Take a walk on the wild side: Join Janine Duffy from Echidna Walkabout on an eco adventure

Janine Duffy Echidna Walkabout tours Melbourne Victoria

Janine Duffy

Wonderful wildlife tour providers and the force behind ‘positive conservation’, – this week, we speak to Janine Duffy, the director at Echidna Walkabout tours about their hikes into the Bush, what we can learn from the Aboriginals and how we can be better travellers.

Why we believe in ‘positive conservation’

We want to create something for the wildlife in Victoria!  That’s why we call it positive conservation – it’s about making something that wasn’t there before.

We provide a reason for wild animals to live wild and free.  Local economies benefit from our tours and come to value the wild kangaroos, koalas and birds that bring us to the area.  Then they start to protect the animals.  It’s wonderful – we have had 100% positive reaction from the small and remote communities we travel to.  They want to help – we just give them a good reason!

What inspired us to set up Echidna Walkabout

Many things inspired us – our love of the wildlife and the Bush itself.  Our determination to do something to help people connect with the natural world.  Conservation is urgent in Australia – we are losing species as we speak.

What we have learned from the local Aboriginal community 

The Aboriginal people of Australia have taught us so much and given us the greatest gift – they have helped us to belong to our land. They have taught us to see the Bush as a complete system: the koalas only matter as much as the trees, the insects, the rocks, the people.  That’s another thing the Aboriginal people have taught us – people are part of the environment.  Without us it stops working properly.  I’m sure that’s true all over the world.  People have a role, a strong, positive, crucial role in nature.

How far do we need to go to spot amazing wildlife in Victoria?

Not far – we see wild kangaroos, koalas and emus only 45 minutes from Melbourne on our Savannah Walkabout!  Even in the city parks you’re bound to see bright Rainbow Lorikeets, pink-and-grey Galahs and other parrots and cockatoos.   Melbourne is in the centre of a wildlife-rich region.  Around Melbourne, we have almost every environment possible, and consequently a huge variety of wildlife in Victoria.  From kangaroos to koalas, emus to echidnas, lyrebirds to leadbeaters possums, albatrosses to antechinuses, dingoes to dolphins, wombats to wallabies, gang-gang cockatoos to goanna lizards, penguins to platypus – Victoria has it all!

Get involved!

Look out for small, local shops and markets – Melbourne has a fantastic public transport system that can get you out of the city centre and into towns and suburbs with great food, lovely parks, beaches and activities.  Sit down at an owner-operated cafe for lunch and a coffee.  No wasted plastic, friendly service, and you’ve supported a privately-owned small business.  While you’re there, tell the shop staff where you’re from – they will get great satisfaction out of having international guests!  And think about re-using your water bottle: Melbourne has excellent, tasty tap water so you can save money and keep plastic out of our oceans!

Janine Duffy Echidna Walkabout kangaroos

Ready to take a walk on the wild side?

Go Walkabout:

For more information on wildlife tours and cultural experiences, visit echidnawalkabout.com.au/

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