20 Wild-luxe Stays to Escape to Right Now
Standing, often unobtrusively on farms, remote stretches of coastline and mountain foothills, these luxurious stays are designed for immersion in nature. From all-inclusive wildlife safaris and next-level glamping to sleeping in an elegantly-appointed treehouse, here are Australia’s best luxury wilderness hotels.
Image credit: Blackbird Byron
Blackbird Byron, NSW1/21
Knockout views across the hinterland to the glittering Pacific Ocean provide the backdrop at Blackbird, an adults-only retreat 35 minutes’ drive from Byron Bay. Three rustic-luxe pavilions dot the property, each with burnished concrete floors, reclaimed timber cabinetry and king-size beds – plus easy access to the magnesium pool.
Image credit: Pumphouse Point
Pumphouse Point, Tas2/21
On the shores of Lake St Clair, a two-and-a-half-hour drive north-west of Hobart, Pumphouse Point is a gloriously remote retreat. Spend your days bushwalking through the peaceful Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, biking, fishing or indulging in a massage. Come nightfall, the gourmet larder, help-yourself honesty bar and cosy fire pit await.
Image credit: Longitude 131º
Longitude 131º, NT3/21
Surrounded by the rugged red-dirt wilderness of the Central Desert, Longitude 131º is the only place you can admire Uluru from the comfort of your plush king-sized bed. All 16 glamping tents are spectacular, but splash out on the two-bedroom Dune Pavilion for a private plunge pool and epic views of Kata Tjuta, too.
Image credit: Wild Luxury
Calabash Bay Lodge, NSW4/21
The only way to reach this four-bedroom Hawkesbury River property is by water. And the high-octane boat trip doesn’t disappoint, taking guests past secret beaches and ancient sandstone cliffs. Expect river views from every room, bright, modern interiors and optional extras such as a private chef or yoga instructor.
Image credit: Five Acres
Five Acres, Vic5/21
Set on a working micro-farm on Phillip Island, a 90-minute drive south of Melbourne, these three timber cabins are tailor-made for a romantic getaway. Think: a handcrafted outdoor bathtub, a cosy wood fire and huge picture windows for watching highland cows graze as waves crash over Western Port Bay.
Image credit: Arkaba
A maximum of 10 guests share this 1850s homestead in the Flinders Ranges. Head out on a wildlife safari, learn about the area’s rich First Nations history and sleep under the stars on a swag-camp glamping trek. Food, drink and activities are included, so you can focus on taking in the spectacular outback vistas.
Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
Silky Oaks Lodge, Qld7/21
Located in the heart of the world’s oldest rainforest, this recently rejuvenated resort is a lush base from which to explore the region. Its 40 elegant treehouse-style suites sit at canopy level with generous verandahs, many featuring an open-air shower or bathtub to ensure the surrounding greenery is never out of sight.
Image credit: Lon Retreat
Lon Retreat & Spa, Vic8/21
A picturesque 90-minute drive from Melbourne, Lon Retreat & Spa is set on some 80 secluded hectares with access to the windswept beach at Point Lonsdale. Each of the seven suites comes with a breakfast tray brimming with local produce, a kitchen or kitchenette and a private outdoor space perfect for stargazing. Don’t skip a soak in the mineral pool.
Image credit: Mount Mulligan Lodge
Mount Mulligan Lodge, Qld9/21
Nestled beneath Ngarrabullgan (Mount Mulligan), an ancient peak 10 times the size of Uluru, this working cattle station hosts just 20 guests at a time. Join a cattle muster, fish for barramundi, hop on a scenic helicopter flight or simply sip a Bloody Mary made with bushfire-smoked gin by the pool.
Image credit: Sal Salis
Sal Salis, WA10/21
Just a few sandy steps from the warm Indian Ocean, Sal Salis is a 16-tent eco-resort sheltered in the dunes of Cape Range National Park. Sleep beneath canvas, dine on locally-sourced three-course meals and spend your days swimming with whale sharks and humpback whales on World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef.
