Guest article by Katherine Kent
It’s easy to think of Australia in terms of wide open spaces, the challenge of exploring the outback, or surfing with the cool crowds on sun-kissed golden beaches. What is not so readily appreciated, is what an amazing country this is for exotic and luxurious holidays! It has just as much to offer as rival destinations such as Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Thailand, in terms of opulence and utter peace for your luxury vacation.
Australia has a plethora of five-star resorts, and gloriously unspoiled destinations to choose from. You could find yourself on a balcony with views of mountains, the Great Barrier reef, tropical rainforests, indigenous wildlife, or turquoise expanses of sun-dappled water.
Let’s take a journey to five of the best places to feel like a VIP on your holiday to Australia.
Queensland’s Gold Coast
Some of the most stylish and luxurious hotels in Australia are to be found a short distance from Brisbane, on the appropriately named Gold Coast.
Here you will find accommodations dripping with artworks and stunning architecture when you emerge from perfect pools or wander in from pristine beaches.
This is the place to go for pampering and superb facilities, but also a wealth of activities on your doorstep. The luxury hotels put you “just close enough” to Australian theme parks (such as Wet ‘n’ Wild and Sea World), and right next to the Gold Coast’s fabled 35 miles of beaches, and fascinating inland canals and waterways.
Though the title of this destination doesn’t sound deluxe, Lizard Island is the epitome of natural splendor supported by superb accommodations and top cuisine.
This includes excellent hotels to relax in comfort after you’ve explored the local wilderness. Lizard Island is right on the legendary Great Barrier Reef and gives you the perfect vantage point for another World Heritage Listed-Site, the Daintree Rainforest.
A one-hour flight from Cairns brings the lucky few to this private island for the vacation of a lifetime. The Australian tourism body has a great guide to Lizard Island.
Forget Tasmanian devils and think pure heaven instead.
A vacation beneath the stunning pinky-orange Hazard Mountains of Tasmania puts you in a new world, where white sand stretches as far as the eye can see. You could go for hours without seeing another human, in this remote coastal sanctuary. However, discrete hotel staff are always waiting to cater for your every whim in glorious five-star accommodation.
Tasmania is a one-hour flight from Melbourne or less than two hours from Sydney, followed by a two-hour drive.
To add adventure to your luxury holiday on this isolated and beautiful island, you could hire a car and drive through stunning scenery, arriving via The Spirit of Tasmania ferry. You may want to add additional vehicle excess if you opt to find your deluxe retreat by self-drive.
For a luxury vacation with a difference, you should “jump” at the chance to explore this extraordinary destination. Kangaroo Island is southwest of Adelaide, and largely given over to nature reserves which protect koalas, sea lions and a host of exotic birds. Accommodations here are generally stunning lodges, providing first-class facilities but also high levels of privacy. You can immerse yourself in this incredible landscape.
The panoramic views across the great Southern Ocean will beguile you, and balconies and terraces put you right amidst seemingly-endless coastal wilderness and abundant wildlife. After days spent exploring ‘Australia’s Galapagos’ with a guide, you can make the most of the spas and lavish hot tubs, before dining on delicious local produce.
This website has a great overview of Kangaroo Island including details of how to get there.
Rising high above sea level are Australia’s ancient and magnificent Blue Mountains. Here you will find a fabulous choice of excellent luxury hotels ranging from charming and intimate boutique style lodges to sumptuous resorts that meet every conceivable vacation wish.
They are the perfect bases to explore this dramatic and unforgettable location, west of Sydney in New South Wales.
As you drink in fresh mountain air, expect to see eucalyptus forests, gushing waterfalls and a smattering of fascinating mountain villages. So you can truly unwind and be pampered, or enjoy “bushwalker” adventures.
Katherine Kent is a part-time receptionist, full-time mother, and a lover of all things travel. She has a particular soft spot for the other side of the world – Australia included.