If you are keen to get out and about and to reconnect with nature, Araucaria Ecotours is the perfect solution. These guys conduct a variety of tours that will immerse you in nature, all while teaching you a thing or two about the surrounding region and native animals.
How it all started
Husband and wife team, Ronda and Denis, along their son Darren, own and run Araucaria Ecotours. It all started when the couple was on the hunt for a place to lay their roots. They found a property at the foot of Mt Chinghee, surrounded by mature rainforest and with views of Border Ranges and Lamington National Park.
In 1997, a few years after they moved in, the zoologist, and science/maths teacher created Araucaria Ecotours. The name is derived from the hoop pine tree (Araucaria cunninghamii) which grows on their property and is found in the surrounding forests. The couple started with just one tour and a 5 seated vehicle, but that has now grown, and the team runs multiple trips. Araucaria Ecotours was created to educate and help people understand Australian wildlife ecology, behaviour and evolutionary relationships.
If native Australian flora and fauna are close to heart, then the Australian Wildlife and Forests day-tour is a must. You might get to see wild kangaroos, wallabies, a variety of reptiles and many types of birds and butterflies as you walk through eucalypts forests and tea-tree woodlands. If you have a twitch to go birdwatching, Araucaria Ecotours offers a birdwatching tour. On this tour, you can find some of South East Queensland’s amazing birdlife. Kingfishers, kookaburras, lyrebirds, honeyeaters, whip birds and many, many more can be spotted amongst the wild landscapes in this beautiful part of Queensland.
You could also opt for a day-tour of Coochiemudlo Island which is just a ferry ride from the mainland. Here you will explore sandy beaches, coastal forests and rocky platforms that are home to an array of wildlife. Make sure you bring your bathers, because the water might be good enough for a swim. If you are keen for a mini getaway, you can ask the team to arrange one or two nights on the island for you as well.
Araucaria Ecotours also offers an array of multi-day tours which provides visitors with a perfect way to reconnect with nature, all whilst enjoying a mini holiday. The first multi-day tour on offer is the Australian Wildlife Overview Tour. This three- or four-day adventure lets you explore some of Australia’s most iconic species including possums, koalas and platypus (if you’re lucky). You can also arrange to add a whale watching tour during the winter and spring months, an Aboriginal cultural talk or even a horse-riding or snorkelling experience.
If you never been to outback Australia, now is your chance. Sign up for the 6- or 8-day Outback Wildlife Tour where you will get to throughly explore outback towns and the flora and fauna of Australia.
Araucaria Ecotours also has a variety of self-guided tours on offer so you can take your time to explore South-East Queensland and Northern New South Wales. You can also contact the team an arrange a custom tour to cater for all your needs, wants and desires, whether that be for a day or longer.
The ‘eco’ part of Araucaria Ecotours
Incredibly, all of Araucaria Ecotours has achieved Advanced Eco Accreditation from Ecotourism Australia. This means they use resources wisely, operate with minimal environmental impacts, provide visitors with the opportunity to learn about the environment, are committed to achieving best practice as well as conserving the environment and helping local communities.
The team walks a fine line, taking people through native lands and educating them, all while trying to minimise environmental impacts so to protect the land for generations to come. Araucaria Ecotours has accomplished the perfect balance, thanks to their beliefs and actions.
Araucaria Ecotours has undertaken numerous actions to be as sustainable as possible. An obvious one is trying to reduce fossil fuels. They do this using solar power in their home, buying local produce and investigating how they can use biodiesel for the 4WD vehicle. They also aim to reduce waste by not using plastic wherever possible and disposing of waste via their compost, recycling is the last resort.
The team also supports various wildlife conservation efforts such as the World Wildlife Fund and Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland. They also acknowledge the traditional owners of their land and the land they work within.
Araucaria Ecotours gives you the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in some of Australia’s beautiful natural environment. Whichever tour you choose to go on you are guaranteed to learn something new and see some amazing wildlife. You can do all this knowing that Araucaria Ecotours has the environment front of mind.
Address: 1770 Running Creek Road via Rathdowney, Queensland 4287