Pterodactyl Helicopters are Nature Tourism certified!

Congratulations to Pterodactyl Helicopters who have just received Nature Tourism certification for their Helicopter Country Wine Tours.

Nature Tourism CertifiedPterodactyl Helicopters’ in-flight commentary covers local geological information with reference to local flora, fauna and the national park areas that surround the areas they fly through.The altitude allows guests to best appreciate the full impact of the environment’s evolution. The tours give guests the opportunity to experience local food and wine and the chance to interact with local people.

Pterodactyl’s tour office uses solar power to generate enough energy to offset all power used by the business.

To find out more about Pterodactyl Helicopters visit their website here.

For more information on Ecotourism Australia’s certification and certified operators visit our website.

Growing Popularity of Australia confirmed by TripAdvisor

A new TripAdvisor study has revealed an increasing interest from international travellers in visiting Australia. The US is the fastest growing major inbound tourism market for Australia, with an impressive 48% growth in interest compared to last year.

Although the US and the UK remain strong markets for Australia, emerging markets such as Brazil and India have seen a significant increase of interest in travelling to the lucky country.

“Interest in Australian accommodations on TripAdvisor has increased more than 15% year-on-year, confirming Australia as a much loved and desired destination by travellers from both near and afar,” TripAdvisor for Business’s Australia territory manager Avril Carter said.

“Not only do we see some of the biggest growth in interest coming from emerging inbound tourism markets such as Brazil and India, it’s also notable to see a growing interest from Aussies researching trips in their own country.”

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Ecotourism Certification awarded to Toboggan Hill Park!

Congratulations to Toboggan Hill Park, our latest tourism operator to be awarded ECO Certification at the Ecotourism level. Ecotourism Certified

Toboggan Hill Park offers visitors of all ages and abilities an authentic challenging and unique tourism experiences with a focus on recreation in natural environments.

The Park provides the opportunity to experience exciting indoor and outdoor activities in a safe environment. Their number one attraction is a 1km Toboggan Track gently weaving through native bushland habitats, pockets of subtropical rainforest and indigenous wildflowers.

Complementing the Toboggan Run is a 19-hole bushland Mini-golf course, Water-play activity, Tractor-train Ride and Maze Landscape experience. Indoor recreation activities include Rock-climbing Wall, “Hot” Ice-skating using synthetic ice panels, Plaster model painting, Water-play activity, remote controlled games and Kiosk facilities.

Toboggan Hill Park caters to a broad range of visitors seeking adventure tourism and recreational experiences including International and Domestic visitors, Local Community, Sports, Schools and Special Needs Groups.1197509

To find out more about Toboggan Hill Park visit their website here.

For more information on Ecotourism Australia’s certification and certified operators visit our website.

Congratulations to the 2014 Green Travel Leaders!

For the fourth consecutive year, Ecotourism Australia has recognised operators who have been ECO certified for 10 years or more as “Green Travel Leaders”.

Green Travel Leaders show a long term commitment to protecting the environment for current and future generations. These operators are trail blazers in responsible travel and by choosing a Green Travel Leader, travellers can be sure they are choosing a quality nature tourism experience with a long history of protecting and interpreting our amazing Australian natural and cultural attractions.

We would like to congratulate the five additional tourism operators joining the list of Green Travel Leaders in 2014.

To recognise a Green Travel Leader look for the above logo or find them at www.greentravelleaders.com.au.

New Green Travel Leaders for 2014:

Please visit the Green Travel Leaders website to view the full list of Green Travel Leaders.

2014 UNAA World Environment Day Awards: Call for Nomination

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Nominations for the 2014 United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Awards are now open nationally.

Businesses, local governments, community organisations, individuals, schools and the media are invited to nominate in the following award categories:

  • NSW Office of Environment and Heritage Sustainability Leadership Awards
  • Swinburne University of Technology Excellence in Sustainable Product Design Award
  • Hanson’s Green Building Award
  • Virgin Australia Community Award
  • Biodiversity Award
  • Business Awards
  • Environmental School Award
  • Excellence in Sustainable Water Management Award
  • Individual Award
  • Local Government Awards
  • Media Award for Environmental Reporting
  • Sustainability Education Award

These national awards recognise those from all Australian sectors who display innovation and dedication in their work to protect, manage or restore the environment. In recent years, the World Environment Day Awards have showcased some of the most important and exciting environmental projects in Australia.

