Although it’s home to modern metropolises and laid-back surfing towns, many visitors are drawn to Australia specifically for its natural beauty. If you’re interested in getting out into the wild and experiencing Australia at its most pristine, you have a number of eco resorts and national parks to choose from. The best ecotourism destinations offer a blend of sustainable tourist infrastructure and abundant wildlife, ensuring that they’ll remain preserved for generations to come.
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1. Lord Howe Island
Regarded by many to be the most beautiful island in the Pacific, Lord Howe Island is accessible via a two-hour flight from Brisbane or Sydney. This lush, remote destination is significant for its untouched forest, which boasts a number of plants and animals that you won’t see anywhere else in the world. Nesting seabirds, a sprawling coral reef, and volcanic mountains help complete the package. The island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its natural significance.
Accessible by ferry or flight from the Australian mainland, a significant percentage of Tasmania is protected national parkland, with unspoilt wilderness to explore. This wilderness is surprisingly diverse for such a small island, including rain forests, mountains and isolated beaches. You can spot a number of rare species in Tasmania, including the famous Tasmanian devil as well as the elusive platypus and Forester kangaroo. To access the more remote spots, you may need a vehicle with four-wheel-drive and tyres like these options at Tyresales.com.au that are sturdy enough to handle deep tracks. This allows you to get deep inside the wilderness.
3. Gondwana Rainforests
Formerly known as the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves, the Gondwana Rainforests include some of the most extensive areas of subtropical rainforest on the planet. This large reserve is broken up into 50 separate smaller reserves, clustered near the Queensland and New South Wales border. This region is important ecologically due to the 200 rare or endangered plants and animals that call it home. Over 2 million visitors trek through the reserves each year, to spot colourful birds and view ancient waterfalls that have changed little over the centuries.
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4. Kakadu National Park
Another important national park, Kakadu is located a two-hour drive to the southeast of Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory. You can view everything from frilled lizards to dingoes, along with a staggering variety of rare bird life. The park covers over 20,000 square kilometers, with a blend of wetlands and craggy rock formations to explore. Admire indigenous rock art, or pack your tent and camp overnight to experience the park as it comes to life with nocturnal species.
5. Fraser Island
Notable for being the largest sand island in the world, Fraser Island is a veritable paradise with its warm climate, multi-coloured rocky cliffs, and soft white sandy beaches. The interior of the island is composed of tropical rainforest interspersed with clear, freshwater lakes. This makes it an especially attractive destination for eco-tourists, who can admire the unspoilt landscapes on a weekend getaway and sleep under the stars.
6. Great Barrier Reef
Finally, no list of ecotourism destinations in Australia would be complete without a mention of the famous Great Barrier Reef. As the largest World Heritage area in the world, the protected reef spans an area of 348,000 square kilometers. This includes mangroves, coral reefs, and islands dotted with powdery white sand.
From desert to tropical rainforest, these protected areas provide a relaxing getaway where you can enjoy nature at her finest.