Eco Travel; New Zealand, South Africa and Australia.
Eco Travel stallwarts, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia are some of the most spectacular places to visit. So this week I’m picking my highlights, sharing some tips and showing you what you can experience with Eco Companion.
This week I’m picking my Eco travel favourites from the Southern Hemisphere. When you think of Eco Travel, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia are almost always on the list. Especially when you think about the sunshine and compare that to a wet, cold February weekend in the UK.
Four seasons in one day. Hold on isn’t that a song by Crowded House? Well crazily it’s one of those clichés that turns out to be so true. New Zealand get’s some crazy weather, tropical in the north, artic in the deep South, rain, wind. No wonder people from the UK move there so often. What it ads up to though is one of the most diverse and amazing places to visit you can imagine. Volcanoes, beaches, jungle (sort of), extreme sports and a place geared to travellers. There’s not much more to be said. New Zealand’s wildlife is equally diverse. Many species are native only to New Zealand, after all it’s a long way to the nearest large land mass. In fact if you’re going and fancy a quick trip over to Australia you may be in for a surprise, it’s a long haul flight away!
The North island highlights include
A great place to experience the extreme side of New Zealand outdoor life. Many people head here to bunny or ride the falls in a jet boat. We recommend something a bit more Eco. Try the mountain biking that takes you to some remoter parts of the lake for unspoilt views and some peace and quiet.
A great place to visit and learn about Maori culture. Rotorua’s volcanic backdrop of bubbling mud pools, shooting geysers and natural hot springs takes you to a landscape that feels distinctly alien. You can stay in a traditional Maori house and sample some delicious food cooked directly in the hot springs.
South island highlights include
I could just say look at the picture above and that should be enough. Milford Sound is a truly spectacular wider of nature, if you visit New Zealand South Island you simply have to go there. See if you can spot the native Kea parrots. They’re know to be a bit cheeky.
Whale watching at Kaikōura
This is a bit of a bug bear for me as I never actual got to see the whales, after a 6 hour drive as well. But if you’re on the west coast of the South Island head to Kaikōura, you can get out on a boat into the KaikōuraMarine Management Area which is an area developed to conserve Kaikōura’s whales, dolphins, seals, albatrosses, rock lobster, shellfish and finfish.
There’s a huge lot more to do and see in New Zealand. Our newsletter is a great place to learn more from the Eco travel experts at Eco Companion, sign up here.
The Kiwis are super protective of their natural ecosystem, which I found out trying to get a muddy pair of boots through customs. It drew some stern looks looks. But there’s a reason and it’s to be applauded. The native species are heavily protected because they are some of the most unique wildlife on the planet. New Zealand’s isolation has created an ecosystem like no other on the planet. The department of Conservation go to great lengths to protect plants and animal species. Programmes like Battle for our Birds have seen great success in protecting vulnerable native species.
New Zealand has a long reputation of being clean and green with Tourism New Zealand leading the charge with an approach based on traditional Maori principles of manaakitanga (hospitality) andkaitiakitanga (guardianship). This ensures visitors get a warm welcome and protecting and managing the culture and environment.
Where to stay and what to do with Eco Companion
The Resurgence Luxury Eco Lodge
Perfect for honeymooners and couples looking to experience the great outdoors. This luxury Eco lodge on New Zealand’s South island is the perfect place to relax and explore the beautiful countryside.
Eco Bucketlist Tour of New Zealand
Whale watching, a helicopter flight, swimming with dolphins. This trip lives up to it’s name, ticking off everything we could think of. If we’re missing something, we can make it happen Call us +44 (0) 203 772 8820
Go to the far North. It feels like your entering the tropics and is such a contrast to other parts of New Zealand. Most travellers land in Auckland then head South. Well, we do things differently at Eco Companion.
Oh and don’t believe what Kiwi’s tell you when they say their Indian food isn’t hot and stupidly ask for more chilli’s. It’s a lie and will lead to certain death!!
A fascinating country and an great access point to see some of the worlds most iconic wildlife. South Africa has a chequered history and it’s well worth exploring this alongside the wildlife. South Africa literally boast a check list of the aniamls kingdoms greatest and brightest. South Africa though has a lot more to offer than amazing wildlife and some great Eco credentials. It’s a bit of a favourite at Eco Companion. Head to Cape Town for spectacular views, great food and a cosmopolitan atmosphere and then head in land for the Kruger National park and the big 5. Whatever you choose to do in South Africa you won’t be disappointed.
