Clip go the wheels
There is no missing this bus … as you can see it is not only a ‘genuine piece of Australian history’ but also a sweet ride.
Originally imported from the Flxible Company in the United States in 1947, this beauty’s arrival in Australia represented a new era in coach travel.
Today, ‘Yooralla’ screams retro and can be hired as a means of luxury transport, for meetings on the go, or as a unique space for special events like the annual races in the NSW town of Parkes.
“My business partner Darrell Booth has been involved with Clippers for a long time,” Fantastic Aussie Tours’ managing director Jason Cronshaw tells us.
“Darrell has bought and sold a couple of them personally, he fully-renovated Scarlet Rose [which the company recently sold-off] and is involved with an organisation called the Clipper Club of Australia.”
Older than the company itself, Yooralla can seat up to 29 people and boasts original fittings throughout – it’s a Clipper Classic that just gets better with age.
It is the company’s point of difference, but it is certainly not the only vehicle Fantastic has in the fleet it has been building for the past four, nearly five decades.
“My mum and dad started the business in 1974, they were still teachers then and ran the first overnight excursion for a state school,” Jason admits.
“Today, we’ve got a fleet of coaches, which do local charter work for us and tours around Australia, the 1947 Clipper, and Whispering Pines, our holiday cottages.”
Covid forced the Fantastic management team, like so many others around the world, to consider some changes to the business to remain viable, and with devastating bushfires thrown into the mix John and Darrell were looking at every opportunity for new business. This is where Qoin came in.
“After having it explained to us by our agent Lucy it was a no-brainer to jump on board and become involved,” says Jason.
“Really, we just put everything into it, almost straight away we got inquiries for the cottages, we’ve had a number of bookings for them. We’ve also had a number of booking for our Explorer Bus.
“I guess for us, as a business, one of the two elements for us was looking at the savings of the transactional costs of the traditional banking system and credit card fees. The cost of our credit merchant fees alone is about $90,000 a year.”
Born and bred in the Blue Mountains, Jason lives for his community and is keeping the dreams alive for his own children to take over the business some day. For now, though, his sights are set on expanding the fleet, boosting Qoin for his business, and venturing back out into the world of global tourism post-Covid.