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Willis's Walkabouts Testimonials

Our clients have been saying nice things about us for more than 20 years. We'd like to share some of those comments so that others can see why so many people think our trips are something special. Click on any photo to see an enlarged version. Use your back button to return to this page.

Note. This page is under construction. We will add more photos and comments when we have the time to do so.

To make it easier to find comments about areas or seasons that might interest you, they are divided as follows:

Kakadu Dry Season

Jane Searle and others at the top of Waterfall Creek

"For us visiting Kakadu this year, the experience has been special. It has been challenging and at the end, we are elated and we can understand why you love the country so much." Jane Searle, Brisbane, Kakadu Circle No. 1, May 2006

"A totally unique experience, a completely different walk to any I have done. To spend three weeks in a tent with no fly and not wear a rain coat, swimming every day, cooking on a camp fire, the starry nights. Just magic." Donald Finlayson, NZ, Kakadu Circle No. 1, May 2006

"I was fascinated by the great variety of landscapes. I loved the amazing looking rock formations and the beautiful pools the most. It was great to stand on the lookout between Barramundi and Waterfall Creek and look over this huge area." Cornelia Buchta, Germany, Kakadu Short Circle, May 2000

"Your culinary skills are amazing and put ordinary hiking food to shame. I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the amazing landscape but the deep gorges with their welcome shade and deep green swimming holes were an absolute delight." Julia Coldrey, Adelaide, Kakadu Short Circle, May 2000

Rose and Kerrilee

"It was for me the perfect experience. I never go on "organised" holidays; a loner in many ways; but I sensed in this great privilege to go into those marbled, terraced, pooled places of 'God' (or whomever) and of the Aboriginals. What a wonder." Michael Barnsley, Canberra; Graveside Family Walk, September 2009
The photo at right shows Michael's daughter Rose behind 9 year old Kerrilee Roy. Click here to see a scan of what Kerrilee wrote about the trip.

"Your help enabled me to experience so many special places. Pools, waterfalls, birds, flowers, rock paintings and a deep respect for the traditional owners of the land and their great skills. I felt my connection to the land in the stillness there." Maggie McLeod, Melbourne, Graveside Family Walk, September 2006
Maggie accompanied her daughters and grandchildren on this trip.

"Travelling across wide plains, climbing through baking hot gorges, bathing in the cool waters of pristine rivers and pools, meals shared around a campfire at night, sleeping under the star filled sky, enjoying the camaraderie and fun of the group walking. A stunning journey through this wide brown land." Jacinta Farelly, Melbourne, Kakadu Highlights No. 3, April 2003

"Experiencing the rhythms of Australian life — sunrise with warm pinky glows on red rock, hot red heat, dusty days relieved by deep clear pools of water to swim and dive; conquering fears; nights spent in song and chat around firelight flicker, and spirits released by shooting stars. Thanks for your sympathetic and sensitive approach to Aboriginal culture and the land. I realised the true depth of this experience when I felt such a sadness to leave Kakadu." Laura Marshall, Scotland, Kakadu early 1990s

"The walk was truly fantastic! It's hard to know what to mention here - the scenery, the birds, the rocks - each more wonderful than any photograph I'd ever seen. And the rock art was so abundant and mysteriously magical - a real bonus that I hadn't fully anticipated." Marie Ferland, Sydney, Kakadu Super Circle, 1990s

"I enjoyed the mix of locations, each having its own unique attractions. The pace was slow enough to be relaxing, a good pace to get the feel of each area." Jim Campbell-Close, Perth, Kakadu Highlights, 1990s

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Kimberley Dry Season

Drysdale camp, Mardi & Andrew, 2nd & 3rd from left

"An incredibly inspiring and personally challenging experience, where the natural beauty and diversity of the landscape left me amazed. Elephant ear acacias, red tail black cockatoos, brolgas, blue water lilies and bloodwoods made me smile. Thank you for two weeks which brought me back to what matters most." Mardi Fielding, Brisbane, Drysdale, June 2004

