23/01/2017 - 13:08

Seaplane day tours to Margaret River

23/01/2017 - 13:08

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A new tourism venture has taken flight, with sightseers now able to make day trips down south via seaplanes that take off and land on the Swan River, as a second operator continues a long-running battle to gain regulatory approval for a similar service.

Swan River Seaplanes will be able to take up to 12 tourists at a time to and from Margaret River.

A new tourism venture has taken flight, with sightseers now able to make day trips down south via seaplanes that take off and land on the Swan River, as a second operator continues a long-running battle to gain regulatory approval for a similar service.

Swan River Seaplanes, a subsidiary of Broome-based Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures, will be able to take up to 12 guests at a time on day trips to Margaret River, with a return flight costing $795 per head.

Once landed at the Margaret River airstrip, guests will then be taken on a tour of the wineries and local attractions by Top Drop Tours.

The plane will then take guests back to Perth, landing in the Swan River and docking at the Queen Street jetty in South Perth.

“For those who are time-poor or just want to experience a bit of luxury and see our southern coast in a different way, Swan River Seaplanes is a unique offering that I’m sure will prove very popular,” Premier Colin Barnett said today.

“Coupled with a surge in new bars, restaurants, accommodation and arts and sporting events, there are now more attractions than ever to make Perth a great holiday destination.

“In recent years we’ve seen Segway tours, walking tours, wildlife encounters and adventure activities such as indoor skydiving added to the list of things visitors can see and do in WA.”

While it’s good news for both SRS and Western Australian tourists, another seaplane operator has been trying to tap into the same market for nearly six years.

Red Baron Seaplanes (affiliated with Catalina Adventures) is about to embark on a trial to route seaplanes from Barack St jetty to Rottnest Island, but its hopes of providing a similar service to Margaret River remain in limbo.

Red Baron owner Mack McCormack told Business News one of the biggest hurdles he faces is a restriction on the amount of flights he can legally charter in a day.

“Our current licence is limited to eight flights per day and we’ve asked (the Department of) Parks and Wildlife why that’s the case, and this is the second two-year trial licence we’ve been given and we have had no issues with those trials,” Mr McCormack said.

“We wanted to bring on a second aircraft and we wanted to increase the number of flights but we were refused, so we’re quite surprised to hear that Parks and Wildlife has approved a second operator when we’ve been at this for nearly six years.”

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