What are the top 10 best luxury lodges in Australia? Australia offers exciting cities and outstanding natural wonders. Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, as well as Perth, are well worth visiting, but for something more off the beaten track, book into a luxury lodge in a wilderness location.
Explore the magical island of Tasmania, visit the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru. Enjoy Queensland’s Daintree Rainforest and Kakadu National Park from Darwin. Enjoy the wildlife on Kangaroo Island or head west and explore the Kimberley, Exmouth and the Ningaloo Reef with its world-class snorkelling and diving. Make your stay in Australia memorable by booking into one of the best luxury lodges on this continent. Here is our pick of the very best.
If you want to book any luxury hotel, in Australia or beyond, use our luxury travel concierge. Our agents offer exclusive free upgrades, free breakfasts, free hotel credit and VIP gifts at luxury hotels like Four Seasons, Aman, Belmond, Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, InterContinental and more for the same price as the hotel’s own websites. You will also get all your usual Marriott Bonvoy or InterContinental etc points and status benefits if you book with us.
1. Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge
Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge is widely considered one of Australia’s most iconic wilderness experiences. It has previously been selected as one of the Lonely Planet’s ‘Top 10 Extraordinary Places in the World to Stay’ and more recently was awarded the Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Top 25 Resorts in Australia and the South Pacific.
If you really want to get away from it all, you need to stay at this “must-visit” resort, which lies on the edge of the spectacular World Heritage listed Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park, one of Tasmania’s premier wilderness regions.
It’s a place of breathtaking beauty, unspoilt nature and all the peace and quiet you could possibly wish for. Whether you’re a nature lover, keen walker or just want to leave the daily grind behind you, a stay at the Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge, at the edge of the park, is an experience you won’t forget in a hurry.
Originally built as a home in the early 1900s, the hotel now comprises of guest cabins dotted around the rustic style lodge. The lodge boasts a host of facilities including the Tavern Bar & Bistro, offering a rustic tavern atmosphere with a roaring log fire, the Weindorfer Library with deep leather chairs and a crackling fire and a boutique selling local crafts and souvenirs.
The Highland Restaurant has been recognised as one of Tasmania’s premier dining experiences, featuring the very best of Tasmanian food and wine. For more casual dining, try the Tavern Bar and Bistro. This place has a cosy and rustic atmosphere with a roaring log fire, pool table and TV. It is a great place to grab lunch, dinner, afternoon tea or just a drink or two in the evening. If wine and cheese is your thing, make sure you book one of the nightly wine and cheese tastings, which showcase some of the best gourmet produce that Tasmania has to offer.
There is a range of different accommodation available at the hotel. Pencil Pine Cabins are closest to the Lodge, and some have balconies and views of the lake or bushland. Decorated in contemporary style, they feature queen size beds, armchairs and a coffee table and wood-fire look gas heaters. These rooms also benefit from a minibar, tea and coffee making facilities, a CD player, hairdryer and daily housekeeping service.
Also available are Spa Cabins, which feature a spa bath and shower. You can choose between a contemporary furnished one with wood-fire look gas fire or go for the more traditional décor and wood combustion fire. Spa Suites and King Billy suites are even more luxurious, with king-size beds, spa bathrooms and a different selection of gourmet surprises for each evening of your stay. My room tip is to ask for a room with a real fireplace.
With some of Tasmania’s most spectacular wilderness on your doorstep, walking is a must. The activities staff at the lodge have a wide range of self-guided routes on offer, ranging from 20 minutes to 9 hours. Other activities for guests to enjoy include fly fishing, mountain biking and a native animal night viewing tour.
For a more relaxing time, wind down at the Waldheim Alpine Spa, which has a wide range of spa and massage treatments available, as well as a steam room, sauna and hot tub, and views of King Billy pines and fresh mountain streams.
Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge is a luxurious retreat situated on the doorstep of one of the finest National Parks in Tasmania. Qantas offers connecting flights to Devonport from London Heathrow via Dubai and Melbourne. The hotel is located about 1 hr 15 mins drive from Devonport.
2. Elements of Byron
Sir David Attenborough loves Byron Bay, and so do I. I love the laid-back people, the sunshine, the white sandy beaches and the unspoilt, rolling countryside. Byron is one of those places that feels perfect.
