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

Moab Area Travel Council Joins GSTC

Moab Area Travel Council Joins GSTC January 2020 – Moab Area Travel Council has joined the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) as a destination member. The Moab Area Travel Council (MATC), directed by State code, seeks to improve the local economy by promoting, marketing, and supporting recreation, tourism, events, and conventions in a manner […]

The post Moab Area Travel Council Joins GSTC appeared first on Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

GSTC Assurance Panel is the new name of the former Accreditation Panel

GSTC has changed the name to “Assurance Panel” from the former name of “Accreditation Panel” of its internal but independent body that plays the important decision-making roles for the Recognition of Standards (whereby a set of standards voluntarily requests GSTC to mark their standard as compliant with the GSTC Criteria) and to oversee the […]

The post GSTC Assurance Panel is the new name of the former Accreditation Panel appeared first on Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

GSTC Response to Stay Grounded Letter

This is GSTC’s response to the letter from Stay Grounded (December 6th), regarding the GSTC2019 Global Sustainable Tourism Conference in the Azores. 18 December 2019 Dear Mira Kapfinger and the Stay Grounded Nework, Thank you for expressing your views on our choice of location for our 2019 annual conference. We certainly respect your perspectives and […]

The post GSTC Response to Stay Grounded Letter appeared first on Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).


THE SOUTHERN GREAT BARRIER REEF offers some parts where visitors can discover places unseen. Large hard coral reefs and vibrant colourful fish and marine life like turtles and manta rays are plentiful. This fantastic hidden eco gem destination begins just a 3.5 hour drive from Brisbane driving north toward Mackay, or fly in to one of the five airports within the region.

There are many interesting areas to discover including the Carlo Sand Blow and beautiful coloured sands of Rainbow Beach and Fraser Island, where you can stay with the Ecotourism certified Kingfisher Bay Resort and explore the largest sand island in the world (World Heritage Listed) – Fraser Island, also known as K’gari, is home to the Butchulla Aboriginal people. Have one adventure after another with Fraser Dingo 4WD Adventures.

Moving north from there is Harvey Bay which is an excellent point for whale sighting. Hervey Bay Dive Centre, Whalesong Cruises, Blue Dolphin Marine Tours, Freedom Whale Watch and Charters, Pacific Whale Foundation Australia, Boat Club Adventure Cruises, Hervey Bay Whale Watch and Tasman Venture offer whale watching cruises, and all are Ecotourism certified.

 Whale Photo Credit Pacific Whale Foundation Australia   Breaching photo credit Travel and Wildlife Photography

Photo credit Travel & Wildlife Photography, Pacific Whale Foundation Australia

Bundaberg is next where you can stay at Ecotourism certified Kelly’s Beach Resort and enjoy the unique experience at Mon Repos Beach turtle encounter. From November to January when the turtles emerge on the beach to nest and from January to March form a pathway to the ocean for the baby turtles as they begin their dangerous journey into adolescence with only 1 in 1000 turtles making it to maturity. Hervey Bay Eco Marine Tours have Turtle Discovery Tours. 

The beautiful Lady Musgrave Island is where you can snorkel and scuba dive. Lady Musgrave Experience offer various tours including the Lady Musgrave Island Day Tour; Sleep on The Reef; Tobruk Experience and Australian Whale Experience.

  baby turtles photo credit Great Barrier Reef Foundation   Turtle photo credit Lady Musgrave Island

Photo credit Great Barrier Reef Foundation / Lady Musgrave Experience

The town of 1770 is next on this drive northward where 1770 LARC! Tours allow you to explore the Aboriginal heritage of this area. There are at least 44 Traditional Owner groupings with interests in sea country across the length of the Great Barrier Reef. Traditional Owners are making a significant and meaningful contribution to Reef protection already with more than 200 Indigenous rangers across the Reef catchments.  1770 LARC! Tours offer the Goolimbil Walkabout Tour, which is an authentic Indigenous hunting, gathering and tasting experience including a theatrical tour where you can learn about the wonderful culture that lived here sustainably for thousands of years.

Photo credit Australian Traveller  Photo credit 1770 Larc Tours

Photo credit Australian Traveller, 1770 Larc Tours

Gladstone is next where you can visit the stunning Ecotourism certified Heron Island Resort and explore another island. Or, if that’s a bit far out to sea, why not check out Pumpkin Island just off the coast of Yeppoon? You can rent a cabin or bungalow; or the whole 6ha island to yourself, with eco-friendly accommodation for up to 34 guests in 7 self-catering units powered by the sun. 

 Heron Island photo credit HeronIsland dot com   Pumpkin Island Coast Southern GBR article

Photo credit / Pumpkin Island

Then is Rockhampton with her stunning Sapphire Gemfields. At almost 900 km2, it’s one of the world’s largest sapphire fields, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere where sapphires and rubies are mined. Capricorn Caves have been open since its discovery in 1881. Visitors choose from a range of exciting and immersive experiences including daily wheelchair-accessible guided cave tours, wild caving adventures, abseiling, high ropes courses and team building initiatives. Winners of Tourism Australia Awards 2018 and 2019, you can stay in their lodges or cabins.  

    Capricorn Caves photo credit Capricorn Caves   Capricorn Caves photo credit Booking dot com

Photo credit, Capricorn Caves

Next is Mackay with its scenic and rugged park including rainforest, eucalypt forest, beaches, rocky headlands covered in hoop pines, and volcanic rock formations. Dense rainforest meets the ocean and fine sandy beaches fringe the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Mobs of wallabies meet on the beach to search for food dawn and dusk, making this iconic place much loved. The Yuibera Aboriginal people live in this region. Visit the Diversity boardwalk and Yuibera plant trail to understand the Yuibera people’s connection to this country, and their traditional way of life. Visitors can camp or stay in cabins. Stay at Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park to enjoy all of this!

Cape Hillsborough credit   

Cape Hillsborough / Photo credit 

For more information on our operators and what to do in the area, check out the links below or visit our Green Travel Guide.

Check out these for more amazing (certified) experiences: