There’s nothing like Australia for its sheer diversity of natural luxury experiences. This vast continent continues to see the creation of a new breed of exceptional lodges and camps in some of its most beautiful and uniquely Australian regions. These lodges are all about delivering a sense of place and connecting guests to their region. It is not about how much the same the lodges are, but how different, and how they reflect the diversity and authenticity of the Australian experience – whether it be coastal, desert, reef, island or wilderness lodges, luxe outback camps, vineyard retreats or culinary destinations. The lodges are so much more than just a place to stay. These are destinations with great appeal for the experience-seeking travellers for whom time-out and a genuine, memorable, often life-changing experience, is the real luxury
Capella Lodge (Lord Howe Island, NSW)
A close-kept secret among stylish insiders, Capella Lodge is Lord Howe Island’s premium luxury retreat. A short flight from Australia’s east coast transports visitors to a real ‘treasure island’, a paradise lost in time and perfectly preserved. Gently melding modern design into glorious natural surroundings, Capella’s underplayed raw-teak-and-white-linen aesthetic lets the true star shine: views of the jaw-droppingly dramatic Mounts Gower and Lidgbird. A feeling of relaxed sophistication flows throughout with beach-chic furnishings, island-themed artworks and kentia palm fringed decks creating an easy ambience and barefoot luxury. Fine dining is a drawcard and the innovative menu showcases a bounty of local seafood and fresh regional produce. The simple pleasure of a long and lazy barbecue lunch enjoyed alfresco is a favourite Lord Howe tradition with fish feeding on the white gold sands of Neds Beach not to be missed. The verdant World Heritage site is a paradise of rainforests, reefs and beaches and is home to hundreds of rare and endemic species.
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley (Blue Mountains, NSW)
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is an ultra-luxury retreat, located 2.5 hours’ northwest of Sydney in the majestic World Heritage-listed Greater Blue Mountains region. Nestled between two national parks, the resort offers a unique blend of solitude, native wildlife, dramatic natural beauty, conservation and heritage combined with unsurpassed facilities and outstanding food and wine. Occupying just one percent of the total land area, the resort features forty elegantly appointed, free-standing villas, each with its own swimming pool, double-sided fireplace and private verandah with stunning views of the Wolgan Valley and rugged sandstone escarpments. At the centre of the resort sits the Main Homestead with several dining settings, a heritage precinct, and the One&Only Spa – a pampering sanctuary, featuring Australian Sodashi skin care. The resort’s impressive assortment of native wildlife, dramatic landscapes and heritage, can be explored through a range of activities including wildlife safaris, nature walks, heritage tours, mountain biking and horse riding.
Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, QLD)
Lizard Island, Australia's northernmost island resort on the Great Barrier Reef, is secluded from the rest of the world, accessible only by a scenic one-hour flight over the reef from Cairns. With only one resort on the island hosting forty rooms and suites – it is the tranquility and natural beauty of the island that will first greet you. Twenty-four pristine powdery-white private beaches – literally means you can have a beach to yourself. Snorkelling straight off the beach where clam gardens, coral and marine life are abundant and diving on the inner and outer reef to some of the world's most famous dive sites, including the famous Cod Hole. The food philosophy is simple and embraces local, fresh produce. With the bluest of clear blue ocean views from every angle, all of Lizard Island’s rooms and suites have been designed to be elegantly understated, allowing the natural beauty in. Lizard Island – like nowhere else
Longitude 131° (Uluru, NT)
Camping certainly doesn’t come more glamorous nor the view from the ‘tent’ more spectacular than this. At Longitude 131°, a gathering of luxury pavilions overlooking Uluru, the vibe is intimate and civilised. The desert basecamp fans out from the cool sanctuary of the Dune House, site of lounging, cocktails and Rock gazing. Dine overlooking the nation’s spiritual heart savouring contemporary cuisine combined with indigenous flavours to create a unique taste of Australia. Central to a stay is the discovery of the World Heritage-listed wilderness of Uluru Kata Tjuta, explored on a series of signature guided encounters. Connect with the ancient creation stories of the land’s traditional custodians and come face-to-face with this irresistible land, rich in cultural heritage and history. In the spirit of the original pioneers, relax after a day’s exploring in a canopied pavilion designed to float above the rust-red dunes. Unparalleled views of Uluru’s changing lights play out from the end of the bed, or on balconies from the warmth of a luxury swag unfurled in the cool night air. Contemporary furnishings, artworks by local indigenous artists and an array of mod cons dispel any illusion of roughing it. Outback-travellers inevitably become familiar with the beauty of loneliness. At Longitude 131°, it’s possible to soak up the solitude in exclusive Australian style.
