Economy, be damned! Fifteen of Australia’s leading, independent luxury tourism properties have formed Luxury Lodges of Australia. The new association launched in late May to promote a distinctly Australian breed of high-end, ecologically-aware, experiential accomodations.
The group represents both long-established and new properties, ranging from wilderness lodges, vineyard retreats, and island hideaways, to outback and beach camps. Many of the properties are small- some have between four and ten rooms or luxury tents. Most are located in remote, geographically stunning, culturally-rich areas.
Depending upon location, outdoor activities may include snorkeling, diving, sea kayaking, overnight bushwalking safaris, wildlife viewing, indigenous culture, wine tasting, or swimming with dolphins or whale sharks. Some properties, such as Bamurru Plains, Sal Salis, and Southern Ocean Lodge, are located adjacent to national parks.
All of the properties share a common theme of outstanding guest service, high-end standards, and often, destination dining using locally-sourced ingredients. What separates them from other cushy resorts, however, is a definitive sense of place, combined with an eco-sensible, Aussie-contemporary style (think ultra-mod amenities, reclaimed materials, exquisite craftsmanship, and locally-sourced art and interior elements). Don’t be surprised to see solar panels or a rainwater catchment system on-site.
The properties are spread across more than a dozen diverse regions of Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, the Northern Territory, and Queensland. They include Wolgan Valley; Lizard and Bedarra Islands; qualia; Longitude 131; Cape Lodge; Lake House; Spicers Peak Lodge; Capella and Southern Ocean Lodges; and Wild Bush Luxury’s Arkaba Station, Bamurru Plains and Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef.
[Image credit: Southern Ocean Lodge; Capella Lodge]