Best Eco Lodges in the World
No two eco lodges are alike. One person’s idea of eco-friendly accommodation can be entirely different from another’s but what marries the two is their conscience decision to make a difference. Every so often, here at Eco Travel Logue, I’ll highlight a few eco-friendly stopovers that stand out from the crowd. If you know of any that have impressed you, get in contact giving reasons why you think they can cut it with the best of them.
This week we travel to northern Queensland, Australia.
About 10 years ago I had the chance to go to Port Douglas but never did and always regretted it. A friend and I had been travelling for a few months around Oz and completed a dive course on the Great Barrier Reef. At the time, diving had been the only reason I cared to visit Australia. I had met too many motor-mouthed-chauvinists in London, my adopted home, to want to spend too long in the country so the whole trip was planned around beaches and diving.
Then, I landed here and fell head-over-heels in love with the place. I couldn’t get enough of the people, the places, the wild-life, the scenery and of course, the sun. I ended up staying for nearly a year and because I had decided I would return one day I stuck to the original plan and discovered coves, beaches and underwater delights. Stopping just south of Port Douglas, in Cairns, we stayed on the Outer Barrier Reef on a floating hotel, 3hrs from civilisation, and went diving with sharks at dawn. It was better than Christmas. We kept planning a trip to the fine white sandy beaches of Cape Tribulation and the ancient forests of Daintree but never quite reached there. No one had mentioned how bad a monsoon could be; coming from Northern Ireland, where it rains solidly, I thought a wee monsoon wouldn’t be a problem. How wrong I was; we had to head south to keep from drowning. It took 10 years to get back to the area but it was worth the wait.
Here are a few of the best Eco Lodges in the area so you can immerse yourself in the diverse wonders of Port Douglas and the surrounds.
Port O’Call was awarded a Developing Sustainable Communities Award in September this year for attempting to be the most energy efficient accommodation in Australia with the smallest carbon footprint.
Close to Mossman Gorge, Daintree Rainforest, Cape Trib and the Great Barrier Reef, this lodge caters for budget travellers but offers luxury living. Solar power generates 100% of hot water used, wind energy lights communal and outdoor areas and they exercise minimisation programs for water and waste.
Budget, deluxe and shared rooms are available with communal kitchen facillites and a free shuttle bus runs form Cairns to Port Douglas, which can be booked online. Check out Portocall.com.au for more info.
Set in lush ancient rainforest, 65 million years older than the Amazon, Daintree Lodge offers the ultimate in nature breaks. Various packages are available, including spa treatments and aboriginal art workshops. It’s also a unique setting for tying the knot where they have three wedding packages on offer to ensure you get what you want for the big day.
As well as pandering to your R&R needs, Daintree Lodge prides itself in working with the local Aboriginal people and offers a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with them on bush walks learning how their ancestors, the Kuku Yalanji, survived off the land.
To ensure the resort does not impact too much on the natural habitat, there are only 15 tree-house villas available. Log on to Daintree-ecolodge.com.au to find out more.