13 Jan 2021

In South Australia, we are proud to be home to some of the most pristine natural environments and unique wildlife in the world, and it’s everyone’s responsibility to keep it that way.

With more South Australians exploring our backyard and visitors travelling around our beautiful state, many of our shared common areas such as campgrounds, picnic areas, national parks and beaches are busier than ever before. During these peak times, and 365 days a year, it has never been more important to protect our precious flora and fauna. From the jaw-dropping beaches of the Eyre Peninsula, to the wilds of the outback and lush landscapes of the Adelaide Hills, it is a privilege to experience these untouched environments. The responsibility lies with us all to leave these beautiful spaces as we find them; unspoiled, wild, rubbish-free and full of life.

Here are some simple eco-friendly camping and travel tips to help you explore South Australia more sustainably and responsibly.

1. Do not disturb (the ecosystem)

Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park, Yorke Peninsula
Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park, Yorke Peninsula

One of the most important ways to ensure our travel has minimal impact on the environment is to take care of the natural spaces we travel to and camp in. Protect delicate ecosystems by sticking to designated paths and camping grounds. Keep a safe distance from and do not feed native wildlife to ensure they stay wild and healthy. Take only photos and memories home with you and leave the natural environment, including shells, rocks, flora and fauna where they belong. Put simply, observe and enjoy.

2. Leave nothing behind

Pichi Richi Park, Flinders Ranges
Pichi Richi Park, Flinders Ranges

Keep the environment pristine and leave nothing behind. Bring biodegradable rubbish bags or boxes and sort your waste into recycling and landfill and take these with you when you leave. If there is no bin nearby, drop it off when you get to the nearest town or dispose of it at home. Better still, leave the area better than when you arrived and take along a reusable bag to pick up any rubbish you come across along the way.

3. Reuse and recycle

Kuitpo Forest, Fleurieu Peninsula
Kuitpo Forest, Fleurieu Peninsula

Plastic waste is one of the biggest issues facing the environment. Minimise your impact and do not use plastic or disposable cutlery or kitchen items when camping or picnicking. Have a designated camping supply in your shed or use your day-to-day crockery, and pack re-usable drink bottles, coffee cups and containers for your water supplies. Bring Tupperware instead of single-use plastic bags or plastic wrap or use foil so you can recycle. Where necessary, use reusable or biodegradable bags in place of plastic shopping bags.

4. Use eco-friendly chemical alternatives

Greenly Beach, Eyre Peninsula
Greenly Beach, Eyre Peninsula

Harsh chemicals can cause significant damage to delicate water systems. When camping, avoid disturbing the natural ecology of our oceans, rivers, streams, lakes and creeks by using natural, eco-friendly shampoos, soaps and detergents and use amenities or portable showers rather than washing in natural water sources. Swap to non-toxic sunscreens and bug sprays, especially near waterways. It is also important to conserve our precious resources and be conscious of water usage.

5. Shop locally

Beerenberg Farm, Adelaide Hills
Beerenberg Farm, Adelaide Hills

South Australia’s produce is world-renowned so stock up on local fruit, vegetables, wine, cheese and artisan products to fuel your trip. Support local communities and cut down on food mileage by buying direct from producers at farmers markets, farm gates and roadside stalls. Pack your esky, car fridge or reusable bags to avoid relying on plastic bags when shopping and dispose of food waste responsibly.

Small changes to our travel behaviour can have a huge impact for our environment. It is our collective responsibility as travellers to care for our amazing environments and leave them in a better condition than we found them, ensuring generations to come can continue to explore and enjoy them.

More ways to travel lightly

Looking for more sustainable travel inspiration? South Australia’s tourism experiences are leading the way for sustainable travel. Discover more environmentally conscious ways to experience South Australia with our guide to the best off-grid accommodation, where to find sustainable wineries and dining experiences, explore the best wildlife encounters in the wild or tread lightly on an eco-friendly walking tour. Find out more about sustainable travel in South Australia here.

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