Eco-Friendly Weekend Escapes Around Australia

cubby collective

When you’re feeling sluggish, run-down, or simply tired of the city, a dose of nature could be just what the doctor ordered. 

The good news is you don’t have to brave the crowds of Bali for a jungle-inspired getaway. Australia has 3.6 million hectares of native rainforest and plenty of it is just beyond the city skyline. 

Here are five eco-friendly nature resorts around Australia that are worth a visit.

1. The Naked Cubby Collective, Canberra

An immersive nature experience, the Naked Cubby Collective is located in the Mount Majura Vineyard just 20 minutes from Canberra. There are two safari-inspired bell tents: one overlooking the lush green hills and the other nestled within the vines. 

Each cubby is decked out with a luxurious king bed, armchair and fireplace. Enjoy stargazing on your deck with a glass of tempranillo wine, Mount Majura Vineyard’s flagship grape variety. With no TV or wi-fi, guests can indulge in the simple things: blankets, books and board games. When hunger kicks in, delicious food hampers are delivered by local company Schmicnics.


2. Billabong Retreat, Sydney

Escape the shadow of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and head to Billabong Retreat, a treehouse-style eco-retreat nestled in the bush beside a picturesque billabong just 45 minutes from the city. 

The husband-and-wife founders of the retreat were inspired by the healing sanctuaries they visited on their travels in Thailand. Billabong is a place to relax and you can choose from daily meditation and Hatha yoga sessions. But for those with itchy feet, there’s an 8km bushwalking circuit, bicycles are available to hire and there’s also a magnesium plunge pool to ease sore muscles. 

When it’s time to refuel, freshly prepared organic buffet-style meals are served three times a day. Spend your evenings curled up with a book in front of a cosy gas fireplace, accompanied by nature’s soundtrack – the rustle of leaves and gentle hum of cicadas.


3. The Mouses House, Brisbane

The Springbrook National Park in the Gold Coast hinterland is part of the ancient Gondwana Rainforests. Nestled on the national park border is The Mouses House, a garden retreat filled with alpine-style wooden chalets. 

The owners named the retreat after the antechinus, a mouse-like marsupial that visits the gardens at dusk. Each chalet, which is named after a Disney character, is decked out in hardwood and sleek leather furniture, with a wood-burning fireplace. 

You can practise your serve at the tennis courts and explore the region by bike or trek one of the nearby trails. Keep an eye (and ear) open for Albert’s lyrebird, which is only found in Springbrook. At the end of the day, relax in the traditional Finnish sauna or soak in your outdoor hot tub under the stars.


4. Linden Gardens Rainforest Retreat, Melbourne

Spread across three acres of rainforest and tucked away in majestic Mount Dandenong an hour east of Melbourne is Linden Gardens, of which there are just four uniquely designed cottages. 

Strap on your walking shoes and head outside, as the Dandenong Ranges are home to more than 60km of walking trails and two of the best are right at your doorstep: Olinda Falls and the William Ricketts Sanctuary. 

Later, soak away the aches in your room’s spa bath. At sunset, relax on your private deck beneath the ferns and listen as the kookaburras start their nightly pillow-talk, or head to SkyHigh restaurant for panoramic views toward the distant Melbourne skyline.

linden gardens
Linden Gardens is the ideal city break from bustling Melbourne.

5. Gymea Eco Retreat, Brisbane

For a green getaway, Brisbanites can dip over the border into Northern NSW. Nestled on 113 acres of secluded rainforest sandwiched between two UNESCO-listed national parks and under the watchful eye of Mount Warning is Gymea Eco Retreat & Spa

The retreat features 20 simple yet beautifully designed ensuite double rooms. You don’t need to leave the grounds to relax and recharge with yoga and meditation on offer, a mountain view magnesium pool, healing spa, fire ceremony pit and three hours of onsite rainforest walking trails. 

At dusk, swap the cacophony of car horns and TV sets for the retreat’s nightly chorus of frogs as you chill out beneath the stars.


This story originally appeared in Fitness First magazine.