Six of the best Australian luxury lodges


Don't let that first glimpse fool you. Osborn House may be a heritage building with a century-old garden but this new getaway in the Southern Highlands village of Bundanoon is anything but your typical country house retreat. With its casual-chic interiors (courtesy of the former head of the Soho House design team), vibey jazz soundtrack and sun-drenched terrace where you can savour a rhubarb spritz while drinking in the dramatic mountain views, Osborn House is decidedly contemporary. The accommodation – choose between suites in the main house or expansive cabins overlooking the bush – is inviting, the food is superb, and the relaxing facials will melt your tension away. From $660 a night for suites and $1045 a night for cabins, including full breakfast. See


Kittawa Lodge consists of just two secluded villas.

Kittawa Lodge consists of just two secluded villas. Photo: Adam Gibson

You would be surprised how much you can squeeze into an island like King Island, floating in Bass Strait. There are no fewer than three links golf courses, windswept beaches perfect for storm watching, sheltered bays for swimming, melaleuca forests, penguin colonies, wetlands, even a thriving arts scene. It is also home to one of Australia's most intimate lodges. Kittawa Lodge consists of just two secluded villas, each with charred cypress exteriors, bush-toned interiors and full kitchens. Your hosts can organise a range of local activities but part of the joy of King Island is the chance to really slow down. Top tip: a soak in the bath with a view is a great way to end the day. From $1450 per night including breakfast, lunch and gourmet dinner provisions. Minimum two-night stay See


Twelve kilometres of unsealed trails leads up to the dazzling homestead.

Around 12km of unsealed trail leads to the homestead. Photo: Supplied

Sitting in the picture-perfect Glasshouse Mountains, Spicers Peak Lodge is just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Brisbane, but there is a real sense of arrival when you finally get here. Turn off the road onto the property and a 12km unsealed trail leads you ever upwards towards the homestead. When you step through the front door, prepare to be dazzled. The soaring dimensions, the floor-to-ceiling windows framing the panoramic outlook and that massive bluestone fireplace are all designed to let you know you have arrived in a special place. There are plenty of bush trails to explore on the 3000-hectare property, and the degustation dinners are a highlight. From $1499 per night for a midweek stay in a Loft Suite including all meals and beverages and selected activities. Minimum two-night stay. See


Bamurru Plains is a wonderful base to immerse yourself in this unusual Top End landscape.

A wonderful base to immerse yourself in the Top End. Photo: Supplied

At this tented camp on the edge of the Mary River floodplain, your experience changes with the seasons. Come early in the year, at the tail end of the wet, and you will find a watery world spread out in front of you. Hop in one of the airboats to explore the flooded melaleuca forests or the vast reedbeds where magpie geese are nesting. Arrive later in the year and you will find a drier landscape where vast flocks of whistling ducks and magpie geese gather. Whenever you come, Bamurru Plains is a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in this unusual Top End landscape. From $1195 per person twin share, including meals, beverages and safari activities. Minimum two-night stay. See


The Kimberley icon takes its cues from the luxurious lodges of Africa.

El Questro takes its cues from the luxe lodges of Africa. Photo: Timothy Burgess

Using the African safari lodge experience as a template, a stay at El Questro Homestead is all about the activities. With 283,000 hectares of photogenic Kimberley landscapes to explore, from soaring cliffs to palm-fringed waterholes, there is no shortage of adventures in store, whether that's soaking in natural hot springs, hiking through dramatic gorges, or enjoying a picnic beside a remote waterfall. You can even venture further afield, with staff organising helicopter trips to the Bungle Bungles. Return every evening to your sleek accommodations, settle in for a gourmet three-course dinner, and raise a toast to the clever way this property blends luxury with a true outback experience. From $2155 per room including meals and beverages and selected activities. Minimum two-night stay. See



The nature-infused lodge borders the World Heritage-listed Daintree Forest.

Silky Oaks borders World Heritage-listed Daintree. Photo: Supplied

At Silky Oaks Lodge, bordering the World Heritage-listed Daintree Forest, the most magical time of day is early morning, when you can start the day with a plunge into the crystal-clear river that runs through the resort and watch neon-bright Ulysses butterflies fluttering past. Mind you, early evening is pretty good too. That is when a choir of insects fills the air with their layers of song as cocktails and canapes are served on the main deck. After a day spent exploring the rainforest or the reef, it is wonderful to feast on chef Mark Godbeer's tropical flavours before retiring for a session in you al fresco bath. From $495 per person per night twin share, including breakfast and dinner. Minimum two-night stay. See

Ute Junker stayed as a guest of the lodges.