Audits Planned For NSW, QLD, NT And TAS Between March And June

We’re excited to announce that as part of Ecotourism Australia’s partnership with Conservation Volunteers (CV), on-site audits of ECO certified operators will be conducted across New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland and Tasmania between the months of March and June. This follows successful audits conducted on Victorian operators under the partnership over the December/January period.

On-site audits every three years are a core requirement of the ECO Certification Program, necessary to ensure compliance to our standards. The audits also provide the perfect opportunity for operators to speak with an environmental specialist, seek advice and feedback on current or planned initiatives, and showcase their hard work. Through EA’s partnership with CV, we hope to eliminate any negativity attached to auditing. The audit process is designed to be a supportive, constructive and communicative process helping operators to improve, not to merely seek out flaws or inadequacies.

Operators subject to audit are given 21 days’ notice, and on the day the audit process usually takes around three hours. As well as inspecting accommodations, facilities and tour vehicles or vessels, auditors review the documents that an operator in required to submit for their application to ensure they have been kept up-to-date. These plans include; business, marketing and operational management plans, environmental management and interpretation plans. Audits are also an opportunity for operators to upgrade to a higher level of certification if they have introduced new initiatives since they achieved certification.

We are looking forward to hearing more about our certified businesses and their operations, learning about new initiatives that may have been introduced, and further supporting our members commitment to strong environmental and ecotourism principals.

 To find out more about Ecotourism Australia and Conservation Volunteer’s partnership and audit program, please contact the EA office. 

Congratulations to Segway Tours South Coast for achieving Ecotourism Certification

Congratulations to Segway Tours South Coast who have been recognised for their sustainability efforts – achieving Ecotourism certification.

Segway Tours South Coast operate on the New South Wales South Coast, in spectacular locations near Berry, Jervis Bay, Kiama and Batemans Bay. Open seven days a week, they provide tours and events for families, couples, work teams, wedding parties, adventure seekers and social groups.

Ecotourism CertifiedJoin an exhilarating guided tour on a Segway PT and experience the natural and cultural beauty of the South Coast in a truly unique way. Explore forest trails, rolling hills, vineyards, wetlands, beaches and wildlife while gliding across the landscape.

Segway Tours South Coast also offer exciting Segway Games and fun Segway Rides- perfect for groups. There is an option for everyone from an easy glide to more challenging team activities. Events can also be held at any suitable location.

Segways are a self-balancing, two-wheeled, electric vehicle that are extremely manoeuvrable, easy to learn, intuitive to operate and fun to ride. Suitable for riders aged 10 years up and weighing 45 kg to 117 kg.  All training and equipment is provided.

For more information on Segway Tours South Coast, click here

For more information about Ecotourism Australia’s ECO certification program, click here

To find out more about the NSW South Coast, click here

EcoTreasures new initiative to clean up penguin habitats

EcoTreasures, a young tour company based in Sydney, have incorporated an initiative into their Manly Coastal Walks to remove marine debris from penguin habitats.

The tour company specialises in Ecotourism experiences on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and within Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, New South Wales. EcoTreasures have been lucky to host a range of international study tour students visiting Sydney this winter, who have been participating in the initiative. The students arrive in Australia for short stays of generally 7-14 days, which consist of English lessons and Australian tour experiences. EcoTreasures owner, Damien McClellan, has been happy to host the students on his tours and to incorporate a new element into the half-day adventure, with a purpose to clean up marine debris that accumulates in the natural environment known to be a prime habitat for Little Penguins.

Mr McClellan has been very proud to run these tours, which highlight a range of environmental awareness messages, and mentions, “when we visit the little penguin habit at Collins Beach in Sydney Harbour National Park we conduct a beach clean-up. The students always put in 110% and we remove as much marine debris from the catchment as possible. We are all giving back to the location we are appreciating for it’s natural beauty, and I’m proud of all these international guests caring for Australia’s environment.”

