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Luxury eco-tourism resorts and lodges in Australia

Natasha Bazika

Contributor

Who says you can’t indulge in a lavish holiday and help the environment too? Eco-lodges are the answer to travelling with a conscious heart, and down under they are popping up everywhere; from beaches to the red sands of the outback and on a secluded island. Whether you’re looking to find peace, want an adventure or simply crave a luxury respite, Australia’s luxury eco-lodges are waiting for you. Go on, do it for the environment.

A Wild Bush Story

Share 60,000 acres with 10 guests in the awe-inspiring landscape of Flinders Range. Here, jagged peaks and escarpments rise from a geological history that is just as storied as its Aboriginal and settler past. In true outback luxury style, the Arkaba Homestead pays homage to its rich pastoral and exploration heritage; and with only five guest rooms, it’s a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in mauve mornings and red-ochre afternoons. Journey through high ranges, gorges, valleys, and creeks, by safari drive or soar with the birds on a private scenic flight over the ancient landscape. Pander your taste buds with foraged bush tucker and local wines—all while sitting around old wool classing table under a starry sky and at mercy of desert silence.

Arkaba Flinders-Ranges South-Australia

Barefoot Luxury At Its Best

Just a short flight away is an otherworldly volcanic remnant that holds many secrets; one of which we're sharing with you. Set in palm trees, on a hill that commands views of two impressive volcanic peaks and turquoise waters is Capella Lodge, an ultra-luxe eco-lodge with only nine contemporary island suites. Due to its world-heritage status and pristine environment, the lodges are designed to complement the landscape, instilling a natural vibe, fitted with modern furnishings. As for the island, its secrets lie beneath lagoon waters; atop volcanic peaks; immersed in rainforests and its ancient creatures and at the peak of a monolithic sea rock, known as Balls Pyramid. This is truly the last paradise free of pollution and human interruption. Only 400 people are allowed on the island at a time, making this destination an island desire.

Capella Lodge

Journey To The Centre Of The Red Desert

We’ve all seen white washed coasts, rainforests, and rolling hills, but the true beauty lies in the center of the earth. Before you go channeling your inner Brendan Fraser, there is an easier way to get there—fly. Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park protects an impressive sandstone monolith, known as Uluru and a rustic red desert, filled with a rich cultural history. Only a short flight from Sydney, you could be staying in one of Longitude 131's luxury tented pavilions and entering a gateway to the dual World-Heritage Listed wilderness. Explore the base of the monolith, walk the gorges, get a bird's eye view; enjoy the outback fare on a dune top as you watch the sunburnt sands dim under a starry sky and wind down to the sounds of desert silence. The Red Center is a magical place, like no other. It has the power to change in a second, from burnt oranges to fiery reds, and supple greens with touches from bygone eras. A transcendent experience of discovery awaits. 

Longitude 131 Eco-retreat

A Top End Wilderness Story

Experience 300km of floodplains and savanna woodland on the Mary River, on the edge of Kakadu National Park. Known for extreme climatic experiences, Northern Australia's top end is brimming with wildlife, wilderness, and untamed wonder--waiting to be explored. There is an ecologically-sensitive luxury camp, called Bamurru Plains, which offers 10 stilted tent-style bungalows and commands horizon views. Zip through floodplains, pass bobbing crocodiles, take a guided walk to absorb the bushland and appreciate the colours, textures, and spirituality of a landscape touched by Aboriginal culture. Return home for a communal meal around a long timber dining table, topped with bush-inspired dishes and local wines.

Bamurru-Plains Top-End Wet-Edge Pool

A Tasmanian Coastal Sanctuary

Discreetly positioned overlooking the Hazards Mountains of the Freycinet Peninsula and waters of Great Oyster Bay, is the coastal sanctuary Saffire Freycinet. The luxury hotel offers 20 private suites, a luxury day spa, and award-winning culinary offerings complemented by Tasmania's best wines. Here, you can explore the natural wonders and attractions of Tasmania's East Coast. Don a pair of waders and indulge in prized Pacific oysters on a working farm, climb to the top for a view of Wineglass Bay, swim in the clear waters of the bay or connect to the landscape with teachings from an indigenous guide. Retreat back to the lodging for rejuvenation and relaxation at Saffire’s Spa, ready to conquer another day. 

Saffire Freycinet Tasmania Luxury Suite

The One&Only Adventure

Australia's Great Dividing Range is carved by plateaus and low mountain ranges with rivers that cut deep gorges forming steep cliffs and gentle curves on the valley floor. Settled at the bottom is One&Only Wolgan Valley, a resort that occupies just one percent of its own 7,000-acre conservancy. In 1836, the sheer beauty of Wolgan Valley amazed Charles Darwin, and today, many agree. The conservation-based resort combines luxury with a quintessentially Australian bush experience. Stay in a freestanding villa, reminiscent of traditional homesteads complete with modern upgrades such as expansive verandas and private pools. Outside, explore an unparalleled wilderness escape, help restore the environment, and saddle up for a unique journey through creeks and ridge-lines.  

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley

The Old Outback and The Sea

Western Australia’s coral coast is one of the country’s best-kept secrets, and for good reason. Where else in the world can you see boundless beige desert dunes and cerulean waters in the same view? Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef is a beachside camp with fifteen eco-luxe tents and one honeymoon tent hidden amongst dunes that overlook the bush and reef. Every morning wake to the song of a butcherbird, explore the reef and its 500 species of fish and corals and fall asleep to waves lapping the shore. As an added bonus, swim alongside one of the most impressive sea creatures in the world, the whale shark, among others such as manta rays, dolphins and orcas. In the rugged landscapes of the Cape Range National Park, keep an eye out for bouncing red kangaroos, crawling goannas and clambering echidnas.

Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef

World Class Luxury In The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef and welcomes over 1.5 million visitors a year. In a tourist destination so highly sought after, finding privacy can be a feat, but this secluded resort pushes the envelope on luxury and privacy in the area. Qualia, which translates to "a collection of deeper sensory experiences" in Latin, is a world-class luxury resort surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef. Here, you'll stay in one of 60 waterfront pavilions, that boast natural tones of timber, stone, and glass, set in tropical bushland with postcard views from every corner. Find peace on the water, explore the colours of the world beneath and spoil yourself with signature experiences; from helicopter rides to island hopping or organising a gourmet picnic on a surrounding beach. Come back to experience award-winning cuisine that focuses on seafood and fresh tropical fruits.

Qualia lounge

A Gourmet Retreat

Usually, you would resort to a restaurant or specific city for a culinary experience, but what if we told you, there was a place out there that offers a gourmet retreat and vacation experience all in one? Cape Lodge Hotel is located on its very own vineyard in the Margaret River wine region and is set as a private country estate, yet comes with all the trappings of a boutique hotel. The Cape Lodge Restaurant is one of the greatest dining rooms in Western Australia and offers classically prepared French-influenced country fare highlighting Margaret River's produce and award-winning wines, including Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz from its 8-acre vineyard. The restaurant also opens its doors to the public with cooking demonstrations, classes, and culinary boot camp helmed by expert chefs. Learn to slice, dice and chop your way through a 3-course lunch, while enjoying the finest cuisine, wines, and company in the area.

Cape Lodge, Margaret River

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