Parks Victoria Achieve ROC Certification

Parks VIC add ROC Certification to their Advanced ECO Certification

Parks Victoria manages a diverse and representative network of parks that are home to more than 4,300 native plant species and 948 native animal species.

The park network includes some of Victoria’s largest and most undisturbed ecosystems – landscapes like the Alps, the mallee, grasslands and inland waters and wetlands. It covers Victoria’s marine national parks and sanctuaries that protect a wide array of marine life. It also includes smaller, but important urban parks.

Parks Victoria’s conservation programs help to reduce threats to parks and improve the health of the natural environment.

Parks VIC recently achieved Respecting Our Culture (ROC) certification to add to their Advanced Ecotourism certification. Parks Victoria is the main partner with Traditional Owners in caring for jointly managed parks. Parks Victoria will continue to deliver on ground management in these areas. Their work will be guided by the direction set by the Traditional Owner Land Management Board (TOLMB).

For more information on Parks Victoria please visit their website

For information about ROC and Climate Action Certification, please visit our Website.

Fowlers Bay ECO Park – ECO Certified

Fowlers Bay Eco Park have just recently been ECO Certified.

Fowlers Bay Eco Park incorporates a Caravan Park and Whale Watch Tours to visit and observe the whales, sea lions and dolphins that frequent Fowlers Bay.  These tours are managed in a way that is safe for the passengers and are low impact on the environment and the wildlife.

Fowlers Bay Eco Park Whale Watch Tour provide escorted tours to visit and observe the whales, sea lions and dolphins that inhabit Fowlers Bay.  Passengers are educated in the appropriate manner to interact with the wildlife and are inspired by the experience. This tour is certified at the Advanced Ecotourism level of certification.

Fowlers Bay Eco Caravan Park is a small private beach front park situated on The Esplanade, opposite the 300m long solar lit jetty.

Fowlers Bay Eco Caravan Park is certified at the Ecotourism level of certification.

For more information, visit their website

For more information on ECO Certification Please Visit our website

Unique Safari Lodge opportunity

Expressions of interest are sought by Tourism Naturally for the operation of award-winning Jabiru Safari Lodge at Mareeba Wetlands, an hour from Cairns. The Lodge consists of 5 up-market ensuited tented cabins and the Lodge Interpretive Centre overlooking a Lagoon. The business model is based on the private African Game Reserve with cruises, wildlife safaris, walking trails and meals included in the tariff. A bed and breakfast option is also available. The lodge has a strong birdwatching and ecotourism focus and extensive international marketing contracts are in place.

A 10 year operational concession would be available for the right operator. The asking price is very attractive and vendor finance may be an option. It’s an Ideal opportunity for an existing ecotourism operator to expand the scope of their operations or for an enthusiastic guide or couple to take on an established business with a low capital outlay.

For more details and a prospectus, phone Neil on 07 40932514 or email

Mt Cotton Guesthouse Retreat Wins Government Grant

Mt Cotton Guesthouse Retreat was recently awarded a $110,000 federal grant towards the construction of 3 new eco cabins on its own 20 hectare private nature refuge.

The TQUAL grant program supports business to provide high-quality services to tourists travelling in Australia. The 2012 program recently announced financial support to 77 tourism projects across Australia. Mt Cotton Guesthouse Retreat is the only successful project in the Redland/Brisbane area in this round.

Mt Cotton Luxury Eco Cabins will be the closest ECO Certified accommodation to a capital city where visitors can see koalas, wallabies and endangered birds in the wild and the closest eco cabins to Brisbane CBD and International Airport .

The 3 luxury cabins are the first stage of an 8 cabin development, complementing the existing multi-award winning B&B.

Owner Sue Panuccio was thrilled to receive the new. ‘After 2 previous attempts it was so tempting to let it pass as the process is very rigorous and the grants are hotly contested. Luckily we decided to give it one last shot.’ Sue expects the cabins to be ready for guests by early 2013.

For more information, please visit Mt Cotton Guesthouse website.

Wet Tropics announced as Australia’s 14th National Landscape

The Wet Tropics has been recognised as one of Australia’s premier tourism destinations as Australia’s 14th National Landscape.

The move has been driven by small tourism businesses and conservationists from Daintree to Townsville, seeking to deliver a sustainable and vibrant future for the region.

Australia’s National Landscapes Program identifies Australia’s best nature destinations, helps locals refocus and refine what they’re offering visitors, and then markets that natural competitive advantage to the world. It is led by a partnership between Tourism Australia and Parks Australia.

Environment Minister Tony Burke and Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson said that “The Wet Tropics has long been one of our great ecotourism destinations, and through Australia’s National Landscapes Program the local community is building on that.”

