We Introduced Misty, Now it is My Turn

Friday, May 07, 2021 at 17:26

Olsen's Tours and Training

In the last blog we introduced Misty to you all, now it is time to introduce me. Some of you will know me, some of you won't. I started my business back in 2004, beginning with a tag-alog tour that duplicated the 25 day trip that Justine and I completed in our green Range Rover the year prior. We started in Longreach, travelled to Wondorah, Haddon Corner, Innamincka, Bollards Lagoon, Cameron Corner, The Strzelecki to Blanchewater, then down to Arkaroola, took some back tracks to Iga Warta to meet our old friends Terence and Clifford, up to Leigh Creek for a rest day, Maree, Muloorina, Lake Eyre, Oodndatta Track, Uluru, Alice Springs, Irtikawarra (Chamber's Pillar ), Mt Dare and finishing with a West to East crossing of the Simpson Desert. We loved that trip so much we did it several more times as a tag-along tour and we're doing it again in 2022. But enough about that... let me introduce myself with someone else's writing about me.

John was at least 70 years of age, a cattleman from the harshest parts of western New South Wales. To me he was every bit the real man that my father was. John and I had become good friends on this trip across the Simpson desert.

"You know" he said to me, "You are a true bushwoman." "But more than that, what impresses me is that the whole of outback Australia is your backyard, yet you know it as intimately as I know my paddocks. What is more, I can see your pride and joy in showing it to others."

A Life Lived Backwards- Kimberly Olsen's Autobiography (in draft)

Kimberly Olsen grew up in the bush. From a young age she would imagine where she would end up if she travelled in a straight line from any point on the Australian continent. She would spend hours pouring over maps gathering knowledge of this vast continent long before she learned to drive at the age of 10. From the time she could drive she accompanied her father whenever she could, operating machinery, driving trucks and four wheel drives as well as mustering and fencing on cattle properties. She gathered as many of the 100 plus year old skills as she could from her grandfather, uncles and father. Her father was a man of many skills, stockman, fencer, mechanic, spray painter, movie projectionist, machinery operator and truck driver. He was one of the team that built many of the roads in outback Queensland. Kimberly's passion for travel and adventure, saw her working in Central America, Nicaragua, Honduras and and Mexico as a freelance photojournalist. She has been a leader in the bush and the corporate world.

Kimberly has safely crossed the Simpson a total of 22 times, and traversed the Canning Stock Route 9 times. She has rescued no less than 4 stranded vehicles that were not part of her tour, repaired a broken chassis on the Canning Stock Route that allowed the vehicle to not only complete the trip but to drive 3800 kilometres home. In her travels she has seen a convoy of eight inexperienced drivers reduced to a convoy of three after five of them suffered catastrophic damage due to inexperience. She has been first on the scene at four vehicle roll-overs, offering first aid until the medivac helo arrived. Unfortunately those roll-overs were totally avoidable and resulted in three fatalities. She has dealt with major electrical failures of vehicles, transmission failures, cracked fuel tanks, broken wheel studs, smashed freewheeling hubs, collapsed wheel bearings. She successfully navigated her tour across the flooded desert, two years in a row. One year being the only convoy in the desert as it closed in front of her at Birdsville and behind her at Spring Creek Delta. In a year when the crew from a famous Australian 4WD magazine were getting bogged on the Hay River Track, she guided her tour without a single vehicle getting bogged, despite 125 mm of rain.

Kimberly grew this business from nothing, beginning in 2004, at one point employing 9 people. She was forced to shut the business down in 2014 due to personal and family reasons. After doing a stint in the corporate world in Sydney, winning several awards for her work, she realised that she missed her passion and sought to restart this business so that more people can experience the places she loves.

So there you are. I am now introduced.

One of the things I love most about my job apart from the outback, is teaching people. I've been a Level 2 Flying Instructor in gliding for a huge part of my life, which gives me huge kicks. But I I love most to teach people how to drive and manoeuvre trailers. I love those light bulb moments when they get it right.


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