Whether you dream of visiting the Great Barrier Reef or the penguin colonies on Kangaroo Island, Australia is a top destination for nature lovers. Unfortunately, when hordes of fellow nature lovers also visit these wild spaces, it can take a real toll on the planet. Fortunately, ecotourism is a popular trend in Australia and with a bit of common sense it’s easy to find transport and accommodation that cater to the green-friendly crowd.
Choosing a Responsible Mode of Transportation
If you’re trying to make up for the carbon footprint of your flight to Australia, you can look at more environmentally-friendly forms of transportation to get around the country. With its vast spaces and remote locations, this will depend on your itinerary. Ferries, buses, trains, and other forms of public transport are ideal, particularly within cities. You’ll find that many Australian cities have made a commitment to sustainable transport, and can take advantage of options like the solar-powered busses in Adelaide. However, if you’re planning a road trip into the outback it may not be possible to get there without a car of your own. You can peek at local listings sites like Motoring to find a hybrid or fuel-efficient diesel model to minimise your emissions. Think about carpooling or teaming up with likeminded travellers through a rideshare service like jayride.com.au or catchalift.com.
Leave no Trace when Camping
There’s nothing like sleeping under the stars in Australia, with its vast skies and gorgeous scenery. Many campsites have their own rules depending on the natural climate and resources, which are worth reading before you stay. In more remote locations, try to camp on established sites or durable surfaces that you won’t damage by pitching a tent. Keep your campsite as small as possible, a bit removed away from rivers or lakes, and wash dishes with biodegradable soap. Try to leave no trace on the natural environment, whether you’re taking a day hike or staying the night. This means not taking anything away with you, as well as not leaving anything behind.
Stay in an Eco-Lodge
If you’re looking for something a bit more upscale, think about staying in an eco-lodge. These are located throughout the country and offer sustainable housing in diverse natural settings. You’ll find a full list at ecolodges.com.au, but one notable option is the Hidden Valley Cabins in North Queensland. These rustic cabins are powered entirely by solar energy. The Grampians YHA Eco Hostel in Victoria is also powered by solar energy, collects rainwater, and offers a great starting point for abseiling, rock climbing, and other outdoor adventures. No matter what type of accommodation you choose to stay in, you can do your part by reusing towels, turning off electric devices when you leave the room, and recycling.
Seek Out Local Food Sources
Rather than travelling all the way to Australia to eat imported food from Europe, enjoy the locally caught game and seafood and see what you can find in the markets or farm stalls out in the countryside. Many restaurants specialise in local, home-grown food that not only tastes delicious, but leaves less of a footprint.
By following a few simple steps, you can reduce your impact when travelling in this gorgeous and diverse setting.