We have big news:
Walking By Nature has achieved a Silver-level rating in the Qualmark Sustainable Business Evaluation.
Our team had achieved a Bronze rating in 2017, but this is a big step up, recognising our outstanding performance, policies and processes in 26 areas, under the following categories:
- Environment and Culture
- Social / People
- Health and Safety
“A Silver Award is evidence of a sophisticated tourism business that consistently exceeds visitor expectations. Proactive leadership and management ensure that a culture of high performance is evident throughout the entire business. The business will have a real focus on continuously improving their economic, social and environmental performance to ensure the tourism product they deliver is a genuine, constantly improving sustainable experience.”
Our commitment to sustainable tourism
Walking By Nature founder Gabrielle Young is Chair of Project Forever Waiheke, an organisation committed to sustainable community and tourism development on Waiheke Island.
She started Friends of Hekerua which looks after Department of Conservation reserve and council land in the Hekerua Bay catchment. She runs a stoat-trapping and rat-baiting programme there, which is part of Predator Free Waiheke, and the WBN team actively volunteers on this project.
Walking by Nature has also been involved in community planting days and reforestation projects including Awaawaroa catchment to protect the giant banded Kokopu.
With a background like that, it’s no surprise that Walking By Nature is in the forefront of environment awareness and protection on Waiheke Island. As the latest Qualmark evaluation report notes:
“Customers are educated on the environmental stance of the business via a designated page on the business website detailing the commitment the business has made to have a positive impact on the local environment. As part of the confirmation process, walkers are reminded to pack their own water bottle. Meals provided are from various restaurants that are selected for their sustainable practices. No consumable or single use items are provided as part of the tour.”
– Qualmark report
Walking By Nature guides also share a respect for the human elements in our environment, and demonstrate manaakitanga (unique New Zealand hospitality).
“Current and historical cultural information and commentaries are shared including marae protocols, the various settlers of the island and information on the Ngāti Pāoa people. All information is obtained from direct and referenced sources. The business places a high emphasis on providing a very personal, memorable and bespoke experience for every guest. Guides are trained to read the needs of guests and adapt the tours accordingly.”
– Qualmark report
We look forward to welcoming you to Waiheke Island, and sharing our wonderful environment and award-winning service. Contact us anytime to find out about our range of walks, including beaches, forests, vineyards and art studios.
“It is fantastic to see a business driven purely by passion, which has so many benefits to health and wellbeing, [and which] provides a memorable visitor experience, with a minimal environmental impact.”
– Heather Bailey, Qualmark