Southern Cross Resorts takes hands-on approach to sustainability


The Observatory is a 4.5-star apartment hotel located in the NSW coastal town of Port Macquarie. The hotel offers its guests a wide choice of accommodation ranging from 33 boutique hotel rooms to 60 spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, and two luxury penthouses.

The Observatory is managed by Southern Cross Resorts – a tourism development established in 2004 by Trish and Chris Denny – which employs more than 30 staff and operates as a strata-hotel with 76 apartment investor owners.

The Observatory has embedded a triple bottom line defined as guest experience, social responsibility and business viability in order to deliver a world-class guest experience in a sustainable way. Its carbon reduction and offsetting program is part of an overall sustainability program, and in 2012 The Observatory became one of only four tourism accommodation businesses in Australia to be formally certified 100% carbon-neutral.

Other energy reduction initiatives include light- and motion-sensitive timers on light fittings, ceiling fans as an alternative to air-conditioners, water flow restrictors fitted to all showers, non-hazardous cleaning products, and guest and staff engagement strategies including an “O-Zone Room” package whereby guests receive a certificate signifying a rainforest tree will be planted on their behalf.

As a result of these strategies, programs and initiatives, Southern Cross Resorts was honoured as an ABA100 Winner for Sustainability in The Australian Business Awards 2014.