Australia's Must-See Natural Wonders
Posted by Casey Warrener on Friday, October 13, 2017
If you’re an adventurous spirit who appreciates the various incarnations of nature, consider this your Aussie bucket list. This wide, tanned land is home to a wealth of World Heritage sites, many of which exist in corners of the country that most won’t visit in their lifetimes. So, when you do, the experience is only more memorable and special, particularly when not joined by hoards of other travellers.
With some of these destinations being so remote, half the fun is in getting there. Whether by boat, private plane, bumping along in a 4WD, direct, on the scenic route, or tackling tough terrain. From underwater gardens to ancient rainforests, Australia contains some of the most interesting wilderness on earth. Make a point of exploring your own incredible backyard. We promise you won’t regret it.
The Kimberley is one of the last truly wild places on earth, and perched along its coast you’ll find Berkley River Lodge. In an otherwise uninhabited area and completely surrounded by nature, the only way to reach this all-inclusive retreat is via air transfer. And when you land, the luxury villas wait – with stunning views, AC to beat the heat, Wi-Fi to share your unbelievable snaps (#nofilter), and Nespresso machines to kick-start days after sleeping late in a plush king-sized bed. There’s a lap pool and restaurant overlooking the beach, and once you’re settled in you’ll be eager to get into the activities; with hikes, cruises, helicopter tours, wilderness picnics and more, all designed for you to experience the region’s raw beauty in style.
People travel across the world to experience the Daintree, but they’re unlikely to find a rest right alongside it. Unless they know about Silky Oaks Lodge. Lucky for you, we’re bringing you in on this secluded eco beauty. Situated right near Mossman Gorge, this tropical retreat’s stunning location is unparalleled. Surrounded by lush greenery and fronted by a deserted beach, we doubt it gets any more relaxed than this. Except if capped off with some chill-out time on your suite's double hammock.
Boonooloo Beach House is an architect-designed hideaway in Tropical North Queensland that makes the most of the incredible setting. 'Boonooloo' means surrounded by water, and the name doesn’t lie; right on the ocean’s edge with unbroken views to Port Douglas, you can move from the infinity pool to the sand to the waves, and then dry off in a palm-shaded hammock on the foreshore. And when it’s time to rest, the rooms in this wood-clad haven feature tall glass panels framing the beachfront. The clincher? Being a cool 10-minute trip from the Daintree National Park, you can enjoy both relaxing swims and rainforest trails.
If you want something special close by the Great Barrier Reef, East Bedarra Island Retreat more than fits the bill. Just paces from the water's edge, Bedarra Island boasts some of Australia's most beautiful beaches. Here, you’ll spend luxuriant days lounging in the warm waters of the Coral Sea. Kayak on the calm ocean, snorkel in the underwater gardens, and loll about in deserted coves. Satisfy your appetite with fresh seafood, and devour a good book while soaking in stunning pool overlooking the ocean. At this ultra serene retreat, get ready to slow it down and go with the tide.
One of the Great Barrier Reef’s most idyllic spots, Fitzroy Island is largely national park, with walking trails, rewarding lookouts, and plenty of quiet coves to cool-off after treks. Jump on the Fitzroy Fast Cat in Cairns, and a refreshing 45-minutes later you’ll arrive at Fitzroy Island Resort. There’s a range of accommodation types to choose from; including cabins with water views and direct access to the pristine sand. The hotel’s breathtaking oceanfront pool and spa comes complete with a swim-up bar. Nothing spells ‘ultimate tropical getaway’ like having a cocktail delivered to you in a pool that overlooks the beach. For reef tours, head to the Dive Centre.
Alice Springs is a destination for the keen adventurer. And Vatu Sanctuary is the ideal base; perfect for those who want seclusion, downtime, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. An ever-changing gallery curated by a renowned Indigenous art dealer and her artist husband, the wall hangings and murals around the site add another unique element to your haven. Bold colours inside and out are in harmony with the landscape, and at night the tropical gardens are alight with candles, lamps and the stars. With passionate and knowledgeable hosts, you'll be led to experience the best of the area’s culture and bush foods (alongside the must-see Uluru).
For a sleek, chic retreat in the centre of the mist-shrouded Blue Mountains, look no further than these spacious apartments. Surrounded by towering pines and walkways to the beauteous landscape beyond, Falls Mountain Retreat is a truly sublime stay. In between exploring the trails just metres away – leading you through towering greenery to crashing waterfalls and breathtaking lookouts – you’ll soak tired legs in bubbling spas, curl up by crackling fires with glasses of wine, and enjoy the leafy view from a perch on the balcony or kicking back on your sumptuous bed. It doesn’t get much more blissful than this Blue Mountains away.
Located at the edge of the Blue Mountains range, Spicers Sangoma Retreat combines luxury with an eco-certified thoughtful design, blending the surrounding landscape into the beautiful architecture. This all-inclusive retreat is the perfect escape from city life, and with everything catered for, you can look forward to produce driven, exceptional quality food and wine. Stretch your limbs with some bushwalking or laps in the infinity pool, and fully relax in the sauna. This super-luxe getaway is all about R&R.
Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village sits on the cusp of beautiful Lake St Clair National Park. A series of cottages and chalets screened away by rainforest, this is back-to-nature luxury at its best; complete with in-room spas and private balconies to soak up the lush views. Naturally, the bucket list attractions are right on your doorstep. Circle the photogenic Dove Lake, climb to the mountain's peak, and after working up a colossal appetite,
Sand-dense Fraser Island is one-of-a-kind – and heads up – requires a 4WD to arrive. An exclusive eco-system few are privileged to explore, this atoll is not known for affordability. Lucky for you, we’ve discovered a boutique beauty for an absolute steal: Fraser Beachfront Holidays. Powered by wind and sun and blessed with an oceanfront position, this is a unique retreat suited to its surrounds. Comprising of one huge home and an equally capacious cottage, if you’re bringing the crew you’ll be well catered for. A relaxed style fills the interiors, the outdoor areas are ideal for soaking up the sea breeze, and the water’s edge is just paces away.