9 Getaways to Tick Off Your Bucket List

Posted by Casey Warrener on Monday, January 1, 0001

What’s on your bucket list? Mastering new skills – be it another language or finally making the perfectly fluffy soufflé – is the goal for some, while for others it is all about seeing the world and having grand adventures. Before you take off for the international terminal at the airport though, make some time to explore our own backyard. Australia is teeming with destinations and holidays that, while not on the same adrenalin-level as diving with sharks or skydiving, still rank pretty highly on the wow-factor scale. Check out the luxury escapes below, all sure to get you thinking about your next homegrown bucket list getaway.

Explore Australia’s version of the Galapagos on Kangaroo Island

The aptly named Kangaroo Island is on the bucket lists of nature lovers and gourmet food enthusiasts alike. A third of the island is conservation land, making it one of the best places in the world to spot wildlife and tap into your inner David Attenborough. The flourishing landscape and clear waters also mean some of the freshest, tastiest produce in the country. Tammar Ridge is a hilltop home surrounded by 35-acres that overlooks a picture-perfect beach at Snellings. The floor-to-ceiling windows capture the rural and coastal scenery on every side, so whether lounging, resting your head or bathing, the gorgeous views won’t escape you. And while it’s in a setting that feels totally secluded, you’re close enough to partake in all the offerings of this covetable destination.

Get away to an island where no one can find you

Ever fancied knowing what it would be like to have a tropical island almost all to yourself? No resort crowds, no jostling for the best sunlounger. East Bedarra Island Retreat sits on the far end of the island, meaning it puts couples far away from all other traces of civilisation. Having this part of the island all to yourself means the day is yours to spend however you please; a morning snorkel, topping up tan lines or paddling in the saltwater tidal pool. Most of your time will likely be spent on the deck, suspended over the Great Barrier Reef. There’s a gourmet kitchen for preparing eats, or you can arrange for the fridge to be stocked with chef-prepared organic meals. And did we mention it has its own moonlight cinema? A starlit sky over a string of islands makes for a pretty spectacular backdrop to your movie night. Nothing says ‘gotten-away-from-it-all’ quite like landing on a remote atoll.

See all of the stars without city lights

The idea of a bucket list destination isn't exclusive to island paradises. The Flinders Ranges is proof of this, and here, at the foot of Wilpena Pound, you’ll find Rawnsley Park Station. This working sheep station is host to luxurious eco-villas surrounded by striking mountain views, and watching the cliff faces change from rusty red to vibrant pink at sunset is a one-for-the-books experience. Take advantage of the retractable roof canopies above your bed to stargaze before sleep. With the city lights thousands of kilometres away, the night sky is darker than ever and you’ll lose count of shooting stars.

Lose your shoes and embrace bare feet by the beach

Nestled in rainforest south of the Byron Bay Lighthouse is Barefoot at Broken Heads. Here five bedrooms are housed in separate Balinese-style buildings connected by walkways and decks; perfect for when you need timeout to relax. This stylish beach house is just a five-minute drive from town, yet secluded enough to feel completely peaceful. It’s only a minutes' walk down the private pathway to an incredible right-hand break (surfboards come with the house) and you’ll hear the waves crashing from bed. When you’re ready to rinse off the saltwater and sand, plunge into the resort-style pool surrounded by tall pines.

Go off-the-grid for the ultimate in chic camping

This is truly one of the most glamorous campsites going around. Your options for arrival at Kimberley Coastal Camp are floatplane landing directly onto the waterfront, or light aircraft followed by helicopter transfer to the pristine beach. Either way, you’ll touch down in style – and that’s just the start. With tents decked out in Sheridan linen and that overlook the azure waters of the Admiralty Gulf, this is the ultimate in luxury camping. Better still, it’s all-inclusive, with meals and customised activities prepared for you each day. Put simply, Kimberley Coastal Camp is an out-of-this-world break that should definitely make the list for travellers looking for serious bragging rights.

Learn to be a worldly cook while eating local produce

For many, sampling and savouring local food is essential to a great getaway. And at Harts Farm on the Mornington Peninsula this is made all too easy. Surrounded by vines and olive groves with Manson’s Creek flowing through, this romantic villa includes luxurious linens, a huge freestanding bath and a plush daybed complemented by a stack of books and mags. ‘Harts Farm Kitchen’ produces cakes, preserves, cordials and olive oils, and head chef and host Penny runs cooking classes throughout the year. Learn to make wood-fired pizza from scratch, enjoy your creation alongside fresh salad from the garden, and finally, if you can find room (we’re sure you can), top it off with one of the kitchen’s mouth-watering desserts.

Catch waves and winery hop in the Margaret River

With Western Australia’s incredible swells crashing just beyond your doorstep and the Margaret River a 10-minute trip away, this sublimely cool beach house has all the makings of an envy-inducing summer retreat. Every room in this spacious home includes designer furnishings, select artworks and breathtaking ocean views. Prop your head over the lap pool’s edge and watch the waves roll in, letting The Seahorse Beach House work its relaxing magic. Better yet, keep a bottle of the region’s fine wine chilling poolside so you can sip in between swims.

Spend a weekend in spa country

When nothing sounds better than a day or two floating in between massages, facials and spa treatments, Daylesford is the place to go. As the reigning ruler of Victoria's spa country, Daylesford is a must-visit spot you’ll want to return to again and again, offering up hot springs and spas, eclectic boutiques, and all the gourmet food and wine you could ever need. In the midst of all this is Interlude; a breathtaking retreat inside and out, its contemporary design is in stark contrast to the rural setting. Massive windows frame the surrounds, so you can take in the views of native bushland while relaxing indoors. Or better yet, sink into the Jacuzzi on the deck with a glass of sparkling. 

Hide away on Tassie's East Coast, complete with a mesmerising view

Perched on the side of the Rocky Hills on Tasmania’s East Coast, the luxurious Dragonfly Lodge takes full advantage of extraordinary ocean views. In a spectacular and secluded corner of the Apple Isle, this is the perfect spot to hideaway and refresh. An all-glass wall fronts the house, framing the Freycinet Peninsula with the beautiful Wineglass Bay straight ahead and the dramatic Hazards Mountains off to one side. Here all you’ll want to do is curl-up in a designer armchair or day bed and take it all in.

Hero image: The Seahorse Beach House