In Travel

Remote Getaways At The End Of The World For Total Isolation

A look at some of the most breathtaking and isolated destinations around the world that offer decadent, luxury experiences allowing you to totally check out of reality for a while.

Ever wondered about the remote getaways so off-grid that not even Leonardo DiCaprio’s character from Inception could find you? Ever dreamt of losing yourself to the wonder and majesty of totally unfamiliar surrounds? Ever craved being completely disconnected from your normal life without having to sacrifice the comforts and nuances of five-star travel to do so?

We’ve taken a far-flung trip to the ends of the Earth to bring you some of the most remote getaways and isolated experiences you can find, and how to do them extravagantly.

Get adventurous at The Singular in Chile

Patagonia, the southern stretch of the South American continent, has long been regarded as one of the best remote getaways on the planet. It’s home to glaciers and icebergs, to Jules Verne’s famed ‘Lighthouse at the End of the World’, and a most intriguing high-end-adventure hotel called The Singular.

Hidden deep in the heart of Chilean Patagonia, this fascinating and unique lodge was once an old post-Victorian cold-storage plant (read: sheep-processing factory). But thanks to an extraordinary ten-year restoration, it’s now a revered Chilean National Monument and a masterpiece of a resort, boasting 57 luxurious rooms.

This tranquil retreat is far, far away from the worries of the outside world and gives guests an unparalleled opportunity to discover remote Patagonia with all the conveniences of a comfortable hotel stay. The Singular’s famed restaurant serves up authentic Patagonian grill, while the hotel’s spa facilities offer the perfect place to relax in front of a stunning mountainous backdrop.

There’s a variety of unique guided excursions and activities to while away the hours, such as riding with ‘gauchos’ (South American cowboys), trekking in the nearby Torres del Paine National Park, sailing the fjords, and fishing. Grandeur in the middle of nowhere doesn’t get much better than this.

Cruise the Antarctic

remote getaways

See ice, snow, penguins and the South Pole with Aurora Expeditions. Image: supplied

Just a brisk sail south of Patagonia is the world’s southernmost continent – the virtually uninhabited land mass that is Antarctica. A place of ice, snow, penguins and the South Pole, this is one of those remote getaways that’s as far from civilisation as you can get. Can opulence exist in such desolate climes? It does with Aurora Expeditions.

Touted as the “ultimate Antarctic experience”, this is something of an epic journey that takes passengers south of the Antarctic Circle – somewhere very few travellers have ever been before. Aurora hopes to redefine expedition cruising with their new world-class ship, the Greg Mortimer. The state-of-the-art vessel, which launches later this year, features pioneering technology that will allow for a more sumptuous experience during its Antarctic voyages than is typically to be expected.

While not the cheapest of holidays, it’s certain to take you further off-the-grid than you’ve ever been before. The 23-day voyage includes countless excursions onto the Antarctic continent for unforgettable vistas and amazing sightings of penguin colonies and curious seals.

Follow in the footsteps of Shackleton and Co., but in a little bit more salubrious surroundings. For guests feeling sore after a day of on-ice activities, there’s the opportunity to indulge in a massage at the Wellness Centre, which comes complete with a gym, sauna, and spa. And, of course, there’s an onboard bar, which serves drinks with ice fresh from the Antarctic shelf.

Visit the remote Gaya Island

Imagine a tropical island set in the azure, pristine waters off the coast of Borneo. A place forgotten to the world where ancient rainforests spill into the sea, and sandy, sun-dappled beaches invite you to stay awhile. Welcome to Gaya Island.

Famous for its amazing marine life and relaxed, laid-back vibe, this slice of Malaysian paradise is a must-visit for Australian travellers looking to escape the daily grind. It’s close enough to home for a manageable journey, but is just far enough away for you to feel like you can truly disconnect. That’s helped in a large way by the Gaya Island Resort, a contemporary, eco-luxe retreat that’s both built high into the jungle and nestled into the lapping beachfront.

Marvel at monkeys. Giggle at the gaggle of friendly bearded pigs. But most of all, make yourself at home among the myriad of vibrantly coloured fish in a majestic underwater world. With the stunning outline of Mount Kinabalu on the horizon, this is as authentic a Borneo experience as you can find. The hardest part will be leaving the place.

Go on an African safari

Swap spending your first waking hours scrolling thru emails for a morning spent listening to African jungle sounds. Hear the zebra at the crack of dawn, the elephants at breakfast and the cheetahs at morning tea.

Such is Butterfield and Robinson’s Zimbabwe Active Expedition, a nine-day, eight-night excursion of the lushest kind. Taking in some of Africa’s most striking landscapes, this tour is conducted by expert guides and friendly locals.

Start in the Matobo Hills, where mysterious gravity-defying granite formations and ancient rock art will leave you in awe. Continue up country and tick off the Big Five in Hwange, relaxing in the sumptuous Somalisa Camp in the evenings. Don’t be surprised if dinner is interrupted by a spontaneous stargazing session or the distant call of a lion. And get soaked by spray as you finish this treat of a trek at the thundering Victoria Falls. Life back at home is going to feel pretty mundane after this arousing African adventure.

Drift down a river in Papua New Guinea

remote getaways

Snorkel endless exquisite coral reefs in Papua New Guinea with True North Adventure Cruises. Image: David Kirkland

Despite being roughly only 5kms from Australia at its nearest point, Papua New Guinea is surprisingly a long way from the top of most people’s travel lists. However, tour company True North Adventure Cruises are hoping to change that with a swanky newly-launched cruise called Sepik Soiree.

The Sepik River is PNG’s longest and is considered to be one of the greatest river systems of the world. This cruise allows discerning adventurers to experience both inland waterway wilderness and spectacular coastal brilliance, all in surroundings more akin to one of the world’s most exclusive hotels.

Guests can witness the infamous crocodile initiation ceremony, visit the stilt houses on Lake Kambaraumba, wander idyllic tropical isles fringed with sandy beaches or snorkel the endlessly exquisite coral reefs. And, of course, they can take advantage of a bit of rest and relaxation on the lavish sundeck or the ship’s lounge while cruising a fascinating and under-explored part of the world.

(Lead image: The Singular, Chile / supplied)

Published 08 February, 2019