In the latest guest post on Amanda’s Wanderlust, Nicole Noel from HighStyleLife takes us on a tour of Queensland – the eco heart of Australia…
With increased awareness of the necessity of preserving natural treasures and cultural environments, tourists can and must experience new lands in a more responsible and respectful way.
The latest research shows that ecotourism and other forms of more meaningful traveling are gaining momentum through independent journeys and an increasing desire of new generations to step away from the mass-tourism offer. With that in mind, Australia is one of the most popular destinations to discover.
Ranked #6 on the Lonely Planet’s best traveling destinations in 2016, Australia is a land of indigenous culture, rainforests, reefs, and amazing biodiversity that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Queensland is an absolute winner with five places chosen as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Here’s what you won’t want to miss in the eco heart of Australia…
The most extensive rainforest in the world
Lamington National Park has an exceptional ecological importance. It’s part of Gondwana rainforest, the largest one in the world and an important World Heritage Site. Lamington is home to many interesting and endangered species, such as the spotted-tail quoll, Richmond birdwing butterfly, eastern bristlebird, Coxen’s fig parrot, tree frogs, and platypus.
Most popular activities include visiting the tree top walking trails, where you can experience the rainforest from 180 meters high! You can also take a walking tour in the Green Mountain area, or climb Mount Bithongabel for a perfect view. The wildlife sanctuary at Currumbin national park is also worth a visit; and you can check out the other Queensland national parks, too.
The surreal Wet Tropics
Yet another World Heritage Site, Queensland’s Wet Tropics are a must for your travel bucket list. The most popular tourist destination within it is the Daintree National Park, located in the far north. There is a wide range of accommodation options available, including lodges, holiday houses, retreats, and camping spots. You can also choose to share a place with house mates who can show you around and discover hidden places for you.
Eco tours are very popular and include guided cruises on the Daintree River and walking tours with expert guides where you can learn a lot about Daintree’s biodiversity. Don’t miss out on visiting the Daintree Discovery Center. With an interactive program and audio guide, you’ll find out many interesting facts about this rainforest. See for yourself why 400,000 tourists visit every year.
Discover amazing marine life
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s biggest coral reef system. Being home to 400 different coral species and over 6,600 marine species, it is one of the world’s most popular destinations for scuba diving. Cairns and Port Douglas are the most popular destinations that offer daily boat tours.
If you’re not a big fan of diving, there are accessible reefs and sites that are shallow enough for you to explore just by snorkeling. Swim with manta rays, turtles, various fish, eels, and even with gentle and harmless giants – such as sharks and whales. The vivid sea biosphere will make you appreciate life and all its wonderful creatures.
Please bear in mind that high-volume tourism can pose a threat to coral reefs such as the Great Barrier Reef. Please ensure you only visit the reef with an operator who has adopted voluntary standards for sustainable tourism.
Mesmerizing Whitsunday islands
Bordered by the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsunday islands are a group of 74 different islands and each of them is considered to be a true tropical paradise. There is definitely a lot to see here: from historical and heritage sites, to national parks, natural pools, and white sand beaches. Don’t miss the Whitehaven Beach which was voted the “Best Beach in the South Pacific” on TripAdvisor.
Whale watching in Hervey Bay
There are many sailing tours in Hervey Bay that will give you an opportunity to observe magnificent whales. If you’ve read Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick”, you’ll know how fascinating these beings can be. When you see them jump out of the water and flip around for the first time – it will be an incredible moment you’ll never forget.
A short ferry boat ride will take you to Fraser Island, where you can enjoy dreamy beaches, safaris, and sightseeing tours. Take a 4WD guided tour and discover the tranquility of the Central Station Rainforest. Take a 4-hour drive south of Hervey Bay and reach another site in Lower Beechmont – the amazing Killarney heart-shaped pool.
Sustainable traveling should be the only way we explore the world. Discover amazing Queensland – the eco heart of Australia, the land down under!
Thank you to Nicole for contributing this guest post. Nicole is a lifestyle blogger who is passionate about travel and healthy living. She always seeks new adventures and enjoys sharing her experiences with others. In her free time she likes to prepare healthy and delicious food for her friends. You can also find Nicole on Twitter.