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5 top eco lodges in the Blue Mountains

A guide for the environmentally conscious traveller looking for a relaxing stay in nature.

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Travel less than two hours from the busy streets of Sydney and you'll arrive in another world. One with fresh mountain air, dramatic natural sights, over 1,500 species of plants and animals and a slew of bushwalking options.

Eco-friendly accommodation options in the area have been making an active effort to help protect the land for future generations, but these are usually small businesses that can be hard to find.

To make your holiday planning easier, we've done the research and figured out the top eco lodges in the Blue Mountains.

eco lodge

1. Kanimbla View Clifftop Retreat

Get ready for a stylish and comfortable stay with minimal impact to the surrounding environment.

  • Wildlife Refuge. The National Parks and Wildlife Service has declared Kanimbla View a wildlife refuge.
  • Land management. The retreat has entered a Voluntary Conservation Agreement to preserve the habitat and escarpment of rare and endangered species.
  • Waste and water management. Water-saving initiatives include the odourless composting toilets and an extensive recycling and composting program that guests can participate in.
  • Minimal impact construction. All buildings have been designed to reduce their environmental impact. They are well-set into the bush, run by solar power and decorated with natural and recycled materials.

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eco lodge

2. Old Leura Dairy

Boutique, eco accommodation with a real story to tell.

  • Carbon footprint. Old Leura Dairy measures its carbon footprint regularly and actively puts in place strategies to reduce it.
  • Waste reduction. Organic waste is composted, recyclable materials are used where possible, office paper is reused and waste paper is recycled.
  • Energy-efficient. A passive solar design is used on site, as are energy-efficient appliances and practices.
  • Community support. Local staff are employed and food and resources come from local sources where possible.

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eco lodge

3. Jenolan Cabins

Find an environmentally sensitive retreat with 360-degree views overlooking Blue Mountains National Park.

  • Environmental design and construction. Built and set within the natural environment on top of Porcupine Hill.
  • Naturally heated. The cabins are warmed by log fires in the colder months.
  • Climate control. To allow cabins to integrate with the hillside, they are earth-sheltered and clad in timber.

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eco lodge

4. Cloudlands

A historic writer's retreat nestled in an acre of escarpment garden and surrounded by local wildlife.

  • Sanctuary. Part of the Humane Society International Sanctuaries You Can Stay program and is a dedicated wildlife sanctuary.
  • Solar-powered. 42 solar panels have been installed to provide clean solar energy.
  • Locally sourced produce. Guests are provided fresh eggs from the Cloudland hens, home-made goodies, gifts and vouchers to support local small businesses.

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eco lodge

5. Hatter's Hideout Cave and Lodge

A unique hand-built lodge on eight acres of Blue Mountains wilderness.

  • Low-impact build. Developed using minimal impact construction so the environment stays as pristine and untouched as possible.
  • Guest education. An interpretive bushwalk to the cave is included to introduce guests to the surroundings, facilities and the environmental philosophy of the lodge.
  • Eco amenities. Solar-powered lights, rainwater on tap, composting toilet and natural weather protection thanks to the cave arch.

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Why we chose these accommodation options:

When choosing options for this list, we prioritised those that made sustainable tourism a key part of its overall holiday offering with initiatives that feature:

  • Low-impact design and construction
  • Continuing to minimise environmental impact
  • Building cultural and environmental awareness
  • Promoting a greater understanding of the Blue Mountains environmental, political and social climate
  • Providing positive experiences for both visitors and hosts

We also considered lodges that are either locally owned, employ a majority of workers from the local community or use locally produced goods.

Additionally, we factored in the quality of accommodation available from each lodge. We sought out customer reviews on travel websites and personal travel blogs and considered first-person experiences as well as each lodge's overall reputation.

What to know before you go to the Blue Mountains?

  • When you're on a bushwalk, take along a small bag so you can dispose of any rubbish or waste.
  • Be mindful that you are likely to bump into wildlife during a bushwalk or even at your lodge. While you might be excited to see something new, do not try to go near or feed them.
  • Domestic animals can pose a threat to the environment and wildlife, so even if your accommodation allows pets, consider leaving them with a friend or family member.
  • Mobile phone reception can be limited in some areas so be prepared with offline copies of maps, booking confirmations and other important documents.

Things to avoid when booking eco-accommodation in the Blue Mountains

  • Avoid staying at large resorts where it is much more difficult to ensure a low-impact stay.
  • Steer clear if a resort doesn't make the details of its green initiatives accessible.
  • Consider whether you need large pools and hot tubs which can be a huge environmental burden.
  • A well-built structure eliminates the need for air-conditioning and unnecessary lighting. Unless you really need it, avoid lodges that include air-conditioning.

Book your eco-friendly accommodation right here:

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