This is a very special edition of the Inala newsletter as it marks two special occasions in Inalaland: our 25th birthday and the 5th anniversary of the opening of our Museum and Jurassic garden (both, coincidentally and unintentionally on 31 March!).
The last quarter of a century has seen many changes at Inala from its inauspicious beginnings when we first opened Inala Cottage as guest accommodation. In those days, I was still working as a marine biologist at the Australian Antarctic Division. The early years saw offerings of property tours and an Antarctic slide show and Bonza the Antarctic Husky who retired from active duty at Mawson station, joined the Inala family. His main role was to greet guests with great enthusiasm (as much as a 9 year-old who had been living in Antarctica all his life could manage anyway) and he became quite a celebrity here. The business then grew in response to demand and by 1996 there was unfortunately no time left for Antarctica and I stayed here on Bruny Island full-time, working solo and extending the tours to around Bruny Island and then around Tasmania.
Emma McLeod joined the Inala team in 2005, not quite knowing what she was getting into, but being told it was some sort of ‘tourism stuff’ and we chugged away, building up the business until the rest of the team started joining us and building up to the 20 or so team members we have now.
Over the years, Inala has expanded to offer private and group tours around Australia and over the last couple of years, we have extended further to several global destinations. All through the life of the business, the Inala ethos has stayed the same: our guests are our friends and we take great pleasure in exploring fascinating areas and sharing amazing natural history experiences with them. We aim to support and align ourselves with businesses and tour companies with similar values. Our profits go towards securing the now 1,500 acre property here at Inala, its resident plants and animals, particularly those threatened species that call Inala home, such as the Forty-spotted Pardalote (very dear to my heart as I have been working to build up the numbers here for the past 32 years), Swift Parrot and a variety of raptors to name a few.
We are proud to share the Inala property and its natural treasures with you and delighted at the amazing growth of the Jurassic garden. The ideas keep flowing and its anyone’s guess where our journey will take us over the next 25 years. Thank you one and all for enabling the growth of the business and allowing us to protect at least our special part of the natural world.