When we recently read an article listing WiFi as one of the main things people look for when they're booking a hotel, we weren't surprised – after all, those emails and Facebook notifications aren't going to check themselves (or at least not cheaply when you're relying on mobile data). But then we had a thought – hang on, these people are on holidays. Unless it's to look up restaurant reviews or hunt down the nearest day spa, why do they need internet access at all? Our lives are hectic enough as it is, surely we don't need to be online even during our time off. So if, like us, you want to commit to an unplugged getaway this year, we've rounded up our favourite remote destinations that are guaranteed to help you unwind. Ditch the internet, unplug the TV and turn off your phone... because in these places you probably won’t get reception anyway.
Kimberley Coastal Camp, Admiralty Gulf, WA
Nothing says remote like having to take a light plane and a helicopter to reach your destination. Hidden on the shores of the Admiralty Gulf, Kimberley Coastal Camp is one of the world's last truly unique experiences offering access to exquisite ancient rock art, native wildlife, gourmet food and beautiful views, all in a beachfront location. With an emphasis on preserving the unspoilt surrounds, only 12 guests are allowed to stay at any one time, while solar power keeps everything running. You’ll be housed in spacious bungalows that feature 5-star mattresses, luxurious Sheridan linen and gorgeous views of white sandy beaches. The packages are inclusive of food and most adventures, but your stay can be tailored to suit everything from laid-back experiences to non-stop adventures.
Anbinik Kakadu Resort, Kakadu National Park, NT
Set in lush tropical surrounds, Anbinik Kakadu Resort lies in the heart of Kakadu National Park. This timeless global treasure is heritage listed for its environment and Aboriginal culture. Designed by renowned tropical architecture firm Troppo, the resort offers four different accommodation styles to cater for all needs, including air conditioned double rooms, spacious cabins, powered ensuite sites and its famous bush bungalows. This is the perfect base for independent travellers looking for a quiet escape, though it’s also perfect for those wanting to do self-drives and day tours. After a day of trekking, you can come back and relax in the azure pool or cook up a storm on one of the many barbecues.
Hughes Park Cottage, Clare Valley, SA
Hughes Park Cottage greets you with an immediate feeling of tranquility as you gaze upon towering gum trees and the rolling Skilly Hills. Located just two kilometres from Watervale, the cottage dates back to 1845 and sits on some of Clare Valley's top farming land. A simple exterior only hints at the cosy provincial vibe inside, complete with a crackling fire and comfy couches waiting to be sunk into, while the verandah outside is the ultimate evening chill spot. A soundscape of pink galahs will replace that of car horns in this magical space with no real roads in sight. Wake up to merino sheep grazing just outside your doorstep and start the day with a sunrise bushwalk followed by a bike ride along the riesling trail to sample some of the area's finest food and wine – or you could just stay in and curl up with a book, whatever takes your fancy.
Arthur River Spa Cottage, Arthur River, Tas
The small coastal township of Arthur River is surrounded by the untamed Tarkine rainforest and named for the river that flows from the mountains to the sea. Situated right on the waterfront, Arthur River Spa Cottage is pure relaxation. The bright open plan lounge and kitchen is fully equipped and ready to entertain, while the main bedroom features a luxurious king-sized bed and ensuite. The glass sheltered, river facing deck comes complete with a wood-burning stove to gather around as you have a drink and take in the view. If you feel like adventuring, there’s an abundance of wildlife to discover at your doorstep, or you can take to the water with a convenient space to park your boat just at the river's edge.
Wilderness Island, Coral Coast, WA
Wilderness Island is all in the name, and if you’re searching for a place to forget the rest of the world exists then look no further. Hosted by the wonderfully accommodating Jim and Kim Alston, your stay can be as active or relaxing as you want it to be. Teaming with caves, creeks, rocky ledges and sandy beaches, there’s plenty to explore. There are five permanent beachfront cabins available, and only 10 guests allowed at any one time to ensure maximum privacy and comfort. The cabins themselves are gorgeously rustic with clear ocean views from your bedroom and shower, while the main camp is the hub of the island. Offering a kitchen, lounge and dining tent, it’s the elevated sun deck where you’ll spend most of your downtime; with pristine views of your surrounds, it’s the perfect place to kick back with a drink and enjoy a magnificent sunset.
West End Beach House and Cabin, Flinders Island, TAS
Eco-conscious nature lovers, this is your paradise. With white sand beaches that stretch for miles as you take in views of crystal clear water and breathe crisp fresh air, Flinders Island is the kind of place you come back to again and again. And situated in its own peaceful corner, with private access to a secluded beach, are two spectacular places to stay. West End Beach Cabin sits on 25 acres of perfection and has a majestic sight of the surrounding islands and mountains. Adjacent and perched on another 25 acres is the oceanfront West End Beach House. Floor to ceiling glass walls offer breathtaking views of the stars unobstructed by city lights or pollution, while the bathhouse features a Roman style sunken stone tub and private courtyard to grab a shower. The light-filled kitchen is fully equipped to whip up all your favourite meals, and little creature comforts like the selection of differently sized and weighted pillows are enough to make you never want to leave.