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Leave it better than you found it – Zac Efron’s latest Netflix series Down to Earth

Leave it better than you found it – Zac Efron’s latest Netflix series Down to Earth

Zac Efron and Darin Olien’s Netflix series, Down to Earth, is back with a second season titled Down to Earth: Down Under. The latest series, which launched on 11 November, highlights meaningful and sustainable ways to travel and was shot entirely in Australia, featuring a plethora of sustainable tourism operators and experiences.

rom conservation efforts on the UNESCO World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, to enhancing the quality of life of Australia’s Traditional Owners – the world’s oldest living culture, follow in the footsteps of Zac and Darin as Tourism Australia (www.australia.com) highlights some of the sustainable experiences featured in the latest series.

Respect the environment and all its creatures

Aussie Ark, New South Wales

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Aussie Ark is creating a long-term future for threatened Australian species, including the long-nosed potoroo, eastern quoll, and the iconic Tasmanian devil, through its rewilding programs. At its Barrington Tops property, five hours north of Sydney/Warrane, Aussie Ark’s ranger-led tours occur four times a month and journey through free-range Tasmanian devil enclosures.

 

Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, South Australia

Escape to a nature lover’s paradise at Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, a 45-minute ferry ride off the coast of South Australia. The Kangaroo Island experience offers private tours, meet and greet activities with the animals, adoption sponsorships and more. Whether you’re feeding a kangaroo, taking a dingo on a walk, or getting up close and personal with a range of reptiles, respect and care for all creatures always comes first.

Science for Wildlife, New South Wales

This not-for-profit wildlife conservation organisation is taking a scientific approach to caring for Australia’s most vulnerable creatures. Through innovative research and partnerships between scientists, land managers and communities, Science for Wildlife is committed to projects such as the Blue Mountains Koala project, the Bushfire Emergency Response project, and the National Koala Genome project, to name a few.

 

Immerse yourself in the world’s oldest living culture by listening to Indigenous and Torres Strait Island voices

 

Girringun Aboriginal Corporation, Queensland

Enhancing the Traditional Owners’ quality of life and the representation of communities in north Queensland, Girringun Aboriginal Corporation places particular importance on the revitalisation and continuance of traditional languages. To fund its initiatives, the Girringun Art Centre sells fashion, art, home decor and jewellery, and guests can even spot artists working on their creations in real time.

 

Kuku Yalanji Cultural Habitat Tours, Queensland

These Aboriginal owned and guided tours through Cooya Beach (Kuyu Kuyu), an hour north of Cairns, are the ultimate way to explore the beach, mangroves and coastal reef, which are connected through the ever-changing mudflats and tidal lagoons. Tour guides will teach you how to throw a spear, hunt whilst stalking and observing wildlife, and how to find plants used for food and medicine. They’ll also introduce you to some of their family members and share their extensive knowledge of this special area and how they care for their country.

 

Masig Island, Torres Strait

Masig Island is a coral cay situated in the Eastern area of the central island group in the Torres Strait. Accessed by charter plane only, this island houses only 250 residents and requires approval to visit, due to maintaining the agriculture and natural flora and fauna of the island. The people of Masig Island are skilled navigators with a detailed knowledge of the reefs and have always occupied a central position in the Straits trading networks.

 

Support regenerative agriculture and waste practices to rehabilitate our world

 

Brae Restaurant, Victoria

Brae, by lauded chef Dan Hunter, is an award-winning Melbourne/Narrm restaurant with luxurious guest suites and an organic working farm. Immersing guests in nature and eating from the land, the menu encapsulates local and culturally-rich flavours, showcasing ethical and sustainable produce from nearby farmers. Each day, high quality ingredients are selected to create the day’s menu, surprising and delighting guests with every visit.

 

Atiyah Food Culture, Victoria

With the mantra of “awesome street food, zero carbon”, Aityah Food Culture in Melbourne/Narrm is Australia’s first carbon-zero kitchen. Here, the authentic family recipe for manakish flatbread baked fresh on the traditional saj griddle is on show. Travellers must try the picnic boxes which combine manakish with local produce and homestyle dips like hummus or baba ghanoush, as well as freshly picked vine leaves and mixed olives - perfect for a day out picnicking in the sun!

 

Firedoor, New South Wales

For a truly contemporary culinary experience, head to the globally acclaimed Firedoor restaurant in Surry Hills in Sydney, where the kitchen is entirely powered by wood fire and everything is cooked to order. Led by chef and owner, Lennox Hastie, Firedoor focuses on developing daily menus that showcase seasonal ingredients and fire in all its forms. The open kitchen also gives guests a chance to peek behind the curtain and witness the talented chefs at work.

 

Future Food System, Victoria

Located in Melbourne’s Federation Square, Joost Bakker’s highly anticipated Greenhouse/Future Food System is a self sustaining, closed loop, two-bedroom home that shelters, feeds and provides energy for its inhabitants. The human driven system mimics nature - upcycling what we currently regard as ‘waste’, in order to grow nutrient dense, delicious produce.

 

Sustainable House, New South Wales

Owned by Michael Mobbs, the Sustainable House in Sydney suburb, Chippendale, is a fully off-grid residence that Michael uses in his role as a Sustainability Coach to help people reduce pollution and bills and get healthy with local food that is bought or grown. In 1996, the house disconnected from mains water and sewer, and in 2015, Michael disconnected from the poles and wires of the main electricity grid, using solar panels and batteries to power the house.

 

Marvel at and get involved with the restoration of the Great Barrier Reef

 

Cruise Whitsundays, Queensland

With a range of island adventures, cruises and over-water accommodation, Cruise Whitsundays brings out the best of the majestic Great Barrier Reef. An eco-certified tour operator and Eco Barge Clean Seas partner, travellers can explore the kaleidoscope of coral and marine life while feeling positive they are doing so with a sustainable operator. Looking for a unique night’s sleep? Cruise Whitsundays’ Reefsuites are Australia’s first underwater accommodation on the Great Barrier Reef and the best way to get up close and personal with aquatic neighbours.

 

Reef Magic Cruises, Queensland

An over-water haven to explore Australia’s off-coast paradise found in Cairns, Reef Magic Cruises’ new pontoon is the most technologically advanced pontoon on the Great Barrier Reef. Not only does Reef Magic hold an Advanced Eco Accreditation, a Respecting Our Culture Certification and a Climate Action Business Certification, but it’s also recognised as a Green Travel leader by Ecotourism Australia. The pontoon has three wind generators and 16 solar panels powered by sustainable energy and is the perfect launch point for a variety of water-based activities including guided snorkel tours, glass bottom boat tours and Indigenous tours.

 

Great Barrier Reef Foundation, Queensland

For travellers who are looking to make more of an impact, The Great Barrier Reef Foundation has a wide range of volunteering groups that help save the reef all the while enjoying its beauty. Based out of Townsville in north Queensland, volunteer programs include monitoring coral bleaching, mangrove conservation, reef protection or ecology and so much more.

 

Commenting on their time in Australia, Darin Olien, co-host and executive producer, said:

 

“We loved being able to visit such a unique range of Australian destinations while filming Down To Earth: Down Under. A personal highlight for me was finally scuba diving for the first time – in one of the seven wonders of the natural world the Great Barrier Reef, out of all places! As we explore different parts of the world, it has been important to me that we uphold respect for the traditional customs of the local communities. I’m grateful we were able to do this while in Australia and showcase these experiences to the world for when they book their next trip Down Under. Between the fresh food, the amazing innovations, beautiful sceneries, and incredibly welcoming people we met along the way, it’s safe to say we can’t wait to come back and visit Australia.”