Taking out awards in two categories at this year’s Victorian Tourism Awards, Wildlife Wonders has shown itself to be amongst the best tourism offerings in Victoria.
In only its second year of operations, Wildlife Wonders was awarded SILVER for Tourist Attractions alongside Adventure Park Geelong (Gold) and Living Legends (Bronze) and BRONZE for Ecotourism, in the company of Phillip Island Nature Parks (Silver) and Alpine Nature Experience (Gold).
What’s different (and fascinating) about Wildlife Wonders is that it’s a social enterprise, established in order to protect and support nature, by providing a revenue stream to its founding organisation, the Conservation Ecology Centre.
“Wildlife Wonders is an ecotourism attraction which engages people with nature and invests all proceeds in conservation,” says Lizzie Corke OAM, Conservation Ecology Centre CEO and Co-founder of Wildlife Wonders.
“The experience introduces people to animals they have never seen before and are unlikely to see in the wild, such as potoroos and bandicoots, and shares the story of how the Conservation Ecology Centre is working to protect these species across the Otways.”
“Through this social enterprise model every visitor to Wildlife Wonders becomes part of something bigger – the sale of every ticket helps support the research and conservation efforts which are vital for protecting nature and wildlife.”
Wildlife Wonders is also an exceptional tourism attraction in its own right, and has rock-solid sustainability credentials to boot.
“The guided tours at Wildlife Wonders deliver in spades on the Great Ocean Road’s brand promise of stunning natural landscapes and wildlife encounters while providing a meaningful and educational experience,” says Liz Price, General Manager at Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism.
“Wildlife Wonders contributes to a strong regional visitor economy by providing a world-class nature tourism experience offering a 90-to-120-minute dwell time, which enhances the Great Ocean Road’s identity ‘where nature’s drama unfolds around every turn’.”
And while many ecotourism attractions highlight the beauty of the natural word, or operate in an environmentally sustainable way, Wildlife Wonders is really in a class of its own.
It exemplifies best-practice in environmental protection and sustainable resource use – from collecting all its own water to supplying power back into the grid, using local recycled timber in construction and planting more than 10,000 local-provenance trees, shrubs, grasses, ferns and lilies to create the wildlife sanctuary.
The on-site café and retail follow suit with all products being sourced according to environmental credentials. In addition, 95% of Wildlife Wonders’ suppliers are Australian, and 50% are located with 100km and they have their own blend of coffee which supports wildlife conservation in Brazil and Australia. Find out more at: https://wildlifewonders.org.au/our-story/sustainability