May 29, 2024 | Case Study

Marine and Whale Watching Tours
Mulubinba/Newcastle & Awabakal/Lake Macquarie, NSW

Experience the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie coastline and its marine life with CoastXP aboard one of their two custom-built vessels.

They offer various tours on the water as well as on land depending on the season. While whale-watching tours can be joined during the colder months, trips to Catherine Hill Bay, adventure boat rides, as well as lake cruises and nature walks through the Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area are programmed during the warmer months. The focus of these tours is on marine life, local geology, Aboriginal heritage, maritime history, and key destination landmarks such as cliffs, islands, sea caves and ships. On all their tours education is combined with fun and adventure!
“At CoastXP we participate in a broad range of sustainability activities. The main reason we were attracted to the Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard was that it allowed us to audit the initiatives we’re already undertaking in our business and see further opportunities for sustainable tourism exploration and implementation,” explains Dom, the founder of CoastXP.
The Scorecard gave them a deeper understanding of sustainable tourism principles and practices. They found some areas of sustainability were already addressed in their current activities, while others still needed more attention, particularly surrounding the need to implement new policies to support their business’ sustainability. Furthermore, involving their team in the sustainable tourism conversation and decision-making is something they want to improve in the future.
“The process was clearly broken down into digestible sections, which meant we could work on our submission, save our progress and return to it at any time. Each section had a brief description of what was expected, and we could submit as much or as little as we liked. There was no right or wrong. I enjoyed that we could tackle it at our own pace,” says Dominic about his experience with the Scorecard.
After completing the Scorecard, the submitted answers and documentation are assessed by an expert coach from Ecotourism Australia. According to Dominic, the coach’s remarks were comprehensive and suggested additional content and useful templates that could be included in CoastXP’s existing business plan, as well as new policies that they could add to their operations. Another helpful insight for them was to engage more with their local suppliers which they are passionate about continuing in the future.
CoastXP is committed to sustainability, community engagement and responsible tourism, which they communicate on their website. They want to minimise their environmental impact and support the well-being of the community, for example by offering a carbon offset alternative for passengers on every one of their tours.
As the next steps on their journey, they now want to work with their team on the new ideas they received through the Scorecard. They also plan to use the Scorecard to promote their results and their active involvement in sustainable practices.
CoastXP completed their Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard on 29 April 2024 and is a snapshot of their current sustainability practices. The scorecard is not a certification and is valid for 12 months upon completion.

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