The best Indigenous tourism in Australia
Booderee National Park has taken out the top award in Indigenous tourism in Australia!
At the National 2009 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in Hobart, the judges also highly commended the park in the best tourism attraction category.
Traditional owner and botanic gardens curator Bernie McLeod accepted the award on behalf of the Wreck Bay community and the park.
"This is just so exciting - I think the community is really going to benefit from this," he said. "Winning awards like this is a great achievement. Everyone has been involved - the Wreck Bay community, our families and park staff, everyone worked towards this.
More than half of Booderee's staff are Indigenous. They manage Australia's only Aboriginal-owned botanic gardens and work in every area of the park, from park rangers to visitor guides.
Autumn school holiday activities at Booderee
Friday 2 to Sunday 18 April
Come and join us in the park for an exciting range of activities. Take a stroll with a traditional owner and learn about some of the medicines, edible plants, tools and technology. Learn about bird watching, listen to campfire yarns or even venture into the marine world on our big screen.
Marine turtles at Booderee
Ranger Tony with the hawksbill turtle
Marine turtles are uncommon visitors to Booderee's shores. Usually they only appear when brought down from the tropics by the East Australian Current during stormy weather.
Recently this little hawksbill turtle arrived on Bherwerre beach after rough seas. After a quick checkup was released back at Hole in the Wall where the calmer waters would assist his return to the sea.
Meanwhile satellite tracking of the massive leatherback turtles tells us the Tasman Sea off Booderee is a hot spot for these giants who feed on floating jelly fish.
As Booderee's intensive fox control program continues results are on the up.
Monthly trapping has shown that the long-nosed bandicoot increased tenfold within a year of starting intensive baiting in 2003 but there seemed to be little response from Booderee's brushtails.
But now data shows that since 2006 numbers have been gradually rising and up to 12 animals are now being caught in a single trapping session.
Botanic Gardens news
The Botanic Gardens is continually upgrading its infrastructure and this time it's the Education Shelter that's had a lift. Constructed a couple of years ago to provide an outdoor classroom for school children doing educational tours in the gardens, the structure provides shelter from rain and sun. However the dirt floor had caused the occasional problem in times of rain. One of the latest gatherings, a wedding, took place after heavy rain where water had seeped down the sloping ground behind the shelter, and across the floor, turning the floor into mud. Not the best look!
So, with a few bags of cement and some skilled tradespeople, we now have a great looking ochre coloured concrete floor which complements the structure really well.
Staff are currently finishing off the surrounding area with landscaping and plantings and are planning to have the shelter open and ready for use again before Easter.
Booderee staff proudly show off the new solar panels on the roof of the natural resource management office.
Installed in December, staff estimated the 30 panels would generate around 7085 kilowatts a year. The first reading after 1007 hours of operation showed 1868 kilowatts had already been produced!
Happy camper quote
"Our camping experience was phenomenal... the site was immaculate and incredibly well kept including safety, the trees had suspect branches removed... the amenities were modern and well maintained, we saw all manner of Australian wildlife... the beach was beautiful and the bush was amazing. As an Aussie, it was the best Australian experience I have ever had in a campground, and more than any international visitor could ask for to give them a taste of Australia and good things to say about this country when they get home. "
Mark from Sydney, March 2010