My friend Moe passed on a great green travel article in the New York Times this week, "Going Green in Australia's Blue Mountains." The timing was serendipitous: Writer Jennifer Conlin describes her "eco-light" trip to a lodge in New South Wales and her trouble getting there (and getting around once there) in any environmentally responsible way. Her report doesn't bode well for those of us hoping to take up Callicoma Hill's carbon-free challenge. Green Postcards just covered the eco-resort, also in New South Wales, and its owner's offer of free accommodations to anyone who gets there without emitting any carbon. (Offsetting, which is how Jennifer finally assuages her eco-travel-guilt, won't get you into Callicoma Hill free. Martin Fallding, the resort's owner, says you have to travel using renewable energy, not carbon credits. Think cycling, hiking, and sail-boating.)
Jennifer does discover a great eco-destination, though, which is priced just beyond our blog's limits. Jemby-Rinjah Eco Lodge is a collection of cabins and lodges close to Blue Mountains National Park. The lodge has a long history of sustainable tourism; Eco Tourism Australia has awarded Jemby Rinjah its highest level of eco-certification. The resort was built carefully to preserve the surrounding forest, and the buildings are made from local materials with passive solar designs. The lodge recycles all its waste. Rates start at $170 for mid-week cabin rentals for up to two adults and two kids.
Read Jennifer's entertaining account of her introduction to eco-tourism; the bird-feeding scene -- one of Jemby Rinjah's featured activities -- is especially great!