Pretty Beach House (Pretty Beach, NSW)
Pretty Beach House is the epitome of relaxed luxury; intimate, laid-back, with personalised service offering a quintessential luxe Australian coastal experience in a world-class setting. Perched high on the escarpment at Pretty Beach, this sophisticated lodge sits within an ancient angophora forest with water views over pristine Broken Bay, an idyllic natural wonder. Pretty Beach House offers guests the opportunity to completely restore or explore – a very private haven and base for adventure, romance, rejuvenation or exploration. Golden beaches and bays are easily accessible via hiking trails along coastal sandstone cliffs. Other adventure activities include cultural tours with Indigenous folk, boating and sailing, water sports, mountain biking and tennis. Truly, a rare find, with just four impeccably appointed pavilions, the lodge houses up to eight guests at one time. Dining is a highlight at Pretty Beach House with seasonal menus prepared by highly talented chefs with fresh ingredients straight from the kitchen garden.
qualia (Hamilton Island, QLD)
Located on the secluded northern-most tip of Hamilton Island and surrounded by the unsurpassed beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, qualia is a unique expression of world-class luxury and outstanding modern design. It is a truly special place where everything has been meticulously considered to relax the mind yet completely spoil the senses. qualia’s sun-drenched northern aspect provides the ideal setting to appreciate the passing beauty of each day, with a choice of sixty individual pavilions, many of which featuring a private plunge pool where guests can enjoy the breathtaking views across Whitsunday Passage. Within the resort, qualia offers two exclusive restaurants and the alluring Spa qualia which offers an authentic Australian spa menu, incorporating a comprehensive range of invigorating treatments designed to rebalance the synergy between mind and body. Guests of qualia can take advantage of priority tee off at Hamilton Island’s very own championship golf course. If time spent together is the ultimate goal, qualia staff can arrange a complimentary beach drop off service – a rare opportunity to indulge in a gourmet picnic for two on an idyllic secluded beach.
Saffire (Freycinet, TAS)
Saffire Freycinet is Australia’s luxury coastal sanctuary on Tasmania’s east coast, delivering sophisticated, intimate style and an inspirational experience. Discreetly positioned overlooking the Hazards Mountains, Freycinet Peninsula and the pristine waters of Great Oyster Bay, Saffire blends mankind and nature with breathtaking beauty. Featuring twenty luxurious suites, exclusive day spa, restaurant, guest lounge and bar, this new experience is a celebration of the art of service, internal and external wellbeing, local culinary delights, ancient landscapes and abundant wildlife. In Palate restaurant, Todd Adams, the Executive Chef has ensured innovative dining does not compromise the true flavours of the freshest local produce. The Schouten Island Signature Experience has been designed exclusively for guests to deepen their East Coast discovery. There’s a world of deserted islands, wild bushland and secluded beaches to explore.
The Louise (Barossa Valley, SA)
The Louise is located atop a gentle hill and surrounded by hundreds of acres of vines overlooking the world-renowned Barossa Valley. Fifteen suites, each with its own private terrace and stunning views over the adjacent vineyards, feature soft contemporary design and artworks. Integral to a stay at The Louise is dining at Appellation, one of Australia’s finest regional restaurants. An extensive award-winning wine list showcases the best of the Barossa, Australia and the world. Guests may float over ancient vineyards in a hot air balloon, enjoy a sunrise picnic breakfast with kangaroos in native bushland, tour the picturesque valley in a vintage car, walk or cycle bush tracks, make their own blend of wine and have Appellation prepare a dinner to match, or join Appellation's chef while he peruses the local farmer’s market for provisions. Guests will discover amazing wines, meet warm local characters and fall in love some of the world’s most engaging wine country. Together, Appellation and The Louise is the food, wine and luxury accommodation destination for discerning travellers.