Hidden Valley Cabins is Australia’s first carbon neutral resort and tour company. The solar powered getaway is located one and half hours northwest of Townsville, near Running River on the western slope of the Paluma range in Queensland, Australia. This is Australia’s first stand-alone resort that operates solely on solar power, and saves 78 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year!
The original Hidden Valley Cabins were established in 1982. They were bought by Ian and Bonnie McLennan in 1986, and since then they have been operating, maintaining, and constantly improving the resort. A stand alone solar system has been installed to run the entire resort 24X7. The system includes 12 KVA inverter, 90 x 130 watt solar panels delivering 120 volts DC into 60 x 2 volt 1660 amph batteries.
The other environment-friendly ideas put to work at the resort include use of compact fluorescent bulbs, which have reduced power consumption at the resort from 2220 watts to as low as 430 watts; turning off all major electrical appliances in the bar and entertainment area at night; waste minimization by composting food and paper products (to be used for gardens); recycling aluminum cans, paper, etc; and educating tourists about the importance of being environment-friendly, power conservation, species conservation, renewable energy, etc.
The resort has been built with the local timber only, and no steel structure has been used. The plantation around the resort is mostly native trees and plants. The serenity of the resort is punctuated by the chirping of varying species of local birds. These features give tourists the feeling of being in harmony with the nature. The activities available at the resort are walks around the cabins, solar energy tour, night safari, Running River Gorge and platypus safari, drive to Lake Paluma, bird-watching, etc.
Hidden Valley Cabins and Tours have purchased carbon credits after reducing all carbon based emissions, and have been given the carbon neutral certificate by the Climate Friendly™ organization. The resort has won both the best Hosted Accommodation and New Tourism Development in the 2007 North Queensland Tourism Awards. It was one of the finalists in the 2007 Queensland Tourism Awards for best Hosted Accommodation.
So if you are planning to go on holiday to Australia, and want to rejuvenate in an eco-friendly setting, make sure to check out Hidden Valley Cabins.