ECOTOURISM AUSTRALIA WELCOMES IRIS LODGE ALPACAS TO THE FAMILY

We are so excited to announce that Iris Lodge Alpacas, a tourism business for only 18 months, has successfully achieved ECO Certification at the Nature Tourism level. Well done! The lodge offers a great opportunity for guests to experience real life on a working farm. Guests can choose to have either a farm stay or a breakfast/afternoon tea with alpacas and can engage with day-to-day farm activities depending on their schedules and seasons. 

Alpacas 1

Even though it started as a normal farm more than seven years ago, Iris Lodge Alpacas have developed this concept of providing touristic experiences as a way of covering their farm costs. They started the farm with just two alpacas and have developed it for a farm with 60+ alpacas, two llamas, plus sheep, cows and horses. The purpose of promoting their farm experience is not only to give people an opportunity to get up close and personal with alpacas, sheep and cows, but also to explain how they have developed the farm, including what they have done to protect the environment, such as the water catchment to attract swift parrots to the farm. As a result of this water catchment, Iris Lodge Alpacas have been able to provide a home for hundreds of birds including hawks, eagles, pelicans, black swans, corellas, kookaburras, parrots and a variety of finches and meat birds. 

Alpacas standing in a field under the low afternoon sun.

Iris Lodge Alpacas have always been proud to say that they have constantly worked hard to improve their efforts in running a sustainable operation within the farm since the day they purchased the property. At the outset, it was a grazing property and barely had any trees. Since taking ownership of the property, current owner Sean Hooper and the staff have planted more than 9000 trees and grass varieties to make it a better place for farm animals as well as for other wildlife to flourish. One of their main concerns in choosing trees was to provide liveable habitats and food sources for critically endangered swift parrots living around the area. 

 Alpacas 3

Significant resources have also gone into erosion control measures and protecting Jilliby Jilliby Creek, which the farm fronts and which is a part of the local water catchment. Iris Lodge Alpacas always make sure that they harm no large trees during any of their development or expansion projects and make sure they are continuously removing exotic species such as lantana and blackberry to make more space for native species. Revegetation of areas that have been affected by previous farming activities has been one of their major concerns throughout the past few years.

Finally, Iris Lodge Alpacas’ waste management plan strictly adheres to local council recycling programmes and staff make sure no food is wasted as there is always a hungry chicken waiting for food. The farm uses solar power as a sustainable energy source and tries to only use biodegradable cleaning agents as protecting soil-based microorganisms is essential for them being a farm-based business.

Kudos to Iris Lodge Alpacas for promoting sustainable tourism practices in Australia and we expect more good practices in future. To get to know more about Iris Lodge Alpacas, please visit their website or Facebook page. 

It is also a great pleasure to announce that Iris Lodge Alpacas received $500.00 from WWF-Australia as an incentive to assist with the first year of the process.

Read more on WWF-Australia funding on Eco Certification in Central Coast – (More local tourism operators becoming ECO Certified | Central Coast Council (nsw.gov.au))

 

All images courtesy of Iris Lodge Alpacas

 

CORAL INN BOUTIQUE HOTEL SUCCESSFULLY ACHIEVES NATURE TOURISM CERTIFICATION

We warmly welcome our most recent member, Coral Inn Boutique Hotel, to our Ecotourism Australia family, who was successful in achieving certification at Nature Tourism level. Congratulations!

Coral Inn Boutique Hotel is in the heart of Yeppoon, just a two-minute drive to Yeppoon’s Main Beach and has been operated as an accommodation business for over eight years. The business has always been committed to protecting, nurturing and maintaining the critical balance between their business, its surrounding community and the diverse ecosystem of the Australian wildlife. Coral Inn Boutique Hotel is also an award-winning, 4.5 star accommodation. 

Coral Inn 1

Coral Inn Boutique Hotel acknowledges the cultural ownership of Yeppoon area as Darumbal Aboriginal people of the Ningebal tribe, the recognised Traditional Custodians of the Byron Bay District. As a sustainable business operation, Coral Inn respects the Darumbal Aboriginal culture where their stories and cultural learnings are still passed on to younger generations.

As a business operating on the Capricorn Coast, Coral Inn ensures it safeguards the flora and fauna of the area, especially the Capricorn Yellow Chat – a critically endangered endemic species, flying foxes, micro-bats, white-breasted sea eagles, wedgetail eagles and Banksias and Norfolk pines. As an initiative to reduce the environmental impacts of their business, the staff of Coral Inn Boutique Hotel have taken steps to reduce their consumption of energy and water usage and have initiated several waste-management projects using different approaches.

For example, Coral Inn has switched over to 100% solar power usage during the daytime since mid of 2016 while also providing solar-powered hot water to guest rooms. The hotel also uses rainwater collecting tanks on the premises and 25000 litres worth of collected rainwater are used for toilets and garden maintenance. To reduce the carbon footprint of their operations, Coral Inn encourages their guests to use their bikes and electric scooter rental service as an alternative to driving. Moreover, the hotel also offers electric car charging ports as an additional amenity.  

