Responsible tourism: Great Ocean Road and Grampians 3 day tour, Australia
The Grampians National Park is a series of stunning mountain ranges and is home to 80% of Victoria's Aboriginal rock art. We view a rock art site called 'Bungil's shelter' which is open to the public and protected by fencing. While other unprotected sites are accessible we choose to look at the sanctioned site deemed appropriate by the local Aboriginal people. The Grampians National Park is also home to wonderful wildflowers and is internationally renowned for the its unique species and abundance through the spring months. We use only dedicated tracks to take walks and view the stunning lookouts so that we do not disturb this native flora. Bushfires are a threat in the region but are also needed to promote growth with many of the Australian trees not propagating without fire. We monitor any threats daily through the touring season and take any appropriate action to avoid danger and undue strain to the environment and communities when needed.
The Aboriginal Cultural centre 'Brambuk' is one highlight of our 3rd day of this tour. This award winning centre in Halls Gap has amazing displays of local indigenous history, culture and art. We also view videos that explain the Aboriginal creation story of Gariwerd (the Grampians) and the European history of the region. After spending the night on the Great Ocean road at stunning Beacon Point we turn inland to stay at a very different site. Based at the bottom of Mt Sturgeon, the Royal Mail Hotel is a magnificently redeveloped site that has built a reputation for its fine food in particular. It is located in a small country town of Dunkeld that has been overlooked for many years by tourists. The Royal Mail Hotel has lifted the profile of this town and the region by attracting tourist after a gourmet experience with breathtaking scenery. It has won 'Best country restaurant in Australia' numerous times and the chefs take great pride in growing a substantial herb and vegetable garden for their own use. They are also great ambassadors of other locally grown products and source their meat locally. They also employ a large numbers of locals for all manner of positions within the hotel and restaurants.
Reviews of Great Ocean Road and Grampians 3 day tour, Australia
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I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Reviewed on 05 Feb 2016 by Vivienne Grimes
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
Having a very close encounter with a baby koala, rescued from the main road by our driver/guide Jeremy. Although his mum was up a tree nearby, after sitting at the bottom and thinking about it, he decided to head back towards the road, so we travelers blocked his path. He came right to my feet and sat down!! Very special moment I will never forget.
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
We could only book a 2 day trip as we were leaving for Tasmania but the company was very accommodating and got us back to Melbourne in time for our next leg.
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
We were encouraged to go to locally owned and run restaurants/cafes and were taken to a great restaurant (Chris's) on our night away. The towns along the Great Ocean Road are clearly dependent on tourism and it was good to feel we were helping get it going again after the Road had been closed off due to bush fires. Sad to see the burned out homes and concerned about the wildlife but it was a great experience visiting this area with an experienced guide and I felt we were doing a little to reduce our impact by traveling with others and supporting local businesses.
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
Very good - so glad we have visited that amazing part of Australia.