Lay back, put your feet up and prepare to be utterly indulged and pampered with these luxury escapes.
From mineral springs to mud baths, these are Australia's best natural hot soaks to put on your weekend bucket list, says Mandy McKeesick 1. Peninsula Hot Springs, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria This lovely little retreat in Victoria is the real deal, having been voted ‘Best Luxury Mineral Spa’ in the 2014 World Luxury Hotel Awards. By all accounts, however, Peninsula Hot Springs – found on Victoria’s physically-blessed Mornington Peninsula – is something of a stand-out experience, located on a 17-hectare property offering not one, but 20 different styles of relaxation, including thermal mineral spring pools, an underground sauna, private outdoor baths,...
This is an image you’ve never seen before.Why? Because it’s from a brand spanking new, ultra-exclusive retreat in far north Queensland: Crystalbrook Lodge. The newest of Australia’s prestigious ‘Luxury Lodges’ group (qualia, Southern Ocean Lodge…), this collection of just five suites sits on 34,000 hectares of unspoilt bushland 40 minutes north of Cairns, on the edge of Crystalbrook Lake. While you’re here, you can while away the days kayaking, heli-fishing, indulging in Atherton Tablelands produce or simply by lazing around the expansive wet-edge pool (from whence you can partake in a little wildlife spotting, should the urge strike you –...
As solo travel gains momentum, we seek out the best resorts for numero uno. A recent survey by TripAdvisor has found that one in three Aussie women travel alone for leisure, with 82 per cent saying it’s because they “want to get away from it all”. In fact, nearly two-thirds of these women reported that travelling alone had changed them in some way. A bit Eat Pray Love, perhaps, but we get it. Escaping work, kids, commitments, traffic, bills, bills, bills, however fleeting it may be, is liberating. Perhaps Elizabeth Gilbert was onto something after all. Here are eight solo retreats…...
Here's where the crew at Australian Traveller would take our mums, our wives (or where we like to be spoiled ourselves) for Mother's Day. And the sky’s the limit for these gifts from the heart! Jonah’s Retreat, Whale Beach, Sydney “Expensive? I’d say Jonah's. Moderately expensive it would be Pelligrini's with BYO. More moderate? Drummoyne Rowers. Cheap? Home-cooked prawn pasta with garlic, chilli, tarragon, white wine and a soupcon of cream.” Quentin Long, Australian Traveller (AT) director Qualia, Hamilton Island, Queensland "I'd take Mum to qualia - she's outraged that I've been and she hasn't. So it only seems fair!" Georgia Rickard, AT...
Whether it's that elusive bungee jump, a strange phallic souvenir from Bhutan or chowing down on crocodile, life on the road for Getaway's Catriona Rowntree is more serendipitous and enthralling than ever, finds Steve Madgwick. You must have covered most of Australia working on Getaway; any room left on the bucket list? The Tiwi Islands: The beauty of them, the mystery of them. I would like to share their story with as many people as possible. I’m a great believer that tourism can help so many communities in the most wonderful way. I also feel like I’ve only just touched on...
Megan Arkinstall finds seven long-weekend ideas to take you away from it all so you can indulge in, well, pure indulgence. 1. Glide on water in the Top End: Kakadu National Park, NT Bamurru Plains coined the term ‘wild bush luxury’ to describe their accommodation; a down-to-earth camp with a focus on fine details, designed to draw your attention to the surrounding environment rather than the distractions of modern life. There are a host of activities to get you out and about to explore the wildlife, but we recommend starting with a morning glide on the wetlands on board a fan-propelled airboat...
Splash out for a holiday, you've earned it! Ah, but where to go? All the luxury destinations that made our 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia list have become destinations in their own right. Here's how our 20-member panel of experts rated the most opulent places to stay in Australia (number they finished overall in the 100 in brackets). Here's is our 1000-threadcount Aussie bucket list... 1. Book into Saffire Freycinet, Tasmania (5) 2. Stay at qualia. Just once in your life, Hamilton Island, Queensland (10) 3. … And go straight to Lizard Island afterwards, Queensland (11) 4. Become a Firewalker,...
