For the last six years, I’ve been hiring PLB emergency beacons by mail order through The Bushwalking Blog, providing piece of mind to all manner of adventurers and their families. In one case a PLB from The Bushwalking Blog was even involved in a rescue.
Unfortunately, though, it’s not uncommon for me to have to turn down a booking from a customer due of short notice, or because I just don’t have one to send them on their required dates. I’ve added extra PLBs to my arsenal but sometimes I still don’t have enough to go around.
This got me thinking that I needed to do some research on the other PLB hire options available so that I can at least give customers another lead when I can’t help them out.
Side note: If you find that you need to use a PLB more than a few times per year, maybe you’re best to buy a PLB for yourself.
The tables below contain every service I can find online, but it’s worth mentioning that if you’re part of a bushwalking or outdoors club, you should check with them first. If not, keep this post in mind to find the most suitable PLB hire service for your next trip. Here it is… The ultimate guide.
Firstly, if you’re looking to have a PLB delivered to your door, these are your options.
|Name||Minimum Cost||Booking process||Other info|
|The Bushwalking Blog||$45 (inc. freight)||Simple, fully online process||Return Express Post included in price.
PLB provided is a RescueMe PLB1.
(inc. return freight)
|Copy and paste a text form into an e-mail to book.||7 day minimum booking ($88 inc. return freight).
EPIRB, GPS and satellite phones also available.
|Adventure Rentals||$55||Contact by phone or e-mail, then download form to fill out and return||Minimum fee applies to 1-3 day bookings. Additional deposit and postage charges apply.
Also hires other outdoor equipment.
|Oz Satellite Rentals||$45
|Start with online enquiry form.||Additional $13.50 each way freight charges apply (can be sent with 1 hour notice.
Alternatively, the PLB can be collected from their Malvern East (VIC) office. Shorter (min. 2 day) bookings can be accommodated but no prices provided for less than 1 week. PLB provided is a SafeLink SOLO or RescueMe PLB1.
If it’s easier for you to pick the PLB up yourself and you’re in one of the areas listed below, you’re in luck.
|Blue Mountains (NSW)||Blue Mountains Heritage Centre (Blackheath)||Free||See NSW Parks website for full details. Drop in to pickup.|
|Jindabyne, Perisher Valley, Khancoban or
|NPWS Visitor Centres||$10||Call (02) 6450 5600
for details. $20 deposit applies.
|Budawangs / South Coast (NSW)||IGA Supermarket||$10||Drop in and ask for store manager. $100 deposit applies. Address for pickup is 84 Princes Hwy, Milton.|
|Canberra (ACT)||Real Fun||$20||Call 0410 547 838 to confirm availability 24 hours before pickup. Address for pickup is Unicycle (bike shop), Union Court, Australian National University. Other camping equipment also available for hire.|
|Namadgi National Park (ACT)||Namadgi Visitor Centre||$25||Call the Visitor Centre on (02) 6207 2900|
|Hobart, Launceston, Burnie or Devonport
|Service Tasmania Shop||$40||Call 1300 135 513 for details.|
|Melbourne (VIC)||Bogong Equipment||$50||Drop in to pickup,or call (03) 9600 0599 if you want to book ahead. Address for pickup is 374 Little Bourke,Street, Melbourne.|
|Box Hill (VIC)||Wilderness Shop||$50||Pickup from 969 Whitehorse Rd, Box Hill. Call (03) 9898 3742. $100 deposit applies.|
|Halls Gap (VIC)||Absolute Outdoors Australia||$25||Pickup from 105 Grampians Rd, Halls Gap. Phone 1300 526 258. 2 day minimum hire ($50). You may need to book ahead for busy times. Contact Wilderness Shop and they may be able to arrange delivery of your PLB.|
|Mount Baw Baw (VIC)||Absolute Outdoors Australia||$30||Pickup from Mount Baw Baw Visitor Information Centre. Call (03) 5165 1136 in advance to make a booking.|
|Adelaide, Alice Springs, Darwin, and
various locations in Melbourne
|Adventure Rentals||$55||Call 0431 176 282 for details.|
|Hinchinbrook Island (QLD)||Cardwell Rainforest & Reef Visitor Information Centre||Unsure||Call (07) 4066 8601
Got any other services to add? Have I got something wrong? Please let us know by commenting below.