Jungle Adventures Cape Tribulation introduce the human hamster wheel!

Advanced Ecotourism and Climate Action Leader certified operator, Jungle Adventures Cape Tribulation (also known as Jungle Surfing), have opened to the public the world’s first “Human Hamster Wheel” interactive cable lift as part of their Jungle Surfing Canopy Tour. The innovative and sustainable cable lift acts as a treadmill, using man-power to winch guests into the treetops for their Jungle Surfing adventure.

With no mainland electricity supply and a UNESCO World Heritage Site to preserve, the team at Jungle Surfing had to get creative and think outside of the box for a minimal impact solution for transferring their surfers skyward. It was over a light-hearted discussion in the staff hut that the concept of a Human Hamster Wheel was born.

“We’re extremely proud of the wheel which utilises customer power to introduce the concept of alternative/sustainable energy production as part of our tour experience. We think it’s pretty innovative, as do our customers” says Managing Director, Sheena Walshaw.

Jungle Surfing is situated in the pristine Daintree Rainforest at Cape Tribulation, 2 and a half hours North of Cairns. The Queensland Tourism Award-winning Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours take guests on a unique rainforest tour through the treetops using a series of flying fox ziplines. Surfers stop at five different tree platforms to soak up spectacular birds-eye views of the rainforest, cascading streams, and the Great Barrier Reef shoreline.

Jungle Surfing has a stong commitment to sustainable best practice, with the ultimate aim of becoming a carbon neutral tourism destination. Their mission is to be a benchmark and inspiration for their community and other tourism businesses in wilderness locations, and their goal is to protect and promote the pristine natural environment surrounding them through the provision of unique, adventurous and educational activities with sustainable operations and minimal environmental footprint.

They can’t promise you a cube of cheese for your efforts, but they can deliver epic views of a Jurassic world perched on the shoreline of the Great Barrier Reef. The team at Ecotourism Australia love what they’re about!

Visit the website: Jungle Surfing.

Learn more about the Human Hamster Wheel.

Congratulations to Flyboard Cairns

Congratulations to Flyboard Cairns for achieving Advanced Ecotourism certification for their innovative Flyboard Experience, Charters and Special Events.

Flyboarding is an exciting and innovative new water sport that uses pressurized water to power a wake board like device to enable the flyer to dive through the water, hover above its surface and perform all manner of tricks and stunts. Customers can come and experience the Flyboard water jet devices with Chris and Luke offering one-on-one instruction and personal attention. Flyboard Cairns has a variety of packages suited to individuals or small to medium groups.

Flyboard Cairns have also become sponsors of Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre patient, ‘Barbarella’. She is an Olive Ridley Turtle who was found trapped in Ghost nets up in Cape York and transported to the Centre with the assistance of Pennefather Rangers and Qantas Link. Marlin Coast Vet Hospital treated Barbarella and were able to save her life by amputating a flipper. She has received ongoing treatment for the deep hole in her top shell but has been recovering well with a healthy appetite. Sponsorship of a patient assists the centre to meet the cost of her food while she continues her rehabilitation with the care provided by Jennie Gilbert and the dedicated team of volunteers at Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre. Check out the turtle rehabs Facebook and Website to see how you can get involved at the centre too.

To find out more about Flyboard Cairns, click here.

To find out more about Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation, click here.

(Photos Courtesy Christian Miller)

Congratulations to Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living

Congratulations to the Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living (MCSL) for achieving Advanced Ecotourism Certification for their self and guided tours, workshops and community centre.

Situated at Mount Annan, NSW, the Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living is a fantastic not-for-profit, community-driven organisation supported by local Macarthur Councils and the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust. They are essentially an educational facility focused on sustainable technology. The Centre aims to celebrate Macarthur’s cultural diversity and explore sustainable living options with activities such as tours, festivals, markets, workshops, research, art, food, gardening and music. These activities favour cultural diversity and have a strong commitment to improve peoples’ awareness about sustainable living options.

The centre promotes sustainable living options, such as water and energy efficiency, waste avoidance and green space management, through its community educational programs and tours. The facility is entirely self-sufficient as it generates its own power (solar energy), recycles and reuses rain and waste water. An organic garden also belongs to the Centre and showcases different sustainable gardening principles, proudly maintained by volunteers. It conducts community educational programs and projects that build social capacity and empower individuals to embrace sustainable lifestyles. The Centre has also instated a Sustainability Committee to advise and monitor programs and educational material.

To find out more about Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living, click here.

Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat awarded full registration for “Land for Wildlife” program

Ecotourism certified Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat has been recognised for their ongoing efforts in environmental activity, habitat restoration and regeneration through recently being awarded full registration for their “Land for Wildlife” program by the Gold Coast City Council.

In their new program, Gwinganna partners up with the Conservation Partnership Officers. Together they aim to protect and improve native vegetation and wildlife on Gwinganna’s property, ranging from the critical corners of Currumbin and Burleigh-Springbrook to the east-west corridors of the coastal lowlands to the foothills and ranges. Full registration for the program demonstrates the government’s respect for Gwinganna’s work in their local environment.

Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat is located in a hidden region of the Tallebudgera Valley, which is only a short drive away from the Gold Coast Airport and Burleigh Heads Beach. By the end of March, Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat will have been certified by Ecotourism Australia for 5 years. They combine organic living, spa, movement and relaxation with delicious organic cuisine and vital wellness seminars in a dedicated low tech environment. Fully Inclusive packages are from two to seven days in length.

Additionally, under the guidance of Wildcare Australia Inc Gwinganna have been able to release an injured koala, a 2 year old female named Sherbert (pictured), back into the wild after she was cared for at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Hospital.

To find out more about Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, click here.

Boat Club Adventure Cruises achieves Ecotourism Certification

Congratulations to Boat Club Adventure Cruises for achieving Ecotourism Certification for its tours; Whale Watch Cruise, Mary River Cruise, Great Sandy Straits Cruise and Activity Cruise.

Boat Club Adventure Cruises offer a range of affordable cruise options to showcase the beauty & diversity of Hervey Bay, Fraser Island, and The Great Sandy Marine Park. Tours depart from Hervey Bay and showcase the best of the region, its wildlife and natural beauty. With more than 15 years of experience the crew around Captain Phil House delivers a remarkable experience, transferring his great knowledge and passion to all guests. Cruises provide unforgettable opportunities to see dolphins, dugongs, turtles, and abundant bird species in the protected wetland area, as well as a chance to witness the annual humpback whale migration.

Boat Club Adventure Cruises has been awarded Ecotourism certification as a result of their sustainable best practice operations and motivation to increase visitor education and environmental awareness. They display great effort in incorporating a variety of eco-initiatives. They are active participants in the Eye on the Reef and Reef Rescue programs, they utilise vessels constructed to guarantee low impact on surrounding ecosystems and operate vessels with an aim to keep energy and water usage at a minimum, and they closely monitor and record all waste and environmental impacts.

Find out more about Boat Club Adventure Cruises here.

Find out more about ECO certification here

Congratulations To South West Eco Discoveries

Congratulations to South West Eco Discoveries for achieving Nature Tourism Certification for their Eco Tours.

South West Eco Discoveries are a new tour operator based out of Abbey, WA with their half day Eco Tours taking guests through the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park in WA’s Margaret River region. Tours operate all year round and are tailored to suit each season to ensure guests always receive the best experience possible.

Owned and operated by brothers and experienced guides, Michael and Ryan White, with a life-time of local knowledge to share, South West Eco Discoveries pride themselves on providing comfortable, well-catered tours that focus on the natural environment. Obtaining Nature Tourism certification right off the bat, they strive to keep their environmental impact to a bare minimum and keep in close communication with the National Park to help achieve their conservation goals.

South West Eco Discoveries has a deep respect for the natural environment in which they operate, and they are passionate about helping guests appreciate the ecological vulnerability of the National Park. During tours Michael and Ryan share their knowledge and educate their guests on how they can reduce their impact and contribute positively to the environment. This remains at the core of their business and is evident right through from their SATRA tested footwear, to recycling old abalone shells caught by professional fishermen to use as souvenirs, to Michael’s involvement with the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife as a volunteer reptile handler.

To find out more about South West Eco Discoveries, visit their website.

Entries Open for next round of National Geographic’s World Legacy Awards

Entries for the next round of National Geographic’s renowned World Legacy Awards are NOW OPEN!

The World Legacy Awards are an initiative of the National Geographic Society, one of the world’s largest and most prestigious nonprofit scientific, educational, and travel organizations reaching more than 450 million people worldwide. The World Legacy Awards honor the companies, organizations, and destinations that are driving the positive transformation of the tourism industry, showcasing leaders and visionaries in sustainable tourism best practices, and sharing their stories with millions of today’s travelers.

There are five award categories, based on the triple bottom line of sustainable tourism; including environmentally responsible operations, protection of natural and cultural heritage, and support for the well-being of local communities. The categories are:

  • Earth Changers
  • Sense of Place
  • Conserving the Natural World
  • Engaging with Communities
  • Destination Leadership

Each year, the winners will be announced at Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin (ITB Berling), the largest tourism trade fair in the world, in March 2016. The finalists are selected by a panel of international experts in the travel, tourism and related fields. They are then subject to a field evaluation, with one winner selected for each category. As part of the Winners and finalists will be acknowledged in National Geographic Traveler magazine and across other media by National Geographic, reaching millions travelers around the world. Ecotourism Australia Board member, Tony Charters, joins the panel of judges as an expert in the fields of destination development, sustainable management, and ecotourism.

Last year one of our own, Advanced Ecotourism certified Conservation Ecology Centre (Cape Otway, Victoria), made it right through to become a Finalist in the category for Conserving the Natural World – a highly commendable and well-deserved achievement.

The World Legacy Awards are a great opportunity to get your business achievements out there, gain international recognition in the global tourism industry, and showcase your commitment to sustainable tourism, environmental protection, and your community.

You can submit your application by August 1, 2015 at http://www.nationalgeographic.com/worldlegacyawards/apply.html

For more information, visit the National Geographic website, or contact them at: info@worldlegacyawards.com

(Picture: A Tiger Quoll photographed by Lucia Griggi at Conservation Ecology Centre)