Top ecotourism destinations: Blue Mountains, Australia
Located less than 2 hours drive from Sydney, the Blue Mountains offer an exciting holiday destination for responsible travellers who wish to enjoy the Australian wilderness.
A UNESCO World Heritage site since 2000, this mountain region, formed by seven national park areas and a conservation reserve, is among the most popular gateway spots for tourists visiting New South Wales, especially thanks to its proximity to Sydney.
The regional tourism board explains, “Stretching for over one million hectares the Blue Mountains is an inspiring mix of rainforest, canyons, tall forests and heathlands, combining eight individual conservation reserves – Yengo, Wollemi, Gardens of Stone, Blue Mountains, Nattai, Kanangra Boyd, Thirlmere Lakes and Jenolan Caves Karst Reserve.
“It is a nature lover’s paradise with an abundance of colourful bird and animal life, the greatest concentration of eucalypt diversity on the continent, and landscapes ranging from rainforest to heathland.”
In addition to a wide range of activities such as bushwalking, rock climbing, mountain biking, rappelling and canoeing, travellers can also enjoy a number of tours that combine the natural beauty of the location with local culture and history.
Accredited walks and eco-tours featuring lessons about local geology, fauna and flora – mostly eucalyptus forests and beloved Aussie icons koalas and kangaroos – as well as Aboriginal walkabouts are also available.
Sustainability also is also well represented in the accommodation available. The clifftop retreat Kanimbla View in Blackheath – recently named one of the 30 best green places to stay around the world – or the Wollemi Wilderness House in Berambing, built following ecological criteria, are particular highlights.
Photo: James Robertshaw via Flickr
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