These Australian hotel pools have an edge over the rest.
By Katrina Lobley
When it comes to fabulous swimming pools, Australia has more than its fair share. Take your pick from tropical island pools fringed with palm trees to one that's tucked into a sky-high city eyrie. There's even a pool from which you can spot a roaming buffalo or two.
Crown Metropol, Melbourne
Melbourne’s weather can be fickle but that won't matter if you're taking a dip at Crown Metropol. Australia's third biggest hotel, with 658 rooms, is at Southbank and has a 25 metre (82 foot) heated infinity pool tucked into its 27th floor. Double-height windows allow swimmers to enjoy sweeping views over the city skyline.
qualia, Hamilton Island, Whitsunday Islands
Want a choice of infinity pools? At qualia, the most luxurious of accommodation options on the Great Barrier Reef's Hamilton Island, take your pick. Tropical North Queensland's blue skies are reflected in the main pool overlooking the ocean and another one beside the dining pavilion. Guests staying in one of the 26 Windward Pavilions can enjoy their own infinity edge plunge pool overlooking neighbouring islands.
Ramada Eco Beach Resort, Broome
Ramada Eco Beach Resort, 130 kilometres (80 miles) south of the Kimberley gateway town of Broome, boasts a small but perfectly positioned infinity pool overlooking the Indian Ocean. Gaze out over calm Roebuck Bay, where whales cruise past from July to October, and order a cocktail from the bar. Contemplate what's next on the to-do list: Mud and Bubbles (an outdoor facial with a twist), yoga, kayaking or paddleboarding.
Next Hotel, Brisbane
Brisbane's Next Hotel is in the heart of the action, overlooking busy Queen Street Mall. At this high-tech concept hotel, guests can hang out in a sleep pod before or after their stay, and check in using their smartphone as a key. A rooftop 21 metre (69 foot) infinity pool has views over the mall and across to the South Bank complex.
Mindil Beach Casino & Resort, Darwin
Many people consider Mindil Beach Casino & Resort the city's top hotel. It has two aquatic options. The look-at-me lagoon pool offers swim-up access to some resort rooms and a 30-metre (99-foot) wide white sandy beach. From the infinity pool, with swimming lanes and a spa, you can gaze out through palm trees to see Mindil Beach and its famous sunsets.
Bamurru Plains, Kakadu National Park
Bamurru Plains, a luxury bush lodge near the Northern Territory's Kakadu National Park, has an infinity pool with a difference. Instead of ocean or city views, swimmers soak up the sight of the pandanus-dotted savanna woodlands and lush wetlands that attract birds and frogs, wallabies and wild pigs, and sustain the resident buffalos.
Pretty Beach House, Central Coast, Sydney Region
Pretty Beach House, a guesthouse in Bouddi National Park, a 90 minute drive north of Sydney, has an infinity pool with views through eucalypts and angophoras to the sparkling waters below. Smell the Australian bush while reading a book under the angophora that grows through the sandstone pool deck.
Orpheus Island Resort, Great Barrier Reef
Orpheus Island Resort is a luxurious retreat 30 minutes by helicopter from Townsville. It hosts no more than 14 couples at a time so there's every chance you could be the only ones enjoying its stunning 26 metre (85 foot) infinity pool. Sink into it up to your chin and admire how the lightly heated water merges into the Great Barrier Reef's many other shades of blue.
Capella Lodge, Lord Howe Island, New South Wales
There are just 22 places to stay on Lord Howe Island, a subtropical paradise 600 kilometres (372 miles) from Sydney. The most secluded is Capella Lodge. Towards the island's spectacular southern end, the lodge has an infinity pool with unobstructed views of island landmarks Mount Gower and Mount Lidgbird.
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