I love beaches and the ocean but sometimes, it is good to leave the coastline and explore what inland has to offer. Leaving the surfboard at home today to explore what the Sunshine Coast hinterland has to offer.
From Mooloolaba, where we were staying, we decided to go to Mountville which is a little more than 30 minutes drive. The scenic drive by itself is so worthwhile. Up and around we went.
Mountville is this quaint little village on top of a mountain. Art galleries, little cafes and shops; it is difficult not to be drawn in by the relaxed vibe. Time just slows down up here. The cloud forest up there is remarkable. There are quite a few bushwalks around but unfortunately, it was a bit too late for us. Next time!
After a stroll on the main street, a delightful coffee, stopping by a few shops and admiring the view of the mountain range, it was time for a late lunch.
Thankfully, there is a winery nearby that offered spectacular views, excellent wines and a delicious snack. Just what we needed.
Stopping at Flame Tree Winery was most welcome. Cannot think of a better place to munch and wine. Cheese plateau with a Chardonnay overlooking the mountain range and the perfectly aligned rows of vines. In this picturesque setting, we had to stop and think how lucky we are to visit these stunning locations.
Time flew, and it was already time to head back to Mooloolaba. What a wonderful day in the mountain. Of course, we could not go back without a few bottles of wine….. Such an excellent wine.
There is definitively more to the Sunshine Coast than the beaches. Check out this link for more ideas on what are the best things to do in Mountville.
*********** Don’t feel like reading? Check the video here ********
Are you going on holiday soon? Whether you are going for a weekend away close to home or going away for a week or for a month, you will likely bring your toothbrush with you as well as a few other personal items. How about doing some simple swaps to make the earth a little happier and a better place to live for everyone. Having a zero-waste approach by reducing plastic and other petroleum-derived products is a good start. If you need a bit of new: make the swap to more eco-friendly options. Here are a few swaps tips to help you on your eco-traveller journey:
Tip 1: Replace polyester and plastic cosmetic pouch with one made of natural fibres such as hemp or cotton.
It never ceases to amaze me how petroleum-derived products have invaded our lives. In the name of convenience and low cost, we have let those products creep up in our lives and we do not even realise it anymore. Did you know that polyester is made of the same stuff as single-use plastic bags or water bottles? The transformation process varies slightly but there is no doubt about it, plastic and polyester are sisters and brothers. Both processes use non-renewables as raw materials as well as energy intensive production processes which contributes to climate change. Polyester, just like plastic is non-biodegradable. Those are even more reasons to make the swap and change to a pouch made of natural fibre such as cotton or hemp. Natural fibres are biodegradable and are from renewable sources.
Tip 2: Avoid plastic containers, use bar soaps and shampoos instead
The ills of plastic are well known and trying to avoid them can be a bit of a nightmare. However, thanks to bar soaps and shampoos, that is one easy swap. However, even if you are using those at home, the practicality of bringing your soap bar in your suitcase may not be that obvious. Bars are usually big and a suitable container may be hard to find but this option could be worth it.
Hotel soaps and shampoos may be tempting but did you know that all the leftovers are thrown away which increases the environmental footprint of hotels by creating more waste. Harsh chemical products are often used in making them too, so they may not be so good for your skin. Plus, it is often difficult to know what they are made of. If you have sensitive skin or scalp, perhaps not the best idea. Bringing your own is a better option.
If you can’t find a suitable container to bring your own or feel like a guilt-free pampering option, check out our travel kits here.
Tip 3: Get a bamboo toothbrush and toothbrush holder.
Bamboo is such an underrated material. It is biodegradable unlike its plastic counterpart and is made of renewable materials. Unlike trees, bamboo grows fast and can be harvested quickly. Bamboo does not require pesticides or fertilisers, so it is a more sustainable option. Practical, economical and oh-so chic. Get yours here.
Tip 4: Ditch the toothpaste plastic tube for tablet toothpaste
That was a game-changer. No more plastic tubes! Simple and easy, chew a tablet, brush and rinse. Repeat. No mess and easy to carry everywhere. The same frothy effect minus the plastic guilt. Definitely, something to smile about!
