8 Green Holidays Ideas in Australia - Bamboo Lulu

I’ve been looking into taking a break early next year and my internet surfing lead me to hotels that were taking sustainability seriously and making real attempts to carbon offset.  I thought it would be great to share some with you, so I sought out a few more. Here are some I came by in Australia, across a range of styles. If you have stayed at any of these or another sustainable property, I’d love to hear about your experience.

1. The Observatory, Port Macquarie

NSW North Coast

The Observatory is a leading green hotel with an impressive list of awards and 100% carbon neutral certification. Among its environmental initiatives are hundreds of solar panels on its north-facing rooftop which provide the energy consumed by 5,000 guests a year! They aim to lessen their impact on the environment by implementing and adhering to best practice in water usage, energy consumption and waste disposal methods. www.observatory.net.au

2. The Alto on Bourke

Melbourne, Victoria

This hotel is also well awarded and has been certified Gold by EarthCheck, the world’s leading scientific benchmarking certification and advisory group for travel and tourism. The hotel’s sustainability activities are wide ranging. 100% of all electricity used is generated from renewable sources and hot water is heated on demand which means the energy savings are substantial. They have eliminated all plastic bottles for toiletries and replaced them with refillable, pump-action dispensers with biodegradable contents. There is a book exchange and complimentary recharging of electric vehicles from Green Earth electricity!  www.altohotel.com.au

3. Hilton Sydney

Sydney, NSW

The Hilton Sydney has some impressive stats! An LED bulb replacement program reduced equivalent energy use by 85%;  85% of all waste is recycled so only 15%  goes to landfill and water usage has been reduced by 2.3% via shower flow restrictors. This property is ranked No. 1 in Australia within the Hilton brand’s key impact statements. The hotel is popular for meetings and business so they set up ‘Hilton Meetings –A Sustainable Choice’ which offsets the carbon emissions generated by the use of the meeting room and the food consumed. They also participate in the OzHarvestFood Donation program for excess food from events held in the hotel. www.hiltonsydney.com.au

4. BIG4 Atherton Woodlands

Atherton Tablelands, Queensland

This is a peaceful park located in the heart of the Atherton Tablelands providing quality cabin accommodation. They achieved Eco Certification (Nature Based Tourism) in 2011 and in 2012 opened the first solar powered cabins. The solar power provides the energy for LED lighting, water heating and heat extraction – reducing the need for air-conditioners. These cabins were built from materials that were sourced from sustainably managed renewable sources and sourced locally where possible. Later they we able to improve even further on the first solar cabins with the sustainable materials that were used to build a newer accommodation which utilised recycled plastic bottles to build the deck. There are also cabins where the solar energy feeds directly into a battery system, not into theTurtlemain power grid, which means that these cabins are completely stand-alone. For each stay in one of the eco cabins, the owners make a donation to the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on Fitzroy Island. www.woodlandscp.com.au



5. Yelverton Brook Eco Spa Retreat & Conservation Sanctuary

Margaret River WA

This property started off as a bare bush block and now is a multi award winning property found in the heart of the Margaret River Wine Region, only 15 minutes to Busselton, Margaret River and Dunsborough and centrally located to wineries, beaches and restaurants.Yelverton Brook Eco Spa Retreat is committed to preserving the natural environment. All the cottages are solar orientated, well insulated, water and energy efficient and have a recycling program in place. Chemical free cleaning products are used. The retreat is also establishing a Conservation Sanctuary by predator proof fencing the 100 acres, as this will re-establish the natural balance of native species back onto the property.  www.yelvertonbrook.com.au

6. Freycinet Eco Retreat

Coles Bay, Tasmania

Whilst in the past its resources have been exploited through coal mining, grazing and forestry, today the property is being allowed to return to its natural state. The forest regrowth sequesters vast amounts of Co2 on a daily basis, which more than offsets any emissions from the developments and activities on the property. The business achieved advanced level eco certification under Ecotourism Australia’s internationally recognised scheme. Development sites on the property were designed to minimise the use of energy and water. This included using renewable resources for building materials, efficient/low energy appliances and lights, water storage tanks, dual flush toilets, no spas and two night minimum stay policy to reduce laundry demand! www.freycinet.com

7. Great Ocean Ecolodge

Cape Otway, Victoria

The owners are committed to sustainable living and were determined to build and operate a Conservation Ecology Centre and an integrated Ecolodge. The Ecolodge is designed and operated sustainably with solar power, solar hot water, pure rainwater and organic dining. It is a showcase of sustainable living design, technologies and practices. The remote location means no access to traditional services such as electricity, water or sewerage. They viewed this not as a shortcoming, but as a wonderful challenge and have redefined independent living to include the very best of the old and new technologies. www.greatoceanecolodge.com

Eco Lodge Entrance At Dawn

8. Crystal Creek Meadows

NSW South Coast

There’s a long list of initiatives this property undertakes in their efforts to operate a Responsible Tourism business. Reusing cardboard for mulching, feeding food scraps to the chickens to reduce landfill;  it’s a plastic bag and plastic bottle free zone; storm water is collected for property irrigation; they use natural ventilation (the cottages have been designed so you enjoy the breeze of fresh clean air); and firewood from environmentally sustainable forests. Although not a certified organic farm, Crystal Creek Meadows has a minimal chemical use policy. So you will see some weeds in the garden but also butterflies, bees and birds. The cottages are cleaned with eco friendly products using native essential oils. Since applying responsible actions they have cut their CO2 footprint from 50 tonnes to 14 tonnes over 7 years. www.crystalcreekmeadows.com.au

Have you got any to add?