frequently asked questions
Below you will find answers to some of the more common questions people ask before, during and after our activities. However, if you don’t find your answer here don’t hesitate to get in touch with us any way you choose. Cheers for now, Rob & Tracey
What was the motivation behind Ethical Adventures?
In our lives, we have seen the Great Barrier Reef go from a wonder of the world to a place to dredge to allow massive coal boats through. We have seen portions of one of Australias most notable conservation areas Barrow Island be turned into a giant gas hub. Relic Cool Temperate rainforests in Tasmania opened up for mining and large areas of quality farmland and habitat altered by the search and extract operations of the unconventional gas industry. We have also seen the Australian population double in 30 years.
These are not all but are some of the factors which are at this very minute impacting on places that you and I like to live and or go for holidays. These very places we would like to take our children to one day perhaps of even come back and visit in a few years.
We can talk about the stresses but in reality, it requires people to do the work which brings the stress to bear. It requires people to make a decision that their welfare is better served by continuing to cut down old growth trees than find another job. It requires a person to decide they would rather work for 5 years in a job they hate ‘to get ahead financially’ than spend a life time in a role they enjoy.
It is ironic that regardless of wether you work in a mine or plant trees most people choose to go to pristine lakes rather than polluted ones, like to walk in quiet streets than noisy ones and prefer to breath clean air rather than smog.
For many people, we are too busy or confined to fully understand the consequences of our choices in some things. For the person at the coal face, the view is limited.
However, everybody at one point or another goes on holiday. This makes the tourism industry unique in that it brings people from all walks of life and positions together at a point in time when they are relaxed and generally happy and open to learning new things or at least contemplating the bigger picture.
So understanding this we thought it was about time that the tourism industry started to play a more active role in environmental conservation. For without conservation efforts there would be no parks or fields for us to play in and certainly none of the unique animals and plants which drive tourism to and within Australia.
Looking at this situation we believed that the key was to take all people on tour and do our very best to show them the beauty of the bush and uniqueness of the bush and help them feel the personal value to them that such places actually can and do represent. And if interested, explain the stresses backed up by scientific papers, reports and qualifications.
From there it is up to them. We are not in the business of preaching. Neither is gaining environmental converts our objective.
We simply wish to provide a neutral opportunity for people to see the full picture whilst we have a great day out swimming, hiking, laughing and relaxing … and eating great home made food things 🙂
This is our motivation.
What is an Ethical Adventure?
It is an adventure underpinned by principles present in Responsible Tourism, EcoTourism, Social Action & Fair Trade which focuses on providing enjoyment, understanding and adventure whilst being proactive in conserving the broader natural, social and cultural environment.
An experience which provides the fun and adventure of standard holiday experiences matched with the ability to learn & discuss underlying issues which may potentially threaten the integrity of the environment or culture in which the adventure is undertaken.
What is responsible tourism?
World Summit 2002 participants maintain that Responsible tourism:
- minimises negative economic, environmental, and social impacts;
- generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities, improves working conditions and access to the industry;
- involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances;
- makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, to the maintenance of the world’s diversity;
- provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues; and
- is culturally sensitive, engenders respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence
If you would like further suggestions on how to be more responsible then also check out the home page of Responsible Travel Org.
What is Fair Trade?
Fair trade grew from a desire to protect and stop the exploitation of peoples in developing countries and began with things such as chocolate and coffee. Now the range of goods which can be sourced is significantly larger (see World Fair Trade Organisation)
Although on occasion tourism has been linked with exploitation and abuse of people and places it is perhaps surprising then that Fair Trade principles have not made their way into the tourism sector. Within this sector, the potential for exploitation of producers, suppliers and workers alike is ever present due to the diversity of stakeholders and the scale to which it is intertwined within our society.
In Australia tourism contributed over $40 Billion to the GDP (approx. 3.6%) and generating $23 Billion in export earnings (10.1% of total exports) making it Australia’s largest services export in 2007-08. In the same year, it directly employed over 500,000 people or around 4.7% of total employment (Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, Tourism Industry Facts and Figures at a Glance, October 2009, p.26.)
Given the current magnitude of the industry and real probability that it will continue to grow it is critical that this situation is addressed.
Given also that we are in the fledgeling stages of developing ‘Fair Trade Criteria for the travel industry in Australia I put forward the following points which we at ‘Ethical Adventures’ subscribe to (based on the standards set down by the ‘World Fair Trade Organisation’)
What do I need to know before I come?
It is always a good idea to get a head start on your holiday by doing a little background research before you come. With this in mind, we created the ‘Book Review‘ page which contains a broad spectrum of information sources and reviews. All of these we use ourselves. You can find this in the News + Updates section of our site.
What aboriginal culture and content do you include in your tours ?
Our adventures invariably are conducted in, on and around sites of traditional Aboriginal land tenure in the presence of Indigenous Australians. Where possible we have sought and received approval for access from the relevant indigenous management authority, Traditional Owners or caretaker group for those sites. Further exposure to Aboriginal culture and traditions will be dependent on the adventure you undertake.