Tip 5: Get an eco-friendly floss
Do you feel guilty when you do not floss? Even on holidays, make your dentist proud. This floss comes in a cardboard box. Yes, biodegradable and sustainable cardboard. Such a simple solution.
Tip 6: Choose a deodorant in a tin or in a cardboard stick
Well, I know not everyone likes a deodorant in a tin. Personally, I think that it works well. If applying deodorant with your fingers is unappealing, you can use a popsicle stick but just washing your hands after is perfectly fine. If that still does not work for you, we now have the option of a cardboard stick. Recyclable and plastic-free both options will pamper your armpits and will keep you smelling good all day. Check them out here.
Tip 7: New clothes? Avoid fast fashion
Thinking about buying that cute dress for your next trip? Well, consider this before you buy. Buying cheap and trendy outfits may seem appealing but fast fashion is one of the most polluting industries where low ethical standards are the norm. Buying a stylish dress that you can wear time and time again can bring you more satisfaction. Selecting sustainable materials like organic cotton, Tencel and recycled materials will give you the everlasting feeling that your purchase will help the planet. Check out our webpage for some inspiration because eco-friendly does not mean boring.
And tada…. Just by making a few easy eco-friendly swaps you just made this world a better place. Who knew that what you pack can change the world. One bamboo toothbrush at the time. Bonus tip: don’t forget your reef-safe sunscreen! Check out our eco-friendly travel kits here and if you want more tips on how to travel more sustainably, check out our website for info and follow our adventures on social media. Until next time, travel safe and love the earth.
*********Not feeling like reading today or just want to see it, check out the video here***********
There are many little things that one can do to give a helping hand to our planet when travelling but one important cornerstone would be what you bring with you in your suitcase. A refillable bottle and reusable shopping bag are always good ideas but let’s go a bit beyond and take a deep dive into cosmetic pouches. Never big enough for some and an afterthought for others. There are a few ways by which we can do a healthy and planet-friendly makeover for vanity bags. The good news is that toiletries can easily be swapped for better alternatives.
First of all, I would say that the pouch/bag would be a good place to start. Avoiding or limiting plastic pouches and favouring more natural materials such as hemp and cotton may be a good start. So swap plastic for natural fibres and you are heading in the right direction.
Next, what about your toothbrush and toothbrush holder? Ditch the plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one and do the same for the holder. Not sure where to find the holder, check the link here.
Whilst we are on the dental hygiene topic, let’s not stop with the toothbrush. Swap the toothpaste in the plastic tube with toothpaste tablets. Wait, what, how does that works? Easy to carry, tablets contain the perfect quantity of toothpaste for one wash. All you need to do is to pop one in your mouth, chew a little and brush. Easy, plastic-free, no mess, you can even bring them in the plane as they are solid. The earth will be smiling. Get yours here or here.
But wait, what about flossing. Remember your last conversation with your dentist? Yes, flossing is part of good dental hygiene but it does not have to cost the earth. A cardboard case will work just fine. Try this one here or here. Make your dentist and the earth a little happier.
Next, let’s move on to other essentials. What about your deodorant? Ditch the plastic and trial one of those two options. The first one is in a tincan (click here or here) and you will need to apply with your fingers. Compact and effective, this is a great way to smell like a rose. If you are not ready for using your fingers to apply your deodorant then you can get the cardboard stick. Effective and eco-friendly, both options are available. Check them out.
And one last thing. Soaps and shampoos. Get rid of the plastic tubes and avoid using the hotel provided ones. These are rarely fully used and end up as waste. Plus, I have found that they often contain way too many chemicals for my own taste. BYO soap and shampoo kit it is. Whether you have oily, dry or sensitive skin, get your perfect travel kit (available in dry,sensitive or oily skin and hair options)
Haaaa, feeling better now. How cool is that? Add your reef-safe sunscreen and you are good to go (here ). If this is sounding a little complicated, build your own perfect cosmetic/toiletries/vanity pouch in a few clicks, right here!
************ Don’t feel like reading? Check out the Youtube Video here instead *********************
From ecotourism to sustainable tourism and towards destination stewardship. What is eco-travelling and what does it mean for Australia
We are really blessed here in Australia. We have so many wonders, sometimes we go straight past them and do not notice them. Other times, they are so big, it is hard to understand them in their entireties.
