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Written by
Rachel O'Leary

Published on: December 2nd, 2019

Last modified: July 28th, 2023

Australia's collection of luxury lodges is just as wide and varied as the continent itself. But according to our travel designers, some are better than others. From incredible wildlife to unique and unforgettable experiences, these are our experts' ultimate favourite places to stay when visiting the land down under.

1) Lizard Island

Experience barefoot luxury at Lizard Island. 40 luxury villas located mere steps from the beach, along with a glorious restaurant led by executive chef Mark Jensen. There’s a wide range of activities and experiences to keep you busy, but we would not blame you if you choose to master the art of doing nothing at all while enveloped by fringing reefs and a turquoise lagoon.

Bu there’s a lot more to this luxury lodge of Australia than its breathtaking beauty and unrivalled proximity to one of the world’s greatest natural wonders.

Owned and operated by the Australian Museum, the Lizard Island Marine Research Station attracts coral reef researchers from all over the world. Facilities include laboratories with equipment for processing samples before they’re transported to the mainland or overseas. There’s also a flexible seawater aquarium system, where controlled experiments with living reef organisms are conducted. The station is open to visitors interested in learning about the work done there, and a variety of citizen science activities are set to be launched soon. 

2) Longitude 131°

With Uluru as its backdrop, Longitude 131° allows visitors to experience the magic of Australia’s spiritual heartland. Fifteen luxury tents are nestled amongst the rust-red dunes, offering a true sense of stillness. Each tent is beautifully furnished and features floor-to-ceiling windows, from which guests can gaze out across the ochre landscape. Whilst taking in the beautiful surroundings, guests can enjoy a sundowner at the Dune House’s convivial bar or dine under an incredible canopy of stars at Table 131°.

Once you’ve soaked in the sunset views, enjoy a respite from the heat at Ayers Rock Resort’s Red Ochre Spa. If you’d rather get under the skin of the surrounding lands, there’s a plethora of excursions available. Guests can learn about Uluru’s sacred history, explore the incredible Field of Light installation or explore the area’s many gorges. 

3) Bamurru Plains

Remote and wild, Bamurru Plains is the answer to anyone looking to immerse in Australia’s extraordinary bush experience. It is located on the edge of Kakadu National Park. More than just a luxury lodge, the stay gives you exclusive access to incredible wildlife. A combination of floodplains and savanna woodland means the area is home to a profusion of birdlife and other unique species. Almost like Australia’s answer to Botswana’s Okavango Delta.

The best thing to do when in the region is to go on the lookout for some of Australia’s most stunning scenery and discover its wilderness.  Alongside their top-tier guides, you’re invited to board the airboat or sign up for the open top safari drive. There are walks, quad bikes and more activities to see the best of the area. The private concession welcomes about 20 guests at a time so privacy is ensured.

4) Saffire Freycinet

Tucked away on Tasmania’s undisturbed shores, Saffire Freycinet is a coastal sanctuary with unforgettable views. This remote paradise reflects the surrounding colours, waves, sea creatures and sand dunes, so it’s a real design gem. Its unique stingray-shaped design allows it to blend into the surrounding environment while creating an ultra-luxe modern getaway. The premium suites are truly impressive, complete with spacious living areas, a private chef and private courtyard plunge pools.

With an emphasis on supporting the local environment, Saffire Freycinet is also involved in various worthwhile conservation projects. Through partnering with Save the Tasmanian Devil, this remote luxury lodge provides mature devils with a safe free-range enclosure in which they are protected from disease. As a result, guests staying at the property have an incredible opportunity to witness the Tasmanian devil in a natural habitat. Aside from this inspiring wildlife experience, the lodge offers excursions to an oyster farm, vineyard tours and nature walks. 

5) Arkaba

The perfect place for the eco-conscious traveller, Arkaba is an exclusive outback retreat set amongst 60,000 acres of private wildlife conservancy. Shared with only nine other guests, it’s the perfect place to go off-grid. There’s limited to no phone access, so it’s great for any travellers looking for a digital detox.

With uninhibited access to some of the country’s most spectacular wildlife – from wandering wallabies to ancient landscapes, this outback wilderness is perfect for animal lovers. Staying at this hidden paradise is the perfect way to make a positive impact through travel – guests are able to help out with many conservation projects, enjoy open top safaris through the surrounding nature or even take a scenic flight. 


6) Sal Salis

For keen divers, Sal Salis is a must visit. An eco-luxe camping lodge based at the edge of one of the world’s greatest fringing coral reefs, Sal Salis is the perfect base for underwater exploration. The opportunities to get up close to marine life are second to none, and you may even be lucky enough to spot elusive Humpback Whales. 

An eco-tourism development that’s dedicated to protecting its incredible surroundings, Sal Salis is a truly worthwhile lodge. Designed to have a minimal impact on its environment, 100% of the lodge’s power is generated through solar panels and guests are designated 20 litres of water per person daily for washing. Similarly to Arkaba, there’s no WiFi or internet connection here, and with such a special environment on your doorstep, guests are sure to love being disconnected from it all. 

7) Silky Oaks

A treetop refuge in one of the world’s oldest rainforests, Silky Oaks is one of Australia’s most stunning riverside lodges. In the heart of tropical North Queensland, this eco-retreat invites guests to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The tree houses and suites here blend organic wooden furnishings with contemporary design, offering anyone who stays here the opportunity to get back in touch with nature amongst the Daintree forest setting.

With such a diverse landscape right on the lodge’s doorstep, there’s plenty of opportunity for exploration. Guest can wander through the forest on hiking trails, go downstream in a canoe or take out a bicycle to venture further afield. If you’re after a more relaxing break, get zen with morning yoga or soak up the tranquil environment from the comfort of the Healing Waters Spa.