BEST ECO EXPERIENCES FOR A RAINY DAY

They say those who think only sunshine brings happiness have never danced in the rain… or checked Ecotourism Australia’s Green Travel Guide! We’ve compiled our top picks the best rainy-day ECO experiences. Whether you’re going stir crazy with the kids or just looking to optimise on the quaint, peaceful weather, check these out!

FOR THE FAMILY

 Reef HQ

 Get your ocean fix indoors.

Sick of being hauled up at home as the tropics lives up to their reputation or the winter rains drizzle down? Check out the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium in Queensland. Townsville houses one of the best aquarium experiences you can find. Reef HQ aquarium provides visitors with world class living exhibits, complemented by thematic and interactive educational experiences, raising awareness and encouraging behavioural change in the community to help protect the Great Barrier Reef. Spark your child’s curiosity and maybe even learn something new as an adult about one of Australia’s most beautiful natural assets.

Find out more here.

Tribal

 The best cultural experience…on a boat?

Tribal Warrior allows you to explore the waters of Sydney harbour while learning about Australia’s cultural history. On this enclosed boat – which departs in all weather conditions! – learn the Indigenous names of significant Sydney landmarks and enjoy authentic cultural performances aboard the Mari Nawi (Big Canoe). Relax, eat, drink and learn with the family as you are accompanied by the friendly and welcoming Indigenous crew. This is a uniquely Australian experience for all ages.

Find out more here.

Dino

Where imagination gets to roam free.

The outback is the place of all dinosaur lovers’ dreams…and let’s face it, what kid (or kid at heart) isn’t a dinosaur fan? Australian Age of Dinosaurs is a multi-award-winning science-based museum and major tourist attraction. The site of a 150-herd dinosaur stampede some 95 million years ago, this is the place to go to see real life dinosaur footprints scattered over the rockface, telling the story of a terrifying encounter immortalised forever. The museum hosts daily guided tours through its facilities where you’ll view real life dinosaur artefacts as well as life sized statues. In addition, there are a multitude of activities for the entire family. Being in the outback, you can stay onsite and make a holiday of it! This museum allows for all things dinosaur and all things fun.

Find out more here.

FOR THE RETREATERS

Aquila 

Treehouse reset. 

Aquila Eco Lodges offers a unique accommodation, set amongst the Grampians National Park. Offering two treehouses and two loft houses, Aquila showcases a model of sustainable living without compromising on personal comfort. Beautifully set amongst the native bush to provide privacy for the guests and give them a sense of being ‘with nature’, the lodge is most well-known for its art and dining experiences, making it the perfect wet weekend getaway.  

Find out more here.

Billabong

Bathe on the balcony.

Who wouldn’t want to listen to rainfall on the billabong as you take a warm bath on your secluded balcony with a glass of wine? Billabong Retreat allows for this and so much more. Nestled amongst bushland, just a 50-minute drive from Sydney, you will experience fine dining, tailored yoga classes and a day spa everyone can enjoy. This is the perfect option if you’re looking to spend your rainy weekend indulging and recharging.

Find out more here.

Houseboat

Peace on the river.

Dakini Hideaways’ Bills Boathouse II is a little slice of heaven floating upon the Murray River. Escape the everyday, lose track of time, and listen to the rain fall in your own secluded house boat. This self-contained accommodation supplies you with everything you need for the weekend without you having to go anywhere. BBQ the fish you just caught, right there on the deck, and indulge in the seclusion and quiet, surrounded only by the sounds of nature.

Find out more here. 

For many more fun activities and accommodation in your area,  make sure you visit our Green Travel Guide!

9.2 million TUI customers stayed in hotels certified to a GSTC-Recognized standard (81% of TUI’s Hotels)

TUI 2018 Sustainability Report: 9.2 million customers stayed in sustainable hotels certified to a GSTC-Recognized standard (81% of the hotels owned by TUI Group) TUI Group has just released its 2018 Sustainability Report with the progress on their goal to increase the number of hotels with sustainability certifications to accommodate 10 million customers a year […]

The post 9.2 million TUI customers stayed in hotels certified to a GSTC-Recognized standard (81% of TUI’s Hotels) appeared first on Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

TUI 2018 Sustainability Report: 9.2 million customers stayed in sustainable hotels certified to a GSTC-Recognized standard (81% of the hotels owned by TUI Group)

