Responsible tourism is ingrained in Signature Experiences of Australia’s character. It’s all about eco-friendly, relaxed luxury, from fine dining and carbon-neutral stays to wildlife conservancy and socially inclusive tours.
Great Walks of Australia meets a strict set of green credentials, including ecotourism certification and reviews of sustainable operations in sensitive environs. At the Classic Larapinta Trek in Comfort, in the Northern Territory, guests retire to exclusive eco-friendly wilderness campsites each night.
A new five-day hiking experience, the Scenic Rim Trail in Queensland’s beautiful Main Range National Park, is led by luxury-retreat brand Spicers, and supports local programs focused on preserving local biodiversity.
Protecting Australian fauna is at the heart of the experiences offered by Australian Wildlife Journeys.
Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours’ East Gippsland Wildlife Journey takes travellers on a four-day wilderness hike north-east of Melbourne. Guests can also help to set up a wild koala research project after recent bushfires.
Exceptional Kangaroo Island’s Flinders Chase Focus experience is a chance to participate in wildlife surveys and camera checks at a local wildlife refuge, before taking a guided tour of Flinders Chase National Park to see sea lions and fur seals.
Great Fishing Adventures of Australia members operate in some of the most lightly fished and diverse fisheries in the world and understand the vital importance of education and protection of these marine environments and marine life. Sustainable fishing methods and education are key to their operations.
Kimberley Coastal Camp in Western Australia is accessible via helicopter and float plane, so guest numbers are kept low. The camp operates on a catch-and-release basis, only keeping fish destined for the camp’s dining table each day.
In North Queensland, East Coast Angling participates in the Reef Guardian program, led by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to ensure guests can take part in eco-conscious sportfishing, followed by a luxury stay on a 24-metre mothership.
Josh Hutchins, better known as the Aussie Fly Fisher, advocates sustainable fishing practices. This knowledge is shared on his trips, where travellers can gain a deeper understanding about the importance of catch-and-release methods and using barbless hooks.
Leading Australian wineries in the Ultimate Wineries of Australia collective are experimenting with organic, biodynamic, and low-intervention practices, and have become shining examples of what the future of wine could look like. At Gemtree Wines, an award-winning winery in South Australia’s McLaren Vale, guests learn how the winery uses natural pest control and solar energy, and harvest in sync with the moon. The Ecotrail through regenerated native bushland is a must-do, with the option of adding a five course, wine-paired picnic. Voyager Estate is blending world-class wine with sustainable practices to protect its Margaret River region locale, south of Perth in Western Australia. Voyager has already planted more than 70,000 native trees to rehabilitate cleared farmland, and has a thriving kitchen garden.
The Luxury Lodges of Australia collective invites guests to contribute to local environmental preservation and regeneration efforts, as well as enjoy experiences that support and enrich local communities and cultures. With the awe-inspiring backdrop of the Elder Range and Wilpena Pound in the Flinders Ranges, Arkaba’s 60,000 acre private wildlife conservancy is home to an incredible array of native bird and wildlife and a remarkable conservation story. The true luxury of Arkaba is that guests enjoy the exclusive use of the 1850’s homestead, 60,000 acres of ancient and unique land, and expert guiding allowing complete immersion in the story of the bush.
In the UNESCO-listed Blue Mountains, northwest of Sydney, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley was the first resort in the world to achieve internationally accredited carbon neutral status when it opened in 2009. Expert field guides lead unique activities for all ages, including wildlife monitoring and tree planting and an opportunity to participate in WomSAT, a research program dedicated to the preservation of wombats.
In the Northern Territory, near Uluru, Aboriginal-owned Maruku Arts has been contributing to cultural sustainability for more than 30 years, helping preserve Aboriginal painting, drawing, and carving by sharing these traditions with visitors. The outback art centre offers hands-on dot-painting workshops guided by a local Anangu artist.
In Port Stephens, Sand Dune Adventures combines uniquely cultural preservation with quad-biking in high-energy tours of Stockton Beach sand dunes, the largest coastal sand dunes in the southern hemisphere. Led by local Aboriginal guides, the tour offers exclusive access to Aboriginal land and guides’ stories.
In Sydney, Dreamtime Southern X leads guided walking tours that showcase the city’s ancient heritage, with 29 clan groups belonging to the metropolitan area, referred to collectively as the Eora Nation.
Produced by Tourism Australia
February 23, 2021