Thoughts of travel to the “Land Down Under” evoke many images of the famous Australian Outback, kangaroos, wallabies and the Great Barrier Reef. There is no question that this continent is a prized destination. Though many think that the only options for superb accommodations exist in the cities, Australia also has top drawer luxury lodges in each of the country’s six main territories. There is no need for roughing it in any of them. Here are the top five luxury lodges in Australia.
Listed in order from west to east, these luxurious spots feature many of the best things about Australia. They are remote, they entertain small numbers of guests during any given period, they offer excellent amenities, and they are located in the most spectacular areas of the country.
Western Australia – Cape Lodge
This is a sophisticated and private spot in the center of the Margaret River wine region. The wineries located nearby include Pierro and Cullen, Vasse Felix and Moss Wood. Conde Nast has included the Cape Lodge Restaurant in the Gold List for Travelers. The restaurant offers fine dining and has earned the position of “Top Ten in the World for Food”. With a menu that pairs delicious dishes with premium wines, it is the perfect addition to the secluded lodge.There are new menus each day, and hotel guests are welcomed to enjoy the Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc produced in the eight-acre vineyard which exists to please those who stay there.
There are 22 rooms, the Cottage with its 2 quaint bedrooms and the Residence with 5 bedrooms. Each of these is private and certainly romantic. Located on 40 acres of beautifully maintained parks and lakes, this retreat is a lovely destination.
The Northern Territory – Longitude 131
Perfectly situated in the Red Centre on the top of the iconic red dunes, Longitude 131 is a luxurious camping lodge. It faces Ayers Rock, the sacred Uluru, and is the gateway to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Both of these geographic landmarks are part of the heart of Aboriginal culture.
The award winning lodge includes 15 pavilions with king size beds outfitted in fine organic linen. The views outside each one offer night sky views of constellations in the Southern sky. Guests are pampered with extraordinary service, cuisine, wines and beverages. Dinners include fine Australian produce and dining under the stars. Canapes, treats, afternoon tea and plenty of beverages are just a part of the daily offerings. Experts guide guests on tours that venture into the Outback and explore the stunning desert scenery of the rust red dunes. Spa treatments ease campers into their evenings after daytime wanderings are through.
Guests who journey to Longitude 131 engage in an authentic Australian wilderness experience. From the music of the didgeridoo, to the tales of constellations told by the resident astronomer, to every gourmet meal, this is a twinkling star adventure certain to excite and pamper each guest.
South Australia – Arkaba Station Homestead
As long ago as 1850, the Arkaba Station Homestead served as a sheep station. But, today it is part of a private wildlife reserve that encompasses 60,000 acres of conservancy. Guests who come to this wild place in the spacious outback are treated to meals under the stars, expert guided explorations into the visually diverse Flinders Ranges, delicious meals, and the chance to support the preservation of the land.
There are only five guestrooms with private adjoining baths at Arkaba. Each is named after property owners, early settlers, or explorers. The rooms are air conditioned and outfitted with beautiful verandas, décor, comfortable premium beds and linens. No phones, televisions or minibars distract visitors from the simple beauty of nature. Guests are part of an exclusive few who stay at Arkaba and the opportunity to relax and become immersed in nature and the history of this special place is boundless.
Queensland – Silky Oaks Lodge
This luxury eco lodge is set alongside the Mossman River and the Daintree National Park. This park is listed as one of the oldest living rainforests in World Heritage. Many come here to explore the tropical area of North Queensland. Guests have a choice of treehouse rooms which overlook the rivers and the rainforests, have private bathrooms with cooling showers, contemporary furnishings and premium linens. The Treehouse restaurant invites guests to dine in nature, with its open sides offering lush views with delicious menus.
Guests can also enjoy the Healing Waters Spa, visit the rainforest and explore the river. Some guests will wish to swim or snorkel in the river, while others will prefer the resort pool. Canoeing, bicycling, day and night tennis and yoga classes are available. Many tours of local sites are offered as well.
New South Wales – Lake House
The village of Daylesford is the setting for Lake House, nestled alongside Lake Daylesford. This is mineral springs spa country, with food culture at its highest. Artisanal produce comes from the abundant farms and fine wines from the local vineyards. Lake House is home to an award winning restaurant, noted as one of the top in Australia, and also to over 10,000 bottles of wine in the premium quality cellar. It is a luxury destination for foodies, who come from far and near to enjoy the pampering service, lovely local scenery and quaint heritage village.