Eco tourism is paving the way as the new means for employment and profit as island residents face the impending closure of the Sibelco mine.
Part of this thrust is the recent installation of 12 eco tents at Adder Rock camping ground, run by Minjerribah camping.
Camp ground manager Nardie Galea said the tents gave people a different experience and were designed so that it was possible to come to the island to camp without necessarily having the expense of bringing a car on the ferry.
“Everything is supplied. You just need to bring your clothes and a bit of food and you can experience something new. This is our answer to the sand mine closing,” he said.
Camper Melanie Osborne of Little Mountain said she had been coming to the campsite for the past 30 years and was happy to trial the family sized eco tent. Hers was a family tent with bunk beds in a separate petition for her twin boys Slater and Ash, aged 8.
“It has great ventilation, the beds are comfy, there’s a table and a fridge and the tents are nicely shaded and handy to the beach,” she said.
Next year, however, Ms Osborne said she would bring back her caravan in order to camp closer to her family and friends who were the reason she returned year after year.
“My Mum (Colleen Lane) grew up at Dunwich so she would bring us here. Mum comes here to camp in the same spot every year. I’ve made friends here who go with me on other holidays,” she said.
Ms Osborne said she chose Adder Rock camping ground because the beach was patrolled during holiday periods and also had 4WD access to Flinders beach. It is also convenient to a roadhouse and the Point Lookout bowls club for meals.
“One year, I got a house here instead. I felt isolated. I’d much prefer to camp where the beach is a few metres away and my family and friends are around me. This is more valuable than staying in a house and the boys feel safe here. The campground has a boom gate and a low speed limit, so the boys can ride their bikes around,” she said.
The camp ground is managed by the Quandamooka Yulu Burri Ba aboriginal corporation and provides employment and opportunities for a large number of island residents.
The high-quality, low-impact, tents blend into the camping ground’s natural bushland setting and complement the Glamping Tents introduced in early 2017. The tents were produced by Australian company, Eco Structures Australia.
There are nine tents for couples and three family tents. Rates for the new tents start from $149 per night. All Island Eco Tents feature queen size beds and linen, exterior decking with large fly windows and doors, canvas shutters, ceiling fans, tables and chairs, power, refrigerator and storage. Guests have access to Adder Rock Campsite’s communal bathroom and cooking facilities.
“You are in the midst of a really attractive setting, there’s a choice of beautiful beaches on your doorstep, and now you will have the choice of traditional camping sites, Glamping tents and these really well-designed and comfortable Island Eco Tents,” Minjerribah Camping’s Hugo Johnston said.
“For those who love the atmosphere of a camping ground, there will be all the usual benefits, but instead of having to do all the work putting up and taking down the tent and bringing all the equipment, everything is done for you so that you can spend more time enjoying the beautiful island and its myriad attractions and activities.”
Full details on straddiecamping.com.au