With a little preparation and research before you go, you can travel Australia without doing excessive harm to the environment. There are plenty of eco-friendly activities, accommodation options and modes of travel to choose from. But travelling green doesn’t mean you experience less of Australia. In fact, it can help you to get a real sense of the country, its landscape, culture and the people who live there.
Here are our top tips for making the most of your eco-friendly trip to Australia:
Use Public Transport Or Cycle
Hiring a car or taking lots of flights whilst you’re travelling around Australia is not good for the environment. See more of the local countryside by using public transport. Australia’s train, bus and coach networks are all efficient and relatively comfortable. The country’s national coach operator, Greyhound, offers hop on and hop off passes for its most popular routes and a variety of other flexible ticket options. Alternatively, hire a bike and cycle some of Australia’s most exciting and interesting trails.
Don’t Just Plump For A Hotel
The availability of eco accommodation is growing. However, unless you know for certain that the hotel you choose is truly environmentally friendly rather than just paying lip service to what they perceive to be a current consumer trend, the environmental impact of a hotel stay can be quite shocking. Temperature control for each individual room, gallons of water used to provide fresh towels each day and tons of waste produced.
Finding genuinely eco-friendly accommodation is a good option for a green holiday but finding a local room to rent reduces your carbon footprint too and can also allow you to travel like a local, meet new people and get insider information about the best neighbourhood sights.
Get to Know the Wildlife
There are, of course, plenty of zoos around Australia that are best avoided. Even wildlife sanctuaries can sometimes occupy a bit of a grey area; if the animals are being used to attract visitors, it’s usually best to steer clear. The good thing about Australia is that, with vast natural parks and huge swathes of the country uninhabited by humans, seeing animals in the wild isn’t too tricky a task. If you travel to the right places, you can come across koalas, kangaroos and wombats all in their natural habitats.
Hit the Trails
With a good ordnance survey map, you can plan a journey on foot across whichever part of Australia you find yourself in. Getting away from roads, you will see spectacular scenery and experience the wilderness for which the country is famed. The right multi-day hike will take you through various landscapes – mountains, deserts and beaches – and offer plenty of camping accommodation along the way too.
Eat and Drink Local
Choosing locally sourced ingredients or eating at restaurants that use them is a good way to experience a little local culture and reduce the environmental impact of dining out. You could even try to find a dedicated eco restaurant, where sustainability is built into all aspects of the business. On another note, tap water all across Australia is safe to drink so take a refillable bottle rather than buying bottled water.
Be sure to do your research into any accommodation or tour company professing their green credentials before you book and get a good idea of distances before you plan any walking or cycling tours (visitors often find Australia to be much bigger than they realise!). Making your journey around Australia as green as possible will reduce your carbon impact and help you see the best of the country too. Happy travelling!
By: Madison Kennerly