Ecotourism: defined as “ecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural areas that fosters environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation” (Ecotourism Australia 2016).
Thevenard Island is a verified nature reserve. The ever-changing nature of the shore reveals shells and rock formations during a walk along the beautiful clean beaches. A colourful variety of sea life is to be discovered in these tropical waters and the island is home to many bird species.
Several species of dolphins inhabit the waters surrounding Thevenard Island including the bottlenose, spinner, striped, common and humpback dolphins. It is rare to have a day out on the water without seeing dolphins close up and friendly.
Whales that have been observed in the area include the Pilot whale, false Killer whale, Sei whale, Bryde’s whale and Humpback whale. Humpbacks migrate south from June to October, with calving taking place in August. It is common for visitors to the islands to have continuous whale sightings.
Dugongs are also found in waters around the island and can be observed feeding and calving in waters less than 5 metres deep. Dugong breeding occurs between September and April. Sightings are often reported by people using small boats in the shallow waters within 1km of the island.
Twenty-four species of land birds have been recorded on Thevenard Island. In addition, there are up to 31 species of migratory birds occurring in the Thevenard Island area, including kestrels, quail, godwits, plovers, sandpipers and harriers. Some birds migrate from remote northern hemisphere locations as far as Siberia, and are protected by international treaties. Seabirds, such as terns and shearwaters, nest from October to January.
The only native land mammal on the island is the Forrest mouse. The domestic mouse also inhabits the island and is most likely to have been introduced. A total of nine reptile species have been recorded on the island including goannas, dragons, skinks, geckos and our friendly little ‘ta-ta’ lizards. No rare or endangered reptiles have been recorded.
Eco Walk Trail
For the energetic and adventurous, the Thevenard Islands Eco Walk Trail is for you. It takes you trekking the circumference of the island with twelve stops of interest, allowing you to absorb its inherent beauty. The walk takes about 3-4 hours and a level of fitness is recommended.
Our Commitment to Sustainable Ecotourism Development
Mackerel Islands has had state-of-the-art facilities installed to support sustainable ecotourism in recent years, including a solar farm and desalination plant. The reverse osmosis desalination plant produces up to 70,000L of crystal clear water per day and runs entirely from the power of the sun.
The solar farm was one of the first using this technology at this scale, comprising:
- 1200 solar panels delivering 325 KVA of power
- 650 KW hours of Lithium Ion battery storage
- 4 x 110 KVA generator backups
The Mackerel Islands remains steadfast in its commitment to future sustainable solutions while developing tourism in the region.