couple having picnic on secluded beach on lizard island qld

6 Luxury Aussie Retreats To Take You Totally Off the Grid

17 May 2017

It’s a rarity these days to be able to truly switch off and disconnect, particularly on holiday. There are a handful of luxury gems in some of the most spectacular parts of Australia, from a pristine bay in Tasmania to an oasis in the burnt red gorges of the Kimberley, where switching off is simply the only way. Whether you’re looking for a remote tropical island on the Great Barrier Reef or a wildlife haven in the heart of the Top End, here are six luxury resorts where you’ll forget your phone and emails even exist, whether there’s signal or not.

El questro resort kimberley El Questro's homestead and private lodges are perched on the rocky cliffs above the pristine Chamberlain River. (Image: El Questro)

El Questro, Kimberley, Western Australia

A lush oasis amongst the ancient, rugged landscape of the Kimberley, El Questro is truly in the middle of the wild, miles away from anywhere. With just nine suites, each private lodge offers modern yet cosy comfort, with bedrooms cantilevered over the tranquil Chamberlain River. The El Questro experience includes everything from gourmet meals with fine beverages to river cruising, access to self-drive private boats, history and nature tours, exclusive use of the Zebedee Thermal Springs and breathtaking sunset experiences. A stay at El Questro is not just off the grid, but a true out of this world luxury wilderness experience.

Saffire Freycinet, Coles Bay, Tasmania

At Saffire Freycinet, guests become completely immersed in the experience, where luxury and serenity are standard, and everything seems to have a local connection. This is a resort truly in sync with the local community, with fresh seafood pulled right from the bay, wine from vineyards in the next valley over and produce from farms just down the road. At the base of Freycinet National Park, home to the breathtaking Wineglass Bay, this resort is completely engulfed by the views. Experiences include helicopter tours over the spectacular national park, wine and dine adventures, canoeing and bird-watching, an immersive experience at the Freycinet Marine Oyster Farm or an adventurous quad bike experience, just to name a few. At the end of the day, retire to modern luxury, with nothing but the view to distract you.

couple stand up paddle boarding over clear waters on lizard island beach qld Lizard Island offers no less than 24 secluded beaches, so there is always somewhere private to explore. (Image: Lizard Island Resort)

Lizard Island Resort, Lizard Island, Queensland

The northernmost resort on the Great Barrier Reef, this is one of the most secluded luxury resorts in Australia, even the world.  An hour’s flight from Cairns will land you on the island with some 24 private beaches and just 40 suites and villas, so you rarely have to share it with anyone. Enjoy all-inclusive luxury in the pristine resort, explore the reef with diving excursions, feast on gourmet meals by chef Mark Jensen in the restaurant, or pack a hamper and head to a private beach for a romantic picnic. Guests are all provided snorkelling gear for the duration of the visit, clear-view sea kayaks and stand-up paddle boards, so all that’s left to do is explore.

Rawnsley Park Station, Wilpena Pound, South Australia

In the heart of the Flinders Ranges, overlooking the southern side of spectacular Wilpena Pound, the station provides eco luxury surrounded by immense wilderness. Fully self-contained eco-villas are designed to make the most of the sweeping landscape views, while the Rawnsley Homestead offers accommodation for two couples or a family wanting an indulgent outback experience miles away from anywhere. Take advantage of a host of unique experiences, including helicopter flights over the Flinders Ranges, 4WD tours and guided nature walks.

wildman wilderness lodge eco lodges nt The Wildman Wilderness Lodge is built using recycled buildings from a former sheep station as well as local, sustainable materials. (Image: Wildman Wilderness Lodge)

Wildman Wilderness Lodge, Kakadu, Northern Territory

On the fringe of Kakadu National Park, in the heart of the Mary River Wetlands, this lodge offers travellers a unique opportunity to explore untouched wilderness while staying in luxury accommodation. Wake up to the sounds of birdlife in a stylish safari tent or your own private luxury lodge, all fitted with premium quality furnishings, king size beds and ensuite bathrooms. The lodge, which served as Wrotham Park Station in Central Far North Queensland before being dismantled and moved to Mary River, has been completely recycled, providing the ultimate luxury eco lodge. Open between April and November each year, Wildman Wilderness Lodge offers guests a distinctive 4.5 star experience, including wildlife cruises on Mary River as well as aerial and land tours of Kakadu. Delicious gourmet meals are prepared fresh, with attentive, friendly service, so all that’s left to do is kick back on the deck and take it all in at the end of each day.

Feature image: Lizard Island Resort

Vicki Fletcher

A writer and photographer for Flight Centre, Vicki loves road trips down unknown tracks, hiking into mountain ranges, following locals to the best food in town, and spending long afternoons people watching in city squares. She's written for publications across Australia and Europe. Top travel tip: always look up. Follow Vicki on Instagram @vickijanefletcher.

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