A totally Swell eco getaway!


Good afternoon my eco-warrior friends,

Today I want to tell you about someone who continually inspires me and add a holiday destination to your ‘list of places to visit’.

Choosing to live a sustainable and eco-friendly life means acting on your morals and values in every choice you make, choosing a holiday destination is no different. Well I’ve got a swell eco-getaway for you!!

Hidden in the Christmas Island National Park, surrounded by wildlife and overlooking the ever-changing ocean, Swell Lodge is a single, glass-fronted, solar-powered, luxury eco-chalet offering all-inclusive stays with daily guided activities and even a private chef. It’s the world’s most exclusive eco-lodge…right. Book me a ticket I’m sold!

Now, incase you do need a bit more convincing, let me tell you about the founders and owners of Swell Lodge. It was founded by, quite possibly, the most beautiful couple ever, Chris and Jess Bray. I’ve always been a bit of a keen photographer and so mum booked me into Chris’s Photography course for my 21st birthday (for those of you who are keen on learning photography check out Chris’s online videos). Now let’s be honest here, upon first meeting Chris I was rather star struck and totally inspired by his drive, ambition and all round passion for living. A few weeks after completing the course Chris asked if I’d come on board as a photography assistant, at which point I was bounding around the house like an over excited Gazelle, of-course my response was calm and professional…

Chris is a wonderful friend, a supportive mentor and someone who inspires me and many others, his passion and love for the natural world is second to none. I must add Chris is the type of friend that when you go to meet him for a relaxing catch up you end up hiking up a mountain in the most inappropriate attire ever.

Chris grew up sailing around the world then leading world-first expeditions across the arctic before becoming an award-winning Australian Geographic photographer, Lowepro ambassador and Canon’s Australian ambassador for five years. Chris’s work has appeared in National Geographic and Discovery Channel along with Australian Geographic, TIME Magazine etc. He’s also an accomplished writer, with feature articles published around the world and even a successful book 'The 1000 Hour Day' (now an award-winning documentary 'The Crossing') sits on the advisory committee for The Australian Geographic Society and is founder and CEO of Conservation United, crowd-funding the world’s critical conservation projects. Yehhh…I know. Impressive right?

In October 2017, after more than a year of careful environmental impact assessments, ecologist surveys and more, Chris and, his equally incredible, wife Jess, began Swell Lodge. The eco-chalets are all done by hand with the help of friends and volunteers! Each of the 100% solar-powered eco-chalets has a 1.4KW solar array which alone saves over 750kgs of CO2 entering the atmosphere. They are also proud to feature purely solar-heated hot water, a modern odourless composting toilet, a greywater filter treatment system, ph-neutral bio-degradable soaps and shower gels, a crab-safe vehicle attachment (this makes me smile) and a carbon-offset program realised through 'Greenfeet' with 58 native trees planted to offset the CO2 emissions from our lodge vehicles. It’s no surprise that Swell Lodge has been awarded Ecotourism Australia's highest level of certification 'Advanced Ecotourism' as well as a 'Climate Action Business'.

But wait! There is more. On top of this there are many unique and wonderful experiences included in your stay at Swell Lodge, depending upon the length of your stay. Including;

  • Nature Trials

  • Snorkelling and Diving

  • Bird Feeding - Bird Rehabilitation Centre

  • Reptile Centre - Breeding Endangered Lizards

  • Yoga and Massage

  • Photography walks

  • Boardwalk through RAMSAR listed Wetland to a jungle waterfall you can stand under!

  • Out door Cinemas

Ok so I cannot talk about Christmas Island without mentioning the Crabs. Christmas Island is famous for it's 50 million red land crabs whose annual migration from the forest down to the sea to spawn is ranked by Sir David Attenborough as his favourite Australian phenomenon and one of the top 10 nature experiences on Earth.

While exact timing of this event varies between October and January, no matter when you visit, you'll still be driving around red crabs, spotting the larger, charismatic blue crabs, and the enormous coconut crabs who will usually just wave a huge leg at you in mild irritation as you try and coax them off the road.

This is the trip of a lifetime, it’s the perfect opportunity to fully immerse yourself in one of natures most incredible ecosystems, reconnected with yourself, other like minded people and most of all nature.

Thanks so much for coming on this journey with me, be sure to add this to your ‘Places to visit’ list and hope to one day see you there!

For more information on Swell Lodge head to - https://swelllodge.com/

Follow them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pg/swelllodge

Peace love and forever Sandy feet


Hollie Newman