You would think sustainable ecotourism practices would be the norm in Western Australia’s pristine Margaret River region. The southwest is a hub of biodiversity and unique landscapes, all of which are at risk with climate change and persistent pollution.
But sustainable hotels seem to be in short supply in Margaret River and further south towards Denmark, Albany and even in beautiful Esperance.
Local councils down south are doing great things, leading the way in sustainability with various initiatives. But local tourism businesses, especially accommodation are slow to follow.
It’s understandable considering some eco-initiatives can be costly, particularly switching to renewable energy like solar power. But recouping the expense of the initial layout would usually be paid off in a few years, thanks to reduced energy costs.
Other initiatives are obviously less costly but unfortunately still not implemented.
Of course, there are a handful of eco-hotels and resorts leading the way in responsible travel, converting to solar energy, reducing water consumption and waste, providing nature reserves for flora and fauna and supporting local businesses.
Sustainable Hotels in Margaret River
These hotels have met a number of ecotourism guidelines by following sustainability best practices, working towards reducing carbon emissions, and helping to conserve native bushland and biodiversity.
Forest Rise Chalets & Lodge*
Forest Rise is located in the heart of the Margaret River wine-region, half way between Margaret River and Busselton. They are ecotourism accredited, focusing on responsible travel, providing native habitat for environmental conservation, and providing low impact accommodation. The chalets are built using rammed earth construction, a naturally insulating material, reducing heating and cooling resources. Forest Rise also supports the local community and charities including the Wirrpanda Foundation.
Yelverton Brook Eco Retreat*
Yelverton Brook is one of West Australia’s longest-running eco-resorts. Located between Busselton and Margaret River in Metricup, the stone chalets are within the retreat’s 100-acre predator-free conservation sanctuary. The property is home to endangered wildlife including the Woylie and the Western Ringtailed Possum. As for the accommodation, you’ll find water-saving fixtures, energy-efficient lighting and they use recycled paper products.
Siesta Park Holiday Resort*
Eco-certified for nature tourism, Siesta Park oceanfront villas are located between Busselton and Dunsborough. They are working to reduce their environmental impact with the introduction of electric power generation, habitat building and conservation, and by implementing carbon-reducing initiatives. The simple resort accommodation is ideal for families and those on a budget.
Highlights of Margaret River
The Margaret River region is the highlight of a trip to Australia’s southwest. It’s known for its pristine national parks, surf beaches, wineries and gourmet food. Here’s our quick guide to the highlights of Margaret River but for a more in-depth look at what’s on offer, visit the Margaret River Visitor Centre.
- Go surfing – If you already know how to surf, Margaret River is made for you. It’s the number one destination for surfers in WA and you won’t be disappointed. If you’re a beginner surfer, you have plenty of opportunities to learn. You can start at one of the calmer, protected beaches before working your way up to the wild, high swell beaches for experts. Watch out for sharks though!
- Go swimming – Margaret River isn’t only for surfing, there are plenty of calm waters if you know where to go. Try Castle Bay, Eagle Bay or Torpedo Rocks Beach to name a few.
- Gourmet cuisine – The south-west is a hub for gourmet food. You can find incredible bakeries, olive oil producers, delicious cheese, farm to table chocolate, locally roasted coffee and fresh farmers markets.
- Wine tasting – For many, wine is the biggest drawcard of Margaret River. Every winery has tastings and many offer gourmet meals and picnics to go along with the wine. Take a tour or make your own wine tour with a designated driver.
If you know of other sustainable hotels in Margaret River or the Albany region, get in touch on social media and I’ll update this post.