Australia.com does not support the internet browser you are using. Please upgrade to a more recent browser so that you can explore the destinations and experiences that await you as you plan your Australian holiday.
Anytime you need a break from your busy routines, head to some of the best places in Australia to relax and recharge.
By Ellie Schneider
Need a relaxing holiday? Stay on a private island, sprawl out on powdery white beaches and take in gorgeous scenery away from the city.
CRADLE MOUNTAIN-LAKE ST CLAIR, TASMANIA
Pumphouse Point, Lake St Clair, Tasmania
Mirror-like lakes, ancient rainforest and rugged mountains meet in Tasmania's Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, a two and a half hour drive west of Hobart. See wildflowers in late spring and summer, and spend the night at Pumphouse Point, a converted 1940s hydroelectric pump house suspended over the water. Each room has a larder stocked with local cheeses, cured meats and wines.
In the south of Tasmania a private island awaits. Take the hour and a half trip from Hobart to Bruny Island, where you'll stock up on supplies such as fresh oysters and handmade cheeses, before the five-minute ferry crossing to Satellite. It's a place of unspoiled wilderness with clifftop walks and pebble beaches. The accommodation includes the three-bedroom Summer House, on the northern tip of the island, and the two-bedroom Boathouse.
Australia's largest concentration of mineral springs can be found in Daylesford, an 80-minute drive north-west of Melbourne. Start your day at Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa, where you can recline on underwater couches and be pampered with a signature massage therapy. Dine at Sault Restaurant, a 125-acre estate overlooking beautiful lavender hills, then stroll through the town to Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens. Stay at the Lake House overlooking Daylesford Lake.
Jervis Bay National Park, Jervis Bay, New South Wales
Three hours south of Sydney, in the seaside village of Hyams Beach, the turquoise waters are some of Australia's most beautiful. Rent a bicycle to explore the township of Huskisson or follow one of the walking trails through the Booderee National Park. Spend the night ‘glamping’ in safari-style tents at Paperbark Camp.
The coastal town of Byron Bay, a two-hour drive south of Brisbane, is home to Wategos Beach. Stay at Rae's, a boutique hotel with just seven suites. On site you'll find a secluded swimming pool, day spa and surfboards available to guests. Take the seaside walk up to the lighthouse and have dinner at Fleet in nearby Brunswick Heads.
A 25-minute ferry ride from Fremantle lies Rottnest Island. Cars are banned, so rent a bicycle to explore the beaches and bays. Other activities include snorkelling and getting up close with the island's resident quokkas (small marsupials). There is plenty of accommodation, ranging from heritage-listed cottages to the luxurious Karma Rottnest Lodge.
Discover Australia's Top End at Wildman Wilderness Lodge. A two-hour drive from Darwin, the lodge is nestled on the Mary River wetlands, just 50 kilometres (31 miles) from the boundary of World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park. From the Habitat cabins and luxury safari-style tents, guests look out on different forms of wildlife including wallabies and crocodiles.
Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Kangaroo Island sits 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) off mainland South Australia and can be reached on a 30-minute flight from Adelaide or on a ferry from Cape Jervis. It's a place of unspoiled wilderness, with limestone cliffs, untouched stretches of sand and an abundance of wildlife, including Australian sea lions and kangaroos. Perched on the cliffs is the exquisite Southern Ocean Lodge, where 21 glass-fronted suites command uninterrupted views across the bay.
This relaxing seaside village in Far North Queensland is a mere 30-minute drive north of Cairns. Palm Cove boasts palm-fringed beaches, lush golf courses and a vibrant dining scene. The Alamanda Palm Cove by Lancemore offers Instagram-worthy beachfront accommodation with three swimming pools, a day spa and the multi-award-winning Nu Nu Restaurant.
Commune with native wildlife and majestic scenery on Kangaroo Island, easily accessible from Adelaide. Meet Australian sea lions on the beach, kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, penguins, echidnas and diverse birds. Discover rugged rock formations, underground caves, bush-cloaked national parks, and beaches and bays to swim, snorkel, dive and fish. Drive here on the South Australian Loop or add the Eyre Peninsula to your coastal journey.
We have boutique hotels and backpackers, luxury resorts and self-serviced apartments, rustic country pubs and camping. You can expect friendly service and the best standards in whichever budget range you choose.
With many world-class wineries and award-winning restaurants, Margaret River is one of Western Australia's most famous food and wine regions. Tour the cellar doors and taste local brews at the boutique breweries. Here you can eat fresh crayfish straight from the ocean or dine on the local organic beef and truffles. Visit the farmer's markets and try the artisan cheeses. Indulge in local handmade chocolates and delicious fudge. When you've finished your culinary journey, take time to explore Western Australia's Great South West. In a few hours you can go from wineries to stunning beaches with world-class surf breaks, snorkelling and diving or walk amongst ancient forests and caves.
Explore the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, which stretches for more than 2,000 kilometres along the Queensland coastline. Snorkel, scuba dive or take a scenic flight over the reef. Sail the palm-topped Whitsundays, trek the ancient Daintree Rainforest or relax on luxurious tropical islands such as Hayman and Lizard. Island-hop or stay in one of the many coastal getaways like Cairns, Hervey Bay, Missions Beach or Port Douglas.