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Year: 2009


Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2009.

In the late 1950s the Mirboo North Pincini brothers, Joe and Laurie, founded Gippsland Educational Tours (GET), quickly developing a reputation for quality school-based coach tours.

By the early 1960s their loyal school-based clientele were looking for more and the brothers started touring to the Snowies and beyond.  In 1963 they decided the Red Centre was to be their new frontier.

When they boarded a Redline coach in Melbourne passengers were handed their kit in a hessian sugar bag.  Inside was an enamel plate, cutlery, steel grate, billy, and ground sheet.  This, when combined with someone else's, would double as a tent, and when it came to food everyone was left to fend for themselves.  The bus did make regular shopping stops.

The following year GET's outback tours began.  Joe and Laurie introduced 12x12 auto tents and even provided the meals.  Nhill High School was the first to venture northward to the centre of Australia.

In two buses, a Bedford and a small Hino, which were both roof-loaded with tents and cooking equipment, with Laurie and Joe at the wheels, set off on the adventure of a life-time.  The word soon got around and schools were lining up to experience this amazing journey.  In 1972 Funfari Tours was introduced to cater to the public market.  A Moonraker and a Freighter Apollo dubbed the "Mud Runner" became the pride of the fleet.  The name Mud Runner was given to Joe by Peter Severin of Curtin Springs.

With the introduction of Funfari Tours along came cooks, bottled gas and the beginning of the 9x9 pyramid tent.  Soon after Funfari, Southern Cross Safaris was born with Australia's first two MAN Coach Chassis.  This business would go on to partner Pioneer, catering on their camping tours.  On one occasion Laurie had eight coaches bogged along the old South Road near Pimba.  The Pincini family is now in its fourth generation of serving the bus industry.  Paul (Laurie's son), and his wife, Liz, have been involved with Expo Tours, Eldreds Coaches and Swagman Tours over the years.  Laurie Jnr has carried on the tradition with Rockleigh Tours and Laurie Jnr's son, Nathan, won the Victorian Bus Associations Apprentice of the Year Award.

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Alice Springs, NT

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