Solar Whisper Daintree River Wildlife Cruises
Eco-Tourism in Australia
Solar Whisper Wildlife Cruises operate on the Daintree River near the car ferry on the way to Cape Tribulation and world heritage Daintree National Park.
As the name implies, the boat is electric powered and therefore whisper quiet with solar panels on the roof to assist in charging the batteries. With electric motors there are no greenhouse gases emitted and also no fuel or oil emissions into the water.
The experience is a relaxing tour of the river and adjoining creeks with interpretation of the Mangrove ecosystem and the relationships with wildlife including the Saltwater Crocodile, great diversity of Bird life, Snakes, Frogs, Fish, Crustaceans and Insects.
The boat has been purpose built to maximise guest's enjoyment and to comply with standards set out by eco-tourism guidelines. The innovation does not stop there, the boat is fitted with "Croc Cam"- a digital video camera connected to a monitor that can show hard to see wildlife, and if it does duck under or slither off or fly away, the action can be rewound and shown again.
The boat is 8.9m long x 2.2m beam and can carry up to 24 people. There are 4 solar panels on the roof to assist with charging. The boat is taken out of the water each night to charge it up. There are 24 x 2v deep cycle batteries (Century Yuasa 580 ah). The motors are old Johnson outboards converted with "E-tek" golf buggy motors and oversized propellers. Controllers are programmable "Alltrax". Flat out the boat uses 80 amps @ 48 V and goes 4 to 5 knots. The boat can do up to 6 x 11/4 hour tours on a charge.
The character and image of Solar Whisper is very green due to zero emissions into river or the atmosphere. An "African Queen" feeling of adventure and the fun of the 'search' for wildlife on a comfortable boat with a similar ticket price to others but with added extras such as video-cam, merchandise and of-course extremely experienced interpretation.
The emphasis of the cruise is on the Crocodiles and other wildlife with interpretation of the Mangrove ecosystems with the enjoyment & appreciation of the beautiful scenery and of the sounds of nature due to the silent running of the boat.
SOLAR WHISPER offers guests a memorable cruise where they can get close to nature with the help of the latest technology without any affect on the pristine habitat, i.e. no noise, no emissions into air or water, no wash due to a slower cruising speed.
People are becoming more environmentally aware, and both domestic and international visitors to this beautiful world heritage listed region are looking for experiences that are true to the principles of eco- tourism. Solar Whisper embraces this need now and into the future.
David White (Qualified Heritage Interpretive Tourism Operator) www.solarwhisper.com