Nature is everywhere, from national parks and bushlands right through to the rural and urban landscapes we live in, and that it is why it is so important, regardless of where you live in Australia. Not only is nature essential to our health, wellbeing and quality of life, our economy depends on it and Australia’s nature is so unique and diverse that we have a responsibility to ourselves and the rest of the world to protect and conserve it.
For some people, immersing themselves in nature and basking in its beauty is enough to remind them of the importance and value of both nature and conservation. However, there are many who are looking for more hands-on, interactive and/or educational experiences.
That’s why we are grateful to have so many certified operators who are passionate about and committed to conserving and protecting Australia’s unique biodiversity and fragile environments (and why we love introducing you to them!). Going above and beyond to offer diverse experiences that help visitors connect with nature in different ways and settings, encouraging people to get involved and enhancing their desire to care for nature, helps to build and share the knowledge needed to improve its care around the world today and for future generations to come.
So, for those who are interested in conservation and would like to get involved, or who perhaps don’t know a lot about it and would like to find out more, we’ve put together a list of some our certified operators who are active in this space. We’ve highlighted the ways they are currently engaging in conservation, and how you can support them and/or get involved.
1. Taronga Conservation Society Australia
…is committed to the conservation of native species, with active involvement in breed and release programs, habitat recovery and the rehabilitation and release of injured or orphaned wildlife. This business also helps to protect and sustain wildlife in its natural habitat and provides support for work in the field through national and international conservation partnerships, field grants and fellowships. Visitors can explore and be inspired by its growing team of scientists, researchers and keepers – with over 20 daily keeper talks and shows and up-close animal encounters for visitors to enjoy across both the Taronga Zoo in Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.
2. Phillip Island Nature Parks
…are world leaders in little penguin research and also study other wildlife including Australian fur seals and coastal birds. Phillip Island provides visitors with a wide range of immersive and educational environmental experiences, including self-guided viewing options and ranger-guided tours that’ll bring you up-close and personal with the island’s marine and coastal wildlife. As a not-for-profit organisation, your visit will directly contribute to the island’s conservation efforts. And you can help even more directly by volunteering with community locals and others from all over the world to assist with their revegetation and monitoring programs!
3. Pacific Whale Foundation Australia
…is an international NGO (non-government organisation) and world pioneer in sustainable ecotourism, on a mission to protect the oceans through science and advocacy and inspire environmental stewardship. This NGO shares its love of whales and their ocean home through research-based whale watching ecotours, from which the profits support whale and dolphin research, marine education for children and ocean conservation programs in Australia and around the world.
4. Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre (CTRC)
…is a voluntary non-profit organisation dedicated to the rehabilitation of sick and injured turtles. Endeavouring to help in all efforts to rescue turtles in distress, CTRC shares its knowledge of turtle rescue, rehabilitation and research, raises awareness of issues faced by marine turtles through positive publicity and teaching, promotes humane and sustainable practices through cooperation and education and seeks to positively influence government policy relating to turtle conservation and the marine environment. Join CTRC on a guided daily tour and learn about not only the history of the organisation but the journey to recovery that injured or sick turtles undergo prior to their release back into the ocean.
5. Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA)
…make it easy for people to care for nature by volunteering on one of their many conservation projects across the country. With the help of volunteers from all walks of life, CVA restore, rehabilitate and manage land to support the recovery of threatened species and conserve Australia’s unique plants and animals. CVA focus on protecting and enhancing nature in places where people need it most: close to home, along coasts, in waterways, in urban places and in community spaces.
6. Birds Australia Gluepot Reserve
…is Australia’s largest community managed and operated conservation reserve, which has successfully combined the elements of biodiversity conservation and enhancement through land management, scientific research and monitoring, environmental education and sustainable ecotourism. The reserve works hard to involve visitors in its conservation efforts where possible and inspire environmental stewardship through its bird observatory, visitor centre, environmental education courses and guided tours of the reserve.
7. Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park
…is dedicated to helping save Australia’s endangered wildlife from extinction. Working hard to not only keep and breed rare animals but interact with programs aimed at saving them in the wild, it also makes it easy for visitors to learn about conserving native wildlife such as dingoes, barn owls and spot-tailed quolls with its ‘conservation in action’ wildlife shows. These shows are fun and educational, with the animals getting up to their clever antics and the keepers providing lots of insightful details about the different species and their conservation status.
