Latest news and insights from various sources relating to UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Resting on the border of South Australia and Queensland, you will find a surprising outback oasis.
The Innamincka Hotel, which has just achieved Ecotourism Certification, is regarded an iconic meeting place for travellers, a hub for local tours and tourism, and an authentic outback pub experience. The word Innamincka is in fact derived from the Yandruwandha words ‘Yini’ and ‘mingka’ meaning ‘your waterhole’!
It’s a place steeped in history: In 1885 the Innamincka Hotel was built upon the banks of the Cooper Creek. Here, it thrived as a refuge for drovers, pastoral workers and shearers up until 1952. The entire town around the hotel struggled to stay viable with changes in modern transport and was declared a ghost town in 1956 after a devastating flood destroyed most buildings. It wasn’t until the early 1970s that the pub saw its revival, with a surge in 4WD vehicles and exponential growth in tourist demand for authentic outback experiences. The new Cooper Creek Hotel-Motel opened in 1973, which was subsequently renamed the Innamincka Hotel in 1983. Current owners Kym Fort and David Brook bought the hotel in 1999 and set about renovating and upgrading the infrastructure.
Today, the Innamincka Hotel in not just a hotel: guests have the chance to discover the delights of the Cooper Creek from the water, participate in 4WD tours of the majestic Coongie Lakes with experienced guides, camp along the banks of the Cooper Creek and enjoy the outback night sky under a blanket with the family at the Starlight Cinema.
Including an iconic bar that remains largely untouched since the 70s, and an outback dining experience like no other, this hotel offers one of the most authentic Australian outback experiences while also focusing heavily on sustainability. The owners have worked hard to ensure a water filtration plant has been included to the property, ensuring every tap in the pub runs with clean potable water from the Cooper Creek. A considerable investment in solar power has also seen the property run off solar since 2017. Through their commitment to creating an authentic experience for their guests while preserving the natural environment within which they operate, the Innamincka Hotel has achieved Ecotourism certification for their Innamincka Hotel and Motel, Cooper Creek Cruises and land based tours. Congratulations, Innamincka, and welcome to the Ecotourism Australia family!
Passion is contagious and the team at Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours’ passion is second to none. This team oozes positivity, a love for what they do, but most of all a deep pride in their roots. Wajaana Yaam is 100% Aboriginal owned and operated. This not only provides direct employment for local community members but also creates an authentic experience for the guests who participate in their stand-up paddle board tours and walks.
With approval from a local Elder, guests are treated to authentic, unedited stories of the local culture, language and bush tucker, something which owner Clark Webb says is an honour to share:
“We are very honoured to be in a position to revitalise, teach and share our Gumbaynggirr language,” he notes. “Language is at the core of all our programs and we are of the opinion that keeping language alive and passing on to future generations is the most important work to be done. [Also], storytelling in our experiences connects our guest to our country on a level that they wouldn’t’ think was imaginable before.”
At Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours however, engaging the local community is not just about enriching the guest experience. Instead, the team has a much bigger goal:
“The tourism products that we deliver will support the language teaching programs that we deliver with the goal of opening a Gumbaynggirr Immersion School in 2021,” says Clark.
Already, Wajaana Yaam engage the local Indigenous community by directly donating and supporting a not-for-profit Aboriginal corporation which runs programs in education and culture for the Coffs Harbour youth. The business also offers training to young Goori youth that are interested in getting involved with appropriate workshops and learning. As Clark explains, the team is strong in their belief that language carries culture and that Aboriginal people who are connected to their language and culture achieve higher at school and in employment outcomes.
With such an honourable mission, we think this is a team to be recognised and a story to remember.
Ngaraanga nginundi Yuludarla – Remember your story.
Thanks, Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours, for sharing your story with us!
Have you read the other articles in this series?
The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth identifies the GSTC Criteria as the key Tool for Sustainable Tourism The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth has published a report under the title “Tools for Sustainable Tourism” (Verktyg för hållbar turism), referring to the GSTC Criteria and GSTC-Recognized Standards. A short summary in English […]
They say those who think only sunshine brings happiness have never danced in the rain… or checked Ecotourism Australia’s Green Travel Guide! We’ve compiled our top picks the best rainy-day ECO experiences. Whether you’re going stir crazy with the kids or just looking to optimise on the quaint, peaceful weather, check these out!
FOR THE FAMILY
Get your ocean fix indoors.
Sick of being hauled up at home as the tropics lives up to their reputation or the winter rains drizzle down? Check out the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium in Queensland. Townsville houses one of the best aquarium experiences you can find. Reef HQ aquarium provides visitors with world class living exhibits, complemented by thematic and interactive educational experiences, raising awareness and encouraging behavioural change in the community to help protect the Great Barrier Reef. Spark your child’s curiosity and maybe even learn something new as an adult about one of Australia’s most beautiful natural assets.
Find out more here.
The best cultural experience…on a boat?
Tribal Warrior allows you to explore the waters of Sydney harbour while learning about Australia’s cultural history. On this enclosed boat – which departs in all weather conditions! – learn the Indigenous names of significant Sydney landmarks and enjoy authentic cultural performances aboard the Mari Nawi (Big Canoe). Relax, eat, drink and learn with the family as you are accompanied by the friendly and welcoming Indigenous crew. This is a uniquely Australian experience for all ages.
Find out more here.
Where imagination gets to roam free.
