Innovation That Matters

After-dark rainforest tours using night vision goggles

Travel & Tourism

Spotting wildlife can be challenging enough on a daytime tour of the Australian rainforest, but at night the difficulty is compounded many times by the need for disruptive flashlights. Aiming to get around that problem, Australian tour company Vision Walks has begun offering after-dark tours using military-style night vision goggles. The company’s Night Vision Bushwalk allows visitors to view nocturnal wildlife such as possums, pademelons, bandicoots, frogs and glow worms without disturbing them with bright lights. Rather, the Byron Bay-based tours of Nightcap National Park equip patrons with the specially designed goggles, which allow wearers to see in the near-infrared spectrum that’s normally invisible to humans. Animals and other sights then become visible in a monochromatic green image without blinding or disturbing the animals. Pricing on the 3.5-hour Night Vision Bushwalk is AUD 99 per adult. There are a few other examples of night vision technology being used in tourism — in Florida’s Naples Zoo, for example — but it’s by no means widespread. Nature tourism, meanwhile, is growing at a rate of between 10 and 12 percent globally, according to a 2006 report from The International Ecotourism Society. How long before night vision tours become widespread…? Spotted by: Emma Crameri



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