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Cool Eco Lodges in Australia you’ve probably never heard of, but should

September 22, 2009

By Dian Hasan | September 23, 2009

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The super-sized Australia, that has an entire continent to itself, is the perfect eco destination. With an area only a quarter smaller than the US, but with less than one tenth of the population (22 million), there’s plenty of land for too few people. Of course the vast majority of the population is centered around the East and West Coasts, with barely nothing in the middle. The Land Down Under has been perfecting its offering of Eco-Friendly Accommodation for years. Here’s a look at some of them.

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KARIJINI ECO RETREAT ~ Western Australia

This Aboriginal-owned eco-friendly hotel is situated in the stunningly beautiful Australian outback and marries modern amenities thoughtfully with nature. With a location deep in the Karijini National Park, this luxurious hotel is perfect for travellers who would like to rest assured that while they enjoy their break the environment around them is being treated with respect and conserved. In fact, booking into the Karijini Eco Retreat does much more than conserve the ecosystem, you also help support the Aboriginal way of life.

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This eco wonder tops the pecking orders, snatching awards every year since its opening. When it comes to eco-friendly travel, it doesn’t get much better than Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa, a boutique hotel located deep in the tropical rainforests of North Queensland. This idyllic lodge is the perfect place to base yourself should you wish to explore the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest, Daintree River and Cape Tribulation. If you do ever find yourself exerted then you can always chill out at the award winning spa or take a trip down to the lodge’s very own pristine waterfall.



KINGFISHER BAY RESORT & VILLAGE ~ Fraser Island, Queensland

Opened in 1992, the Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island soon won the inaugural Steve Irwin award for being a top ecotourism spot. The whole resort has been designed from the ground up to seamlessly integrate with the surrounding delicate ecosystem, even down to individual rooms. Kingfisher Bay Resort employs various means to minimise their footprint by conserving energy and reducing waste sent to landfill – they even have an on-site worm farm that turns waste into compost. A stay here may be great for relaxing, but it’s also a great destination for wildlife enthusiasts: you can even spot local wildlife while soaking in the luxurious swimming pool!

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ALLAWAH RETREAT ~ Cairns, Queensland

Looking to sample the best of the Australian bush then head to Allawah Retreat, a luxurious lodge set in the stunning Atherton Tablelands high up in the Cairns Highlands. This resort is all about rest and relaxation, even its name, Allawah, translates as ’sit down, stay here and rest for a while’ in native Aboriginal. This hotel is surrounded by picturesque outback bush, and they take the conservation of it very seriously. The Allawah Retreat’s owners have taken measures to conserve heat and water, reduce food miles by sourcing produce locally, reduce carbon emissions, compost waste food and even educate their staff in best green practices.

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For starters, what an interesting name for a hotel!

An ecolodge worth walking to. Especially conceived for hikers who explore the beautiful area on foot, the 4-star Both Feet Walking Lodge – on Great Ocean Road is made for relaxing after a long day of hiking. While totally surrounded by nature and serenity, hikers can take advantage of the 10-bedroom lodge’s spring-fed swimming pool, a foot spa and massage room and a full restaurant kitchen.

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PARADISE BAY ISLAND ECO ESCAPE ~ Whitsundays, Queensland

Paradise Bay, one of the most eco-friendly resorts in Australia, has also been rated as one the best ‘alternative accommodations’ in Australia for seven years running by the Frommers Travel Guide – it’s not cheap though, so it might be time to break out your credit card. Situated in the unbelievably stunning Whitsunday Islands, Paradise Bay Island Eco Escape boats many eco-friendly credentials including using solar power, recycling rainwater and sourcing locally produced food while maintaining a high standard of service for visitors.

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THALA BEACH LODGE ~ Port Douglas, Queensland

Looking to experience some of the finest beaches and forest in Australia? The Thala Beach Lodge situated Cairns and Port Douglas is an ideal location to explore the beauty of The Great Barrier Reef, beaches and tropical rainforests in the area. The private management at Thala Beach Lodge have gone out of their way to protect the local wildlife and the environment in which it lives and has even achieved the highest level of Eco Tourism accreditation.

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Escape the trials of city life with a break at Bombah Eco Cottages, just 2.5 hours north of Sydney. Everything about this place is eco-friendly from the solar power to the food recycling and tertiary sewage treatment system to their own garden producing seasonal food for guests to enjoy. You can enjoy spectacular views over the surrounding area from each cottage, each with their own veranda.

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LONGITUDE 131° ~ Ayers Rock

Burned down in 2003 after a bush fire swept through the area, the renovated Longitude 131° is billed as being ‘luxurious, eco-sensitive and romantic.’ Guests staying in the 15 private luxury tents can enjoy almost all the pleasures and comforts of 5 star accommodation along with the spectacular views of Uluru. The deluxe camping experience is eco-friendly and is a remarkable place to base yourself as you explore Australia’s Red Centre.

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Set in the beautiful Blue Mountains of NSW, the Jemby Rinjah Eco Lodge is a haven of peace and tranquility where you can really get a break from the stresses of life and enjoy nature at its finest. The lodges themselves are timber cabins, each with slow burning wood fires and cutting edge interior design. This resort was at the cutting edge of eco tourism in Australia and continues to be a popular choice for travellers with an eco-friendly outlook.

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At the Eco Farm Lodge in Landsborough, Queensland you’ll do much more than relax and unwind. This is a resort for learning and experiencing the outdoor life, a place where you can grow your knowledge of the environment and appreciate the beauty of nature. The owners of the farm have created a truly unique experience where visitors can stroll through an eucalyptus forest, sample fresh fruit in the organically certified orchard or help feed the native bees and other wildlife. The property itself is beautiful with carefully designed accommodation that slips into the natural surroundings with minimal impact, all of which has been certified as organic. There is also a range of measures designed to minimise any environmental impact including composting waste food, reducing carbon emissions, using energy efficient lighting, locally sourced food and conservation of water.

Inspiration: Green Bang

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