For travel that doesn’t hurt the environment, look no further than these ECO-certified attractions.
For more and more Australians, sustainability is increasingly at the forefront of our travel decisions. Knowing which activities, tours and accommodations are actually eco-friendly is no easy feat, so we’ve done the hard work and found the top ECO-certified attractions in Australia. Ecotourism Australia’s ECO-certified experiences are backed by a strong, well-managed commitment to sustainable practices, so travellers are sure to find high-quality nature-based tourism experiences no matter what their interests are. Here are some of our favourites.
We’ve also covered the top ECO-certified tours and accommodations in another article to help you round out your sustainable travel options.
1. Australian National Botanic Gardens, ACT
Nestled on the foothills of Black Mountain, the Australian National Botanic Gardens is the perfect family day out. Only minutes from Canberra’s City Centre, the gardens hold one-fifth of Australia’s diverse flora amongst Canberra’s bushland setting – you’ll also find a number of breathtaking walks nearby.
Visit the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra. (Image: VisitCanberra)
2. Bendleby Ranges, SA
Bendleby Ranges is an award-winning, ecologically sustainable adventure tourism destination, only 3.5 hours from Adelaide. It is a working sheep station where you get to explore by walking, biking, horse riding or taking exhilarating drives over two rugged mountain ranges.
Enjoy a campfire at Bendleby Ranges. (Image: Isaac Forman)
3. Overland Track, Tas
It’s a six-day walk, travelling 65 kilometres through the heart of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The Overland Track from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair is a true wilderness walk that travels through spectacular dolerite mountains, near beautiful waterfalls, through a variety of fascinating ecosystems and close to Tasmania s highest mountain, before finishing at Australia’s deepest lake, Lake St Clair.
The Overland Track is a must-do. (Image: Emilie Ristevski)
4. Alice Springs Desert Park, NT
In the space of a few hours discover the secrets of the desert. See and hear the stories of plants, animals, and local Aboriginal culture at daily guide presentations. Witness free-flying bird presentations, see rare and endangered animals and discover many of the secrets of the Central Australian deserts at the Desert Park.
Go for a bike ride at Alice Springs Desert Park. (Image: Tourism NT and Travis Deane)
5. NoTraces Bushwalking Australia, NT and WA
NoTraces Bushwalking Australia was established in Darwin in 2020, but the foundations were conceived back in 2017. NoTraces Bushwalking currently provides small group expeditions to remote areas of the Northern Territory and the Kimberley.
6. TreeTops Adventure, NSW
TreeTops Adventure offers a unique experience high in the treetops at five different locations in NSW. Each park has an amazing array of adventures on offer for people of all ages featuring flying foxes, climbing nets, monkey bridges, and many more. These eco-friendly adventure activities are great for fitness, exhilarating to attempt and gentle on the environment.
Enjoy flying foxes, climbing nets, monkey bridges at TreeTops. (Image: Destination NSW)
7. Iris Lodge Alpacas, NSW
The Iris Lodge Alpacas farm experience on the Central Coast appeals to people of all ages. You’ll meet the herd of 60 alpacas to hand feed them their alpaca mix and carrots and spend time meeting the alpacas, interacting with them, and learning their personalities.
Hang out with the resident alpacas. (Image: Destination NSW)
8. Werribee Open Range Zoo, Vic
Werribee Open Range Zoo is full of amazing animals living in a wide, open savannah. Discover grazing rhinos, giraffes and zebras, see cheeky monkeys and cheetahs at play and get close to a pride of lions.
See the animals roam around. (Image: Visit Victoria)
9. Phillip Island Nature Parks, Vic
Phillip Island Nature Parks is a self-funded, not-for-profit conservation organisation that delivers ongoing environmental, conservation, research and education programs through the successful operation of its five ecotourism attractions including the iconic Penguin Parade, Koala Conservation Centre, Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Antarctic Journey at the Nobbies and Wild Oceans EcoBoat tours.
The penguin parade is such an amazing sight. (Image: Visit Victoria)
10. Busselton Jetty, WA
Extending 1.8km over Geographe Bay, the heritage-listed Busselton Jetty is the longest wooden-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. Visit the Underwater Observatory, ride the Jetty Train, or take a scenic walk.
Visit the heritage-listed Busselton Jetty – the longest wooden-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. (Image: Tourism Western Australia)
11. Yanchep National Park, WA
Known as Perth’s natural and cultural meeting place, Yanchep National Park offers daily tours of Crystal Cave, and Aboriginal cultural experiences are available on weekends and public holidays. Enjoy BBQ and picnic facilities, scenic walk trails, koalas, kangaroos and an abundance of other native animals and plants.
12. Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk, WA
The Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk is an internationally recognised nature-based tourism attraction within the Walpole-Nornalup National Park in Western Australia. Featuring a stunning 600-metre walkway that reaches 40 metres above the forest floor into the tingle forest canopy, visitors can enjoy a first-hand experience.
Go 40m up at The Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk. (Image: Tourism Western Australia)
13. Dirk Hartog Island, WA
Situated in the pristine World Heritage Area of Shark Bay, Dirk Hartog Island offers its guests one of Australia’s most unique holiday experiences, offering a large array of activities including historical 4WD day tours, self-guided nature walks, snorkelling, marine safaris, watching Australia’s last sunset and much more.
Participate in water activities at Dirk Hartog Island National Park in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. (Image: Tourism Western Australia)
14. Tamborine Mountain Glow Worm Caves, Qld
Located on top of Mount Tamborine in the Gold Coast Hinterland, the Tamborine Mountain Glow Worm Caves is a purpose-built cave, created from scratch to protect the local species of glow worms, Arachnocampa Flava. Unrestricted tourism to glow worm sites has led to drops in local populations, and the sanctuary provides an alternative way to see glow worms without harming wild colonies.
15. Daintree Discovery Centre, Qld
Daintree Discovery Centre is a multi-award-winning interpretive facility that provides a wonderful introduction to the iconic Daintree Rainforest. With its Canopy Tower, spectacular Aerial Walkway, Bush Tucker Trail, Cassowary Circuit and Jurassic Forest, visitors can explore every level of the rainforest from the ground to the top of the trees.
The Daintree Rainforest is part of the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics of Queensland. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
16. Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, Qld
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is a world-first in environmental tourism that takes you on an amazing experience over and deep into Australia’s World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics of Queensland. The Skyrail experience is a must-do attraction spanning 7.5kms over the Daintree.
The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway has a great view of the Daintree. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
17. Paronella Park, Qld
On 14 acres alongside a magnificent waterfall, Jose Paronella built castles, tunnels, fountains, and bridges, as well as his own hydroelectric generator at Paronella Park. He opened his spectacular pleasure garden to the public in 1935.
Paronella Park has been operating since 1935. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
18. Daydream Island, Qld
Following an extensive redevelopment, the Living Reef makes its return to Daydream Island in an even bigger and better capacity than before, with the freeform coral lagoon wrapping 200m around the central building and holding over 1.5 million litres of water. Join the team of marine biologists and over 100 species of marine fish, rays, coral and invertebrates such as starfish, sea cucumbers and crabs.
The Living Reef at Daydream Island is a big attraction. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
19. Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, Qld
The Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre is a voluntary-based, non-profit organisation dedicated to the rehabilitation of sick and injured turtles. It runs completely on donations from local businesses and the public and a team of volunteers.
20. Capricorn Caves, Qld
Capricorn Caves is an award-winning eco-tourism attraction located just 23km north of Rockhampton. The property offers everything from easy walking with wheelchair access to heart-pumping adventure experiences.
The Cathedral at Capricorn Caves is an amazing place to visit. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)