Yulara, near Ayers Rock in Central Australia: the diesel engine and the air conditioning in the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter from SEIT Outback Australia are already running when the first of the 10-person travel group get into the van. A glance at the watch shows it is 5.50 a.m. Damned early! Most of the tourists still look half asleep when they get into the comfortably equipped Sprinter. “Getting up early will be worth your while. You have definitely never seen a fantastic sunrise like this!”, says Chella Armstrong with a warm smile as she welcomes us. Chella is our guide for the day and leads the colourful group to the destination: Olgas, a 550 million year old rock formation located roughly 45 kilometres away. An incredible sunrise awaits us here.
While the rest of the friendly group waits, we take a curious look at the Sprinter from SEIT Outback Australia. Chella notices our curious glances at the Sprinter fleet and comes over to join us: “We use Sprinter with two-wheel and all-wheel drive. The all-wheel drive models have additional headlights and an aluminium bull bar at the front along with LED lights and a 2-way radio. Other than that, all of the vehicles are factory standard”. When we ask why the managers, Kathy and Brett Graham chose the Sprinter from Mercedes-Benz, Chella explains: “We need reliable vehicles here which safely transport people to the destination. In some cases we drive hundreds of kilometres on a tour through the Outback. Under extreme conditions: a temperature of 45°C, sand and vibrations. The Sprinter has proven itself here perfectly. That is why we recently ordered another one”. Not only the vehicles have to be fit for the wilderness. The tour guides and drivers at SEIT Outback Australia all have to complete a demanding training programme. This includes driver safety training – both on the road and off-road – along with regular outdoor training.
After driving along the empty Lasseter Highway for about fifty minutes, the white SEIT Sprinter with its tinted windows arrives at the destination. The diesel engine is switched off. The headlights go out. The first light of dawn spreads across the desert landscape. A distance away a few kangaroos hop along the red sand. We get out and breathe in the vastness of the Outback. It is absolutely still out here. No city noise. No rush. Just dust-dry freedom. Awestruck, we look up into the dawn sky. There is not a cloud to be seen. Central Australia gets about 250 millimetres of rain per summer – so the chances of a perfect sunrise are excellent.
Our group includes nationalities from all over the world – yet there are no misunderstandings, despite the mix of languages: at SEIT Outback Australia the guests can also listen to the tours using an iPod and headphones. While Chella provides us with information about the Olgas, known as Kata Tjuta (“many heads”) in the language of the Aborigines, the sky becomes lighter. And our excitement grows. And suddenly: the sun slowly rises above the horizon. The light gradually becomes more intense, shining on this 500-metre-high monument of stone which is hundreds of millions of years old. An absolutely unforgettable sight. We had this view all to ourselves. Completely undisturbed and far from the crowds of tourists. This is the business model of SEIT. Later the drive takes us to the next station: breakfast in the Outback where an Aborigine shows us how to make fire with a piece of wood in a matter of moments. It looks so simple! Yet when we try the spark simply doesn’t want to take flame. The meaning behind the name SEIT suddenly becomes clear: Spirit Emotion Intellect Task.