March is a great time to appreciate Mother Earth and all the natural splendour and scenery of the eastern coast of Australia. Why March? Well, this month is in many ways an international celebration of environmentally friendly initiatives.

Various global awareness days and events take place annually in March – some of these include United Nations International Day of Forests on the 21st,  World Plant a Flower Day on the 12th, Earth Hour 2016 on the 13th and World Water Day on the 22nd. We even had a local Aussie initiative, Clean Up Australia Day, just a few days ago on March 6.

Clearly, it’s the month to nurture and cherish our planet, so why not embark on an epic eco-tourist road trip to celebrate? Hire a car with low fuel-consumption from East Coast Car Rentals and explore the terrain with the passion of an eco-tourist – a person who takes care to respect the natural habitat of the region and participate in sustainable, socially ethical travel activities.

Take an eco-tour of Sydney

Various tour providers specialise in eco-tourism around Sydney, giving travellers a chance to go on stand-up paddleboard safaris on the Pittwater, snorkelling in Manly, coastal whale-spotting walks and guided hikes along the jaw-droppingly picturesque trails of the Blue Mountains.

Such activities put you outdoors in the welcoming embrace of Mother Nature, breathing in crisp fresh air and feasting your eyes on beautiful vistas. In fact, medical studies have actually proven the benefits of actively spending time outdoors. A study by the University of Edinburgh, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found that even a short 25-minute walk through nature is powerful enough to promote higher levels of electrochemical changes in the brain that release endorphins and make us feel happy and refreshed.

Visit the Daintree Forest, north of Cairns

The northeastern section of Queensland is genuinely a spectacular area of lush natural wonders. One of these is the Daintree Rainforest, home to some of the most ancient plant species in the country – many of these date as far back as Gondwanaland! This unique, verdant and ecologically diverse rainforest is the biggest area of protected rainforest in the country, making it a fitting choice for a visit in the month dedicated to celebrating forests around the world.

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How incredible is the Daintree Rainforest? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🌳 It is one old lady – estimated to be 130 million years old. ⠀ 🌳 From a total of 19 primitive flowering plant families on Earth, 12 families are represented in the Daintree region making the highest concentration of these plants worldwide. ⠀ 🌳 This natural wonder is home to thousands of species of birds and other wildlife including 30% of Australia’s frog, reptile and marsupial species in Australia, 65% of the country’s bat and butterfly species as well as 18% of all bird species and 12,000 insect species! ⠀ 🌳 The Kuku Yalanji people have lived in this area for thousands of years and their songs and legends continue to give special meaning to this landscape today.⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Pic by @travellingsab ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #KukuYalanji #daintreenationalpark #daintreerainforest #tropicalnorthqueensland #capetribulation #travelqld #thisisqueensland #discoverthedaintree #worldheritage #wheretherainforestmeetsthereef ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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There are a mesmerising  1,200 square kilometres to explore – clearly enough for a couple of days stop-over at one of the various accommodation options here. Spanning from chic lodges to rainforest retreats, there are plenty of cosy places to stay so hire a car from Cairns and drive on over for a wonderful escape to this World Heritage listed Daintree Forest.

Do the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk

Another incredible Gondwanan rainforest awaits you. Stretching around an ancient volcano that has eroded with time spans a lush kaleidoscope of plants and trees as old as dinosaurs, having been a part of this planet for centuries upon centuries. The Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk will bring you face-to-face with the Lamington and Springbrook plateaux, also World Heritage listings, as well as the Turtle Rock and Egg Rock nestled in the Numinbah Valley. A highlight is the eroded, extinct Tweed Volcano which erupted in all its mighty power 25 million years ago, but is now kissed by waterfalls and streams along its slopes instead of lava.

Each river and valley has a spiritual meaning and legends about its formation, so consider taking a guided hike tour and asking about these – especially inquire about Woonoongoora, which the local Yugambeh people call ‘Queen of the Mountains’. March to October are the recommended times for visiting here due to the cooler temperatures, so hire a car from Brisbane, the nearest big city, and enjoy a journey back in time.