That big Kauri tree pine that you passed by without too much thought is classified as a near-threatened species. Do you know why? Alternatively, some wonders like the Great Barrier Reef are so big that they can be seen from space, yet, comprehending its size by looking at the horizon is near impossible.
Jane Goodall famously said, “Only if we understand, can we care. Only if we care, we will help. Only if we help, we shall be saved.”
I think that is probably on this premise that eco-tourism was born from. Ecotourism was first coined in the 1980s and referred to visiting exotic and rare environments without causing too much harm. It has since been an evolving concept supported by a myriad of certifications.
Crucial in the evolution of eco-tourism are the concepts of sustainability and the impact of climate change. Nowadays, it is not so much about the exotic environment but rather about the impacts of tourism and the stewardship of a destination.
Let’s first talk about the sustainability concept. Officially first defined in 1983 in the final report of the Brundtland Commission. It was defined as “ development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Sustainability was intended to reconcile the ecological, social and economic dimensions of life. From limiting causing harm to the environment to being considerate to local communities, being socially responsible the eco-tourism took a more holistic approach. The term sustainable tourism started to pop up here and there to show this expanded consideration.
These days, not compromising the needs of the future encompass consideration about climate change. Climate change is in fact central to the present and future challenges of tourism and eco-tourism. On the one hand, the co2 emitted by planes and transport contribute to the rising of the temperature and on the other hand, climate change, for example in the form of sea-level rise and increased number of heat waves affect the places we travel to. It is really a two-way street and we get what we put in. Now, one thing we can learn about eco-tourism and sustainability is that purely focusing on preserving the environment will not work. Other dimensions of human life such as social and economic need to be considered.
Enters destination stewardship or how to take care of a destination as a whole. It changes the focus from the operator or the hotelier to consider the destination as a whole. It allows focusing on climate change mitigation solutions for the whole of the tourism sector in a region. For example, the Whitsundays region has embarked on a project to decarbonise the tourism industry in the region and gain eco-destination accreditation. This will also include considering social and economic dimensions in achieving destination certification.
So let’s go back to us, avid travellers and experience seekers. What can we do to encourage a better way of enjoying the world we live in that is positive for future generations and that considers social and economic aspects of tourism. For example, we can consider where we travel, how we get there and favour eco-accredited destinations and operators. If you are interested in learning how to travel to Far North Queensland, check out my guide to travelling more sustainably. The guide is free and includes two, seven days itineraries ideas.
Hope you enjoy!
Until next time, travel with the planet in mind. Stay safe and leave only footprints.
***** Don’t feel like reading, check out the video here *****
Have been bitten by the travel bug again? Your itchy feet have got enough of those four walls? Well, that is understandable. Last year was a serious damper on travel plans.
There is just one little thing though: what about my carbon footprint? It is a well-known fact that travel increases our carbon emissions. Transport and just generally changing our routine will have an impact on our emissions. Now, travelling is part of the human experience, open our minds and makes life so much more enjoyable. How does one reconcile carbon emissions and travels? Well, I thought I might suggest three very simple tips that can help to make things a bit more digestible to this inner conflict between travelling and our desire to help the planet.
I think that using those three principles when planning for your next adventure can considerably help with reducing your carbon footprint. Firstly, consider your transport. We all know that the biggest problem when travelling is transport. In fact, it will likely account for the biggest part of your emissions. Here is something to consider: did you know that when doing short distances, it is better to take the car than the plane? This is because a plane’s emissions are at their highest during lift-off and landing.
As the trip length increases, the average carbon emissions will decrease with time. If you want to compare modes of transport, you can see which one is better. This calculator can help you compare your options. You can check what is the difference between taking a plane or taking a car. I think the most important is to compare and then make an informed choice.
The second tip is all about your accommodation. Did you know that hotels are big carbon emitters? Air conditioning, waste disposal and laundry are all normal hotel activities contributing to carbon emissions. So, when planning your next trip, consider checking if the hotel has a plan to reduce its emissions. Perhaps, consider looking for an eco-friendly accredited accommodation and try to choose wisely.