Coral Inn 2.1

Coral Inn’s organic gardens concept, organic commitment and recycling efforts are praiseworthy – the hotel composts its organic waste to grow organic herbs, greens, vegetables and fruits in the organic garden. The hotel’s staff also purchase fresh products from the local market which is also a move forward to give back something to the community they operate in. Bottles, glass, paper/cardboard, organic waste and landfill waste are disposed of separately and information regarding recycling processes are provided to guests on arrival with their welcome pack. Coral Inn is keen on sourcing products locally where possible from purchasing goods to hiring service providers as a part of their sustainable approach.

Architecturally designed buildings complimenting the landscape encourage guests to spend more time outdoors. Low flow rain shower heads, dual flush toilets, light sensitive timer switches for lightings in public areas, low energy use compact LED bulbs, biodegradable cleaning agents and strict adhering to local council recycling programmes are some sustainable approaches of Coral Inn as a part of their environmental management plan. 

Coral Inn 3

Above all, Coral Inn provides its guests exceptional service at this environmentally friendly boutique hotel so people can gather memories to cherish for their lifetime.

Once more, we welcome Coral Inn Boutique Hotel onboard, and we wish them all the very best to continue their good practice!

For more information, please visit their website or Facebook page.

(All images courtesy of Coral Inn Boutique hotel)

CORAL INN BOUTIQUE HOTEL, YEPPOON SUCCESSFULLY ACHIEVES NATURE TOURISM CERTIFICATION

We warmly welcome our most recent member, Coral Inn Boutique Hotel, to our Ecotourism Australia family, who was successful in achieving certification at Nature Tourism level. Congratulations!

Coral Inn Boutique Hotel is in the heart of Yeppoon, just a two-minute drive to Yeppoon’s Main Beach and has been operated as an accommodation business for over eight years. The business has always been committed to protecting, nurturing and maintaining the critical balance between their business, its surrounding community and the diverse ecosystem of the Australian wildlife. Coral Inn Boutique Hotel is also an award-winning, 4.5 star accommodation. 

Coral Inn 1

Coral Inn Boutique Hotel acknowledges the cultural ownership of Yeppoon area as Darumbal Aboriginal people of the Ningebal tribe, the recognised Traditional Custodians of the Byron Bay District. As a sustainable business operation, Coral Inn respects the Darumbal Aboriginal culture where their stories and cultural learnings are still passed on to younger generations.

As a business operating on the Capricorn Coast, Coral Inn ensures it safeguards the flora and fauna of the area, especially the Capricorn Yellow Chat – a critically endangered endemic species, flying foxes, micro-bats, white-breasted sea eagles, wedgetail eagles and Banksias and Norfolk pines. As an initiative to reduce the environmental impacts of their business, the staff of Coral Inn Boutique Hotel have taken steps to reduce their consumption of energy and water usage and have initiated several waste-management projects using different approaches.

For example, Coral Inn has switched over to 100% solar power usage during the daytime since mid of 2016 while also providing solar-powered hot water to guest rooms. The hotel also uses rainwater collecting tanks on the premises and 25000 litres worth of collected rainwater are used for toilets and garden maintenance. To reduce the carbon footprint of their operations, Coral Inn encourages their guests to use their bikes and electric scooter rental service as an alternative to driving. Moreover, the hotel also offers electric car charging ports as an additional amenity.  

Coral Inn 2.1

Coral Inn’s organic gardens concept, organic commitment and recycling efforts are praiseworthy – the hotel composts its organic waste to grow organic herbs, greens, vegetables and fruits in the organic garden. The hotel’s staff also purchase fresh products from the local market which is also a move forward to give back something to the community they operate in. Bottles, glass, paper/cardboard, organic waste and landfill waste are disposed of separately and information regarding recycling processes are provided to guests on arrival with their welcome pack. Coral Inn is keen on sourcing products locally where possible from purchasing goods to hiring service providers as a part of their sustainable approach.

Architecturally designed buildings complimenting the landscape encourage guests to spend more time outdoors. Low flow rain shower heads, dual flush toilets, light sensitive timer switches for lightings in public areas, low energy use compact LED bulbs, biodegradable cleaning agents and strict adhering to local council recycling programmes are some sustainable approaches of Coral Inn as a part of their environmental management plan. 

Coral Inn 3

Above all, Coral Inn provides its guests exceptional service at this environmentally friendly boutique hotel so people can gather memories to cherish for their lifetime.

Once more, we welcome Coral Inn Boutique Hotel onboard, and we wish them all the very best to continue their good practice!

For more information, please visit their website or Facebook page.

(All images courtesy of Coral Inn Boutique hotel)

UNWTO Best Tourism Villages

The UNWTO Best Tourism Villages Initiative launched during the occasion of the opening of UNWTO’s Regional Office in the Middle East (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia), underscores the role of tourism in rural development. The initiative includes three pillars: 1. The ‘Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO’ Label: The Label will recognize a village that is an outstanding […]