Eco-Friendly Family Travel in NSW
Australia is a country of astounding natural beauty, and the state of New South Wales is one of the best places to take it all in. With the eco-friendly travel movement gaining momentum across NSW, here are just a few ways you can enjoy a sensational—and sustainable—family holiday.
Sunshine Cycles, Byron Bay
The hippie haven of Byron Bay has long been a pioneer of eco-friendly living. Make your family trip to Byron even better by hitting the town on high-tech, zero-impact bicycles. With its clever use of solar power and recycled materials, Sunshine Cycles is the first transport system of its kind in the world. Fully powered by the sun, these slick, cruiser-style bikes allow you to reach a huge array of sights—all while improving your fitness and helping to reduce traffic. To get moving, simply visit the state-of-the-art charging pod and rent a bicycle by the hour or by the day. Sunshine Cycles has also compiled a number of routes to guide riders towards interesting attractions, scenic lookouts, and other hidden gems. With two legs, two wheels, and the Byron Bay sunshine to spur you on, Sunshine Cycles are an incredible way to experience the beauty of the north coast.
Tilligerry Habitat, Port Stephens
Tilligerry Habitat is a 9-hectare reserve bordering Tanilba Bay, in Port Stephens. Offering free entry, this is a fantastic place for kids and adults to learn about the region’s native flora and fauna, as well as the ecosystems that sustain them. Embark on a self-guided walk around the reserve; grab a map to discover the best places to spot koalas, or to learn about the 100+ bird species that call this area home. Tilligerry Habitat also features a sensory walk, with signposted spots encouraging visitors to smell, look, touch and even taste the native flora. Stop by at the souvenir shop or the on-site nursery, where budding botanists can learn how to collect and propagate their own seeds. You can also book an interpretive tour for an in-depth guided experience. Whether you’re interested in bushtucker, geography, birds or botany, an expert guide will reveal the most fascinating stories and secrets of Tilligerry Habitat Reserve.
Reynella Rides, Kosciuszko National Park
Based in Kosciuszko National Park, Reynella Rides offers eco-friendly horse rides through the breathtaking scenery that inspired the quintessential Australian poem, “The Man from Snowy River”. Founders John and Roslyn Rudd have been champions of eco-tourism in this area for almost 50 years. Their Homestead Holiday Package provides guests with meals and lodge-style accommodation, as well as plenty of opportunities to go horse riding, hiking and fishing throughout the day. However, real riding fanatics can’t afford to miss Reynella’s horseback safaris. Saddle up for a one-of-a-kind journey over beautiful bushland and mountain trails on a three-, four- or five-night adventure. Learn how ride like a drover, spot brumbies dashing across the plains, and settle around the campfire each night for a hot, hard-earned meal.
Crystal Creek Meadows, Kangaroo Valley
Nestled within beautiful Kangaroo Valley, Crystal Creek Meadows is an eco-retreat with a revolutionary idea. During your stay, you’ll receive weather forecasts and relevant activity ideas, detailed feedback on your water and energy usage, and possible ways to reduce this. As you try each suggestion for yourself, all of the money you save is directed towards the Wisdom Wombat Refuge (a rehabilitation centre for injured wombats), and the Friends of the Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby conservation group. A luxury accommodation option which betters its surrounds, this interactive and educational program has even received praise from the United Nations World Tourism Organization. In between saving the planet, you can also set off on a nature walk, unwind with a day spa treatment, and pluck fresh fruit from the trees of Crystal Creek Meadows.
Bombah Point Eco Cottages, Bombah Point
Just three hours from Sydney, Myall Lakes National Park features some of Australia’s most abundant and diverse wildlife. Luckily enough, eco-conscious families can also find six luxury cottages and a homestead secluded within this pristine bushland. Constructed out of timber from plantation forests, these cottages enjoy panoramic views of the natural forest outside. Rain and sunlight provide most of their water and all of their energy needs, while a worm farm, reed bed filtration, and deep soil drippers are used to transform wastewater into water for the organic garden. Enjoy a freshly ground coffee in the communal kitchen, take a dip in the swimming pool, collect eggs, herbs and vegetables for a home-cooked meal, and soak up the serenity of Bombah Point.
Diamond Waters Treehouse Retreat, Dunbogan
Located on the Camden Haven Inlet, Diamond Waters Treehouse Retreat is surrounded on all sides by the lakes, rivers, beaches and national parks of the Mid North Coast. This multi-award-winning retreat features two deluxe treehouses set amongst 12 acres of tropical gardens. Accommodating up to four people each, these eco-friendly spaces use a range of technologies to run a luxurious holiday experience on less than 3000 watts per day. Perched up high, the treehouses enjoy sea breezes and shade in summer, and use the winter sun and renewable resources to keep warm in winter. In fact, all of their water and energy needs are harvested and stored on site, while a comprehensive water management and composting system makes this a virtually waste-free operation. Guests are given earth-friendly and biodegradable products to use during their stay, while the kitchen garden and chicken house add a welcome degree of self-sufficiency. With scenic walks, weekend markets, fishing, surfing and kayaking all nearby, Diamond Waters Treehouse Retreat makes a perfect getaway for the whole family.