No bills, a low carbon footprint and plenty of serenity — it might sound like a pipe dream to many city slickers, but a sustainable lifestyle is possible with the right property.
Across Australia it is estimated that over half a million homes are “off-grid” when it comes to water supply and more than 11 million solar panels have been installed on rooftops around the country.
MORE NEWS: Aussie homeowners get nasty new year surprise
Georgie Gardner scores the keys to new home
VIP’s eye epic $15 million penthouse
But while a growing number of homeowners in urban areas are looking for ways to make their metropolitan properties more sustainable, there are loads of homes in rural (and not so rural) regions that are completely off the grid — and that means you can say goodbye to nasty bills.
These eco-friendly houses can be big bold and beautiful with million dollar plus price tags, or affordable cabin style retreats with heaps of potential.
Here are 10 of the best off-grid homes on the market right now that are ideal for a calming tree change lifestyle, or even a getaway with the scope to starting a side hustle through short term rentals.
Address: Congewai, NSW
Price: $1.27 million to $1.35 million
Sitting between the Watagans National Park and the Corrabare State Forest, this wonderland is 71ha of natural beauty with 500-year old grass trees, gums, fruit trees, hibiscus and orchids. There is a four-bedroom, two bathroom barn style home on site that offers a low carbon lifestyle with solar power that includes a four-day battery storage system, two large water tanks and grey water irrigation.
Address: Lune River, Tasmania
Price: More than $150,000
Cheap as chips, but great for the environment. This summer escape includes a one-bedroom cabin on 3611sq m. The completely off-grid property does have access to town power and the phone at the boundary if desired, but to be fully disconnected from the hum drum the place also has a wood stove for heating and cooking as well as productive gardens, a dam, chicken coops and a nearby river for fishing.
Address: Milton, NSW
Price: $1.175 million
At this country retreat it is as simple as turning up and switching off. The 40ha estate known as Flatrock Forest Farm is an off-grid sustainable property with a three-bedroom timber cottage featuring a stone fireplace, a saltwater pool and spa plus a guest cottage. On site there is an orchard, a solar power system and when it comes to water you are spoiled for choice with a dam, four tanks and a creek.
Address: Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Price: On application
Overlooking the peaceful Pelican Lagoon, this 7.68ha sustainable property is secluded but brimming with wildlife. Built with Kangaroo Island stone, the designer home has created to blend the inside with the local environment. In addition to all the mod cons inside, the property has passive solar with battery storage, a back up generator, wind turbine and four huge water tanks.
Address: French Island, Victoria
Price: On application
An island home surrounded by 16ha of usable land, this hideaway features a three-bedroom house with wood heater, solar hot water, off-grid power which includes a wind turbine, and there is a battery bank to store electricity. Live even more sustainably with your own water supply, veggie patch and cattle yards.
Address: Nubeena, Tasmania
Price: More than $1.4 million
It may be on Roaring Beach Rd, but this secluded spot is far from the sounds of the city. There are two properties selling at the same time totalling 5.75ha. Wingrove House is a rustic homestead built by the craftsman owner and is hidden in its own forest with a few modern comforts such as a tennis court, workshops and a sauna. The adjoining land is a 4.5ha block surrounded by bushland close to the beach.
Address: Hilton, Western Australia
Price: Mid $300,000s
Reduce your footprint with this solar sustainable home 22km from the centre of Perth. The one-bedroom cabin style house is powered by an off grid solar system with storage batteries and an underwater rain storage system. Made from recycled materials, it has high cathedral ceilings, great cross flow ventilation and sits on its own 300sq m survey-strata lot with no fees.
Address: Mangrove Mountain, NSW
Price: On application
So off the grid, this property has its own private road. It has been in the same family for more than 50 years and while there is a charming settler’s cottage on site it does come with DA approved plans to build a four-bedroom homestead. There are established orchards, cottage gardens, grazing land, a large catchment dam and a bushland backdrop all on 74ha.
Address: Wingham, NSW
This handcrafted home on 163ha in the Manning Valley was built with timber from the actual property and stone from a nearby quarry. The off-grid two-bedroom, two bathroom property has a battery-powered solar system with gas cooking and hot water and views over the natural bushland and mountains.
Address: Lower Chittering, Western Australia
MORE NEWS: 10 original beach houses for under $500,000
Five things you should do when you buy an investment property
Tucked away beyond fields of wildflowers and tall timber, this 35ha estate is a sustainable home in the heart of the Chittering Valley. It is a solar passive home with valley views and is made from straw bale and timber, double glazed windows, a waterless composting toilet, wood fire hot water system, three water tanks, vegetable beds, fruit trees and a chicken run.