In-house massages and 1200-thread-count linen? Please, that’s so five star… Newly-opened Skylodge atop Mt Tamborine in the Gold Coast Hinterland, delivers that and then some. Going beyond king-sized beds and expansive views of subtropical rainforest, Skylodge literally caters to your every whim from private yoga classes and serenading violinists, to a personal chef on request. The just-built Alkira Resort House (website coming) in the Daintree is also worth a visit. You can get there via helicopter if you so wish; the house has its own helipad. This architecturally-acclaimed, carbon neutral sanctuary might look and feel futuristic, but the architect worked closely with national parks and environmental agencies to...
Operating from Melbourne, and with more than 40 years of outback air-tour experiences, Kirkhope Aviation is an outback air tours provider that travel throughout Australia and include fishing, walking, climbing for the energetic, boat cruises, four wheel driving, aboriginal art or just scenic touring. The scenery is a special blend of diverse ranges & gorges, savannah, rivers & lakes, cities & outback towns, & of course our unique wildlife… great for the keen photographer. Our private and business air charters use the same well presented and maintained aircraft. Contact Details E: email@example.com W: www.kirkhopeaviation.com.au W: www.moorabbinaircharters.com.au...
Every family will have a different idea of luxury, but one thing is guaranteed – your dream holiday home is out there. Whether it’s a separate kids’ retreat, an amazing infinity pool, a modernist haven in Tassie with floor-to-ceiling glass doors or a Balinese-inspired villa in Noosa, you’re bound to find a place with the perfect luxury extras you’ve always dreamed of. So go on – why not go all-out this year? Try these NSW: Ocean Muse, Port Stephens This sprawling seaside abode is flanked by national parkland, creating a luxurious enclave for a family or group to settle in and...
We admit, we were surprised to see you vote Saffire the winner of this category – not because it doesn’t deserve another award to add to its swag of accolades, but because, as a luxury lodge, it could be classified as either a hotel or resort. But you said it was the former, and with a boundless array of facilities and experiences, from day spa treatments and guided walks to cooking demonstrations and private oyster shucking, it’s certainly a luxe hotel with a difference – a “million-dollar view, and billion-dollar experience”, according to one reader. The designer interior and world-class service...
First there was Australia’s newest luxury hotel brand, Pullman. Now Pullman has launched Australia’s newest luxury hotel spa brand, Vie Spa. Found in five resorts across the country so far (Pullman Sea Temple Resort & Spa Port Douglas, Pullman Sea Temple Resort & Spa Palm Cove and Pullman Cairns International, all in Queensland; Pullman Resort Bunker Bay in Western Australia; and Quay West Resort Magenta Shores, New South Wales), Vie is a real crowd-pleasing kind of retreat – there is something here for everyone. Die-hard spa-goers will love the high performance facials using Pevonia products, or for the naturalist there’s the organic iKOU,...
Megan Arkinstall seeks a sublime balance between adventurous and luxurious. 1. Float on Cloud Nine; Hawkesbury Valley, NSW Make like a bird and float amongst the clouds in a hot air balloon over the picturesque Hawkesbury Valley–a great way to see the sprawling landscape. Retreat back to the Sebel Resort & Spa where there is plenty to do for restless travellers; set on eight hectares of manicured landscaped gardens, there is a golf course, tennis courts, a heated pool and day spa. Location: Sebel Resort & Spa Hawkesbury Valley is 45 minutes from Sydney. 61Hawkesbury Valley Way,Windsor; 02 4577 4222;...
Along with our recently reviewed Melbourne's Sofitel, there are only a few truly European-flavoured five-star hotels in Australia. Here are our pick: Park Hyatt, Sydney Although best known for its front-row seat to Sydney Harbour’s iconic trifecta, the bridge, the house and the fun park, the Park Hyatt isn’t just about location. A drastic revamp to include two waterfront restaurants and bar, a day spa and 155 designer rooms means even more expansive views, marble baths, attentive service and custom-made artworks. sydney.park.hyatt.com The Langham, Melbourne Voted as the top city hotel in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific by US magazine...
A gentleman called Mr Lovecraft once came to Australia. He’d travelled all the way from Hollywood, in search of respite from his legions of screaming fans and a doggedly-persistent paparazzi. He found what he was looking for, when he got here: one of the world’s most discreet destinations, Lizard Island. If you’ve never heard of Mr Lovecraft, well – that’s the point. A far cry from flashy cousins Hayman and Hamilton, Lizard is the definition of low-profile; a place of creamy beaches and white daybeds, where the well-heeled and world-famous come to retreat from the world. Despite its remote location,...
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