In Travel

Outback Chic: Five luxurious Getaways You Need To Visit

There’s more to the outback than desert dunes and remote cattle stations. If you long to discover the beauty and serenity of the Australian outback, without sacrificing those creature comforts, these are five luxurious hideaways that need to be on radar.

Arkaba Conservancy, Flinders Ranges, South Australia

For the true outback experience, Arkaba Conservancy should be at the very top of your hit list. An oasis set amid 60,000 acres in the Flinders Ranges, a spectacularly rugged landscape which once hosted some of Australia’s great explorers, this former sheep station turned wildlife conservancy offers a level of luxury and comfort the early settlers would have never imagined. Paying homage to its rich pastoral heritage, the original 1850s homestead boasts five elegantly refurbished guest rooms, each with views of the awe-inspiring landscape. The all-inclusive rates include chef prepared meals and premium wines, together with guided wilderness safaris daily and full access to explore the wonders of the unique property.

Berkeley River Lodge, Kimberley, Western Australia

A visit to the Kimberley is like stepping back several thousand years to a simpler time – a time when nature was wild, the air was pure, and there was no such thing as a ‘push notification’. Of all the coastal escapes in this remote part of WA, Berkeley River Lodge is arguably the one to beat. Only accessible by air, the lodge is perched on the sand dunes overlooking the sapphire waters of the Timor Sea. When not relaxing in your private villa, you could experience a guided hike through the surrounding wilderness, go four-wheel driving along remote beaches where wallabies outnumber people, or simply switch off from the stresses of modern life and let the sound of the crashing waves soothe you to sleep.

Bamurru Plains, Kakadu, Northern Territory

Wild luxury at its finest. Hidden among floodplains and savannah of Australia’s Top End, Bamurru Plains is a remote outback hideaway combining luxury and romance with some of the most incredible wildlife spotting opportunities this side of Africa. With exclusive access to 300 km² on the Mary River, on the edge of the Kakadu National Park, it’s a prime location to spot a dazzling array of wildlife including brumbies, buffalo, dingos and wallabies, not to mention one of the largest crocodile populations in the world. And though the location is wild and untamed, the experience is anything but with beautifully styled safari bungalows, all-inclusive gourmet meals and a select open bar, and a maximum of just 20 guests.

El Questro Homestead, Kimberley, Western Australia

Another Kimberley favourite, yet one which offers a wholly different perspective on its ancient landscape, is El Questro – a secluded hideaway perched on a cliff’s edge above the Chamberlain River. Surrounded by deep gorges and cascading waterfalls, fiery mountain ranges and burnt orange cliffs, the beauty and diversity of the landscape is enough to render you speechless. Welcoming just 18 guests at any one time, the homestead boasts several chic room options including Cliff Side Suites and Gorge Rooms, which look out across the Chamberlain River. With almost 700,000 acres to explore, El Questro offers something for everyone from adventurous explorers down to novice hikers and first-time four-wheel drivers.

Cicada Lodge, Katherine, Northern Territory

A sanctuary within the spectacular Nitmiluk National Park, Cicada Lodge offers an indulgent outback experience with an authentic Indigenous twist. The culture and influence of the local Jawoyn people, traditional owners of the Nitmiluk National Park, can be felt in every aspect of the lodge from its original artworks to the innovative menus which incorporate native Australian ingredients. Each of the 18 rooms is beautifully furnished and air-conditioned, and boasts gorgeous views of the surrounding bushland, though it’s unlikely you’ll spend much time in them as there’s so much to see and do in the national park. Swim in crystal clear waters beneath a waterfall, canoe down the meandering Gorge system, explore remote rock art sites with an indigenous guide, or take things to the next level with a soaring helicopter flight along the vast wilderness of southern Arnhem Land.

Published 06 June, 2018