The Road to Success
Ron Murray comes from a family of travel industry players. His father had a small bus company and his great uncle was involved with Hotel Kosciusko back in 1910, providing horse and coach while acting as guide for the first tourists. Ron eventually followed in his footsteps after studying engineering and accounting.
At 19 years old, Ron opened a Tourist Bureau/Travel Agency in Queanbeyan NSW, a small village town on the outskirts of Canberra.
Ron expanded by purchasing local business the Gundaroo Pub. The rundown Gundaroo Pub was transformed into one of the busiest country pubs in the entire country, group bookings needed to be made months in advance.
Ron purchased his father’s school bus business. Not happy to have his investment parked up at night not working, he started taking groups out to the Gundaroo Pub! These nights out quickly gained a reputation in sleepy Canberra for great home-style hospitality and beer - lots of beer! Groups were booked months in advance.
With one hospitality business going well, Ron purchased Canberra Cruises, the licensed operator for cruises on Lake Burley Griffin. With two vessels - The Lady Clare providing day cruises and The City of Canberra, offering locals a fine dining experience. By this time, Ron was operating scheduled day tours for international tourists.
As tourism to Canberra grew, Ron's focus shifted to his tourist coach services. Private international groups were on a rapid rise - particularly from Japan. Eventually a customer needed Japanese speaking guides in Canberra. Recognising an opportunity, Ron spoke to the Embassy of Japan. Not only was he able to provide guides for this group, but for many more to come.
New depots opened in Sydney, Gold Coast, Cairns and Melbourne. Often, on the invitation of our existing customers. Day tours were also operating in Sydney. Our ongoing investment in vehicles saw Murrays bring the Super High Deck to Australia - a joint venture between Scania and Austral Pacific Group. These vehicles were world class for their day, incorporating safety technology well above the industry standard. A practice we continue in our purchasing programs today.
International tourism suffered a downturn due to global events and changes in tourist travel habits. This required Murrays to innovate, with a fleet of luxury touring coaches and experienced professional drivers, we looked to diversify our customer base. Proudly today, we are the transport provider of choice for many of the country's leading organisations including; corporate businesses, sporting organisations, schools, state and federal governments and private individuals.
Ron Murray was recognised for his services to the tourism and transport industry by being awarded an Order of Australia.
The Canberra - Sydney Express services went from strength to strength through the 80's, 90's and early 2000's. In 2008, the service had gained such popularity for its convenience, comfort and affordability that services between Canberra and Sydney commenced hourly from 5am to 10pm with daily midnight services.
A corporate contract with a large customer gave Murrays the opportunity to open depots in Chinchilla and Toowoomba. Our corporate culture has always been to invest locally, so Ron identified an opportunity to expand our seat-in-coach services into Queensland, operating timetabled departures between Brisbane, Toowoomba and Miles. We now operate 16 services a day between Brisbane and Toowoomba.
Recognising the growth of corporate business and education in the Greater Western Sydney region, Murrays expanded by opening an operation in Seven Hills to service the growing western suburbs.
With over 53 years of working hard, Murrays is recognised in the coach industry as a leader. Ron employs more than 400 staff across the country, has 9 depots and operation centres, a 24/7 National Control Centre, 10 sales offices and shopfronts, and over 200 vehicles in the fleet. In November 2019 the express route network is expanding with daily services into Melbourne from Sydney & Canberra. This Australian icon continues on the road to success with Ron Murray still driving its success.