If you’re not thinking about the environmental footprint of your holiday accommodation, it's time you should be. There is a lot to be considered when attempting to be a eco-conscious traveller, and where you stay is a big portion of responsible travel. We've selected 8 eco-friendly lodges, hostels and resorts to help you travel sustainably throughout Australia.
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley was the first resort in the world to achieve internationally accredited carbon neutral status when it opened in 2009 and remains the only resort in Australia with this standard of accreditation. It is also the only Australian resort in recent history granted permission to build in close proximity to a World Heritage Area and was built according to a philosophy of complete integration with its environment.
Nestled in a private valley between two national parks in the iconic World Heritage-listed Greater Blue Mountains region, west of Sydney, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is an ultra-luxury conservation resort. The resort occupies just one percent of a 7,000-acre wilderness reserve, and is a world-leading example of carbon-neutral conservation and sustainable tourism operation.
The Daintree Ecolodge is partially powered by solar panels and is a carbon neutral property with Greenfleet offsetting, meaning all carbon emissions are compensated for by funding native reforestation projects. They plant trees in partnership with Rainforest Rescue to assist in the reforestation of areas of the Daintree Rainforest that have been impacted by human development, and have a biocycle waste water treatment plant that allows 100% of the water to be recycled and used for irrigation and watering. Not to mention, that they donate $50 per guest stay to the Morris Family Foundation Reef Keepers Fund, supporting projects that protect and preserve the Great Barrier Reef.
With only 7 elevated cabins designed to be hidden within the giant Fan Palms of the rainforest, the lodge stands amidst two World Heritage Listed areas, the Daintree National Park and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Prepare to explore hidden paths and boardwalks, discover swimming holes, spot rare bird (a cassowary if you are lucky) and wildlife, or snorkel off Cape Tribulation. It's a beautiful lodge which delivers an immersive destination where you live and breathe the rainforest.
Freycinet Lodge has been genuinely implementing an environmental policy that balances the opportunity for tourists to enjoy this pristine wilderness with minimising its footprint on the sensitive ecosystem of the area. In 2011, these efforts were formally recognised with an Advanced Eco-Certification from Ecotourism Australia. The lodge provides cabins that have been designed to blend seamlessly with the natural forest setting, they encouraging guests to follow a “leave no trace” philosophy explaining that wildlife such as wallabies are to be appreciated from a distance but not fed or treated as pets, leaving beaches undisturbed which includes resisting the temptation to collect shells, and running tours and activities which highlight the uniqueness and importance of Freycinet National Park’s ecosystem and native heritage.
Located inside the Freycinet National Park, just past Coles Bay, overlooking the blue waters of Great Oyster Bay and with the rugged Hazards mountain range as your backdrop, you will fall in love with this captivating escape in Tasmania.
Eco Beach Resort
Eco Beach Resort offer a relaxing retreat for their guests but they also have many processes in place to minimise their environmental impact, as well as contributing to local wildlife conservation. The Eco Villas are solar powered and virtually self-sustaining and any excess power generated is diverted into the Eco Beach grid and used where needed. Also, due to the remoteness of the resort, reducing water consumption is a key target. All waste water is recycled by using it to water the landscaped grounds, and all the toilet, sink taps and shower-heads are "lo-flow". Native plants are used on the grounds to reduce irrigation needs, and the servicing of the tents and villas are carried out every three days to reduce the water usage needed for cleaning.
The Resort is a multi award-winning eco resort set amongst the pristine and untouched Kimberley environment. Just over an hour’s drive south of Broome, the resort includes includes 25 superbly appointed Eco Villas interlinked by over 1km of elevated wooden boardwalks, and 30 luxurious safari style Eco Tents. Guests enjoy an unforgettable and unique wilderness experience whilst having minimal impact on the surrounding landscape.
Ovolo Nishi Canberra
Ovolo Nishi is a stunning green hotel that sits in the environmentally thoughtful Nishi building, arguably Australia’s most sustainable building, within Canberra’s arts and culture precinct, NewActon. The 68 rooms are dressed with salvaged and restored 20th century Australian furniture, original artworks and artisan-made furnishings. The beds are made from reclaimed oak, and the walls are a mix of concrete, cork, earthen clay, and natural fiber wallpapers. The custom made furniture in the hotel rooms and public spaces have all been made by Australian makers. Meanwhile, the Grand Staircase is built with recycled timber from a demolished house and a basketball court (seriously).
Grampians Eco YHA
The Grampians Eco-Hostel is a stylish and comfortable eco-certified hostel that has been architecturally designed with the environment in mind. Situated in Halls Gap at the doorway to the beautiful Grampians National Park the hostel incorporates many features that protect and complement the environment of the national park, including solar electricity and many state-of-the-art energy and water conservation processes.
Grampians YHA has a range of rooms available, including multishare, single, double, twin and family.
It has two fully equipped kitchens, two cosy lounges with wood-fire heaters, and guests are also welcome to use the produce from the veggie patch and fruit frees, plus free range eggs and herbs from the organic herb garden.
Ecopia Retreat is Kangaroo Island luxury accommodation immersed in 150 acres of natural wilderness. A dedicated wildlife sanctuary, the property features three luxury retreat options, two Villas and the Residence and reflects the owners’ ethos and passion for the Australian natural environment with its captivating native vegetation and fascinating wildlife.
The retreat is fully sustainable solar powered accommodation. It is located on a vast private property in the centre of Kangaroo Island whereby guests will be immersed in a habitat of wildlife and natural beauty. The property allows exclusive access to the Eleanor River and offers a unique opportunity to explore the inland beauty, one that is rarely experienced by travellers to Kangaroo Island.
Bamurru Plains is an extraordinary bush experience on the edge of Kakadu National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory. This ecologically sensitive luxury camp focuses on environmental sustainability and key luxury standards offering the highest levels of comfort. The lodge is committed to operational principles of sustainability and conservation. To discourage the use of generator power they charge a $100 surcharge per room per night the use of the air-conditioning.
The coastal floodplains of northern Australia are home to prolific bird and wildlife (Australia's answer to the Okavango Delta) whilst Kakadu and Arnhem Land are the heartland of the country’s aboriginal culture. The 10-room camp safari lodge exudes ‘Wild Bush Luxury’ ensuring that guests are introduced to the sights and sounds of this spectacular environment in style and exclusivity. Each suite blends seamlessly with the surrounding bush, with a focus on the key luxury comforts, innovative Australian cuisine and premium wines (no TVs, minibars or telephones to distract from the wildlife outside). It is the soft touches that surprise in this remote bush location and the understated luxury is very much in tune with the environment.