Scenic Rim as a Wildlife Destination (workshop)

Establishing the Scenic Rim as an ecologically-sustainable international wildlife destination

Workshop, Kooralbyn, Monday 2nd December 2019

Also field trips TBA Sunday 1st and Tuesday 3rd December

Geographically, the Scenic Rim, formed by three major volcanoes between 25 and 22 million years ago, runs from near Toowoomba (west of Brisbane) through Boonah and to Mt Barney to the Border Ranges of northern NSW and Lamington National Park on the Queensland side, and on through Springbrook almost to the coast. The political definition lies within this, as Scenic Rim Regional Council. We are here using the geographic description.

Daves Creek Country
Daves Creek Country, Lamington National Park (photo: Araucaria Ecotours)

Most of the famous Aussie icons are here: kangaroos, koalas, platypus, echidna, dingo, kookaburra, wedge-tailed eagle, lyrebird, bowerbirds, cockatoos, parrots, goannas, bearded dragons, carpet pythons, green tree-frogs, and colonies of glow worms … and there are many more less well-known but also beautiful, bizarre and fascinating species. It harbours for instance the Richmond birdwing (Australia’s second-largest butterfly), the only bird of paradise outside of the tropics, a large blue freshwater crayfish, and thousands of large fruitbats swirling into the sky at dusk.

Satin bowerbird in bower: Araucaria Ecotours

Habitats include mountainous terrain with a variety of rainforest, open eucalyptus forest and heaths, and valleys with rivers and creeks, swamps and sheoak-dominated riparian woodland. It includes the largest area od rainforest outside the tropics anywhere in the world, and one of the best and safest systems of forested walking tracks anywhere in the world, two rainforest canopy walks and many scenic waterfalls.

The Scenic Rim is an easy drive from two international airports (Brisbane and Gold Coast), and has a range of accommodation types and tours. In between birdwatching and other wildlife-viewing, visitors can enjoy the restaurants, markets, art galleries and wineries, and can indulge in activities such as hiking (including multi-day), rock-climbing, hand-sliding, hot air ballooning, horse-riding, helicopter flights, massage, swimming, kayaking or just relaxing in the forest or on a verandah admiring the view. They can also visit conservation projects such as the breeding and re-introduction of endangered species to Hidden Vale in the northwest or join a full week of birding or nature photography at ecolodges in the southeast.

From the peak of Mt Barney: photo Mt Barney Country Retreat

The workshop will most likely be held in Kooralbyn, conveniently located near the centre of the Scenic Rim

Kangaroos, Kooralbyn: Araucaria Ecotours

Topics will include:

History of the Scenic Rim from 30 million years ago to the present, and why it is so rich in species

Overview of wildlife species and their habitats

Potential for international fame as a wildlife tourism destination

Potential problems: avoiding over tourism and negative impacts on wildlife and habitats

Delivering good visitor education, before, during and after their visit

Conservation projects within the Scenic Rim

Variety of visitor experiences

Marketing to attract nature-lovers from across the world

King parrot, O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat: photo Araucaria Ecotours

Cost (including lunch and morning/afternoon teas) TBA but <$100

If you’d like to be on a no-obligation email list for updates, email Ronda <chair @ wildlifetourism.org.au> and

Let us know also if you would like to

  1. present a paper (12 minutes) on any of the above topics or
  2. be part of a speed presentation (4 minutes) of a tour operation already operating or planned within the region.