Unique Retreats Around Australia

29 August 2018
Read Time: 3.6 mins

Escaping civilisation needn't mean roughing it. Australia has a wide range of hidden retreats in serene settings that bring the great outdoors in – no swag required.

Silky Oaks Lodge is suspended in the green canopy of Mossman Gorge. (Image: Silky Oaks)

Silky Oaks Lodge, Mossman Gorge, Qld

Nestled on the native forest banks high above the serene waters of the Mossman River, Silky Oaks Lodge blends in with the outdoors. Private treehouse-style suites feature floor-to-ceiling glass doors, spa baths to unwind in and virtually uninterrupted views of the verdant scenery. Retire to a king-size bed or sleep under the stars in alfresco hammocks or four-poster day beds, enveloped in nature, inhaling fresh forest air. After exploring North Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef or the Daintree’s lush canopies, Silky Oaks Lodge is an idyllic spot to rest a weary head.

el questro western australia outdoor bath El Questro is a lavish home among the gum trees. (Image: El Questro)

El Questro Homestead, Kimberley, WA

Set amid the burnt-orange hues of the rugged Kimberley, El Questro Homestead doesn’t compromise on creature comforts. This hidden oasis offers discerning travellers the ideal base to explore the region. Fully immersive Kimberley experiences are included in your stay, such as bird watching or soaking in thermal springs. Inside, chic cantilevered suites over the tranquil Chamberlain River will transport you to another world. A day of adventure melts into a night of relaxation with the help of fine dining paired with equally fine wines.

Bamuru plains resort northern territory Bamuru Plains is Australia's answer to an African safari. (Image: Bamuru Plains)

Bamurru Plains, NT

Set on the coastal floodplains of the Mary River in the Top End with access to more than 300sqkm of savannah, Bamurru Plains offers a very unusual sleep indeed. You'll be sharing with 18 other guests as well as native animals, including crocodiles and 100,000 magpie geese during their annual migration. The luxuries of the nine safaristyle bungalows add an element of indulgence to an otherwise down-to-earth wilderness experience, with cotton linens and access to an infinity pool overlooking the plains. With no computers, TV, Wi-Fi or mobile phone reception, Bamurru Plains is truly a tranquil, off-the-grid oasis where it's just you and the animals.

spicers sangoma nsw Spicers Sangoma is just an hour's drive from Sydney. (Image: Spicers)

Spicers Sangoma, NSW

Embraced by the serenity of the Blue Mountains, with Sydney just a glimmer in the distance, Spicers Sangoma offers unpretentious, laidback luxury. The all-inclusive eco retreat perfectly pairs comfort and style across six generously sized pavilions. Overnight stays range from tented suites (aka the very on-trend glamping option) to more refined rooms and the premium Escarpment Suites. With no expenses spared, guests can rest on cloud-topped king beds, lounge on private decks visited by native fauna or relax in open-plan living spaces, before indulging in aromatherapy treatments in the spa or tucking into locally sourced, seasonal cuisine. ‘Sangoma’ means ‘spiritual healer’ in the South African Zulu language – the perfect name for a perfect escape.

saffire freycinet dining Saffire Freycinet is a true Tasmanian treat. (Image: Saffire Freycinet)

Saffire Freycinet, Tas

Saffire Freycinet is arguably the most brilliant jewel in Freycinet National Park’s glittering crown. Seemingly suspended in its spellbinding location overlooking Great Oyster Bay and the fiery Red Hazards, this 5-star, all-inclusive stay isn’t short on ways to feed your mind, body, soul – and belly. Saffire Freycinet’s signature suites and pavilions are tailored for two. Thoughtfully outfitted in Tasmanian timber, with an all-Australian layout designed to bring the outside in, every room features stunning views of Mother Nature’s finest work, as well as the latest mod cons and access to a top-shelf minibar.

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Jess Holmes

Jess Holmes refers to herself as a walking contradiction, yearning for life's little (or large) luxuries one minute, eat-drink-treking her way through offbeat destinations another.  She's just as happy exploring the street(food)s of Oaxaca, putting her body through its paces atop Peruvian mountains, and sunning herself on Sri Lanka's secluded beaches as she is wandering through Napa Valley vineyards, indulging in NYC's best spa treatments or sipping Chianti on the Amalfi Coast.