While defining the term eco-tourism can be as slippery as a Wet’n’Wild slide, we can be sure that treading lightly and going green is a worthwhile way to go when visiting the Gold Coast. And the good news is that more eco-tourism ventures and activities exist now than ever before. If you’re an earth-friendly traveller wanting to do the right thing, here are some top tips.
Beyond its well-deserved reputation as a wellness sanctuary of the highest order, Gwinganna Health Retreat is not all about self-love, personal nurturing and following your own breath. No, this Hugh-Jackman-owned hinterland oasis is also about loving and nurturing the earth too. As a fully accredited eco-tourism venture, Gwinganna is a committed member of the ‘Land for Wildlife’ program, which means it’s focused on protecting the land and all the incredible creatures that call it home. This involves providing refuge for sick and injured animals (cuddly koalas included).
You might have heard of QT Gold Coast as a luxury-meets-quirky hotel in Surfers Paradise, known for its spa, high tea, rooftop bar and top-notch tucker. And you’d be right: it is all those things and more. What’s not so well known is that QT’s rooftop garden is all about converting an unused space into a fully functioning green garden, with its fresh produce likely to end up on your plate or strategically placed in your colourful cocktail. With seasonal fruit and veg direct from the roof to the table, QT Gold Coast is leading the green charge.
Located next door to the stunning World Heritage listed Lamington National Park, Nightfall is one of the most spectacular settings for a spot of glamping. And if you’re going to camp, why not glamp? If being immersed in wilderness isn’t enough to satisfy your eco-desires, you can also be happy in the knowledge that Nightfall goes to great lengths to ensure guests are treated to a proper eco experience. Think solar power, organic food (help forage for it if you’re so inclined), sustainable waste treatment, wildlife monitoring and more. For deep green on the Gold Coast, Nightfall is a must.
TAKE A HIKE
If eco activities are your thing, it doesn’t get any more low-impact and immersive than the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk. The only carbon emissions will be your very own breath as you’re huffing along. This 54-kilometre-long hike is an epic adventure into the heart of a World Heritage wonderland. Over three days, you’ll wander through ancient volcanic landscapes, passing by pristine streams and incredible waterfalls. By day, you’ll be surrounded by stunning rainforests – from the subtropical to the temperate. And by night, you’ll be curled up in your tent listening to the symphonies of the great outdoors.
So, you’ve sampled a few of the Gold Coast’s many world-class eateries and you’re now on the hunt for something a little different on the culinary trail? We hear you; we all want to be different! If this is the case, why not roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty with some proper Queensland soil at Currumbin Valley Harvest? This pick-your-own biodynamic farm offers hungry and health-conscious guests the opportunity to take matters into their own hands and pick their very own greens for dinner. From curly kale to bok choy, you can be sure this place doesn’t use any nasties on their produce at all. The overall ethos of clean and green and being connected to our food means this is an eco-activity of the highest order.