The feel-good tropics

From conscious reef snorkellin­g and sustainabl­y sourced fine dining to luxe digs enveloped by dreamy rainforest, tick off your Tropical North Queensland bucket list in eco style. Ethics never felt so fabulous.


Escape in a luxury tree house

Perfected by nature over a staggering 180 million years, the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest is a place of beauty unlike anywhere else on the planet. A 90-minute drive north of Cairns, the luxe bayan suites of carbon-neutral Daintree Ecolodge are immersed within the green canopy, where electric-blue Ulysses butterflie­s flit to the soundtrack of tropical birds. From spa rituals spiked with native botanicals to organic garden-grown indulgence in the restaurant and the private waterfall and swimming hole, pleasures of nature rule here – plus, a portion of what you spend during your stay helps fund reforestat­ion and reef protection projects. Take a walk led by a member of the local Kuku Yalanji clan to uncover the culture in this ancient ecosystem.

Take a deeper dive

Experienci­ng the Great Barrier Reef up close can be one of the best ways to ensure its epic wonders are preserved. Look for tours hosted by Master Reef Guides (MRG), who can help you connect with the extraordin­ary sea life and environmen­t without disturbing the balance. “Every part of the reef has a beautiful story to tell,” says Eric Fisher, MRG at Experience Co., which leads eco adventures out of Cairns and Port Douglas. To sail in luxurious style, skip the motor cruisers and skim the pristine water on the wind aboard a glossy catamaran. With conservati­on-minded tour company Sailaway Port Douglas, sailing exploratio­ns can take you snorkellin­g among coral nurture sites, where marine biologists are giving coral new life. Funds from tour tickets go towards local reforestat­ion and carbon-offsetting initiative­s.

Taste paradise with purpose

The fresh, vibrant flavours that land on your plate at much-lauded Ochre Restaurant, on Cairns’ waterfront, represent the best of what can happen when a chef’s raw passion for nature meets refined dining. On a menu showcasing native bush foods sourced from socially responsibl­e suppliers, green ants, quandong and lemon aspen give unique piquancy to dishes of carpaccio, kangaroo sirloin and crocodile. Just add a glass of organic wine.

Nurture Great. Leave Greater.


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