Everyone wants to experience Australia’s reefs, New Zealand’s fairytale-like mountains, and the other natural wonders of the South Pacific. But it’s important to travel responsibly so that future generations can enjoy these magical locations, as well.
Travel experts agree that responsible, eco-friendly travel is a trend that isn’t going away. More and more travelers are becoming conscious of their impact on the places they’re visiting. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite eco-friendly lodges and resorts in Australia and New Zealand that allow you to travel sustainably. In addition to their small carbon footprints, each offers a unique way to experience the native culture and surroundings.
Hapuku Lodge and Tree Houses – New Zealand
Hapuku Lodge and Tree Houses is located in gorgeous Kaikoura on New Zealand’s south island. Kaikoura boasts a beautiful bay, rolling hills, and mountains—all the best of New Zealand’s natural landscapes. The lodge offers luxury suites and a handful of tree houses rising 30 feet above the ground, peeking out from a grove of manuka trees. In an effort to sustain the unique Kaikoura environment, the lodge plants one native tree for every guest night spent there. They also have an organic garden, which helps them keep their meals 75 percent locally sourced.
Breckinridge Lodge – New Zealand
Wine lovers can’t go wrong with this boutique lodge in Hawke’s Bay, one of the most renowned wine regions in New Zealand. Luxurious suites overlook the lodge’s tranquil farmlands, and the kitchen boasts some of the country’s best gourmet food and wine. Breckinridge Lodge has several sustainability initiatives. They use filtered rainwater and solar energy for most of the lodge’s needs, and an organic garden with compost from food waste provides deliciously fresh produce for the kitchen.
Wilderness Lodge Arthur’s Pass and Wilderness Lodge Moeraki – New Zealand
New Zealand’s Wildnerness Lodges, with locations in Arthur’s Pass and Lake Moeraki, offer a unique view of the New Zealand wilderness far from the beaten path. The Arthur’s Pass location occupies 6,000 acres on a working sheep farm surrounded by mountains, while the Moeraki location takes you to a diverse area with rainforests, seacoasts, and a pristine lake. Both provide secluded luxury accommodations for the traveler who wants a quintessential New Zealand experience. The Wilderness Lodges were founded by two committed conservationists, and each undertakes extensive conservation initiatives, including renewable energy on the properties and protection of the surrounding wilderness.
Thala Beach Nature Reserve – Australia
Thala Beach Nature Reserve on Australia’s north coast brings a perfect blend of forest and coastline, with several raised bungalows nestled among the forest canopy to give you gorgeous views. Guided tours of the wildlife-rich area are included with your stay, and for an unparalleled cultural experience, you can spend an evening with elders from the local aboriginal community, who are eager to share their music, stories, and plant knowledge. The reserve also has a strong focus on sustainability. Since the 1970s, they’ve planted thousands of indigenous plants to restore the area and increase its natural animal population after it had been cleared for unsustainable farm use.
Daintree Ecolodge & Spa – Australia
Daintree Ecolodge & Spa is located in the Daintree Rainforest, the oldest living tropical rainforest on the planet at 140 million years old. This magnificent, secluded paradise is home to some of the most diverse wildlife in Australia, including several species that can’t be found anywhere else. The eco lodge provides luxury accommodations and a one of a kind dining experience in a serene rainforest setting. The lodge uses energy-efficient room design, locally sourced furniture and kitchen ingredients, toiletries made from locally harvested ingredients, and more to ensure a harmonious relationship with its ancient and pristine environment.
Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef – Australia
This luxury camp on Australia’s west coast is designed to let you escape the outside world and fully immerse yourself in the gorgeous natural surroundings, a unique combination of Outback and reef. With only 16 luxury wilderness tents, Sal Salis is the perfect place for serenity and adventure in the unspoiled landscape of Cape Range National Park. All amenities at Sal Salis are locally sourced and organic whenever possible; water is carefully conserved; and nearly all of the camp’s power is solar generated. The camp operates in partnership with the Department of Parks and Wildlife to conserve the region’s unique environment.