"Thank you for making the otherwise inaccessible not only possible but really pleasurable as well. To see someone who has seen so much be so enthusiastic about what is around the next corner or under a distant overhang is truly inspiring." Andrew Ness, Brisbane, Drysdale 2004

"The scenery was amazing — it was particularly good being where no one else was, "in the wilderness". Have never felt so hot and then so refreshed all in a few minutes. The waterholes were glorious. Your meals were excellent. Thanks for a memorable holiday." Jo Lightfoot, Sydney, Isdell, July 2000

Gibb Group at Sir John Gorge, July 2003

"What more could one want on a trip? Gorge after gorge — swimming holes everywhere — gourmet meals and good company." Helen Evans, Adelaide, Gibb Gorges, July 2003

"This was the only way that I could have seen this part of WA. Thanks to Willis's Walkabouts for running such tours as there are none other that I would have considered. The areas seen exceeded my expectations." Peter Blackband, Sydney, Gibb Gorges, July 2003

"The strongest memories relate to the evenings — the clarity and perfect temperature, together with that sense of stillness and time suspended." Tim Kersten, Adelaide, Durack July 2008

"Thanks for a truly wonderful experience in what is one of the most beautiful areas I have ever visited. Stunning landscapes, beautiful gorges, hauntingly beautiful Aboriginal artworks and beautiful swims and campsites. The Mitchell and Lawley Rivers have left a deep impression on me." Alan Peters, Perth, Mitchell Plateau, 1990s

"I've done a lot of walking and this trip has been undoubtedly one of the best things I have ever done. Wonderfully led, beautifully fed, magnificent walking on rocks, swimming, laughing with a great bunch of companions. I'll always remember it. I hope I can return one day to love the Kimberley again." ,Sheila Bannister, Tasmania, Mitchell Plateau No. 3, August 2006

"A truly beautiful trip - gorgeous red rocks, pools, flowers, birds, art sites and guides with the knowledge and enthusiasm to greatly enhance the experience." Deirdre Martin, Perth, Mitchell Plateau 2, May-June 2002

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Red Centre

Walking up Kings Creek, Watarrka, August 2008

"We walked softly and heard the silence. I wondered at the ever changing wildness of the red landscape. I smelt the herbs after a wet day. I reveled in the wealth of flowers, all new to me. I enjoyed the company of a diverse group of Australians and the experience of an outstanding leader. I want to come back." Violet Ashford, England, Finke-Watarrka 1991

"A diverse and comprehensive cross section of geology, flora and fauna. .... I enjoyed every one of the days and felt reluctance at having to return to Alice." Jenny Jenkins, Armidale NSW, Macdonnell Ranges, early 1990s

"Paradise exists. I have walked in it, swum in it, laughed in it, breathed it; I have watched its silhouette in the west at dusk, heard it rushing through the trees and across a vast plain .... each day a perfect experience of paradise." Anita Eglitis, Melbourne, Finke-Watarrka 1991

Walking in Palm Valley, Finke Gorge National Park

"Incredible, unforgettable trip away from all civilisation! This is an experience that everybody should do at least once in his life." Patricia Burgherr, Switzerland, Centralian Explorer, mid 1990s

"I liked the walking, the landscape, the flowers, the plants, the birds and other animals, the beautiful gorges, the red rocks, the shine of the sun on them, the song of the frogs, of the birds, the group, the way we were accepted into the second part, the friendliness, the laughter, the campfire, the good and varied meals, the walks. Thank you for managing all this." Ingrid van Eetvalt, Belgium, Watarrka section of Finke-Watarrka, 1991

"I had no idea that the 'Red Centre' was so rich in geological diversity and so rich in flora ... an exceptional adventure that will stay in my memories for the rest of my life." Byron Callas, Melbourne, Red Centre, 1990s

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Pilbara

Karijini campsite, April 2009. No one else will take you places like this.

