Off-the-grid: Longitude 131°1/13
Yulara, Northern Territory
You’ll bathe in the beauty and majesty of Uluru from the moment you wake up at Longitude 131°. This luxury eco resort just outside Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, in Australia’s red heart, supercharges the glamping concept with 16 tented pavilions dotted discretely along a sand dune. The “swag turndown” service allows you to lie swaddled in comfort on your private deck, stargazing in front of an open fire.
Beach break: Peppers Beach Club & Spa2/13
Palm Cove, Queensland
The jewel in the crown of laid-back Palm Cove, Peppers is all about barefoot luxury. Across the road from a perfect crescent of beach lapped by the warm waters of the Coral Sea, this elegant whitewashed resort embraces the tropical beauty of Far North Queensland with lush gardens and palm-tree-lined walkways, breezy alfresco dining and a series of swimming pools to suit every mood – from the family-friendly fun of the sand-fringed lagoon pool to the secluded and serene rock pool.
Family getaway: Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort3/13
Gold Coast, Queensland
While couples will have their romantic fantasies catered for with the cascading fountains and private cabanas of the Gold Coast’s only absolute beachfront resort, there’s plenty to entice the entire family to this expansive luxury haven. A pathway leads directly onto Mirage Beach, which is patrolled year-round, but it might prove difficult to lure the kids from the ice-cream on offer at the swim-up Oasis Pool bar.
Off-the-grid: Sal Salis4/13
Cape Range National Park, Western Australia
It doesn’t get much more remote than this beachside bush camp tucked into the dunes of Cape Range National Park, next to World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef – but that doesn’t mean you’ll go without. This is the place to swim with whale sharks, manta rays and colourful swarms of tropical fish; mingle on land with kangaroos, wallabies and emus; and marvel at the thread count of your luxurious organic cotton bed linen.
Beach break: Mantra Mooloolaba Beach5/13
This wave-shaped hotel opposite one of the best beaches on the Sunshine Coast packs a surfeit of sun-loving fun in the form of two swimming pools – one with a pair of spas – an open-air barbecue area and magnificent ocean views. And for après-beach entertainment, few things beat sunset drinks on the rooftop observation deck.
Family getaway: Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort6/13
Twin Waters, Queensland
Action awaits at this aquatic playground set in the heart of the Sunshine Coast, fronting Mudjimba Beach and its own private lagoon. Your crew can try catamaran sailing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding – but if you need your cossie to dry out for a bit, the animal attractions of Australia Zoo, the colour and fun of Eumundi Markets and the nature trails of Mount Coolum National Park await.
Off-the-grid: Rawnsley Park Station7/13
Hawker, South Australia
The sunrise is known to steal the show at this little piece of outback paradise, casting its mesmerising rose-gold glow over Wilpena Pound and surrounding ranges. It’s a sight best enjoyed from the verandah of one of Rawnsley Park Station’s private self-contained eco villas, before lacing up your boots for a day’s hiking in the Flinders Ranges – or jumping aboard a helicopter for a bird’s-eye view of South Australia’s rugged natural wonders.
Beach break: QT Bondi8/13
Sydney, New South Wales
The hippest of hotel brands finds an easy groove amid the buzz of Bondi. A two-minute stroll from the world-famous stretch of sand, it’s packed with quirky touches that speak to the location – from a gelato-inspired colour palette to artwork that keeps to a sun-and-surf theme. Guests can even borrow a surfboard to ride the waves or take a bicycle for a waterfront spin.
Family getaway: Wildlife Retreat at Taronga9/13
Sydney, New South Wales
Fancy a chance to sleep at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo? The Wildlife Retreat’s purpose-built luxury suites boast harbour views, while guided tours take you behind the scenes after the zoo has shut its gates to the public for the day. Consider it a bucket-list experience fit for the whole family.
Off-the-grid: Pumphouse Point10/13
Lake St Clair, Tasmania
An electricity substation turned boutique hotel that appears to be levitating atop the waters of the mysterious Lake St Clair, Pumphouse Point is one of Tasmania’s greatest marvels. With views down to the lake, a roaring fire, fully stocked larder and cellar, plus two deep-soak bathtubs (one under the stars), the beautifully designed space offers absolute seclusion and indulgence among the World Heritage-listed wilderness.
Beach break: Smiths Beach Resort11/13
Family getaway: Q1 Resort and Spa12/13
Surfers Paradise, Queensland
Q1 Resort and Spa takes prime position in one of Australia’s tallest buildings, with all the staggering ocean and hinterland views you could hope for. The family will be itching to hit the heights of the vertiginous SkyPoint Climb, which allows you to (safely) clamber around the building’s soaring exterior. If activities at sea level are more your speed, try the lagoon-style swimming pools and nearby stretch of Surfers Paradise Beach.
Image credit: tom-archer.com | Tom Archer Phot