Last, but not least, is packing your suitcase. Simple things like bringing a reusable shopping bag and coffee cup can go a long way. Using products that are not costing the earth and have a low carbon footprint is a better alternative. Did you know that plastic comes from hydrocarbons ( same as the petrol that we put in our car)? Extracting hydrocarbons and transforming them contributes to increased carbon emissions worldwide. So, if you need some inspiration as to what to put in your suitcase, check out our shop where you will find sustainable fashion and travel accessories.
I hope that those tips will help you to reduce your carbon footprint next time you plan a trip. And don’t forget, it is all about the small steps! Reducing your carbon footprint does not have to be complicated! And, most of all, enjoy discovering our beautiful planet!
I have to admit, I love bushwalking during the wet season in North Queensland. The rain just makes it more magical, the colours pop up a lot more and the smell of the wet ground calms my spirit. Connecting with nature is one of the most rewarding experience and what a joy to have the opportunity to visit Eungella to do exactly this.
The Eungella area is located in the Mackay region in North Queensland up in the mountains. Once you leave the highway and head inland, you will have to go up a winding road that will get you up in the clouds. Coincidentally, Eungella means the Land of Clouds in the language of the Wiri people which ancestral land I had the opportunity to visit.
The area is known for its national parks and many bushwalks. In fact, there is 22 km of tracks to get lost in. The area is considered to be the longest continual stretch of sub-tropical rainforest in Australia. The biodiversity is amazing and you can see unique species there. From nowhere else to be seen frogs and birds species, the area is biodiverse and a pleasure to visit. It is also one of the rare places where your chances of seeing the elusive platypus are quite high.
We stayed at the Broken River Eco-resort and found that their cabins are simple but comfortable and clean. We choose this location as we do enjoy eco-certified accommodations. On that note, if you are interested in learning how to travel more sustainably in North Queensland, feel free to check out my e-book on the topic here.
One of the points of interest with this accommodation is that there are observatory platforms only a stone throw away from the cabins where you can see the platypus in its natural habitat. I always thought that this animal was a bit special but I was reminded how incredibly special it is. It is one of the two mammals in the world that lay eggs, it has the beak of a duck, the tail of a beaver and walks like a lizard. As if this was not enough, the males have a venomous spur on their back leg. How special is this! I was privileged enough to see more than one! Check out the video if you want to know more.
I was in awe!
After seeing those amazing animal, we were quite happy to stop at the iconic Eungella Chalet for a snack and to admire the view. What a view indeed. Perched in the mountains, this is one of the cool places to stop for lunch.
I would definitely recommend the area if you want to reconnect with nature. The bushwalks are well managed and there are walks for all levels. From beginners to advance and from 20 minutes to a few days. There are really no excuses not to go for a visit. If you end up going on a hot day, do not hesitate to go to Finch Hatton where you can go for a dip in the gorge. There are a few floodways to cross through, so check the conditions if it has been raining.
Check out this website to learn more about the region.
Hope you have the chance to experience this exceptional region and don’t forget, respect nature and think eco wherever you go. Until next time, take care!
Missing those exotic places. Can’t go to Bali this year because of travel restrictions? Well, come and visit the Sunshine State! If you need vitamin sea and a good dose of sunshine, North Queensland is blessed with both of those and even more. Australia, check out your backyard, there is just not enough superlative to describe what you will find. So, holiday here this year!
But wait….. do I hear, I want to be a responsible human and travelling can be at odds with my carbon footprint reduction objectives. Humm, yes, that can be true. When we travel, it is not only our carbon footprint that increases, but we also change our habits such as buying more food on the go. It is not good for the earth. How to turn this around? Could sustainability and travelling go hand and in hand?
So let’s have a chat about our impacts and how we can handle this a bit better, one step at the time. Small steps. I am a strong believer that each small step counts and that we should do what we can. We each live different lives and what is easy for someone can be difficult for someone else. But, if we all make a small effort, life can be better. We all need to adapt this to our own circumstances. And if the only thing you do is remembering to take a bamboo toothbrush and swap your regular sunscreen for a reef safe one, then, it is a win.
