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Corals and tropical fish
Corals and tropical fish | © Brian Kinney/Shutterstock
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The 10 Best Ecotourism Experiences in Australia

Picture of Tom Smith
Updated: 6 May 2018
Ecotourism — a type of travel that exposes visitors to the great outdoors without damaging the natural environment — is one of Australia’s strongest tourist drawcards, with almost eight million square kilometres of wilderness to explore. Start your adventure with these 10 outstanding environmental experiences.

Great Barrier Reef

Natural Feature
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Great Barrier Reef up close
Great Barrier Reef up close | © Kyle Taylor / Flickr
Hurry up and see the Great Barrier Reef in all its glory while you still can. Climate change is bleaching the colour out of this brilliant stretch of coral reef, which spans more than 2000 kilometres of sun-kissed Queensland coast. Cairns is your best launch pad to explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed landmark with an eco-certified tour operator like Reef Magic Cruises.
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Services & Activities:

Guided Tours

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Touristy, Photo Opportunity

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Natural Feature
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This mammoth sandstone monolith is the symbolic heart of the Australian continent, as well as the defining feature of a national park that carries immense cultural significance to the local Indigenous population — Uluru is a sacred site to Central Australia’s Anangu people. The Northern Territory has plenty more great outdoors to explore, in particular the Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land further north near Darwin.
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Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Scenic, Historical Landmark

Swimming with sharks

Natural Feature
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Shark cage dive off the Eyre Peninsula
Shark cage dive off the Eyre Peninsula | © Tom Smith
South Australia is one of the very small number of places on Earth where you can stare a great white shark in the eye from behind the safety of a cage. Shark attack survivor Rodney Fox is one of a few cruise operators based in Port Lincoln that run eco-certified shark cage dive tours off the Eyre Peninsula, bringing fearless visitors face to face with these apex predators of the sea.
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Services & Activities:

Guided Tours

Atmosphere:

Scenic, Touristy, Instagrammable

Fraser Island

Natural Feature
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Dingo on Fraser Island
Dingo on Fraser Island | © Newretreads / WikiCommons
The world’s largest sand island is brimming with stacks of different eco-tourism experiences. There’s the ancient rainforest containing giant ferns and towering pine trees. There’s the 200-strong population of dingos, a rare native strain that’s protected from imported mutts on the mainland. There’s the series of serene freshwater lakes, formed in the dips between sand dunes. And there’s the world-class whale watching on offer in Hervey Bay, the end of the ‘Humpback Highway’ up Australia’s east coast each winter.
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Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Scenic

Penguin Parade

Natural Feature
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Penguin Parade
Penguin Parade | © Wildvik / WikiCommons
Summerland Beach on Phillip Island hosts one of the most adorable ecotourism experiences you’ll find anywhere on earth. Every evening at dusk, a large colony of little penguins return to shore after a long day’s fishing at sea, wadding across the sand to huge crowds of doting admirers sitting in the viewing platforms at the Penguin Parade, which is purpose-built to not interfere with the tiny birds’ natural habitat.
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Mon - Sun:
10:00 am - 10:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair), Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours, Entrance Fee

Atmosphere:

Outdoors