Saffire Freycinet, TAS © Saffire Freycinet
Ultimate Australian luxury holiday ideas
See Australia in serious style with these uniquely luxurious itineraries.
By Natasha Dragun
Connecting to the wilderness in opulent surroundings, to hopping aboard seaplanes and helicopters, and enjoying fine dining in spectacular locations, you’ll find countless ways to see Australia in style on these luxury travel itineraries.
12 days of nature in New South Wales
The beachside Sydney suburb of Manly is your first stop on this nature-based journey around New South Wales. Stay at Q Station, a former quarantine site overlooking Sydney Harbour. Explore the harbour by kayak before dining by the water. From Q Station, cruise to a seaplane terminal to fly south and stay at The Cove Jervis Bay resort, before glamping in Kangaroo Valley. Next is the Southern Highlands wine region and the stylish cottages of Bendooley Estate. An easy two-hour drive will take you amid the Blue Mountains to the indulgent Spicers Sangoma Retreat, with its gourmet excursions, luxe furnishings and picturesque surrounds.
A 14-day meet-the-maker tour of Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales
Touch down in Hobart, Tasmania’s capital, and check- in to the design-driven Islington hotel. More inspiring creativity awaits at the iconic Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), and at the studios of painters and potters. Indulge at The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery and surrounding vineyards before venturing to Saffire Freycinet for expeditions around Wineglass Bay. Hop on a seaplane then a regular flight to Melbourne, where you’ll sleep among the thoughtful design touches at the Lyall. Following an exclusive lunch at Coombe, take to the wheel and explore the natural icons›› along Great Ocean Road and Grampians, stopping off to rest your head at Anchors Port Campbell and the Royal Mail Hotel. Fly further north to Sydney, where Pretty Beach House awaits, just up the coast, offering days of sailing, visiting a pearl farm and hiking.
14 days of east coast cool in Hobart, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane
Start in Hobart in Tasmania, touring the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) and sampling seafood plucked fresh from the water on a Seafood Seduction cruise, before staying at the waterside Macq01 Hotel. Then fly to the mainland and stay at Melbourne’s boutique United Places, overlooking the Royal Botanic Gardens and within easy reach of wine bars, jazz clubs and fine restaurants. Fly above Victoria’s Great Ocean Road by helicopter, then head further north to Brisbane, where The Calile Hotel awaits. Another helicopter tour takes in the city’s best pubs, before you return to Sydney to climb the Harbour Bridge and check in to Spicers Potts Point. Your final outing is on a seaplane to the floating retreat of Lilypad Palm Beach.
17 days of conservation and wildlife in Tasmania, New South Wales and Queensland
From your base in Tasmania’s capital, Hobart, explore the magnificent rainforest and waterfalls of Mount Field National Park, before heading to the Stewarts Bay Lodge for a front-row seat to the natural drama of the Tasman Peninsula. Then it’s on to Saffire Freycinet, perfectly positioned to capture the beauty of Freycinet National Park. You’ll get an exclusive view of Maria Island from the air on a scenic flight to Hobart. Before heading on to Sydney, via helicopter transfer to the luxury-meet-wilderness Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in the Blue Mountains. It’s hard to say goodbye to horse-riding and champagne picnics, but more opulence awaits outside Cairns, in Queensland, at the Daintree Ecolodge, with UNESCO World Heritage-listed rainforest tours, luxe spa treatments and snorkelling on the agenda. Your final stop is Lizard Island, a barefoot-luxe retreat showcasing the natural wonder of the Great Barrier Reef.
12 days of adventure in the Northern Territory
Your adrenaline-fuelled activities in Australia’s Top End include a floatplane adventure around Darwin, landing you on a rainforest-surrounded lagoon, which you’ll explore via airboat. Then catch a helicopter to remote fishing holes, and a thirst-quenching helicopter pub crawl to drink a pint with the unique and quirky locals. Your four-wheel-drive expedition through World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land takes in gorges, creeks, waterfalls and floodplains. You’ll understand more about this spiritual landscape when you visit Aboriginal communities, before bedding down at Anbinik Kakadu Resort and Cobourg Coastal Camp. Your final stop is Bullo River Station, a 200,000-hectare (500,000-acre) working cattle station offering hiking, fishing, river cruises and helicopter jaunts.
11 days of luxury lodges in Tasmania, South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory
Near Tasmania’s Wineglass Bay, Saffire Freycinet is an opulent start to your holiday. Visit oyster farms, study local Aboriginal culture and hike through national parkland before journeying to your stay at Hobart’s waterside Macq01 Hotel.Tour the jaw-dropping Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), with a glass of wine or two from on-site Moorilla Estate, then fly north to Cairns, in Queensland. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef from your private five-star luxury Lizard Island base, while preparing yourself for natural drama at Uluru, where glamping retreat Longitude 131° is the ideal perch from which to explore and embrace Australia’s spiritual heart. Your journey ends in South Australia at The Louise, an award-winning lodge and restaurant amid the Barossa Valley’s wineries.
12 days of Aboriginal art and culture
In the country’s capital of Canberra, the National Gallery of Australia hosts a remarkable collection of Aboriginal art. You’ll unveil its charms on an after-hours Feast of Icons tour through the space. From here, journey west to Uluru in the Northern Territory, where luxe Longitude 131° offers dinner under the stars and guided tours of the world’s most famous monolith. Sunset detours take you to the hypnotic Field of Light installation, while daytime excursions allow you to see Aboriginal rock art and meet artists at the Ernabella Arts community (arriving in style via helicopter). Explore the gorges of Uluru before flying north to Darwin, where you’ll chopper out to the Tiwi Islands to meet the traditional land owners while jumping in to learn hands on about this unique Indigenous culture and its art. From here, safari through Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land where you’ll have the unique privilege of, visiting sacred Aboriginal sites and staying at Bamurru Plains, overlooking floodplains near Kakadu.
13 days of Australian history through Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales
Starting in the west, fly from Perth, to Dirk Hartog Island Eco Lodge, off the coast of Western Australia. This island was one of earliest landing spots for Europeans on Australian soil, and is close to Hamelin Pool, which you’ll visit by helicopter, to discover “living fossils” known as stromatolites. Next, your charter flight takes you to the West Australian outback town of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, where you’ll join Aboriginal guides hunting honey ants, before another flight takes you to South Australia’s Arkaba conservancy. Set on 24,000 hectares (60,000 acres) amid the Flinders Ranges, this outback retreat is your access point to Mungo National Park, home to ‘Mungo Man’ –, Australia’s oldest human remains. Your final stop is in the foothills of the Blue Mountains just outside Sydney, where Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley beckons with extravagant wilderness tours and champagne picnics
13 days of family fun in Queensland
Strap yourself in – the next 13 days are a wild ride! From Cairns in North Queensland you’ll head out to Kinrara Expeditions, where your days are packed with family-friendly adventure activities: think guided hikes, fishing, and drives through the rainforest. Enjoy downtime at the oh-so-luxurious Daintree Ecolodge before your transfer to the rugged mountains of Barron River Gorge, ideal for a spot of family bonding while white-water rafting. Next, it’s off to the remote paradise of Haggerstone Island. This 42-hectare (103-acre) retreat is on one of the most isolates islands on the Great Barrier Reef. When you touch down you and the family will hike to witness and explore rarely seen far-flung waterfalls, snorkel the World Heritage-listed waters, forage for oysters and mud crabs, and fish for the day’s dinner. Memories that only a handful of families will ever create.