5 Ecotourism Activities You Can Do In Queenstown

Queenstown New Zealand is a paradise for those looking for ecotourism activities. With dramatic mountains, stunning Lake Wakatipu, and beautiful natural landscape, Queenstown is an amazing place to experience. From skiing to hiking and sailing to relaxing, there is something for everyone in Queenstown.

In this area of outstanding natural beauty, sustainability and ecotourism are the obvious path to take. Here are just some of the ecotourism activities that you can enjoy in this very special place.

Reach for The Stars

Queenstown is a perfect place for star gazing. It is so difficult in many locations in the world to see the night sky as there is so much light pollution. Queenstown offers an unpolluted sky which makes it perfect for star gazing. The night sky is of course accessible for everyone to see and you can simply enjoy the night sky on your own.

If you want a very special experience enthusiastic star gazers can book a special excursion. They will be take up to a unique star gazing area which is high above the ski gondola exit. You will be high up in the mountains so that you can get a unique view of the sky. There is no light pollution at this height so you get an amazing view of the stars.

Guests can use technologically advance telescopes so that they can get an incredible view of the sky including planets, the Southern Cross and even the Milky Way. The tour includes the services of a knowledgeable guide.


Experience the Thrill of the Zip line

The zip line was built using sustainable ecofriendly practices. The Douglas fir grows remarkably quickly in New Zealand so this was the obvious choice to use to build the zip line. The small amount of power which is need to operate the zip line is supplied by solar panels.

The start of the zip line is easily accessible by using the gondola, but there is also a Biofuel vehicle to take people up the mountain.

There are a number of different zip line tours to choose from, including a nighttime tour.


Explore by Foot

There are few things that you can do as ecofriendly as walking. All the energy consumed is your own! There are so many amazing trails and hikes in Queenstown. The mountains here are actually named The Remarkable – that sums them up pretty well! If you want something a little challenging the Ben Lomond hike is well worth it. This is a somewhat challenging four hour walk, but it is well worth it when you get to the top. The views are definitely remarkable.

Enjoy a Horse Back Ride

Another great and ecofriendly way to experience the beauty of Queenstown is taking a horseback ride. There are trails and rides whatever your level of experience. The beginner can enjoy a gentle walk around the beautiful trails. You can even take a “Lord of the Rings” ride if you want to see some of the locations where the movies were made.


5 Reasons Why You Should Go For Eco-Tourism, Part 2

#4 You Will Be Helping Animal Conservation

There are many species which have become extinct or which are nearing extinction. This is particularly true in areas which are major destinations in the Eco-Tourism industry. It is very important that steps are taken to stop the extinction of any animal species as all have a role to play in the global community.

If you are taking local tours as an Eco-Tourist you will be helping the animals. Tours organized in this way are sure to be respectful of the animals and take steps to minimize the impact upon the environment as much as possible. You will be bringing money to the local community so that they can help preserve the wildlife in their environment. Another way in which you will be helping is that you will undoubtedly be much more aware of the importance of saving and protecting animals in the wild. There is nothing like seeing animals in their natural habitat. These once in a lifetime experiences will have an impact on how you view the world, and the more people who speak out about the importance of conservation, the better.

#5 Eco-Tourism is Life Changing

We may get tired of hearing our friends talk about their latest cruise or their trip to Walt Disney World, but we will never stop wanting to hear about their fascinating trip to Costa Rica. You will return from your Eco-Tourism experience with a new outlook on the world. You will most likely want to share your enthusiasm with family and friends. Before you know it you are recommending Eco-Tourism to anyone who is interested enough to listen. You will want to spread the word as you have had such an amazing experience.

The experiences that you have will not be in a cooker cutter hotel. You will not be eating chain restaurant food. You will be experiencing things in a very different way. That can be life changing.

5 Reasons Why You Should Go For Eco-Tourism, Part 1

Eco-tourism is one of the fastest growing areas in the travel industry. The concept really took hold in the early 1980s and has become even more important in the years since. Eco-Tourism is the idea that not only should we visit places which are of outstanding natural beauty where sustainability is practiced, but also that our visit should improve the circumstances of the local people in the area. Here we look at 5 reasons why you should consider Eco-Tourism for your next vacation.

1# Eco-Tourism is Good for the Planet

There is no doubt that traditional tourism has a huge impact upon the environment. Every flight from New York to San Francisco creates a global warming effect of around 3 tons of carbon dioxide for every passenger. That is around one sixth of the average of carbon dioxide the average American creates every year. Clearly we need to think about how we can best minimize our impact on the planet.

