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Centralian Safaris.

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Centralian Safaris.

Postby ALBION1881 » Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:23 pm

Industry is trying think up the names of old coach and tour companys how about this old Albion and its company name which operated around the Northern Territory NT picture from the Leon Batman collection.
Last edited by ALBION1881 on Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Centralian Safaris.

Postby Industry » Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:29 pm

Our melbourne friends my like to add some details on this operation which yes traded as Centralian Safaris and latter Centralian Staff which also had a fleet of triple deck dennings with roll out kitchens.

These coaches were operated by a number of companies and what is now Transdev TSL (Shorelink) under Hornsby Bus Group from memory operated two on Sydney departures.

Many small family companies in Melbourne had origins connected with Centralian ie Armstrong, Casey etc.

A couple of my requests comes from a recent discussion with some of our younger members whom could not believe compianies like Entrance Red etc operated SB Bedfords on extended tours.

This company also sold their Snowy Mountains operation to Ansett Pioneer.

The list goes on.

We know that many of us did not take a lot of photos back then but others did, and was suggested that the younger people would not be interested in seeing some of these collections which have been stored away for many years.

Around this time I work for the Daily Telegraph and associate publications and they had a fabulous collection of bus photos.

Always wondered what happen to them.
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Re: Centralian Safaris.

Postby sfw » Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:46 pm

Hi

I worked as a tour escort for Centralian in 1978, I remember doing a tour on an Albion, the roads were all unsealed and it rained nearly the whole time but we all had fun. Another trip I was working with John Gullock on a fairly new Denning tag axle, as we drove into the roadhouse on the NT / SA border the engine cutout, it was a GM two stroke, I asked John why he turned the engine off and he said quitely "I didn't". We coasted to a halt and the pax went in for a snack. Result - the supercharger had deposited itself into the engine. The best part of the story is that one of Ryans (of Essendon)Albion coaches came in at the same time. The roadhouse mechanic welded up a towing bar and we hooked the Denning to the cack of the Albion and connected the air and off we went. He towed us to Alice Springs, both coaches fully loaded. I think we averaged about 30kmh, the Albion only had a small engine with a road ranger gearbox but it didn't miss a beat. I suppose if you did that now you would be charged with some offence or other. The Denning was off the road for four days for repairs. I have recently put a couple of old tour group photos on my blog here http://justasuburbanboy.blogspot.com/ All the tour companies were very friendly and cooperative with each other except for Australian Pacific who considered themselves a cut above the camping tour crews.
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Re: Centralian Safaris.

Postby stevegj52 » Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:36 am

Intresting story sfw,The Albion was certainly a good workhorse back then, I remember some of the Albions that Tasmanain Coach Lines operated in the early 70's.Any more photos greatly appreciated and welcome to the Board
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Re: Centralian Safaris.

Postby Des » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:25 pm

I went on two Central Australia Tours - one in 1975 with Cobb & Co in a front engine Albion and one in late 1981in a Denning with a dual tyred rear axles. The Cobb & Co Coach had a Leyland motor which played up a bit near Longreach but the driver did a great job welding up a hole in the injector if my memory serves me correctly and it lasted the whole trip. I remember the coach driver for Centralian spending many hours with a welder doing running repairs to the suspension after a very rough trip down from Ayers Rock to somewhere south of Cobber Pedy.
I nearly didn't attach the photos (that is a very young me in front of the Cobb & Co Coach) as they are taken with an old Kodak instamatic but they are the only ones I have that I could scan. I hope they of interest
Cheers
Des
centralian denning.jpg

cobb & co albion.jpg
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Re: Centralian Safaris.

Postby kitkat271 » Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:15 pm

Very interesting photos there Des. I note with interest that there's no air conditioning of these coaches in very hot parts of Australia ... people in the past really are tougher.
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Re: Centralian Safaris.

Postby Des » Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:25 pm

The Centralian coach did have air con. I can't recall why we had the windows open there in that photo. We did that trip in Dec/Jan so the air con worked over time and didn't do too bad a job. The Cobb & Co coach had the good old Jet Air. I remember that although it was hot to travel in on hot days and noisy up front with the front engine, it road really well on the gravel and corrugations.
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Re: Centralian Safaris.

Postby Mr Scania » Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:15 pm

With the dirt roads in the old days the coach used to fill up with dust. When the Jet Air or the floor heaters were turned on all it done was stir the dust up.
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Re: Centralian Safaris.

Postby Centralian » Mon May 10, 2010 8:54 pm

I don't have any photos to share, but here are a couple of my treasured Centralian brochures. I also had one of their "sloppy joes" as they were called then with " Centralian Staff, for in tents pleasure". Anyone remember those ? I wore it everywhere for a few years.

Centralian brochure . 1.jpg
Centralian brochure . 1.jpg (83.67 KiB) Viewed 10853 times


Centralian brochure . 2.jpg
Centralian brochure . 2.jpg (98.48 KiB) Viewed 10853 times


Centralian brochure . 3.jpg
Centralian brochure . 3.jpg (87.78 KiB) Viewed 10956 times


Centralian Tourmaster.jpg
Image from the '83-'85 brochure
Centralian Tourmaster.jpg (135.51 KiB) Viewed 10956 times
Last edited by Centralian on Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Centralian Safaris.

Postby kitkat271 » Wed May 12, 2010 12:16 pm

What was the driver doing in the middle of the causeway? :P
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Re: Centralian Safaris.

Postby 1whoknows » Thu May 13, 2010 2:37 pm

probably sussing out where the edge of the roadway is.
Cats are best.
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Re: Centralian Safaris.

