.Client of Trade Travel
      Longreach Tour

    • The girls in res are brilliant, when I need a quote or booking I go straight to them, knowing they’ll give us the best possible price and they know exactly what we need.”Val Henry
      Tour Coordinator for Donald Simpson Centre

    • Our "FAMIL" program is an excellent way for Group and Tour leaders to go and experience a destination first hand. You get to sample the airline, meet the accommodation and touring providers and sample the local cuisine. It is a WIN/WIN situation and a lot of fun!Mark O'Brien
      Trade Travel Director

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