What can we do while staying at Greens Beach?
- You can spend a whole day exploring Narawntapu National Park on the Two Heads Coastal Walk, which starts and finishes at Greens Beach (more details below).
- Alternatively, go for a more leisurely walk along Greens Beach, with views of the Tamar River and Low Head lighthouse. Walking all the way to Clarence Point takes about two hours return.
- Play a round of golf at the picturesque nine-hole golf course at Greens Beach Golf Course. If you're a really keen golfer it's only a bit over an hour's drive to two of Australia's top courses at Barnbougle.
- Drive fifteen minutes to Beauty Point and enjoy a delicious breakfast or lunch at the River Cafe overlooking the Tamar River. While in Beauty Point, check out Platypus House for the opportunity to see these rarely seen creatures close up in their underwater habitat. And just a few kilometres further you can visit the Beaconsfield Mine Museum, at the site of Australia's most infamous recent mine disaster.
- Explore the dozens of wineries with restaurants and cellar doors along the Tamar Valley within 30 minutes of Greens Beach, including Holm Oak Vineyards, Iron Pot Bay Vineyards, Goaty Hill Wines, Moores Hill Estate, Loira Vines, Winter Brook Vineyard, Marions Vineyard, Tamar Ridge Cellar Door, and Velo Winery and Cellar Door.
- Drive to Low Head (about 50 minutes) to visit the Lighthouse and Pilot Station Museum, and just before dusk to view the penguins coming ashore. (best to book at Low Head Penguin Tours)
- At the end of a relaxing or adventurous day, sit on the veranda at Greens Beach SOLARHOME, enjoying absolute serenity while watching the wallabies peacefully grazing on the lawn, and gazing at the moon and stars in one of the clearest night skies you'll see anywhere.
What is the Two Heads Coastal Walk?
The Two Heads Coastal Walk begins and ends at Greens Beach general store and takes about seven hours return at a leisurely pace. (You can also drive an alternative route to both heads if you don't enjoy long hikes). From February through May you can feast on an abundant supply of wild blackberries along the first few hundred metres of the trail, which follows the Shoal Bay and Boobyalla Bay foreshore through Narawntapu National Park, and passes a couple of secluded beaches as it leads through the ancient she-oak forest made famous by landscape artist David Keeling's prize-winning work. After passing the spectacular West Head lookout, the walk follows a four kilometre stretch of pristine sand along the uninhabited Badgers Beach, culminating at Badger Head, which was named after Australia's first female pirate, Charlotte Badger, an escaped convict who plied her trade in the area during the early 1800's. Badger Head is an outstanding wildlife habitat, having been documented as containing more than two hundred different species of native fauna within a 2km radius. Conservationist and TV personality Steve Irwin (the Crocodile Hunter) was looking to purchase a large parcel of land here to create a wildlife sanctuary just before his untimely death in 2006. You'll definitely see plenty of wallabies and pademelons. There's a good chance you'll see wombats and echidnas. At night you might see or at least hear a Tasmanian devil. And you may even become famous by getting a good photo of the supposedly extinct Tasmanian tiger, of which there are hundreds of unconfirmed sightings every year. The Tasmanian tiger is the largest known carnivorous marsupial of modern times. Some locals claim to have heard its distinctive yap at night and seen droppings. But no one has produced a clear photo of one of these shy nocturnal creatures in more than eighty years. The last one in captivity died in Hobart zoo in 1936, after which it was officially classified as extinct.
What's so special about the SOLARHOME?
When a car manufacturer releases a revolutionary new model that uses absolutely no petrol, gas, or oil, never has to be plugged in for charging, has an unlimited range, and simply requires a new battery every twenty years, it will be considered a game changer. This is essentially what the SOLARHOME is. These days there are plenty of 'sustainable/eco/net-zero-carbon' houses around, but look closely and you'll find that they are all either connected to and dependent on a fossil-fuel-powered grid (which is increasingly unreliable and expensive, and certainly not emission free) and/or use diesel, petrol, gas, coal, or wood fires for heating, cooking, hot water, and backup generators (none of which are emission free). Greens Beach SOLARHOME is all-electric and has all the comfort, conveniences, and appliances expected of a modern home, yet is powered 100% by fully recyclable solar-charged batteries 100% of the time, throughout the year, even during a cold Tasmanian winter. It has zero emissions (direct or indirect), zero utility bills, and requires zero maintenance. Most 'experts' will tell you this can't be done with current technology, but the SOLARHOME is living proof that with good design and very few compromises, this could be (and hopefully will be) how all houses are built in the not-too-distant future. The power system was designed and installed by award winning Tasmanian company Mode Electrical. For more detailed information and details about the SOLARHOME design, visit The SOLARHOME Project.
Will the power in the SOLARHOME drop out after a few days with no sunshine, and will we have to continually worry about turning off lights and appliances?
The off-grid power system in the SOLARHOME is actually far more reliable than most electricity grids, and no, you don't have to continually monitor power usage. You won't even notice any difference to a normal grid-connected house (except that the electricity supply is actually more even, without the usual voltage drops you often get with the grid). In fact, on sunny days you have an abundance of emission-free electricity and can use just about as much as you like, at no cost, and with no load on the batteries since the power feeds directly off the solar panels. The system has enough storage to last more than a week of normal usage with no solar input at all (which would never happen anyway, since the solar panels are efficient enough to have a significant input on overcast days). The batteries can safely cycle down to 30% state of charge, but in practice rarely drop below 80%, so are expected to last at least twenty years. Even if something drastic was done (like leaving an iron on for several days) to flatten the batteries, the system will protect itself by shutting off power points while leaving lights and other essential items still functioning.