Congratulations To Peninsula Hot Springs

Congratulations to Peninsula Hot Springs on achieving Nature Tourism certification for their Natural Thermal Mineral Spring Baths that offer a great opportunity for guests to enjoy nature and relax.

Officially opened in 2005, Peninsula Hot Springs (PHS) is the first natural hot springs and day spa centre in Victoria, located just 90 minutes from Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula. Natural thermal mineral waters flow into more than 30 pools, private baths and other bathing experiences from a geothermal aquifer 637 metres below the surface. Peninsula Hot Springs is a multi-award winning ecotourism attraction that sees more than 440,000 visitors per year. Entering the bathing area is like stepping into another world, a sanctuary where mind and body can relax in the beautiful natural surrounds.

Peninsula Hot Springs focuses on balancing the relationship between business and environment, incorporating sound environmental practices into every facet from initial construction through to daily management. They work towards the ultimate goal of developing an ecotourism facility which is recognised as a world leader in environmentally sound, minimal impact resort management. Well on their way to achieving this goal, they have introduced projects and policies for the protection and re-vegetation if their surrounding indigenous landscape, weed and pest management, protection of potential Aboriginal archaeological sites, waste, water and energy consumption.

Peninsula Hot Springs have also developed a climate change action policy through the engagement of an environmental consultant, which promises to educate guests on relevant environmental issues and climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate their environmental impact, and sourcing local, sustainable produce and engaging sustainable service providers.

To find out more about Peninsula Hot Spring, please visit their website.

Key Findings from Australian Tourism Exchange 15

Last week, our Operations Manager, Emily, joined over 2,500 delegates at the Australian Tourism Exchange 2015 in Melbourne. The event proved to be a valuable experience, providing an opportunity to network, build positive relationships, and gain insight into current trends within the tourism industry and various markets. Tourism Australia put on a great event, showcasing some of the best culinary experiences from all across Australia in light of the Restaurant Australia campaign.

It was fantastic to see that Ecotourism Australia’s (EA) members made up 20% of all the Sellers present at the event, a strong indicator of the high standard of our certified operators. We shared a booth with our partners at Conservation Volunteers, and Emily was pleased to touch base with many of our members, put faces to names, and learn more about the success of their businesses. Across a busy schedule of 70 appointments, she also met with representatives from an array of wholesalers, retailers, travel agents and state tourism organisations. By the end of the four-day event, Emily came to several key findings based on the feedback received from Buyers:

  • The greatest interest in ecotourism, nature based tourism, and sustainability certification came from the European (particularly German), Canadian and the US markets.
  • Representatives from various Asian countries noted that interest in ecotourism and “getting off the beaten track” was beginning to grow among younger generations and more seasoned travellers. They also predicted interest would grow further following the introduction of Australia’s multiple entry 10-year visa for Chinese citizens as a result of the Australia-China free trade agreement.
  • Many Buyers showed great interest in EA’s online Green Travel Guide (GTG), the searchable database found on our website featuring all of our certified members, and indicated they would use it to search for new product. The GTG was a very valuable tool and was used during most appointments.
  • A number of Buyers expressed great interest in “hands on” voluntourism experiences that allow guests the opportunity to contribute to some form of conservation effort during their visit.
  • Buyers from online distribution channels and online travel agencies noted that when given a choice between a certified or non-certified experience, travellers were more inclined to choose the certified option, and that this is an increasing trend. These Buyers also noted that many certified operators listed on their sites often do not mention their certification in their listings.

Over the coming weeks, we will be following up on connections made at the event and working to further develop new and strengthen old relationships with the ultimate goal of bringing greater value to our members.

If you have any feedback or questions following our participation in the Australian Tourism Exchange, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.

(Pictured: Several of our certified operators with Rod, our CEO)

Platinum Australia International Achieves Nature Tourism Certification

Nature Tourism CertifiedCongratulations to Platinum Australia International Pty Ltd for achieving Nature Tourism certification!

Platinum Australia International is a tour company that specialises in first class tours to the Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island, Yarra Valley Wine District, Golf Tours and many other unique and exclusive tours around Victoria and Australia.

They have achieved Nature Tourism certification for the following tour options:

  • Great Ocean Road Tours: with one and two day options running from Melbourne to Port Campbell and return, overnight guests enjoy Eco Lodge accommodation.
  • Phillip Island Tours: day trips visiting the Little Penguin Parade and The Koala Conservation Centre.
  • Yarra Valley Wine District: one and two day tours incorporating Healesville Sanctuary, and B&B accommodation with a local Yarra Valley provider.
  • Full Day Golf Tours: visiting various Melbourne Sandbelt Courses, sure to please golfers at all experience levels.

Platinum Australia International’s tours are conducted by guides educated on cultural history, ecological significance, and wildlife native to the destinations visited to ensure guests have the best experience possible on and off the tour bus.

Platinum Australia International has a new website coming soon.

