Want to put your green thumb forward while enjoying your break? Too easy. It turns out Queensland is stacked with sustainable, environmentally friendly eco-hotels. We're talking suites with zero carbon emissions and resorts with that coveted EarthCheck Gold Certification (reflecting five years' certification from the world's leading travel advisory group).
Yep, this list will make you feel even better about saying yes to that winter weekend getaway. Remember—it’s not just for you, you’re eating strawberries in a spa for the environment.
Emporium Hotel | Brisbane
These guys have been granted the only EarthCheck Gold Certification in Australia. It's Brisbane's new Emporium hotel on South Bank, and they definitely deserve their spot at the top of this list. Even before opening the doors in 2018, developers Anthony John Group were mindful of the hotel's eco-print, integrating eco-principles into the design, layout and building materials. Not shying away from the finer touches, guests can soak up that 23m infinity pool while sipping on cocktails created from local produce. Keep your eyes peeled for the new Foresters restaurant downstairs, too...
Nightfall Camp | Lamington National Park
Located just 90-minutes outside Brisbane, next up is Nightfall camp, credited for its zero carbon ethos. Smack bang in the middle of Lamington National Park, owners Steve and Jaide have mashed up glamping with eco-goodness. With bush regeneration of native plants, organic cuisine sourced from Brissy markets and a natural spa (a swirling, bubbling spa in the middle of their nearby creek), glamping was never so good for the environment. And if that wasn’t enough, know that you can forage for snacks in the wilderness and roast it over their custom-built wood fired oven.
Lady Elliot Island | Southern Great Barrier Reef
The dismal shape of our Great Barrier Reef getting you down? Same here. But hey, put your money where your mouth is and support eco-resort, Lady Elliot Island. Under the helm of eco-warrior Peter Gash since 2005, his vision to maintain the health of our favourite reef translated into carbon neural principles, a revegetation program and construction of a hybrid solar power station. It's one of the greenest travel properties in Australia, and runs regular waste management and squifer initiatives. Not bad for a weekend getaway.
Bungalow Bay Koala Village | Magnetic Island
With Advanced Accreditation by the Australian Eco-Tourism Association, Bungalow Bay earns its eco-stripes. Minimising energy use with no walls and high ceilings, successfully lobbying for a grant to rehabilitate a nearby creek, and sponsoring wildlife rescue on the island itself, this place takes conservation to a whole new level. They also encourage education via guided walks in the National Park (restricted to 15 guests at a time, to reduce impact). Your stay options range from beachside camping to shared accom and cosy cabins.
Silky Oaks Lodge | Mossman
Don't be taken in by the decadent dining canopies and luxe treehouse suites—this eco-retreat is all about luxury and sustainability in balance. And they kind of have to be: built on formerly cleared farming space, the lodge has made a big effort to regenerate and re-vegetate the surrounding land. So much so that it’s now blended perfectly into the steamy Daintree Rainforest. Silky Oaks Lodge uses enviro-smart cleaning products, bio-organic treatments at the Healing Waters Spa, electric vehicles and in house treatment of waste water. Sign my green thumb up.
Image credit: Tourism Queensland