At BIG4 NRMA Atherton Tablelands Holiday Park we’re passionate about preserving the beautiful Tropical North region we call home.
Our commitment and dedication in providing a tourism experience that not only ensures a memorable holiday for our guests but also protects the natural environment was recognised in 2011 when we received Eco Certification in nature-based tourism.
This accreditation informs travellers that they’ve chosen to stay in environmentally, socially and economically sustainable accommodation. To achieve this certification, the park was required to meet specific criteria, addressing the core principles of eco-tourism including:
- Minimising waste and implementing a recycling program
- Purchasing locally and in bulk
- Employing locals
- Implementing the use of recycled paper in our office and having a “no print email” policy
- Having an environmental-friendly marketing program
- Implementing an environmental policy in our cabins and park facilities
- Ensuring water saving devices are used throughout the park
- Working with and supporting our local community
In April 2015, the park was awarded Silver for TripAdvisor’s Worldwide Green Leader Program. This program was developed by TripAdvisor in conjunction with United National Environment Programme, Eco Tourism Australia and Earth Check to assist travellers to identify and book with environmentally friendly accommodation providers.
We’re also ensuring that new accommodation is built in a sustainable manner. Below is a list of incentives we’ve taken during the last couple of years.
- In October 2012, we opened our first solar-powered cabins. The solar power provides the energy for LED lighting, water heating and heat extraction, reducing the need for air-conditioners. These cabins were built from sustainably managed renewable materials and sourced locally where possible.
- In August 2013, we opened our 3-bedroom solar powered family lodge. The solar power provides energy for LED lighting, water heating and heat extraction. We were able to improve further on the first solar cabins that were installed, by using sustainable materials to build the lodge – including recycled plastic bottles for the deck.
- In January 2014, we opened our 2-bedroom eco family villa. Again, the solar power provided energy for LED lighting, water heating and extractions. The deck on this villa was also made from recycled plastic bottles.
The solar energy from these cabins feeds directly into a battery system rather than a main power grip, ensuring the cabins support themselves. All of the cabins above have been recognised for their sustainability and were awarded Eco Certification from Eco Tourism Australia.
For each stay in one of our eco-cabins, we donate a portion of the revenue to the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on Fitzroy Island. The park has sponsored a number of turtles over the years, assisting with their recovery and release back into the wild.
Woody, a Juvenile Hawksbill Turtle who we supported for several years, was released into Moore Reef in late 2016. A kind donor provided Woody with a tracking device so we can follow his journey, we’re pleased to report that he has now joined a group of Hawksbill Turtles and is still on Moore Reef.
After the successful rehabilitation of Woody, we sponsored a Green Sea Turtle, Woodson. Woodson was found on Funnel Bay Beach and transferred to several rehabilitation centres around the region to assist him with putting on weight for his recuperation. In December 2017, Woodson was released having gone from 6.95kg on arrival at the Rehabilitation Centre to a very healthy 36kg thanks to a special diet of prawns and squid. We would like to thank Dr Jennifer Gilbert and the volunteers at the Centre for all the work they do and to Sunlover Reef Cruises for providing the boat from which Woodson was released.
Our passion for these beautiful creatures continues and in April 2019, we began supporting Kara the Green Sea Turtle. Kara was found in mud near Four-Mile Beach in Port Douglas, covered in barnacles and unable to swim. She is now on the mend at Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and we look forward to supporting Kara over her recovery.