Whether you’re planning a two week vacation or a quick weekend getaway, we all deserve a little RNR. But there’s nothing to say we can’t get the break we need in an amazing natural location powered by the latest renewable energy technology. From off-grid glamping to eco resorts, energy efficient CBD hotels and B&Bs with views of the local wind farm, there is a host of options to help you recharge your batteries – often at a clean energy getaway which comes with batteries of its own.
With louvre windows and doors boosting the flow of fresh ocean breezes and high ceilings, Eco Beach Resort in Western Australia pulls out all the stops to help you get away from it all in comfort. Located south of Broome, you’ll find amazing natural cooling at this multi award-winning coastal gem. The retreat runs off solar power, with a system that allows guests to monitor their own energy usage as they relax by the pool, do a complimentary yoga class or make the most of its Eco Villas and Eco Tents.
If you really want to get away from it all, Queensland’s Lady Elliot Island Eco Resortis 80km from the Australian mainland. The emphasis here is on the pristine natural environment, with the resort promoting close encounters with the reef, including the local turtles, fish, birdlife and more. The resort provides enough power for the entire island through a state-of-the-art hybrid solar power station with gel batteries and hundreds of solar panels. The clean energy system has cut the island’s diesel fuel consumption and carbon emissions by 90 per cent and are now considered an Ecotourism Australia Climate Action Leader.
On the banks of the Derwent River, just under 40km away from Hobart sits Tasmania’s Truffle Lodge. This picturesque spot offers the best of both worlds – the river and the mountains – while running off hydro power and employing LED lighting throughout the entire lodge. African safari-style tents that blend the classic Aussie bush camp with luxurious furnishings that bring to mind the Tales of the Arabian Nights.
While Gundagai is best known for the iconic story of the dog on the tuckerbox, the hills near this town halfway between Melbourne and Sydney play host to the 2800 ha Kimo Estates property – a perfect spot to switch off and relax. There are several cottages and a shearer’s quarters available for hire, but it’s the 360 degree views available from JR’s Hut that are the stand-out here. The architecturally-designed hut is entirely off the grid and has no electricity or WiFi. But it combines solar-powered lights with water collected from a solar-heated underground rain tank and a fireplace to create a relaxing getaway.
Around a 90-minute drive from central Adelaide on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula, Muntiri Lodge Eco Retreat offers sustainable accommodation completely off the beaten track – and the gird for that matter. Through a 10kWh/day self-contained solar-powered electrical system and passive solar thermal design, the property is entirely self-sufficient. It is also set among a heritage-listed woodland with lots of birdlife.
The Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales speaks to those with a love for the finer things in life. This Emirates conservation-based resort occupies just one per cent of a 2800 ha nature reserve area and was the world’s first carboNZero certified hotel. The resort was originally built on the foundation of Ecologically Sustainable Design principles which includes heat exchange technology, solar panels and water recycling. Oh, each luxury suite comes complete with its own private swimming pool and double-sided fireplace.
The luxurious Doubletree by Hilton in Alice Springs has superb views of the MacDonnell Ranges, and a 305 kW solar installation which was one of the nation’s largest when it was first built – and is still pretty impressive today. The solar power system produces up to 80 per cent of the power requirements, but you won’t notice where your power comes from while you’re there...you can just enjoy the facilities and soak up the sun by the pool.
A hotel located in the centre of Melbourne’s business district that is environmentally conscious but doesn’t skip out on quality? Yep, that’s Melbourne’s Alto Hotel. All the power in the carbon neutral hotel comes from renewable sources, and almost all the lighting comes from LED or energy efficient globes. Double glazing, auto shut-off lighting and honey from the hotel’s own roof garden have made this multi-award winner a guest favourite.
While Cape Nelson Retreat B&B may not run off renewable energy directly, the property itself offers guests a room with a view of wind turbines. And if you think you can hear wind turbines from your room, it’s probably the ocean, which accounts for most of the noise in these parts. Located five minutes’ drive from Portland on Cape Nelson Road, it’s a gorgeous location for guests to unwind and relax in coastal Victoria.
Fancy a room with character? Well you can’t get much more character than a first-class train carriage turned bedroom and living area with a patio. Like Cape Nelson Retreat, Codrington Settlement and Gardens allows guest the chance to get some wind between their ears while they take in the wind farm located near the property.
To find more clean energy accommodation options, visit Green Getaways. The CEC would like to thank Green Getaways for supplying the images of and information about some of the locations profiled.