Being a responsible traveller in Australia

Whether you are an international tourist or an Aussie citizen, it is important to travel throughout Outback Australia responsibly. There are many factors to consider and be aware of, such as our poisonous creatures, animals that may cross roads at any times of day (cattle, kangaroos and emus), distances between some towns and black spots for mobile phone coverage.  Don’t let these things discourage you though.  With a bit of planning, you can make your next Outback adventure one that is rewarding, fun and unforgettable for the whole family.

It is great to see where and how people (just like you) live in the bush, how they make a living and produce products used by the rest of Australia and throughout the world.  Steeped in Aboriginal and pioneering history Outback Queensland also offers beautiful scenery including amazing rock formations, rivers and creeks, many untouched natural areas amazing and secretive wildlife and gorgeous flowering plants.

Ensure these natural wonders remain unique to our environment and left intact for the future travelers to appreciate.

To help you get the most from your next outback adventure Boobook Explore, being the environmentally friendly company that we are, has made a checklist to ensure you are can easily enjoy all the benefits and fun ecotourism Australia has to offer. Contact us for a copy of this list. Below is a description of some of the key items to consider.

Eco-friendly is our first choice

Eco-friendly products are becoming more widely accessible in today’s marketplace (yay!). Whenever you go camping or out into rural outback Australia, taking environmentally friendly products is the way to go. When taking part in eco tours avoid using harsh dishwashing detergent, fragrant shampoo and conditioner or spray deodorants. You are in the sensitive Australian environment, so it needs to be treated that way. How eco-friendly you go is up to you, but the ones we just mentioned are some of the big ones to consider. Our Boobook Explore eco-guides are always happy to discuss sustainable products and will have plenty of recommendations for you if you are open to some alternatives when camping.

It looks pretty but please don’t touch it

Take only memories

This may sound like common sense but you have no idea how often we have to tell people not to touch wildlife, flora (plants) or fauna (animals) that they don’t know about. All our friendly Boobook Explore eco-guides have valuable ecology and botany expertise.  They will soon let you know what you can touch and what you should not touch. The motto is when in doubt play it safe and don’t touch until you know more.  For example, some plants may be pretty and inviting but may prove to be poisonous, cause skin irritation or may become damaged themselves by your touch. This also goes for all our native Australian fauna, something may be ‘cute’, ‘appear cuddly’ or ‘cool’ but don’t let touching that creature be the reason you have a serve reaction to a bite.  It is also likely that they will be scared of you and will react in a totally different way than a domesticated, tame animal. The trick is to treat all wildlife as a potential hazard in the first instance and then assess all the risks before making a decision on what action you will or won’t take. Most Australian animals can scratch or bite and it is often best to view them from a distance unless with a professional.  Stopping to think before acting will saves injury and lives.

Tread Lightly

Be mindful where you tread, this is both a safety warning and a sustainability one. Firstly, when in Australia, adopt what the locals do and look where you are walking. Australian’s literally scan the ground when they walk in the Australian bush. From an early age, we are trained to do it because of snakes, spiders, sticks, prickles and other potential hazards that maybe hidden in the grass or over a log. By looking where you are walking, you will avoid stepping in or on potentially hurtful things such as a fire ants nest (it is not a fun time) or on an unsuspecting snake or an upright stick that could penetrate your foot.

Boobook Explore also aim to the leave as little evidence behind as possible that we and our guests been somewhere, resulting in a minimal impact on the environment. Our guests are asked to avoid breaking branches and moving logs (or at the very least putting it back where and as you found it) as these could be home to many of our wonderful wildlife.  If you have the option of taking a muddy track or a rocky but safe trail, take the rocky trail.  Walking on rocks will generally have less impact, however, try not to stand on any moss or plants that maybe growing on the rocks. Conversely, by not walking through the mud you won’t leave footprints for some time to come as the mud dries out and you won’t have to clean your boots afterwards either.

Collect your rubbish

Leave only footprints

The saying goes, “leave your campsite cleaner than how it was found”. All passionate Australian campers abide by this and you should too. It is very easy to do, what you take in is what you take out at the end of your excursion.  This will ensure the next people have as good of an experience as you did.  By following this motto, you can all help keep and continue to make Australia the best place it can be.by Pick up any rubbish you find and make sure all of your own litter or rubbish leaves with you.  There will be plenty of bins in the next town to dispose of your rubbish properly.

When Boobook Explore runs a tour, we always ask our participants to help us take away our rubbish as we move from one location to the next. Reducing environmental impact as much a possible is an integral part of our company’s ethos.

Medical kit

Whenever Boobook Explore takes a tour group out bush we always take a comprehensive medical kit. Bush walking and camping is no different to a sporting competition or general travel, except that in most cases you are a little further away from major medical centres and support. Our Boobook Explore eco-guides would suggest to any camper or bush walker to take along a medical kit – it is a part of being a responsible person, for yourself, family and friendsDespite our talk of snakes, not many people actually get bitten, and those that do are usually trying to handle the snakes (not a good idea!). In a camping medical kit, there should be a couple bandages (a nod to those who know snake bite first aid). Bandages can be used for anything from making a splint for an injured leg to a sling for a hurt arm, they are a very useful item. Anti-bacterial wipes or some clean spirit alcohol for disinfectant, Band-Aids, Antihistamine tablets (good for general allergic reactions, big bites as well as hayfever) and paracetamol (pain reliever, fever reducer) are also great additions to any medical kits.

Australia has a beautiful environment with many endemic plants and animals, which we aim to protect. Boobook Explore love the environment and act as sustainably as possible. If you are interested in a learning adventure where you see what the Australian Outback has to offer, check out our tours and contact us today!

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