Latest news and insights from various sources relating to UN Sustainable Development Goals.


Ecotourism Australia’s inaugural ECO Think Destination Forum will be held jointly on Gumbaynggirr Country by Bellingen Shire and the Coffs Harbour City Council from the 22nd – 25th of March, bringing together regional stakeholders to discuss sustainable destination management.

The event, supported by WWF-Australia and Destination North Coast New South Wales, is Ecotourism Australia’s first major event focused solely on destinations, building on the organisation’s growing work with councils and regions across Australia through its ECO Destination Certification program.

Ecotourism Australia Chair Dr Claire Ellis said that the event was a great opportunity for destination representatives to come together and share knowledge, be inspired and connect with representatives from other destinations also taking a more sustainable approach to their destination management. With a capped attendance of approximately 60 people, the forum is designed to be a two-way conversation about action and implementing change in region.

“We are really excited about our destination forum,” she said. “Since launching our ECO Destination Certification program in 2018 and seeing our first destination achieving certification that same year, we now have 18 destinations involved in the program and two of them (Douglas Shire and Coffs Coast) certified.

“As international borders reopen, it is even more critical for us to respond to the growing consumer demand for sustainability and quality nature-based destinations. We now have a globally accepted framework that demonstrates the value of a whole-of-destination, continuous improvement approach; with councils, tourism organisations, protected area management agencies and the local community working in partnership for the long-term benefit of the environment, residents and visitors.”

Topics to be addressed during the forum include: (1) nature and tourism as allies; (2) ecotourism, community and culture; (3) a business environment where ecotourism thrives, and (4) sustainability is in demand, now what?

The forum will be attended by Ecotourism Australia’s new CEO, Elissa Keenan, as well as most of the Ecotourism Australia board of directors. Guest speakers will include Tourism Australia’s Head of Sustainability, Penny Rafferty, and Ecotourism Australia member Clark Webb of Gumbaynggirr Giingana Freedom School.


For more information about the forum, visit



Media contact: Lina Cronin, Communications Manager: 0422325488 / [email protected]


It takes dedication and passion to pave the way for a sustainable future. By beginning their ECO Certification journey, tourism operators can ensure they are putting in place effective and ethical sustainability practices for the longevity of their operation and the conservation of the natural environment. Here are the tourism operators who completed their criteria and achieved certification in February 2022!


Ellwood Motorcycle Tours (Cairns, Tropical North Queensland Region, QLD)

Motorbikes driving on dirt road on a grassy hill

Photo credit: Ellwood Motorcycles Adventures

Explore, escape to, and discover the wonders of some of Australia’s most iconic landscapes with recently ECO certified Nature Tourism Ellwood Motorcycle Tours

Ellwood Motorcycle Tours run small group motorcycle adventure tours in a range of destinations from the lakes and alpine forests of the Victorian High Country to the tropics of Far-North Queensland to the cattle stations and natural springs of the Northern Territory.

With an emphasis on exploring iconic Australian sites, visitors are provided the opportunity to admire the beauty of the landscape whilst learning how to care for it. Environmental education, waste minimisation and commitment to local culture are at the core of their business ethos.

Click here to check out their upcoming tours or book your own. 


Wild Cave Tours (Mole Creek, Launceston and the North Region, TAS)

Water in rocky cave

Photo credit: Wild Cave Tours

Tasmania’s Wild Cave Tours are carving out their place in the ecotourism industry.

Having just achieved Ecotourism certification, Wild Cave Tours offer ‘mild’ and ‘wild’ tours to Mole Creek’s World Heritage listed caves. Tours are restricted to small groups, giving visitors the chance to personalise their experience; with options ranging from easy walking passages to climbing and squeezy caving and inclusions such as cave photography, glow-worms and adventure challenges.

Environmental and cultural interpretation are at the core of Wild Cave Tours’ caving experiences and provide visitors with the opportunity to actively collaborate in conservation efforts. Wild Cave Tours aim to reduce their environmental impact through continuous innovation and by caring for the surrounding land to increase its resilience.

Don’t miss out on visiting this unique World Heritage site – book a tour now!

Explore Australia Tours (Melbourne, VIC)
Bus on beachside road

Photo credit: Explore Australia Tours

See Victoria like never before with Explore Australia Tours who recently achieved Nature Tourism Certification for their range of southern Victorian tours. With a wide range of options available, you can explore the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas on their sightseeing tours, enjoy a dip in the Peninsula Hot Springs or waddle along with the little Penguins on their French and Philip Islands tour. Alternatively, if wining and dining is more to your taste, you can indulge in one of their food and wine tours or take part in their High Tea on the Sea experience.

Explore Australia Tours has partnered with Greenfleet to offset their carbon emissions through a native reforestation program. Additionally, environmentally friendly practices, such as minimising paper usage and recycling, are encouraged for their visitors and staff and tour group sizes are limited to ensure their environmental impact is reduced.

Discover more on their Facebook and Instagram.


Cover photo: Explore Australia Tours