Australia’s South leading the way in sustainable and ecologically-minded tourism initiatives


Australia prepares for an ecologically-minded and successful reopening to tourism.

The Australian states of Victoria and South Australia – known as Australia’s South –– are leading the way in sustainable infrastructure and tourism initiatives to prepare for an ecologically-minded and successful reopening to tourism. Known for their expansive eco-friendly tourism experiences from Melbourne to Adelaide, both states announced plans to phase out and ban all single-use plastics, but efforts haven’t stopped there.

Adelaide encourages public transportation in the city and is home to the world’s first solar-powered public transport system – Tindo solar electric bus. Meanwhile, Melbourne’s Yarra Trams are 100% linked to renewable solar energy and aim to achieve zero-net emissions by 2050. Victoria’s Darebin Council was also the world’s first government body of any level to declare a climate emergency, with more than 38 countries and thousands of towns and cities following suit. Neighboring South Australia claims the title of being the highest producer of wind energy in Australia, and is also on track to position Adelaide as the world’s first carbon neutral city as part of the Carbon Neutral Adelaide initiative.

Clifftop at Hepburn, Victoria, Australia (Photo Credit: Visit Victoria)

Victoria and South Australia’s ongoing commitments to supporting local wildlife in their natural habitats has meant a growth in species protection, rehabilitation programs and sustainable accommodations.

In 2021, Victoria will open a new koala hospital at Werribee Open Range Zoo, with over 70% of the funding coming from donations made to RSPCA Victoria to help support koalas affected by the 2020 bushfires. South Australia’s Kangaroo Island is also restoring wildlife habitat with a local tour operator, Exceptional Kangaroo Island, offering seasonal tree-planting and wildlife monitoring programs for guests. The state is also spearheading Marna Bangara, a rewilding project reintroducing 27 native species to the Yorke Peninsula. In Melbourne, an urban beekeeping initiative, Rooftop Honey, has placed 130 hives on unused roofs, balconies and gardens in an effort to help save the honey bee from environmental threats.

“Beyond our environmental efforts, our tourism partners provide travelers with memorable, eco-centric tours and accommodations so they can experience Victoria’s sustainable culture first-hand,” said David Evans, Regional Manager, The Americas for Visit Victoria. “From luxury villas built from recycled materials, to pod home rentals located on regenerative farms, travelers can immerse themselves in a sustainable way of life that has become the norm for much of Victoria.”

A few can’t-miss wildlife experiences include Echidna Walkabout Tours and Wildlife Wonders in Victoria and Exceptional Kangaroo Island and Arkaba Conservancy in South Australia. Stunning and sustainable off-the-grid accommodations are burgeoning in both destinations, including Oceanview Eco Villas, The Frames Retreat, Clifftop at Hepburn, CABN, Dairy Flat by Lake House, and Pink Lake Tiny House.

Kangaroo in Middle River, South Australia (Photo Credit: Ben Goode)

“We’ve seen how ‘travel with purpose’ has become increasingly important for consumers when choosing where to holiday, and South Australia has strong sustainability credentials which entice visitors from across the globe,” said Rodney Harrex, Chief Executive of the South Australian Tourism Commission. “We look forward to welcoming back our North American friends and showcasing all that we offer in this space, from sustainable wine practices, to off-the-grid accommodations and immersive wildlife experiences.”


From a food and beverage perspective, both states continue to lead in vegan-friendly, farm-to-table restaurants, such as Victoria’s Smith & Daughters, Good Love, Sister of Soul or Transformer and South Australia’s The Lost Deli, Allegra Dining Room, and Metta Sol , In total, the destinations claim 124 Chef’s Hat-awarded restaurants, with 93 in Victoria and 31 in South Australia.

Both destinations also lead in viticulture and agriculture production techniques. McLaren Vale in South Australia is one of the world’s most sustainable wine regions, producing the largest quantity of organic and biodynamic wines at wineries including GemTree Wines, Hither & Yon, and d’Arenberg. In Victoria, breweries and distilleries like Stomping Ground Brewing Co and Four Pillars Gin have sustainability at the heart of their production. Four Pillars reduces their waste by creating marmalade from the oranges used to flavor their gin and Stomping Ground generates 60% of their energy from their own solar panels, in addition to collecting and recycling rainwater to irrigate their beer garden and indoor plants.

Look out for iconic Australian wildlife dotted across the landscape and see if you can catch a glimpse of rare creatures like the Tasmanian devil, platypus and echidna, who call Victoria’s national parks and reserves home.

In many destinations, tourism is about ticking off a list of top attractions. But visiting Melbourne and Victoria is different.

It’s less about what you see and more about what you feel. And the best way to experience it is by exploring the depth and diversity of this incredible place in an immersive and authentic way.

Melbourne is a city renowned for its superb restaurants, café culture, theatre and diverse art and cultural offerings and nightlife and is known as a stylish and contemporary city and a gateway to world class nature based experiences.

Melbourne offers can’t miss food and wine experiences and is home to an inventive food and wine culture. The unique blend of people, place and produce gives Melbourne/Victoria an approach to food and wine experiences that are based in creativity and unencumbered by tradition. Visitors get a glimpse into why Melbourne has so many times been voted the most livable city in the world.

Victoria’s compact size allows ease of travel around the state. A variety of tourism experiences are all within close proximity to Melbourne, including wineries, regional gourmet experiences and spectacular natural attractions. Some examples of key experiences are listed below:

  • The Penguin Parade at Phillip Island;
  • Food and wine experiences in Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula;
  • Touring the Great Ocean Road along to the famous Twelve Apostles;
  • Enjoy the breathtaking views and sandstone mountains of The Grampians for an outdoor lovers’ paradise.
  • Discover the pristine beaches, lakes, mountains, forests and lush vineyards of the Gippsland region;

    exceptional kangaroo island australia; Since 1986, Exceptional Kangaroo Island have been offering luxury small group and private Kangaroo Island tours, with a promise of good food, good wine and wildlife in the wild.