Australia and New Zealand are well known as incredible travel destinations to explore wildlife and other wonders of nature. This quick guide brings you some ideas that inspire environmentally sustainable and culturally responsible tourism in both countries.
With a growing number of people becoming more environmentally conscious around the world, ecotourism has slowly started to gain popularity. This unique form of travel allows tourists to freely explore and enjoy the wonders of nature, without damaging the local environment in any capacity.
Naturally, this type of tourism is incredibly popular in the most naturally diverse and sustainable countries in the world, most notably New Zealand and Australia. To that end, here are some of the best ecotourism experiences these beautiful destinations have to offer:
1. Take in the uniqueness of Wai-O-Tapu
The Rotorua area in New Zealand is now quite famous among avid travelers for its geothermal and volcanic features, with Wai-O-Tapu being the most well-known spot. This breathtaking attraction offers a number of unique natural experiences, making it the ideal destination for a nature-oriented trip.
Here, you can visit the amphitheater for the most spectacular view of the Lady Knox Geyser in all its magical sprouting glory. Then, you could move along to the biggest mud pool in New Zealand and admire its distinct beauty, or even marvel at the gorgeous natural hues that can be found in the geothermal areas, such as Devil’s Bath and Champagne Pools.
2. Marvel at the Mount Cook landscape
Rugged scenery filled with stunning ice and rock formations, Mount Cook National Park features beautiful snow-capped peaks, serene blue lakes, as well as impressive, towering glaciers. Being among the 19 mountains incorporated into the national park, Mount Cook is actually the highest and among the most impressive mountains in New Zealand.
However, one of the most notable features of this national park is the Tasman Glacier, an awe-inspiring ice formation 16 mile (27km) long and 1950 feet (600m) deep, carved through the surrounding rock formations. From alpine hikes and mountain walks to glacier viewing, Mount Cook National Park offers a number of outdoor activities in some of the most breathtaking natural surroundings.
3. Soak in the marvelous allure of Fiordland
Located on New Zealand’s South Island, Fiordland National Park is dotted with glorious waterfalls, stunning mountains, as well as some of the most beautiful fjords in the world. Of course, the biggest attraction here are spectacular, steep-sided natural fiords, even though the area also provides some great spots for watching penguins, dolphins and fur seals.
Milford Sound is considered to be the most beautiful part of this area that simply looks glorious in any season, which can be explored with a calm cruise around the area, or even through the more challenging Milford Track hike, ideal for active nature lovers.
4. Experience the beauty of Fraser Island
Located approximately 200km north of Brisbane, Fraser Island is the ideal destination to include into any exciting Australian road trip. Simply find a safe and reliable car hire in Brisbane that offers an eco-friendly option, make your way through beautiful Queensland, and finish your wonderful road trip at Fraser Island.
The island offers a number of unforgettable ecotourism experiences, from breathtaking, towering rainforests to a rare strain of fascinating dingoes that are native to the area. Fraser Island is also brimming with pristine freshwater lakes formed between gorgeous sand dunes, while providing brilliant whale watching opportunities perfect for a unique and memorable vacation.
5. Embrace the culture at Kakadu
A vast, rugged and wild area located in Australia’s Northern Territory, Kakadu National Park is home to a wide variety of awe-inspiring wildlife, including around 60 mammal species, as well as over 280 different bird species. But this area might be best known for its unique natural wonders, providing four astonishing river systems, along with their basins, floodplains, estuaries, and the wonderful stone country.
What’s more, Kakadu is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site rich in Aboriginal culture, offering thousands of art sites for exploration. So, apart from being a beautiful area filled with natural biodiversity, Kakadu provides wonderful cultural experiences as well, making it an ideal spot for a family trip around Australia that’s focused on ecotourism.
6. Dive along the Great Barrier Reef
No discussion of ecotourism in Australia could truly be complete without mentioning the Great Barrier Reef tour. Being the biggest coral reef system in the world, it’s made up of over 900 islands and around 3,000 reefs, and is often considered to be among our planet’s most spectacular natural wonders.
The Great Barrier Reef is home to an astounding variety of marine life, including cetaceans, mollusks, sea turtles, sharks, and stingrays, as well as over 1,500 different species of fish, all of which you can freely explore while diving or snorkeling through this beautiful area. With wonderful species of birds, frogs and crocodiles situated on the surrounding islands, the Great Barrier Reef is truly a haven for wildlife that simply shouldn’t be missed.
Being rich in diverse natural wonders, while also making constant efforts to preserve their beautiful surroundings, New Zealand and Australia evidently offer some of the best and most distinct ecotourism experiences that should undoubtedly be on every eco traveler’s bucket list.