The Backyard Universe
Multicultural night sky & astronomy experiences in South Australia
Heysen Trail & Fleurieu Peninsula shuttle bus services
Nature, scenery, geology, winery & day tours
The Backyard Universe Pty Ltd (TBU) terms & conditions of tours
*** Coronavirus update 15 Mar 2021 ***
To comply with Government Covid-19 health regulations the following rules apply to all our tours & trips until further notice:
- Public tours are limited to a maximum of 15 guests. Private tours for larger groups such as schools are available, but contact us first to discuss.
- Everyone will be using hand sanitiser at start of tour, and whenever boarding our vehicles. We supply hand sanitiser.
- Guests cannot attend their tour if they have a cough, sore throat, fever, other flu-like symptoms; or if they have been in contact with a known Covid-19 case in the last 14 days. You will have the option of a refund or re-booking (subject to re-booking availability).
Tours will also be cancelled / postponed / refunded if any of our staff are known or suspected to have Covid-19; or if any staff have been told to self-isolate by SA Health.
- Names & contact details of all guests will be recorded in case Covid-19 contact tracing is required later.
1 -- Unless the tour details specifically say otherwise:
- A "child" is anyone from 5 to 15 years old inclusive.
- An "adult" is anyone over 15 years old.
- A "family" is either 1 adult + up to 4 children, or 2 adults + up to 3 children. The children and adult(s) don't need to be related to each other.
- A "group" is 8 or more adults and/or children together on the same tour, and must include at least 1 adult per 8 people.
- Unless otherwise stated in the tour description, children under 5 years old can attend our tours or trips for free.
- All children regardless of age MUST be accompanied by a responsible adult during the tour.
2 -- Payments:
- All tour prices, payments and any refunds are in Australian Dollars. Prices include 10% GST, plus any booking fees, credit card fees and agent commissions. See the individual tours’ descriptions for any additional inclusions or exclusions from their advertised prices.
- Most of our tours require full payment at time of booking. Payment by instalments, or on the day, may be conditionally available. Contact us for details.
- Gift vouchers may also be used before their expiry date to pay for your tour. Expired or unused vouchers are not refundable.
3 -- Cancellation of tours by Guests:
- Guests who cancel their tour more than 24 hours prior to tour commencement will be offered either an alternative tour date (if possible), or a refund.
- No refund will be given for guests who cancel their tour less than 24 hours prior to tour commencement, or who fail to turn up for their booked tour for any reason, or who leave their booked tour early for any reason. These guests may be offered an alternative tour date (if possible) at our discretion.
4 -- Cancellation of tours by us:
- Our night sky & astronomy tours are all “Weather Permitting”. Telescopes are not much affected by cold, but they don’t like strong winds and they can’t see through clouds or rain. We will ascertain the expected weather/cloud conditions for the evening. If conditions are unfavourable the tour will be cancelled, and we will try to notify you via phone message or SMS before 4pm on the day of tour.
Cloud Forecasts at our public venues are unreliable before the actual date of the tour, so there's no point asking us "is the tour still happening?" until the day.
- If we cancel your booked night sky tour, we will try to offer you an alternative tour date if possible. Otherwise you will receive a refund of any payment we've already processed; or the option to convert to a Gift Voucher.
- Tours will also be cancelled by us if there are fewer guests booked than the minimum number required to operate. If you are one of the first to book, you may receive a "pending order" message instead of a "confirmed order". We won't confirm your booking (or retain your payment) until we receive enough bookings to operate the tour.
- Tours may also be cancelled if factors beyond our control make it impossible, unfeasible or dangerous to operate the tour as advertised. If this occurs we will try to offer you an alternative tour date if possible. Otherwise you will receive a refund of any payment we've already processed.
5 -- Tours & trips in TBU vehicles:
- It is illegal to smoke, consume alcohol, or have open containers of alcoholic drinks on board any TBU vehicle. Wine bottles or other alcoholic drinks purchased during a tour must remain unopened within our vehicle.
- All guests including children must wear seatbelts whenever the vehicle is in motion. TBU is unable to supply child seats or capsules, but our vehicles are equipped with anchor points. TBU vehicles are not equipped for wheelchair access.
- Guests are requested to remove their rubbish from the vehicle or place it in the rubbish bin provided. A cleaning fee will apply if guests spill drinks or food or leave rubbish behind after tour.
- A minimum $500 Befouling Fee will be charged to any guest who cannot control their bodily functions within the vehicle. Please take advantage of any toilet stops during tours.
6 -- General:
- For their own safety and comfort all guests are required to obey their tour guide’s instructions while on tour. Some hazards at tour sites may not be obvious, and some of our tours occur in locations that are far from hospitals.
- Guests who are unruly, threatening, violent or intoxicated will not be tolerated and will be removed from the tour at whatever point is deemed convenient by the tour guide. The matter may also be reported to Police. There will be no refund and no transport in any TBU vehicle for such guests. Guests who damage any TBU vehicle or property may be charged for its repair or replacement; and for any associated costs while the damaged TBU vehicle or property is out of action.
- TBU accepts no responsibility for any loss or personal injury or illness; or loss or damage to personal belongings, luggage or other personal property while on tour. If you lose personal property during a tour please advise your tour guide or TBU office immediately.
- TBU recommends that guests have comprehensive travel insurance (or similar) to cover illness, injury, loss or damage to their property, inability to attend or to continue a booked tour, and other unforeseen circumstances.
This is how we use the personal information you provide to our booking system:
- Your name, so that we know who made the booking. (As of June 2020 we'll also be collecting the names of everyone in your booking in case Covid-19 contact tracing is needed.)
- Your mobile phone number, so that we can notify you on the day if your tour is cancelled or going ahead. We generally do this as a text message to your phone. If we can't send a text message to the phone number then we will email you instead.
- Your booking confirmation is sent to your email address. Your email address might also be used to notify you of a tour cancellation if there's a problem with your mobile phone number. We also add your email address to our customer mailing list, which is occasionally used to announce new tours or special events.
- Your credit / debit card number is automatically hidden from us by our online booking system. Our booking system automatically deletes your credit card details 30 days after your tour date.
- We ask for your country so that we can identify where our customers come from. And it helps us figure out how to contact your mobile phone if you gave us a non-Australian phone number.
- We ask "how did you find out out about us?" so that we can improve our future advertising.
- One of our telescopes can be used from a seated position or from a wheelchair, but this requires specific preparations on the day. Which is why ask if anyone in your booking has difficulty standing up.
Contact us if you want your personal information to be permanently removed after your tour.