Boat tours of Yardie Creek now privatised
Northern Guardian, Branwen Smith: June 5, 2013: 04
“It’s a great business venture and came at the right time for us.”— Peter Maier
Yardie Creek Boat Tours are now being run as an Exmouth small tourism business after being privatised by the Department of Environment and Conservation earlier this year. DEC Exmouth regional manager Arvid Hogstrom said DEC didn’t see running tourism operations as its business, but had ended up running the boat cruise on Yardie Creek in the Cape Range National Park by default.
“DEC provides permits and management but doesn’t normally run the businesses themselves and doesn’t necessarily have the experience to do so,” he said.
The tour is now in the enthusiastic and knowledgeable hands of husband-and-wife team Peter (Boxy) Maier and Mandy Francis-Maier, with Mr Maier leading the boat tour up the World Heritage listed area creek after running the tour for DEC last year.
Mr Maier said an expression of interest was put out about the business late last year and he and his wife were advised they were successful early this year, with the licence agreement being granted in March.
“It’s a great business venture and came at the right time for us,” he said.
The small business still retains links with DEC. Mr Maier provides daily statistics, including rock wallaby numbers, to both the DEC and the Cape Conservation Group. Mr Maier has lived in Exmouth since he was five years old and is able to pass on a broad knowledge of the history of the area. Yardie Creek has Aboriginal cultural influences as well as a wide range of wildlife and vegetation that includes mangroves, two osprey nests that are more than 100 years old and the rare black-footed rock wallabies that are found only in four places in Western Australia.
The end of the creek is frequently closed off to the ocean by a sand bar, but recently this has opened up.
“The creek opened up to the ocean about a month ago and I’m seeing changes almost every day as a result” Mr Maier said.
Tours run twice a day. They can be booked by phoning 0499 202 920.