Originally published on RenewEconomy.
By Sophie Vorrath
Visitors to South Australia’s Kangaroo Island can now venture completely off grid, with the unveiling on Wednesday of luxury accommodation that is 100 per cent solar powered.
Two new 6-star energy rated eco-villas have been built by the Sea Dragon Lodge as part of a $318,000 expansion project co-funded by the federal government’s T-QUAL Grants programme and by the South Australian Tourism Commission’s Tourism Development Support Program ($28,000).
The lodge’s owner, Stephen Lane, said the choice was made to take the new villas off-grid due, partly, to the notoriously unreliable nature of the island’s grid-connected power supply.
“Being a luxury establishment we didn’t want our guests inconvenienced with long power outages or a noisy generator; and finally the cost of power on Kangaroo Island is exorbitant and just keeps going up.”
Another motivation, says Lane, was the rapidly growing market of tourists who are concerned about the environment.
The villas sit on a 250 acre seafront estate with views of the island’s north-east shores, a private beach and extensive walking trails. As well as offering 5-star luxury, they also boast a 6 star energy rating and feature rainwater supply, enviro-septic and grey water treatment.
“We are very fortunate to have the best features that Kangaroo Island has to offer – our very own pristine private beach, spectacular ocean views, wildlife at our doorstep and luxurious accommodation.”
South Australia’s Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell said the project was in keeping with the government’s Kangaroo Island Destination Action Plan.
“This project will be a valuable asset for Kangaroo Island’s tourism industry, providing quality accommodation at the eastern end of the island where no similar accommodation exists. “It will also take advantage of the area’s spectacular views and abundant wildlife to create a high-end nature experience for visitors to enjoy,” he said.
Reprinted with permission.
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