"Couldn't wait to do another trip — but had to — and well worth the wait.....the jaw dropping landscape, crystal pools and myriad flora and fauna ... Wonderful trip in splendid isolation." Lesley McHardy, Scotland, Karijini April 2009

"Your quiet guidance took me places I could never have imagined. The most comprehensive and fabulous tour of Karijini on offer." Brian Alston, Wagga Wagga, Karijini April 2009

"As ever, interesting walking and little patches of paradise that only Russell can find. Well, the patches of paradise just got larger and larger as he walk went on. Frog choruses and starscapes and gorges a go-go." Tracey Dixon, Scotland, Karijini April 2009

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Kakadu & Kimberley Wet Season

Glenys enjoying a view of the Victoria River, Gregory National Park, January 2010

"I have always wanted to walk the Kimberley in the Wet and all the advice was that Russell Willis was the expert guide who could really showcase the Kimberley at its best. My Kimberley light wet experience has been wonderful. I have learnt a great deal about the country and about bushwalking from this patient, extremely knowledgeable man and am looking forward to many future walks with Willis's" Glenys Roper, Canberra, Russell's Light Explorer, January 2010

"Before this trip, the longest walk I had been on was three days! ... My worries just washed away during my first swim in the Berkeley River. And things got better as the trip continued - the mixture of exploration, adventure and scenery was wonderful and at times magical." Tony Ashton, Canberra, Kimberley Coast, March-April 1995

"Absolutely wild!! Exciting, tough, wet, fantastically scenic, exhilarating, hard, experience of a lifetime." Craig Morgan, Sydney, Kakadu Circle, March 1989

Emily Spencer at waterfall

"Fascinating to see and learn a little about the different styles of paintings that we saw and the subjects from humans to animals and plants. Makes one appreciate the culture of the Aboriginal people and the ages that they have lived in this beautiful land. ... the rock art, the views, the changing plants, the waterfalls, the stars at night and even Russell's cooking (yummy!) Were wonderful" Emily Spencer, Sydney, Baroalba-420, March 2003

"Thanks for a wonderful two weeks. My goal was to get a real feel for Kakadu and the only way to do it was with your trip. I'm sure that none of us would ever manage to get out there without your guidance and knowledge." Craig Holden, Sydney, Baroalba-420, March 2002

Peter & others at a Litchfield Pool

"Coming to the Territory in the wet season was one of the best things we could have done. Great weather, great water, great walks, great food & great company. I highly recommend "Kakadu Light", "the trip of a lifetime." Peter Medley, Melbourne, Kakadu Light, February 2005

"I loved the green, clean & fascinating Kakadu. You took us to places off the beaten track we could never go otherwise." Di Tebbutt, Sydney, Kakadu Light, February 2005

"This season can be described with a single word 'water'. And in front of water you can put any adjective because it would have been true at one time or another ... I guess that was the reason I wanted that trip and I wouldn't have missed it for quids." Frank Sander, Sydney, age 70+, written just after finishing an 18 day January walk in Kakadu, early 1990s

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Kakadu Build Up

Jo and Anna-Carin at Cascades Creek camp, October 2007

"Let all memories sink in your head and body. I will always remember this wonderful trip, with lots of water and pools everywhere. ... Everything has been so well planned and organised and you have done everything to show us the highlights. ... Thank you for everything."

Anna-Carin Johansson & Olle Ljunggren, Sweden, Kakadu Highlights No. 12, Oct-Nov 2007

"As a fairly long time resident of Darwin, I'm wondering why I have not done this before. As far as bushwalks go, this one was well thought out with regard to attractions and distance travelled. ... A real treat was the campfire dinners. I was not expecting this level of variety ... I'm glad I did the Mary River leg as it really let everyone wind down & rest after the walk." Geoff Kum Jew, Darwin, Kakadu Highlights No. 12, Oct-Nov 2007

"The walks each day were at a good pace allowing everyone to walk together. The lunch/swimming breaks were a great way to cool off and re-energize. The evening meals were delicious. ... The houseboat & birds & fresh food was a great and relaxing way to finish." Jo Savarino, USA, Kakadu Highlights No. 12, Oct-Nov 2007

"I loved the day it rained (the first rains after the Dry), watching the storm develop, the first sting of the first droplet, the warm waterfalls, the beautiful sky and lightning, the sound of light rain as it drops on the leaves and the warmth of the earth as the heat rises up my legs." Helen Russ, Warren NSW, 1990s

Carolynne Smith at Anbadjgoran Falls

"Spectacular, spectacular!! My kind of adventure. I appreciated you showing us where to go and letting us explore and experience everything through our own eyes and minds." Carolynne Smith, Hobart, Jim Jim & Rainforest, October 2002

"The water alway looked inviting - the last freshest of fresh water around in one of the last frontiers." Darlene Wright, Darwin, ex Canada, Kakadu Build Up, 1988

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Overseas Trips

Oskar on the Pofadder Trail, Northern South Africa, Sept 2003

"I've always wanted to see Namibia and South Africa, but I wanted to do it in an active way by walking around in the land. You're the only tour operator I know that offers such a trip." Oskar Kloster, The Netherlands, Namibia-South Africa, August-September 2003

"There is only one tour operator in the world who leads you into so many remote wilderness areas in such a relatively short time." Beatrix Theuer, Vienna Austria, Namibia, August-September 2003

"One of those unforgettable trips. Lots of exotic scenery, fabulous camp spots, a great cultural experience meeting the locals. We all learnt how to cope with the exotic wildlife wandering around out tents, etc. From the roar of lions to the grunting hippos, there was never a dull moment. Thanks for all the precision organising." Adrian Jowett, Hobart, Southern Africa, March-April 2007

Frank photographing the Maltese Cross, Cedarberg, South Africa, October 2004

"The trip was a beautiful balance of luxury, excellent walks, roughing it, whales, flowers, mountains, etc. We could not have planned a trip as good as this one." Frank Whitehouse, Sydney, South Africa, September-October 2004

"The best tour of my life. Great coverage of a fascinating country. I particularly enjoyed the mountains of the Western Cape with the wonderful wildflowers and birds — all new and different. The Cedarbergs were a real highlight of rugged sandstone. The Kogelberg flowers were the best I've ever seen and the abundant whales at De Hoop were another highlight. Climbing on the mighty soaring Drakensbergs walking among the wild animals in Umfolozi — nothing like a nervous rhino to focus the mind — seeing the giraffes at very close range in Kruger, also the lions. These were all memorable. And great to meet some real South Africans and get to know something of this country and its potential history and challenges. Thank you for a very well organised trip." Keith Corbett, Hobart, South Africa, September-October 2004

Photographing the Grey Clacier, Torres del Paine, December 1993

"The Patagonian Andes are a wonderland of rugged mountains with granite spires, snow covered mountains, glaciers, lakes, beech forests, fields of daisies, waterfalls and more. The opportunity for some terrific trekking shouldn't be missed. The aim for budget travelling with some comfort in mind makes the trip affordable but not too tough." Helen O'Callaghan, Melbourne, Patagonia, November 1993 - January 1994

"Exactly the compromise between flexibility & company that we were looking for." Cathy & Cameron McAlpine, Melbourne, Patagonia November 1993 - January 1994

"Best of all were the big walks in Torres del Paine and the Fitzroy area." Robyn Huggins, Cairns, Patagonia November 1993 - January 1994

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Our Guides

Note. The quotes in this section were taken from our old printed brochures from 1992 to 2002 (the last big one we did). We didn't include which trip the quote was from so that information is missing below.

Russell Willis, Bungle Bungles, April 2008. Still guiding after 25 years.

"... competent, caring, confident — a delightful raconteur, worldly wise and spiritually aware — a unique combination." Barbara Dickson, Caloundra Qld

"... very calm, knowledgeable and practical. We always felt safe and also challenged." David Buchanan, Sydney

"... entirely competent, a wonderful cook and very good company." Liz Frayn, UK

"Excellent camp food prepared by our guide and an extremely informative commentary on flora, fauna, Aboriginal history and art work" Grant Sieff, Sydney

"Our guide is a wonderful quiet provider of not only excellent food but also breadth of thought and friendly concern." Valda Corrigan, Araluen NSW

"The guide deserves great praise. She was upbeat, organised, thoughtful and great company." Mark Igra, USA