Postby Mr Scania » Fri May 14, 2010 9:47 am

And the depth of the water
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Re: Centralian Safaris.

Postby sfw » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:48 am

Hi
I don't think that is the driver in the front of the photo, I think it's the Tour Escort. Centralian ran a crew of three, Driver, Cook and Escort. The smaller photo of two men and woman in front of the coach. The man on the right is John Gullock, he was a great coach captain, the other two would be the cook and the escort.
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Re: Centralian Safaris.

Postby Centralian » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:45 pm

I reckon it would fall on the driver for taking responsibility on getting that coach across and to satisfy himself it was safe. The escorts role would have been more with passenger comfort and tour co-ordination/accommodation etc. Distinct roles and responsibilities on tour, especially if something went wrong.
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Re: Centralian Safaris.

Postby sfw » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:32 pm

I agree it is the drivers job, however I used to work for Centralian and I'm pretty sure that bloke is an Escort and a part owner of the company, I think his name was Gary. Probably just wanted to be on the brochure. Maybe we should get them for false advertising.
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Re: Centralian Safaris.

Postby ashmenz0 » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:00 pm

Hi Everyone.
I am looking for info on a motorhome I have purchased. It is a 1973 Denning that I am told was owned by Centralian in its previous life. I would love to find out as much as I can about it. It is build no 444.
I would be most grateful for any info available.
Regards
Ash
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Re: Centralian Safaris.

Postby makeminea2stroke » Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:54 pm

Hi Ashmenz0

You could ask these guys, if you want the original build specs
http://www.busandcoachparts.com.au/index.php
They have build records of some Dennings, not sure if they go back that far
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Re: Centralian Safaris.

Postby Hornibrook » Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:51 pm

Hi Ashley,

Here's what I have on my Denning list -

Build is 444, Body Date if 1973, Fleet Number was 1184, first rego was RMB 320, 40 seats, one front door with a toilet. The rest is fairly explainatory.

444 00.00.1973 Centralian Tours, Melbourne, Vic 1184 RMB.320 RC40Ft Albion Viking VK55 51650H New
00.00.1973 Curtain, Dandenong, Vic. RC40Ft Albion Viking VK55 51650H
00.00.1973 Evans, Cowes, Vic. RC40Ft Albion Viking VK55 51650H
00.00.1973 Mansfield Mt.Buller BL, Mansfield, Vic. CUO.082 RC40Ft Albion Viking VK55 51650H


Basically it was new to Centralian, then passed to Curtain, Evans and then Mansfield-Mt Buller (Pulitano's) where it was presumably last operated.

I sent this to the email I was sent, not sure if you got it or not.

Cheers,
Nick
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Re: Centralian Safaris.

Postby silver75 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:02 pm

I worked with Centralian Staff (or Camping Tours of Australia by Centralian Staff as the company was initially known) from 1974 to 1980 both full time and part time.....sounds to me like Ashley is referring to a coach that was one of two owned by M Curtain of Dandenong and was sub contracted permanently to Centralian Staff and painted in Centralian's colours. I worked on this particular coach throughout 1975 on tours all over Australia and have many photos of it in lots of different settings....if you could publish a picture of it as it now looks I would be sure this is the coach....with Centralian it had a toilet across the whole rear, roof racks, a stove at the back of the coach that was accessed by lifting up a rear panel, and luggage was placed at the rear via a large door on rear left....at the time it was one of the most modern coaches in Centralian colours.....the majority of the fleet in early 1975 were Frieghter bodied Leylands until about May 1975 when the first of the Denning "triple deckers" was received.
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Re: Centralian Safaris.

Postby Industry » Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:03 pm

Any chance silver75 that you could post some of your photos, as I'm sure that there is many a reader on this board whom would be interested in them.
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Re: Centralian Safaris.

Postby silver75 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:19 pm

will post some photos once I figure out how to do so and when I get back from leave....just joined forum today....also I can add re that coach that it operated out of Wedge Street Dandenong...it's registration number was then Vic IS3360
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Re: Centralian Safaris.

Postby stu69 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:41 pm

Always felt sorry for the crew on the Centralian Tour that arrived at the Sheraton Ayers Rock Hotel, in the afternoon after the companies cheque bounced at the Sheraton Alice Springs Hotel that morning, on a special answer, to be told by a young Manager on Duty that they would have no accommodation that night at the hotel. Coach parked at the main entrance, full of passengers, and no room at the inn. That was in the late 80's. Crew took in reasonably well in the hotel lobby.
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Re: Centralian Safaris.

Postby seldomseen » Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:27 pm

Re the bloke at the river crossing.

Yes his name is Garry, and he was a tour escort/courier for Centralian Staff.
The location of that picture is the old river crossing on Cooper's Creek on Nappa Merrie station on the way into Burke and Wills 'Dig Tree' site.
Gazza was doing the right thing and checking the condition of the crossing, back then not many coaches went in there (about 1978) and there were no entry fees, boardwalks around the base of the tree,etc.
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Re: Centralian Safaris.

Postby AUSSIE BUSMAN » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:59 am

Hi Centralian,

I would love to see those old centralian brochures but my computer wont open them. Could you please email to me if possible adobe/acrobat.

I was a courier cook in the 70s.

im 57 would love to set up a reunion tour this year some time maybe some people could be interested.

Cheers DARYL JONES bus-man@bigpond.com
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Re: Centralian Safaris.

Postby Centralian » Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:09 pm

I've re-attached the brochure images to my earlier post on this thread, plus an extra image from one of the brochures.

Cheers.
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