Go off the grid and retreat in sustainable sophistication.
An ethos of care for the natural environment runs deep in Tasmania. Locals go to inspiring lengths to create authentic, environmentally sensitive accommodation.
From tiny homes to eco-pods, to retreats hosting environmental workshops – here are nine stays that bring sustainability to the fore.
1. The Roundhouses
Feel cosy within the curved, matte walls of the Roundhouses. On a hobby farm in the artsy southern town of Cygnet, these circular dwellings blend natural materials – lime render; thick strawbale – with charming decor and rigorous energy-efficient design.
Co-owner Niki Hynes says sustainability underpins “every single element” of the Roundhouses.
“[Our] energy usage is way less than you would use by staying at home,” she says.
Guests can expect a fully equipped kitchen; a king-sized bed beneath a star-speckled skylight; an outdoor woodfired hot tub; and a crew of Angora goats, sheep and alpacas that love a good hand-feed.
“I hope that when visitors come here, they have a really true sense of calm – of being connected with the environment,” Hynes says.
She says Tasmania, with its bountiful resources and distinctive natural environment, is in a unique position to be a “truly environmental, sustainable place”.
2. Compass Hut
On the fringes of an organic farm in Tasmania’s remote north west sits a micro off-grid escape. Sisters Kylie and Tamika Bell have poured their passion for sustainable architecture into Compass Hut in fertile Forthside. Choose from three handcrafted tiny homes on wheels: expect bespoke local décor, outdoor and indoor tubs, composting toilets in luxury bathrooms, and views melding countryside with ocean.
3. Spring Bay Mill
Experience off-grid event accommodation at Spring Bay Mill – an east coast venue ecologically transformed from its past life as a woodchip plant. Glamp or stay in minimalist pod rooms, or private beach shacks beneath twinkling skies. Wake to birdsong and blue seas stretching towards Maria Island. Spring Bay Mill’s bush regeneration efforts include palawa cultural burning practices, an onsite garden and the planting of endemic species across the 43-hectare site.
4. Elvenhome Farm Cottage
Sunlight streams through blackwood windows onto warm bamboo floors at this hand-built farm cottage near Deloraine in northern Tasmania. Survey the orchard from the patio at breakfast, say “G’day” to the milking goats and laying hens, and embrace the sustainable way of life on this biodynamic farm. Enlightening workshops on veggie-growing, composting and regenerative practices empower you to leave with a sustainable mindset.
5. Free Spirit Pods
Flying Duck, or Blue Wren? Choose from these unique eco-pods on northern Bruny Island in the south east. This bushland retreat by the sea is built with sustainable Tasmanian timber and imbued with warm hospitality. Tuck into a hearty breakfast, wander the bush with wildlife, go fishing and kayaking, and learn about the WWI history next door at Quarantine State Park.
6. The Trig on Mount Arthur
Here in the lush Lilydale foothills, you’ll find the Trig on Mount Arthur – a sophisticated, rejuvenating space. Recline upon contemporary Tasmanian furniture in the studio, or sleep in an eco-luxe shipping container. This 50-acre stay features hydroelectricity and solar energy, luxurious interiors, organic farmed produce and natural surrounds. Plus, it’s just 30min from Launceston and the Tamar Valley wine region.
7. Dales of Derby
Travelling lightly in a group? The sustainable Dales of Derby can host up to 24 people. Awarded the Australian Institute of Architecture’s 2019 Barry McNeill Award for Sustainable Architecture, this communal retreat is perched above Ringarooma River in mountain-biking mecca Derby. A contemporary fireplace forms the core of the warmly lit common room – framed with a wraparound couch and stylish kitchen amenities. Bunk in shared quarters or opt for a secluded queen bed.
8. Eagle's Roost Farmstay
Beside Rocky Cape National Park and near the expansive north-west Tasmanian coastline sits a carbon-negative accommodation hub blending beauty with environmental principles. Wake up in an insulated king room or double spa room – each with ensuite bathrooms. Get stuck into a cooked breakfast courtesy of the resident cows and chickens, then go exploring – from the Nut in Stanley to soothing Sawyer Bay, or the national park.
9. Cherry Top Farmstay – Boutique Eco Village
Cherry Top provides a rural retreat on 15 acres of sustainable organic farmland. Stay in a quaint, comfy cottage upon Lilydale’s rolling green pastures, 20min from Launceston. Hang out on the deck and taste hazelnuts, honey, apples and other goodies cultivated onsite. Join daily hands-on farm activities and unwind with a homecooked Cherry Top meal. Pluck berries from the bushes, feed the chooks and – most importantly – get back to simpler living.