There are ways to minimize the global impact of travel. If you are on an Eco-Tourism vacation, you will be staying at places which have been chosen as they have a minimal impact on the environment. The transportation options will also have been selected so that they are as green as possible. Of course nothing is greener than hiking!

Not only will you become more aware of the environmental impact of your trip, but in having these unique experiences it is much more likely that you take action to save the planet whilst you are at home. Visiting some places around the world can have a profound impact. It may open your eyes about why it is important to reduce your use of plastic if you have actually seen the direct impact that it has on the environment. Travel broadens the mind and Eco-Travel makes you think about your own contribution to global warming.

#2 It Offers Once in a Lifetime Experiences

If you are looking for a more interactive vacation where you can meet the local people and really feel as though you are part of the community, you should consider Eco-Tourism for your next vacation. Instead of going on exactly the same excursions as everyone else, these experiences offer something different. You can often see destinations which aren’t usually seen by tourists. You can catch a glimpse into the way of life of the local people. You are not just passing by in your vacation destination – you are really experiencing it through the eyes of the local people.

After you have experienced an Eco-Tourism vacation it may be difficult to go back to the conventional way of taking a trip! You will almost certainly become hooked after your first experience of this new way to vacation.

#3 Your Money Will Help the Local People

One of the main aims of Eco-Tourism is that it should have a positive impact on the lives and the economy of the local people. Your tourist dollars are given back to the community. On a conventional vacation it may be that your money is not going to the local people.

Even if you are visiting a developing country you may be staying in a hotel with international owners, so that the bulk of the profits are going outside of the country. The local people may be being given employment, but it may be at a very low wage. This concern is not just relevant to hotel accommodation – it covers every aspect of your stay. You may be using an international travel company so that money will not be going to the locals. Also, much of the food and drink that you are consuming could be imported, so is of little benefit to the local people.

If you stay in a local community on an Eco-Tourist vacation, you can be sure that the money that you spend is going back to the people who live there. This is much more satisfying that it going to a multinational company. The money actually stays in the community and this will help the people and the environment.


7 Best Ecotourism Destinations in New Zealand, Part 2

#4 Queenstown South Island

You really have to visit a place where there is a range of mountains called The Remarkables! These snowcapped mountains tower over the beautiful Lake Wakatipu. It is easy to see why this is one of New Zealand’s most popular eco-tourist destinations.

There is plenty to do and see in Queenstown. For the active visitor there is a huge range of activities including hiking, skiing, zip lining, bungee jumping and mountain biking. This is still an area of unspoiled beauty, but there are plenty of excellent places to stay with lots of hotels and restaurants in the area.

#5 Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, South Island

These glaciers are some of the most easily accessible in the world. They are located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park. Visitors can take guided hikes to see the spectacular scenery. There are also aerial tours if you want to see the glaciers from above.

#6 Abel Tasman National Park and the Abel Tasman Coast Track, South Island

This area is a hiker’s paradise. You can take a 3-day hike along the 51 kilometer trail from Marahau to Separation Point. The scenery is simply spectacular. Visitors will experience the dramatic landscape and view huge variety of different animal and bird species. There is a good choice of accommodation for those who want to walk the complete trail. Many people also explore the area by kayak.

You can choose from a simple camp ground or indulge yourself and stay in a luxury lodge.

#7 Kaikoura, South Island

If you want to experience marine wildlife up close and personal one of your best bests is to visit Kaikoura, South Island. Here you can take tours and have an excellent chance of multiple sightings of many species of marine animals. You are likely to see whales, dolphins and seals. You can either take a boat tour, or some animals will be visible from the hiking trails as well. Another great option is to take a kayak out and go exploring.

When you have experienced the wonder of watching the wildlife there is still plenty to do in Kakikoura. There are plenty of excellent places to eat and drink. All you have to do it sit back, relax and take in the unforgettable view.

7 Best Ecotourism Destinations in New Zealand, Part 1

New Zealand is one of the top destinations in the world for the eco tourist to visit. We recently convinced a friend that owns a busy New Jersey fence company to visit New Zealand on his most recent vacation.  He said it’s one of th most beautiful places he’s ever been (and nothing like New Jersey!) Here are just some of the best ecotourism destinations in this stunningly beautiful country.

#1 Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve

If you enjoy diving, you will adore the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve. This amazing place is an internationally recognized site which may be given World Heritage status. The Poor Knights Islands are located 23 kilometers off the Tutakaka Coast. The Islands have volcanic origins which are thought to date back some 11 million years.

