If climate scientists, elected members of the Greens party and anyone who ever owned a hacky sack during University are to be believed, we humans are all bastards!
Our insatiable lust for energy, food and fuel is cooking the planet, destroying the ozone and extinguishing all manner of animal species left, right and centre.
These are indisputable facts, but some people refuse to believe them. These nay-sayers are the sorts of people who would rather listen to that googley-eyed, beak nosed, cretinous twat Lord Monckton crap on about “natural heating cycles” then admit that they are a part of the problem, not the solution.
These people are not many, but they walk among us. Their folly might not be obvious to them now, but one day it will be. But hopefully not to our costs. But just as surely as our every day habits are negatively affecting the environment, so too is the way in which we holiday and travel.
That’s where the eco-adventure tour has started to come in. We’ve made a selection of 10 eco-friendly adventures that fully deliver on all the things you’d expect of a holiday without damaging the beautiful, and at times, fragile ecosystems that they rely on for their businesses.
Ecosystems that you and I so often take advantage of, without thinking of the cost. Whether you’re looking for thrills and adventure or rest and relaxation we have a little bit of everything, and you can rest easy – they’re all green!
Sea Kayak Experience – South Coast NSW
Tell me more: The tranquility of the NSW South Coast makes this Sea Kayak tour an experience to remember. Take a relaxing paddle through the Tomakin and Broulee area as you pass cliffs, beaches, bays and even some curious seals, dolphins or whales.
Whether it’s your first time in a boat or if you’re a seasoned oarsmen your experienced, professional and friendly guides will help you to get the most out of your experience. Float with the crystal clear tides at your leisure, or push yourself to your physical limits.
You can choose from a range of snorkelling options, flatwater and sea kayaking tours with everything from large groups to small teams of threes and fours.
Lake Eyre and Outback tour – Lake Eyre, SA
Tell me more: This tour is the ultimate in bush experience, featuring an action packed itinerary of adventure activities. The four day small-group based interactive adventure takes you from the remote Oodnadatta Track to the beautiful Clare Valley wine tasting regions.
See national parks, historic towns, outback ruins and rarely visited desert areas. Not only do you get up-close-and-personal with the environment, but it also includes a two hour flight over Lake Eyre, an eco-boat cruise of the Spencer Gulf and a visit to traditional aboriginal art sites.
If trying native Aussie cuisine appeals to you, there will also be a stop to the Prairie Hotel. Try smoked kangaroo, camel mettwurst, wattleseed chicken and bush tomato chili jam.
The company have the Eco-Certified Nature Tourism badge, meaning their tours leave absolute minimal impact on the environment.
Cost: $1795 (includes accommodation, meals, 2 hour scenic flight and all tours)
Surf ‘n’ Slurp – Margaret River, WA
Tell me more: Centuries before surfing became the preserve of long haired men and women who peppered their conversation with words like “dude” and “gnarly”, the ancient Hawaiians invented a means of transportation that also happened to be great fun. The art of surfing was born.
To properly enjoy this tour you don’t need to be an expert; the excellent guides will be more than happy to show you the ropes. Chose between whether you want to surf or stand up paddle board (SUP) and get ready to get a little wet and wild.
This package includes a fully qualified guide and coach tour, transport to and from the Margaret River, lunch and drinks, equipment and wetsuits and of course, a healthy dose of fun in the sun.
Sunset Dreaming Tour – Darwin NT
Tell me more: The Larrakia people are the traditional landowners of Darwin Harbour and they’ll happily show you around their homeland.
The Sunset Dreaming Tour offers spear throwing on the beach, a didgeridoo performance as the sun sets, traditional craft, a visit to the elusive Fannie Bay sandbar and a tutorial for traditional fishing methods.
The cruise also offers salt water tucker tasting of the freshest produce, as well as transport to and from the docking area. You won’t want to miss out on this amazing cultural display… Just don’t go swimming in the water!
Shark Cage Diving – Port Lincoln, SA
Tell me more: If swimming with sharks is not on your bucket list, it’s about time you added it. This full day tour takes you from Port Lincoln to Shark Bay and on to Neptune Island, and right into the backyard of the sea’s most misunderstood creature.
What sets this eco-shark dive tour apart from the others is the use of environmentally friendly sound vibrations instead of berley to attract the sharks.
The crew blast music out into the deep and, trust us, it works an absolute treat. Believe it or not, the great white’s favourite songs seem to come from the discography of AC/DC!
You can choose to view the sharks from the safety of the boat above the water, or if you’re feeling more adventurous you can be lowered into the churning sea in a cage and experience the full adrenaline rush of seeing the majestic beasts swimming right in front of your eyes.
