Congratulations To Ocean Park Aquarium

Congratulations to Ocean Park Aquarium for achieving Ecotourism certification for their Aquarium Tours and 4WD Adventure Tours.

Ocean Park is an award-winning, Eco-friendly aquarium located on the shores of the Shark Bay Marine Park in Western Australia. Guests may explore the wonders of the marine park with a marine scientist on a fun, highly educational guided tour of the aquarium. In the company of a marine scientists, guests are guaranteed a fun and highly educational experience, as they watch shark feeding, meet rescued sea turtles, and see venomous sea snakes and stonefish. Alternatively, guests can take a 4WD tour exploring the rugged terrain of the World Heritage listed Shark Bay, Steep Point, and Francois Person National Park on a fully guided eco tour.

Ocean Park Aquarium has a comprehensive Environmental Policy to ensure they operate in the most sustainable way possible. The Ocean Park is powered by one of the largest private solar installations in Western Australia, generating 273 kilowatt hours each day. The installation powers the parks lighting and pump systems, as well as a reverse osmosis desalination unit for generating fresh water. The educational guided tours of Ocean Park Aquarium engage the public in sustainable thinking by promoting ecosystem understanding. They also look out for the environment in which they operate by contributing to the conservation objectives of the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, Shark Bay Marine Park, Francois Peron National Park and Edel Land. The Ocean Park is also a rehabilitation centre for injured marine reptiles, working with the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife to care for injured marine life and release them back into the wild.

To find out more about Ocean Park Aquarium, please visit their website.

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.

Congratulations to Surf N’ Dirt Adventure Tours Margaret River

Congratulations to Surf N’ Dirt Adventure Tours Margaret River for achieving Ecotourism certification for their Adventure Tours!

Surf N’ Dirt Adventure Tours focus on providing small groups of people a fantastic personalised adventure experience in the Margaret River region of Western Australia. Their adventure tours incorporate activities such as kayaking, surfing, mountain biking as well as exploring the regions renowned wineries and breweries.

The team at Surf N’ Dirt Adventure Tours work hard to minimise their impact on, and protect the environment in which they operate. They are committed to ensuring that all of their tours are conducted in an environmentally sustainable manner, and aim to maintain a positive balance in their relationships with the local economy, community, and environment.

Director, Paul Berry, works with the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park to help reach their conservation objectives, and operates tours with an aim to leave the areas that they venture into on a better state than when they arrived by carrying out any trace of their visit, and collecting rubbish they encounter along the way. Sustainability has been incorporated into every facet of the business, from “switch off” policies in office operations, to closely monitoring their carbon emissions and energy use, to monitoring track conditions and working with the National Park to mitigate concerns.

A core foundation of Surf N’ Dirt Adventure Tours is to educate guests on the ecological significance of the Margaret River region and to promote conservation of all environmental areas, ensuring that the environment is preserved for future generations to enjoy.

Surf N’ Dirt’s website is currently under development, you can find out more about them on their Facebook page.

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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Charter 1 Achieves Advanced Ecotourism Certificaton

Congratulations to Charter 1 for recently achieving Advanced Ecotourism certification for their tour products:

  • Abrolhos Islands Liveaboards
  • Carnac Island Eco Tours
  • Rottnest Island Eco Tours
  • Sunset Sails

Charter 1 are based at Fremantle, Western Australia and run eco tours, snorkel trips and extended liveaboard eco cruises to Rottnest and Carnac Islands, as well as the Swan River, over the summer months and the Abrolhos Islands from April – June. Guests experience a range of activities while onboard, including; snorkelling, wildlife/marine-life viewing, diving, fishing, sightseeing, kayaking and stand-up paddling. They operate their tours with two vessels, a 14.5m purpose built snorkel vessel, and Capella, is a 12.5m luxury, eco-designed sailing catamaran.

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Owner/operators, Sarah and Matt have adopted a number of sustainable practices and offer high standard interpretation and educational elements within their tours. They say “It is our vision to be able to share … experiences with you as we take you on journeys to places near and far which will leave you with memories of a lifetime.”

For more information on Charter 1, click here.
For more information on Ecotourism certification, click here.

Global Eco Heads West in 2015

The 23rd Annual Global Eco Conference will be staged on Rottnest Island, Western Australia 17 – 19 November 2015.

Announcing the Rottnest Island venue, Ecotourism Australia CEO, Rod Hillman said the sustainability initiatives on the Island and Western Australia’s leading work in marine ecotourism would make for an excellent location for Global Eco.

The conference was last held on Rottnest Island in 2001 in the wake of September 11 and the collapse of Ansett Airlines. “Delegate numbers were down but it was was the most amazing conference. Delegates used unconventional meeting rooms (like the picture theatre with its canvas chairs); were issues with push bikes, and did a circumnavigation of the Island,” said Global Eco Convenor Tony Charters.

The conference is being supported through the generous assistance of Tourism Western Australia, the Rottnest Island Authority and the Department of Parks and Wildlife.

Registrations for the conference are NOW OPEN.

Please visit the Global Eco website for further information.

(Homepage image credit: http://theluggageprofessionals.com.au/blog/wanderlust-wednesdays-rottnest-island/)

Bushfood Factory and Café achieve Ecotourism and Climate Action Business Certification

Congratulations to Bushfood Factory & Café who have been recognised for their sustainability efforts – achieving both Ecotourism certification and Climate Action Business certification.

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The Bushfood Factory & Café was born from the owner’s values of environmental respect and protection. The attraction has gone on to become an exciting food experience in Western Australia. This unique jewel encompasses all aspects of Australian native food herbs and fruits, from the plantation to the table.

To find out more about Bushfood Factory & Café visit their website here.

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