Immerse yourself in the serene beauty of nature as you discover secluded forest hideaways and breathtaking coastal retreats. Each eco lodge showcased in this guide epitomises eco-conscious and off-grid practices, allowing you to connect with the natural world while treading lightly on the environment.
Picture waking up to the gentle whispers of a forest breeze, surrounded by ancient trees and the symphony of birdsong, or in a luxurious tent, overlooking coral filled beaches and listening to the rhythmic melody of ocean waves. These eco lodges and off-grid stays offer a sanctuary where you can escape the daily grind and reconnect with the essence of nature. To find out more and book your eco-adventure, check if you qualify for the Westpac Concierge Services.
Best for: an immersive glamping experience
Camping is one of the greatest ways to fully embrace the environment, and it’s come a long way since the days of arguing for hours about how to put up a tent. Paperbark Camp in Jervis Bay offers sustainably designed safari-style luxury tents on platforms – putting you in the canopy of the eucalyptus and paperbark trees and ensuring the native flora is preserved.
From your eco lodge, you can head to nearby Huskisson Beach for a day of soaking up the sun, canoeing out to sea, or walking on one of the nature trails. This camp is fully off the grid, with solar powered lights and no electricity in the tents. At night, dinner is served at The Gunyah and as you walk the platforms back to your tent, you can search for possums and other nocturnal visitors.
Westpac Concierge Service tip: Paperbark Camp does offer 12V USB ports to charge your phone in your tent, and The Gunyah has full power and Wi-Fi. However, we recommend you ditch the electronics and fully connect with the natural world around you.
📍571 Woollamia Road, Woollamia NSW 2540
Bay of Fires Signature Walk
Best for: hiking enthusiasts who enjoy the finer things
Four days, 34km, and three luxury eco-friendly overnight stays; the Bay of Fires Signature Walk, run by the Tasmanian Walking Company, is the ultimate way to explore Tassie’s natural diversity. On your first day, you’ll walk four hours to the dunes where you’ll be welcomed by an inviting ocean, a glass of wine, and tents equipped with all the creature comforts – and most importantly proper beds.
After your night in the dunes, you’ll be taken on a tour of the secluded coves along the coast on your way to the stunning Bay of Fires Lodge. Enjoy afternoon tea and a well-earned massage on your arrival at the low impact, but highly comfortable, eco lodge.
The third day involves kayaking down the Ansons River, giving you a chance to connect with the region’s wild waters, or taking a relaxed day at the lodge. End on a high note with brekkie on the deck and a chilled walk through the forest to lunch.
Westpac Concierge Service tip: this land is of great significance to the Aboriginal people, so be sure to listen to your guide as they give you the rundown on the area’s history and heritage, as well as what the not-for-profit Tasmanian Walking Company Foundation is doing to help preserve it.
Best for: exploring two of Oz’s UNESCO World Heritage sites
Take a trip to a treehouse in the world’s oldest tropical lowland rainforest at Daintree Ecolodge. The eco lodge is home to a lagoon and a pristine private waterfall, adding to the already breathtaking natural surrounds. Enjoy all of this from the privacy of your bayan (treehouse), complete with all the trappings of a luxury hotel, plus a screened-in balcony where you can lounge outdoors without fear of tiny biting critters.
The lodge also gives you access to the beach and the Great Barrier Reef, which, like Daintree Rainforest, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Make the most of your location with a snorkelling trip, either on the reef or on the Mossman River that traverses the forest, or learn about the wildlife and history of the region on a guided tour. The on-site restaurant provides a culinary tour of local, sustainable produce, while the spa uses techniques inspired by indigenous wisdom and the healing properties of local botanicals.
📍3189 Mossman-Daintree Road, Daintree QLD 4873
Southern Ocean Lodge
Best for: luxury ecotourism
Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island seamlessly blends luxury with environmental consciousness. This award-winning eco lodge, built with sustainable materials, aims to provide you with everything you need for a relaxing getaway with minimal impact on the surrounding ecosystem – with features such as solar power, rainwater harvesting, and landscaping using only native plants.
Guided nature walks and hikes will bring you into contact with some of the island’s most famous creatures, such as kangaroos (obviously); the world’s smallest penguins, aptly named Little Penguins, or, even more adorably, Fairy Penguins; and sea lions, while learning about local conservation projects. The cuisine showcases what the great food bowl of South Australia has to offer, while supporting local, sustainable suppliers.
Westpac Concierge Service tip: this is an all-season destination, with each change in the weather highlighting different aspects of the island’s rich biodiversity, from summer beach days and dips in the ocean to invigorating stormy winters that see the local wildlife at its most active.
📍Hanson Bay Road, Kingscote SA 5223
Best for: forward-thinking sustainability
Crystalbrook Byron invites you into the heart of the rainforest – allow yourself to feel the soothing embrace of the abundant lush plants and trees that create a shelter from the everyday world. However, the resort goes beyond just offering a luxury getaway, it has put in the work to create a more sustainable tourism industry in partnership with EarthCheck, the leaders in science-backed sustainability strategies, with many of these strategies being implemented at this Byron Bay resort. Crystalbrook Byron embraces all things recycled, upcycled, and ethically sourced.
This is a self-catering resort, however, you’ll find three restaurants on site –the aptly named Forest is not to be; the small plates and designer cocktails are created using produce from suppliers within a three-hour drive of the resort, plus Crystalbrook Byron’s own herb garden and beehives.
Westpac Concierge Service tip: there’s no shortage of activities to enjoy at the resort and in the surrounding areas, including an on-site spa, yoga classes – mats are provided in your suite, bicycle rentals, and guided tours. Inquire at reception for a full list of recommendations.
📍77-97 Broken Head Road, Byron Bay NSW 2481
Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef Safari Camp
Best for: forward-thinking sustainability
Camping is the closest you can get to sleeping in nature, next to falling asleep in a field, so it’s no wonder that Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef Safari Camp chose tents for its off-grid escape. Don’t worry though, the tents will already be there when you arrive, set up with all the creature comforts you could wish for, plus the opportunity to ditch technology and just be. Between Cape Range National Park and Ningaloo Reef – a UNESCO World Heritage-listed coral reef – you can hike, swim, snorkel, bird-watch, or simply lounge in your personal hammock, lulled to sleep by the melodies of the Aussie outdoors.
Head to the eco lodge to commune with some human beings after a day in the wild and savour the five-star dining experience that takes you through the bounties of the region, accompanied by local wine and beers, and then head back to your tent to watch the stars twinkle on the ocean.
📍Yardie Creek Road, Cape Range National Park WA 6707