Picnic Island, Freycinet, Coles Bay, Tasmania
A wrap-up of the hottest new accommodation in Australia.
By Jessica Wilkinson
Published: May 5, 2017
Boutique hotels, luxury lodges, 5-star rooms and quirky stays – Australia’s dance card isn’t just full of the steadfast hotel offerings. We have a spate of interesting and unique accommodation options opening every month, each with their own story to tell and unique experience to offer. Here, we wrap up the best of what has opened in Australia over the last few months, from sleeping with the penguins to taking an astrology-themed overnighter with your dog.
Picnic Island, Tasmania
10 years ago, Clem Newton-Brown bought Picnic Island – a little sandstone island off the coast of Coles Bay on the Freycinet Peninsula in Tasmania. Dotted with Penguin burrows and punctuated by high limestone cliffs, Clem initially used the secluded location as a camping holiday spot with his family. Now, after seven years in the making, Clem has added accommodation to his little piece of the Tasmanian coast – making it the only place in the world where you can sleep within a penguin colony on an island. The architecturally designed accommodation sleeps 10, with four individual cabins and communal dining area and lounge room. The island is a couple of acres in size with about 1000 penguin burrows on it. Watching as the penguins return to their burrows at dusk is one of the great attractions of staying overnight on the island.
Tribe Hotel, Perth
Taking the old-school ideas of hotels and turning them on its head, Tribe hotel is for the modern traveller. What is it that we care about? A bell hop? A concierge? Not so much. Free wifi and a comfy bed? Yes please. Born from the idea that good hotels are too expensive and plagued by out-dated services and hidden extras, the fine people at Tribe created an accessible luxury alternative: contemporary, design-driven accommodation in progressive, central locations that won’t leave your wallet bare.
In April Willow Creek Vineyard in the Mornington Peninsula opened a new boutique hotel called Jackalope. An escape from reality by its own admission, the luxury hotel is framed by vineyard acreage and walks the line between the ideal and the surreal. Emily Floyd created a seven-metre tall statue of a jackalope that welcomes guests to the property (in case you’re wondering what a jackalope is, it’s a giant horned jackrabbit of North American legend), and the 46 lavishly appointed rooms offer nothing but luxury.
Thousand Lakes Lodge, Tasmania
Bordered by Walls of Jerusalem National Park, sitting in the heart of the Western Lakes region, an old Antarctic training camp has been transformed into a premium boutique lodge. Located a two hour drive north of Hobart and 90 minutes south of Launceston, Thousand Lakes Lodge offers the perfect city escape with trout fishing, walking trails through the highlands and wildlife-spotting (including the Tasmanian devil). The lodge offers nine luxury rooms with private bathrooms and a communal dining and lounge room.
The Ultimo, Sydney
Sydney has become home to the world’s first astrology hotel. An entire hotel dedicated to celestial study, The Ultimo, which opened in February, has rooms ranging from single to family - some with pet-friendly courtyards (BYO dog). The hotel curates guest itineraries that are informed by individual star signs and designed to transcend the everyday.
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