The tours offer a great display of Sydney’s natural setting right on the city’s door step. Mr McClellan also adds “the students and teachers really enjoy their experience on the walk around Manly, we visit the beach, Sydney Harbour National Park, Cabbage tree Aquatic reserve and Manly suburbs all in a half day adventure. We always keep the walk fun and engaging by identifying native plants & searching for Whales from land with binoculars and other wildlife along the way”.

EcoTreasures was founded in 2010 by Damien McClellan, the business is looking forward to working with more partners in the future, developing new ecotourism initiatives for a range of target markets, and keeping it fun is part of the plan. EcoTreasures is Advanced Ecotourism and ROC certified.

For more information on EcoTreasures, please click here.

Detour Adventures achieves Advanced Ecotourism certification

Congratulations to Detour Adventures for achieving Advanced Ecotourism certification for their Day Tours and Reflection and Tranquility Detour.

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Detour Adventures will take you to one of the many national parks, reserves and forests in the Bathurst region in New South Wales. These tours allow visitors to enjoy a moment of adventure and peace in Australia’s natural environment while learning about the area and

For more information on Detour Adventures, click here.

For more information about Ecotourism and ROC certification, please visit our website.

Nominations OPEN for the NSW Tourism Awards 2013

NSW-Tourism-Awards-2013-LogoNominations for the 2013 New South Wales Tourism Awards are currently open. The NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events, the Hon. George Souris, officially launched the 24th Annual New South Wales Tourism Awards in front of a packed Parliament House on the 25th March, 2013. Among those in attendance were the previous 2012 award winners, sponsors and several state MPs.

The New South Wales Tourism Awards stands to recognise Best Practice in tourism business by looking at 31 different categories which are judged by a panel of expert tourism professionals. The categories include; attractions, ecotourism, heritage, cultural and indigenous tourism, tour and/or transport operators, and accommodation types – just to name a few!

Last year, we were proud to see a number of our Ecotourism Australia certified operators take home awards:

Life’s an Adventure, Blue Mountains
– Silver Award, Tours and/or Transport Operators
– Silver Award, Ecotourism
– Silver Award, Adventure Tourism

Sydney Coast Walks, Cronulla
– Bronze Award, Ecotourism

Newly certified Jenolan Caves, Blue Mountains
– Gold Award, Ecotourism
– Gold Award, Adventure Tourism
– Silver Award, Tourist Attractions

Moonshadow Cruises, Nelsons Bay
– Gold Award, Major Tour and Transport Operators

Tri State Safaris, Broken Hill
– Gold Award, Tours and/or Transport Operators
– Hall of Fame recipient

TreeTop Adventure Park Wyong Creek
– Bronze Award, Adventure Tourism

Eldee Station, Silverton
– Silver Award, Hosted Accommodation

Somewhere Unique, Wollombi
– Gold Award, Unique Accommodation

Diamond Waters Treehouse Retreat, Laurieton
– Bronze Award, Unique Accommodation

Winners are highlighted for visitors as professional, trusted and benchmarked tourism operators. They are introduced to an influential and valuable network which opens doors to new business opportunities, and they receive unique marketing opportunities and increased brand awareness. We encourage our certified operators situated in NSW to nominate and apply for the 2013 awards.

Nominations close 2 August 2013.

The New South Wales Tourism awards are held by the New South Wales Tourism Industry Council.

For more information or to nominate or apply for the 2013 NSW Tourism Awards please click here.

Congratulations to Diamond Waters on getting Advanced Ecotourism and Climate Action certifiication

Well done to Diamond Waters Treehouse Retreat for achieving Advanced Ecotourism and Climate Action Business certification.

CAA_vendor3starimagesDiamond Waters Treehouse Retreat provides two luxury environmentally sustainable ‘treehouses’ built high among the trees and overlooking wetlands and the Camden Haven River, Mid North Coast NSW.

The property is surrounded by national parks and some of the best beaches and waterways on the east coast of Australia. The property also has a small retail nursery that is more like a rain forest walk and is home to a large range of bird species and other native wildlife including koalas.

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Click here for more information about Advanced Ecotourism and Climate Action certification.

For more information on Diamond Waters, visit their website.