“The region includes World Heritage listed rainforests that give us a fascinating insight into the way Australia’s plants and animals have evolved since the breakup of Gondwana 35 million years ago. Cassowaries, the mahogany glider, frogs, bats, tree kangaroos and wallabies are among the distinctive species with profound stories of evolution and survival – many found nowhere else on earth.

“Local tour operators and conservationists are passionate advocates for this region – many of them are involved in the industry specifically because it allows them to go out into the rainforest or Tablelands environment every day. They want to help a new generation of visitors fall in love with this place and become champions for its protection.”

Minister Ferguson said the Wet Tropics National Landscape profiles Australia’s competitive advantage and is a chance for the region to reach a global audience with the strength of a unified voice.

“With good growth in visitation across tropical Queensland, there’s no denying the appeal of this region for visitors. Their National Landscapes planning will make the most of that, helping the Wet Tropics thrive well into the future.

The nature and culture on offer in the Wet Tropics will feature prominently in Tourism Australia’s international marketing. It now joins 13 other National Landscapes, including Australia’s Red Center, the Kimberley and the Great Barrier Reef.

Read the Minister’s media release.

Cassowary Awards Nominations Are Open! Nomivations close Friday 5th October 2012

About The Cassowary Awards

The Cassowary Awards were established by the Wet Tropics Management Authority in 1999 to recognise individuals and groups who have made outstanding contributions towards the conservation and presentation of the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area. Award winners come from a range of backgrounds including farmers, scientists, conservationists, artists and tour operators. The diverse award recipients, have all made an exceptional effort towards the protection and management of the World Heritage Area, often devoting many years of their life to their passion.

How the Awards operate

Several awards are given each year. The Wet Tropics Board seeks nominations and advice from its staff, advisory committees, liaison groups, previous Cassowary Award recipients and the broader community. All nominations are considered in camera by the Board. Their decision is final.

Awards are given to individuals and/or an organisation or company. Cassowary Awards are not given to current federal, state or local politicians in order to avoid politicisation of the awards.

Awards ceremony

Winners are announced at a special ceremony. They receive an award and a Certificate of Appreciation. The real privilege of being an award recipient is to be in the company of like-minded people recognised for their outstanding contribution to the protection of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

It is hoped that the existence of such a group will enhance public support for the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and that the Award recipients will play a collective custodial role to ensure the Wet Tropics is conserved for future generations.

For more information, please visit the Wet Tropics Management website or contact Lana Lopatich by e-mail:

Innes Larkin of Mt Barney Lodge Receives Queensland Police Service Award!

Keep The Scenic Rim Scenic (KTSRS) Spokesperson and owner of Mt Barney Lodge, Innes Larkin, has been presented with a Queensland Police Service Award.

The Medal Presentation Service took place at the Nerang Police Citizens Youth Club, Cayuga Street, Nerang on Tuesday 14th August 2012 from 9.45am.

In June 2011, an expedition to climb Mt Lindesay by a party of experienced bushwalkers ended in fatal tragedy when their leader accidentally slipped on the ascent, leaving four others stranded on the vertical rock face.

Mr Larkin was nominated by Andrew Zaal, the local Police Officer in charge of Rathdowney, who requested his assistance. Mr Larkin initially provided local knowledge of the climbing route and the mountain conditions.

As the vertical cliffs of Mt Lindsay were inaccessible to ground rescue teams, and the gusty wind conditions prevented direct helicopter access to the bushwalkers, Innes was asked by Police to actively assist so that the rescue could be concluded before nightfall. He was winched from a helicopter onto the summit of Mt Lindsay, and used his ACIA (Australian Climbing Instructors Association) Single Pitch Guide vertical rescue skills and experience, to abseil the bushwalkers to safety.

Innes Larkin said “It is nice for my actions to be acknowledged in this way, but there are everyday acts of bravery which go unnoticed which contribute to the fabric of our community. This just happens to be the circumstances that my unique skills were on show. The mountains with its cliffs and ropes are my comfortable Outdoor Leader environment as, to me, it is known and somewhat predictable.

In my role as KTSRS Spokesperson, talking to politicians, presenting at forums, and debating on a panel in front of 130 people with the Federal Tourism Minister to challenge perceptions about coal seam gas takes me greater effort and resolve.

What this shows me is that every person in the Scenic Rim who is taking a stance, who is having that courageous conversation with neighbours and friends, or is helping to survey for the “Coal and Coal Seam Gas-free Community” action, is being brave in their own way”.

For more information about Keep The Scenic Rim Scenic visit their website.