Find out more about Nature Tourism certification here.

The Enchanted Adventure Garden achieves Ecotourism Certification

Ecotourism CertifiedCongratulations to the Enchanted Adventure Garden for becoming Ecotourism certified.

The Enchanted Adventure Garden is an award winning natural attraction nestled in the beautiful hinterland of Arthurs Seat in the heart of the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria. From humble beginnings, the Enchanted Gardens have grown into a wonderland of family adventure with mazes, gardens and adventure activities that is designed to enliven the senses and challenge the mind.

A range of exciting activities for people of all ages is available within the park with thrilling Tree Surfing Courses, Tube Slides and Bushland obstacles. The Enchanted Adventure Garden encourage visitors to ‘tread lightly’ when visiting the  region and offer a comprehensive list of the actions they have taken to minimise their environmental footprint on their website.

enchanted maze3 enchanted maze4

For more information about the Enchanted Adventure Garden, visit their website.

For more information about our Ecotourism certification program, visit our website.

Habitat HQ Wins The CitiPower Port Phillip Business Excellence Award!

Congratulations to Habitat HQ for securing the Tourism Award in the prestigious 2012 CitiPower Port Phillip Business Excellence Awards celebrating and inspiring the innovative spirit of business across Port Philip.

Director, Peter Beaconsfield accepted the award on behalf of the Habitat HQ team, who were elated with the result. “You can’t have a winning business without a winning team” Peter stated. “In a 24 hour, 7 day a week operation, business excellence cannot be achieved without a committed team who are passionate about what they do.”

The category submissions were judged in the areas of customer service excellence, local business development, innovative marketing and sustainable business initiatives.

“Habitat HQ aims to be recognised worldwide as the backpacker destination of choice when in Australia, building memories and enriching lives. Together with our local business partners, we actively promote St Kilda, priding ourselves on keeping our offerings innovative and uniquely showcasing our great location. This award acknowledges the commitment Habitat HQ has in providing exceptional tourism experiences to our international guests”, comments Karyn Harte, Business Development and Marketing Manager.

Habitat HQ is a 4.5 star backpacker hostel and budget traveller accommodation property located in beachside St Kilda. The warm friendly staff and grassroots culture creates a relaxed environment making all guests feel right at home. Accommodation options range from 4, 6, 8 and 10 bed dormitories to private motel style rooms with ensuites.

The 2012 CitiPower Port Phillip Business Excellence Awards program attracted a record amount of 303 nominations across nine categories, from which 38 finalists and 10 winners were chosen. Habitat HQ is in the company of fine ambassadors that demonstrate the business vitality and the vibrancy that the City of Port Phillip is famous for.

Habitat HQ has Climate Action Innovator Certification through Ecotourism Australia.

For more information about Habitat HQ, visit their website.

Last chance to register for The UNAA Seminar – Valuing the Earth’s Natural Capital

The United Nations Association of Australia (Victorian Division) Business, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Valuing the Earth’s Natural Capital Seminar will be held on Thursday 20 September 2012, in partnership with National Australia Bank.

The seminar brings together key players from business, government and civil society to discuss the challenges and opportunities in measuring the true value of nature and enhancing natural capital as a critical economic, ecological and social asset.

Join the conversation with an expert panel to discuss:

  • The Natural Capital Declaration and the finance sector
  • Australian Government perspective on natural capital and sustainability: current priorities, measurement and where Australia can make a difference
  • Business and biodiversity: valuing natural capital and ecosystem services in practice

Guest speakers:

  • Rosemary Bissett (Head of Sustainability Governance and Risk, Enterprise Risk, National Australia Bank)
  • Malcolm Thompson (Deputy Secretary, Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
  • Stuart Anstee (Chief Adviser, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Rio Tinto)


  • Rosemary Sainty (Former Head, Secretariat UN Global Compact Network Australia and Adviser, Corporate Engagement, Transparency International Australia

Registration deadline: 5pm, Monday 17 September 2012

To register online, please follow the link.

If you would like more information about the program, please contact Catherine Sutherland at +613 9670 7878 or

Habitat HQ Climate Action Innovator

Habitat HQ have just recently become Climate Action Innovator Certified!

Habitat HQ was voted the No.1 backpackers hostel in Victoria. Located in St Kilda, Melbourne’s funky beach side suburb. Habitat HQ provide an experience that is fun & unique. Stay ‘guilt free’ in the first carbon neutral backpacker hostel in Melbourne.

Habitat  HQ provides 4, 6, 8 and 10 dorm style backpacker accommodations with shared facilities.

Habitat HQ are a carbon neutral and environmentally sustainable business who are committed to having a positive impact on their guests and less of an impact on the environment. They take pride in being a sustainable business & participate on a local level by working as part of the global community. Habitat HQ are currently focused on reducing waste to landfill.

For more information, visit their website

For more information on becoming certified, visit our website