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About Us

Cockatours

Our tours are unique in that the itineraries have been designed by a Cape York local and an ecologist, Cockatours Owner, Rossy.  Cockatours has evolved over the years and is now a team of excellent guides and cooks under the guidance of Rossy.  Running tours in two larger trucks, and one smaller private vehicle we explore Cape York and the Gulf Savannah on our camping tours.  We pride ourselves on continually researching & improving our tours and looking for the latest and most unique tours and places around.  Our tours primarily run between May and September each year.  We also offer youth camps & motivational speaking.

Rossy:
Rossy has been working as an ecologist in Cape York for the past 5 years, helping Indigenous rangers from Coen and Aurukun manage their feral pig populations to improve the health of their country and wetlands and reduce sea turtle nest predation by feral pigs.  Recently he started a business, Step Outside Industries, delivering motivational speeches at school and taking young adults on development camps to grow their personalities and experiences away from the distractions of technology.  He is also a passionate photographer, Muay Thai fighter, fisherman and bowhunter, snake relocator, Wet Tropics World Heritage Area tour guide, experienced bushman and generally funny to look at! covid clean logo

See full story at the bottom.

girls standing in front of truck
people standing at tip of australia
people at cape york tip sign

Our Dream

We want to teach you about the unique culture, history and ecology of the regions we travel in and have the best possible experience on the way.  We want you to experience what we have in our time living in and exploring these places!

Our big dream is to help you press the ‘RESET’ button on life, expel your worries and fill your hearts with happiness and zing so you can return home with excitement like a toddler on their first camp trip! With our wide range of expertise we will entertain you on the bumpy road to the tip or NT, whilst keeping the legacy of the original Cockatours owners, Shane and Beck, alive and laughing!

The Adventures

During May – October each year we set off on our Cape York or Gulf Savannah adventures.  These tours are our ultimate outback adventure with camping, culture, tackling rough roads and telling exaggerated stories of the day’s events around the campfire at night.  We have friends all through Cape York & the NT, adding to the experience of each tour!

We have the flexibility to cater for any adventure that needs transport, camping equipment, tents & sleeping equipment and a portable kitchen – everything you need for long or short-term adventures!  We want to encourage all visitors and locals to join us and explore our magnificent country!

people in canoes
man speaking in crowd

Step Outside

What was once our other business ‘Step Outside Industries’ we have now incorporated into Cockatours as ‘Step Outside’ programs. These programs help us fulfill our dream of giving back and paying it forward. Our dream is to help others grow, promote adventure, show people new experiences and encourage people to step outside, away from technology and into the outdoors. It is here we believe massive growth and healing occur!

Rossy is a motivational speaker in schools and runs leadership development camps providing youth with opportunities to experience raw adventure, discover their true potential and believe in themselves by stepping outside.

The Vehicles

Our two vehicles Zeus & Herc are built for adventure! Zeus (the Isuzu) takes 15 passengers and tows a camp trailer and Herc (the MAN) takes 19 and is fully in-built.  Both vehicles are equipped with comfortable seating perfect for off-road driving, a sound system with microphones for those who love karaoke and plenty of storage. The air-conditioning works extremely well and the tinted windows in the cab help keep the glare & heat out!  They are equipped with a road-cam tele and USBs for charging devices.

The private tour vehicle is a 5-seat, 2022 dual cab, Isuzu Ute, setup for exploring the more remote parts of Cape York.

truck and trailer in river
lady in front of truck with wood carrier
wet red dirt road in Australia
two reusable rubbish bins
green mesh bags with vegetables inside
every day recycling materials

Eco-Policy & Certifications

As an Ecologist, I have an enormous respect for the environment and highly value protecting it to the best of my ability.  We are always doing our best to be eco-friendly, and attempt to take measures beyond what legislation or certification requires.  Here are some of the measures we currently take:

  • Washable bins are used so that we don’t need to use plastic bin liners
  • Greenbags (Fruity Sacks) are used for shopping, including reusable mesh bags for fresh produce.  The use of plastic bags & glad wrap are discouraged on tours.  If they are used, we wash and re-use, or put them in our soft-plastic recycling bag
  • We recycle!  In remote areas recycling is rare, so instead of dumping it with the general waste, we stash it until we reach a main centre to recycle it.  We donate any container refunds to a Cape York vet service or the Royal Flying Doctors
  • Solar panels are used to charge batteries in the bus, reducing the need for connecting to 240V power
  • We make clients push start the bus every day to save fuel.  Jusssst kidding!  There’d be a mutiny!

Our qualifications & certifications include:

  • Bachelor of Science with Honours (Zoology), Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science)
  • Wet Tropics Tour Guide Certification
  • Kakadu Knowledge for Tour Guides
  • Reptile Capture Permit for Research
  • Damage Mitigation Permit (for relocating mammals & reptiles)
  • Wildlife Care & Rehabilitation & Venomous Snake Handling
  • Defensive Driving, Advanced 4WD & ATV Practical Driving & Recovery (+20 years living & driving in the bush)
  • Senior First Aid with remote area training

We had started the process of becoming Eco-Certified but due to several reasons, we decided to join the organisation and just implement our own Eco-policies.

Rossy's Story

Cockatours owner and operator Brian ‘Rossy’ Ross developed a keen affinity for adventure as a youngster, growing up at the tip of Australia in a remote community called Bamaga. He attended most of his school years in Tully and completed his Honours degree in Ecology at James Cook University Townsville. He has since lived in communities in Cape York as an ecologist for 6 years, leading a sea turtle & feral pig research project with local Indigenous rangers. His time in Cape York has earned him respect with Traditional Owners across the Cape. He has presented at national and international ecology symposiums.

Ten years earlier, as School Captain in Tully, Rossy wanted to see his school connect better, leading him to organise Tully State High School to break a Guinness world record: 508 people sitting on one chair! A few years later he would be accepted onto the Young Endeavour youth program, with his leadership and conduct on board earning him the Order of Australia medal.

His passion for adventure has led him to 39 countries on 5 continents. To fund his adventures he worked on banana farms every school and university holiday, unknowingly growing a healthy work ethic. He travelled solo from South America to Alaska by motorbike, covering 100,000 kms over two years, stopping briefly to experience work on the oil and gas pipelines in frozen Canada. He is a snake relocator, hanglider pilot and anything else that generally scares his mother!

Traditional bowhunting and photography paved the way for an outdoor life, eventually becoming a nature guide, entrepreneur & business owner. As a result of bullying he took up martial arts at 21, and has competed in Muay Thai in Australia and overseas. His dream is to give today’s youth opportunities to experience raw adventure, discover their true potential and believe in themselves by stepping outside.

His authenticity, humour, wild stories, life experience and ability to connect with youth from all walks of life are unique in the speaking and youth development world. He has spoken at schools in Cape York & Cairns and is always well received.

man on motorbike overlooking the Salar de Uyuni
men leaning against ute smiling
two men about to compete in muay thai