New Kid on the Block – Tanja Lagoon Camp
Tanja Lagoon Camp (TLC) is a unique pocket of land on the edge of a coastal lagoon in Mimosa Rocks National Park on Australia’s Sapphire Coast. Over the last 100 years, this 40-acre private holding has been a saw-milling site, dairy farm and Bed and Breakfast. Since 1998 TLC’s owners, Sam and Loz, have repaired the damage done by over-grazing and logging that left 98% of the land in disrepair. Committed to restoring native habitats and helping others to connect with nature, TLC operates as a wilderness camp where environmental education sits alongside low-impact tourism.
Libby Hepburn, a partner in the business, is the founder of Atlas of Life in The Coastal Wilderness — an initiative to build a biodiversity atlas in the region relying on the data provided by citizen science. TLC is in the process of creating a citizen science hub so that the community and visitors can get involved. By planting over 7000 new saplings across the property, TLC has also created a vital wildlife corridor — partly to secure the future of the endangered Long-Nosed Potoroo. This commitment to conservation has won regional attention; TLC has been selected as a release site for arboreal marsupials like sugar gliders.
The guest experience at TLC revolves around taking inspiration from sustainable living and nurturing an appreciation of wild places. With experience working for the National Outdoor Leadership School, founders of the Leave No Trace movement, Sam and Loz educate staff and guests in environmental sensitivity. Four of the six planned safari tents have been built using local craftsmanship and timber — in consultation with the Local Aboriginal Land Council to ensure minimal impact and opportunities for Aboriginal People. Although there is no restaurant onsite, guests can enjoy locally-sourced breakfasts of organic muesli, Tilba Milk, Wild Ryes coffee, sourdough, local honey and eggs — if the resident chickens are laying well.