Two women are on a mission to help people experience the stunning secret places in our local area, whilst empowering everyone to leave a positive impact on the environment. Introducing Pittwater Eco Adventures…
Katie Brady and Bergia Kalmar started their social enterprise, Pittwater Eco Adventures, based the beautiful core philosophy to ‘Preserve Wild Places’.
“We started working on the idea at the beginning of 2020, right before Covid was about to sweep across the globe,” Katie shares. “We both left our full-time jobs and started conjuring up the dream job and lifestyle we wanted. The only things we knew at the outset were that we wanted to work outdoors, and we wanted to leave a positive impact on the places we worked.”
As outdoor adventurers, Katie and Bergia have witnessed the negative impacts of travel and tourism on the natural environment so they decided to create a tourism business that was focused on sustainability.
“The more our ideas developed, the more we realised that we were most excited about finding ways to bring communities together, give back to nature and actively fight to protect it,” Katie says. And Pittwater Eco Adventures was born.
The exciting and inspiring business offer a variety of experiences, which are based around the core values of adventure, conservation and community. These are:
- Accommodation at Pittwater Eco YHA – overnight stays a their small, heritage-listed eco-lodge, nestled into the National Park. Also, rental of their luxury campervan – the Eco Adventurer – on Camplify.
- Tours on Pittwater – half-day and full-day adventures which include stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, bushwalking and yoga. These tours start at their beautiful facility in Pittwater’s Morning Bay (accessible by ferry from Church Point only). Attendees get to experience the magic of the national park, whilst witnessing and learning about local wildlife and threatened ecosystems.
- Hands-On Conservation Workshops for schools and corporate groups – 2 hour, half-day or full-day programs in Manly involving beach and ocean clean-up by SUP, kayak, and snorkel.
- Multi-Day School Camps and Duke of Edinburgh Programs for Sydney schools – customised to include a range of outdoor activities, as well as opportunities to learn about the land and give back by way of clean-up, bush regeneration, native tree planting and Indigenous education.
- Fresh and Healthy Group Catering – for guests and tours, thoughtfully put together with minimal waste.
A minimum of 10% of profits from Pittwater Eco Adventure’s programs is redirected to their ‘No Place for Plastic’ campaign that aims to fight for a ban on single-use plastics in the community. This campaign is the first chapter of their ‘Look After Your Local’ campaign, which the pair launched in 2020. Through the campaign, Katie and Bergia hope to advocate for a safer and more inclusive community that can work together towards a brighter future for people and the planet.
“Our most poignant experience of being part of the Northern Beaches community as a business was when we started running our weekly clean-ups at Manly Cove,” Brady says. “Joining forces with Operation Straw and Ausmap, not only did we get to meet an already thriving community of people who share our passion of protecting the ocean and its marine life, but we realised the power we could have as a wider community of businesses, organisations, schools and individuals coming together. We see our business as one piece of a bigger picture and believe that if every piece plays their part well, then the opportunity for large-scale impact and change is possible.”
Since June 2020, Pittwater Eco Adventures and its team of over 700 volunteers have removed more than 800+kgs of litter from the beach surface and ocean floor.
“We’ve shifted a lot of our attention for 2022 toward educating high-school students, because we know they’re the next generation of innovators, voters, policymakers, politicians and business owners, and will ultimately be the most vulnerable to changes in our climate and environment,” Brady explains. “We want to share with them the knowledge we have and create an avenue for them to experience the potential they have to make a difference through the choices they make.”
It’s a truly inspiring local business, and you can support them (and reap the beautifully wild benefits) by booking in for one of their adventures, or passing their information along to your children’s school. Their adventures would also make the perfect day trip for interstate or overseas guests.
You can follow their inspiring journey via their socials below:
Pittwater Eco Adventures
Story by: Melissa Woodley