This is a perfect location for exploring the water as it has a huge variety of underwater species in a dramatic environment with drop offs, arches and tunnels. This is a truly spectacular place to dive. The fish seem to have got used to interacting with the divers. This has been a Reserve for over 20 years and the fish seem to have adapted to the idea of sharing their environment with con

However, this isn’t just a place which can be enjoyed under the water. There is a Reserve above the water too. Life has evolved differently here. The Poor Knights Islands have developed many of their own eco systems. Things have evolved differently here and it is fascinating to observe.

The Islands have a huge importance to many different species. The Buller’s Shearwater birds fly here from North America. Remarkably it is the only place in the world where they will nest. You will find many native species here. You can be lucky enough to observe native parrots, cuckoo and kingfishers on the Islands.

If you look out to the ocean you may also catch sight of the migrating dolphins and whales.

 #2 Tongariro National Park

New Zealand was always way ahead of its time in eco-tourism. It was one of the first countries in the world to establish a system of national parks. The land was donated by the Maori people and Tonagriro National Park was established in 1887. This was the fourth park in the world to receive such a designation. It is now a mixed cultural and natural UNESCO World Heritage site.

If you are a fan of The Lord of the Rings movies you will definitely want to visit here as many of the scenes were filmed here.

If you are looking for a challenging hike, then take a walk up Mount Doom. It is a strenuous 7-hour hike which is well worth it if your level of fitness is up to the challenge. If you want even more of a challenge, then think about tackling the Northern Circuit. This requires a time commitment of 3 or 4 days if you are talking the whole trail. The scenery is breathtaking.

#3 Fiordland National Park

This World Heritage Site has to be on your wish list if you visit New Zealand. To describe the scenery as dramatic really doesn’t do it justice. This is one of the most amazingly beautiful places to visit in New Zealand. The landscape was formed by glaciers millions of years ago. When it was awarded World Heritage status it was described as a “superlative natural phenomena.”

There are excellent opportunities for hiking as well as cruising on the fjords and lakes in Fiordland National Park.

Visitors can take a cruise around Milford Sound. You will see the landscape largely unchanged from the time in 1851 when Captain Stokes was the very first European to see this stunning fjord.

The interestingly named Doubtful Sound Fjord can only be accessed by water. It is well worth the excursion to see the stunningly beautiful fjord.

Lake Te Anau and Lake Manapori are also well worth a visit if you have time in Fiordland National Park.


Five Unique Eco-Friendly Accommodations in New Zealand, Part 2

Bird’s Ferry Lodge

The West Coast of New Zealand is a great choice for a base for those who want to explore the county’s wild outdoors. If you are looking for a location for indulging in everything the wild side of New Zealand offers, the Bird’s Ferry Lodge is a good option. Guests can enjoy can enjoy the great outdoors or simply relax and enjoy the views.

You can be sure of this bed and breakfast’s eco-friendly credentials – it was awarded the Enviro Gold by Tourism New Zealand in August 2009. This is the highest award that eco-friendly lodgings can receive.

The owners are committed to sustainability. It has solar power for water heating. The Lodge harvests water for use in its garden, which produces food for the guests. They have a comprehensive composting program and recycle materials when possible.

Guests can choose the guest house or the cottage. If you are staying in the guest house, there is a choice of two rooms – the Garden View Lodge or the Totara Valley Lodge Room. Both are nicely furnished. For the ultimate indulgence guests can choose the Ferry Man’s Cottage which sits on its own 12-acre private lot. There is a kitchen so that you can prepare your own meals. The best feature of the Cottage has to be the outdoor twin baths.


The Flying Fox, Whanganui

This delightful eco-friendly place stay is located on the lower North Island of the country. If you want to get away from it all this is the place for you. To access The Flying Fox, you either have to take a cable car or a jet boat – there are no roads to the property. You really can escape completely. For those looking to switch off their phone this is compulsory here as there is no signal. Don’t worry to too much though as there is Wi-Fi so connection to the outside world is still possible if you really can’t switch off.

The scenery is just breathtaking. You can take tours around the local area or simply sit back and take in the views.

The cottages are constructed from recycled materials. Guests can enjoy home cooked meals with fresh organic ingredients.


Magic Cottages at Takou River

You will quickly see why Magic Cottages have been voted one of the Top Ten Luxury Lodges in New Zealand. You can choose from four luxurious cottages set in 150 acres of land on Takou Bay.

The Magic Cottages prove that you can have luxury and ecotourism in one package. The Cottages have their own organic garden. The owners make sure that they adhere to sustainable water conservation and recycling practices.

There is a choice of accommodation which includes the main lodge, self-contained cottages and a new ‘glamping” site. Guests can stay in luxury safari style canvas tents. You can book luxury experiences including romantic fine dining and massage therapy.

There are plenty of activities to keep you busy including swimming at one of the nearby beaches or in the river.


