Seven Outrageously Luxe Australian Getaways for When You Really Want to Treat Yourself
Find comfy beds, outdoor baths and spa treatments, all set in some of Australia's most secluded and stunning spots.
April 27, 2023
As a kid, your idea of the perfect getaway probably would have included only a few simple things, like proximity to the closest milk bar and easy access to the nearest beach or lake. But as you've matured, so have your tastes and expectations. Now you want only the best, don't you?
Luckily, Australia has no shortage of lavish retreats to discover in every corner of the country. From safari-style glamping along Western Australia's vibrant Ningaloo Reef to a rugged private island off the Tasmanian coast, there are ways you can seriously treat yourself — and see some of Australia's most stunning scenes at the same time. With that in mind, we've hunted down seven luxury locations that will have you refreshed and rejuvenated. Everyone deserves a little five-star escape every now and then.
SAL SALIS NINGALOO REEF SAFARI CAMP, WA
Hidden between sand dunes in the Cape Range National Park, Sal Salis is a beachside eco safari camp like no other. The 15 luxury wilderness tents take glamping to a whole new level, with breezy openair bathrooms, handmade timber beds and absolutely unbeatable views of the Indian Ocean, which is conveniently located only a few steps away from your sleeping quarters. There are outdoor activities aplenty, though swimming with whale sharks, manta rays and dolphins would certainly be at the top of our list. The main lodge also offers the perfect place to unwind with fantastic regional wines, WA seafood, and a rustic wooden outdoor deck that offers the ultimate vantage point to see the Milky Way in all its glory. Ningaloo Reef is one of our top places to visit in Australia in 2023, and Sal Salis would have to be the greatest place to stay in the region.
THE CAPE AT WATEGOS, BYRON BAY
If you're after a laidback luxury stay with uninterrupted sea views, then these Byron Bay lodges should more than do the trick. The Cape at Wategos sits above the area's much-loved Wategos Beach (backed by a national park) and is super close to a bunch of great restaurants and bars. It has the ideal blend of feeling totally remote but still close to Byron Bay's fun stuff. Choose from one of the two-bedroom suites — each with massive private decks overlooking the beach — or go for the large Residence that sleeps up to six guests. Expect stark white interiors, Hampton-style furnishings, spacious kitchens and living areas, an infinity swimming pool and comfy king-sized beds. Either spend all your days up at the lodges or take a short walk down for afternoons of swimming and surfing with mates.
LONGITUDE 131, YULARA, NT
No matter where you're standing, the mammoth form of Uluru is always an incredible sight to behold. But some vantage points are better than others — and if we had to pick, we'd say Longitude 131 has the best. Luxury tents (if you can even call them that) sprawl across the red desert in the shadow of the ancient Kata Tjuṯa. Every one comes with indulgent elements like floor-to-ceiling windows, a soft daybed, a rain shower and a coffee machine — not to mention the free-standing tub in the sprawling Dune Pavilion that we would definitely try to take home with us if it was remotely possible. The best part? There are no televisions and no radios, so you'll be in complete quiet and solitude. It is clear to see why it's one of the best glamping spots in all of Australia.
SATELLITE ISLAND, TASMANIA
If you've ever read Journey to the End of the Earth and thought 'that sounds like fun' then you're going to love Satellite Island. Lined with rugged cliffs that dip into clear blue waters and teeming with native wildlife, the 34-hectare landmass is located along the southeastern coast of Tasmania in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel and is only accessible by private boat. Whether you're catching your own fish off of the island's single jetty, foraging for ingredients in the veggie patch or learning how to shuck your own oysters, you'll probably try to set up a makeshift cabin so you never have to leave this tranquil paradise.
PS EMMYLOU, MURRAY RIVER
According to the PS Emmylou team, this is the world's only accommodated woodfire paddle steamer. You'll slowly float along the Murray River in this newly kitted-out boat, stopping off at small towns and natural sites to do some light exploring. Grab one of the eight luxe cabins, dine on the back of the boat (with food and drinks included in the ticket price) and take part in a series of tours around the Murray River region. This will include leisurely hikes, winery tours and special dinners on the banks of the river. But the best thing to do is simply grab a seat on your balcony — if you get the luxury suite — and spend the day reading and drinking in the sunshine. It has to be the best way to see this marvellous part of Australia.
JACKALOPE, MORNINGTON PENINSULA, VICTORIA
Situated in the heart of the Mornington Peninsula wine region, Jackalope Hotel has raised the bar for luxury retreats in the area. The first thing that greets you on arrival is a grandiose seven-metre-tall sculpture of a jackalope — the mythical horned rabbit after which the surrealist hotel is named — and things only get more extravagant from there. From the 30-metre-long infinity pool with lush vineyard views to the hotel's extensive art collection, opulent spa and two top-quality restaurants, you won't have to leave the grounds if you don't want to.
CAPELLA LODGE, LORD HOWE ISLAND
Operating for over a decade now, Capella Lodge is one of Australia's most well-known hotels — and, thanks to a cheeky $4 million makeover a few years ago, it's also one of the country's most lavish. Visitors are treated to inspiring views of the island's twin peaks, Mount Gower and Mount Lidgbird, as well as the world's southernmost coral reef in the Pacific Ocean. The beach is only a stone's throw away when you feel like a swim, though the plunge pool is just as refreshing. Plus, you can do this epic hike and then head straight to the spa for a hot stone massage that'll have you feeling stress-free for weeks.
Feeling inspired to book a truly unique getaway? Head to Concrete Playground Trips to explore a range of holidays curated by our editorial team. We've teamed up with all the best providers of flights, stays and experiences to bring you a series of unforgettable trips in destinations all over the world.
Top image: Longitude 131.
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