Australian Nature Guides provide USA students with a taste of Carnarvon


The usual silence, peace, and remote tranquillity that the Sandstone Wilderness landscape is renowned for has not been critically altered in recent months, but creativity and innovation has been ringing louder than ever for Carnarvon Gorge based Australian Nature Guides.

Despite being unable to commence their tour season as planned, passionate tourism pioneers and experienced guides, Simon Ling and Michelle Whitehouse have not lost sight of their vital role of educating and supporting visitor’s experiences through the significant and special place in which they live and work.

Directing their enthusiastic energies to further embracing technology during this unusual time, Simon and Michelle have turned to online learning as part of their ‘new normal’, creating a series of four, 15-minute documentaries for a group of university students from St Olaf College in Minnesota.

Serving as a substitute for the ‘real-life’ experience which was cancelled earlier in the year due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the four documentaries have been filmed onsite at Carnarvon Gorge and feature a range of topics including fire ecology, social behaviour in native wildlife, anthropology and archaeology of Central Queensland.

“The cancellation of these international students was unfortunate however we are glad to have found an alternative way to continue assisting with their knowledge of Carnarvon Gorge and hopefully this will encourage more virtual and online opportunities for continued learning,” Michelle said.

“Observing nature and spending our time among the beauty of our incredible ecological refuge has and will always be our passion, and we are thrilled to find different ways to continue showcasing Carnarvon Gorge to the world.”

Filming aside, Simon and Michelle have also been busily working through a range of business betterment projects such as a website rebuild and new product development, longing for the day that they can re-launch their tours to visitors from near and far.

Fortunately, social distancing is not a new thing at Carnarvon Gorge, which runs for 35 kilometres at the heart of the 302,000-hectare Carnarvon National Park. “With remote rugged ranges, towering sandstone cliffs, vibrantly coloured side gorges, diverse flora and fauna and Aboriginal rock art, there is plenty of space to immerse yourself in. The isolated beauty of Carnarvon Gorge is a wonderful place to be and we look forward to welcoming guests back soon.”

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