What is Ecotourism? “Ecotourism is ecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural area that fosters environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation”.
Queensland Yacht Charters offer tourism in a natural area which offers interesting ways for our clients to learn about the environment.
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest World Heritage Area. Because of its outstanding appeal it became a World Heritage area in 1981. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park stretches more than 2300km along the north east coast of Australia and is about 12,000 years old. Home to an enormous amount of fish species, corals, molluscs and protected species such as Dugongs, Turtles, Seabirds, Whales, dolphins etc.
The Great Barrier Reef ecosystem is not one long continuous reef but a complex system of various marine habitats that include over 3000 reefs, 600 continental islands and 300 coral cays.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is a multiple use area with zoned areas that will help you identify what activities can occur in each area. There are 8 types of zones from General use through to Preservation. Visit www.gbrmpa.gov.au for a zoning map on the Whitsunday area.
What you can do to help
During your boat and area briefing, you will be given information on the do’s and don’ts of the Marine Park Area. Please abide by the rules and regulations, respect other people using the area, reduce noise and aim to leave no trace of your visit.
We have onboard all of our vessels the following guides and information:
The Great Barrier Reef attracts millions of visitors every year. To ensure your visit does not impact the marine environment and to keep it pristine for other generations to enjoy it is recommended that you learn more about the reef prior to your visit. You can visit the following websites to access this information and find out more. There is some great information for kids to learn about and take back to school with them to share with others.
You can help protect our Marine Park by reporting incidents to the Queensland yacht Charters Base or to the relevant authority. Incidents such as:
Oil/diesel/sewage spills, Marine animal stranding’s/deaths/fish kills, tagged fish, unusual marine life sightings, crown of thorns starfish outbreaks/coral bleaching, tagged turtles, illegal fishing, marine incidents/accidents, zoning infringements, vessel collisions/groundings.
There are currently more than 70 traditional owner groups of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people that have connections with the Great Barrier Reef. In The Whitsundays, it is the Ngaro people who had the rights and interests to this area for the last 9000 years. It is thought that the Ngaro people were one of the first to have contact with Europeans in Australia and they hunted large marine animals from their canoes and sometimes from outrigger canoes. They were certainly a sea going people and amazingly, one of the oldest “rock shelter” sites discovered on the East coast of Australia is at Nara Inlet on Hook Island.
At QYC we would encourage everyone to learn more about the tradition, culture and heritage of our indigenous people and respect the values, cultural and heritage sites of the traditional owners throughout this area.