Ecotourism Australia is excited to announce our newest member, Kookaburra Tagalong Tours, who have just achieved certification at the Nature Tourism level. With a passion for 4WD and camping, Kookaburra Tagalong Tours are eager to take travellers off the beaten path to locations they wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
Kookaburra Tagalong Tours are set to take travellers on tours in Queensland, New South Wales, the Northern Territory and South Australia through some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes in the country. Each tour is packed full of thrills for the experienced 4WDer and newer outback drivers alike, with support from guides to help groups along the way. Their tours are motivated by a focus on treading lightly, aiming to take measures to reduce their carbon footprint and connecting with local Indigenous communities for a responsible and authentic tourism experience.
If you’re one for non-stop adventure, Kookaburra Tagalong Tours’ 20-day Arnhem Land Adventure Tour is bound to keep you busy, giving lucky travellers access to areas off-limits to the average 4WDer. Starting in Mataranka, this tour takes visitors on the scenic route all the way to the Northern Territory’s coast and back down to Katherine. Travellers will have plenty of opportunities to explore local communities, camp by stunning beaches, go fishing, go on hikes, and take part in cultural experiences along the way. This tour is undoubtedly the best way to see the Northern Territory’s stunning landscapes.
The ANZAC Outback Pubs Experience is a 10-day journey splitting its time between Queensland and New South Wales, taking travellers to at least 25 unique outback pubs for the explorer interested in seeing what makes outback towns tick. This all-Aussie experience gives travellers a chance to get to know people in their hometowns, inquire into the local history, and includes a poignant ANZAC Day Service in the Opal Fields. This tour is an excellent insight into Australian war history between thrilling 4WD travelling.
The 12-day Hay River and Central Australia Scenic Tracks tour begins in Birdsville and takes travellers across the stunning Simpson Desert. If camping under the stars and sand dune driving sounds like where you’d rather be, this tour is bound to be on your travel list. What better way to see Central Australia?
The Flinders Ranges and Outback South Australia 4WD tour spanning over 13 days is a great chance to develop your 4WD skills with guidance from Kookaburra Tagalong Tours’ expert guides. Starting in Quorn to see the historic town, travellers will spend 5 days admiring the vast and dramatic scenery that is the Flinders Ranges.
Finally, the Crossing the Madigan Line tour takes travellers on a 11-day historical exploration into the journey taken by Dr. Cecil Madigan, who led his party of 9 men and 19 camels across the northern part of the Simpson Desert in 1939. Travellers will have the chance to retrace history, interspersed with wildlife sightings, driving under brilliant desert skies, and seeing first-hand the stunning landscapes along the way. Be immersed in Australia’s natural beauty on this 4WD tour.
Kookaburra Tagalong Tours are set to stun travellers with their immersive 4WD tours, and Ecotourism Australia is excited to welcome them as a Nature Tourism certified member!
Demand for nature-based, sustainable travel experiences is growing, especially since COVID: This was a key message to come out of conversations with buyers at this year’s Australian Tourism Exchange, held as a hybrid event in Sydney and online between 6-17 June.
This echoes the findings of Booking.com’s most recent Sustainability Report, released on World Environment Day, 5 June, which states that 61% of travellers surveyed said that the COVID pandemic has made them want to travel more sustainably in the future. The same report states that 83% of global travellers think sustainable travel is vital, 72% of travellers believe people must act now to save the planet for future generations and 81% of travellers say they want to stay in a sustainable accommodation in the upcoming year – up from 62% in 2016.
Interestingly, travel giant Agoda, which released the results of its own Sustainable Travel Trends Survey on 5 June, found that intention to travel responsibly was high among some markets (including respondents from South Korea, India and Taiwan), but that overall, globally, the desire to travel more sustainably seemed to have dropped since COVID.
In any case, translating desire into practice is not without its challenges, and for travellers, a key barrier to changed behaviour remains the inability to easily source and select sustainable travel options when they’re planning their next escape.
And whilst both Booking.com and Agoda have committed to making it easier for people to differentiate certified products and experiences on their websites, the reality is that currently, 36% of travellers don’t know that sustainable accommodation options exist, 32% of travellers say they can’t find any sustainable accommodation options and 31% say they don’t know where to look for this type of accommodation. Not to mention that staying in sustainable accommodation makes up only one part of the visitor experience.
That’s why Ecotourism Australia has recently launched its brand-new Green Travel Guide – making it easier than ever for travellers to find certified ecotourism experiences around Australia. It’s also why conversations with buyers and other organisations at ATE this year addressed the need for more in-depth consumer research into the demand for sustainable travel options beyond accommodation.
Perhaps most importantly, though, findings like these highlight the need for certified ecotourism operators – those which have achieved certification through Ecotourism Australia’s ECO, Respecting our Culture or Climate Action certification programs – to talk about their certification and what it means to their visitors. As Aristotle once said, “Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.”
Operators: you are already doing. Now it’s your turn to teach.
[Cover photo: Under Down Under]
 Booking.com’s 2021 Sustainable Travel Report: https://globalnews.booking.com/bookingcoms-2021-sustainable-travel-report-affirms-potential-watershed-moment-for-industry-and-consumers/
 Agoda Sustainable Travel Trends Survey: https://www.agoda.com/press/agoda-sustainable-travel-trends-survey?cid=1844104