Longing for a leisurely stay in a luxury lodge sometime soon? Aren’t we all! The team from Flight Centre has picked out a bunch of their favourites, all of them located in diverse and beautiful corners of the vast continent Australia.
Saffire Freycinet is a luxury coastal sanctuary on Tasmania’s east coast that oozes style and sophistication. The location is inspirational too: discreetly positioned overlooking The Hazards mountain range, Freycinet Peninsula and the pristine waters of Great Oyster Bay, ideally blending mankind and nature in breathtaking fashion. In Palate restaurant, executive chef Todd Adams ensures that the innovative dining doesn’t compromise the true flavours of fresh local produce. The Schouten Island Signature Experience has been designed exclusively for guests to deepen their East Coast discovery, and there’s a world of deserted islands, wild bushland and secluded beaches to explore
LORD HOWE ISLAND
A close-kept secret among insiders, Capella is Lord Howe Island’s premium luxury retreat. A short flight from Australia’s east coast transports you to a real “treasure island”, a paradise lost in time and perfectly preserved. The lodge gently melds modern design into glorious natural surroundings, with a subtle raw-teak-and-white-linen aesthetic that lets the true star shine: the view of the jaw-droppingly dramatic Mount Gower and Mount Lidgbird. Fine dining is a drawcard here, 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.
GREAT BARRIER REEF
Lizard Island, Australia’s northernmost island resort on the Great Barrier Reef, is a secluded sanctuary, accessible only by a scenic one-hour flight over the reef from Cairns. There’s only one resort on the island, so the tranquillity and natural beauty stand out in spades. And since there are 24 pristine private beaches, it literally means you’ll have a beach all to yourself. Snorkel straight off the sand where clam gardens, coral and marine life are abundant, or dive on the inner and outer reef at some of the world’s most famous dive sites, including the renowned Cod Hole. Unsurprisingly, the resort’s food philosophy is simple and embraces local, fresh produce. With the bluest of clear ocean views from every angle, all of Lizard Island’s rooms and suites allow the natural beauty in.
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 stylish. The desert basecamp fans out from the cool sanctuary of the Dune House, where you can lounge, sip cocktails and rock-gaze. Dine overlooking the nation’s spiritual heart savouring contemporary cuisine combined with indigenous flavours – 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 guided encounters. 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.
Qualia combines world-class luxury and outstanding modern design, all surrounded by the unsurpassed beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. It’s a special place where everything has been meticulously considered to relax the mind yet spoil the senses. The resort’s sun-drenched northern aspect provides an ideal setting to appreciate the surrounds, with a choice of 60 individual pavilions, many featuring a private plunge pool where guests can enjoy breathtaking views across Whitsunday Passage. Within the resort, Qualia offers two restaurants and the alluring Spa Qualia, which offers an authentic Australian spa menu, incorporating invigorating treatments designed to rebalance the synergy between mind and body. Sign us up!
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This article first appeared in the April/May 2018 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.