Sydney-siders rejoice! We’re allowed to travel a little further from home. What a time to be alive. If you find yourself pining for a sustainable staycay, but don’t feel like you’re quite ready to break the rules and travel across the state… or interstate, gasp! I got you. These eight (sustainable) abodes are all within striking distance of Sydney CBD and depending on what kind of experience you’re looking for, I would go as far as saying there’s a little place for everyone.
Starting from cheapest and gradually making our way to most expensive take a look at these sustainable staycays to not only inspire you for now, but perhaps also for a trip in the near future.
6Sixteen The Banks in Western Sydney
When I think of Western Sydney, I think high traffic, excessive concrete and diverse cuisine. Something I don’t think of is lush green acreage, and yet, that’s exactly where 6Sixteen The Banks is located. With the Blue Mountains as it’s backdrop, along with the surrounding 125 acres used mostly as a horse stud you couldn’t be further from a concrete jungle.
Horse lovers will appreciate the early morning track work. Non-horse lovers will appreciate the tranquil setting from the comfort of the queen sized bed. The space is bright and open with the living room doors opening up to the patio. Find thoughtful touches throughout (including hammock, fairy lights and fire pit). The property can host up to four people and prices start at $220 per night (two night minimum).
Onsite parking, wifi and Netflix included. Kitchen and shower with modern amenities. Breakfast, wine and cheese platters can be arranged (at extra cost.)
How is it sustainable: If I’m honest, this is the least sustainable on the list. The point is, tiny houses are a more sustainable option than regular houses. The biggest factor is that they consume and waste less energy.
The Rex via UnYoked in the Central Coast Hinterland
Mysterious location – Check.
Surrounded by forest and glade – Check.
I have to say, I find the Unyoked website both exciting and annoying. There is just enough information to have you blindly clicking ‘book now’ but not enough to allow you to imagine what you’d be doing with yourself at 3pm in the afternoon. The Rex property (from what I can gather) is as far away from civilisation as you can get, without it feeling creepy. In order to reach The Rex, you’ll need to hike ten-minutes to the secluded hilltop hideaway. Once you’ve arrived, slowness is demanded of you. Prices start at $223 per night (weekday, with a two night minimum).
Outdoor seating and picnic setup, gas stove and fire pit, bar fridge and fan. It’s basic. But, that’s what makes it great. It’s no fuss minimalism with a nature infusion.
How is it sustainable: The Rex runs on solar power and is built with sustainable materials. Plus they’ve partnered with Matthew McConaughey to create a cabin that is designed to get Aussies back to nature (and plug his new bourbon). Not sustainable news. Just gooey Matthew McConaughey news.
Note: Unyoked have many location options throughout NSW and VIC, with just one in QLD.
Little Black Shack at Great Mackerel Beach
Is there a more endearing method of arrival than by ferry? (Psst. it’s the only method of arrival). The Little Black Shack is a bush meets beach hideaway at Great Mackerel Beach (yeah, I had to Google where it was too.) The old fisherman’s shack turned private eco retreat is located just opposite Palm Beach, in the north east of Ku-rin-gai National Park. A one night stay will set you back $500 (two night minimum). While you’re here you can explore the surrounding National Park on one of the many bush walks leading to secluded beaches, The Basin Lagoon, ancient Aboriginal carving sites and remarkable lookouts over the heads.
Two bedrooms (great if you have kids and or/ clingy friends), full kitchen, outdoor shower for sandy tootsies as well as beach essentials (snorkel, goggles etc.) Indoor fireplace, heating WIFI, coffee maker and cute amenities.
How is it sustainable: recycled or repurposed materials were used when renovating, they’ve styled it with pre-loved curated pieces within and rain water is used throughout the property.
Ecocrackenback chalet in the Snowy Mountains
When I think of the Snowy Mountains, I think: cold. Thankfully Ecocrackenback have heated flooring, ethanol gas fireplaces and a heated drying rack. That helps. Situated close to Jindabyne, Thredbo and Perisher, it’s perfect for all you adventure lovers. Sleeping up to four (one king sized bed and two singles), prices start at $508 per night (minimum 3 nights). Get in quick for the fast approaching ski season folks, they are currently booked out for the next three months.
Heating aside, the self contained chalets include kitchen, BBQ, TV, washer and dryer and…wait for it…DVD player #oldschool
How is it sustainable: Ecocrackenback have earned their sustainability street cred by gaining ‘Eco-certification’ by Eco Tourism Australia. They use a worm farm for food waste and grey water for the surrounding nature.
