Tag Along Tours worth the money ???

Submitted: Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 16:44
ThreadID: 53208 Views:3938 Replies:14 FollowUps:6
This Thread has been Archived
Hi all. we're new to travel.just bought a pajero and a off road Roadstar van. Not looking for rock climbing trips,but outback bush and track tag along tours.
Are the tag alongs worth the money please??? TIA.. Rod & Heidi
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Dave(NSW) - Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 16:52

Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 16:52
If you pick the right one they can be very good but if you pick the wrong one they can be a disaster.
Cheers Dave...

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 280295

Follow Up By: Pete and Lez - Tuesday, Jan 08, 2008 at 12:35

Tuesday, Jan 08, 2008 at 12:35
A bit like Everything in life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
FollowupID: 544675

Reply By: Vince NSW - Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 16:53

Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 16:53
Rod & Heidi
It's all a matter of opinion. For mine I would spend the money in doing an off road driving course. This will teach you how to stay out of trouble in the first place and cost a lot less. The other option is to join a club and attend some of their events.
On the other side of the coin, I have spoken to people who have raved about tag alongs.
I am sure that you will get both sides of the story this afternoon when starts to log on.
AnswerID: 280296

Reply By: Steve63 - Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 17:29

Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 17:29
Yes, no and sometimes.

It depends what you are looking for. We lasted about 4 days on a tag along before doing our own thing. We had no hesitation about leaving as we usually travel alone so were confident we could look after ourselfs. Yes we walked away from a $1200 iinvestment. Most of the other poor buggas were stuck there. While you can pick a good operator (and there are plenty of good ones) you can't pick the other people on the tag a long. One pain on a tag a long is a torture for every one else. If you get a good group they are probably good value. I doubt we would ever go on another one. We looked at it as a learning experience. We actually travelled with 4 of the vehicles later on after the tag a long had broken up and had a great time. We still keep in contact with a few of them. So I can see that they could be really good. Unfortunately they can also be really bad.

Some of the operators are not very helpful. On a recent trip we sat there watching someone spend 90 minutes changing the tyre on a Landcruiser. We could not offer much help as they were having issues with the wind up spare storage thing on the back of a 100 series. As we have a troopie we have no idea how they work. The tour leader who had been hovering in the distance made an appearence just as they finished so he could give them a hard time about not deflating there tyres (which he had not apparently previously mentioned). It was 7pm and they had not even started getting a meal together, had a couple of young kids whinging because they were hungrey. The poor sod's had a torch (basically flat) as there only light. We ran out a spare light for them so they could cook and eat. So I would say these guy's were not having a very good experience on there tag a long. Like I said, I'm not saying this operator is typical (in fact I think he was not typical at all) but it does illustrate that the operators expectations and the clients expectations may be different.

So yes they could be worth the money but equally they may not be. One operator I can think of ran a mandatory sand driving course for the people on his tag a long through the Simpson. It was included in the price. His arguement was that he was then confident of everyones skill level and it usually meant a less stressfull trip. He seemed to tink most people had an inflated opinion of there own skills. This guy was an army pathfinder and had done 750,000km in the most difficult conditions so I guess he was entitled to have that sort of view.

AnswerID: 280300

Reply By: Member - Wim (Qld) - Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 17:37

Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 17:37

Up until recently my wife & I have always traveled alone.
All of our close friends do not travel the remote outback or desert.
Last year we (or maybe I ) wanted to do a remote desert trip we had been looking at for some time.
Even though we are we setup for such a trip it would have been unwise to do the trip solo.

We decided to do how first tag-along.
You can do your homework and find a good leader but you have no control over the others in the group. We were fortunate to have a great group of people.
It really comes down to personal requirements.
The group leader may access and knowledge which you do not have.
We will do another remote trip with the same leader this year and keep our fingers crossed as to who else is in the trip.

The first part of the trip (simpson to trip start) will be solo along with the trip home.

As far as the cost goes, I think (I know) we got our moneys worth.

With good research and planning most trips can be done alone. However, once you reach your limit of experience then a tag-along may be best.

Hope the above is of some help.

