Natural Scenery

SA’s Nature Tourism Businesses receive nearly $1 million boost in financial support

Image: Kangaroo Island

The government has unveiled the recipients of the second round of Experience Nature Tourism Fund (ENTF) grants.

This announcement marks a continued commitment to elevating South Australia’s tourism industry by supporting projects that highlight the state’s stunning landscapes and encourage both domestic and international visitors.

“What a terrific display of visitor experiences which showcase South Australia’s natural assets, as the second round of Experience Nature Tourism Fund unlocks even more potential to attract interstate and international visitors to our state,” Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison, says.

The first round of funding saw a total of $485,800 allocated to 18 projects, with a combined project value of $824,000. These projects encompassed a range of initiatives, from accommodation refurbishments to marketing endeavours, all aimed at enhancing the overall visitor experience.

The recent allocation of grants in the second round brings the total funding provided through the ENTF to nearly $1 million, with a cumulative project value of almost $1.6 million.

Among the standout projects in this round is Research & Discovery Coastal Tours Kangaroo Island (RAD KI), which will receive a grant from the State Government through the South Australian Tourism Commission. RAD KI offers personalised land and sea-based eco-tours designed to immerse visitors in the region’s rich wildlife while promoting citizen science.

With the support of the ENTF, Research & Discovery Coastal Tours Kangaroo Island plans to introduce a two-day eco-tour where visitors actively participate in collecting and analysing data on vulnerable and endangered species. This innovative approach not only contributes to wildlife conservation but also provides tourists with a unique and educational experience.

Research & Discovery Coastal Tours Kangaroo Island is just one of 15 tourism products and experiences receiving support in this round of funding. Other projects include camel treks in the outback surrounding Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre, walking tours in national parks across the Limestone Coast, and an Aboriginal cultural tour in Ngaut Ngaut Conservation Park.

“RAD KI blends adventure, authenticity, and volunteer research tourism into personalised eco-tours on land and on the water,” Roanna Horbelt, founder and eco tour guide Research and Discovery Coastal Tours Kangaroo Island (RAD KI) says.

“Our unique approach integrates citizen science into nature exploration, allowing visitors to actively engage in conservation efforts through hands-on data collection in ecologically sensitive areas, as they actively connect to the environment and country.

“This grant is invaluable in helping us to upgrade equipment to gather the robust data needed for more informed decision-making, as well as support a stronger online marketing presence.”

In total, more than $464,000 in grants were announced, unlocking over $764,000 in combined project value.

These investments aim to help operators across various regions of South Australia, such as the Adelaide Hills, Eyre Peninsula, Fleurieu Peninsula, Flinders Ranges & Outback, Kangaroo Island, Limestone Coast, Murray River Lakes & Coorong, and Yorke Peninsula. The project types range from new accommodation and equipment purchases to vehicle upgrades and marketing initiatives.

The Experience Nature Tourism Fund, which runs over four financial years, makes up to $500,000 available each year to support projects that align with its goals of enhancing eco-tourism and showcasing South Australia’s natural landscapes.

Applications for the third round of funding are set to open early in the new financial year, providing further opportunities for operators to contribute to the state’s vibrant tourism industry.

The second round of successful projects include:

Region Operator and project Grant Total project value
Adelaide and Adelaide Hills EscapeGoat Adventures
Purchase of ebikes to upgrade fleet located in Belair National Park and purchase of GPS units to assist self-guided visitors         
$20,000 $25,920
Eyre Peninsula Gawler Ranges Wilderness Safaris           
Refurbishment of tents at the Kangaluna Camp for tour participants entering the Gawler Ranges National Park
$14,400 $18,000
Eyre Peninsula Flinders Island Eco Escape       
Purchase of a vehicle for guest transfers and guest-led touring including education equipment to showcase the Investigator Marine Park
$20,000            $25,000
Eyre Peninsula Australian Coastal Safaris          
Purchase of a new mobile kitchen trailer and accessories to grow capacity and host high end culinary experiences in Lincoln, Coffin Bay & Nullarbor National Parks and West Coast Bays Marine Park
$25,136 $34,190           
Fleurieu Peninsula The Backyard Universe   
Development of two new tours entering Deep Creek National Park and Talisker Conservation Park including a night tour and enhancement of an existing tour. Purchase of new equipment and implementation of marketing activities
$19,452            $24,316           
Flinders Ranges and Outback Camel Treks Australia
Purchase of equipment to improve visitor comfort and safety for multi-day outback expeditions surrounding Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park
$26,480            $33,100
Kangaroo Island Research and Discovery Coastal Tours Kangaroo Island    
Purchase of equipment to introduce a two-day eco-tour encouraging involvement in citizen science as visitors collect and analyse data on vulnerable and endangered species
$18,525 $23,157           
Kangaroo Island Untamed Escapes
Purchase of a new bus and tour trailer to operate a 3 day Kangaroo Island Adventure tour entering multiple national parks
$50,000 $143,731
Limestone Coast Walk the Limestone Coast
Purchase of vehicle to transport walkers to daily walk points on two multi-day walking tours visiting Limestone Coast national parks
$20,000 $30,490           
Mainly operating in Limestone Coast, tour also enters: Adelaide, Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula, Limestone Coast, Murray River Lakes & Coorong, and Riverland See Adelaide and Beyond
Purchase of new vehicle to increase capacity on multi day tour bringing visitors from Victoria to Adelaide, visiting Naracoorte Caves National Park
$50,000 $74,596
Murray River, Lakes and Coorong Ngarrindjeri Lands and Progress Aboriginal Corporation   
Development of new Ngarrindjeri cultural walking tours in Coorong National Park. Purchase of equipment, training, marketing and product development to support project
$47,096 $58,871           
Murray River, Lakes and Coorong Mannum Aboriginal Community Association,
Enhancement of the ‘Black Duck Dreaming Tour’ operating in Ngaut Ngaut Conservation Park through the purchase of equipment and marketing     
$24,540 $30,675
Fleurieu Peninsula and Murray River, Lakes & Coorong Canoe the Coorong          
Purchase of a new vehicle to transport visitors to experience tours into Coorong National Park including introduction of transfers within the region
$37,818 $47,273           
Yorke Peninsula Bayside Glamping
Construction of new cabin on the outskirts of Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park in Marion Bay
$50,000 $143,903           
Multiple regions: Fleurieu Peninsula, Flinders Ranges & Outback, Murray River Lakes & Coorong, Riverland, Yorke Peninsula Australian Private Tours & Charters and SA Eco Tours
Refurbishment of three touring vehicles to increase passenger capacity and marketing for tours which visit eight national parks across South Australia
$40,752 $50,942    

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