Australia's most luxurious hotels offer cosy comfort and dramatic winter scenery for your next winter escape.
By Sarah Ireland
Australia is well-known for it's endless summer days, stretches of white sand and clear blue oceans, but we're not just a summer holiday destination. Australia watches the seasons turn, and as the cool, crisp winter night settle in, we offer up some amazing winter holiday options.
Luxury hotels and resorts around Australia offer incredible winter experiences. Nestled in the peacfeul bushland of the Blue Mountains, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley will have you sipping hot tea by the crackling log fire, while Kangaroo Island’s Southern Ocean Lodge sits perched atop a clifftop where you can watch the moody ocean roll in while curled up with a book. All you have to do is choose between escaping to the country or the ocean for the winter.
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, New South Wales
Just under three hours from Sydney and tucked away between two National Parks, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is a quintessentially Australian cosy weekend escape. Individual luxury villas feature log fires, separate bedroom and lounge areas and views over the private conservation land in every direction. In the main lodge you’ll find a crackling log fire in the lounge, a seasonally inspired menu in the restaurant, impeccable service and homely ambience. Spend your days exploring Wolgan Valley’s 7000 acres of Australian bush framed by the dramatic scenery of the Greater Blue Mountains. Activities include 4x4 safaris, night wildlife spotting, horse riding, mountain biking, bush walking, birdwatching, heritage and aboriginal interpretation tours, before returning to unwind in the warmth of the homestead or your private villa.
Spicers Peak Lodge, Queensland
A two hour drive, or 30 minute helicopter ride from Brisbane, in Queensland’s high country, Spicers Peak Lodge has mastered the art of understated luxury. This is an exclusive, intimate Australian wilderness lodge, surrounded by natural beauty from rainforest to mountain escarpments against a striking backdrop of World Heritage-listed national park and ancient volcanic regions. Rug up by day to spot native wildlife among the surrounding wilderness, explore the Granite Belt wine region or choose a self-guided hike. When the sun goes down, settle in to enjoy first-class service and fine dining in the lodge or dine in front of a roaring fire in the sanctuary of your private suite.
Southern Ocean Lodge, South Australia
Located above Hanson Bay on Kangaroo Island’s south west coast, Southern Ocean Lodge occupies a clifftop location adjoining both the Flinders Chase and Cape Bouguer / Kelly Hill National Parks. The Great Room is the lodge’s welcoming hub featuring snug lounges surrounding a central fireplace taking in panoramic views across the Southern Ocean. Curl up with a book, relax with a treatment at the fabulous Southern Spa. Or, if you can tear yourself away from the mesmerizing views over the Southern Ocean, a range of signature activities offered daily allows guests to encounter local wildlife, hike sections of the KI Wilderness Trail, explore the labyrinth of nearby Kelly Hill Caves or discover the famous food and wine delights or local arts of Kangaroo Island.
Cape Lodge, Western Australia
When it comes to rugged coastal walks, comfort food and roaring log fires, Cape Lodge has it all, including the the benefits of a location within one of Australia’s most renowned wine regions. Imagine a day hiking Margaret River’s famous Cape to Cape track, sampling local produce and tasting some of the world’s best regarded wines before returning to your stylish country retreat where the flicker of candlelight beckons from the onsite - described as one of Australia’s finest gourmet establishments, a must-dine for lovers of fresh regional produce and innovative food.
Saffire Freycinet, Tasmania
Saffire Freycinet on Tasmania’s East Coast ticks all the boxes when it comes to cosy luxury weekending. Positioned with uninterrupted views of the Hazards Mountains, Freycinet Peninsula and the clear waters of Great Oyster Bay, Saffire is the stylish sanctuary from which to watch the changing light over Tasmania’s iconic scenery and pristine waters. If exploration is high on your agenda, included in all Saffire accommodation bookings is a broad range of activities including wildlife spotting, guided hikes, mountain biking as well as private tours of the nearby Freycinet Marine Farm to taste oysters fresh from the sea. Alternatively relax and enjoy Saffire’s intuitive service, paddock to plate food, and the superb comfort of your suite while the floor to ceiling windows ensure you still take advantage of the great outdoors.
Lake House, Victoria
The warmest of welcomes and cosiest of atmospheres envelopes visitors to Lake House, a tranquil country retreat situated in six acres of lakefront gardens in the heart of the spa town of Daylesford, just over an hour from Melbourne. Known for its culinary excellence (the iconic restaurant draws appreciative foodies from Australia and around the world), exceptional spa and beautifully designed suites, this is a retreat where relaxation is easy to achieve, although the adventurous foodie can grab a ‘Tasty Little Touring Map’ from the front desk and tour local villages visiting farm gates, markets, cellar doors or have Lake House design a bespoke expedition.
Abode Murrumbateman, New South Wales
Abode Murrumbateman, located right in the heart of the Canberra district wine region, offers guests a perfect spot to recharge for the evening. With 50 stylishly appointed studio rooms, large flexible foyer spaces, communal kitchen facilities and a guest lounge, this cosy hotel feels like a home away from home. Hire one of the hotel’s bicycles to explore the area at leisure, or book the Bike and Vine package for extra special treatment. The hotel’s excellent itinerary ideas will help guide an unforgettable adventure.
Mitchelton Hotel, Victoria
Situated near Nagambie, just a 90 minute drive from Melbourne, the boutique Mitchelton Hotel and Spa is a new addition to the family-owned Mitchelton Winery Estate. Featuring expansive views of the surrounds and a 20 metre infinity pool set upon the banks of the Goulburn River, the hotel is designed to bare a relationship with its countryside setting.
For guests looking to immmerse themselves in nature, there are plenty of opportunities to do so with strolls around the property or a ride on the Goulburn Explorer River Cruiser. Sun worshippers will feel at home on the pool-side terrace with the infinity pool providing the perfect place to cool off.
Jackalope Hotel, Victoria
Jackalope, a new boutique hotel by Willow Creek Vineyard in the Mornington Peninsula, is considered an escape from reality as it 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.
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