Five Unique Eco-Friendly Accommodations in New Zealand, Part 1

New Zealand the perfect place to find eco-friendly accommodation. There are many options of unique places to stay in New Zealand which not only help sustain the environment, but help the local population as well. Here is our pick of some of the very best eco-friendly places to stay in New Zealand.

Cascade Creek Retreat

If you are wanting to stay in an eco-friendly log cabin in a stunning location, Cascade Creek Retreat in the South Otago Hills has be to on your wish list. This luxurious log cabin is located on the owners award winning farm estate. Cascade Creek offers complete privacy and seclusion, but is located within easy reach of Milton and Dunedin. You get the best of both worlds – the ultimate seclusion, but close to civilization.

The cabin is built from 50 logs harvested from the local area. The trees were selected whilst still standing so that they could be sure that they were the right size and would fit the requirements of the build. Construction began in 2010 and took almost a year to finish. The owners spent a great deal of time in selecting the décor and furnishings for the house and used second hand materials were possible. They made many of the items of furniture themselves.

The log cabin is truly off the grid and uses solar power (with a backup generator just in case).

Did we mention the claw foot bath on the deck? This has to be the ultimate in relaxation. Soaking in the bath tub whilst taking in the amazing views, and knowing that the water was heated in an eco-friendly way with solar panels. This has to be the ultimate off the grid luxury.  Cascade Creek Retreat sleeps up to 6 guests.

For more details, contact Janene and Dave Divers on +643 4174410 or visit their website at www.cascadecreekretreat.co.nz

 Manawa Ridge Waihi

If you are looking for luxurious eco-friendly accommodation in New Zealand which has a wonderful location overlooking Waihi Beach, this wonderful retreat has to be your number one choice. The Lodge has stunning views over the Pacific Ocean and Coromandel Coast.

You may not expect luxury in a house built from straw, but that exactly what you will find at Manawa Ridge. This amazing eco-friendly lodge was constructed using straw bales, mud bricks and recycled timber beams. The owners did give up their idea of a composting toilet, but they do have their own natural spring water. They are hoping in the future to have a completely wind powered electricity source.

The Lodge has only three rooms, each of which are beautifully decorated. The furnishing is unique and many are handmade. You can choose to indulge in the home cooked meals which are prepared at the Manawa Ridge. There are plenty of activities including hiking and horse riding. If you want to have a leisurely break, all you need to do it relax and enjoy the view.






How to Find Eco-Friendly Transport When Visiting New Zealand

New Zealand is making a huge effort to take steps to make sure that their transportation system is as eco-friendly as possible. Transportation has a very big impact on the environment. The aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as possible. It is estimated that as much as 20 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand are caused by transportation. Anything that can be done to help reduce this percentage has to be a good thing.

New Zealand has a special award for quality in eco-friendly services. Look out for the Qualmark Enviro Gold Award.

The most obvious eco-friendly system of transport is walking. Always consider if you really need the car to make that short journey. Walking is good exercise. There are so many amazing hikes to experience in New Zealand that you should try as much as possible to see areas on foot. Not only is this environmentally friendly, but you will see things from a very different perspective.

New Zealand is an ideal place to explore by bike. There are many trails in popular tourist destinations. There are many places that you can rent a bike by the hour or by the day.

Visitors to New Zealand should check out the efficient public transport system. There are buses in all of the major towns and cities. In recent years there have been a number of companies starting discounted routes. The frequency of the service does of course depend upon the route and the season, so you should always check timetables before you plan to travel.

One particularly good bus transportation system is the “Stray” buses. This network of buses is designed for backpackers looking for a cheap and easy way to tour New Zealand. It also has the benefit of being eco-friendly. They have some excellent travel pass deals as well for multi- day travel. You can also get a pass which lasts for a year.

New Zealand has a rail network which can be a good way to travel between major towns and cities. There are also a number of old trains which cna be used to explore scenic routes and trails.

Many people will rent a car when they are visiting New Zealand. Even though this is not a very eco-friendly mode of transport there are ways that you can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Consider the make of car that you are renting. If you possibly can you should choose to rent a hybrid car, or one which has a better gas mileage than average. You can also make sure that your driving promotes better gas mileage. Try not to accelerate too rapidly or brake too hard.

There are many steps that you can take to be as eco-friendly as possible in New Zealand. Make sure that at least some of your time there is spent using environmentally conscious transportation options. It will help ensure that New Zealand retains its stunning natural environment.

Top 4 Attractions for Eco-Tourists in New Zealand

There are so many amazing places to see in New Zealand. Here is our pick of the top 4 attractions for eco-tourists to visit in New Zealand.

Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve, South Island

The surface may not be particularly spectacular, but under the water there is a magnificent world formed by volcanic remains which are thought to be 14 million years old. Poor Knights Islands are a paradise for divers and those seeking an eco-friendly tourist destination in New Zealand.

The Islands are protected and not publically accessible – not only are they protected by law, but by an ancient Maori curse. The waters are one of the world’s best diving sites. If you want to explore one of the best underwater areas in the world you should have Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve on your bucket list.

Tongariro National Park

New Zealand was a pioneer in recognizing that a national park system was needed to help maintain the great natural spaces in the world. Tongariro National Park was given this designation in 1887. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Area which is one of a very limited number to be given this award for landscape and culture.

This is a very diverse landscape with active volcanoes, snow topped mountains and desert plains. Tongariro National Park is a wonderful place to not only see a diverse range of landscape, but to catch sight of many different types of wildlife. You may even see the short and long tailed bat which is the only native species of New Zealand.

There is a wonderful choice of different hikes. You can start with the relatively easy Tongariro Alpine Crossing which is suitable for day hikers. If you are an experienced hiker and enjoy something rather more challenging, you should experience the Tongariro Northern Circuit.

Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound, South Island

Fiordland National Park is another World Heritage Site in New Zealand. This is one of the most easily accessibly glaciers in the world. There are three fjords to explore – Milford, Dusky and the wonderfully named, Doubtful Sounds. The scenery is breathtaking. You can explore on foot and there are a variety of trails for walkers of all experience levels. Another excellent way to explore Fiordland National Park is by kayak. You get a very different view from the water.

Queenstown South Island

This is one of the most popular eco-tourist destinations in New Zealand. Not only is it an area of outstanding natural beauty, it is the center for many outdoor activities. The contrast between the tranquility of Lake Wakatipu and the dramatic snowcapped Remarkables mountains makes a very striking vision. This place is not to be missed if you visit New Zealand.

The adventurous can enjoy a variety of activities in Queenstown. These range from white water rafting to bungee jumping, rock climbing to mountain biking. There is also an excellent zip line to enjoy. If you want to relax after a day of activity there are lots of good hotels and restaurants.

If you are a fan of The Lord of the Rings movies you will particularly enjoy it here. It is a good place to explore some of the locations which were used for the movie.

Why Ecotourism is the Future of the Tourism Industry

Ecotourism is one of the most rapidly growing areas of the tourism industry. What was once the preserve of the minority of travelers has now become very much a mainstream idea. No one really knows how much this industry has grown in recent years, as data is almost impossible to interpret, but we can safely say that the growth of this area of travel is rapid and shows no signs of slowing down.

To understand its importance, we first need to understand exactly what ecotourism means and how it is different from some other types of travel.

Ecotourism is not just about the destination which people travel to. It’s easier to explain what it is about if we compare it to other forms of travel. For example, “nature based travel” is about the destination. The traveler on a nature based experience will visit a natural environment. Ecotourism takes this a step further. The visitor will still travel to a natural environment, but there is an added element with ecotourism. An eco-tourist will visit a natural place which aims to conserve the environment and improve the lives and circumstances of the people who live in the area.

There are many benefits of eco-tourism. Over the years so many natural environments have been destroyed and this has had a severe impact on the world. Many species of plants and animals have been pushed to extinction. It is important to see complete solutions to the problems which the world is facing. Offering an economic solution to local people to encourage the sustainability of the natural environment is hugely important.

Ecotourism clearly has a very large part to play in the future of the tourism industry. Tourists are constantly looking for new destinations around the world. Tourism is estimated to account for as much as 10% of the World’s GDP so if diverting some of that money into eco-tourism is encouraged, that should help the sustainability of some of the most endangered and environmentally important regions.

There are many studies which indicate that people are very willing to think about ecotourism when they are selecting places to visit. The industry needs to recognize that there is a great deal of demand for more ecofriendly destinations. It is estimated that in 2014 eco-tourism had a worth of $4.5 Trillion. This huge figure has to make everyone in the tourism industry sit up and take notice. Clearly there is huge potential which is just waiting to be serviced.

The demographic of the eco-traveler has changed significantly over the years. The profile of the eco- traveler was for many years seen as one of two extremes. It was either the rich traveler looking for the ultimate luxury safari experience, or the student backpacker traveling the world at the lowest price possible. Eco-tourism now encompasses a wide range of tourists looking for very different experiences. The tourism industry needs to look at where the potential demand is not being met so that it can promote this fast growing area of travel even more efficiently. The net result will be beneficial to the tourism industry, the tourist and the environment.