Australia has some of the most stunning landscapes anywhere in the world, be they sweeping vistas with rugged peaks, starkly beautiful desert plains or verdant bushland teeming with wildlife. Luckily, thanks to these exquisitely situated properties, you needn’t give up your creature comforts to reconnect with all this nature. These are the 19 best luxury lodges and boutique accommodations in Australia, where you’ll find top-of-class amenities, fine dining and sublime service in the heart of the Aussie wilderness.
Image credit: Julian Cebo
Sequoia Lodge, SA1/20
Dip your toes into an artesian spring-fed hot pool before sipping on local wines as the sun sets over the horizon at the adults-only Sequoia Lodge. During the day, take a guided nature walk and keep your eyes peeled for koalas, kangaroos and wallabies. At night, learn about the area’s First Nations history around a campfire before drifting off to sleep in five-star luxury.
Sal Salis, WA2/20
Take glamping to the next level with a stay at Sal Salis on Western Australia’s incredible coast. Just off shore, heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef is home to some of the planet’s most amazing marine life and guests can swim with whale sharks and humpback whales during their seasonal migration. The property’s luxury safari tents are scattered across the dunes, a few sandy steps from the water.
Silky Oaks Lodge, Qld3/20
Fall asleep in the world’s oldest rainforest at the rejuvenated Silky Oaks Lodge in the heart of Queensland’s Daintree. Each elegant suite is designed to be the grown-up treehouse of your childhood dreams, complete with open-air showers and bathtubs with views of the surrounding trees and Mossman River.
Lizard Island, Qld4/20
Saffire Freycinet, Tas5/20
This exclusive stay 2.5 hours north of Hobart is the ideal base from which to experience the best Tasmania has to offer. Indulge in oysters plucked straight from the water on a special marine-farm tour, visit a free-range Tasmanian devil enclosure to learn more about the famous mammal or explore picturesque Wineglass Bay by boat.
Spicers Sangoma Retreat, NSW6/20
Just 1.5 hours outside Sydney in the Blue Mountains, the adults-only Spicers Sangoma Retreat has a wellness program for everyone. The adventurous can embark on a private abseiling or rock-climbing expedition before soothing sore muscles in the bathtub of their scenic bush suite. For a more relaxed affair, sip a glass of wine while creating a masterpiece in a watercolour-painting class.
Longitude 131º, NT7/20
You’re seeing Uluru in unique style when you stay at this safari-tent dotted property. But for a real once-if-in-a-lifetime experience book the Dune Pavilion, which features views of both Uluru and Kata Tjuta from the two bedrooms and private desert-side plunge pool.
The Louise, SA8/20
First-rate food and wine are just the beginning at The Louise in South Australia’s renowned Barossa Valley. Enjoy a breakfast picnic at sunrise with kangaroos for company or take a guided tour of some of the region’s most noteworthy cellar doors, including Seppeltsfield. Each suite boasts vineyard panoramas and all the modern amenities you’d expect at a high-end getaway.
Wildlife Retreat at Taronga, NSW9/20
Nature-lovers shouldn’t skip a stay at Taronga Zoo’s Wildlife Retreat, where the zoo’s residents are closer than ever. Depending on which room you choose, wake up to dazzling harbour views, the sound of birdlife or the sight of koalas in the trees outside your window.
Image credit: Tourism Western Australia
El Questro, WA10/20
Experience the wild magic of The Kimberley from a plush perspective at El Questro Homestead. With no more than 20 guests at a time, you’ll have exclusive access to local thermal springs as well as a range of complimentary activities, such as guided gorge walks and a cruise along the Chamberlain River.
Wake with a refreshing swim in your plunge pool, settle on the sand of the resort’s own beach or while away the hours in the spa at this top-class Hamilton Island property. Qualia’s designer pavilions and beach house are a great starting point for exploring the Great Barrier Reef, with snorkelling and diving daytrips available on request.
Bamurru Plains, NT12/20
Located on the edge of the Northern Territory’s spectacular Kakadu National Park, Bamurru Plains draws inspiration from the classic safari lodge, including the thrilling wildlife spotting. Each bungalow has mesh-screen walls that grant access to majestic views across the plains, while the Bamurru menu features elevated bush-inspired fare.
Image credit: Alastair Bett
Freycinet Lodge, Tas13/20
The Coastal Pavilions at Freycinet Lodge, on Tasmania’s eastern coast, are completely at one with the bush surrounds. Think glass walls, polished timber floors and a hammock to do nothing but listen to the natural orchestra of the national park.
Capella Lodge, Lord Howe Island14/20
If you want truly awe-inspiring views at Capella Lodge book the Lidgbird Pavilion. It’s one of just nine suites at the property and not only is the dramatic meeting of ocean and mountain visible from your bed, it features a wrap-around verandah, a plunge pool and plenty of space for sunset drinks and dinner.
Jamala Wildlife Lodge, ACT15/20
Could there be anything more decadent than sharing your lodgings with a cheetah? Thankfully, at this lodge the sleek cat sleeps outside your bungalow and observing it – or tigers, sun bears, giraffes or meerkats, depending on your room – as you recline in the tub is probably as close as you’ll want to get.
Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa, Qld16/20
Whether you’re staying in aloft in a Canopy Banyan or amongst the lush vegetation in a Rainforest Banyan, all you’ll see from your windows is the lush green leaves of the Daintree Rainforest. This eco-focused lodge offers guided walks to a sacred waterfall, cultural tours of Kuku Yalanji country, curated picnic hampers full of local produce and spa treatments that harness native botanicals to draw you into a deeper state of bliss.
True North, WA17/20
Chart a course along the coast or through the Kimberley region aboard True North – a luxe cruise that takes you to some of the area’s most remote locations. While the activities off the water are guaranteed to impress, passing the time on the sun deck or at the alfresco bar is just as satisfying.
Spicers Peak Lodge, Qld18/20
The property might resemble an alpine chalet but don’t expect to see snow – this mountain-top retreat is just two hours south-west of Brisbane. Dial up the luxury levels with a dip in the pool, soak in the hot tub or decadent massage at on-site Spa Anise.
Marramarra Lodge, NSW19/20
It’s less than 90 minutes from Sydney – that includes driving and boating time – but this new luxury lodge feels far, far away. Accommodation is a mix of safari tents and bungalows overlooking the Hawkesbury River with all meals served in the breezy Budyari Restaurant.