Thanks to its pristine landscapes, a trip to Tasmania is on most people’s bucket list – but did you know you can also take part in conservation work while you’re there? The ‘voluntourism’ program Green Guardians gives travellers the opportunity to get involved in local conservation projects in Tasmania’s national parks and reserves, and spend a few hours assisting with work on the ground.
The Green Guardians project brings volunteer tourism to Tasmania’s visitors in an innovative way – while some visitors book their conservation experience beforehand, others can opt-in on arrival. Projects are chosen by Parks and Wildlife Service rangers and staff, ensuring all the opportunities offer genuine conservation outcomes.
Now in its fourth season, the project attracted more than 250 participants this summer. Past projects have included collecting and studying marine debris and litter, surveying birds on the Franklin River and removing the noxious sea spurge from beaches.
Volunteers make a tangible contribution to the conservation of Tasmania with all their results fed back to the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service or relevant organisation. For example, litter is not just removed, it’s also documented by Keep Australia Beautiful so a record can be established and certain litter items can be targeted.
In return for their contribution, volunteers receive a 12 month pass for Tasmania’s parks. It rewards their efforts and encourages return visitors – and because it’s transferable, visitors can pass it on to a friend if they won’t be back in the area for some time. It’s a great way to get tourists more deeply engaged with their holiday destination – and the results provide ‘voluntourists’ with a lasting emotional connection to the area.
More information can be found on the Parks and Wildlife Service website
Chris, Australia’s National Landscapes
Australia’s National Landscapes is a unique tourism and conservation partnership managed by Tourism Australia and Parks Australia. The program encourages collaboration and partnerships between tourism, conservation and local business in 16 premier Australian eco-tourism destinations.