In the tourism industry today, green is definitely the new black. With new sustainable and eco friendly hotels constantly popping up across Australia, there has never been a better time for a green getaway.
Make no mistake, ‘going green’ isn’t exactly roughing it. From budget-friendly hostels to luxury rural resorts, here are our top picks for eco friendly hotels you need to visit in Australia.
Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley, NSW
Located in the World Heritage-listed Greater Blue Mountains, Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley is a conservation-based eco friendly resort, and the perfect luxurious long weekend escape for Sydneysiders. It was the world’s first hotel to receive CarbonZero’s internationally-accredited carbon neutral certification – making it one of the world’s leading eco-friendly hotels. Some of the sustainable practices in place at Wolgan Valley include water conservation, energy reduction and wildlife protection. Under Executive Chef Nancy Kinchela’s direction, guests only eat and drink local and sustainable products at Wolgan Valley. They can also participate in conservation efforts, including wildlife safaris, horse-riding adventures and heritage tours. Sign me up!
Ovolo Nishi, Canberra
If you feel like paying our capital city a visit, a stay at Ovolo Nishi is a must. Ovolo Nishi’s 68 boutique rooms include views of either Lake Burley Griffin, the bush or the internal atrium, which is dominated by Tasmanian ferns. Each room is fitted with beds made from reclaimed oak and salvaged Australian furniture. Meanwhile, the Grand Staircase is built with recycled timber from a demolished house and a basketball court (seriously). Book through their official website to enjoy a free breakfast and happy hour daily. What more could you want?
Coastal Pavilions, Freycinet, Tasmania
Our southernmost state is teeming with unspoilt wilderness and the Freycinet National Park is one such spot. Set on the Freycinet peninsula, Coastal Pavillions provides mesmerising bay views from their architecturally stunning cabins made of Tasmanian timber. Prior to construction an ecologist, archaeologist, engineers and members of the aboriginal community were consulted. No cranes were used — just human hands, trolleys and a slow and steady approach to ensure a minimal-impact build.
Thala Beach Nature Reserve, Queensland
Far North Queensland’s Thala Beach Nature Reserve is a member of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World. Located on a private headland between Cairns and Port Douglas, the family-run eco resort has Advanced Eco Certification. Its boutique timber bungalows are built on stilts within the forest, to provide both privacy and minimal environmental impact. Complimentary onsite activities include star gazing, Australia’s only coconut tour, and nature and wildlife walks. Otherwise, relax on the private beach or dine amongst the treetops at Osprey’s Restaurant.
Lady Elliot Eco Resort, Queensland
Located smack dab in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef on Lady Elliot Island lies Lady Elliot Eco Resort. Some of the eco practices already in place include solar panels, the eradication of plastic water bottles and straws, as well as a carbon offset program. This green property has suites, cabins and tents available. But let’s talk about the best part – the snorkelling and diving opportunities. There are 20 dive sites surrounding Lady Elliot Island, where you can spot manta rays and several different turtle species on the daily. Guests can also step straight off the beach to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, or join a guided snorkelling tour. Escape the drab southern winter and head to Lady Elliot Island during May to October for whale watching opportunities as well.
Kingfisher Bay Resort, Queensland
Follow in the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s footsteps and stay at Kingfisher Bay Resort. Known as one of Australia’s leading ecotourism resorts, it’s located on Queensland’s World Heritage-listed Fraser Island. Ecotourism Australia named Kingfisher Bay Resort a Green Travel Leader, as it was designed to integrate with the environment, not impose on it. There are hotel rooms, villas and wilderness lodges available. Kingfisher Bay Resort also conducts its own tours, which have Advanced Eco Accreditation.
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