The number of eco-friendly cottages and homes available for rent is increasing, with more hosts sharing green spaces than ever before. One growing trend among green holiday rentals is the use of upcycled materials like glass, timber and steel. According to Airbnb, spaces built with upcycled or sustainable materials have increased by 175 percent over the last four years.
But just because it’s eco-friendly, don’t expect to be roughing it. We’ve handpicked the best eco-friendly cottages that are as luxurious as they are sustainable, so you can enjoy a weekend getaway that’s good for you, and the planet.
Nes Kanimbla, Blue Mountains
Set on a grand 5 acres of land in the Kanimbla Valley of the Blue Mountains, this architecturally designed house is the perfect retreat for you and your closest friends and family. With three separate bedrooms with ensuites, Nes Kanimbla will comfortably sleep six adults. It even has a steam room.
Although the walls are made with a style of ‘mud brick’, there is no rustic sense to this home, only clean lines and sleek finishes. Nes Kanimbla features lots of beautiful timber and environmentally friendly rammed earth walls that give it a very natural feel. The inclusion of floor to ceiling windows in every room maximise the exquisite views of the Kanimbla Valley below and flood the entire house with natural light – adding to the extravagant vibe.
If you are looking to feel as though you are alone in the wilderness, this is the place to visit. With five acres to explore and frequent visits from local kangaroos, wombats and native birds, reconnecting with the environment will be a cinch.
Where: Kanimbla Valley, approximately 2hours drive from Sydney CBD, in the Blue Mountains
How much: $499 per night (+ fees)
How many: 6 guests, 3 beds
Callignee II, Gippsland, Victoria
Restored from the ruins of Callignee I that was destroyed in the devastating Black Saturday bushfires, this minimalist timber and steel home was built from sturdy recycled elements and the latest fire-resistant materials. Sounds rustic, and it is, but in an oh-so-elegant way.
Architecturally designed and multi-award winning, Callignee II embraces its natural surroundings and invites the outside world in, through a clever use of glass, multi-levels and light.
Though not abundantly obvious, the best feature of Callignee II is that it is totally independent and self-sustainable. Defined as being 100% off-grid, this home relies on rainwater, solar power and a bio septic tank to service your daily needs. Not surprisingly, this home was featured on Grand Designs Australia. It truly is one of a kind worth adding to your eco bucket list. While it is a little harder to get to, tucked away on a 5acre piece of Gippsland in Victoria, your effort will be rewarded tenfold
Where: Callignee, approximately 10hours drive from Sydney CBD, via Canberra, southeast of Melbourne or approximately 2hours 30minutes drive from Melbourne Airport
How much: $355 per night (+ fees)
How many: 4 guests, 2 beds
The Artist’s House, Southern Highlands, NSW
Have you ever wanted to step inside a piece of artwork? If so, then The Artist’s House makes for one of the more intriguing eco-cottages for rent. Perfect for a romantic escape or a couple’s retreat, this eccentric hideaway offers all the joy of a shared weekend away with the seclusion of a private retreat.
This property boasts so many creative details, with the highlight being the peaked cathedral ceiling with roof windows out to the starlit sky. Just imagine cosying up to your loved one, flames flickering in front of you in the pot-belly stove and stars twinkling down from above.
Only a short drive from the Morton National Park, there is plenty of opportunity to explore the inspiration behind this home and venture out to nearby waterfalls, lookouts and walking tracks. Peaceful, private and full of character, this home exists in perfect harmony with its natural surrounds. As eco-friendly cottages go, this is the ideal escape from a busy city life.
Where: Bundanoon, approximately 2hours drive from Sydney CBD, in the Southern Highlands
How much: $220 per night (+ fees)
How many: 4 guests, 2 beds
River House, Coba Point, NSW
Just metres from the water, the River House offers uninterrupted views of the Hawkesbury river, past Bar Island in the north and beyond. The house is completely powered from renewable energy featuring an off grid solar battery system, gas cooking and hot water and its own rain water collection.
The house accommodates up to 2 people and is ideal for a romantic weekend getaway for couples or a relaxing weekend escape. Enjoy the sun on the private beach, or kick back in the in the hammock to relax with a good book as you watch the river pass by.
Getting to The River House is part of the experience. As the property only has direct water access, guests can arrange a water taxi and boat hire deal which will get you to and from the house quickly and allow you to explore the river in your own time. The hire boat will be pre delivered to the private pontoon, and no experience or licence is required.
Where: Berowra Waters, approximately 45 minutes from Sydney CBD, on the Hawksbury river.
How much: $470 per night (+ fees). Water taxi and boat hire package are approximately $400 as a guide for 2 nights, additional nights $50 each.
How many: 2 guests, 1 bed
Orchard Escape, Blackheath, NSW
Ever wandered what it’s like to live on a picturesque apple orchard? Well now you can at this unique farm stay just 1.5 hours from Sydney’s CBD. With all of the charm you’d expect from eco-friendly cottages, stay in luxury and style while soaking up your own private blue mountains escarpment views. Wonder through the apple trees, meet the animals or just sit and enjoy the cozy fire place with a glass of wine.
This stunning Machinery shed is located on the oldest remaining apple orchard on shipley plateau. Built in 1919 it has had a new lease on life, and has been thoughtfully restored as a romantic couples stay. As the house faces iconic blue mountains cliffs and looks down on to the Kanimbla valley, there’s no shortage of native flora and fauna to admire.
Enjoy a bottle of champagne as you soak in the freestanding stone bathtub looking out on the the view and bush. The best part? The treetop bathtub in the bush.
Where: Blackheath, NSW
How much: $518 per night (+ fees)
How many: 2 guests, 1 bed
Mill Pond Cabin, Hunter Valley, NSW
Nestled on the property of Mill Creek Vineyards, Mill Pond Cabin has been thoughtfully designed out of an aesthetic blend of galvanised iron, timber and stone that were locally sourced. This home’s secluded placement surrounded by vines and trees creates an illusion of isolation, perfect for a cosy weekend escape.
The property ticks the boxes when it comes to eco-friendly cottages, making use of solar panels on the roof and the rain water tank attached to the side of the cottage.
Inside you’ll l find everything you’ll need for a cosy weekend getaway: a fully equipped kitchen, a modern bathroom and a light-filled living area with working fireplace. But none of these features compare to the tranquillity of plunging into the spa under the stars with a bottle of local-as-you-like Mill Creek wine in hand and your favourite person by your side.
Where: Stroud, approximately 2hours 30minutes drive from Sydney CBD, in the Hunter Valley
How much: $250 per night (+ fees)
How many: 2 guests, 1 bed
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