South Australia is a great choice for nature lovers offering plenty of wildlife and nature experiences around the state. Here are eight ecotourism experiences in South Australia to get you started.
The Eyre Peninsula has a selection of 4WD and bushwalking tours that offer interaction with rescued native animals, views of stunning coastlines, national parks and local produce tastings.
Sustainability policies include environmentally thoughtful actions such as keeping numbers of participants low (maximum six), observing wildlife from a respectable distance and deflating tyres to minimise erosion.
Protecting Kangaroo Island’s pristine wilderness has been owner Craig Wickham’s passion for many years. Often called Australia’s Galapagos, the island’s diverse landscapes is home to a Noah’s ark of creatures like sea lions, fur seals, kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, echidnas and platypus.
Exceptional Kangaroo Island is an ecotourism leader and was involved in the pilot for Ecotourism Australia’s accreditation scheme.
Produce is locally sourced. Food is served on real crockery using real cutlery, wine glasses, linen napkins and flannel hand-towels rather than disposables.
Located 430km north of Adelaide, Rawnsley Park Station is a 3000-hectare station adjoins the Flinders Ranges National Park. The Smith family’s sheep station is now a pristine paradise for nature lovers.
Guests stay in luxury eco-villas designed by Adelaide architect, Paul Downton, a specialist in sustainable architecture. Constructed from rendered straw bales, the eco-villas feature a host of green design techniques including passive heating and cooling, LED down lights, recycled timber and an innovative Biolytix waste water treatment system.
The installation of a nine-kilowatt solar array in earlier this year has seen the properties achieve near energy-neutral status.
Take a wine tasting holiday with a conscience at this family run wine and ecotourism business in the picturesque Adelaide Hills. Sinclair’s Gully is one of only two cellar doors in the country to achieve advanced certification from Ecotourism Australia.
There are over 150 species of native plants and 66 species of native birds, many endangered or rare. Initiatives include the conservation of the rare candle bark ecosystem, weed and feral animal control programs, sustainable biodynamic vineyard management practices and a zero waste 100% recycling program.
5-Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island
Surrounded by nature, Southern Ocean Lodge has spectacular views. The service is faultless and the food top class.
The lodge can arrange for guests to experience Kangaroo Island through a personalised experiential itinerary, with naturalist guides providing expert interpretive experiences.
6-Banrock Station, Kingston on Murray
Good Earth, Fine Wine is Banrock Station’s slogan. The Banrock Station Wine & Wetland Centre offers wine tasting against a spectacular backdrop of vineyards and restored wetlands. The centre is also a showcase of sustainable architecture and uses solar power and renewable materials. There are self-guided interpretive walking trails and menus showcasing regional produce.
7-Bird Australia Gluepot Reserve, Waikerie
Commune with nature at Australia’s largest community-managed and operated conservation reserve.
The reserve is run entirely by volunteers. Situated 64km from the River Murray in South Australia’s Riverland, the 54,000ha reserve has 18 threatened species of birds.
There are also reptiles and bats. Biodiversity conservation is achieved through land management, scientific research, environmental education and sustainable ecotourism.
The endangered Australian sea lions are agile, friendly and cute. And they make great swimming companions for those seeking a unique nature experience.
The remote fishing village on the Eyre Peninsula is also a haven for fishing, bush walking and bird watching.
The tours raise awareness of the importance of improved fishing practises and sustainable fishery.
Future business plans include carbon-offsetting the construction of their existing infrastructure and changing their main motor to a cleaner burning fuel delivery system.
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