6 of the best eco lodges and accommodations in Victoria

Guilt-free getaways to The Grampians, The Great Ocean Road, Melbourne and beyond.

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Once upon a time, eco-friendly travel meant camping under the stars and sleeping in treehouses. While those options are still available, ecotourism in Victoria has widened its repertoire to luxury lodges in the countryside, boutique city hotels and even the odd hostel or two.

At a very minimum, each of the options below uses solar panels, rainwater harvesting and eco-friendly building materials. This to create as little impact on the natural world as possible.

Why we chose these accommodation options

  • All of our chosen accommodation options outline a transparent plan for green lodging and are making efforts to achieve it each and every day.
  • Each is working towards reducing its reliability on non-sustainable sources in some way. This could be through the use of solar energy or sustainable building materials.
  • Water conservation is one of the main problems being tackled by eco lodges in Victoria. Options listed use a combination of rain harvesting, water filtration systems and recycling grey water to help tackle Victoria's water shortage issues.

eco lodges

1. Yarranungara Yurt Retreat

Get a peaceful night's sleep in a hand-crafted Mongolian Yurt in Victoria's scenic High Country and wake up to the sounds of the King River.

  • Equipped with rainwater showers and a 12-volt solar-powered light and phone charger, you'll only be using what nature has provided.
  • A compost toilet and toilet paper mean you'll only leave footprints behind.
  • Enjoy the wood-fired hot water service for showering and washing up.
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eco lodges

2. Boroka Downs

Based in the heart of The Grampians, this adults-only retreat offers luxurious accommodation surrounded by the rolling hills of gold rush country.

  • On a mission to become 100% self-sufficient, the property has implemented a number of new water purification systems.
  • As a member of Lands For Wildlife, it strives to preserve, protect and create an environment for all flora and fauna to thrive.
  • All hot water is solar-powered, with a gas booster attached, only to be used when necessary.
  • It advocates sourcing and using local produce and products where possible.
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eco lodges

3. Grand Designs Eco Bush Retreat

Featured on one of the first ever episodes of Grand Designs, this off-grid lodge in Gippsland is the perfect place to reduce your carbon footprint.

  • North facing to maximise the solar energy produced and to warm the house naturally.
  • All inhouse appliances have been rated as 5-star energy-efficient appliances.
  • Guests are given organic shampoos and conditioners to use during their stay. Alongside that, all wastewater goes through the Biolytic Blackwater filtration system.
  • The house features a 60,000-litre outdoor tank for rainwater harvesting.
  • Many of the property's wooden features such as the flooring and ceiling panels have been made from recycled timber from Melbourne's Princess Pier.

eco lodges

4. Aquila Eco Lodges

Nestled into the foothills of The Grampians, guests can enjoy unspoiled mountain views from their private lodge.

  • Sandstone pathways supported by corn ryegrass help to reduce soil erosion around the property.
  • Regular research ensures only the right nutrients are being put back into the soil from the compost waste system.
  • A water collection system on the roof filters rainwater that's reused for drinking and washing.
  • Solar panels provide electricity and have an emergency diesel generator as a backup.
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eco lodges

5. Apollo Bay Eco YHA

Offering affordable and shared accomodation options, be sure to pop by this environmentally conscious YHA if you're heading on an adventure along the Great Ocean Road.

  • Implemented a water recycling system to reduce consumption and wastage.
  • Working towards a 100% solar-fuelled property with a growing amount of light-absorbing panels around the grounds.
  • Eco-friendly insulation to prevent heat loss during winter.
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eco lodges

6. Alto Hotel on Bourke

If you're more of a city breaker with an eco-friendly mindset, consider staying at The Alto, which claims to be Melbourne's only carbon-neutral hotel.

  • Rooftop beehives produce sustainable honey and allow bees to thrive in a city environment.
  • Rainwater is collected and used in toilets, for gardening and cleaning.
  • A comprehensive recycling system has been implemented in the hotel which separates paper, glass and plastic, and composts organic waste.
  • Complimentary recharge station for electric vehicles.
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Where are these eco-lodges?

What to know before you go to Victoria

  • Prevent non-biodegradable materials being left along hiking paths by taking a rubbish bag with you. Bins aren't always provided, especially in the remote bush.
  • With huge amounts of visitors each year, The Great Ocean Road is becoming a volatile environment. When visiting, stick to the designated paths and viewing platforms and avoid walking on any of the fragile rock formations.
  • Invest in a reusable water bottle to reduce plastic waste and keep your water cool while out and about.
  • Try using bicycles, often provided by eco-conscious accommodation, or shared transportation when moving around to lessen your carbon emissions.

What to avoid when booking eco accommodation in Victoria

  • Melbourne's water storage levels have been decreasing each year. Luxury hotels in the city use up to 1,800 litres of water per night per guest to provide clean sheets and towels every day. It's worth avoiding these types of establishments for a clean conscience.
  • If your accommodation isn't upfront or lacks specific details about its eco policies, this may be a sign it's not being totally transparent. Look for accommodation that offers a clear eco mission that can easily be found via its website, on social media or by contacting it directly.
  • The Grampians, Phillip Island and The Great Ocean Road see thousands of visitors each year hoping to learn more about Victoria's diverse wildlife and Indigenous heritage. Avoid establishments and tours that act against the wellbeing of the local flora, fauna or culture.

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