If you are ready to go on a journey with me then, I have prepared a great resource for you. I have compiled a guide to help you have fun by exploring North Queensland and doing it a bit more sustainably. The guide includes two different itineraries for a week-long trip and discusses how we can make better choices for the environment.
I have been blessed with living and travelling through both of those regions and they are quite dear to my heart. You can’t care about what you don’t know or experience and that is what travelling is all about. So, we can learn to care for the places we discover and ensures that future generation enjoys them as well, just as much as we did. I hope that this book will inspire you to explore this beautiful region and to care for our planet. You can find the free guide here.
See you soon and until next time, travel safe and sustainably!
If you have been on this site recently, you may have noticed that the shop page has been unavailable for a little while. Well, just like most of you, my life has been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. However, I am very thankful that my health and the health of my loved ones have not been affected. I also have managed to keep my day job, for now anyway, so I am one of the lucky ones, I know it may not have been the case for you, so I would like to acknowledge any suffering that this crisis may have caused to you. I am also thankful to live in a country that has an excellent health system as it is not the case in other countries. And of course, thank you to all the dedicated health professionals and support staff that are so essentials.
This post is a bit more personal, but I thought I would share with you what has been happening in the last few months. I started with this business idea a long time ago but did not have the time, money to do much with it. Very, very slowly it evolved from a blog to a shop last November (2019). I did not have much time to dedicate to it as I was working full time and needed to educate myself about business (that is still ongoing). Nevertheless, I was very proud of my achievements. But then, all that came to an abrupt end in March. Like most Australians, I went into lockdown. Unfortunately, that meant that I was away from my shop items in order to be close to my loved ones. I was working from home with my day job and wondering if this was ever going to end. Well, it still has not ended but I would say that things are on the up-trend. Queensland has re-opened its borders and interstate visitors are slowly coming back. Albeit, some delays for Victoria. So, great to see that despite everything, Australians have not lost their taste for travel. International travel is off the table for now but with such a blessed country, there is so much to see!
I also sincerely hope that one of the things that will change is that we will travel more sustainably and ethically. Because our health is intrinsically related to the health of the planet we inhabit, it would be a natural progression. If you are ready to make a bit of a difference, I invite you to come and visit our website, we have some great blog articles to help you make better choices and contribute to our collective wellbeing. Shortly, there will be some more information about how to travel more sustainably in North Queensland. So stay tuned for more info on this.
But today, I really wanted to tell you that I am really excited about announcing that I will be re-opening the ‘’shop’’ section of the website on the 1st of August 2020. You will find there, eco-friendly fashion and travel essentials. Helping the planet by packing eco-friendly has never been more fun! Have a browse here….. and thanks for your patience during these unprecedented times! See you soon and until next time, travel safely and sustainably!
Snugged in between two World heritage areas, the Port Douglas and Daintree region is picturesque and magical. If you want to find your mojo back or just need some time to disconnect with the rest of this crazy world, this is the ideal destination. Time seems to just slow down and the rainforest takes all your worries away. If you don’t believe me or want to know more, just watch this video.
Port Douglas is the ideal base to start exploring the area. There is a variety of accommodation and surely something will suit your needs. From the luxury hotel room to the self-contained unit, there is something for everyone.
What draw tourists and locals to the region is generally the easy access to the Great Barrier Reef and a number of cruises will get you there. As I just recently obtained my open diver certificate, I was of course not to miss this opportunity. I went with Poseidon who does take snorkelers as well. The boat visited three different sites on the outer reef which were all healthy and stunning. A truly amazing day.
Visiting three different sites can be a bit intense so if you are after a more casual day out there are plenty of options available.
We went there during the Christmas holidays which happens to be just the beginning of the rainy season. This means that intermittent showers were on the menu. To be honest, I love the wet season. For one, most people associate rain with cold. Not here. On the contrary. There is nothing more refreshing than a good outdoor shower. Secondly, the rainforest is at its prime during the wet season. I find that the colours of the rainforest are most vibrant right after the rain (Instagrammers, take note).
