Sustainable tourism in Australia, today Skyrail the most environmentally sensitive cableway.
What makes Skyrail rainforest the most environmentally sensitive cableway project in the world?
The experience at Skyrail rainforest cableway has been amazing, I have visited Skyrail in January 2014. I have found the experience very interesting and breath taking even if at the beginning I did not understand completely how it can be considered so much sustainable and I was curious to see it in person.
Further information about the visit: Skyrail Rainforest Cableway a great way to experience the rainforest in Cairns
After the visit and some research I discovered that Skyrail rainforest cableway is the most environmentally sensitive cableway project because of
– The Construction process
– Education projects and opportunities
– Researches and studies sponsored by the Skyrail foundation
Construction commenced in June 1994.
Skyrail’s tower sites were selected to coincide with existing canopy gaps, and were surveyed to ensure no rare, threatened or endangered species would be affected by construction.
Before construction commenced on the tower sites, the leaf litter and top soil was collected and stockpiled for reintroduction when construction was complete.
Plant seedlings were catalogued at each site, then removed and propagated during construction, and re-planted in their original locations, with the saved top soil and leaf litter, when construction was complete.
The towers were constructed in 10 meter x 10 meter clearings, and were placed as far apart as mechanically possible.The tower footings were built largely by hand, up to five meters deep in some cases, using picks and shovels.
There were no roads built during Skyrail’s construction. Workers had to walk in to the remote tower sites each day, carrying their equipment, which took up to an hour each way. The Red Peak and Barron Falls Stations were designed to blend in with the surrounding rainforest surroundings and minimise environmental impact, and were built in pre-existing clearings.
Skyrail opened to the public on 31 Aug 1995.
In December 2013, Skyrail introduced 11 Diamond View glass floor gondolas which seat 5 people and offer yet another amazing perspective of the rainforest below.
Stretching 7.5km, Skyrail was the world’s longest gondola cableway at the time of completion. More importantly, Skyrail provided people with a unique opportunity, and a world first, to see and experience the rainforest in a safe and environmentally friendly way.
Project and construction required world first construction techniques and even today Skyrail Rainforest Cableway remains the most environmentally sensitive cableway project in the world.
Skyrail’s Interpretive Ranger Option allows your group to enjoy a personalised Ranger guided tour through Australia’s World Heritage protected Tropical Rainforests, with focused nature guided tour at the Red Peak and Burron Falls stations.
Skyrail nature link During Nature Link’s specialist presentation, one of Skyrail’s Rangers will share their knowledge of these ancient forests in a friendly and interactive lecture-style delivery.Groups will have the chance to ask questions and view a stunning selection of visual images and specimens of rainforest flora.
Skyrail’s Sustainability Seminar provides groups with an understanding of sustainable tourism and how a tourism operator conducts its business to meet these principles. The seminar will be presented by a Skyrail Ranger or senior manager, who will engage the group in a 40 minute informative discussion about Skyrail’s sustainability vision and its continual improvements made since inception. Participants will have the opportunity throughout the seminar to ask the presenter questions.
Skyrail’s Rainforest Link involves groups in a rainforest regeneration project, providing a ‘hands-on’ rainforest experience while teaching the importance of Australia’s Tropical Rainforests. Accompanied by Skyrail’s Rangers, guests plant a native tree in Skyrail’s rainforest regeneration corridor. When completed, the tree corridor will link the freshwater lake at Skyrail’s Caravonica Terminal with the nearby rainforest, providing a safe passage to water for a variety of native birds and animals.
For shool groups Skyrail offers its very own Ed-Venture Guide which illustrates Skyrail’s commitment to education and contains extensive information on the rainforests, their World Heritage listing, their environmental and global importance and unique rainforest flora and fauna.
The Skyrail Rainforest Foundation was established in 2005, with the primary objective of raising and distributing funds to support tropical rainforest research and education projects.
Their vision is: “The protection of tropical rainforests worldwide through sound management, understanding and appreciation through research and education.”
The Skyrail Rainforest Foundation supports tropical rainforest research and education projects that meet the Foundation’s objectives. The funding will favour projects with a specific focus on the resilience of tropical rainforest ecosystems and livelihoods, within the foundation objectives of supporting:
• Pure research aimed at understanding rainforest flora and fauna, ecosystems processes and biological interactions
• Applied research aimed at improved management and use of rainforest environments around the world
• Education and communication to improve global understanding and appreciation of tropical rainforest environments, contributing to greater awareness and improved management and protection
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