Word on the street says these hot new, refurbed hotels and experiences are worth putting on your radar… Mirage Whitsundays, Hamilton Island Beach Club, Little National in Canberra, Macquarie Wharf Shed 1, and Saffire Freycinet’s Save The Tassie Devil program… 

Airlie Beach’s Mirage reappears

Helping Airlie Beach shake its image as a backpackers’ town is the recent opening of luxury serviced apartments, Mirage Whitsundays. Located on the shores of Airlie Beach, the resort offers stunning views of the Coral Sea and is a relaxing 15-minute walk along the waterfront boardwalk into town. The contemporary coastal-style accommodation is spacious and perfect for families – there’s two-, three- and four-bedroom options. The penthouses boast private plunge pools, but there are two other pools for guests and a restaurant will open in 2016.

Hamilton Island’s Beach Club beauty

The extensive refurbishment of Hamilton Island’s Beach Club Resort was be unveiled just in time for this year’s Audi Hamilton Island Race Week (15–22 August). The beachfront, adults-only resort has been restyled by Sydney design group Hare + Klein. The updated look is contemporary beach-luxe, consisting of a refreshing palette of indigo, grey and white, exquisite mosaic tiling, rain showers, freestanding stone baths and limited edition John Olsen prints in each room. But one thing hasn’t changed: the alluring views out to the Coral Sea from the private terraces.

Big takeover in little cool Canberra

The Doma Group are continuing their takeover of our capital, adding two new hotels to their portfolio. Conveniently located in the Realm Precinct, Little National Hotel  – set to open in September – is a brand-new 120-room ‘affordable luxury’ hotel that boasts views of Parliament House. The rooms will consist of everything you’d expect from a five-star hotel – super king beds, wall-to-wall windows, rain showers, smart devices and free wi-fi – but without the price tag. And just down the road, Doma has purchased the 1920s Brassey Hotel and started refurbishments, which will enhance the property’s old-world charm and add some luxurious touches.

Shed 1 makeover in happenin’ Hobart

Hobart’s waterfront is set to become a buzzing cultural precinct in 2016 with the redevelopment of Macquarie Wharf Shed 1. The $35-million project will include shops, restaurants and a 113-room luxury hotel run by Federal Group (the people behind beautiful Saffire Freycinet). Watch this space!

Meet the poor devils

In an effort to save the Tasmanian Devil from the Devil Facial Tumour Disease, luxury lodge Saffire Freycinet has joined forces with Save The Tasmanian Devil Program and the Menzies Institute for Medical Research with its Devil ‘retirement home’. It’s an enclosure where guests can meet the little Devils who’ve played their part in helping researchers ensure the survival of the species. Guests can observe the marsupials and get involved by performing a visual health check.

Norfolk eco holiday

If you like your holidays with a healthy dose of good karma, roll up your sleeves and join ecologists on a Wild Mob conservation expedition. Including flights, meals and accommodation, the upcoming Norfolk Island trip will help restore habitat for endangered species and, in return for your elbow grease, you can enjoy plenty of free time to explore the island.

Australian Traveller Issue 64

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