It’s official – spending time outside is good for you.
A weekend in the wilderness not only allows us to unwind and reconnect with our environment, and the people around us – it is also proven to have significant and wide-ranging health benefits.
But what if camping isn’t your thing? Rest assured, there’s a more comfortable way to enjoy the great outdoors. Airbnb offers a huge variety of sustainable accomodation options, including a collection of stylish, unique and affordable earth houses for rent.
We’ve handpicked six of the best eco-stays on Airbnb that do not scrimp on added luxuries, leaving you feeling comfortable you’re doing no harm, and probably some good too.
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 and ensuites, this home 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 feel to this home, only clean lines and sleek finishes. 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 feel.
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
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
Mill Pond Cabin
Nestled on the property of Mill Creek Vineyards, this stylish cabin has been thoughtfully designed out of an aesthetic blend of galvanised iron, timber and stone, that were locally sourced. It makes use of solar panels on the roof and collects rain water in a tank attached to the side of the cabin.
Inside you will find all the mod cons: 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.
This home’s secluded placement surrounded by vines and trees creates an illusion of isolation, perfect for a weekend escape.
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
The Artist’s House
Have you ever wanted to explore the inside of an artwork? If so, then this is the destination for you.
Perfect for a romantic escape or a couple’s retreat, this home boasts two bedrooms with the second bedroom detached from the main house, offering you all the joy of a shared weekend away and the seclusion of a private retreat.
This home 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. Bliss!
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, offering 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
Built into the side of a hill, this underground studio is truly unique. While only small, it offers more space than a hotel room and oh so much more charm.
With two skylights and glass doors at the entrance, plenty of light spills into this home, despite its subterranean setting.
Situated on a working farm and adjoining the Gundaroo Common, a site of natural heritage significance, there is no shortage of native flora and fauna to admire when staying at this home.
Where: Gundaroo, approximately 3hours drive from Sydney CBD, on the way to Canberra
How much: $180 per night (+ fees)
How many: 2 guests, 1 bed
So what are you waiting for?
This list goes to show that you don’t have to sacrifice style and comfort for a weekend escape that’s good for the planet, and the people on it.