Congratulations to Big Duck Boat Tours on achieving Advanced Ecotourism Certification for their Seal Island Tour and South Ocean Adventure Tour.
The primary mission of Big Duck Tours is to increase awareness and appreciation of the local marine park and its surrounding waters while operating responsibly and sustainably. Departing from Victor Harbour, just 60 minutes from Adelaide, the Big Duck vessel takes a maximum of 27 passengers to spectacular areas of otherwise inaccessible coastline, islands, and beaches. Three time winner of the Victor Harbor Business Association Business of the Year award, Big Duck Boat Tours offer three tours: Seal Island, Southern Ocean Adventure and a Private Charter Cruise, on which passengers learn about the history, geography, wildlife significance and the protection status of the Encounter Bay Marine Park.
The Big Duck Tours crew include qualified marine biologists who share their knowledge with staff. They have also contributed to the development of the company’s environmental plan and climate change policy. Passengers are informed of the significance of the marine park to South Australia and why they operate under a regulated permit through an informative and educational presentation.
Big Duck Tours offer unique experiences and specialise in whale, sea lion and dolphin sightings. Guests learn about history, geography and wildlife on the tours, as well as about ways they can assist in conservation.
Photo credit Big Duck Boat Tours
Big Duck Tours’ commitment to sustainability includes environmental initiatives such as multi-use waterproof smocks, assisting the Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch Citizen Science Program and facilitating scientific surveys to Kangaroo Island. Scientific research groups charter their vessels to monitor the local dolphin populations’ health and migratory behaviours. Passengers are encouraged to participate in the KI VH Dolphin Watch and the SA Whale Centre, and Big Duck Tours provide environmental feedback advice to the local council.
Photo credit Big Duck Boat Tours
Big Duck Tours’ responsible recycling practices include feeding shredded paper to worm farms; buying bulk goods in reusable containers which are returned for refill and using water from the toilet system on a local turf farm. Climate action initiatives include washing the vessel with fresh water only and using swing mooring to protect the seagrass, allowing them to photosynthesise.
Staff plan to plant 500 trees in 2020 to help reduce the operator’s carbon footprint, eco-friendly lighting is used throughout the office environment and an electronic ticketing system is used to reduce paper. Local tradesmen are engaged where possible so the operator has the opportunity to give back to the local community.
Photo credit Big Duck Boat Tours – Granite Island
Community engagement is something Big Duck prides itself on. They are active members of Victor Harbor Business Association, Fleurieu Peninsula Tourism and the South Australian Tourism Commission. They present regularly to the volunteers at the Goolwa and Victor Harbor visitor information centres and sponsor Surf Life Saving events. South Australia local Indigenous dreamtime stories and significant historical information form part of Big Duck Boat tours.