Lonely Planet launches new guide to Australia

Lonely Planet’s new Australia guidebook, published in November 2007, will feature an all-new section called the GreenDex — a quick-reference index of sustainable accommodation, tours and experiences to help visitors travel responsibly within Australian shores.

With a growing number of travellers recognising the importance of travelling sustainably, Lonely Planet is steadily increasing the amount of responsible travel content in its guides. In a recent survey of 24,500 travellers worldwide, over 90% of people said they would consider travelling in a low-impact way in the future. The addition of the GreenDex to this new Australia guidebook enables travellers to easily look up the best eco experiences in the country.

Senior Commissioning Editor, Errol Hunt, said he hoped the new Australia guidebook would ‘help travellers ensure that their own travel leaves as light a ‘footprint’ as possible, while still being fun and enlightening.’

The attractions, tours and accommodation choices listed in the GreenDex have all been selected by Lonely Planet authors because they demonstrate an active sustainable-tourism policy. Some are involved in conservation or environmental education, and many are owned and operated by local and indigenous operators, thereby maintaining and preserving local identity and culture.

Some of the listings have also been certified by Ecotourism Australia, which means they meet high standards of environmental sustainability, business ethics and cultural sensitivity.

According to Errol Hunt, ‘Tourism in Australia, as in any country, needs to respond to the increasing call for visible sustainable tourism options. There are lots of great Australian tourism operators doing this already. We hope that the new GreenDex in our Australia guide, and other similar initiatives, will drive other operators in the same direction, as they see that there’s a clear financial advantage in operating an environmentally-sustainable business.

‘The GreenDex follows Lonely Planet’s philosophy of being selective rather than encyclopaedic – our guidebook doesn’t list every single tourism operator in the country, and neither does our GreenDex list every business that’s sustainable – it only lists companies that are sustainable and also recommended by our authors,’ said Hunt.

Following feedback from travellers, this new edition of Australia also refocuses on the needs of budget and midrange travellers, and combines extensive coverage with features readers ask for: tips for getting around the country by car, camping and caravanning and the best of contemporary Indigenous Australia.

Lonely Planet has been publishing its bestselling guide to Australia for 30 years – the first book was released in 1977 and the book is now in its 14th edition. For each new edition, the guidebook is researched from scratch by a team of expert authors.

For this new book, the authors explored more remote places than ever before: from King Island off Tasmania in the far south to Tiwi Islands, off the Northern Territory in the far north.

Other highlights include top travel recommendations by well-known Australians, tips on volunteering, advice on seasonal work and a special ‘Driving Australia’ chapter.