Review

Alpine Habitats

Accommodation

Product details

Product name: Alpine Habitats

Reviewer: Carolyn Barry

Price: $220 in summer - $550 in winter

G Rating:

5

My first impression of the Alpine Habitat, is that they're reminiscent of school demountable buildings - simple and rectangular. But the angular, basic exterior belies its classy, warm interior.

Nestled in the Crackenback Valley between Perisher and Thredbo ski resorts are
18 eco 'habitats' spread around 40 acres of snow gums and alpine terrain, with enough space for privacy. They all have similar designs - there's room for four adults in two rooms with a kitchen, dining area and lounge area.

Though they don't look like much, the habitats are spacious and comfortable. The decor gives the habitat a luxury feel for such a simple abode.

From the ground up, the habitats have been constructed with the environment in mind. They're passive solar design allows for optimal use of sunlight to help heat the place in winter and keep the rays out in summer. The water is sourced from rainwater tanks that have a back up to bore water in dry spells. The appliances are energy efficient and minimal.

Even the waste collection is eco, with worm farms taking care of waste flushed from the toilets. The little upside-down bins of worms can be seen scattered around the habitats.

Of course, in the mountains in winter, heating is going to be an issue. The habitats are heated mostly from a concrete slab that can be switched off when not in use.

One of the best features is the Eco Smart fire places - essentially a bit of furniture that cleverly uses non-polluting ethanol as the fuel source. That one is a winner. It helps heat the room to a level of cosiness that would usually make you feel the eco-guilt coming on.

What I really liked about the Alpine Habitats is that guests are encouraged to be participants in their green accommodation.

A coffee table book about the habitats not only explains the environment-friendly features of the huts and provides information about the alpine surrounds, but it also lists a code of conduct that guests are expected to follow.

This includes separating rubbish (packaging, organic/food waste and the rest) in the bins provided and taking short showers. It also suggests guests help the habitat remain at comfortable temperatures by closing the blinds at night in winter and during the day in summer, and doing the reverse in the different seasons.

If you're lucky, like we were, you might get a few visitors such as a few wandering, hungry sheep and a large mob of kangaroos.

There's also access to movie rentals through the TV, with the same set-up as a hotel; however, at around $14, they are on the expensive side. There's also wireless internet for those wanting to stay connected to the world.

But if you need to venture out for anymore excitement, there's always the option of a cheeky drink at the Wildbrumby Schnapps distillery just a stroll away.

The habitats offer a great eco-accommodation in a beautiful setting that just makes you feel a little more virtuous by staying there.

www.alpinehabitats.com.au or 02 6457 2228


Carolyn stayed courtesy of Alpine Habitats.

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