We believe the most important thing in business, the reason we all work, is people.
We’d like to get to know you, but in the meantime, here’s who we are…
It started in the bush…
Our story starts a long time ago, in a beautiful bush town called Tharwa.
We are a family run business- so first things first- embarrassing baby photos…
Best Dad in the world?
Meet ‘Dad’… for 23 years he was the Executive Director of Outward Bound where we lived on the Murrumbidgee River.
He helped build Australia’s largest Outdoor Education organisation, but most importantly, he took his kids on adventures…
Bushwalking, horse riding, sailing, camping, swimming, 4wding, gardening, travelling, and every sport you can think of.
He even had them sing and dance!
Good enough for the Queen
To others though, he was Garry Richards, world leader in Outdoor Education. He was the Chairman of the Outdoor Recreation Council of Australia, and he based his work heavily on research, as well as the philosophies of Kurt Hahn.
For changing so many lives via a not-for-profit organisation, Garry received an Order of Australia Medal.
To Serve, To Strive, and Not to Yield
After leaving Outward Bound, he started NOELS (National Outdoor Education and Leadership Services) and has continued his research.
He now has six university degrees- with a PhD in psychology- so you can call him Dr Richards, but we like to call him Dad… and you can too.
He’s good for Dad jokes, so we thought its only fair if we embarrass him in return…
There’s another world out there
Andy grew up, travelled to over 40 countries, finished a tourism degree, worked as a 4wd guide around Australia, and created Understand Down Under (UDU). Starting with just a backpack, he was the first to operate guided day tours to the Royal National Park.
UDU grew, bought a mini-bus, and became Advanced Eco-tourism Australia certified. It won numerous awards, and now specialises in private charters for groups from all over the world.
Fame and photography
Combining a love for the outdoors, photography, and unique fun, UDU became famous in the news for its “Moonwalks”. Andy become a pioneer in long exposure photography, and has even been featured on TV!
Youth and experience combine
It was time to bring it all back home. Andy started doing team building events in 2007, and Dad basically wrote the book on experiential learning and outdoor standards. We had the experience and we’ll both always be young at heart, it was logical to join forces.
A wise mind and youthful passion are a powerful combination.
Our first retreat is magic
Our stars were aligned and we were very privileged to share an adventure with a fantastic group of people, Marque Lawyers. We’ll let them recall the details:
“UDU changed our lives! They took a bunch of lawyers under their wing and a long way out of our comfort zone, on a tailor-made weekend experience that included canoeing, trekking, climbing, swimming, competitive cooking, partying on the beach, sleeping under the stars and waking to a glorious sunrise and the smell of bacon and eggs. What made the difference was Andy and the UDU team, who had thought of everything, planned immaculately, were endlessly attentive and are just the nicest group of people you could meet. They were completely committed to the goal of giving us an unforgettable experience, and they delivered.“
Michael- Director of MARQUE Lawyers
We were hooked, we knew this is where we belonged.
This is our dream
We consider ourselves lucky to be doing what we love. It just so happens that a passion for the outdoors, experiential education, travel, games and photography makes a perfect mix for Team Building.
Our dream is to pass this on to our next generation of adventurers (stay tuned for that chapter!).
Our beliefs keep us going
We value integrity, hard work, diversity and the potential of humanity. Our planet is beautiful, and we’d like to share it with you, while also doing our best to preserve it. Especially Australia… gum trees and vegemite certainly make us happy.
Our mission is for you to receive the best possible return on your investment, by ensuring we listen to your needs and deliver quality, memorable experiences. Your people are your best asset, they deserve the best attention, which can sometimes simply be the best rewards.
We’ve got the goods
We don’t just have the know-how, we’ve also got some unique practical advantages. Having Tour Operator Accreditation, National Parks licensing and connections in tourism means that we can offer adventures from your office door to beyond.
We want to be with you the whole way.
We focus on
In this day-and-age, workplaces often book a quick corporate event without knowing what their team needs. Although icebreakers have a place, often more than a ‘band-aid’ solution is required.
A full day or longer away from the office can make a massive difference, the extra time is worth it. Taking groups to unique environments is our specialty.
We’re only interested in groups where we can deliver an experience that is personal, enjoyable and meaningful to every individual. Large groups and generic activities is not what we do. We don’t do team building thats forced… eye-rolling is not good.
The aim is for your team to feel a sense of belonging with one-another, and to share the same vision.
We’ve had help from friends
We’ve come a long way, and there’s more than just the two of us. We’re grateful for the support from our friends and family, and we enjoy working with a diverse range of talented people.
We are well aware that it all boils down to “who you get on the day”. So we’ve surrounded ourselves with some impressive people. Meet Our Team.
Great people deliver great experiences.
We’d like to meet you
Hopefully you now have an idea of who we are and what we’re about, so that’s enough from us.
What we’d really like, is to hear more about you.
What’s your story? Who are the personalities that make up your workplace?
It’ll be easy
Our “search now” function is also an enquiry form.
We know you’re short on time, so we’ve made the process simple:
- Enquiry- we listen to your needs
- Consultation- we discuss the best solution with you
- Delivery- we put our planning into practice
Hopefully see you soon
We’re all humans looking for meaning and enjoyment in life. Smart businesses realise this. When work colleagues turn into a happy family, incredible things happen.
Let our family make that possible.
We love what we do, and we hope to escape with you soon…
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