Top 6 eco-friendly accommodation options in the Whitsundays for 2020

Discover eco-resorts in the Whitsundays promoting sustainability and conservation.

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Beach in the Whitsundays

From wildlife retreats to secluded island stays, the Whitsundays is filled with eco-friendly accommodation options.

Some initiatives they're taking, which are worth keeping an eye out for when choosing your resort, include energy-saving lighting, wastewater management, composting, recycling and using biodegradable cleaning products.

Some resorts even have their own breeding and conservation programs to encourage visitors to learn more about native flora and fauna.

Top eco-friendly Whitsundays accommodation

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1. Big4 Whitsundays Tropical Eco Resort

Offering camping, villas, studios and eco-lodges, this resort has a mission to reduce emissions and promote sustainable business practices.

  • Carbon footprint and emissions are monitored through the CCIQ ecoBiz Program.
  • Waste is minimised and materials are recycled when possible.
  • Resort activities have minimal impact on the environment.
  • LED lighting is installed throughout the resort.
  • Eco-lodges have a 6-star efficiency rating.
  • The resort fundraises for the Fauna Rescue Whitsundays conservation project and supports local charities, including Variety - The Children's Charity.
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2. InterContinental Hayman Island Resort

On this iconic private island, you can enjoy luxury living and the beauty of the Whitsundays in a tranquil setting.

  • Guests are supplied with reef-safe sunscreen to reduce the effect of toxic sunscreen on the ocean.
  • Guests are given a reusable water bottle that can be refilled at water stations around the resort.
  • Energy conservation technology is used in rooms.
  • Glass bottles are recycled using a glass-to-sand crusher and the end-product is used on the resort's pathways.
  • Organic waste is converted into liquid and used to irrigate the lawns and plants.
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3. Elysian Retreat

This secluded island retreat accommodates only 20 people and has been ecologically designed to reduce environmental impact through climate-change initiatives.

  • Elysian Retreat runs on 100% solar power and grows its own fruit and vegetables.
  • Food waste is composted and plastic use is minimised.
  • BioCycle wastewater treatment systems are used to digest solid waste and purify wastewater, which is then recycled for gardening.
  • All water is filtered rainwater.
  • Appliances are all water-saving appliances.
  • Guest toiletries are made from wild native ingredients and cleaning products are biodegradable.
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4. Daydream Island Resort

As well as 280 rooms, 3 restaurants and 3 bars, Daydream Island has its own coral lagoon, a spa and plenty of outdoor activities.

  • Marine biologists provide educational experiences to learn about the reef and conservation.
  • Water-saving technology is used throughout the property.
  • Guests are encouraged to reuse towels and bedding and to limit their shower time.
  • Energy-saving initiatives include energy-efficient lights and appliances.
  • Lights are turned off when not in use.
  • Single-use plastics are banned and disposable cups, plates and utensils are avoided.
  • Organic waste is used for compost.
  • Wastewater is recycled.
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5. The Feathered Nest Luxury Wildlife Retreat

At this luxury eco-wildlife retreat, you'll be surrounded by native birds, mammals and reptiles while enjoying 5-star amenities and sustainability features.

  • There is a breeding program for a rare species of black cockatoo.
  • The land around the retreat is being reforested with fauna corridors for the animals.
  • Guests are invited to learn more about the retreat's environmental and conservation management.
  • Buildings are designed with sustainability features from waste management to energy efficiency.
  • The retreat buys locally made products to support local businesses.
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6. Palm Bay Resort Whitsundays

With everything from beachfront villas to a platinum house, Palm Bay Resort is in a prime position to enjoy the natural flora and fauna of the Whitsundays.

  • Towels and sheets are not changed if you stay for three nights or less.
  • Staff explain the sustainability values of the resort when you check-in.
  • Rainwater is collected for use in the resort.
  • Meals are self-catered, so you can limit your food waste.
  • Feeding and disturbing the local wildlife are highly discouraged.
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Why we chose these accommodation options:

We chose these eco-resorts based on how they incorporate sustainable measures, such as the following:

  • Gaining an Eco Certification
  • Encouraging guests to be eco-conscious
  • Showcasing at least five ways it's reducing its environmental impact
  • Having a strong focus on sustainability as well as a mission to reduce carbon emissions and environmental impact

Eco-conscious things to know before you go to the Whitsundays

  • If you're intending to go sailing or on a boat trip, look for a company with Eco Certification. This means that the operator has been assessed on its ecotourism, environmental and social sustainability and economic principles.
  • Don't disturb, feed or try to harm the animals in any way.
  • If you are going swimming or snorkelling near a reef, avoid touching or standing on it.
  • Most sunscreens can also damage or kill the reef, so take some natural sunscreen with you that is biodegradable and safe for the reef.
  • Tap water is generally safe to drink on the Whitsundays, but make sure to ask your accommodation before doing so. Bring a refillable water bottle to fill up at a resort station instead of buying a single-use bottle.

Things to avoid when booking eco-accommodation in the Whitsundays

When choosing an eco-resort in the Whitsundays, it's important to do your research about what the property does in terms of sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint.Even though a hotel may have "eco" in its name, it doesn't necessarily mean that it is making a positive contribution to the environment.

It's usually pretty easy to see if a property is dedicated to sustainability as it will have a page or a section on its website stating the ways they are eco-friendly.The following are some of the initiatives you can expect to see:

  • Composting for organic waste
  • Wastewater-management systems
  • Not changing sheets and towels every day
  • Biodegradable cleaning products and natural toiletries
  • Ban on single-use plastics and little use or avoidance of other disposable items
  • Use of solar power
  • An ecotourism certification
  • Sustainable building materials
  • Wildlife and conservation programs
  • Energy-efficient appliances and energy-saving practices

You'll want to make sure that the accommodation has initiatives in many areas. Recommending that you use your towels more than once is not enough to be considered eco-friendly.

While some eco-resorts in the Whitsundays may not have every one of these things, if they tick a handful of boxes and are promoting their mission to reduce their carbon footprint, then they're likely to be the real deal.

If you are having any doubts, contact the property or check reviews to see what previous guests have mentioned.

Book your eco-friendly accommodation right here:

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