Located in the northeast section of Australia, Queensland is the second-largest state in the country. It is best known for Brisbane, sunny Gold Coast and its beautiful people, long stretches of white, pristine beach, acres upon acres of forests, and of course, islands and the Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea. With so many things to do and sights to see, it’s clear that Queensland is every traveler’s dream. But, what about the intrepid, eco-friendly traveler? Will you enjoy Queensland, too?
The answer is a great and resounding yes. Mother Nature’s beauty and sheer power are at full force here, and a lot of establishments bow to her whim, including these eco-hotels in Queensland, Australia.
Located in the Gold Coast hinterland, O'Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat is very keen on protecting the environment. They have several eco-initiatives in place to help them minimize their overall ecological impact. They’ve been reducing their greenhouse gas emissions since 1997. They also use recycled materials in building construction and get clean and fresh water straight from the mountain springs.
As for the wastewater, they have a sophisticated system that ensures the water that goes back to the earth is as clean and chemical-free as possible. Their eco-initiatives are rounded up by several partnerships with the local community. They have an interpretive discovery program, which invites guests like you to experience the pleasures of the mountain and be inspired by it.
Emporium Hotel South Bank is best known as one of the leading boutique hotels in Australia. It’s also a leader when it comes to sustainable tourism and overall eco-friendliness. In fact, they won the Best Environmental Program at the 2017 HM Awards for Excellence. That same year, they were also given a Gold Certification status by EarthCheck, the world’s watchdog on sustainable travel and tourism.
So, what earned Emporium Hotel South Bank these accolades? A lot of well-implemented eco-friendly programs! Aside from the efficient use of energy and water resources, Emporium Hotel is a 100% Fair Trade establishment devoted to purchasing local and organic programs. They also have a couple of environmental projects, such as Roof Top Bees.
Other eco-friendly properties
Located in the beautiful coastal town of Port Douglas, Thala Beach Nature Reserve sure is a relaxing treat. Recognized as a Green Travel Leader by Ecotourism Australia, it’s also fully committed to conserving and protecting the environment. After all, it’s one of the jump-off points to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest.
Family-owned Thala Beach Nature Reserve’s green practices start with their stilted timber bungalows situated high above the forest ground. This allows them not to disturb the unique ecosystem living on the earth while providing breathtaking views of the forest and the coast. No single-use plastic bottles or plastic straws can be seen at Thala Beach Nature Reserve as they’ve effectively placed a ban on this. They provide complementary stainless-steel water bottles to guests instead. This initiative is expected to keep approximately 30,000 plastic straws and 12,000 water bottles from polluting the forests and the ocean.
Kingfisher Bay Resort is another leader in environmental protection and eco-tourism. After all, it sits on Fraser Island, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and famed for being the largest sand island in the world. There are unique ecosystems living here, and Kingfisher Bay Resort guards them against pollution and destruction. Their programs and initiatives are all products of an exhaustive reserve to make sure there will be minimal impact on Fraser Island. It actually took 57 years of careful planning and research before construction conservation started!
With the most significant part of the process done, Kingfisher Bay Resort continues its role as Fraser Island’s steward by using brilliant energy and waste management techniques. You can also be part of the action, as you can join one of their guided tours and learn more about the delicate ecosystems that live here. Each food you eat and item you use is locally sourced, and the people who make sure you enjoy your stay are part of the local community. Finally, Kingfisher Bay Resort regularly conducts scientific monitoring to make sure Fraser Island and the waters around it are in healthy condition.
Bungalow Bay Koala Village is an eco-accredited establishment where you can meet and befriend koalas while being an active participant in a successful eco-friendly initiative. Here, the design isn’t just for aesthetics, but it also serves a function—it plays a big role in how Bungalow Bay Koala Village serves energy. Most of the buildings in the resort have no walls, have high ceilings, or are raised off the ground to allow for tropical ventilation. They also offer small guided tours with a few rules to ensure they abide by the Leave-No-Trace principle. And to feed the koalas, Bungalow Bay Koala Village purposely built a eucalyptus plantation.
Nestled in the lush tropical forests near Daintree National Park, you’ll feel like the king (or queen) of the jungle at Silky Oaks Lodge. The staff here are not only going great lengths to make sure you enjoy a comfortable, luxurious stay. They also take additional steps for you to enjoy all of these pleasures while helping their efforts to conserve and protect the environment.
Silky Oaks Lodge is built on reclaimed land, carefully replanted and rehabilitated—a process that took over 25 years—to make it a paradise again. Because of this, along with other sustainable practices and policies, they were given Eco-Certified Advanced Ecotourism status. You and Mother Nature are in good hands here.
Silky Oaks Lodge
Address: Finlayvale Road, Finlayvale, QLD, AUS, 4873
Glass House Mountains Ecolodge remains true to its name. It proves you don’t need to stay at a luxurious nature preserve to enjoy sustainable comfort. Here, they’re all about creating the perfect eco-friendly holiday based on their principles. From these principles, they came up with practices aimed at minimizing any negative impact on the environment. These initiatives include providing hot water through solar energy, collecting and storing rainwater for ecolodge use, recycling greywater and reusing it on the on-site coffee plantation, and using low-energy lighting throughout the property. They’re also busy giving back to the community and participating in other bigger projects, such as the creation of a wildlife corridor in the area and planting vines to aid the local population of the endangered Richmond birdwing butterfly.
Glass on Glasshouse in the Gold Coast hinterland is composed of three self-contained cottages that are the epitome of chic and stylish eco-friendliness. The floor-to-ceiling glass walls that support the main sections of these buildings allow plenty of natural ventilation. And in the winter, each cottage has an eco-smart fireplace to keep everyone inside warm. Outside in the bushland, you can experience the wilderness by admiring the wild kangaroos from afar.
Plan the perfect eco-friendly holiday in Queensland
You’re off to a great start by locating some of the eco-hotels in the state. Continue to browse our website for more recommendations from our Queensland travel guides.
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