Travelling Green in Port Douglas Daintree

By Jeremy Lebeuf
Oct 29, 2019. Last updated Apr 22, 2022


Ah, holidays. We all deserve them. We love them, we dream of them. Unfortunately, travel can take a bit of a toll on beautiful Mother Earth and that can be a bit of a nightmare. From our favourite ginger Prince Hazza promoting sustainable travel through to Greta Thunberg’s icy stare that could halt global warming, the green revolution is in full swing as the world is changing along with our travel choices. So, can the words ‘travel’ and ‘sustainability’ even be uttered in the same breath? You bet your carbon neutral credits it can! You just need to know where to go… and no, it doesn’t mean a swag in the backyard (although that can be mighty fun too).

The Port Douglas Daintree region is a ‘natural’ paradise – proudly flaunting all that Mother Nature gave her. Home to stunning beaches, an array of wildlife, the outrageously lush Daintree Rainforest, pristine waterholes and the best of the Great Barrier Reef. This place was an eco-haven before ecotourism was fashionable – and it continues to be so by protecting its natural assets.

Visiting Port Douglas Daintree takes the eco-anxiety out of planning your next vacation by leading the way as one of the world’s most positive ecotourism destinations. We’ve made it easy to vacation guilt free by rounding up the best places to take a feel-good eco-holiday, meaning you can have your sustainably-sourced cake and eat it too.



ECO-bling: Eco-Certified Advanced Ecotourism, Climate Action Business

There’s something really soothing of waking up to the sound of birds as the morning sun dances through the window sheers. That’s part of the magic of staying at the Daintree Eco Lodge, this place is all about the eco, it even says so in the name. Partially powered by solar panels, it is also a carbon neutral property meaning all carbon emissions are compensated for by funding native reforestation projects. Kindred to the rainforest they consider themselves to be guardians of the Daintree, so much so they teamed up with Rainforest Rescue to support them in their efforts to protect the Daintree and halt the effects of deforestation.


ECO-bling: Accreditation pending - new property

There’s little Mist-ery why this place is a winner. A welcome to this rainforest retreat may include French Champagne, wine, craft beer, a moreish cheese board, ummm yes please! Mist is the newest eco luxe accommodation in Cape Tribulation that oozes comfort and style. Totally off-grid relying on solar power they embrace an eco-sustainable lifestyle in the rainforest. Couples looking for eco-friendly harmony can cuddle up on the decks with a glass of bubbles watching the sunset over glorious Mount Sorrow. Sounds seriously amazing!


ECO-bling: Eco-Certified Advanced Ecotourism

Ever dream of sleeping in a luxury treehouse in the midst of natural tropical rainforest? Eco-friendly Silky Oaks Lodge is committed to respecting the sustainability of the nature around them and creating eco-awareness. They have a long-term plan they’re working towards to ensure that the environmental impact of the Lodge is zero. From Enviro-smart cleaning products, low energy light bulbs to the electric vehicles that keep them moving - everything they do is consistent with World Heritage standards.

NOTE: To further up the ante in eco-luxe Silky Oaks Lodge is currently closed until 2021 for enhancement projects.


ECO-bling: Eco-Certified Advanced Ecotourism

Sweet luxury while ticking off all the sustainability boxes means staying at the Daintree Wilderness Lodge. This eco heavy hitter has been designed to ensure minimal impact on the natural environment. They’ve been awarded an Advanced Ecotourism Eco Certificate, for their efforts on reducing their force on the environment, including non-toxic cleaning products, fresh spring water that supplies the entire resort and using a Bio Cycle water waste management system. With a belief that the rainforest has such a delicate ecosystem and every element plays a vital role in maintaining its life-force.


ECO-bling: Advanced Ecotourism, Green Travel Leader status with Ecotourism Australia

Honey hued, lush green and coconut trees for days may have you thinking if this place was curated for Insta. Thala has proudly achieved the highest accreditation of eco-certification through sustainable practices and environmental sensitivity. That includes removal of all single-use plastic bottles, take away coffee cups and straws. Thala offers complimentary re-useable stainless-steel water bottle to guests filled with filtered water from their own underground spring.