TUI 2018 Sustainability Report: 9.2 million customers stayed in sustainable hotels certified to a GSTC-Recognized standard (81% of the hotels owned by TUI Group) TUI Group has just released its 2018 Sustainability Report with the progress on their goal to increase the number of hotels with sustainability certifications to accommodate 10 million customers a year by […]

The post TUI 2018 Sustainability Report: 9.2 million customers stayed in sustainable hotels certified to a GSTC-Recognized standard (81% of the hotels owned by TUI Group) appeared first on Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

THE USE OF SILENCE TO HELP PRESERVE A CULTURE

When we think about learning a language, it would go a little something like; memorising, playing with the words and phrases in your mouth and then attempting to reproduce the sounds and noises in a similar fashion. The crew at 1770 LARC! Tours, however, have a different approach when it comes to educating their guests about the local Indigenous culture and languages. The team believe an important way for guests to grasp the area’s heritage and cultural significance lies in silence.

Operating in the Gladstone region of 1770, 1770 LARC! Tours’ owner Neil Mergard found engaging the local Indigenous people more than important:

1770 LARC Tours reflection

“We are based in the town of 1770 [which is] mostly well known for Lieutenant James Cook landing. Our surrounds and monuments all mark this day. Persevering to keep the traditional language alive is the least we can do, and if we do not do it, this pure and special language will get lost in history,” says team member Jessica Cooke.

A product formulated with local Indigenous community input and permission from Traditional Owners is the 1770 LARC! Goolimbil Walkabout Tour – a tour dedicated entirely to the local Indigenous culture. With a tour guide from the Gooreng Gooreng people, guests receive a theatrical experience and learn about the wonderful culture that lived in the area sustainably for tens of thousands of years. It is important to 1770 LARC! Tours that local tales, Aboriginal beliefs, translations and traditional hunting and gathering techniques are shared in an effort to preserve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and cultures.

 Ecotourism Australia_Kids Fishing 1770LARC! Tours

The whole team at 1770LARC! Tours agree that they feel incredibly privileged to assist in sharing local Indigenous language and culture with visitors. They believe a special aspect of the tour is learning about the power of silence. What does this mean? During a section of the guided bushwalk, guests are encouraged to remain quiet, to listen and to observe.

“Everything you need to know about your surroundings will become obvious,” explains Jessica.

“A bee will direct you to a hive, birds will tell you about rain, a bubble in the water will show you a crab. Taking the time to observe all the smaller things like this increases the awareness and appreciation of the very roots of nature. For people to start caring and looking after the earth, they first need to appreciate it.”

 1770 LARC Tours Banksia

We couldn’t agree more!

With the rapid loss of many of our traditional languages, people are often unaware of the creativity, beliefs and depth of intelligence of Australia’s oldest culture. It is so important to understand the ways of a culture that has lived at one with nature for so many thousands of years, and by educating guests and encouraging them to utilise the power of silence, the 1770 LARC! Tours’ team has highlighted how environmental conservation and cultural preservation go hand in hand. 

 

[Photos: 1770 LARC! Tours]

THE USE OF SILENCE TO PRESERVE A CULTURE

When we think about learning a language, it would go a little something like; memorising, playing with the words and phrases in your mouth and then attempting to reproduce the sounds and noises in a similar fashion. The crew at 1770 LARC! Tours, however, have a different approach when it comes to educating their guests about the local Indigenous culture and languages. The team believe the best way for guests to grasp the area’s heritage and cultural significance lies in silence.

Operating in the Gladstone region of 1770, 1770 LARC! Tours’ owner Neil Mergard found engaging the local Indigenous people more than important:

1770 LARC Tours reflection

“We are based in the town of 1770 [which is] mostly well known for Lieutenant James Cook landing. Our surrounds and monuments all mark this day. Persevering to keep the traditional language alive is the least we can do, and if we do not do it, this pure and special language will get lost in history,” says team member Jessica Cooke.

A product formulated with local Indigenous community input and permission from Traditional Owners is the 1770 LARC! Goolimbil Walkabout Tour – a tour dedicated entirely to the local Indigenous culture. With a tour guide from the Gooreng Gooreng people, guests receive a theatrical experience and learn about the wonderful culture that lived in the area sustainably for tens of thousands of years. It is important to 1770 LARC! Tours that local tales, Aboriginal beliefs, translations and traditional hunting and gathering techniques are shared in an effort to preserve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and cultures.

