Get out into nature, help out with conservation, have face to face wildlife encounters and then retire to comfy eco-friendly accommodation. These choice eco hotels are certainly worth the trek.
1. Swell Lodge, Christmas Island
Swell Lodge. Glass-fronted, solar-powered, luxurious and totally secluded – that’s a pretty impressive description, am I right? Not only that. Your stay at Swell Lodge is completely all inclusive, and offers guided activities, daily servicing – and even a private chef. Better still, there’s only one eco-chalet on the entire coastline of Christmas Island, making it one of the most exclusive places to rest your head in the country! Your private sprawling balcony will reward you with one of the most fascinating, ever-changing, totally uninterrupted views the world has to offer.
Famous for its 50 million red land crabs whose annual migration draws the eyes of the world each year, Christmas Island also boasts some of the world’s best snorkelling and scuba diving in the 28-degree waters. Known as the ‘Galapagos of the Indian Ocean’, there are no native predators to worry about – and humans only settled here 100 years ago, making it one of the most wildlife-rich destinations you can visit.
The rain forest trails on the island will lead you to secluded beaches and pristine waterfalls and swimming holes, rock pools and exhilarating blow holes!
For more information, head to http://swelllodge.com/
2. Bloomfield Lodge, Cairns
Bloomfield Lodge, on top of Forbes magazine’s World’s Best Remote Hotels list, sports delicious water views from every room – and, of course, a spa and infinity pool. A sublime place to base yourself for a trek through the Daintree or for a spot of sport-fishing too. See more: Ultimate Escapes:Queensland’s Wet Tropics.
3. Eco Resort, Lady Elliott Island
This 41-room island resort allows you to play “citizen scientist” – helping with research into the Great Barrier Reef and the area’s manta rays. The unpretentious Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, the closest Reef island to Brisbane, is a snug 42 hectares – and ready for all the snorkelling, swimming and reef walking you can stand. Gape in wonder and watch turtles hatch too. See more: Ultimate Escapes: Great Barrier Reef
4. Wildman Wilderness Lodge, Mary River Wetlands
In the heart of Mary River Wetlands, between Darwin and Kakadu National Park, Wildman Wilderness Lodge has environmentally sensitive, timber-floored safari tents decked out with king-size beds, plump pillows, ensuites and shady verandas. Learn about the area’s diverse ecology on an adventure flight or fishing tour, or walk or bike through flood plains, lazily watching as dragonflies and butterflies skim the wetlands. See more: Ultimate Escapes: Timeless North
5. O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, Canungra
There are 160 kilometres of trails and 500 waterfalls right in O’Reilly’s backyard (subtropical World Heritage Lamington National Park) so you won’t want for something outdoorsy to do. It’s a Noah’s Ark for birdwatchers too with the likes of the spotted quail-thrush and the red-browed treecreeper casually flapping around you. At the end of the day, surrender to O’Reilly’s Lost World Spa. See more: Ultimate Escapes: Green Cauldron
6. Eco Beach Resort, Broome
An hour south of Broome, Eco Beach Resort is an Indian Ocean fauna outpost of great note: ‘roos and wallabies snacking on grass in the dunes, flocks of migratory birds passing by. You can monitor nesting turtles or, if the timing’s right, jump aboard a humpback whale-watching expedition. See more: Ultimate Escapes: The Kimberley