Exceptional ecotourism development opportunities

Naturebank is a Western Australian government initiative that aims to prepare sites for development of quality environmentally sensitive tourism accommodation experiences in the State's national parks.  Naturebank will assist to position Western Australia among the world's premier ecotourism destinations.

Naturebank offers opportunities for suitably experienced business developers to create exceptional experiences that provide visitors with an appreciation of natural and cultural values, leaving them with lasting memories of our ancient landscapes and cultures. 

Naturebank provides a management structure to ensure projects achieve ongoing environmental and social outcomes. Naturebank projects will assist the State's regional communities through responsible tourism practices that provide training and employment opportunities and stimulate businesses by local purchasing of goods and services.

Similar successful ecotourism ventures already operate in Western Australian national parks including Purnululu, Karijini and Cape Range. 

Naturebank works by identifying potential sites in selected national parks and undertaking the pre-release development clearances required to present them to market as a Naturebank opportunity.  Sites are subjected to a rigorous clearance process and will not be progressed unless they meet strict environmental and cultural requirements.

Pre-release development clearances vary from site to site and may include flora and fauna surveys, heritage assessments and groundwater studies.  It also entails addressing park management plan requirements, site amenity, site access, infrastructure and consultation with the host community and traditional owners.

By Government ensuring that a Naturebank site has appropriate clearances and availability of the necessary infrastructure, any upfront uncertainty is removed and the business developer can proceed with confidence.

Release of Naturebank opportunities is by an open competitive process.  Expressions of Interest are invited from private sector business developers with a business model that embraces responsible tourism practice and demonstrates a commitment to the environment and Indigenous culture. 

After evaluation of the expressions of interest, proponents on the shortlist are then invited to submit a full proposal. The successful proponent will be offered a performance based lease with social and environmental performance conditions that reflect the values of the area.  In determining the period of lease offered to a successful proponent, consideration is given to the level of capital investment to be made and the operating risk. 

Naturebank is jointly managed through a partnership between the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and Tourism Western Australia. 

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions has the lead responsibility for protecting and conserving the State's environment on behalf of the people of Western Australia. This includes managing the State's national parks, marine parks, conservation parks, State forests and timber reserves, nature reserves, marine nature reserves and marine management areas.

Tourism Western Australia is responsible for the development, promotion and protection of Western Australia's iconic tourism experiences.

Naturebank is intended to be an ongoing program with new destinations and sites progressively added to the list of potential projects.

If you want to find out more about Naturebank or be notified about future site releases please register your interest to naturebank@westernaustralia.com