With the incredible advancement of technology, travel has become the norm, and not a luxury, allowing more people to reach some of the most exotic parts of the world with ease. However, we cannot deny that travel has its own impact on the environment, especially if most of your travel involves flying and if your selection of accommodation and destinations isn’t too sustainable, to begin with. Thankfully, certain countries, such as New Zealand and Australia, have made great strides in transforming their travel offerings to become more sustainable and better for the planet.
These two countries have an abundance of natural wealth, stunning coastlines, wildlife that could take decades to discover, and cities that impress even the pickiest of urban globetrotters. All of these wonderful opportunities have a green edge, and while we’re still recovering from the pandemic and finding new ways to explore local sights, you can plan for your next Southern Hemisphere trip as soon as you possibly can. So, without further ado, here are a few suggestions for sustainable travel to add to your list.
Swim with the seals and dolphins in Kaikoura
A little over two hours outside of Christchurch, New Zealand, there’s a town by the name of Kaikoura – well-known for the residents’ eco-friendly mindset, and a wealth of wild creatures that have become endangered over the years. This is your chance to not just admire them from a distance, but to actually get to know them up close by swimming with them with a guide, in a safe environment, and thus support their conservation with your time and donations.
The main goal of these guided underwater tours is to raise awareness of the two lovely animals, the fur seals and dusky dolphins. While there, you’ll also learn about other species present in the area, including many seabirds and whales. You’ll get to know the local ecosystem, and meet and greet the underwater locals!
Camping done right in NSW
This particular Australian state is famous for many of its urban nooks, including Sydney. While you can definitely find sustainable accommodation in the city and simultaneously support a multitude of local businesses with your purchases, there’s an even more mesmerizing way to discover this stunning state: camping! This is a particularly rewarding way to explore for families whose kids would get the chance to fully discover the incredible natural wonders of Australia.
Make sure to check out a family trip around Australia guide with clear suggestions as to the most trustworthy camping spots and activities that are suitable for youngsters as you explore the region. Camping sites such as Swans Creek Crossing and Bretti Reserve are ideal for families on the go, and they’ll give you a unique opportunity to taste the finest natural escapades Australia has to offer, as well as nature reserves on river banks, beautiful and serene, perfect for swimming and barbecuing during the day.
Hike across the famous Milford Track
For people who genuinely enjoy walking and discovering new natural sceneries on foot, the world-renowned Milford Track in New Zealand is a perfect opportunity for you. For 150 years, this trail has invited many adventurers such as yourself to appreciate the treasure trove of greenery and wildlife. Keep in mind that this is not your typical one-day hike that will not tire you one bit.
On the contrary, this particular hike is 53km in length and it can take up to several days to complete the trail, all the while camping in the fresh air and fully immersed in the stunning vistas you’ll discover along the way. Although the scenery will be mind-bogglingly beautiful, remember to also look up – New Zealand is famous for the many stargazing opportunities and the amazing views of various constellations.
Face your fears and swim with a great white
We’ve all seen the many documentaries covering those shark attack stories that simply make you appreciate your own life even more, but also feel more respect for Mother Nature in all of its glory. For people such as Rodney Fox, a survivor of a shark attack, the life-changing experience actually inspired him to dedicate himself to shark conservation. If you’re curious about these marine beasts, and if you’d like to face your fears, too, then one of these underwater cage eco tours is a brilliant combination for your inner adventurer.
This adventure is not just a thrilling underwater expedition for yourself. It’s also a contribution to worthy great white shark research conducted by his organization. It’s a worthy cause, and one to help you abandon your comfort zone with one of the planet’s most feared creatures, while you battle your fears.
Both countries offer a plethora of sustainable travel alternatives to your regular, action-packed and not so green itineraries. With so much to see and so much to experience while you hike, dive, swim, or camp, you will not only get a chance to learn about the local flora, fauna, and immense cultural heritage, but also contribute to natural conservation.
Simply by taking part in these explorations and adventures, you’ll support sustainable organizations that raise awareness and invest in protecting the local natural wealth. Keep that in mind the next time you plan for an escapade to either New Zealand or Australia, and you’ll create an unforgettable experience while making a difference for the local communities and wildlife.
|Editor-in-Chief, Smooth Decorator|