KATHERINE’S multi-award winning Gecko Canoeing and Trekking are in the midst of a bumper season, all while celebrating their 20th year in business.
Managing director and eco tour guide, Mick Jerram said he was “flat out” with multiple tours and private charters leaving weekly from their base near Manbulloo Homestead, west of Katherine.
Mr Jerram said he took “pride” in knowing people were coming to Katherine specifically to take part in the eco businesses tours, in particular the popular three day kayaking trip down the Katherine River.
“I love taking people out into the bush, without doubt, we have changed people’s lives,” Mr Jerram said.
“People paddle down the Katherine River and are taken by the beauty of the wilderness and wildlife we have here,” Mr Jerram said.
“They cannot believe how quiet and pristine our environment still is.”
He said many of his customers were then going to Nitmiluk and Kakadu national parks, as they were in region.
"It is great to be the reason they are coming here, but also to see them go on to other attractions,” he said.
Deep within the businesses ethos is environmental sustainability and being accredited savannah guides, Mr Jerram said they leave all camp grounds untouched by their activities.
“People experience top notch camping facilities with delicious food served on tables, while seated in comfortable chairs by the campfire,” he said.
“When we leave a site we aim to remain low impact.”
He said no tour was exactly the same, as they don’t stay in the same place every time, and all tours were modified based on the capabilities of the participants.
“Some of these people have needed to relax and to get in nature, with the earth under their feet,” he said.
“When you go car camping you really don’t get away from it all.
“We try to provide everything they are expecting from a trip into the Outback.”
The business won Eco Tourism Australia’s award for Best Eco-Tourism Operator in 2010, and their three day Katherine River trip was rated in the Top 20 best tours in Australia by the Australian Traveller Magazine.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.