The Great Barrier Reef is just an out of this world experience and is rightly much talked about but it is not the only World heritage area that you can visit in the region. The Daintree Rainforest is the oldest living rainforest on earth. Yes, older than the Amazon. And it shows. At first, the rainforest is a bit intimidating, it appears like a big mess of green but once you get more acquainted, a whole new world just opens.
One way to get to know the rainforest is to see it through the eyes of the Kuku Yalanji people who have been inhabiting the forest since the dawn of times. Mossman Gorge Centre is a good start to enquire about guided walks and to get introduced to the forest.
If you feel up for the adventure, crossing the Daintree river will reward you with incredible sights and I assure you, you will come back transformed from this escapade.
We drove up from Port Douglas, across the Daintree River with the ferry and up to Cape Tribulation. It is a bit difficult to explain what happens after the ferry crossing. It is a bit like entering a magical world where the rainforest takes over and all your troubles go away. Entering the Daintree forest is like going back to the Jurassic era when dinosaurs were roaming. Just out of this time zone.
When you crossed the ferry, take the time to stop at the Alexandra lookout to soak it all in. It is just a little bit after the ferry crossing and will reward you with views of Low Isle and its lighthouse framed by king ferns.
An other way to get acquainted with the rainforest is through a better understanding of the biodiversity that it represents. To get a bird’s eye view, Daintree Rainforest Aerial Walkway is just what you need. Stop by and learn about the trees and its strange inhabitants like the cassowary.
There are a number of walks that you can do along the road to Cape Tribulation. One that is not to be missed is the Dubuji boardwalk. This walks will bring you through a forest of fan palms. It is an extremely rare and iconic forest. To be honest, it just holds a special place in my hearth. This is where the magic happens. There is just nowhere else in the world like it. Breath it all in and thank the forest for the cleanest air you will ever breath.
Hope you get the chance to visit! Until next time, keep exploring and take care of our beautiful planet!
One of the bucket list things to do in the Whitsundays, Queensland, Australia – is to visit Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet. Rated one of the top beaches to visit in the world and top things to do in the Whitsundays, let’s go see if it can hold on to its reputation!
The pure white sand and the ethereal blue of the sky and sea blend in a swirl of contrasts at Hill Inlet. Say no more, let’s go and explore!
A few facts about Whitehaven before we take you there….
With 98% silica content, the sand is incredibly white and makes a swishy sound when you walk on it. I have never been on a beach that has such a distinctive sound! Even if you go there when it is scorching hot, the sand will not burn your feet if you walk on it. Amazing! The only thing you have to be mindful of is the sand going into electronic equipment like phones and camera…. Apparently, it can make a lot of damages.
So, here is how our day went. We departed from Hamilton Island – but it would be as easy to go from Airlie Beach, just a bit longer. The boat we took departs from Airlie Beach, pick some passengers on Hamilton Island and then heads up to Whitehaven Beach. There are a few companies that will bring you there for a day trip but we went with Cruise Whitsundays and it was quite a stable and quick ride. About 30 -40 minutes later we were ferried ashore to Whitehaven Beach where canopies were set up. Make sure you bring your reef-safe sunscreen as the sun is quite intense! Some people stayed on the beach of a leisurely stroll or swim, others like us took a small boat to go to Tongue Bay, where we headed up for a bushwalk to an observatory where we could admire the Hill Inlet swirls. Seriously, be prepared to be dazzled! Thank you, mother nature, for this beautiful display. Seriously worth it in every way.
We headed back down to the other side of the hill where we were picked up and ferried back to Whitehaven beach right on time for lunch. Now, we could have just relaxed on beach for the rest of the afternoon, but instead, we decided to go for a bushwalk. We did a short circuit, bout 1 hour, to take advantage of the various vantage points and we were not deceived!
Whitehaven beach is located on the largest of the 74 islands of the Whitsundays appropriately called Whitsunday island which is a national park. That means that there are no developments and the viewpoints are quite exceptional.
After relaxing a bit on the beach, it was already time to go back but, oh! what a day.
A majestic place where time stops and the beauty of nature will make you forget all your troubles. Just go there and have a look for yourself, there is just nothing else like it!
Want to see more? Have a look at our Youtube video here.