For the Australian tourism board, responsible tourism is high up on their agenda, having become an integral part of business decisions and planning. Meaningful stays, sustainable dining and preserving Aboriginal culture - discover sustainable Australian experiences, for the conscious traveller.
In Australia, the collective consciousness around sustainability is growing and zero waste or low impact travel is on the rise. From dining at eco-conscious restaurants and bars, to activities that benefit the wider community, sustainability and conscious travel is more important than ever.
For the Australian tourism industry, responsible tourism has risen further up the agenda and is becoming an integral part of business decisions and planning, with many companies announcing plans to reduce their carbon footprint and make holidaying more sustainable in the long term.
Conscious travellers that are considering the wider social and economic impact of their travels will find plenty of experiences that contribute to local communities and wildlife in Australia. Whether you engage in the works of a wildlife conservancy, discuss ancient art forms with local Aboriginal artists, or choose to shop with local producers, travellers can feel good about their next trip to Australia with these experiences.
Eco-conscious travellers looking to minimise their environmental footprint will find a huge range of eco-friendly accommodation options on offer, with operators providing responsible and educational stays, that respects both the natural environment and the traveller.
A stay at New South Wales’ Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley isn’t just about specular valleys and private pools, it’s also about the locally sourced dishes in the on-site restaurants and the property’s dedication to sustainability. A global leader in sustainable tourism, One&Only Wolgan Valley was the first carbon-neutral hotel in the world, and it continues to receive this certification from CarbonZero every year.
Or in South Australia’s rugged Flinders Ranges, Arkaba, home to just five guestrooms with stunning bush landscapes, invites guests to engage with the land, wildlife and their conservation work while enjoying the privacy of a luxury lodge. Or why not try the first solar-powered resort on the Great Barrier Reef, Elysian Retreat in the Whitsundays, offers guests a blissful escape in their all-inclusive retreat catering to maximum of 20 guests at one time.
Sustainable dining with sophistication
With a shift towards zero-waste, a wave of new sustainable restaurants are curating their menus to make the most of their seafood, meat and produce. The best part? They’re doing so in a classic Aussie, no-fuss style that showcases the food at its finest – fresh, simple and unpretentious.
Lake House, located 1.5 hours from Melbourne in Daylesford, is not only a luxury lodge with a consistently lauded restaurant and cooking school, but also a leader in nurturing an entire community of local producers all driven by sustainable practices.
Other great examples of sustainable and innovative Australian restaurants include: Nomad and Saint Peters in Sydney, and Pipit Pottsville in New South Wales, Attica in Melbourne Victoria, Fervor in Kakadu Western Australia and The Summertown Aristologist Adelaide Hills south Australia.
Get greening in Australia’s cities with urban farms
While the farm-to-fork concept isn’t new, city-dwellers and urban travellers desire to connect with agriculture and food production has led to an increase in Australian urban developers going green.
Touted as one of the most sustainable supermarkets in the world, Melbourne’s newest shopping centre, Burwood Brickworks, features a rooftop farm, renewable energy generation, and wastewater recycling system. After picking up souvenirs from the stores below, head to the rooftop Acre Farm and Eatery and help plant vegetables that, a few weeks later, will be consumed at the onsite restaurant. The sister site to Sydney’s Acre Eatery Camperdown, travellers can attend workshops, talks or get their hands at both Acre Farms.
Support Australia’s unique wildlife
Australia’s wildlife parks and sanctuaries play a vital role in conservation efforts for Australia’s native animals, meaning adding a wildlife experience onto your next trip can help to support these incredible creatures.
For those looking to directly support wildlife affected by the unprecedented summer 2019/20 bushfires, can take an active role in rehabilitating habitat to support wild animal populations through Australian Wildlife Journeys’ new series ‘Conservation Action Days’ running across multiple locations in July and August.
For those visiting Australia’s capital cities, support by stopping into the wildlife centres that have supported by treating animals affected by the bushfires including Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Zoos South Australia in Adelaide and Zoos Victoria in Melbourne.
Preserve Aboriginal culture
Australia is home to a wealth of unforgettable experiences, but few are as profound – or personal – as the journeys you can take into Aboriginal cultures. Warm, welcoming and generous of spirit, travellers are invited to share in and experience exquisite art, ancient pilgrimages and unrivalled adventures. To share, discuss and learn from Australia’s traditional custodians is a truly special privilege, and for many, a treasured spiritual connection with place.
In the Northern Territory’s heartland, near the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Uluru, Maruku Arts has been contributing to cultural sustainability for over 30 years, helping to preserve Aboriginal practises like painting, drawing and carving through sharing these traditions with visitors and local employment.
Owned by the Anangu people, here you can peruse an extensive range of paintings and distinctive punu (wooden carvings) by some 900 Anangu artists. Beyond the retail gallery, this outback art centre offers hands-on dot-painting workshops, where travellers will be guided by a local Anangu artist to learn about the traditional art form, symbols and tools.
North of Sydney in Port Stephens, Sand Dune Adventures combines cultural preservation with quad biking in their high-energy tours of Stockton Beach sand dunes – the largest coastal sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere. Lead by local Aboriginal guides, the tour gives travellers exclusive access to Aboriginal land, taking them on an unforgettable journey where they’ll learn about traditional Aboriginal food and history, as well as the cultural significance of the dunes.