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  A great changing landscapeGordon Dixon
 
  The nothing walk, Central Australia (Photo courtesy of Gordon Dixon)  
 
  The nothing walk, Central Australia (Photo courtesy of Gordon Dixon)  
 
  Nandroya Falls (Photo: WTMA)  
 
  Nandroya Falls (Photo: WTMA)  

In April 2000 the inaugural trip of Desert Venturer commenced between Cairns and Alice Springs, It was a unique alternative to air travel and of great appeal to many travellers as the only outback adventure tour between the reef and rainforest and the Red Centre.

Desert Venturer commenced operation in 2000 and was very much focused on being a road trip, not just an express coach service. However, surveys and feedback from the passengers meant that, whilst the bulk of the tour was very well received, it lacked something to highlight the stark contrasts between the Red Centre desert landscapes and the Wet Tropics rainforests.

As a result, we introduced the Nandroya Falls Circuit (part of a network of walks in the Palmerston section of Wooroonooran National Park) to the tour in 2004 to provide passengers with an intimate experience of the changing landscape on their journey from the Red Centre to the rainforest.

 
  King fern, Down Under Tours (Photo: TQ)  
 
  King fern, Down Under Tours (Photo: TQ)  

Much of the success of the Nandroya Falls Circuit is that travellers from the Red Centre have only seen the sparseness and the reds and oranges of the Australian landscape. There they do the ‘nothing walk’, where
the land is red and flat in all directions and you can see 180 degrees of blue sky, giving passengers the overwhelming feel of the emptiness and space of Central Australia.

In direct contrast, the Nandroya Falls Circuit offers a range of vibrant, tropical green hues and rainforest cloaking hills and gorges. The world of our passengers is transformed to an altogether different place – a dense rainforest canopy of shady trees and shrouding foliage – the ancient, intricate and divine ecosystems of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

 
  Nandroya Falls (Photo: WTMA)  
 
  Nandroya Falls (Photo: WTMA)  

There is no doubt that Australia is an awe-inspiring landscape to come to terms with, practically and aesthetically. The transition in physical landscape from the arid Red Centre to the tropical rainforests allows us to see a transition in our passengers. The intrinsic worth of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area is such that their faces, hardened from the heat, sun and winds of Central Australia, soften with a calmer, more serene sense of well-being. Maybe it is just the simple pleasure of seeing green everywhere. Everywhere you look it is the same, yet somehow strangely different.

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Gordon Dixon

Gordon grew up in a coach and transport family and is General Manager of the Down Under Tours Group. He oversees the Cairns and Alice Springs branches and has 20 years of industry experience and professional training. In 2003 Gordon was honoured with the award of ‘Most Outstanding Contribution by an Individual’ at the Tourism Tropical North Queensland Tourism Awards. Gordon’s wife, Helen, is also actively involved in the sales department and together they have three children – Jesse (20), Charlie (18) and Mollie (13). Gordon is also an avid road cyclist. He and his brother, James – a co-director of the business – train regularly with their team to participate in events such as the 250km Victorian ‘Around the Bay in a Day’ race.

Gordon Dixon

Gordon grew up in a coach and transport family and is General Manager of the Down Under Tours Group. He oversees the Cairns and Alice Springs branches and has 20 years of industry experience and professional training. In 2003 Gordon was honoured with the award of ‘Most Outstanding Contribution by an Individual’ at the Tourism Tropical North Queensland Tourism Awards. Gordon’s wife, Helen, is also actively involved in the sales department and together they have three children – Jesse (20), Charlie (18) and Mollie (13). Gordon is also an avid road cyclist. He and his brother, James – a co-director of the business – train regularly with their team to participate in events such as the 250km Victorian ‘Around the Bay in a Day’ race.

 
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