With the help of Go West tour guide Joel (aka @McVenturer), who is a passionate environmentalist and avid adventurer, we have put together a guide to being eco-friendly on the Great Ocean Road.
Being an eco-certified company, we feel a strong responsibility to act as environmentally friendly as possible. We are passionate about preserving and protecting the incredible destinations we visit every day on our tours.
Follow this guide to being eco-friendly on the Great Ocean Road and help us in our mission:
Keep to the path in wildlife habitats and National Parks
It’s important to respect our natural environments and one of the easiest ways to do this is to keep to the paths. You are in wildlife habitats, this means you must leave animals’ homes and feeding areas untouched. This ensures they have the resources they need to survive. In other areas, the paths have been built for safety and to protect the environment. This could be to prevent damage to the complex ecosystem of the Otway Rainforest, or protect against excessive erosion of limestone on the Shipwreck Coast.
Take all rubbish with you
Many National Parks in Victoria do not have rubbish bins, but instead require that you take your rubbish with you. This includes areas of the Port Campbell National Park and Great Otway National Park.
Bring reusable drink bottles and coffee cups
You’ll want to stay hydrated with water throughout the day. Or if you prefer coffee there is great local options which are guaranteed to keep you fuelled for the journey. We can do this all while being environmentally friendly! To save on plastic bottles, bring your own water bottle. There are plenty of places to refill it with fresh, clean drinking water. For coffee bring your own keepcup and refill along the way with multiple cafe stops! We always use reusable cups for morning tea stop on the Surf Coast.
Do not feed wild animals
Wild animals should never be fed. While it might seem fun to offer them food, it can be dangerous for them and it teaches them bad habits. Many human foods are not able to be digested by native Australian animals, so you may actually make them sick by feeding them. It is also important that wild animals don’t learn to be dependent on humans for food – they should stay wild and be able to feed themselves. In areas such as the Surf Coast, where birds may seem to be looking for food, please respect the rules and follow the signs asking you not to feed them.
Look for locally-made souvenirs
If part of your holiday involves collecting souvenirs and gifts to take home with you, try to find the locally made goods. They make a great, and often unique, present and are much better for the environment. At the Twelve Apostles lookout you’ll find Australian made souvenirs – including reusable coffee cups – and local produce such as chocolate and cookies which can make a great gift (or afternoon snack!)