After being cooped up for two years, and with international travel still tricky, why not explore locally for your next getaway? Whether a weekend road trip or something a little longer, an escape from the hustle and bustle can provide much-needed rest and rejuvenation.
But no getaway should burden the earth. Thankfully, sustainable and eco-friendly activities, accommodation, and places to eat are plentiful across New South Wales and Victoria. So, on your next trip, consider immersing yourself in nature and reclaiming your calm at these self-sustaining stays. And getting back to nature doesn’t have to mean feeling like a contestant on Survivor – some of the places below cater to eco-conscious people wanting to kick their heels up.
Eco-friendly getaways in NSW
After a snappy 2-hour plane trip from the mainland, you’ll quickly see why Capella Lodge so proudly boasts of ‘spectacular views of the ocean and rolling green pastures.’ Just don’t forget to leave the car in the garage – as bikes are the preferred mode of transport on the island. While you’re at it, you may as well leave your phone at home – because there’s no mobile reception. And with much of your food at Capella being sourced sustainably and locally, it’s a trip as luxurious as it is sustainable.
If waking up amongst the trees to bird song sounds idyllic, then eco-friendly glamping at Paperbark Camp is just for you. And don’t worry, you don’t have to pitch a tent or eat beans cooked over a fire. The large deluxe canvas tents keep mosquitoes out as enjoy you falling asleep listening to nature in your king size bed.
Surround yourself with trees and be nurtured by nature. The Treehouse Retreat is the perfect place to slow down and rejuvenate. This certified green getaway sources all its produce from its kitchen garden, including eggs from its very happy hens. Designed and constructed with the surrounding forest firmly in mind, you’ll feel like you’re off with the fairies in the best way possible.
Sustainable trips in Victoria
If you prefer green getaways with a touch of luxury, Callignee Eco Bush house is for you. Set amongst 5 acres of private bushland and just over 2 hours’ drive from Melbourne make it the ideal couples weekend getaway. But it gets even better. Once featured on Grand Designs, Callignee Eco Bush House is 100% ‘off the grid’. It also features a pool to cool off in summer and a fireplace to keep warm by in winter.
Heard of the ‘tiny home movement’, but not sure what it’s all about? Then pop Jones Tiny House on your next eco-conscious trip. Situated on the edge of a winery, this solar-powered tiny home features a compostable toilet to ensure guests enjoy a zero footprint stay. If your ideal getaway involves sipping wines and enjoying great local produce, then Jones Tiny House could be just what you’re after.
While it has farm in the name, you won’t have to milk the cows at 4am. Taking in a sunrise or sunset with the retreat’s sweeping 360-degree view, however, is highly recommended. This sustainable accommodation is constructed underground and has a native garden roof. So, not only are you surrounded by nature everywhere you look – it’s on top of you too! Being nearly 4 hours’ drive from Melbourne, this trip might be one better saved for a long weekend.
Quick-fire tips to lower your carbon footprint when travelling
You don’t need to travel to an eco-lodge to travel more sustainably – being more environmentally conscious just starts with a bit of planning.
- Drive, don’t fly. With all but one of our suggested trips being accessible by car, this should be easy.
- Pack reusable items. Think a refillable water bottle for hiking, a reusable coffee cup, and a Tupperware container for lunches and snacks.
- Spend more time in nature and less time on the road. That’s kind of the point of going, right?
- Support sustainable and local restaurants. Rather than stopping off for a road trip snack at a fast food place, grab some fresh local produce instead.
Fun, active and sustainable activities to do while on a green getaway
Now that you’ve got some idea where to go and stay, why not keep active and get back to nature by:
Rhys has been writing about travel, lifestyle, and health and fitness for almost 6 years. When he’s away from the keyboard, you might spot him through the trees on a hike in Victoria or Tasmania.