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Ecotravelist - on Ecopia Retreat, South Australia

Date: December 11, 2022

On my first trip to South Australia’s Kangaroo Island a few years ago, I was lucky to spend a night at Southern Ocean Lodge, which was, quite simply, incredible. The ultra-luxe ecolodge isn’t due to reopen until at least 2022 after tragically burning down in Australia’s Black Summer bushfires of 2019-2020, but on my recent trip to KI (which I wrote about for Travel + Leisure) I was stoked to discover another fantastic eco-friendly option in the form of Ecopia Retreat.

Set on a vast property near the centre of the island frequented by kangaroos, koalas, echidnas, endangered glossy black cockatoos and other wildlife, Ecopia Retreat’s two off-grid, self-contained one-bedroom villas are just gorgeous. Built from rammed earth, powered by solar and fed by rainwater, they’re also super sustainable, with luxe, single-use plastic-free amenities and a solar-passive design that keeps the villas cool in summer and warm in winter (though there’s a fireplace for super chilly nights). Owners Yael and Rob also offer gourmet hampers packed with local produce, as well as the opportunity to order fresh marron (a type of crayfish) from the creek that runs through the property. Introduced to KI in the 1980s, marron is considered an invasive species, so dining doesn’t get much more sustainable than this.

Travelling in a group? There’s also a three-bedroom residence on the property. In a lovely personal touch, the villas and residence are decorated with the owners’ beautiful Aboriginal art collection.

Written by Sarah Reid @ecotravelist


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Ecopia Retreat acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, to the Elders past, present, and emerging.