Straddie Camping Introduce New Eco Shacks

Advanced Ecotourism, ROC and Climate Action certified operator, Straddie Camping, has unveiled two ‘first‐of‐a-kind’ EcoShacks at Amity Point Camping Ground on North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah), with the first guests welcomed on the 1st of July. The EcoShacks bring a new and unique ‘glamping’ accommodation experience to Straddie.

The new accommodation offering is part of Straddie Camping’s strategy to improve the North Stradbroke Island camping holiday experience, and to present the campgrounds in such as way that the nature and Aboriginal culture of the Island is celebrated and respected. The design of the EcoShacks, refers to the local traditional Aboriginal culture and kn wledge, while also reflecting on North Stradbroke Island’s proud history as a holiday destination.

Inspiration for the design of the EcoShacks was drawn from three sources:
1. The style of the traditional Australian tent,
2. The quintessential North Stradbroke Island beach shacks, and;
3. Quandamooka People’s culture and connection to country.

They feature their own rainwater tanks, large windows, fan cooling, and off-the ground positioning to take advantage of the island breezes. Windows and doors are fitted with heavy-duty roll down canvas zippered screens, and the main door features an inlayed design by local Quandamooka Artist Belinda Close. The EcoShacks face directly onto the beachfront, taking advantage of the magnificent sunsets over Moreton Bay.

A world renowned design team oversaw the construction of the EcoShacks, ensuring the Quandamooka People’s cultural considerations to land, seasons and wildlife, were integrated in the design concept and application. Environmental best practice technology is utilized for the treatment of water and sewerage to ensure a minimal environmental footprint, and landscaping use native species endemic to North Stradbroke Island.

Along with the new EcoShacks, a family friendly interpretive walk has been established, with signposted points of interest around the Amity Point Camping Ground providing information on the area’s rich Aboriginal history, as well as featuring ancient Aboriginal stories. The interpretive walk lets guests immerse themselves in the living cultural landscape of Minjerribah, and learn about the Quandamooka people’s connection to the land – dating back tens of thousands of years. Long before European settlement, Aborigines would meet on Minjerribah to share and exchange food, stories, knowledge; to trade, dance, perform initiations and participate in other cultural activities. This tradition of the Quandamooka people is one of generous hospitality and sharing. It’s a message that is equally important today.

The Amity Point township has a laid back seaside village vibe that welcomes all visitors, and is a popular fishing spot with the locals. The Amity Point Camping Ground is a spacious family friendly campground with calm water beach perfect for the kiddies, and an abundance of native wildlife. Straddie Camping will market test the new EcoShacks for use in other camping grounds, and will continue with cutting edge sustainability and cultural initiatives throughout all aspects of the business going forward.

Straddie Camping is a partnership between the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) as shareholders, trustee and Traditional owners of the landand Indigenous Business Australia (IBA), a Commonwealth Statutory Authority. Considerable funds have been invested into the business, which have been used to refurbish the camping grounds and extend services, resulting in strong growth in recent years.

The business has also been awarded a number of Queensland tourism awards, including a Best Campground in QLD award.

New ParkFinder WA smartphone App enables greater Park experience

The Western Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) has just launched a fantastic new smartphone app that enables users to plan their outdoor adventures with the tap of a finger.

The user-friendly ParkFinder App allows users to search hundred of sites within more than 150 different Parks in Western Australia by map, park name, and parks near you. It also allows users to filter search results by available activities and facilities, and displays alerts for closures, hazards and upcoming camping vacancies.

All data is downloaded to the users phone, also enabling offline and out-of-range access to park information. You can save favourites parks and sites, share with friends on social media, and write reviews, all while the app stays perpetually up-to-date through linking to the Parks and Wildlife Explore Parks website.

The Parkfinder app is part of the $21.05 million, four-year Parks for People initiative that is expanding camping and visitor experiences in parks and reserves throughout WA. Environment Minister, Albert Jacob, says the app is part of a range of online and mobile resources being rolled out as part of the initiative. “More mobile resources will be rolled out soon including a camping checklist app for Western Australia, a Trailfinder app and mobile flora and fauna guides,” he said.

The introduction of the innovative tool sets a new benchmark for tourism in our parks, enabling a greater park experience and encouraging people to get outdoors and enjoy nature.

Find out more about the Parkfinder-WA app here.

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Skytrek Willow Springs Station Achieve Nature Tourism Certification

Nature Tourism CertifiedCongratulations to Skytrek Willow Springs Station for achieving Nature Tourism certification!

Willow Springs Station is a typical working sheep station in the Flinders Ranges that offers true bush hospitality and quiet, secluded settings. They offer private and comfortable accommodation for small or large groups, and bush campsites with amenities. In addition to their accommodation offering, Willow Springs also offer 4WDing on the popular Skytrek, Guided 4WD tours on and off the property, and marked walking trails.

The Reynolds family have been operating the Station, and now the ecotourism destination, since the mid-1900’s. They strive to educate their guests on sustainability, and encourage them to reduce their carbon footprint, while offering a unique and genuine bush experience. The Reynolds family also work closely with the Ecosystems Management Understanding Program (EMU), a South Australian initiative to gain greater awareness of ecosystem components and linkages, and take a holistic approach to property management beyond the property boundary, that is improving production, environmental and social outcomes. Check out the video below, which highlights their efforts with the EMU program.

Find out more about Skytrek Willow Springs Station here.

Find out more about ECO certification here.

 

Bike About are newly Advanced Ecotourism certified

imagesCongratulations to Bike About who have achieved Advanced Ecotourism certification for their Mountain Biking & Cycle Touring Camps and Environmental Sustainability Camping trips.

Bike About provides a service for schools (metro and regional), sporting clubs, youth groups, corporate groups, other outdoor adventure companies and the tourism industry.

Camps focus on geography, bush walking, cycling education (on & off road), bike maintenance, bike equipment and hire, adventure tourism and physical fitness.

To find out more about Bike About Tours visit their website here.

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

Discover Queensland: Go Camping

The best way to enjoy the Queensland bush is to pitch your tent, or park your camper trailer or caravan in one of Queensland’s parks and forests. You can enjoy spectacular ocean views, watch the stars at night in the middle of the bush, spot unique wildlife and enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities from bushwalking to adventure sports.

Make a Queensland national park or forest your next destination for a bush or beach getaway. Places include camping areas close to towns and suburbs to secluded campsites away from crowds. There is a new online camping and vehicle permit booking system available at www.qld.gov.au/camping. Bookings can also be done through the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service business centers, an authorised booking agent or by phone on 13 74 68.