Antipodean eco-travel news
AUSTRALIA and New Zealand are upping their eco-travel games.
A new way to experience the wonders of New Zealand’s magnificent virgin rainforest is from above. Adventurous visitors will now have the opportunity to zip-line through this amazing ecosystem. A zip-line, also known as a flying fox, is a cable and pulley system where the person/passenger is propelled down an incline by gravity. It’s basically what London Mayor Boris Johnson got stuck on recently during an Olympic stunt in Victoria Park. But never mind that.
Besides its 6 zip-lines, Rotorua Canopy Tours on the Mamaku Plateu also features walking trails, 10 treetop platforms and two swing bridges on its 1.2 km rainforest tour.
From Breaking Travel News:
Many of our customers will have never walked in forest like this full of giant, centuries old native trees, let alone explored it at heights of 22 metres above the forest floor, where the views are simply breathtaking.
–Rotorua Canopy Tours director James Fitzgerald
Already successful in the Americas, Rotura Canopy Tours is New Zealand’s first zip-line canopy tour.
New Zealand’s South Island is also getting a bit of media attention via an new international travel program.
Here is Best Media Info’s preview for an episode of the Discovery Channel HD’s new eco-tourism themed show “Travel Wild”:
Oamaru, South Island, New Zealand: In her quest to uncover the world’s best practice in sustainable tourism, Sutherland lands up in the land of the long white cloud, Aotearoa. Most people know this country as New Zealand, and it has a tourism reputation for being 100 per cent pure. But what is being done to protect this clean, green image? Visit four of Earth Check’s certified operators on the South Island who are each taking a different approach to doing their bid. Walk around the historic town of Oamar which is about two-thirds of the way down the South Island of New Zealand on the eastern side which gives a feeling if getting back a hundred years in time.
Australia, New Zealand’s antipodean cousin, is one of the pioneers of eco-tourism. The 20th Global Eco Asian-Pacific Tourism Conference will be hosted in the Australian city of Cairns in the Far North Queensland region of the country from October 15-17. Conference organizers are aiming to place Australia, and the Far North in particular, back on top of the eco-tourism sector.
From Cairns Post:
Four of the region’s eco-tourism experiences – the Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruise, Skyrail, Tjapukai Cultural Park and the Daintree Discovery Centre – will be showcased during the three-day event with many of the delegates expected to take organised field trips to the environmental destinations. Convener Tony Charters said Australia took eco-tourism from a concept to a thriving industry in the 1990s but was now ‘shying away from the term’.
Australia’s hotels are also trying to boost their eco credentials with a number of initiatives. Schemes include replacing plastic room key cards with wood, reducing water and energy consumption, and using environmentally-friendly labeled products.
These efforts are in response to surveys showing that customers are skeptical about mainstream hotel chain’s claims about being eco-friendly. Though there is an accepted system for rating environmental responsibility in hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, etc., (Ecotourism Australia’s ECO Certification Program) it is limited to eco-themed accommodation.
Read more on that story in The Age.