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Dharma Trail

Tony Backhouse

May 2018

A new style of tourism that allows the experience being part of a touring show, not just sightseers.


The Team


Tony Backhouse

Composer • Vocal Arranger • Singer •Author Choir Director • Workshop Leader

Tony Backhouse, BA, B.Mus, is one of the leaders in the Australasian acappella movement. He founded Australia’s foremost acappella gospel choir Café of the Gate of Salvation in 1986, and directed it for 21 years. He arranged and composed the bulk of their repertoire and still writes music regularly for them. He founded a cappella choir the Honeybees and has directed and sung with reclusive male a cappella trio Heavenly Lights since 1996. In demand for his inspiring teaching style, Tony has run more than 2000 vocal workshops throughout the world for the public, for festivals, schools, universities, churches, organisations and corporate training events. He currently lives in Auckland, New Zealand.


Yani ChoirMistress

Yani will be our travelling vocal coach, working with people who want to perform solos during the Backroads concerts or simply to improve their singing. Yani has experienced a very successful and eclectic career as a singer, performer, choir mistress and workshop facilitator.

She is choir mistress for several choirs in (Australia and India) a private singing coach, a multi-disciplinary singing, voice, body percussion and confidence/performance workshop facilitator, an event producer and more. She helps people to overcome stage fright, fall in love with their own voice, and sing with true heart and emotion.

She will be a brilliant addition to the Backroaders.


Raymond - Tour Leader

Raymond Hawkins - aka The Electronic Swagman - has operated ecletic tours all over Australia for decades. Tony Backhouse and the BackRoaders is the first in a new style of program that seeks to empower attendees to experience the thrill of being on the road in a touring show. Raymond is perfectly placed for such a role. He toured with some of Australia greatest bands as tour manager and production manager. He has worked with the Opera Australia, The Sydney Dance Company and The Sydney Dance Company and ran the Audio/Visual Department at the Sydney Opera House.

Raymond created the SOLD OUT Burra Gospel & Soul Festivale, now in its fourth year, as well as operating walks and workshops throughout Australia.



The BackRoaders itinerary will develop over the next months like an excellent wine. We will allow it to ripen and mature. Already we have fine ingredients in place:


Sunday, Monday Tuesday - 6,7,8 May - 2018

Depart Brisane to O’Reilly Rainforest Retreat in the UNESCO World Heritage listed Lamington National Park. This will be a remarkable interlude in one of Australia’s most beautiful places. Over 3 days we rehearse our repertoire and explore the surrounding wilderness, a place of extraordinary power and beauty. Last night dress rehearsal at O’Reillys.


Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 9 - 12 May 201b

We will base ourselves in one location around Byron Bay or Brunswick Heads. Over the four days we will explore the alternate culture and hippy communities of this fascinating area, performing at night in fully advertised gigs. We can expect a wonderful reception from knowlegable and generous audiences.


Sunday - 13 May 2018

Return back to Brisbane Airport or central accomodation by 2 pm.



Those who have experienced one of Raymonds programs will know that he researches his journeys intimately. So to with the Dharma Trail. Over the next months Raymond will explore the local stories, the gigs, the communities to enrich the experience and the itinerary.




What's In and What's Out


The workshop INCLUDES:

•   daily workshops with Tony Backhouse 8 days/ 7 nights twin share accommodation [see below for Accomodation Options]

•   Individual tuition by Yani ChoirMistress for vocal improvement and solo performances.

•   7 nights accomodation.

•   all transport in Luxury Coach.

•   all breakfasts and lunches.

•   two evening meals.

•   optional morning walks with Raymond.

•  local interactions.

•   all side excursions, National Park fees.

•   professionally promoted and stage managed performances and concerts.

•   surprises you will just have to take my word for.



•   airfares to and from Brisbane.

•   evening meals except as indicated above.

•   alcohol.



The tour is for people who want to sing, there is no requirement for people to be professional singers. The attitude of the Choir is an immensely supportive one where practiced choiristers and novices sing happily side-by-side.

The gigs will be on a donation-at-the-door basis and support a local community event. They will all be street posted and supported with radio and press. We want to  fill the venues.



Accomodation will range from the luxurious O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retrrat to the comfortable cabins of our hinterland rooms . Twin share accomodation is standard with some single supplements available.



There are great restaurants all along the way to which choiristers will be transported and returned. Breakfast & lunch are supplied each day.


The coach is very comfortable, has huge windows and an onboard toilet. While there is plenty of storage room we ask that you confine your wardrobe to the practical side of lavish with a dress-up outfit for gigs.


Only $2690 per person

Non refundable deposit of $1000
secures your position.

Single supplement $1000


Event Magazine


$2,690 per person

Non refundable deposit of $1000 secures your position.

Single supplement $1000

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