Back Country Bliss Adventures, Daintree Rainforest, Queensland © Back Country Bliss Adventures
7 great holiday ideas for the conscious traveller
Keep your carbon footprint small with these unforgettable (and sustainable) trips in Australia.
On the wildly beautiful Dampier Peninsula in Western Australia, you can learn more about sustainable living from an Aboriginal point of view. Join Bardi man Terry Hunter on a Borrgoron Coast to Creek Tour as he guides you through the intricate ecosystem of the mangroves and mudflats. Embrace the Bardi people’s special relationship with land and sea as you forage for oysters and learn about traditional ways of caring for the earth. Stay overnight in the farm's eco-friendly cabins, just a stone's throw away from the ocean.
Lady Elliot Island is one of the best places on the Great Barrier Reef, and in fact the world, to swim alongside majestic manta rays. The island has achieved Advanced Ecotourism Certification, so you can feel even better about experiencing magical moments as huge rays glide around you. You can even support conservation work by downloading the Eye on the Reef app to share photos that assist scientists.
Love penguins? Then you’ll adore Phillip Island. Less than two hours south of Melbourne, the beauty of the island alone is well worth the drive. Here, you can watch the island’s famously cute little penguins waddle to their burrows after a day of fishing – plus, your entry fee supports world-leading conservation research. Be sure to check out the koala reserve to see sleepy marsupials in their natural habitat.
In recent years, many regional communities have taken to beautifying their water towers and grain silos, offering travellers a unique reason to support small towns off the tourist trail. Enjoy a lunch or coffee, browse the shops and have a chat with the friendly locals. With more than 30 painted water towers scattered across the state, Queensland is a great place to start. Follow the Australian Silo Art Trail for a road trip to remember.
Renowned for its celebration of ethically sourced produce, South Australia’s compact capital of Adelaide is the perfect foodie break. Tour the minimal-intervention wineries of the Adelaide Hills, such as Mt Lofty Ranges. Be sure to stop in at Applewood Distillery and Unico Zelo to learn about their sustainable approaches to making gin and wine. Dinner at Press is a must for dishes made with seasonal South Australian produce.
With a daily cap on visitors among Lord Howe Island’s many initiatives to preserve its pristine environment, this UNESCO World Heritage-listed island takes sustainability seriously. Renowned for its untouched beaches and subtropical forests, this remote island is the ultimate destination to lose yourself in nature. Scuba dive, hike, paddleboard, spot rare birds and enjoy the eco-luxury at Capella Lodge.
The Port Douglas Daintree region is the world’s first locale to receive ECO Destination Certification. Boasting both the world’s oldest living rainforest and the world’s largest reef, it’s no wonder many of the experiences on offer here aim to preserve the environment. Take to the reef with Sailaway to explore the delicate ecosystem alongside marine biologists, drift through the rainforest on an inflatable board and sleep among the canopy in a sustainable treehouse.