Camper setup
July 2012 - Hay River & Binns track
VKS 737 Mobile 0091
Selcall 0091

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 280302

Reply By: Crackles - Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 17:38

Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 17:38
Rod tag alongs can be an excellent way to be introduced into outback travelling particually if you dont belong to a club or know someone personally to travel with who's experienced.
They can take alot of the stress out of a trip as they do the planning, navigating, mechanical back up and guiding while instructing what you need to do. Prior to the trip you'll get lists of what you have to take & vehicle preparations that need to be done. They carry all the emergency gear, sat phone, HF radio and recovery equipment so you don't need to make those expensive purchases until you decide that this out back touring is what you want to continue doing.
Guides will often take you to places the general public dont go, find great camp sites at the end of a day (not at 10 am) & some even supply all the meals making the trip more of a Holiday than an expedition.
On the down sides if you pick the wrong company they can be in a rush to keep up with the itinerary or end up with annoying travelling companions one wouldn't normally choose.
Pick the right guide & you'll have a ball as well as learn alot so next time you can go on your own.
Cheers Craig.............
AnswerID: 280303

Reply By: Gramps (NSW) - Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 18:50

Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 18:50

Crackles and Wim have summed it up pretty succinctly. My advice would be to choose one that offers a fully catered trip so that the "Boss" has a holiday as well.

AnswerID: 280320

Reply By: Himble - Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 19:16

Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 19:16
Hi Rod & Heidi,

You haven't mentioned which state you're in...

If you let us know, then we'll be able to give you a more useful answer as to where you should look!

There's a number of excellent tag-along tour operators in every state and territory.

AnswerID: 280327

Follow Up By: Joe - Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 20:01

Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 20:01
My very first trip was a tag a long. The best aspect was the local knowledge provided by the trip leader.We had the company of a good group of people and we definately got our moneys worth.It was agood way to be introduced to 4wding and camping.
Since then we have undertaken so many trips with clubs and friends that to have paid for them would have cost the value of another Landcruiser at least.
FollowupID: 544532

Follow Up By: rredbeak - Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 20:48

Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 20:48
We're in Queensland [Ipswich] And yes i definatley understand that you cant control the other ppl in the group. We're not in a rush to hit the dirt so theres plenty of time to research and plan ahead. Cheers.. Rod
FollowupID: 544546

Reply By: Member - Willie , Epping .Syd. - Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 20:18

Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 20:18
I have done four tagalong trips with Murchison Safaris . As I am not a good mechanic , so I wanted to go with someone who new the country and could fix a car or a tyre .

I did three trips with them through the Great Sandy Desert and Little Sandy Desert , and one into the Pilbara . These were fantastic and we went to places I would never have known about , had I gone on my own .

After singing the praises of Murchison , I would also say that most of the tagalong groups I have seen are more interested in doing "The Cape", doing "The Simpson" or doing "The "CSR" at the cheapest price , in the shortest possible time . They get up at daybreak and fly through places of interest without a look - what a waste of time and money .

I am going to book into one of Wayne's tagalongs to the Vic high country next year .

Cheers ,

Willie .
AnswerID: 280341

Follow Up By: Willem - Tuesday, Jan 08, 2008 at 09:17

Tuesday, Jan 08, 2008 at 09:17
So what did you think of the Tag-a-long to the Clelalnd Hills in 2006......hahahahaha 'Twas cheap, eh?

FollowupID: 544650

Reply By: Stephen M (NSW) - Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 21:00

Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 21:00
Yep. We have used two different companies and found them to be brilliant. As Im totally useless reading/navigating with a map these people have been there many times and know exactly where to go and where not to go due to weather conditions etc. I will give them both a plug.
Regards Steve M

AnswerID: 280352

Reply By: johannagoanna - Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 21:12

Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 21:12
I am a woman, who travels with two children (6&8). I have what I would call quite a bit of 4wding and bush experience. Last year I decided I wanted to do a big trip. After initial interest from members of my 4wd club, nobody else was able to take the 5 weeks holidays that I was able to do. So, I decided to join a tagalong. Fortunately it was run by a man that I had met online already and friends had been with him before, so I knew he was a good bloke. I was also lucky that the people in our group were fantastic to travel with.

There was no rushing, and a good deal of the time, we (the participants) had a say in what we did each day and where we stayed. There was no rushing of a morning at all, and if we did need an early start (only happened once or twice in 3 weeks), we were always warned the night before.

The other huge benefit for me was having someone to help me if I had problems. Now, I know a fair bit about my car, and if I had to, could probably fix most of it, albeit in twice the time anyone else could - but at a pinch I would be able to do it. I carry a full list of all spares, tools etc, and I have the theory if I can't fix it, at least I have the 'stuff' for someone else to help me fix it! The leader of our group (and owner of the tagalong company) was brilliant and was eager on many occasions to help me fix little problems.

