Past Events and Workshops

Past Events relevant to Wildlife Tourism

Events run by WTA or with WTA involvement:

Developing virtual wildlife tours.

September 2023

If something like Covid strikes again, or a terrorism attack somewhere grounds all planes for a time or – … well, who knows what is around the corner? – tour operators may like to consider virtual tours

Some animals and some habitats are especially vulnerable to disturbance and can perhaps more safely be viewed from afar.

Some would-be-travellers are not physically able to climb steep hillsides, trek through dense jungle or endure a long journey over bumpy roads in the outback. Rather than disturb more habitat by putting in more roads or cable cars, a virtual experience could give them the thrill of seeing animals real-time and chatting to the guide about them while knowing they are not contributing to environmental damage.

Some sites are occupied by small or rare or nocturnal creatures not readily seen by visitors, who leave the place without a good understanding of its importance as a habitat. On-site holograms or other virtual reality could get through some important messages.

Zoos and wildlife parks that don’t want rare and endangered animals they are breeding disturbed by visitors could consider real-time videos or holograms of the animals

Real-time virtual tours can also both check on suspicious activities abut also alert potential poachers as to where to ind animals.

2022-2023 FORUM: WTA: Storytelling Marketing Tourism:

“From Storytelling Tours to Virtual Reality Tours for a Unique Tourism Experience”

Wildlife Tourism Australia organized two Australia-Indonesia Tourism Forums, the first in Brisbane, 30th Oct, 2022, and the second in Adelaide, 6th June, 2023. In collaboration with the University of South Australia, these events were funded by the Australia-Indonesia Institute Grant.

Click here for further details of the events

2022 CONFERENCE: WTA: “Wildlife Tourism Assisting Wildlife: Making it Really Happen!”

30th October – 2nd  November 

 Conference home page


2022 FORUMS: WTA: Associated with the 2022 Conference:

  • Global Eco CONFERENCE: Cairns, December 2019. Wildlife Tourism Australia was represented by Maree Kerr and Sera Steves represented Wildlife Tourism Australia with a talk “Sustainable Wildlife Tourism: Evolving to meet current and future challenges and opportunities.  View their presentation here
  • Wildlife Tourism Australia DISPLAY at the Big Bat and Wildlife Festival: Maclean, NSW, Match 2019. From Elizabeth Parker: 
    “We love the rain but why did it have to fall on the Saturday of the Big Bat and Wildlife Festival?!
    During a dry patch I was coming down from the displays and presentations in the Jim Thompson pavilion to the activities on the oval and I stopped to have a look around. And I thought, ‘Have a look at all those happy kids down there, and all their happy parents – and not having to get their wallets out’. Smiles under the umbrellas.
    Anthony of Australian Wildlife Displays was a hit with the kids with the live animals. I heard one boy announce Anthony was his new hero.
    We were down on quite a few stalls and activities due the wet weather but things were going on very well and we had a good attendance ducking in between light showers, until about three o’clock.
    It just started to pour and was set in. In the movies the band keeps playing, but not when safety comes first. A shame all outdoor activities had to pack up and we had to call that part of the event closed.
    The best part of the day was so many people asking about the NEXT Big Bat and Wildlife Festival……. so thank you for all those people who came to enjoy the day in the rain, and thank you all of the festival participants for all your much appreciated efforts. Looks like we’re going to do it all again next year.”
  • BAT FESTIVAL Cairns, 4th May 2019: Cairns Esplanade. Guest speakers. Information and community stalls. Live music from Kuranda’s funkiest band – Wednesdays. Craft for kids – e.g. Make a Bat Mask. Enter the Masked parade. Information about our  Endangered bats and other wildlife of the wet tropics, and what you can do to help them. Focus species: the endangered Spectacled Flying-fox. Wildlife Tourism Australia’s vice-chair Maree Treadwell was one of the organisers

For various reports on some of the events run by WTA or attended by WTA members please visit:

Some other events in recent years:

International Coral Reef Symposium

Cairns, Australia July 2012.


Bush Lore Australia

  • Wilderness Survival Course- Basic: 28 to 29 July 2012
  • Outdoor Navigation Course: 28 to 29 July 2012


The 8th National Rehabilitation Conference,

Townsville, Nth Queensland, July 16-20, 2012


Emerging Tourism Opportunities – People, Partnerships and Programs in the Kimberley

 29-30 August 2012


Camera Trapping in Wildlife Management & Research Colloquium

September 2012, Sydney


Binna Burra Bird Week with Barry Davies

October 2012 (Barry, of Gondwana Guides, is a member, and former committee member, of WTA)


Global Eco Conference

Cairns 15-17 October 2012 Ecotourism Australia

(attended by Ronda Green and Peter Wood, chair and secretary of Wildlife Tourism Australia, and Ronda presented a paper on wildlife tourism)



Training with Savannah Guides

1-4 November 2012

Nitmiluk National Park, Northern Territory

The Savannah Guides School was held on the theme of “Working Together – Savannah Guides Partnerships” with a heavy involvement by NT Parks and Wildlife Service and Tourism NT, and association also with the Indigenous Business Partners and communities and organisations of the Katherine region.