ECO-bling: Eco-Certified -Advanced Ecotourism

Specialising in the apex predator Hartley’s is the apex in eco-goodness. Nestled in the picturesque Wangetti Valley halfway between Cairns and Port Douglas, the park is surrounded by World Heritage listed National Park. A long-time accredited member of Ecotourism Australia the crocs aren’t the only ones green here. These guys have sustainability covered starting from the building design focused on energy and water conservation to their rainforest restoration project – restoring a Notophyll Vine Forest that inhabits the banks of Tin Creek, which flows through Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures.


ECO-bling: Eco-certified, Eco Tourism Accredited

There are thousands of fish stories out there but sadly overfishing isn’t one of them. Hook-A-Barra is tipping the scale in green fishing with their certified sustainable farm. Committed to preserving the environment through sustainable agriculture and fishing without depleting or impacting the majestic natural environment we live in. You can practise your lure and land techniques on their farmed stock. Even if you decide to purchase your fish, you are not depleting Australia’s wild stock. Fishing doesn’t get any more sustainable than this! You’re sure to have a barra-FUN-di time.


ECO-bling: Eco-Certified Advanced Ecotourism

Expand your green travel creds and your Instagram account on Ocean Safari’s exhilarating snorkel adventure on the pristine untouched Great Barrier Reef off the Daintree Coast at Cape Tribulation. These guys do more than just stunning reef trips, they clean up, advise, teach and most importantly- care. They’re committed to collecting and documenting marine life, water temperatures and coral health as participants in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority study, “Eye on the Reef “program. Allowing you to snorkel to your heart's content with no guilt.


ECO-bling: Eco-Certified Advanced Ecotourism, Climate Action Leaders

Want to revel in the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef without harming it? Unless you’re a monster then the answer is yes. Sailaway takes great strides in the conservation of the GBR through action and education. Plus, it’s a pretty schmick boat to sail on. 100% carbon conscious, $20.00 of every ticket goes towards local sustainable reforestation and carbon offsetting. Sailaway are hands down one of the best bets for staying ecofriendly while checking the GBR off your bucket list.


ECO-bling: Eco-tourism Hall of Fame, Eco-Certified -Advanced Ecotourism

A Port Douglas icon and “must do”, Wildlife Habitat have green credentials coming out of the wazoo as Australia’s leading environmental wildlife experience. Fancy feeding kangaroos, meeting koalas, getting scary close to crocs and cassowaries? The Wildlife sanctuary provides visitors with a chance to get up close to a huge range of iconic Australian animals. Recently inducted into the Eco-tourism Hall of Fame due to their trailblazing efforts in the infancy of ecotourism. They lead the way with strong sustainable practices and minimal impact on the natural environment and are committed to conservation, in such ways as green waste is recycled into mulch, effluent and bore water is used and scrap paper is recycled in animal enclosures and in the Wildlife Care Centre. They believe education is the best way to ensure understanding appreciation and conservation of all nature’s treasures.


ECO-bling: Eco-certified, Advanced Ecotourism Accreditation

The Daintree Discovery Centre is the fully immersive and interpretive centre where visitors can experience the rainforest at every level – from high above the canopy looking down at spectacular flora on the Canopy Walk, 23 metres above the ground, walkways through the mid-level heart of the rainforest on their Aerial Walkway, through to the forest floor on the Daintree Boardwalks, keeping an eye out for cassowaries. Self-guided audio tours are also available, and feature interesting information of how the traditional local Aboriginal people made good use of the natural features of the rainforest.


ECO-bling: Eco-certified, Eco Tourism Accredited

Eco-warriors looking for eco-adventures can come see the crazy cool folk at Back Country Bliss. With an ethos to inspire conservation through education, ensuring their guests leave with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the natural world. They take you off-the-beaten-track for breath-taking eco-experiences ensuring all their adventures are designed to avoid any negative environmental impact and using best practices reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Dive into drift snorkelling in the Daintree Rainforest or take a hike up the notorious Devil’s Thumb - escape the crowds and experience all the hidden wonders of Port Douglas Daintree.

Remember, travel is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Well that and food, and this is an area that dishes up nothing less than deliciously fresh produce on the doorstep. Low food miles that boast a vibrant bounty of organic, free-range and seasonal ingredients. The abundance is used in many of the nearby eateries (*drool*), but that’s a whole other story.

Drooling aside, green travel doesn’t need to be hard when you know where to go. Pack your bags and vacation guilt free, well except for a few cheeky daiquiris, to tropical Port Douglas Daintree, the ultimate in natural relaxation, adventure and luxury all wrapped up in one ecotourism destination you don’t want to miss.


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