Looking for a sustainable tourism resort? Here are seven spots in Queensland.
1-Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, Lady Elliot Island
Snorkel, swim or dive at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. This pristine spot has some of the state’s most amazing marine life. Guests are encouraged to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the island’s waste management systems, water desalination plant and energy production. The resort’s solar hybrid power station has reduced its diesel consumption by 70%.
The only coral cay in the Great Barrier Reef with a rainforest, Green Island is a treasure trove of native plants and colourful birds. And the marine life and coral gardens are wonderful too. Green Island Resort produces its own water and power. Its ‘Be Green Go Green’ programme offers visitors the chance to learn about the island’s environment.
Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises operates day cruises to Green Island. The company is the first major Great Barrier Reef Marine Park tourism operator to reduce its carbon footprint to zero. They achieved this by reducing emissions and then offsetting the remaining emissions through Greenfleet Australia who in turn plant native trees as part of its Federal Government certified offsetting program.
3-Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, Cairns
There’s no better way to soak up the magnificent views of north Queensland’s World Heritage-listed tropical rainforest than to glide above it in a gondola. The 7.5km rainforest experience has won multiple awards for sustainable tourism.
4-Hidden Valley Cabins, Hidden Valley
North west of Townsville, Hidden Valley Cabins was the first resort in Australia to become carbon neutral. Guided tours of their solar energy system are as popular as hiking, nocturnal night walks and platypus tours. The staff have a passion for renewable energy and love to educate guests about their achievements and setbacks using the technology.
5-Thala Beach Nature Reserve, Port Douglas
The location is picture-perfect with breathtaking views of untouched coastline. Thala Beach Nature Reserve was constructed from natural sustainable materials in a low-impact style that blends into the landscape. Guests stay in timber bungalows built on stilts with balconies that offer sightings of birds, butterflies, possums and sugar gliders. Guided tours include a unique coconut tour, tree planting, nature walks and bird-watching.
6-Kingfisher Bay Resort, Fraser Island
As a World Heritage-listed destination, all developments on the world’s largest sand island have to be environmentally friendly. Kingfisher Bay Resort is an ecotourism leader with a host of eco-friendly activities. There’s a junior eco-rangers club for the kids and a back-of-house tour of the sewage-treatment plant, worm farm, herb garden and native-foods garden.
7-Heron Island, Heron Island
This Great Barrier Reef coral cay is home to thousands of noddy terns and shearwater mutton birds. Heron Island resort’s guest programme offers environmental education delivered in a fun and interesting way. The Junior Ranger Program teaches children about the environment and wildlife by allowing them to participate in hands-on activities.