Posts in Ecotourism
The Impacts of Commercial Walks in National Parks - Two Case Studies

Multi-day walks in national parks are becoming increasingly sought after – especially commercial ‘supported’ walks run by private operators. Walkers only carry a day or light pack, as accommodation and food are typically provided, as well as guides. Such walks make the experience accessible to a wider range of people keen to appreciate the immersion in nature. However, the impacts of commercial walks in national parks are also coming under increased scrutiny.

Two such walks undertaken by the author in the last three years are presented as examples to illustrate diverse models of such walks, with noticeable differences in the impacts and experience.

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Eungella Bird Week

Imagine an isolated strip of tropical rainforest about sixty by three kilometres, surrounded by cleared pastures and swathes of dry eucalypt forest. Give it a bit of altitude, let’s say an average of 800 metres, and almost all of its annual rainfall in summer. Now bless it with almost 900 species of plants and a spectacular array of wildlife, including 227 recorded bird species (one of which is endemic), and presto - Eungella National Park!

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