It needs to be appreciated that Australian Aboriginal Society is the longest continuous civilisation on earth (80,000 years+). We believe it misleading to advertise ourselves or any tour as a cultural tour when we have such limited time to understand and appreciate so much. For how can you cram 1000′s of years of endeavour into a 1,3 or 5-day itinerary!
Recognising this we do however attempt to provide you with enough knowledge of pre-history and the landscape as we can as a starting point for you to begin your journey of understanding and appreciation for the people and their culture. Where possible we also include locals in our day’s adventures.
For those interested in indigenous culture and people we are open to focused experiences and charters for this in the future.
Who will be my guide?
We have three excellent guides on our team, read more about the team on our About Us page.
How fit and agile do I need to be?
We don’t run a boot camp but we do want people to be able to actively & safely participate in whatever we get up to on tour. With this in mind, we figure that if you are able to ‘Skip’ for 5 m then you are in fine shape and will have no worries with most of our trips. As standard, there are walks/hikes of low to medium difficulty, mild to hot days (25-45 C), swimming spots, stairs, sand, gorges and gullies … :).
If you are signing up for a charter or speciality trip involving things such as rafting, kayaking, diving or such then specific medical and physical fitness criteria will be required to be met. Details for these will be made available for you at the time of enquiry for the particular adventure.
Unfortunately, if your fitness and agility are a little less than that which is required we will not in the interest of safety and enjoyment take you on associated adventure.
What should I bring?
It is always a good idea to bring the following on any trip in Australia particularly if going into the bush: Hat, water bottle (at least 500ml), towel, comfortable walking shoes, any medicines you may need. However, you will not need to bring sunscreen or insect repellent as we provide you with environmentally friendly alternatives whilst you are with us. For more information, a list of tour specific items can be found on the corresponding tour page on this site.
How big will the group be?
We like to have time for you to ask questions, get personal and enjoy all that our tours have to offer. Taking these factors into account we run our set tours with a guide to guest ratio of max 1:11. You should expect 11 or less on any given tour.
When is the best time to visit?
Why 'Ethical' Adventures?
We don’t for a second think that everything we do is right or ethical in everyone’s eyes.
A life lived on both sides of moral and ethical fences has culminated in what we believe is right for us. In recognising our own beliefs and drawing lines in the sand for our own code of honour and lifestyle choices we have attempted to now take the next step and infuse those into our working life and put it out there for you.
So, we endeavour in both our business and personal dealings to at all time’s:
a. adhere to the principles of Fair Trade & Responsible Tourism (these are explained fully in ‘Code of Ethics’ )
b. support environmental and social action groups who’s mandate is to the benefit of humanity and nature (financial aid, skill share, advertising or hands-on work for those organisations)
c. endeavour to constantly improve all aspects of our guest’s experience and provide positive outcomes for the various aspects of the locations, people and cultures we interact with
d. utilise environmentally friendly options in our activities when available (such as biodiesel, sunscreens & insect repellents limited paper use)
e. Proactively support environmental preservation efforts and ameliorate destructive processes and organisations
Am I going to be bitten by a snake, eaten by a crocodile, pierced by a stinger or jumped by a Drop Bear?
Hopefully No ! However here are some rough stats for Australia …
a. snake bite In Australia between 1 & 4 deaths occur each year from between 500-3000 bites. In the NT between 1989 & 2003, there were 348 suspected snakebites of which 79 people were envenomed and required treatment.
b. crocodile attacks in Australia between 1991-2000 average croc attacks were around 2 a year. For 2001-2004 this number went to approximately 4. Apparently in response to increasing crocodile numbers and decrease in croc habitat through human encroachment. 1971-2013 there were 62 attacks in the NT with 18 being fatal. 81% of attacks were whilst people were swimming with 95% of those attacked being locals or people visit the NT regularly … 75% were male!
c. stingers stinger season in the Top End runs from September to June… don’t swim in the ocean. July/Aug wear protective clothing when going into the water. Historically there have been 14 deaths in Australia from marine stingers in the 20th & 21st Centuries. Hundreds, however, have been stung.
d. drop bears … zero fatalities have been recorded throughout Australia, however, unconfirmed reports of attack are numerous.
How does the "book now" option work?
How much baggage can I bring?
If you are going on a day trip you really only need those things we have already listed as ‘what to bring’. The tour vehicle is spacious however there are limits to everything.
Will I have phone service?
Service will depend on the tour you are undertaking. If you must have service please contact us prior to booking and we can let you know the situation.
What food options are available?
We endeavour to source produce in the first instance from local suppliers.
We include in our daily operations homemade snacks and refreshments and aim to provide you, the guest, with meal choices which reflect life here in the Top End. As such we regularly offer a BBQ lunch featuring local meats (buffalo, kangaroo) and salads.
Vegetarians will find the salad nourishing and will also include a suitable BBQ option. There are no nut based products in our food.
Any other food requirements need to be requested and agreed prior to booking.
Can I bring all the kids?
Although your children are angels, it is sometimes difficult to convince others that this is the case! Especially when they are being naughty in a confined space such as a plane or a tour vehicle. In the interest of fairness to others, we do not take children under 8 years old on our open tours. We do however offer family tours (as a private charter) which allow for all members of any age to hang out together and have fun.