6 Incredible Outback Ecotourism Experiences
Ecotourism in Australia isn’t only possible in our rainforests and amongst coral reefs! In the Outback, we are proud to see more and more ecotourism certified experiences popping up, helping visitors contribute positively as they explore the country's most picturesque landscapes. Read on to discover six Outback ecotourism experiences we can’t get enough of, namely for their protection of remote Australia’s precious environments and cultures.
Sustainable travel in the Outback
At The Outback Loop, we are constantly in awe of our backyard for its great potential for adventure and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Its sheer vastness, pristine environments and rugged beauty are unmatched, similar to nowhere else in the world. Our national parks, salt lakes, mountain ranges and other ancient landscapes are home to unique geology, flora and fauna that visitors love to see. But we also know that our regions and their vulnerable wildlife are precious and worthy of protection from human impact, including that from tourism.
In order to travel sustainably and reduce your impact, there are a number of things you can do during your upcoming trip. Click here to find out more! However, one of our best tips for being responsible as you cruise through the Outback, involves choosing to support ecotourism certified businesses; those not only providing unforgettable adventures but also doing great things for the natural world.
Ecotourism experiences not to miss
So, when you next make the journey to us, why not add a few extra stops to your itinerary? Match your values with your actions as you roll through some of the most spectacular regions in the world. In this blog, we share six incredible Outback ecotourism experiences to add to your roadtrip to-do list. Let’s go!
1. Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary
Located approximately 600km north of Adelaide, Arkaroola is a spectacular expanse of rugged land in the Flinders Ranges. Incredible rock formations point to the landscape’s formation approximately two billion years ago. But this isn’t just an attraction for geologists. Anyone with a love for good views and the thrill of adventure can appreciate the beauty of this stunning wilderness sanctuary.
Interestingly, Arkaroola was the first Flinders Ranges tourism establishment to achieve Advanced Ecotourism Accreditation and there’s no doubt that it’s one of South Australia’s premier ecotourism experiences.
Today, it is one of the best places to find rare marsupials, including the shy and endangered Yellow-Footed Rock-Wallaby. Meanwhile, speckled with unique gum-lined creeks, granite peaks and refreshing water holes, you’ll undoubtedly fall in love with the sanctuary’s remote charm. Since it measures a whopping 610sq km in size, we recommend allowing yourself plenty of time to explore its best bits!
During a visit, don’t miss out on a 4WD Ridgetop Tour or a walk across the razor-back ridges. Stay until evening and witness the stars amongst a jet black sky with the help of state-of-the-art Astronomical Observatories. Feeling a little out of touch with civilisation? No worries. A shop, restaurant, bar and swimming pool are also found on site.
2. Wilpena Pound
You wouldn’t miss the Eiffel Tower when in Paris, so don’t miss Wilpena Pound when driving through the Flinders Ranges. Iconic within South Australia and known to many across the world, Wilpena Pound is another Advanced Ecotourism Certified attraction you absolutely can’t miss. Located on Adnyamathanha Country, the site is 430km north of Adelaide and home to not only stunning natural landscapes but accommodation, camping, a restaurant, bar, pool and shop facilities. You’ll want for absolutely nothing here.
Recognised mostly for its outstanding bowl-like formation and jagged peaks, Wilpena Pound is also culturally significant, referred to as Ikara - meaning ‘the meeting place’ - amongst Traditional Owners.
We suggest taking an Aboriginal cultural tour, a scenic flight, mountain biking trip (or all of the above) for the most immersive experience. Having said that, a network of incredible walking trails lead guests across unforgettable ancient landscapes here, so those on a lower budget are well catered to. Thick bushland at Wilpena Pound and endless views of ethereal rock formations will capture the hearts of all outdoor adventurers. What are you waiting for?
3. Camel Treks Australia
Taking you right into the thick of the Flinders Ranges on four legs, Camel Treks Australia is an award-winning tour company with a passion for sharing the rugged beauty of the Outback. We say, if you’re going to tour the Outback, why not do it in Outback style?
Heading into the breathtaking peaks and red sand dunes, the company’s four, five or nine day tours are surprisingly comfortable and are fully-catered. This might just be one of the most unique tours you’ll ever experience!
Camel Treks Australia is family owned and operated and a frontrunner not only in sustainable tourism but responsible animal tourism. The company has a vision for a kind of tourism where animals and the environment are put first. Its climate, ecotourism and sustainable tourism certifications speak for themselves.
4. Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum
In the heart of Outback Queensland, Australian Age of Dinosaurs is a museum home to the largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils in the world. The science-based, not-for-profit and award-winning museum is easily accessed, around 175km northwest of Longreach. Drop by and visit the three main components of the museum - the Fossil Preparation Laboratory, Collection Room and Dinosaur Canyon - as you learn about Australia’s ancient history.
Placed upon a large mesa called The Jump-Up, the museum is eco-certified and based upon strict environmental practices. Whilst you’re here, spot an array of wildlife including lizards, birds and mammals which roam the surrounding Winton Formation - a mountain range dated around 95-98 million years old.
5. Rawnsley Park Station
Don’t drive past the signs that direct you towards Rawnsley Park Station - it’s worth the drive and we’ll tell you why. Venturing into tourism in 1968 after a long history of sheep shearing, Rawnsley Park Station is an award-winning tourism facility overlooking the southern side of Wilpena Pound. The accommodation and tourism venue is highly committed to sustainable tourism; it’s eco-certified and has won many awards as a result.
Blessed with incredible views and a flourishing natural environment, the venue is your perfect base when exploring the beautiful Flinders Ranges. Stay the night in one of Rawnsley’s holiday units or - in true ecotourism style - pick one of the eco-villas.
While you’re here, we’d recommend taking a long walk, scenic flight or 4WD self-drive (as well as many other activities) to help you encounter the Ranges in one of their most striking locations.
6. Innamincka Hotel
Take a pit stop at the friendly Innamincka Hotel in South Australia’s Outback; a pub once frequented by hungry pastoral workers, drovers and shearers. In recent years, the crowd has been replaced - or added to - with Outback adventurers and four wheel drivers, looking for a cold beer on the road. In fact, we’d say that the Innamincka Hotel is now considered a meeting place for travellers from all over the world as well as a hub for local tourism.
Packed with memorabilia and local charm, the bar and restaurant serves refreshing beers as well as dishes made with seasonal produce - perfect if you’re feeling peckish after a day on the road! Interestingly, the hotel is also locally renowned for its efforts in sustainable tourism, gaining EcoTourism Certification with Ecotourism Australia in recent years. When you’re looking for a taste of home on the road, you know where to turn.
The Outback Loop
Australia’s Outback is filled with ecotourism experiences and plenty of potential for eco-friendly adventure. At the Outback Loop, we live to share our region with you and want to help you plan the perfect trip.
For more ideas and information, check out The Outback Loop map and plan your next adventure to us. We can’t wait to meet you!