We are excited to welcome Straddie Kingfisher Tours to the Ecotourism Australia community, following their achievement of Advanced Ecotourism and ROC Certification for their 4WD Eco Tour, Sand Boarding, Kayaking and Tag Along Tour.
Straddie Kingfisher Tours, started by David (“Barefoot Dave”) Thelander and his Margaret over 17 years ago, was a project built on the couple’s passion for North Stradbroke Island and a desire to show this island paradise to the world in an eco-friendly, informative and sustainable way.
Their tours, which can be tailored to meet guests’ individual interests, are ideal for individuals and groups and located just 25 minutes off Queensland’s mainland. From vising North Stradbroke Island’s most scenic lookouts to sandboarding down sand dunes and kayaking beside dolphins, Straddie Kingfisher Tours offers all their guests a personal touch and local knowledge of the island. Owner Margaret is a traditional owner, and thus also brings a wealth of Indigenous knowledge and understanding of the land to enrich the guest experience.
Whilst on tour, Straddie Kingfisher Tours’ guests may notice that their guide or driver will drive around to avoid bird flocks settled on the beach so as not to disturb them. This not only protects the birds but offers great opportunities for visitors to observe and snap pictures of these birds socialising and grooming.
Sustainability measures like this one are part of the company’s ethos and built into every aspect of Straddie Kingfisher Tours’ activities. For example, the company’s drinking cups are made of plant starch, so that when they decompose, they add fertiliser to the soil. Bio diesel is used for vehicles, and the company is investigating options for offsetting on the island through tree planting and will soon add an invitation to guests to offset their trip by including it in their confirmation email and booking pages.
When in the vicinity of wildlife, guests are reminded to speak quietly so as not to cause disturbance, and always encouraged to keep a close eye on their surroundings, for they can never know what they might see on a tour.
Accessibility is also taken into account with Straddie Kingfisher Tours, and owner Dave sometimes leads tours for visually impaired or blind guests.
Please join us in congratulating Straddie Kingfisher Tours on their achievement.
[Photos from Straddie Kingfisher Tours’ website and Facebook page.]