Where it all began…
Bushtucker River and Winery Tours are owned and guided by Helen Lee, a West Australian with an education in Anthropology, Botany and Teaching. The tours commenced in 1988 in Pemberton W.A. as a project by Helen to bring the natural world to the visitor in a fun, informative and valuable way!
In 1990, Helen Lee opened her Bushtucker Canoe Tour on the Margaret River, and guided every tour 360 days of the year, for the next 6 years. Having a passion for Native Australian and natural history, Helen discovered medicinal plants native to the river and coast. Using these plants and natural bush foods, Helen concocted 25 interesting gourmet foods for the traveller to experience. The river and cliffs provide a natural adventure path as travellers follow Helen and her specialist guides through wildflowers, crystal waters and the huge wallcliffe! Native Australian heritage and forested islands reveal unique Australian flora and fauna. The pioneer hardships and native foods, plus Native Australian bush remedies are demonstrated against the backdrop of magnificent Wallcliffe House, 1828-1862. The story of how the river formed 60,000 years ago unfolds as the traveller enjoys food collection, medicine use and a gourmet picnic prepared from all of Helen’s collected “Bushtuckers”. Between each river site and the gourmet picnic, travellers canoe in 2-5 seater eco canoes, stable and silent, in the pristine forest surrounding Margaret River! Swimming is a must in October to May each year!
Helen and her guides’ storytelling ability and their passion for the environment bring to life the cultural world of Native Australians and outdoor life. The tour is fine for people of any physical level. Awards in 1996 for excellence in heritage and cultural tourism, and again in 1999 and 2002 have provided strong motivation for Helen to maintain quality, informed and professional tour guiding on the beautiful Margaret River.
In 1999 Helen Lee was awarded the F.A.C.E.T. Golden Guide pin for the best guide, which is the only award of its kind in Australia.
In 1997 Helen created the Bushtucker Great Wine, Food, and Forest Tour. From pickup at 10am to 5pm travellers are guided through the famous Margaret River Wine Region and its excellent attractions. From Busselton, Dunsborough or Margaret River and now Bunbury’s Ferguson Valley Wine Region, guests can join the Bushtucker Great Wineries Tour and experience premium white and red wines, cheeses, chocolate, ports, cocktails, liquors and boutique beers and ciders! The itinerary is planned around natural good fun and beautiful estates! Four wineries, one distillery and a brewery are visited as well as the local cheese and chocolate factories.
All ages enjoy the groovy music, interesting wine, food and forest commentary and try rare and tasty gourmet Margaret River produce at a winery lunch. It is a beautiful day of good cheer and available 364 days of the year!
Visitors travel in comfortable mini coaches with 13-20 other travellers from all over the globe!
Helen Lee has been in business with 2-20 staff, managing, guiding, driving coaches and coordinating logistics for 3 decades.
This year the Bushtucker Team of past and present hard working people celebrate 30 years in business.
Helen has retrained in accounting, leadership, risk management and educational roles in order to keep her business alive.
The challenges of the last thirty years have produced a dedicated team of qualified staff who offer the guest the ‘ Best day out in years’.
The Bushtucker team go the distance, literally, across the capes, to bring brilliant fun Memories to locals and visitors, in a team effort to support the regional people, places and productivity of the South West area.
Business in 2019 is a challenge and Helen Lee is the key with 30 years of experience.