Certified operators shine at Awards

Certified operators were acknowledged at the 2012 CountryLink Inland Tourism Awards (INTA) held in Mudgee on 28th July 2012, the Greater Sydney Tourism Awards Gala Dinner held on 19th July at the Doltone House, Sylvania Waters and the The I Love Food Awards hosted by LifeStyleFood.

The CountryLink Awards are held annually to acknowledge excellence in tourism in the four regional tourism areas of Central, Inland, Murray and Riverina NSW. The Inland Tourism Awards commenced in 2004 to evolve into a major tourism industry event for Inland NSW.

The Greater Sydney Tourism Awards Gala Dinner announced the winners and celebrated in an evening of festivities hosted by Andrew Daddo and attended by over 200 tourism industry representatives. The Gala Dinner was an evening that epitomised the excellence, passion and spirit that makes the tourism industry in Greater Sydney shine, with great food, great entertainment, and of course lots of great winning smiles.

The I Love Food Awards is an initiative of LifeStyleFood and is Australia’s largest people’s choice restaurant award. It offers a true insight into how and where Australians are eating out.

CONGRATULATIONS to all our 2012 Winners!

Eldee Station – Winner in Hosted Accommodation Category

Eldee Station were awarded this year for Hosted Accommodation for their executive and family style accommodation, caravan and tent sites on the Mundi Mundi Plains and the Barrier Ranges. Eldee Station hold Advanced Ecotourism Certification and Climate Action Business Certification from Ecotourism Australia.

Tri State Safaris – Winner of Tour & Transport Operators Award

Tri State Safaris also won Indigenous Tourism Award for the small group tours that they run to Mutawintji National Park and to other areas of cultural and ecological significance. Many of these tours are led by accredited Aboriginal guides to provide a more authentic experience.

Tri State Safaris hold Advanced Ecotourism Certification and Climate Action Leader Certification.

 Life’s An Adventure – Winner of Tour & Transport and Adventure Tourism

Life’s An Adventure specialise in award-winning day tours and overnight tours in Sydney, the Blue Mountains & Tasmania. They offer guided kayaking, hiking, (bush walking) and mountain biking tours with small groups from 4 to 15 people.

Owners Mark and Vicki Norek said “we are honoured to win these two awards again this year as we were up against some tough competition”. We are very proud to be recognised in these important tourism awards of excellence.

Life’s An Adventure is Ecotourism Certified.

Royal Coast Walks  –  Winner of the Ecotourism Award and Highly Commended in Tour & Transport and Adventure Tourism categories

Royal Coast Walks are the Royal National Park specialists, providing expertly guided hiking and camping adventures through Australia’s oldest park, less than an hour from the centre of Sydney.

In 2009, Royal Coast Walks became one of the first tour operators licensed by Parks to operate in Royal National Park, and a few years later, just the second company in the area to receive a 10 year Premium EcoPass license after passing a rigorous Advanced Ecotourism accreditation process.

Bundeena Kayaks & Stand Up Paddle Boards – People’s Choice Award

Bundeena Kayaks and Paddle Boards in southern Sydney is ideally located in a waterfront picnic area. Bordered by stretches of sandy swimming beaches and nestled in the Royal National Park it is the perfect base for a paddling adventure. Plenty to offer including kayak hire, guided eco-tours and lessons, from Wed –Sun all year around.

Bundeena Kayaks and Paddle Boards is Advanced Ecotourism Certified.

The Ugly Duck Outwinner in the I Love Food Awards (Tasmania’s Favorite Vegetarian restaurant)

This family restaurant offers a diverse menu, featuring organics, GM free, fair trade produce, local seafood and clean fresh ingredients.

The Ugly Duck Out restaurant is Climate Action Innovator Certified with Ecotourism Australia.

For more information about Life’s An AdventureRoyal Coast WalksBundeena Kayaks and Paddle Boards, Eldee StationTri State Safaris and The Ugly Duck Out please follow the link.

For information about the 2012 Greater Sydney Tourism Awards visit the website.

For more information about CountryLink Inland Tourism Awards, please visit their website.