5 Queensland Ecotourism Hideaways

With wellness and sustainability being a key focus of today, we have rounded up five Queensland ecotourism resorts, glamping, islands and rainforests for you to enjoy while helping save our planet.

Adventure Travel, Beaches, Oceania, Outdoors, Sustainable / Eco

With wellness and sustainability being a key focus of today, we have rounded up five Queensland ecotourism resorts, glamping, islands and rainforests for you to enjoy while helping save our planet.

Lady Elliot Island

Lady Elliot Island is the perfect eco destination. There are no TVs or radios in the rooms and no mobile reception giving guests plenty of opportunities to get back to nature and explore the amazing ecosystem on Lady Elliot Island. The Lagoon located in front of the Resort is a haven for exploring the Great Barrier Reef in a safe and protected environment. During high tide, this is the perfect spot for families to go snorkelling together. The lagoon area is ideal for novice or younger snorkellers and you’ll find enough tropical fish, colourful coral and friendly turtles to keep everyone entertained. At low tide, reef walks allow guests to search for sea cucumbers, sea stars, sea urchins, coral, clams, crabs and fish of all colours and sizes.

Visitors can also join a range of complimentary guided activities and tours throughout the day to learn more about this incredible coral cay and its wildlife. During turtle nesting and hatching season, Lady Elliot Island schedules regular Turtle Tours which go searching for nesting turtles and allow guests to see first-hand the little hatchlings making their way down the beach to the ocean. There is also a glass bottom boat and guided snorkel tour included in the overnight rate. The resort it dedicated to the preservation of the natural environment of the Great Barrier Reef and have worked hard to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions by introducing a combination of solar and gas technology, water desalination and various strategic behavioural adaptations on the island. In conjunction with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), Lady Elliot Island has developed the first dedicated Climate Change Trail and Tour around the island to highlight the impacts that climate change could have on a coral cay eco system.

Great Barrier Reef Tours

Visitors to the stunning Lady Elliot Island on the southern Great Barrier Reef have an exciting new opportunity to explore parts of the Reef, not accessible by snorkelling with Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort’s new Clear Bottom Kayak Tours. Guests can embark on this incredible journey with a guide to spot one of the 1,200 different species that call Lady Elliot Island their home. Tours are available day and night for those aged 14 and above with prices from $40pp for a single kayak and $60pp for a double clear-bottom kayak. www.ladyelliot.com.au

nightfall, Lamington

Perched beside the crystal-clear headwaters of Christmas Creek and Queensland’s ancient Lamington National Park rainforest, nightfall’s luxury tents epitomise the simple luxuries of life. The nightfall ‘glamping’ experience steps away from the complications of the modern world and redefines luxury by showcasing architect-inspired, hand-built, permanent safari tents; sumptuous fire-cooked cuisine and the relaxed feeling of staying with old friends. Eco-tourism at nightfall camp is about much more than just turning-off the lights and re-using towels. This eco-accommodation’s whole reason-for-being is to create a lifestyle which preserves and enhances this ancient wilderness. Their passion is to provide those high-quality encounters with nature — from the ‘everyday’ sightings of wallabies, parrots and blue-eyed dew fish to the rare plants and wildlife which share nightfall’s rich conservation-protected landscape and the cultural history which links humans to this region. nightfall camp is limited to only six travellers at any one time, ensuring privacy, intimacy and sustainability. www.nightfall.com.au

Spicers Peak Lodge, Southern Downs

Stunningly situated on a mountain top in Queensland’s Scenic Rim, Spicers Peak Lodge is as far from the pressure of everyday life as it’s possible to be. Relax in their luxurious suites and private lodges, enjoy an award-winning gourmet experience, unwind in Spa Anise or choose from a host of invigorating outdoor activities. Spicers care about the environment and have worked tirelessly to ensure they take a responsible approach when it comes to looking after their guests, team, business and surrounding environment, from sourcing more sustainable products to more efficient ways to recycle waste. www.spicersretreats.com/retreats/spicers-peak-lodge/

Spicers Retreats initiatives include:

  • Providing glassware for guests instead of plastic bottles
  • Spicers partners with SoapAid, a not-for-profit organisation committed to saving children’s lives through improved hygiene, while positively impacting the environment.  Soaps left behind will be reprocessed into fresh bar of soaps and will be delivered to disadvantaged communities in Australia and overseas
  • Spicers is passionate about reducing the volume of detrimental plastic that enters the ecosystem affecting sea life and oceans so it is committed to The Last Straw Initiative and now provide paper or reusable straws on request in restaurants

Pumpkin Island

The magnificent beauty of Queensland must be experienced first-hand to be fully appreciated. Home to the iconic Great Barrier Reef, world-class beaches and the aptly-named Sunshine Coast, you’d be forgiven for wanting to claim a piece of this paradise as your own and fortunately, you can.

A true travel treasure, known only to those lucky enough to have discovered it, Pumpkin Island measures just six hectares in total but what it lacks in size it makes up for in scenic splendour. This eco-friendly escape can host up to thirty-four guests in seven self-catering cottages and bungalows, for that true ‘private island’ experience. Spend your days enjoying seductive seclusion, private beaches, the magical underwater kingdom of the Southern Great Barrier Reef and all that this blissful retreat has to offer.

You may find yourself sharing Pumpkin’s panoramic beauty with local dolphins, whales and resident turtles but the essence of the island is an authentic ‘Robinson Crusoe’ fantasy.

Daintree Rainforest

Silky Oaks Lodge

You can’t help but feel lustrous after a stay at Silky Oaks Lodge and Healing Waters Spa. From its restful location in the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest to the ancient spa techniques used to nurture body and spirit, this is a place where time ticks to nature’s clock. Slow down and rest easy in your rainforest treehouse, moving only to dine on seasonal local produce over the Mossman River or unwind with a signature spa ritual. When you want to up the tempo, complimentary activities like guided walks, river canoes and yoga give you the opportunity to connect with the lodge’s natural surroundings. www.silkyoakslodge.com.au

For more information on holidays to Queensland go to: www.queensland.com

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Mark Bibby Jackson

Mark Bibby Jackson

Before setting up Travel Begins at 40, Mark was the publisher of AsiaLIFE Cambodia and a freelance travel writer. When he is not packing and unpacking his travelling bag, Mark writes novels, including To Cook A Spider and Peppered Justice. He loves walking, eating, tasting beer, isolation and arthouse movies, as well as talking to strangers on planes, buses and trains whenever possible. Most at home when not at home.

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