Using Wildlife for Tourism: Opportunities, Threats, Responsibilities

Wildlife Tourism Australia’s 3rd national workshop
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Gold Coast, May 2012
Economics of wildlife tourism, providing world-class interpretation, contributions of wildlife tourism to conservation, minimising negative impacts.


Wildlife Expo

Wildlife Tourism Australia had a display at  the Scenic Rim’s third Wildlife Expo in Beaudesert (southeast Queensland) Sunday 7th August 2011

Animals, People – a Shared Environment, Conference in Brisbane


The 4th Biennial Australian Animal Studies Group Conference

Brisbane 10- – 13th July 2011. The theme, Animals, People – a Shared Environment, includes wildlife tourism as one of the topics, and Ronda Green (Chair WTA spoke of her experiences in wildlife tourism and human-wildlife interaction).


World Environmental Education Congress

WEEC Brisbane 19-23 July 2011

Tropical Tourism Outlook Conference: 

Nature, Culture and Networking for Sustainable Tourism
 8 to 10 August 2014, Dambulla – Kandalama. Sri Lanka

Bird Fair, Sydney

25-26 October, 2014
Australia’ very first national bird fair: activities, expert speakers, bird-watching equipment and more

Forest Weekend |O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, Lamington National Park

October 31-November 2,  2014
Join our visiting experts for an insight into the complex world of the Rainforest. Often combined with the following weeks ‘Bird Week’ this weekend is suited to all those interested in the flora of the region from novice botanists, students or those that just enjoy being involved and learning about the natural environment.

Email:    |  Web:  

Telephone:  +61 7 5502 4900 


37th Annual Bird Week |O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, Lamington National Park

November 2-9 2014
Australia’s leading birding event offers ample opportunities to visit all the hot spots and uncover the special birds of Lamington National Park. Guest speakers include international author, naturalist and television producer Stephen Moss as well as local guides Tim O’Reilly, Glen Threlfo, Ian Gynther, Bill McDonald and Duncan Fowler.

Email:    |  Web:  

Telephone:  +61 7 5502 4900 


Wildlife Tourism Australia Workshop 11th November Sydney

Informal workshop (members and nonmembers welcome) to discuss wildlife-realted aspects of tourism in protected areas, in preparation for the World Parks Congress. Topics discussed will include  minimal-impact wildlife viewing (including use of new technology), tour operators assisting with research or conservation monitoring, research that is needed on tourism effects on wildlife and their habitats.

World Parks Congress, Sydney, New South Wales,  12-19 November 2014

World Parks Congress

This event, run by the international Union for Conservation of Nature,  only happens once every ten years!  It’s a great opportunity for Australians to attend (and a great excuse for others to decide this is the year to visit Australia)

From their website:

The IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 is a landmark global forum on protected areas. The Congress will share knowledge and innovation, setting the agenda for protected areas conservation for the decade to come. Building on the theme “Parks, people, planet: inspiring solutions”, it will present, discuss and create original approaches for conservation and development, helping to address the gap in the conservation and sustainable development agenda.


Wildlife Tourism Australia Workshop 25th November Perth

Informal workshop (members and nonmembers welcome) to discuss wildlife-realted aspects of tourism relating to Australasia and Asia, just prior to the ITSA conference
Details TBA

ITSA, Perth, Western Australia,  26-29 November 2014

International Tourism Studies Association Conference 

Many wildlife-related topics will be discussed, from Australian and Asian perspectives.

Download the flyer: ITSA_Flyer   (7Mb)

Also, consider the possibility of sponsorship or a display: FINAL – ITSA_Prospectus-print

Wildlife Week |O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, Lamington National Park

January 19-23 2015
Join the likes of Dr. Ian Gynther, Senior Conservation Officer with the Threatened Species Branch of Queensland’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP), for an exciting week of tracking, trapping and sneaking up on wildlife all in the name of conservation.

Email:    |  Web:  

Telephone:  +61 7 5502 4900 

For other news:

  • Check our blog, especially the ‘News‘ category (headlines of our most recent blogs can be seen to the right of the screen on the home page)
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  • Check out our Wildlife Research Network website that details a large range of wildlife research going on around Australia that anyone can do.

Some recent headlines in the media and our website:

28 July 2013

26 July 2013

25th July
12th July
5th July 2013
2nd July
14 June 2013