India via In2theWild in Shoalhaven
Located on a wine estate just under two hours from Sydney, this tiny house is the perfect hideaway for even the most undeserving of us. The property is flanked by rainforest overlooking rows and rows of vines. Despite its tiny nature, the house sleeps up to four and prices start at $558 per night (two night minimum over weekends). This is the place to come if you’re looking to live a little off grid, for here, you will be well and truly in the wild.
Bedding and towels are included along with fridge, BBQ and stove, should you feel the need to cook. To keep yourself amused take stock by the outdoor seating, or make use of the books and games provided.
How is it sustainable: The tiny house is powered by solar panels and gas is used for stove and heating. If rain and cloud are forecast, maybe bring some candles just in case.
Note: In2theWild have many locations throughout NSW, as well as a smattering in VIC and QLD.
Treehouse Blue Mountains in Bilpin
Ok, I have to admit, the decor at Treehouse definitely put me off at first. However, after I saw the vista, I was undeniably impressed. Surrounded by 600 acres of wilderness and built twelve meters above ground – literally in a tree, this place is impressive. The best part (no offence) is that children are not allowed. I wouldn’t expect an internet connection but what you can expect is uninterrupted views, facilitated by surrounding floor to ceiling windows. To stay here will set you back $743 per night (two night minimum).
Fancy a bubble bath with a view of the Blueys? Here you can! The cabin includes a kitchenette, queen bed and fireplace. In terms of things to do in the surrounding area, the Treehouse is unrivalled with tours, activities etc – that is of course if you feel the need to do something. Meals, tours and spa treatments can be provided at an additional cost. Star gazing comes free.
How is it sustainable: A compost worm toilet doesn’t sound sexy, but by all reviews its no issue. The Treehouse is constructed from recycled materials and in all respects is an architectural marvel. The water system is also solar powered.
Note: The Treehouse is just one of seven eco-escapes offered by Wollemi Cabins.
Paperbark Camp in Jervis Bay
Paperbark does glamping. But not just ‘whack a double bed in there’ glamping. Legit glamping. Their safari style tents are spacious, luxurious and in sympathy with the natural landscape. Breakfast and dinner are included in the price at onsite ‘Gunyah’ restaurant – so pick up that jaw of yours when you look over their pricing options. You’re looking at $1,170 for a weekend stay (two night minimum) during shoulder season. Guests are encouraged to get out and enjoy everything Jervis Bay has to offer whether it be bush walking, mountain biking, canoeing or stand up paddle boarding. Spa and beauty treatments are available at extra charge. In order to capture an ocean breeze, tents are built above ground (I suppose it also helps to keep the creepy crawlies out.)
Polished hardwood floors – yep, seriously. Tents are fully solar powered with complete insect screening and include an open air private ensuite. The deluxe tents have a free standing bath – yep, I was impressed too. Even though there are eight tents, they all ensure the utmost privacy for guests. It’s worth noting that the use of stand up paddle board and canoe’s is included. This experience is probably more suited to the person who struggles with the art of doing nothing.
How is it sustainable: Tents are solar powered, they rely on natural ventilation (no air conditioning), the use of rainwater, biodegradable cleaning products and recycled, natural products are used. To be honest, their long list of sustainable efforts are clearly listed on the website and from what I can see, are the most eco-friendly in this list.
Note: Paperbark is currently closed due to travel restrictions, but is reopening as soon as possible, they are offering 10% discount if you book ahead!
Lily Pad Palm Beach at Palm Beach (obviously)
And lastly, the crème de la crème. The ‘splurge’ account. The ‘you deserve it’ card. The ‘your birthday in quarantine sucked’. I present to you the Lily Pad Palm Beach. This solar panelled, fully serviced, white fluffy robe doning floating villa is all yours for just $1,800 per night or $3,500 for a two night stay. [Stay with me. That includes a lot of things.] Lily Pad Palm Beach is the essence of luxury and the experience starts when you are met by concierge at the Lily Pad private wharf in Palm Beach. From here you are transferred to your floating paradise where Pacific Ocean meets Pittwater. No need for boating experience aboard this vessel. Once you’re there, you are free to stay put or use the complimentary private tender should you wish to explore, picnic or simply ‘take ‘er for a whirl’.
Champagne on arrival, open wine cellar for your stay, the villa is fully serviced with all food prepared offsite by a professional chef, paddle boards, fishing rods, did I mention the robes? On board spa and beauty treatments are also available (at additional charge).
As they say, ‘no man is an island entire of itself’, but you sure will feel like you are on this floating villa.
How is it sustainable: Lily Pad Palm Beach runs completely off solar power.
Have you stayed at any of the above? If yes, TELL ME! ‘Cause I am seriously close to booking each of the above and would love your recco’s!
Until then xo
PS: The Travel Series is here, check in on this page as the posts upload each Wednesday for the next ten weeks.
Some images via Unsplash.