Image credit: Elise Hassey
The House at Lizard Island, Qld11/21
This three-storey, three-bedroom property sits on a private peninsula of Lizard Island, an hour’s flight north of Cairns on the Great Barrier Reef. This isolation comes at a price, but the experience is singular. You’ll have exclusive use of three white-sand beaches, a personal chef and access to a 56-foot motor yacht.
Image credit: Archie Sartracom
Bamurru Plains, NT12/21
Located three hours east of Darwin on the edge of Kakadu National Park, this all-inclusive retreat consists of 10 safari-style bungalows and a central lodge. There’s no phone, television or wi-fi. Instead, a stay here means wildlife spotting by airboat, river cruise and open-top game drives, plus communal meals of elevated bush-inspired fare.
Image credit: Sequoia Lodge
Sequoia Lodge, SA13/21
Spot koalas, kangaroos and wallabies from the day bed on your private balcony at Sequoia Lodge, where each of the 14 sustainably-designed suites boasts a fireplace, deep bathtub and panoramic views of the Adelaide Hills. Also on the itinerary: guided nature hikes, dips in the spring-fed hot pool and sampling world-class South Australian wines.
Image credit: Tourism Tasmania
Kittawa Lodge, Tas14/21
On windswept King Island, off the north-west coast of Tasmania, this 39-hectare, off-grid retreat hosts guests at two self-contained one-bedroom cottages. With a roaring fire, fully stocked larder and cellar, plus a freestanding bath with views of the wild Southern Ocean, there’s no pressure to go anywhere.
Image credit: Paperbark Camp
Paperbark Camp, NSW15/21
Opened in unspoilt Jervis Bay in 1999, Australia’s original glamping retreat remains a gorgeous spot to unplug. Settle into your safari-style tent (all are perched on elevated timber decks with plenty of space to stretch out) and stroll through the towering paperbark forest before retiring to treetop restaurant, The Gunyah, for contemporary Australian fare that could include slow-cooked spatchcock topped with ras el hanout and sumac strawberries with lemon thyme sponge and sorbet.
The Point, Tas16/21
Minimalist house, The Point, is a short, 20-minute jaunt from Hobart. Standing on Paredarerme Country, the three-bedroom property combines concrete, glass and steel together, blending seamlessly with its surroundings. With sweeping views of Frederick Henry Bay and kunanyi (Mount Wellington), the property is an easy jump-off point for exploring the area. If you’re wanting to stay in, indulge in fresh oysters from nearby Tasmanian Oyster Co. matched with a glass of sparkling, while perched around the outdoor firepit.
Image credit: Lee Besser
Chalets at Blackheath, NSW17/21
Nestled within a million hectares of national park and wilderness on Dharug and Gundungurra country, these four wood-and-stone chalets come complete with limestone shower “caves”, stone hearths and Frette robes, making for the ultimate romantic escape. Wake up with local wildlife on your doorstep as you enjoy breakfast in the library (think avocado toast with bush tomato and finger lime).
Image credit: Lauren Photography
This unique off-grid getaway comprises two tiny houses, Yambara and Maldhi. Located on Barngala Country near Port Lincoln, these tiny homes are designed to blend in with their wild surroundings and can even be moved, leaving no trace behind. The homes feature luxe details including double showers and electric blinds, while the deck is the ideal place to watch whales from as you gather around the fire pit at nightfall.
Image credit: Marnie Hawson
Riverfield Homestead, Vic19/21
This restored farmhouse in rural Mansfield is the group getaway you’ve been waiting for. The five-bedroom escape offers sweeping vistas of the Delatite River and surrounding mountains. Fish in the river, explore local wineries and cycle the Great Victorian Rail Trail before returning home to explore the property’s gardens – they’re home to oak trees that date back more than 100 years.
Crafters Cabin, NSW20/21
Built by two old schoolmates, this rustic home spans five hectares of land beneath Mount Crackenback in Ngarigo Country, two hours from Canberra. The property is totally off-grid and self-sufficient, relying on solar panels and rainwater tanks. Kangaroos, emus and echidnas frequent the area and are easily spotted through the floor-to-ceiling windows or while hiking the nearby Porcupine Walk. Reward your muscles with a well-deserved soak under the stars in the outdoor wooden hot tub after your adventure.