We're So Glad to Be Back with ExploreOz

Friday, Apr 30, 2021 at 10:56

Olsen's Tours and Training

We're so glad to be back with ExploreOz as we've had a really long relationship with the site. We've had lots of members join us on our journeys. We've never used this blog before, as we had our own blog but I think we'll be using it a bit more going forward. We closed up shop in 2014 after some very challenging personal and family circumstances during 2013. I thought I'd use my first post to introduce the woman who led my Simpson and Hay trips in 2013, as my life fell apart. She is an inspiration to all the strong women who enjoy the outback. Misty is returning to help us in 2022. It's been a long wait.

Misty Avery

Brought up in a smoky, port, city suburb just outside of east London, the daughter of a market trader and dock worker, Misty has always had the adventurous urge and curiosity to travel. As a teenager, the lack of funds did not stop her. Instead it enhanced the journey, ensuring that each trip involved mixing with locals and experiencing the culture of many places instead of hiding in ‘tourist’ destinations. Her travel started by hitch-hiking around England and France, completing voluntary work in India, taking underprivileged children on overland trips from England to Turkey and back, teaching on a summer camp in America then spending time travelling alone around the states for a few weeks and volunteering as engineer’s assistant on a Band Aid Ship, the Sea Shepherd II.

She completed her B.Ed and became the first female to be fully qualified as a C.D.T. (Manual Arts /Australian equivalent) teacher in England at secondary school level and she then moved on to teach basic building skills to young adults. Her own career, supporting her partner as he built successful companies and becoming a mother of three did not suppress her longing for adventure and travel bug. In 1994 she purchased her first 4WD and was able to get a taste for off road driving. Since then she has never looked back owning a 4wd ever since. She completing many 4WD courses and becoming a 4WD trainer in 2012.

She supported her partner in the corporate world accompanying him to meetings, visiting Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and had many family holidays in the UK across Europe. A favourite holiday destination was ‘The Gambia’ in Africa which she visited 13 times in 10 years with her family and became involved in local projects and sponsored a child through school. The love of ‘The Gambia’ its relaxed back to basic lifestyle, little reliance on material items and remoteness was really the start of her passion for remote travel which was finally bought to reality when she emigrated to Australia and took her first trip with Olsen’s Tours along the Hay River Track in the Simpson desert in 2010. Truly inspired by this trip and the knowledge and dedication of the tour leader, Misty knew her world travels had just been a taster for the real journey of discovery in Australia she was now going to undertake

She went on to travelling with Olsen's Tours as either a customer or employee, up to Cape York, twice more across the Simpson and twice more up the Hay River Track, two of these trips as a solo tag-a-long tour guide. In 2014 she once again traversed the Hay River Track guiding a single car containing a retired couple along the Hay Track on their trip of a lifetime.

Ten years later and she has continued her adventures spending 3 to 5 months every year travelling around remote Australia and exploring a huge variety of destinations and tracks, always taking the time to ensure the journey is as much part of the experience as the destination. 4wd skills have been acquired through practice, experience and formal training to ensure that she is competent to complete each trip whether she is travelling solo or in a group. Recoveries from sand, mud and rivers being well practiced over the past 10 years with frequent short, local trips to National Parks, beaches and Sand Islands to ensure proficient 4wd driving skills are reinforced and recovery techniques are practiced safely and competently when required.

Even a ‘Care Flight’ after getting crushed by her 4Wd whilst on a remote trip in 2016 has not discouraged her from the passion she now has for the Australian outback, but it has reinforced the fact we are all mortal, and safety must not be compromised for travel and adventure.

Desert knowledge is essential and you don't get it overnight. It doesn't matter what gender you are, what matters is local knowledge, experience gained over years of different conditions and leadership. Here's to the strong women out there and thanks to ExplorOz for getting us back on board.

Kimberly Olsen


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