Million-dollar transformation for North Star’s Marine Discovery Centre

Eco-tourism - fun and education at its best

A new era has begun for North Star Holiday Resort in New South Wales with the opening of its new state-of-the-art Discovery Centre.

The environmental learning facility at Hastings Point is now open to the public and resort guests on Saturdays and during school holidays.

Guest speaker, John Dee

The Launch

The new Marine Discovery Centre was launched at an event in late March, where Smart Money host and environmentalist, Jon Dee was a special guest speaker.

Dee was instrumental in the banning of plastic bags in supermarkets and the introduction of single use bags in some States. He also co-founded Planet Ark with Pat Cash and National Tree Day with Olivia Newton-John. Jon shared his inspiring vision for a sustainable future with guests at the launch.

About the Marine Discovery Centre

The Marine Discovery Centre is designed to inspire and educate. It aims to help people, young and old, to understand and care for the aquatic environment, its inhabitants and vital eco-systems, and learn about the unprecedented challenges of climate change, marine litter, plastic waste, pollutants and fishing.

There is also purpose-built space within the Centre for lectures, seminars, social and business events and group gatherings.

Marine Discovery Centre Educator and passionate environmentalist, Kerrie Trees, says it is up to every person on the planet to be the voice for micro and macro fauna and flora that have no voice.

“Through this Centre, we can continue to encourage the young and the old, schools, communities and governments to take up the challenge and accept responsibility for our environment.

“Thanks to Ian and Diana’s generous gift to the community and future caretakers of the planet, hearts and minds will continue to change and become empowered with newfound knowledge.

“We aim is to teach people, especially younger generations, to have a voice for the marine environment and be proud to use it,” said Kerrie.

Eco-Tourism Certification

The launch of the new Marine Discovery Centre coincided with the announcement that North Star had been awarded the highly regarded Eco-Tourism Australia certification, which is Internationally recognised through the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

Eco-Tourism designs and delivers certification programs for tourism products and destinations to assure travellers that certified accommodation providers have a strong commitment to sustainability and quality. North Star achieved its status with more than 50 environmental or sustainable initiatives and is one of only two holiday parks in NSW to achieve Eco Tourism certification. -more-

For the past 40 years, North Star owners Ian and Diana Beadel have been committed to minimising the resort’s carbon and human footprint for the sake of the environment and sustainable tourism. This is evident by the multitude of eco initiatives at the resort, along with the one-of-a-kind Marine Discovery Centre, which has been making significant contributions to environmental education since 2008.

The History of the Marine Discovery Centre

The history of the Marine Discovery Centre dates back 60 years, when Marine Biologist Ted Brambleby first began collecting marine specimens. The passionate environmentalist first shared his displays from the boot of his car in the ‘60s, driving coastal roads and stopping to educate beachgoers, scuba divers, snorkellers and like-minded ocean lovers along the way.

In 1999, Ted joined forces with teacher and business partner Kerrie Trees and created the unique opportunity to host camps and day visits for students, teachers, community groups and holidaymakers at Hastings Point Caravan Park.

In 2008, proprietors of North Star, Ian and Diana Beadel, allocated space in their resort’s ‘Seascape Building’ where Ted and Kerrie could set up their marine specimens and displays. The generous owners provided the venue for a token rent of just $1 per year.

Fast forward to 2021 and Ian and Diana Beadel have funded the latest refurbishment at a cost of $1.3M to ensure the longevity of this unique environmental learning facility.

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