 Ecotourism Australia_Kids Fishing 1770LARC! Tours

The whole team at 1770LARC! Tours agree that they feel incredibly privileged to assist in sharing local Indigenous language and culture with visitors. They believe a special aspect of the tour is learning about the power of silence. What does this mean? During a section of the guided bushwalk, guests are encouraged to remain quiet, to listen and to observe.

“Everything you need to know about your surroundings will become obvious,” explains Jessica.

“A bee will direct you to a hive, birds will tell you about rain, a bubble in the water will show you a crab. Taking the time to observe all the smaller things like this increases the awareness and appreciation of the very roots of nature. For people to start caring and looking after the earth, they first need to appreciate it.”

 1770 LARC Tours Banksia

We couldn’t agree more!

With the rapid loss of many of our traditional languages, people are often unaware of the creativity, beliefs and depth of intelligence of Australia’s oldest culture. It is so important to understand the ways of a culture that has lived at one with nature for so many thousands of years, and by educating guests and encouraging them to utilise the power of silence, the 1770 LARC! Tours’ team has highlighted how environmental conservation and cultural preservation go hand in hand. 

 

[Photos: 1770 LARC! Tours]

GSTC Destination Criteria Revision: 2nd round of public consultation

We are currently revising the GSTC Destination Criteria (GSTC-D). Earlier this year we held a public consultation asking for comments on the existing criteria and inviting recommendations for improvements and additions. We are most grateful to everyone for their contribution. Based on the consultation we have proposed revised GSTC-D criteria, accessible here. From mid-June, […]

The post GSTC Destination Criteria Revision: 2nd round of public consultation appeared first on Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

THE HUMBLE JOURNEY

You don’t just book The Frames for somewhere to lay your head, you book for the experience. Upon the peaceful banks of the Murray River in South Australia, you will find The Frames; a completely unique luxury accommodation experience. Often described as the perfect escape, The Frames offers beautiful architecture accompanied by an array of experiences; from flavour safaris to distillery visits, gondola cruises, massages and walking tours. The Frames has recently been recognised for their exceptional service within the industry and entered the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards Hall of Fame for Self-Contained Accommodation. This is an incredible achievement for a business with such humble roots.

Cathy and Rick 

Going back to where it all began, The Frames is the vision and cultivation of Cathy and Rick Edmonds. The pair simply set out to create a luxury lodge style of accommodation that would highlight and embrace the beauty of the Murray River. Being descendants of three generations of families in the Riverland, the Murray River is a place they love so deeply. When asked what the early day of The Frames was like, we got one answer…tough! Bringing such a grand vision to fruition proved difficult. However, setbacks, hidden issues and all the usual roadblocks made their resolve even stronger and still powers the exceptional product they deliver.

The pair’s passion project soon became the established world class luxury lodge it is recognised as today, and it is Cathy and Rick’s commitment to providing guests with a second to none experience and always asking questions about how to make The Frames more efficient and adaptive to market trends that sees success for this business. The couple often seeks advice from experts about how to do things better, proving their trust in others’ expertise. They are never afraid to ask the big questions, particularly about caring for the environment and how they impact on it. With roots so deep in the region, the humble duo give all the credit to their team and those who have assisted them along their journey.

Capture pool Frames

When asked about the Hall of Fame achievement, owners Cathy and Rick say:

‘Winning this award means we are doing something right. It is a reward for all of the hard work the team at The Frames has put in and continues to put in to create an experience for our guests that is second-to-none’

When you visit a place that is so tranquil and beautiful, it is often easy to forget the efforts and struggles it would have taken to get the product to where it is today. Cathy and Rick say the three biggest lessons learnt over the years include the need to continue the fight, never losing sight of the goal and where possible, taking a step back and looking at what you’ve achieved with pride.

The Frames Accomodation

The Frames have held ECO Certification for close to a decade, proving their commitment to the environment and the local area. They are able to present the Riverland in such a unique way that they highlight its important natural and economic value to their guests. We are so proud of this team and thrilled to have had them as a part of our family for so long. Congratulations, The Frames, on such a highly acclaimed award and keep up the amazing commitment!

For more information about The Frames, visit their website.