The outback is the place of all dinosaur lovers’ dreams…and let’s face it, what kid (or kid at heart) isn’t a dinosaur fan? Australian Age of Dinosaurs is a multi-award-winning science-based museum and major tourist attraction. The site of a 150-herd dinosaur stampede some 95 million years ago, this is the place to go to see real life dinosaur footprints scattered over the rockface, telling the story of a terrifying encounter immortalised forever. The museum hosts daily guided tours through its facilities where you’ll view real life dinosaur artefacts as well as life sized statues. In addition, there are a multitude of activities for the entire family. Being in the outback, you can stay onsite and make a holiday of it! This museum allows for all things dinosaur and all things fun.
Find out more here.
FOR THE RETREATERS
Aquila Eco Lodges offers a unique accommodation, set amongst the Grampians National Park. Offering two treehouses and two loft houses, Aquila showcases a model of sustainable living without compromising on personal comfort. Beautifully set amongst the native bush to provide privacy for the guests and give them a sense of being ‘with nature’, the lodge is most well-known for its art and dining experiences, making it the perfect wet weekend getaway.
Find out more here.
Bathe on the balcony.
Who wouldn’t want to listen to rainfall on the billabong as you take a warm bath on your secluded balcony with a glass of wine? Billabong Retreat allows for this and so much more. Nestled amongst bushland, just a 50-minute drive from Sydney, you will experience fine dining, tailored yoga classes and a day spa everyone can enjoy. This is the perfect option if you’re looking to spend your rainy weekend indulging and recharging.
Find out more here.
Peace on the river.
Dakini Hideaways’ Bills Boathouse II is a little slice of heaven floating upon the Murray River. Escape the everyday, lose track of time, and listen to the rain fall in your own secluded house boat. This self-contained accommodation supplies you with everything you need for the weekend without you having to go anywhere. BBQ the fish you just caught, right there on the deck, and indulge in the seclusion and quiet, surrounded only by the sounds of nature.
Find out more here.
For many more fun activities and accommodation in your area, make sure you visit our Green Travel Guide!
TUI 2018 Sustainability Report: 9.2 million customers stayed in sustainable hotels certified to a GSTC-Recognized standard (81% of the hotels owned by TUI Group)
TUI 2018 Sustainability Report: 9.2 million customers stayed in sustainable hotels certified to a GSTC-Recognized standard (81% of the hotels owned by TUI Group) TUI Group has just released its 2018 Sustainability Report with the progress on their goal to increase the number of hotels with sustainability certifications to accommodate 10 million customers a year by […]
The post TUI 2018 Sustainability Report: 9.2 million customers stayed in sustainable hotels certified to a GSTC-Recognized standard (81% of the hotels owned by TUI Group) appeared first on Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).
9.2 million TUI customers stayed in hotels certified to a GSTC-Recognized standard (81% of TUI’s Hotels)
TUI 2018 Sustainability Report: 9.2 million customers stayed in sustainable hotels certified to a GSTC-Recognized standard (81% of the hotels owned by TUI Group) TUI Group has just released its 2018 Sustainability Report with the progress on their goal to increase the number of hotels with sustainability certifications to accommodate 10 million customers a year […]
When we think about learning a language, it would go a little something like; memorising, playing with the words and phrases in your mouth and then attempting to reproduce the sounds and noises in a similar fashion. The crew at 1770 LARC! Tours, however, have a different approach when it comes to educating their guests about the local Indigenous culture and languages. The team believe an important way for guests to grasp the area’s heritage and cultural significance lies in silence.
Operating in the Gladstone region of 1770, 1770 LARC! Tours’ owner Neil Mergard found engaging the local Indigenous people more than important:
“We are based in the town of 1770 [which is] mostly well known for Lieutenant James Cook landing. Our surrounds and monuments all mark this day. Persevering to keep the traditional language alive is the least we can do, and if we do not do it, this pure and special language will get lost in history,” says team member Jessica Cooke.
A product formulated with local Indigenous community input and permission from Traditional Owners is the 1770 LARC! Goolimbil Walkabout Tour – a tour dedicated entirely to the local Indigenous culture. With a tour guide from the Gooreng Gooreng people, guests receive a theatrical experience and learn about the wonderful culture that lived in the area sustainably for tens of thousands of years. It is important to 1770 LARC! Tours that local tales, Aboriginal beliefs, translations and traditional hunting and gathering techniques are shared in an effort to preserve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and cultures.
The whole team at 1770LARC! Tours agree that they feel incredibly privileged to assist in sharing local Indigenous language and culture with visitors. They believe a special aspect of the tour is learning about the power of silence. What does this mean? During a section of the guided bushwalk, guests are encouraged to remain quiet, to listen and to observe.
“Everything you need to know about your surroundings will become obvious,” explains Jessica.
“A bee will direct you to a hive, birds will tell you about rain, a bubble in the water will show you a crab. Taking the time to observe all the smaller things like this increases the awareness and appreciation of the very roots of nature. For people to start caring and looking after the earth, they first need to appreciate it.”
We couldn’t agree more!
With the rapid loss of many of our traditional languages, people are often unaware of the creativity, beliefs and depth of intelligence of Australia’s oldest culture. It is so important to understand the ways of a culture that has lived at one with nature for so many thousands of years, and by educating guests and encouraging them to utilise the power of silence, the 1770 LARC! Tours’ team has highlighted how environmental conservation and cultural preservation go hand in hand.
[Photos: 1770 LARC! Tours]