Flickr/Rennett Stowe
Flickr/Rennett Stowe
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Top 10 Ecotourism Destinations

Blue Mountains, Australia

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000, Australia’s Greater Blue Mountains Area is a popular ecotourism trip for Sydneysiders seeking to trade in the buzz of the city for the calm of the great outdoors. A mere 90-minute car ride from Sydney, the Blue Mountains (named for the blue hue cast by the eucalyptus oil produced by the region's native trees) cover some 550 square miles of valleys, swamps, rocky outcroppings, and narrow canyons – topped off by stellar vantage points from which to ogle Australia’s beauty. A handful of national parks and reserves comprise the area, hosting dozens of trails through breathtaking terrain loaded with unique flora (don’t miss the ancient Wollemi pine, one of the world’s rarest species) and fauna (some 400 species, including koalas, call the Blue Mountains home). Rock climbing, mountain biking, rappelling, canoeing, and horseback riding are just a few of the activities – aside from bushwalking – to enjoy here in the wild. Of course, the prospect of relaxing and breathing in the fresh mountain air at one of the area’s many eco-friendly lodges and cabins can be equally enticing.

Deal: From $1,075: 4-day Sydney and Blue Mountains excursion including hotels, transfers, and trips to parks and other scenic landmarks. Click here to book

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