My recommendation would be to do a tagalong, just for the experience. It also gives you the confidence to tackle it alone next time. I did the Cape, and now know that I could confidentally tackle it without being guided next time. The other huge benefit for me was I didn't have to thing about getting to places. As the trip leader for a lot of our club trips, it was fantastic fo me to just get in the car in the morning and follow!!

Hope this help - Jo
AnswerID: 280359

Follow Up By: rredbeak - Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 21:20

Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 21:20
TY Jo.My wife and i are both grey haired and would love to see much more of this beautifull country we live in. We need tag alongs that permit caravans,so that means not heavy 4wd'ing.
we are going through a steep learning curve but we'll get there.. Cheers.. Rod
FollowupID: 544570

Reply By: John E - Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 22:30

Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 22:30
We did a trip with Wayne from Great Divide Tours and can reccomend them fully.They also offer 4wd Training which is a great help.
AnswerID: 280383

Reply By: Dave from P7OFFROAD Accredited Driver Training - Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 22:53

Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 22:53
This has been an interesting and timely thread.

Just today we made steps towards offering tagalongs alongside our training business, due to the number of enquiries that we recieve.

I'm particularly interested in the comments above about 'doing' places in the shortest time, that has always been the thing that has put us, personally, off 'organised' trips. We plan to conduct trips to the little known treasures 'near' our own back yard, rather than jump into the overcrowded market of the big name destinations. (that said, we still aren't sure how we would market these...)

Our focus in all we do is on education and learning, we are not about miles and miles of driving...

All of the comments about not being able to choose the other guests are really important, we tend nowadays to have people (mostly of the soon to be nomadic variety) engage us for Private courses for just this reason (that and they don't want any cameras around - except their own).

We haven't yet had a dreadful experience, but we have had a few clients roll their eyes at some of their classmates antics ;-)

All that said, I have a very good friend who works for one of the big name tour companies. Any trip put together by this bloke would be awesome (and i don't think he'd be afraid to tell people who need to be told, to pull their heads in).
AnswerID: 280393

Reply By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 08, 2008 at 00:06

Tuesday, Jan 08, 2008 at 00:06
Hi Rod & Heidi, In 2005 we did the CSR with a tagalong from Perth, we were inexperienced and had only done 4wd courses, one on sand and one through the bush in the bog!!! we wanted to do the Canning but neither hubby or I are mechanically minded when it comes to Diesels and even though we had done a lot of outback travel over the years we hadn't 'gone bush' so to speak so we did our home work and came up with a Perth based couple. On contact with them we found that first they wanted to meet us (obviously an interview) and know what vehicle we had, (we passed the test LOL) there were six vehicles and we were lucky everyone on the trip was great, we are still friends with them and in fact did a trip, GCR, TANAMI & GRR last year with one of the couples. We catered for it ourselves which was good as we learnt a lot of what to take and what not to, this Info given by the Leaders, all good experience, at this stage we don't see the need to do anymore tag-alongs but have done a coupel of "Campfire Escapes" weekends which are run over here, great fun. Do your homework and enjoy your tagalong and don't let anyone else on the trip stop you from enjoying it.

While on the CSR we did come accross a couple of tagalongs that nightmares would be made of, however they seemed to be the larger tagalongs so maybe the smaller ones would be the way to go, may cost a bit more (ours didn't, ours was the cheapest CSR one availabel) but worth it in the long run.



Simba, our much missed baby.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 280407

Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Tuesday, Jan 08, 2008 at 13:49

Tuesday, Jan 08, 2008 at 13:49
I would think you would be very limited in your choice of Tag A Long operators offering trips suitable for a caravan.

Why not join a good local 4wd club, they will help you with driver training and I'm sure you will be able to find one that has a few like minded people who have vans and would be happy to travel as a group.
It would also allow you to get to know people on short trips before being "Stuck" with them on a long one.

Where are you located? Once thats known I'm sure someone on here will be able to offer advise on a good local 4wd club.
VKS737 - Mobile 6352 (Selcall 6352)

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 280466

Follow Up By: rredbeak - Tuesday, Jan 08, 2008 at 19:53

Tuesday, Jan 08, 2008 at 19:53
we're located in Ipswichy Queensland and am in the process of contacting our local clubs. Storing the van while on tag along is not an issue. Cheers.. Rod
FollowupID: 544734

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (11)