The Outback remains one of Australia’s most intriguing and mystical landscapes. Where once it was regarded as hostile and unforgiving, today a visit to the outback brings an opportunity to taste Australia’s pioneering spirit. In stark contrast to the vast emptiness of the never-never, Australia’s ancient rainforests shelter a myriad of flora and fauna. Head for the wilderness to our favourite eight escapes.
The Red Centre – Longitude 131°
Eco-chic glamping has reached the hugely spiritual icon of Uluru which is an almost obligatory pilgrimage for many first-time visitors to Australia! Uluru is now home to Longitude 131° and this luxury camp is inspired by the early pioneers. Sumptuous beds boast a pillow-top view of the rock, touring is guided by the local Aboriginal people and you can watch the flaming desert sun sink behind Uluru from your private viewing spot with a glass of bubbly.
Blue Mountains – Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley
For the best of both worlds, head to the much-lauded Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa, just a few hours from Sydney in the beautiful Blue Mountains. This eco-sensitive 40 suite retreat is surrounded by dramatic escarpments, native wildlife and sheer natural beauty. This place is so outstanding, that even Charles Darwin was impressed when he visited… back in 1832! Today, although the original homestead still remains, your lodgings are a little more comfortable with private lap pools, cashmere throws and double bathtubs made for two!
Kimberley – El Questro
In the Kimberley, you can explore the million-plus acres of El Questro Wilderness Park from the über-stylish confines of El Questro Homestead. Just nine rooms create an authentic reminder of station life. Swim in cool billabongs, muster cattle and fish for barramundi before soaking in a bathtub that looks out over the gorge of the Chamberlain River.
Top End – Bamurru Plains
Up in the tropical Top End of the Northern Territory, Bamurru Plains offers a taste of safari glamour Australian-style! One of Australia’s most unique bush camps, Bamurru is located to the west of Kakadu National Park on the Mary River floodplains – a wetland paradise teeming with a profusion of bird and wildlife. Your refuge here is one of ten stilted safari-style suites which offer a birds-eye view on this unique landscape.
Flinders Ranges – Arkaba Station
South Australia dishes up its own fair share of magnificent outback with the impressive Flinders Ranges – heaven-sent for hikers, nature-lovers and those seeking luxurious solitude. At Arkaba Station, sample outback life on a former 60,000-acre sheep ‘station’, home to an extraordinary variety of birdlife and wildlife and its topography offers some of outback Australia’s most breath-taking scenery. Guests can choose to ‘semi-rough-it’ on the overland walking safari where you can sleep under the stars in a deluxe swag!
Daintree Rainforest – Silky Oaks Lodge
For those in search of Australia’s iconic ancient rainforests, there can be none better than the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Daintree National Park where the delightful Silky Oaks Lodge and Spa offers a mix of river and treehouses which provide maximum exposure to the tree canopy. When not indulging in the award-winning Spa, activities include river snorkelling, Aboriginal arts and rainforest treks.
North Queensland – Crystalbrook Lodge
A relative newcomer to the luxury outback scene, the now acclaimed Crystalbrook Lodge is an elegant wilderness, river and outback retreat just a 40-minute flight from Cairns. The lodge sits on the shores of Crystalbrook Lake, which plays host to a staggering array of bird and wildlife. With just five suites, this is a place to experience the true stillness of Australia’s magical outback.
Kimberley – Berkeley River Lodge
Isolated in splendour on the remote Kimberley coast and only accessible via a soaring hour-long floatplane from Darwin over the epic landscape of Northern Australia, Berkley River Lodge offers pure isolation. It has most recently been voted one of the top 20 best hotels in the World in the Conde Nast Traveller Gold List 2017, and with the natural beauty of the Kimberley wilderness alongside the gorgeous retreats waiting for you, it’s not difficult to see why.