the most unique mountains in queensland
1. Minimise any negative environmental impacts in our ongoing business activities
The Ecolodge has adopted the following initiatives to minimise our environmental impact on a daily basis:
- We use solar hot water for all guest bathrooms. Water saving devices are installed in all bathrooms and in the kitchen rail carriage where an on demand gas system provides hot water for cooking.
- We are self sufficient in water as we harvest rainwater from 450m² of roof and store it in two 45,000 litre underground storage tanks. The tanks are supplemented by an onsite bore when required.
- All grey water is recycled via our own on site commercial grade waste sewerage system and reused on the Ecolodge coffee orchard.
- Low energy lighting is used throughout the property including a series of movement sensitive lights installed in public areas eliminating the need for permanent lighting in car parks and walkways.
The waste recycling system includes:
- Composting of all vegetable matter for later use in gardens.
- Composting of all green trees matter and lawn clippings for use around the orchard.
- Recycling of all glass, metal and paper into the Sunshine Coast Regional Council waste management system.
The Ecolodge uses eco-sensitive, non chemical cleaning agents in guest rooms and public areas.
We encourage guests to relax, read a book about the local wildlife or enjoy more active yet low impact activities such as bush walking, bird watching, bike riding and star gazing at night.
We reduce our office stationery needs by printing on both sides of the paper, re-using of envelopes, recycling printer cartridges and using e-mail as our preferred method of communication.
We encourage our guests to reduce their vehicular movements, as excessive use of motor vehicles has a negative impact on our environment, by adopting one or several of the following:
- Using public transport to travel to the Ecolodge. We provide a free courtesy pick-up from the Glasshouse Mountains train station. Our website provides links to assist guests to make this an easy option.
- We recommend guests purchase goods locally to support the local economy as many of our guests choose to cook their meals in our carriage dining car. The Ecolodge has its own community vegetable and herb garden and tropical orchard from which guests can help themselves when preparing a meal.
- Guests are encouraged to walk to a number of local walks in the nearby National Parks as they commence at the front of the Ecolodge. We refer guests to different walks at different times of the day to ensure minimal impact on the local wildlife. We withhold certain information from guests at varying times to assist in the protection of specific wildlife such as koalas and breeding birds.
2. To contribute to the conservation and enhancement of the natural and cultural heritage of the Glasshouse Mountain area
The Glasshouse Mountains Ecolodge is located near the base of Mt. Tibrogargan so our guests invariably marvel at this huge monolith which is higher than Uluru and 23 million years older.
- The Ecolodge acknowledges the Karbi and the Jinibarra people as the traditional owners of this area and respect their stories and legends about these sixteen peaks that make up the Glasshouse Mountains area. In explaining these stories we do so with respect, authenticity and sensitivity to the traditional owners.
- The Ecolodge is an active member of the Glasshouse Mountains Advancement Network and a participant in their local environmental tree planting projects including the recent restoration of Coonowrin Creek.
- We are active in developing a wildlife corridor with adjacent property owners This links the nearby National Park with the Coonowrin Creek bushland area and has resulted in the increase in numbers of reptiles spotted on and near the Ecolodge property.
- The Richmond Birdwing Butterfly is at risk of extinction. The Ecolodge has become part of a network of property owners who are actively planting the vines necessary for the ongoing survival of this beautiful butterfly.
- We provide numerous books, reference guides and environmental posters in our library for guest use. These include a bird monitoring guide, cane toad counting project and a bush tucker food guide/walk.
We contribute to the sustainability of the local creek system by:
- Not using chemical fertilisers on open space grassed areas.
- Ensuring the sealed car park storm water run-off is spread over a large grassed area prior to entering the creek in preference to a piped system. This method assists in preventing erosion of creek banks and reducing vehicle sourced pollutants.
3. We believe that everyone should have access to the natural environmental wonders of the world.
The Glasshouse Mountains are heritage listed and are truly one of the magnificent wonders on our planet.
Whilst residents of the Sunshine Coast are relatively fortunate in being able to have access to many natural wonders such as the Glasshouse Mountains this is not always the case in some places throughout the world. Eco-resorts are springing up all over the world and charging prices as high as $3,000 per night to enjoy such wonders. Quite often these luxury Eco-resorts are located in or near a National Park and end up discriminating against the majority of people who are unable to afford these accommodation rates.
The Ecolodge opposes this form of subtle discrimination and has ensured that:
- A variety of accommodation types including family rooms, rooms for couples and bungalows are all available to travellers at a range of prices.
- Our pricing and room tariff policy means that guests can stay at an affordable rate. We keep our prices the same in all seasons.
- Our refurbished train carriage allows guests to prepare their own meals and thus reduce the cost of their travels.
4. We engage with the local community and business enterprises as partners
We create economic chains through partners in local businesses, ensuring the local community benefits with more job opportunities and the purchase of local goods and services.
- We used 26 local contractors and suppliers of goods during the construction phase of the Ecolodge thus ensuring 92% of our expenditure remained in our locality.
- The Ecolodge shop sells locally grown honey, coffee, macadamia nuts and condiments. A tangible way of supporting local farmers and enterprises.
- The Ecolodge sells a range of local Aboriginal art, boomerangs and didgeridoos all crafted by Aboriginal people.
5. We believe a holiday can be a learning experience for young and old. It can provide the opportunity to engage with the local community and to learn something about the area.
To provide guests with a range of educational material and programs to increase their understanding of the natural environment.
- The Ecolodge property is being developed as a wildlife sanctuary and is now the home for an increasing number of native birds and animals including kangaroos, possums, lace monitors, kookaburras and turtles.
Rainforest Restoration Project
The various Ecolodge environmental initiatives are designed to stimulate guests’ understanding of their environment so hopefully they will leave the Ecolodge with a desire to seek out similar eco-experiences when travelling or holidaying. Our Guest book is testimony to the experience of scores of such guests.
The Ecolodge does not produce glossy pamphlets extolling the virtues of the local area. Rather we lead by demonstration and example. The Ecolodge has developed a number of programs that are designed to allow guests to appreciate the environment in which they stay.
Our activities include:
- Inviting guests to plant a tree on the property during their stay. Whilst respecting the philosophy of “leave only footprints — take only photos” the Ecolodge believes this is a very neutral approach. Ten thousand people visiting any natural area will always have some impact on the bio-diversity of that particular ecosystem. We believe the bio-diversity of the area should be enhanced as a result of a guest visiting that area, not just leaving it the way it was. As a result of this initiative, guests have enthusiastically planted over 800 trees on the Ecolodge property since 2003
- Donating to local environment groups. Guests who are unable to plant a tree for various reasons are invited to leave a donation of two dollars. To date over four hundred and thirty dollars has been donated to local environment groups to assist them in their environmental programs. A number of guests have donated a small part of their day to assist local environment groups with their tree planting and maintenance projects.
- Guests are encouraged to take the short walk through the Ecolodge’s Rainforest Restoration project at the rear of the property. Interpretative signs point out the various trees which have been planted over the past years as well as allowing guests to enjoy the peaceful and relaxing environment. A bush tucker food trail allows guests with the help of a self guiding trail book to interpret the many bushfood plants that have been planted in recent years.