8. Zoos South Australia (Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Zoo)
…are involved in a wide range of conservation programs including captive breeding, habitat restoration, biological surveys, conservation education, wildlife disease management and so much more! All of these are funded by the Zoos SA Conservation Fund, generated from revenue taken from the zoos’ behind the scenes animal experiences, donations and fundraising efforts throughout the year.
9. Crystal Creek Meadows
…is a luxury accommodation passionate about improving its property’s biodiversity through the rehabilitation of cleared, devastated land and regeneration with native species. Actively encouraging its partners, community and guests to participate, Crystal Creek Meadows engages in projects such as tree planting on the property to support its ongoing efforts to provide habitat for native birds and wildlife. A beautiful activity to share and perhaps to mark a special occasion or memory!
Together we have the power to create a world where people and nature can thrive in harmony for generations to come. So, travel wisely, choose thoughtfully and be sure to check out our Green Travel Guide for more information on our certified operators and their incredible conservation efforts.
[Header image: Taronga Zoo]
The GSTC Industry Criteria has been translated into Portuguese (Portugal) and is available to download in the Criteria Translations section. Os Critérios GSTC para a Indústria estão já traduzidos para português (Portugal) e disponíveis para descarga na secção Criteria Translations. O Congresso Anual do GSTC (GSTC2019), tem lugar de 4 a 7 de dezembro […]
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Relax aboard Sandytown River Cruise’s ‘Balonne Barroo Andoo’ and let their experienced guide, Brett Schweikert, take you on an unforgettable cruise down St George’s mighty Balonne River.
Born in St George, Brett started his career as a local mechanic before leaving to travel extensively throughout Australia and study environmental engineering at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba. Eventually he succumbed to the magnetism of St George and the Balonne River, and returned to his old stomping ground in the hopes of finding a way to combine his passion for the environment, St George’s local culture and people, and his own laid-back lifestyle. And boy did he ever!
Now working as a well-informed local guide for Sandytown River Cruises, Brett operates a wide variety of river tours including a leisurely afternoon cruise and a full moon evening cruise.
On every tour he provides guests with succinct and informative commentary, teaching them about the beautiful Balonne river, its cultural aspects and the area’s local flora and fauna – which consists of over 230 species of birds, including pelicans, cockatoos and eagles!
So why not pack some drinks and nibbles (it’s BYO!) and experience the beauty and tranquillity of a riverside cruise, with EA’s newest Nature Tourism certified operator. There’s so much to see and learn about this fascinating place in the outback!
“This is an enjoyable comfortable and surprisingly inexpensive way to. Brett, our well-informed local guide, left us with a much better understanding of this special place than we could have got anywhere else.”
– Delma (Guest).
Home to Kosciuszko National Park and our nation’s highest peak, Australia’s alpine region – which includes New South Wales’ Snowy Mountains and Victoria’s Alpine National Park – is a wonderland of rivers, mountains, ski fields, caves, and glacial lakes – offering spectacular scenery and warm hospitality all year round.
Photo: Kosciuszko Thredbo Backcountry Adventures
If you’re a skier or snowboarder you’re probably familiar with hitting Perisher, Thredbo, Mt Hotham or Falls Creek’s slopes during those winter months, but why not elevate your next visit and let one of our passionate and professional certified operators take you on an unforgettable cross-country alpine adventure? No queues, no ski passes, no crowds, no waiting, just 100% action! Activities range from alpine photography and snow shoeing, to back country tours and avalanche courses.
Photos: K7 Adventures and Kosciuszko Thredbo Backcountry Adventures
For those of you that aren’t a fan of the cold, during the warmer months you can also explore the region by bushwalking and hiking. In fact, many say it’s one of the best ways to see the unique landscape – with its awe-inspiring glacial lakes and rugged wilderness fully exposed.
With tours to accommodate all ages, skill levels and group sizes, our operators know exactly where all the best spots and hidden gems are, and their helpful guides are there to point them out to you. This way, you get to take in the amazing views and soak up the fresh alpine air, without the stress of getting lost or missing out on anything!
Photos: Kosciuszko Thredbo Backcountry Adventures
And if two wheels are more your style, our operators also offer mountain biking tours for beginners right through to advanced riders. There are even caving, climbing and abseiling tours available for all you super adventurous people out there! And if you’re wanting to do something truly special, why not ride through the alpine wilderness on horseback, we’ve got operators for that, too!
