This summer, treat yourself to a stay in eco-friendly accomodation.
Located in the heart of one of the world's leading eco-marine tourist destinations, Hapuku Lodge and Treehouses offer a unique experience. The Lodge is the first in New Zealand and second in the world to achieve Green Globe Benchmark status, a global tourism environment certification.
Consisting of a main lodge - the Olive House Suite - and five tree houses, any option ensures spectacular views with state-of-the-art design. The Tree House exteriors are clad in native woods and copper shingles, topped off with large windows that pull nature right into the bedroom.
Beyond having an organic kitchen garden and setting a goal to become a zero-waste community, Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses have committed to planting at least one New Zealand native plant for every guest night spent at the lodge. Their constant attention to the local vegetation encourages bird populations and restores the natural environment.
Found in one of New Zealand's most beautiful destinations, Te Waonui offers a luxury hotel experience in a rainforest setting.
Situated in Franz Josef, Te Waonui is a five-star Qualmark-rated destination that promises a healthy, environmentally safe habitat to maximise wellbeing.
The hotel has sought out a number of sustainability measures that reduce its environmental impact. The design decisions from the beginning have been made to minimise the impact on existing native bush, guest room buildings have double insulated roofs and wall insulation, and the foyer, bar and restaurant are naturally ventilated. Wherever possible the materials are made in New Zealand, contributing to a reduction of the building's carbon footprint.
The five course degustation menu, created from the freshest West Coast and South Island produce, means dinner guests enjoy a complete food experience. A truly innovative retreat, Te Waonui Forest Retreat raises the bar in unique luxury hotel accommodation in New Zealand.
Kokohuia Lodge stands out as a leading B&B in the North Island. It is exclusive and remote, only accommodating one couple and offering a wide range of sustainable practices.
Inspired by a 'leaf lying gently on the ground', this lodge takes you away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and places you into the beautiful landscapes of the Hokianga Harbour, providing its guests with a luxury escape.
As if the private room and astounding views weren't enough, Kokohuia Lodge boasts of a range of sustainable practices that makes sure you feel good about your stay. The electricity used is produced by solar panels and, due to high insulation values, the house requires little heating. Everything from the towels to the tiles is consciously sourced with the environment in mind.
To top it off, the Lodge provides breakfasts prepared by home-grown or local produce wherever possible and dinner is also available on request.
One of New Zealand's leading eco lodges, Peppers Awaroa Lodge operates according to strict environmental principles.
It is Earth Check Benchmarked Silver Status, a worldwide-recognised standard for eco tourism ensuring minimum impact on the surrounding environment.
All materials used at the lodge are scrupulously recycled or removed. Waste systems do not damage the ecosystem. Food scraps from the lodge's excellent restaurant find their way via composting and worm farms into a large bio-organic garden that produces fresh herbs, fruit and vegetables year-round.
As a guest, your eco experience is subtle: the suites and rooms feature simple but elegant natural finishes and furnishings, low-energy light bulbs and organic grooming products in the bathroom.
Peppers Awaroa Lodge has no TV or cell phone coverage (there is Wi-Fi), but you won't miss them. Seeing the birds and animals of the wetland foraging almost beneath your window is as absorbing as National Geographic. The final satisfaction of your stay is human: it's a member of the Nelson-Tasman Sustainable Tourism Charter so you know that your travel dollars are helping to support the livelihoods of local people.
Making waves on Australia's west coast is new eco wilderness retreat Eco Beach. Owner Karl Plunkett says building the fully sustainable retreat, just over an hour's drive from Broome, fostered an innovative approach to designing sustainable waste management, grey water and solar power options.
Wilson Island is a private place in the Great Barrier Reef - untainted, untouched and understated with luxurious safari-style tent accommodation.
South Australia has its eco-cap firmly on, too. Just outside the 165,000ha of unspoilt bush that makes up the Gawler Ranges National Park, Gawler Ranges Wilderness Safaris' permanent African safari-style tents, known as Kangaluna Camp, offer a comfortable way to get back to nature and have been designed to have minimal impact on the environment.
In Victoria, Bothfeet Walking Lodge is Australia's first dedicated walking lodge on the Great Ocean Road Walking Trail. Walks and lodge are Advanced Eco-Certified by Eco Tourism Australia, and are committed to sustainable operation.
This retreat is near Johanna Beach at the midpoint of the Great Ocean Walk.
Set on a hilltop in North East Tasmania, 40m above the sea and surrounded by national park, Bay of Fires Lodge is the only building on 20km of outstanding coastal wilderness.
IF YOU GO
Fly with: Air New Zealand.
Find out more at: myaustraliapassion.co.nz.