Remote Tours NT is an educationally based, culturally aware tour company with a strong emphasis on interaction with Aboriginal people and culture. Founder and Director Richard “Reg” Ramsden established the company with the aim of providing interactive cultural experiences for school groups in Australia. These authentic and immersive tours are ultimately designed to close the gap that exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. This is a result of Reg’s observation that many students in our country have a mistaken perception of Aboriginal people, often perpetuated by inexperience and the media. He recognised that for many students, these tours are often their first authentic experience with an Aboriginal community.
As stated on their website:
Remote Education Tours provides visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture of Central Australia. Our excursions ensure that students have a unique educational experience, learning about ancient Indigenous cultures, whilst traveling through the diverse landscape of the Northern Territory’s Red Center.
Remote Tours is at current the only tour company in the Northern Territory that offers school groups an opportunity to stay with remote Aboriginal communities and experience their daily life.
Reg Ramsden and the Watarrka Foundation
In addition to establishing Remote Tours NT, Reg is also the Founder and Director of the Watarrka Foundation. Reg has a long history of working with communities in the Watarrka region, after many years of working as a tour guide and living in the region. Assisting remote communities such as Lilla where he could, Reg found his own support resources were limited. This ultimately resulted in his establishment of the Lilla Foundation in 2012 (later renamed as the Watarrka Foundation).
Over the years, Reg has built many close relationships with Aboriginal Elders from various communities in the region, turning these relationships into unique and valuable learning experiences for school students. As stated on the Remote Tours NT website:
One example is at the community close to the Kings Canyon Resort called Lilla. Remote Tours have been running school excursion in the red center that incorporate visits to Lilla and participating in community service work that can help make the communities self-sustaining. In return for their hard work the students get to interact directly with indigenous community members of Lilla and the Watarrka region, enabling them to not just observe, but experience the culture at a personal level.
The organisation of these tours, along with establishing the Watarrka Foundation, exemplify Reg’s strong commitment to the recognition of Aboriginal people, their culture and bridging cultural divides in Australia.
Remote Tours NT Offerings
Remote Tours NT offers a variety of tour options. These tours are run by a group of highly experienced and reputable employees who share a passion to educate students about Aboriginal culture. Tour options include:
1. Watarrka & Kings Canyon – During this tour you can walk around the historical and cultural sites of Lila, sit with local Aboriginal artists and do traditional art making activities, learn how to throw the boomerang/spear/woomera, watch and learn about traditional sand drawings, visit an Aboriginal school and meet local kids, participate in a guided hike of Kings Canyon, visit the Garden of Eden and visit other local Aboriginal communities. Learn more here (https://www.remotetours.com.au/watarrka-and-kings-canyon)
2. Alice Springs – During this tour you can visit Alice Springs Telegraph Station, Reptile Center, Desert Knowledge Park, Royal Flying Doctor Museum and the Earth Sanctuary. Learn more here (https://www.remotetours.com.au/alice-springs)
3. Uluru and Kata Tjuta – During this tour you can participate in a guided base walk of Ulura, guided Valley of the Winds hike, visit the Ayers Rock cultural center and go on optional camel rides through the park. Learn more here (https://www.remotetours.com.au/uluru-kata-tjuta)
4. Western MacDonnell Ranges – During this tour you can visit Ellery Creek Big Hole, the Ochre Pits, Orminston Gorge and the Glen Helen Gorge. Learn more here (https://www.remotetours.com.au/western-macdonnell-ranges)
5. Customised Trips – Remote Tours understands that every group that travels with them has their own unique requirements. Therefore their standard excursion components can be mixed and matched to suit the specific needs of travelers. Learn more here (https://www.remotetours.com.au/customised-trips)
With freedom of movement now possible after the opening of national borders, the Watarrka Foundation highly recommends booking your next school excursion with Reg and his team a much of our remote community sustainability relies on tourist visitation. To book, visit their website https://www.remotetours.com.au/contact-us or email Reg at firstname.lastname@example.org
To support the Foundation and our projects within the Northern Territory, make a donation at www.givenow.com.au/watarrkafoundation