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Published January 15th 2012
Eco lodges, just the name conjures up a lazy relaxing weekend, getting back to nature, rejuvenating the mind, body and soul. Hopefully all done in a low carbon footprint sort of way.
Where to find them, there's many in Australia - here's my pick of a few of them:
If you are after a beautiful location, you can't go past the Daintree Eco lodge, it has even won awards for it's location. With 15 beautiful villas, it is set amidst lush rainforest, claiming to be over a million years old.
I love the rustic food filled with ingredients taken from bush tucker heritage, yet blended with modern twists.
If you're not one to sit around lazing the days away, you'll be sure to find some activities here to fill your days including snorkelling and diving around the Great Barrier Reef. I always love locations set amongst the rainforest and you will find just that here, amidst the gentle splashing of the beautiful waterfalls.
Daintree Eco lodge also has a wellness centre where you can be pampered, soothed and heal and a strong indigenous culture program where you can reconnect to the spirit of our first inhabitants.
Paradise Bay - Queensland Want all the getting back to nature you can handle - but consider yourself a 5 star hippy? No problems. Paradise bay mixes up both.
Where the reef meets the rainforest, you will find beautiful crystal clear waters and sun filled beaches blended wonderfully with wildlife. Touted as your own piece of Paradise in the Whitsundays.
You can fill your days relaxing or exploring the Whitsundays via the resort's private sailing and expedition boats. They will have you dining in style and feeling at one with nature in this idyllic location.
Jemby-Rinjah Eco Lodge, Blackheath Looking to be inspired by self sufficiency in ways that you may even be able to implement in your own home? Jemby-Rinjah Eco Lodge offers some perfect examples.
From a full composting toilet system through to large scale self sufficiency and sustainable tourism. Jemby-Rinjah Mixes up up in style. You can choose from 10 1/2 bedroom cottages, 1 is even solar powered.
If you desire to leave the lodge, there are some terrific walks through the blue mountains along with some fine views.
PH: (02) 4787 7622 Click here for website
Tanonga Luxury Eco Lodges - South Australia
When you have had enough of people and civilisation, head over to SA to Tanonga Luxury Eco Lodges. It's a lengthy 650 kilometres from the state capital of Adelaide, however, don't despair from Port Lincoln airport it is only a 15 minute drive.
There are 2 private lodges. One which provides a beautiful bushland setting, the other overlooking the ocean.
The name Tanonga derives from the Aboriginal culture and means "sweet water". Possible due to the fresh water springs running throughout the property. If wildlife watching is your pastime, this place could be just the ticket, with plenty of birds, possums, kangaroos.
Upon arrival, your kitchen will be filled with fresh ingredients, all sourced locally. If you would like something even more special the staff can arrange wines, cheeses, meats and local seafood, including lobsters, prawns and oysters.
Address: Pope Drive, near Port Lincoln, South Australia; Phone: 61 8 8684 5066
The Great Ocean Ecolodge - Victoria
If it is wildlife you are seeking, this place is just for you.
Operated by the cape Otway Centre for Conservation Ecology, the lodge will allow you to assist with the local researchers. You can collect DNA, restore habitats and gather food for the animals at the shelter, generally injured koalas.
By the end of the day, feeling terrific about your contribution to nature, you will be ready for a good feed and the lodge won't let you down. Their meals are prepared with locally grown ingredients and feature terrific Aussie style fare.
Well fed, it's time to retire into your cosy, solar-powered cottage. They are filled with lovely antiques and locally made bathing products.
You'll feel so good about yourself you may become a greenie. Address: Lighthouse Road, Cape Otway, Apollo Bay, Victoria, Phone: 61 3 5237 9297