The Awards encourage environmental leadership, and promote awareness of environmental issues on a global scale. The World Environment Day Awards are held annually in support of the United Nations World Environment Day (5 June).

Nominations close at 5pm, Thursday 17 April, 2014. 

Winners will be announced at the Awards Presentation Dinner to be held on Friday 13 June, 2014 at the Crystal Ballroom, Milsons Point Sydney. For more information, please visit: www.unaavictoria.org.au. Please feel free to forward this ‘Call for Nominations’ on to your contacts and networks.

BIG4 Atherton Woodlands Tourist Park introduces Woody

Ecotourism Australia certified tourism operators not only focus on environmental and business sustainability, but they also often look at investing time and efforts into giving back to local communities and wildlife.

Big4 Atherton Woodlands Tourist Park, located near Cairns, recently sent us Woody’s story and we found it quite inspiring for both individuals and businesses. Whether you are an animal lover or a business owner  trying to do the right thing, we hope this will encourage some readers to seek similar projects in their area.

woody copyWoody is a juvenile Hawksbill turtle with a rather a special story in that he was found floating between Cairns and Green Island. A member of the public spotted him and reported him to the QLD Parks Rangers who picked him up. He was rescued by the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and then sent to the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on Fitzroy Island.  After a check-up, Woody appeared to be severely underweight and did not seem to be interested in eating for over 6 weeks and during this time was force fed. He finally started eating squid that was offered to him and now happily eats between 24-28 squid a day. As he recovers, his food intake will increase to up to 30 squid a day. Woody has still got a long way to go before he is released and needs to put on a lot more weight. It will take one to two years for him to fully recuperate and to be returned to the sea.

The Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre (CTRC) has recently achieved Advanced Ecotourism certification and treats injured and sick marine turtles brought in from the Great Barrier Reef and Cape York Peninsula. Personal commitments and donations from local businesses keep the centre running with more than 170 sick and injured animals brought in for treatment over the past 10 years.

Big4 Atherton Woodlands Tourist Park pay $100 per month for his rehabilitation and as they were his sole sponsor and he was unnamed, they were allowed to call him Woody after their local Woodlands Park.

Big4 Atherton Woodlands Tourist Park promote Woody’s story wherever they can and in particular in their Nature Tourism certified cabins. A donation to his upkeep is given for each stay in one of the eco cabins. They have recently added a 2 Bedroom Eco Family Villa to their property.

The new 2 Bedroom Eco Family Villa at BIG4 Atherton Woodlands Tourist Park

For more information about the Cairns Rehabilitation Centre or to sponsor a turtle like Woody, visit their website.

For more information about Big4 Atherton Woodlands Tourist Park or to book your stay and help Woody, visit their website.

Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre achieves Advanced Ecotourism Certification

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Congratulations to Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre for achieving Advanced Ecotourism Certification.

Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre (CTRC) is a not for profit organisation dedicated to the rehabilitation of sick and injured turtles. Marine Turtles are brought in to the Centre and are treated and rehabilitated with support from the Marlin Coast Veterinary Hospital who volunteer their services to help enable the recovery of the turtles.

The Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, located on Fitzroy Island is a public education facility which allows visitors to learn about the history of the organisation, threats facing turtles and the marine environment and the journey to recovery for the injured or sick turtles prior to their release back into the ocean.

The Centre also offers daily Interpretive Tours:  Entrance is by Donation of $5.50 per Adult and $2.20 per Child.

Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre are only able to continue their important work due to the support received from local businesses, the public and a team of 54 experienced volunteers. ECO certified tourism operators can directly contribute to action to protect marine turtles through assistance with fundraising or via sponsorship of a turtle in the centre to provide for its food bill.

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For more information on the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre or to see how you can get involved visit their website here or contacting Jennie Gilbert at jennifer.gilbert@my.jcu.edu.au.

For more information on Ecotourism Australia’s ECO certification, please visit our website here.