What makes holidaying in Australia so magical is the beautiful landscapes and natural environments. But living in an era of extreme climate crisis, we do need to look after our surroundings if we want them to be there for us. And that means choosing eco-friendly accommodation as much as we can.
Whether it’s off-grid tiny homes or bubbles under the stars, there are so many holiday spots in Australia that are continuing to find new ways to be sustainable, and we think it’s time we showed them some love.
These are our favourite eco-resorts in Australia:
If you’re into immersive eco-experiences that get you up close and personal with your surroundings, then you’ll love the safari bungalows at Bamurru Plains. Situated on a 300-sqm private buffalo station, waking up to the sounds of buffalo wading will become ritualistic.
A connection to the land is heightened by the lack of technology: there’s no TVs, no mobile reception, and no Wi-Fi. It’s just you in your mesh-clad bungalow, which is decked out with natural cottons and linens.
Located in a remote part of the Northern Territory, all the activities at Bamurru Plains revolve around the spectacular landscape. You get your choice of activities like airboat rides across the floodplains, crocodile-spotting river cruises and open-top 4WD safari drives. Bamurru Plains is a three-hour drive or 30-minute scenic flight from Darwin Airport.
Karijini Eco Retreat is an eco-conscious, 100% Aboriginal owned campground. Surrounded by staggering gorges, waterfalls and natural plunge pools, there are a number of accommodation options nestled in the beautiful natural bushland, including deluxe eco-tents for a spot of glamping and eco-cabins powered totally by solar energy.
The best way to see this part of Australia is to walk, so back those walking boots and properly discover Joffre Gorge, with its dramatic waterfall and incredible views.
These beautiful eco-accredited cabins is the only way to stay inside Tasmania’s famous Freycinet National Park. It’s tucked away on the shores of Coles Bay, with the pink-hued granite peaks of The Hazard Mountains and Wineglass Bay only a short drive away. This is a holiday with a little more luxury, with elegant rooms, the option of a Spa Cabin with water views, and even a Coastal Pavilion offering, that comes with its own private outdoor bath.
Here, we have a luxury eco treehouse, deep in the historical and World-Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest. You won’t be totally alone, as the ecolodge boasts 15 eco-friendly treehouse spaces, some with hot tubs on the balcony for that little bit of extra steam. The resort produces its own renewable energy, offsets its emissions, uses recycled water and composts its green scraps. It sits within an especially beautiful part of Queensland as you’re also right near the coast and The Great Barrier Reef, making the vacation activities endless.
It’s a safari-inspired wilderness journey turned glampsite, just two hours outside of Sydney. Paperbark Camp takes glamping to a new level, with glamorous tents that are complete with ensuite bathrooms and freestanding bathtubs, serving up a camping experience in true comfort.
Family-owned by a couple who fell in love with Africa and wanted to bring their experience to Australia 20 years ago, the camp operates as sustainably as possible, with solar-powered tents, natural ventilation, dual flush toilets, rainwater used where possible, and a mission not a disrupt the natural wildlife in the area.
The site is Advanced Ecotourism-certified and is a pioneering property in Australian glamping.
Right on the edge of the ocean in the pristine Whitsundays, this luxurious eco-accommodation is made up of 10 stylishly appointed island villas with ocean, mountain and rainforest views.
Crafted from solid Australian hardwood with high cathedral ceilings, large windows and private balconies with uninterrupted water views, you can read a book in the hammock, daydream on the daybed, or soak up the sunshine in the outdoor showers or mineral resort pool.
This is the perfect place to relax and recharge while being surrounded by nature. The entire resort is run purely on battery and solar power with clean, quiet, sustainable energy, proving that luxuries need not be sacrificed in the search for sustainability.
Inspired by the carefree spirit of our Australian beach holidays, Capella Lodge has nine island suites, designed to reflect Lord Howe’s pristine natural environment. You have spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and towering twin peaks, Mounts Gower and Lidgbird, perfectly paired with spacious, light-filled interiors that feature king beds, custom furnishings, artworks and private decks.
Capella Lodge is focused on sustainability, and the resort has a vocal and deep appreciation for its surroundings. There’s a solar power system and the lodge uses green energy ethanol to fuel contemporary EcoSmart fires which heat both public areas and in-suite fireplaces.
Their water management is especially impressive, capturing around 75% of all their water needs in rainwater tanks, with a total storage of 290,000 litres supplied by regular rainfall and harvested from the lodge roof.
Where the outback meets the reef, this is Sal Salis. The perfect Australian combination is found at Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef; an exclusive beach safari camp nestled in the dunes of the Cape Range National Park near Exmouth.
Each of the fifteen eco-luxe wilderness tents offers views of the surrounding bush, overlooking the Indian Ocean and the fringing Ningaloo Reef. Your days can be spent relaxing in your tent’s hammock, paddling in the warm ocean waters, or swimming alongside the majestic whale sharks and the magnificent humpback whales.
Almost 100% of the camp’s power is generated by the sun through solar panels, the linen is supplied by EcoDownUnder, which is organic cotton and chemical-free, and water is restricted to 20 litres per person to help protect the Reef.
Beautiful freestanding villas, each complete with cosy fireplaces, private pools, and picturesque verandas designed to immerse you in the atmospheric Blue Mountains surroundings. Here, you can truly switch off, with a fully-inclusive experience of gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner included in your stay.
As an accommodation location, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley has developed extensive Sustainability and Conservation plans that guides all facets of the resort’s operations, with the aim of restoring the landscape and environment back to what it was prior to European settlement in the early 1800s.
They have minimal waste, utilise green and solar energy, provide local and sustainably sourced food, drinks and amenities, conserve water and use carbon-neutral transportation.
Thala Beach Nature Reserve is located on a private headland between Cairns and Port Douglas. Deluxe eco-accommodation options are sensitively positioned amongst the resort’s 145-acre property, designed as treehouse-style bungalows that look over the forestry and out across the coast.
They offer heaps of complimentary experiences like nature and wildlife walks, star-gazing nights, and specialist talks from local experts. They also have a beautiful treetop restaurant, Ospreys.
Thala has an advanced eco-certification by successfully implementing sustainable practises for 21 years, and currently offer a reforestation program that educates and encourages eco-warriors of the future.
The modern digs at the Alkina Lodge on the Great Ocean Road are designed to accommodate families looking to recharge and reconnect with nature. Recently, the lodge announced the installation of solar and wind power to supply all energy for the property that sits on 100 acres in the bush.
There is no air conditioning, all rainwater is harvested and stored, and an organic vegetable garden supplies meals for guests. What’s more, vegetable waste is composted, organic honey bees are kept on site, and manager Cindy is a registered wildlife carer.