Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas is committed to the preservation of Australia's native wildlife. As an Advanced Eco-Certified Wildlife Habitat, we offer a unique experience that allows guests and animals to interact in a natural and immersive environment. We take great care to provide our animals with habitats that closely mimic their natural environments, ensuring their welfare is always a top priority. Our aim is to not only provide a memorable experience for our guests, but also to educate and inspire them to become conservationists. By sharing stories and allowing visitors to get up close and personal with our animals, we hope to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for the importance of conservation.
We believe that conservation begins with understanding. Through understanding and appreciation, we can all assist with conservation. Whether we are working to preserve a single species or protect entire ecosystems, we know that our efforts will only be effective if people are motivated to help. By offering an unforgettable experience that allows guests to connect with nature, we hope to inspire a new generation of conservationists who will help protect Australia's incredible wildlife for generations to come.
Our motto: observation, appreciation, conservation.
The Advanced Eco-Certified Wildlife Habitat is a wildlife immersion exhibit – an open and interactive environment for guests and animals to mingle in a spacious natural setting. Visitors wander along elevated boardwalks, observing up close a huge range of flora and fauna as birds fly and animals roam freely. The park is a quality ecotourism experience and product which has minimal impact on the natural environment.
What Is Eco Certification?
The ECO Certification program assures travellers that certified products are backed by a strong, well-managed commitment to sustainable practices and provides high-quality nature-based tourism experiences.
In 1998, the Wildlife Habitat received Advanced Ecotourism accreditation through Ecotourism Australia (EA). This accreditation is issued to an organisation to highlight its commitment to providing a quality ecotourism experience and product that has minimal impact on the natural environment.
In 2018, Wildlife Habitat was inducted into the Ecotourism Australia Hall of Fame for being Eco Certified for 20 years. This recognises Wildlife Habitat as paving the way for ecotourism and positive environmental practices.
In gaining Advanced Ecotoursim Accreditation, EA requires the Wildlife Habitat to:
- Contribute to conservation of biodiversity
- Sustain the wellbeing of local people
- Include in its product an interpretation and educational experience
- Involve responsible action on the part of tourists and the tourism industry
- Encourage local participation
- Require the lowest possible consumption of non-renewable resources
Environmental commitments in practice
- Oil waste is contained and recycled as biodiesel
- Redundant cardboard is used locally and recycled
- Guests are encouraged to use alcohol foam to minimise water usage
- Green waste is recycled into mulch and is used throughout the park as a weed retardant and to maintain moisture within the soil
- We grow over 1000 Eucalypt trees onsite to feed our resident koalas. This prevents us from having to travel long distances to collect from the wild and contributes to reducing our carbon footprint
- Effluent and bore water is used for irrigation in non-public areas and koala food plantations
- Scrap paper is recycled in animal enclosures and in the Wildlife Care Centre
- Where possible we produce our own food items for the animals by breeding or growing our own
Wildlife Habitat is Advanced Eco-Certified, for us, including the above, it also means offering strong interpretation values, a commitment to nature conservation and helping local communities.
Sustainable and responsible treatment of our natural resources is fundamental
- We take on rescued or injured animals from the region into our animal rescue centre TARC
- Side hardening strategies, such as paths and boardwalks, protect the wildlife and signages for visitors encourage appropriate behaviour towards all animals
- We inform all visitors constantly of the importance of appropriate behaviour and interaction with our wildlife
- We ensure an authentic experience – the weather conditions make the visitors experience the tropical climate
- Our park is suitable for kids entertainment, learning experiences and to enjoy with the whole family
- We offer the experience of walking amongst the wildlife rather than just seeing animals in cages
- The park can be enjoyed in all weather conditions without impacting the quality of the experience
- Our employees provide interpretational and educational experiences and tours
- We track our visitors’ experience and actively engage with them in feedback discussions to improve our performance
- We encourage visitors to leave feedback on social media, which is internally discussed and evaluated with our team
- The park is available for team building programmes, external and internal functions
- We have a waste and recycling management plan in place
- Our customers are encouraged to recycle – we provide separate bins in all guest areas
- The plastic bottle recycling cashback goes to our animal rescue station TARC
- We reuse our printed paper, and shredded paper is recycled to TARC
- Our business-wide philosophy is “If we don’t need it, we turn it off!”
- Staff uses their own coffee cups and water glasses – we don’t use single-use tableware
- Our kitchen cleaning products and others are eco-certified
- We own eucalyptus tree plantations in co-join with other businesses and are self-sufficient with our koala food
- We offer educational and interpretational programs for school groups
- Locals enjoy a 20% discount rate
- Our annual pass provides unlimited entry for our four parks for an entire year
- We work together with SailAway Port Douglas and actively promote their sustainable business in our retail shop
- We like to get involved in local and corporate events
- Our domestic and international volunteering programs offer young people the opportunity of a first-hand experience
- We regularly donate to the Cairns Organisation United for Cancer Health (https://couch.org.au)
- Our focus lies on locally owned, operated, and sustainable business partners and Australian made souvenirs
- We strictly banned imported products from our food menu
- We offer stable employment and (re-) training opportunities for the local community
- Indigenous employment is actively encouraged and desired
- Our training centre provides multiple accredited training courses in the hospitality and tourism sector
- CaPTA developed and implemented an Indigenous Employment Strategy in 2008 to increase employment for local Indigenous people
- We work together with the Lotus Glen Prison and offer our eucalyptus trees being part of their rehabilitation program