Guide Amelia Hunter (left), Mitchell Explorer, May 2007

I was most impressed by (the guide's) obvious love of the place, his knowledge and deep concern for the environment, the art sites and his intense desire to leave things exactly as they were." Jimmy James, Berridale NSW

"I like the opportunity to create your own adventure. (The guide's) relaxed style allows the unexpected to happen — and the lucky explorer can cherish these unique moments." Jo van Sommers, Hazelbrook, NSW, Drysdale May-June 1992

"... heightened our awareness of the treasures beneath our noses and above our heads. Perhaps more importantly, he enriched our sense of interaction with our natural environment and made us understand the importance of its preservation." Steve Hochman, Sydney

"An excellent leader, flexible, efficient and always conscious of the well being of every member of the party." Len Haskew, Canberra

"Always open, friendly, relaxed, enthused and above all a superb cook." Chris Jones, Sydney

"If all national parks had as competent guides as those in Willis's Walkabouts, Australians (and Germans and Canadians and Poms and...) Would understand much more of the country which surrounds them." Tym Duncanson, Nannup WA

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Miscellaneous

Note. The quotes in this section were taken from our old printed brochures from 1992 to 2002 (the last big one we did). We didn't include which trip the quote was from so that information is missing below.

"We all came as strangers and are leaving as friends." Angela Grigg, New Zealand

"We could be flexible where we camped." The whole holiday couldn't have been better." Chris Greenhalgh, Sydney

"We walked a wild and lonely place... The rewards were always there with the ancient land revealing its secret areas of paradise — water pure and translucent in giant canyons and cathedrals of rock older than mankind. The freedom to frolic in stream and waterfall, lissom white figures dwarfed by the environment — spring time and eternity, the agony and the ecstasy — and a pang of sorrow at each departure that I may not come this way again." Frank Sander, Sydney

"The relaxed style disguises all the planning and preparation which had gone on before." Lyn Moyes, Bermagui, NSW

"14 very enjoyable days .... Excellent cooking. This will be the first walking trip I've been on in which I gained weight." Ray Stevens, Perth

"A memorable experience.... From the beginning we received prompt information and friendly service. Everything worked wonderfully — the planning, travelling and pleasant laid-back atmosphere in which many of our wishes were accommodated and our interests catered for." Liz & John Mole, Germany

"I am usually wary of 'organised tours' and initially tried to figure out a way of bushwalking on my own. I'm very glad I didn't. Both guides displayed such unflagging enthusiasm and skill that they broadened my experience and enjoyment of Kakadu beyond measure." Chris Watson, USA

"As the walk was exploratory, it gave the feeling of a real adventure unfolding with each step we took." Katrina Rigby, Sydney

"The Aboriginal art was beyond my wildest expectations and the swimming holes were magnificent." Stephen Glasby, Sydney

"In wilderness we discover many things, the harsh and the hauntingly beautiful, distress and delight, the lure of distant horizons, the universe ablaze at night — we discover ourselves. For me, each Walkabout is an adventure, an inspiration, an emotion. In pristine, primeval places — already ancient at the dawn of humankind, I can discover my soul. I am young again." Frank Sander, age 75, Sydney

"After 40 years experience in Adelaide Bushwalkers, this was my first guided walk in Australia..... (the guide) was a real bushwalking leader, enjoying the challenge of something new as well as catering for the needs of the party. Willis is to be commended on their trip and the value for money." Arthur Ward, Adelaide

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Ask a Client

Our best advertisements are people who have done our trips. In recent years, about 75% of our clients have been either repeat customers or people who have come based on recommendations from their friends. Dozens of people from around the world have volunteered to tell our potential clients what their trip(s) was/were like.

If you are thinking about a trip and would like to talk to someone about what it is really like, please send us an email asking to be put in touch with one of our volunteers.

Note. Clicking the email link will start the process. You need to give us the information requested in order for us to choose the appropriate contact person.

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Willis's Walkabouts, 12 Carrington Street, Millner NT 0810, Australia walkabout@bushwalkingholidays.com.au

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