Elephants, big cats South Africa is blessed with spectacular wildlife. For us it’s a must do, see these majestic animals in their natural habitat. Take Your camera!!
The Garden Route
Stretching across the southern tip of South Africa, Spectacular scenery and countryside and two national parks can be found along the route.
There’s a huge lot more to do and see in South Africa. Our newsletter is a great place to learn more from the Eco travel experts at Eco Companion, sign up here.
South Africa is a leader in responsible tourism and a mecca for Eco Travel. Named by Conservational International as one of the seventeen megadiverse countries in the world. The biodiversity is truly astounding. There are numerous conservation efforts and projects in OUSth Africa designed to protect the native species. Check out the wildlife orphanage trip below.
We’re particular fans of the conservation work being done for the resident Great White Sharks.
Where to stay and what to do with Eco Companion
The Vuyani Safari Lodge
There are wildlife safari destinations – and then there is the Moditlo Private Game Reserve.
This reserve forms part of the 36,000 acre Blue Canyon Conservancy, right in the heart of the Greater Kruger National Park area, at the foot of the famous Drakensberg mountain range.
Wildlife Orphanage in South Africa
As Eco travels goes this is probably the most rewarding project we have, working directly with orphaned animals at this wildlife sanctuary. If you love animals and you want to help this is for you.
” I’d thoroughly recommend riding along the beach on horseback. Not a touristy gimmick, these are real riders on a desolate beach with the morning mist swirling around the mountains and the horses near swimming in the lake to reach the shore. Incredibly wild, incredibly beautiful.”
Go camping, South Africa has some incredible camp sites across the entire country. Probably not what you think of when you think South Africa but, it’s certainly an Eco way to travel.
If you’re visiting Cape Town, and you definitely should, Camps Bay is one of the best beaches in the area. Be sure to check which of the beaches you decide to relax on though. You may wake up from a nap surrounded by nudists as they’re unofficially split up in to different areas.
Australia is a massive place. If constant stories of tourists getting lost is anything to go by it’s also not great for GPS. But, joking aside it’s on virtually everyone I knows bucket list. Popular with gap yah kids getting as far away from the UK as possible, it’s a place that caters for all kinds of visitors. The diverse wildlife that inhabits Australia is famous the world over. Kangaroo, Koala and some damn big crocodiles can all been seen first hand. The coastline is truly beautiful and there’s a lot of it but this sits in stark contrast to the arid interior. Australia has made great strides where Eco Travellers are concerned, although mass tourism has had an sever impact on natural wonders especially the Great Barrier Reef.
Great barrier reef
Rated as one of the seven wonders of the natural world the scale of the Great Barrier Reef is simply astonishing. Sadly mass tourism has brought about what some experts believe to be terminal decline. If you do visit make sure you pick out an operator with strong Eco credentials. Or Call us +44 (0) 203 772 8820 and we can help.
An iconic Australian natural landmark. The spiritual site for the native Aboriginal people is a must see on any visit to Australia. Walk around the rocks base and get a feel for the geology and flora and fauna that service in this barren environment.
There’s a huge lot more to do and see in Australia. Our newsletter is a great place to learn more from the Eco travel experts at Eco Companion, sign up here.
Some great work is being done in Australia by people like Ecotourism Australia through their certification programme. But, as we’ve seen with the Great Barrier Reef unchecked mass tourism has had a devastating effect on certain areas. But. don’t let that put you off visiting Australia, one of our Eco experts is waiting to plan your trip of a lifetime, ensuring it protects the environment along the way and for the more adventurous experience seeker we’ll show you how you can get hands on and put something back into protecting the natural Australia environment and wildlife through one of our projects.
Where to stay and what to do with Eco Companion
The Mouses House Rainforest Retreat
Described by Ecotourism Australia as ‘arguably the most unique rainforest resort of its type in Australia’ the Mouses House offers a unique experience in the heart of the World Heritage protected rainforest.
Conserving Australia’s Rare Native Species
Your Eco Travel tour starts in Sidney, taking in the sights and sounds of this spectacular city before heading inland to the Blue Mountains. Here you can take part in wildlife conservation. Getting your hands dirty assisting the resident conservation teams that protect the wildlife and conduct research in the area. Oh and you conclude your trip with a luxurious island stay on the Great Barrier Reef.
“Daintree is unreal! Like Jurassic park. Only place on the planet where rainforest meets the reef!”
If you make it to Alice Springs head to Anzac Hill, it’s a spectacular place to see the sunset or sunrise. The views are simply amazing out across the outback.