Either way you will remember this experience for the rest of your life!
Cost: $295. To upgrade to swim: $100 (if sharks are spotted)
Ocean Rafting – Whitsunday, QLD)
Tell me more: Whitsunday Ocean Rafting take you to the incredible Whitehaven beach, a one-stop relaxation destination with warm crystal clear waters and silica pearly white sand.
Enjoy a buffet lunch and guided national park tour, or just sit back and take in some rays. There are two different tour options to choose from with one being the northern end of the beach and the other to the south.
On the southern side, there is more time allowed to soak up the sunshine. On the northern, there is a chance to snorkel and explore the nearby coral reefs.
If you are keen on doing both, there is a discounted combined tour! They are the only tour company to have direct access to the Hill Inlet Beach, giving you the chance to observe estuarine stingrays and ghost crabs!
The company received an Ecotourism Australia Advanced Climate Change Innovator badge, not to mention their great work with the Eye On The Reef Program collecting and documenting marine life to help preserve the spectacular reefs we all love.
Turtle Bay Kayak Broome, WA
Tell me more: Combining Broome’s spectacular coastline, impressive tides, diverse marine life and thrilling rafting, the Broome Adventure’s Turtle Bay Kayak adventure is a must-do for any travellers keen to experience some salt water activities.
Travelling in brand new, state of the art kayaks means that this trip around the peninsula is perfect for all ages. You will be taken to the best swimming spots; where you’ll see rock pool marine life and amazing sandstone formation.
Just to top everything off, food and drink will both be provided for you. What you experience depends on the curried favour of the tides but you’re most likely to see turtles, with a possible chance of dolphins, manta rays and large schools of fish.
Cost: $70 per person, including courtesy pick up and drop off at your accommodation.
Glider flights – Sydney, NSW
Tell me more: Taking a fuel-guzzling flight might not sound like the most eco-friendly adventure, but after the plane climbs to your desired height, experienced pilots will turn off the engine and you’ll soar like a bird above the clouds.
The engine will be off for the rest of the flight as you soar across the Blue Mountains and the South West of Sydney.
The flight also includes an educational run-through of how the glider works and what exactly you’re in for. You’ll want to do it over and over again, or maybe even become a member!
Cost: Starting from $160 (depending on how long you want to go for)
Trees Adventure – Dandenong Ranges, VIC
Tell me more: Have you always watched obstacle courses on TV and thought they would be extremely fun?
Then this eco-adventure is exactly what you are looking for. There are five tree-top quests, filled with daring tasks up to 12 metres in height.
But don’t worry; there are options for those a little less experienced with Tarzan-style tree swinging. Some of the tasks you will encounter include: wobbling on monkey bridges, jumping on aerial skateboards, rope balance challenges and crawling through barrels.
Flying foxes also intertwine through stunning canopies showing off rare trees such as a 150 year old Algerian Oak, and the gigantic 60m high Sequoia.
The company is committed to helping preserve the historical site as a forest for many years to come. They will continue to carry out necessary cleanups of weeds, dead trees and overgrowth.
Sunset-Sunrise Eco Tour – Sydney, NSW
Tell me more: Starting off with a candle-lit sunset dinner at Wattamolla lagoon, this tour is something out of the ordinary. Full of surprises, entertaining guides and stargazing, you will learn the art of night-photography whilst moonwalking.
Hear captivating stories about the Aboriginal and European heritage whilst taking in the nocturnal flora and fauna.
You then have a choice to do a guided 2km trek to Wattamolla, or continue to ethereal creek in the littoral rainforest. This is an adventure under the moonlight not to be missed.
Following a pleasant sleep listening to the ocean, watch the sunrise through Providential Cove lighting up the waterfall. Finish the tour with a feast before heading back to reality. These guys are so eco-friendly they even use 100 per cent recycled brochures.
Bruny Island Eco-Tour – Hobart, TAS
Tell me more: Starting in Hobart, you will have a guided bus tour to Kettering before boarding a ferry to the stunning Bruny Island. Get ready for a three hour wilderness cruise exploring the most interesting and breathtaking parts of the coastline.
Some of the natives you may get to meet along the way include: Australian and NZ fur seals, killer whales, bottlenose dolphins, white sharks, little penguins, sooty oystercatchers and sea eagles.
Whilst cruising on the fast open-top boat, the friendly and fun tour guides will point out cliff faces, sea-caves and lush forest. Lunch options on the beach are available upon return, to soak in the last of the experience.
A proportion of every ticket goes to the Tasmanian Coast Conservation Fund, which helps manage the national parks, coastlines, marine reserves and wildlife.
Photos: Adventure Bay Charters, TSurf N Slurp, ourism Australia, TNT Images