Immerse yourself in nature at these seven unique and sustainable sanctuaries across Australia that are as relaxing as they are eco-friendly.
1. Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley
As the first resort in the world to achieve internationally accredited carbon-neutral status when it opened in 2009 – and the only resort in Australia with this standard of accreditation – the ultra-luxury conservation resort, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, is in a class of its own.
Located in the World Heritage-listed Greater Blue Mountains region, around a 2.5-hour drive outside of Sydney, you will be immersed in a luxurious nature experience like no other.
Sustainability is at the heart of the guest experience at Wolgan Valley: guests leave their cars at the gate and are transported to the resort, iPads are left in guest rooms in place of newspapers and books in the library, and guests are offered the option of travelling to the resort in hybrid and electric Tesla vehicles.
The resort is focused on delivering on long-term goals through its Environmental Management Plan which encompasses waste minimisation, water conservation and energy reduction, habitat regeneration, conservation and environment education, and more.
Surround yourself with the unforgettable views of Wolgan Valley from your private villa, dine on seasonal, sustainably-sourced cuisine, indulge in a spa treatment (or three!) and explore the pristine National Parks on foot, horseback or mountain bike.
Marvel at the morning mist passing through Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley. (Image: Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley)
2. Eco Beach Resort, Broome
This multi-award-winding eco-resort is located in the unspoiled Kimberly region, an hour south of Broome, in Yardoogarra Country. All up, there are 25 eco villas and 30 safari-style tents at the oceanfront eco-resort, which are linked by elevated boardwalks on the pristine Kimberley coastline.
The solar-powered resort has bamboo floorboards, composite eco decking, and an energy monitoring system that enables guests to check their energy consumption. Each villa and tent faces the Indian Ocean and nothing is more luxurious (or environment-focused) than going to sleep to the soundtrack of soothing ocean sounds.
Swim at the Infinity Pool at Eco Beach Resort (Image: Tourism Western Australia)
3. Freycinet Lodge, Coastal Pavilions, Tasmania
Nestled between the stunning Wineglass Bay and Freycinet National Park, it’s hard to think of a more ideally situated resort than Freycinet Lodge. Thoughtfully created with the local fauna and flora in mind, the Lodge was designed to blend into its environment. You’re guaranteed to fall in love with its quiet serenity, not to mention its striking curved Tasmanian-oak-clad walls.
To fill your days there are a plethora of bushwalks to choose from within the Freycinet National Park, while the more adventurous can enjoy scenic flights, quad-biking and sea kayaking. Choose between the three onsite restaurants offering locally-sourced, delectable cuisine and drink options.
For a spectacular sojourn, book one of their nine waterfront Coastal Pavilions. These architecturally designed rooms, which include a bedroom, bathroom and separate living area, also boast glass walls that let you gaze across the bay from your bed. And the best part? The private deck wrapped around each pavilion includes an outdoor bath.
Freycinet Lodge Coastal Pavilion offers a superb blend of natural simplicity and ultimate comfort. (Image: Melissa Findley)
4. Bamurru Plains, Northern Territory
Very few immersive eco-experiences could rival that on offer at Bamurru Plains in the Kakadu National Park. A three-hour drive (or short scenic charter flight) from Darwin Airport, the almost entirely solar-powered Bamurru Plains is the perfect place to hide from the world for a couple of nights.
Their 10 safari-style bungalows are modelled on the luxury glamping camps of Africa. The mesh sides immerse you in the sights and sounds of the wildlife around you without compromising on privacy. The catering and bar onsite offer ‘outback cuisine with a sophisticated edge.
Don’t miss out on a chance to take in the expansive surrounding plains on one of their safari tours which offer the opportunity to learn about the incredible local ecosystem. You can also book airboat trips along the wetlands, a Sampan River cruise for some croc spotting, quad-biking, bushwalking, and educational tours on the ancient Indigenous art and culture of the land.
In April they offer an Ultimate Wilderness Experience which is perfect for a family adventure, with free accommodation, food and a safari expedition for two children.
Swim in the infinity pool overlooking the wetlands at Bamurru Plains. (Image: Tourism NT and Jewels Lynch)
5. Wildlife Retreat Taronga, New South Wales
Sydney’s world-famous Taronga Zoo opened its exclusive Wildlife Retreat in 2019. The 62-room eco-retreat has been sustainably designed with luxury in mind. Set amongst the zoo’s bushland and overlooking the Australian wildlife enclosures, the property’s iconic location also boasts panoramic scenes of the Harbour.
With solar panel power, recycled water systems and timber structures – carefully chosen to limit their environmental impact – the Wildlife Retreat is one of the most sustainable accommodation options in Australia. Plus, your visit will be contributing to the Taronga Conservation Society Australia, which supports conservation and educational programs in Australia and around the world.
Choose from a range of uniquely Australian and locally-produced dishes at The Me-Gal restaurant on-site during your stay and don’t forget to make use of the complimentary access to the zoo.
Immerse yourself in the Wildlife Retreat accommodation at Taronga Zoo. (Image: Destination NSW)
6. The Villas Barossa, South Australia
If you’re after a self-contained eco-retreat, look no further than The Villas Barossa in South Australia. The eco-friendly villas, located in the idyllic Seppeltsfield Road precinct just an hour’s drive from Adelaide, have been designed to fulfil the motto: ‘Peace. Beauty. Nature. Simplicity. Seclusion.’
Constructed with Eco Shelta for minimal impact on the environment, the exteriors are lit up at night by solar power and landscaped with indigenous flora to blend harmoniously with their natural surroundings.
Step inside to find the indulgent soak bath, generous-sized beds with soft linen sheets and a welcome hamper brimming with local produce and treats.
Perfect for a couple’s getaway, you can spend the day soaking in the view or enjoying the boundless space with walks, cycling, or delightful tours of the nearby cellar doors and gin distilleries. For the evening, the area offers ample premium dining options.
Relax at The Villas in the Barossa. (Image: Thomas Schaefer – TCS Productions)
7. The Byron at Byron, a Crystalbrook Collection Resort, New South Wales
The Byron is undoubtedly Byron Bay’s most relaxing and eco-friendly retreat. It’s set amidst 45 hectares of rainforest and has been sensitively designed to feel at home in its untouched surroundings. Tallows Beach is a short stroll away through the surrounding rainforest and the retreat is located far enough away from Byron Bay’s town centre to feel removed but not out of reach.
If you can tear yourself away from the exquisitely furnished rooms, have a drink at the bar, laze by the pool and dine alfresco at their stylish restaurant – which also works in collaboration with local farmers. At the end of the day, surrender yourself to Byron’s signature spa treatment in the sanctuary of your room.
Relax by the pool at Crystalbrook Byron. (Image: Destination NSW)