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About Us

Cockatours

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.

Man holding baby turtle
people waving at tip of Australia

Our Dream

We want to help other people get to the Tip of Australia and have the best possible experience doing so! 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 fishing and wildlife backgrounds we will entertain you on the bumpy road to the tip, whilst keeping the legacy of the original Cockatours owners, Shane and Beck, alive and laughing! We wish to share with you the true, authentic Cape York and we will be mentoring Indigenous guides in several locations across Cape York in the hopes that they will build their guiding skills and confidence and one day start their own business.

The Cape York Adventure

During May – October each year we set off on our Cape York adventures to reach the Northern most Tip of Australia. These tours are our ultimate outback adventure with camping, fishing, tackling beaten track and telling exaggerated stories of the day’s events around the campfire at night.

We have friends all through Cape York and a special Indigenous mate from Coen welcomes us to country with a traditional smoking ceremony, one you’ll never forget!

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!

tour bus next to red dirt road.
Man speaking in front of students

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 Truck 'Zeus'

Our 18-seater tour truck, Zeus, takes us on all our adventures. He is 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! .Our trailer is our portable kitchen with even more storage which is perfect for any event; short/long term camping trips, weekend getaways, the list goes on!  There’s even a large tarp awning for those rare rainy days! 

On tours, we take a maximum of 14 people as we remove the 15th seat in the back and replace it with an esky for your own snacks and drinks!

Cockatours tour bus and trailer
Tour Truck at Camp with people relaxing
seats inside an isuzu tour truck
two types of tents set up
ladies showing off a tent

Camping Equipment

We are very particular about a few things that make a trip comfortable; good food and sleeping gear are two of those.

As of 2020, we now have two tents: a double tent or a singles tent.  Our double tents are both 6.5 ft high, very spacious and easy to put up. They are the canvas teepee type. All it takes is 4 pegs and an extendable pole.  Our new singles tents, take a little longer to put up but are very light for single travellers to carry to their chosen spot at camp.  The fly can also be removed, making it a big mozzie dome, for those starry nights so you can watch the stars go over head!

The mattresses are thick mattresses that stack in the trailer (not rollable) and are very comfy! We have sheets and micro-fibre blankets (NO yucky sleeping bags) for bedding and a mattress case as well. The pillows are real pillows and are covered with hygienic pillow covers as well as a standard pillow case. We even supply bath mats for the front of your tent!

a mattress set up inside a tent
two reusable rubbish bins
green mesh bags with vegetables inside
eco certification icons

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 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 which provides veterinary assistance in Cape York communities
  • 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
  • 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

With these certifications in progress:

  • Savannah Guides & AIATSIS Core Cultural Learning
  • Kakadu Knowledge for Tour Guides
  • Eco Tourism Australia:
    • Eco Certified – Advanced Tourism
    • Respecting Our Culture
    • Climate Action – Leader
  • Carbon Neutral

*Please note, we are currently in the process of applying for these (inc. the icons on the left) but have not yet been certified.  We do believe we qualify!

Rossy's Full 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 martal 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