Photos: Kosciuszko Thredbo Backcountry Adventures and Reynella Rides
So, let our Snowy Mountains and Victorian High Country certified operators show you the ropes and give you the best, most unique alpine experience possible. To make things easier, we’ve put together a list for you:
If you want to not only explore but learn more about this beautiful part of the country, you can’t go past Gippsland High Country Tours – they’ve been offering guided nature tours and walking ecotours for 32 years, so you can bet your bottom dollar they know this area inside out! They’re also happy to share their favourite secret spots that other visitors would never find.
Photo: Gippsland High Country Tours
K7 Adventures is a boutique eco-adventure tourism company specialising in tailored trips into the Snowy Mountains in any season of the year. Join them on a sunset snowshoe or ski tour, or enjoy an interpretative wildflower and ecology walk, or even a climb and abseil.
Open 365 days a year, Kosciuszko Thredbo Backcountry Adventures offer a number of awesome activities including skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking, backcountry tours and lots more!
With Reynella Rides you’ll experience the unsurpassed beauty of Kosciuszko National Park on horseback. You will visit majestic mountains, rolling plains, cool mountain streams, carpets of wildflowers and historic huts that are all part of the Snowy Mountains experience.
Photo: Bogong Horseback Adventures
On the Victorian side, Bogong Horseback Adventures has been offering award-winning horse-riding tours for over 25 years, from two-hour trail rides to multi day packhorse tours. With a strong family history and connection to the land, Bogong Horseback Adventures is proud to maintain the good old Aussie tradition of sleeping in swags under the stars and sharing meals and stories around the campfire.
If that doesn’t sound like quite your style, save yourself hours of wasted travel time by spending a few nights right in the centre of all the action with the unique and environmentally sensitive Ecocrackenback. Located within the Crackenback region of the Snowy Mountains, comprising of 18 luxury “habitats,” Ecocrackenback offers great access to walking trails, trout fishing in the nearby Thredbo River, horse riding, skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking.
Speaking of trout fishing, while you’re in the area, make sure you stop by at Eucumbene Trout Farm in Rocky Plain. It’s a great place for a fun full-family outing, with trout fishing, farm tours and even a few highland cattle and alpacas to visit.
Oh, and if you happen to be flying in or out of Canberra, don’t miss the Australian National Botanic Gardens, either! It’s got the world’s most comprehensive display of living Australian native plants and there are lots of opportunities to grow your knowledge of our country’s fauna or simply just relax with a picnic on the beautiful green lawns.
Photo: Australian National Botanic Gardens
With so much to discover, don’t forget to pack your camera, folks! You’re going to want to remember it all and capture the spectacular 3600 views afforded by the country’s highest peaks.
For some more inspiration, check out our Green Travel Guide for further details on our ECO-certified operators, their experiences, tours, attractions and accommodation on offer.
Passionate about helping people connect, the Shire of Ashburton is working hard to develop sustainable communities that are rich in business and tourism opportunities across the Pilbara, Western Australia (namely Onslow, Paraburdoo, Tom Price and Pannawonica).
One of the shire’s bigger focus areas is improving collaboration and communication with stakeholders and assisting operators with general tourism development. It does this by offering support, networking and promotional assistance, as well as actively working with operators to develop new tourism products that are not only good for individual businesses, but also compliment the local communities and the Pilbara region as a whole.
Additionally, the shire offers workshops and learning tools to help keep the region’s operators informed on best practices and marketing trends – particularly digital marketing trends. It also encourages operators to join forces with one another, and to utilise the services provided by relevant organisations in the region – such as the Pilbara Tourism Association, the Chambers of Commerce and Pilbara Business Centre – in the hopes of creating stronger, more stable and resilient local economies.
The shire is committed to improving local business capacity in the region to ultimately make its communities more sustainable. We are happy to welcome the Shire of Ashburton to the Ecotourism Australia community as our newest Business Member.
[Photos: Shire of Ashburton Facebook]
World Travel & Tourism Council, UNFCCC and over 50 member CEOs call on sector to be Climate Neutral by 2050
#3 Stay in sustainable lodging Where you choose to sleep at night also plays a key role in being a green traveller. This part requires some legwork and research, however. “Hotel sustainability practices have grown tremendously in recent years, especially through certification programs that follow international best-practice standards,” Bray said. The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) […]
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