Sustainable experiences are at the forefront of the travel industry, reshaping the way travellers engage with culture, wildlife and the environment. Today, more than ever, tourists seek meaningful and responsible ways to explore the world, fostering a deep connection with their chosen destinations while also contributing to the preservation of heritage and the protection of the environment.
Let’s delve into four destinations that exemplify this transformative shift in travel –
- Embrace First Nations culture and engage with local communities:
Preservation and honour of historical and present cultural assets and practices are critical in encouraging sustainable tourism. The Tribal Warrior cruise in Sydney is one remarkable event that embodies this philosophy as the trip is a one-of-a-kind adventure because it is owned and run by First Nations people, providing an extraordinary maritime voyage.
Throughout the voyage, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about Aboriginal names and their meanings for major local landmarks, all while immersing yourself in the rich stories of Sydney Harbour’s Gadigal, Guringai, Wangal, Gammeraigal and Wallumedegal peoples. Another must-visit destination in Sydney is the Australian Museum, Australia’s oldest museum institution.
Remarkably, the Australian Museum has received recognition from the Federal Government for its commitment to climate action, having achieved a carbon-neutral status. Particularly noteworthy is the museum’s ongoing exhibition, “Changing Climate,” which not only provides valuable insights into climate change but also shares innovative solutions and accounts of its impact on Australia.
(Dwayne Bannon-Harrison, an Aboriginal guide, conducting a traditional welcome with a smoking ceremony as part of a Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness tour)
Tweed Eco Cruises offer eco-friendly river trips along the picturesque Tweed River during the day or after sunset. These cruises provide sumptuous snacking boards made entirely of locally sourced cuisine or a spectacular seafood buffet and alternatively, for a deep cultural experience, consider joining Dwayne ‘Naja’ Bannon-Harrison from Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness who takes on country tours around the picturesque NSW Far South Coast, giving visitors an intimate experience of Yuin Country.
2. Take a stroll with New South Wales’ beloved inhabitants:
Witnessing wildlife is an exhilarating travel experience, so it is vital that these excursions prioritise animal well-being and environmental preservation. To achieve this and enhance your chances of wildlife sightings, consider hiring a local guide or expert.
EcoTreasures offers conservation-focused coastal walks and snorkeling tours in Manly, while Wolgan Valley Eco Tours provides informative hikes in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. On the Far South Coast of New South Wales, Navigate Expeditions’ guides offer insights into the area’s biology and culture, along with local cuisine and eco-friendly electric vehicle transportation.
(Visitors delight in a kayaking tour organised by Navigate Expeditions in Kalaru)
For an up-close wildlife experience, Dolphin Swim Australia offers the opportunity to swim and snorkel with dolphins along Port Stephens’ coastline. After some training, you can enjoy a safe and supervised wild dolphin swim in the pristine waters of the Great Lakes Marine Park. Further North, in Byron Bay’s Marine National Park, Go Sea Kayak provides guided kayaking and snorkeling adventures, allowing you to encounter dolphins, whales and local green and loggerhead turtles. Notably, the tour operator also contributes $1 for each client to support marine-related charities, including Sea Shepherd.
3. Wander around Singapore’s fascinating Birds Paradise
Nestled within the Mandai Wildlife Reserve, Bird Paradise is an enchanting destination that beckons nature lovers and bird enthusiasts alike. As one of Asia’s largest bird parks, Bird Paradise has as many as 3,500 birds from 400 different species, flying in a magnificent open sanctuary.
(Visitors enjoying the open Bird Paradise in Mandai Wildlife Reserve)
The newly opened wildlife park also features varied immersive and naturalistic mixed-species habitats that reflect different ecologies from around the world. Mandai Wildlife Reserve is enhancing existing human-made, sustainable resources to protect the environment and conserve biodiversity in Singapore in fact, it is set to become carbon-neutral by 2024 so visitors can now discover a world of vibrant plumage and ecological wonders in Bird Paradise.
4. Mr. Bucket
A stone throw away from Orchard Road, Mr. Bucket promises an unparalleled, chocolatey adventure. This unique chocolate lifestyle destination is Singapore’s first ever waste-proof chocolate dispensary and even features a build-your-own chocolate slab station.
(Some scrumptious chocolate-based refreshments prepared with Mr. Bucket’s waste-proof approach)
Beyond its delectable culinary offerings, the establishment is committed to Singapore’s sustainability goals and employs a zero-waste approach to cacao fruit utilisation. Patrons can savour items from a selection of meticulously crafted beverages. This is a distinctive eco-conscious dining spot which serves one-of-a-kind refreshments- from cacao husk lemon tea to a must-try cacao-infused wine.