The town is packed full of art galleries and cafes, the beaches are lively and are bordered by beautiful dunes. Backpackers and luxury travellers are attracted region because of its laidback atmosphere and the beauty of the location. Whale watch and stroll along pathways that embrace the beautiful coastal scenery. If Byron is not on your bucket list, it should be.
Elements of Byron is a luxury lodge designed as a stylish beach hideaway, in the style of a Miami beach house. Elements sits in 50 acres of grounds incorporating bushland, wetland and dunes, facing the white sand Belongil Beach.
The property is located a couple of miles north of Byron Bay, which can be accessed by a solar-powered train, which takes you from the hotel all the way downtown. It is apparently the first solar-powered train in the world.
The Resort features 193 private villas dotted amidst 22 hectares of absolute beachfront paradise. Each villa is very private and is set amongst bushland and trees, so you feel like you are in your own little house. Wooden floors and modern furnishings inside are linked to the outside with bi-fold glass doors that open up to bring the vastness of the Aussie outdoors into the hotel.
The centrepiece of this beachfront resort is the expansive main pavilion, which brings together all the elements of Byron. Open and inviting; it houses the reception, restaurant and bar, cascading through to the lagoon pool, fire pit, spa and conference facilities beyond. Grassy dunes lead down to the beach where there are comfy loungers and platforms for yoga.
Facilities include a day spa, nature trails, fire pit, private beach and a huge infinity lagoon pool. “The Beach Lounge” is an area where you can laze on loungers next to Byron Bay’s spectacular Belongil Beach. Sunrise across the bay will take your breath away.
Graze restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast is a highlight here with a large range of unusual and tasty offerings. In the evening, the restaurant opens up to the intimate pool and firepit. Enjoy seasonal; regional cuisine such as Moreton Bay bugs with burnt pineapple, roasted chilli and lime, betel leaves; Slow-cooked Milly Hill lamb shank terrine with almond hummus and Pacific raw tuna, crispy duck skin, shitake dust and pickled cucumber.
During the day you can also order lighter snacks and drinks at the Barefoot kiosk near the main pool. In the evening, you must try cocktails by the fire pit, or a sunset drink at the beach club, a converted caravan surrounded by beach loungers overlooking the ocean via a white picket style fence.
Come to Elements at any time of year. In the summer you can enjoy the direct beach access and laze around the pool in the heat. In the winter, take a dip in the heated pool and enjoy am evening cocktail while you warm your soul by the firepit, then return to your room, where you can snuggle by your own private fireplace.
3. Longitude 131°
Ride a camel and sip champagne while watching The Rock’s sunset glow, Uluru is all about adventure and outback escapism. Longitude 131° luxury lodge offers luxury tented pavilions floating over rust-red dunes. It’s an unrivalled location, and it really comes into its own at sunrise and sunset. Unlike most visitors to Uluru, if you stay here, there’s no need to travel to reach a viewing platform. You can watch the shades of the rock deepen and change with the light from the daybed on your balcony. Or beside your own crackling fire pit.
We also like the activities and experiences on offer here, particularly the chance to dine under the stars while the resident astronomer helps you locate the Southern Cross. Enjoy the stillness and beauty in this desert landscape. Experience unparalleled views of fabled icon Uluru (Ayers Rock). This massive sandstone monolith in the heart of the Northern Territory’s arid “Red Centre” should not be missed.
4. Southern Ocean Lodge
I can’t imagine anywhere more remote than Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island. Kangaroo Island is a pristine wilderness which lies off the mainland of South Australia, southwest of Adelaide. Over a third of the island is protected in nature reserves.
This remote island is covered in old-growth vegetation, webbed with farmland but little else in the way of human development. The island is framed by wave-pounded limestone cliffs and headlands. At its far western tip, granite formations – The Remarkables – have been sculpted into strange shapes, like something out of a Dali painting.
Get up close and personal with kangaroos, seals and penguins, as well as bountiful birdlife. In the west, Flinders Chase National Park is known for penguin colonies and striking coastal rock formations, like the sculpted Remarkable Rocks and the stalactite-covered Admirals Arch.
The consequences of European settlement on the mainland have passed this mystical island by, and several endemic sub-species developed. Southern Ocean Lodge, on KI’s southwest coast, has its own naturalist guides who help guests spot echidnas (like hedgehogs) goannas (lizards), koalas, emus and (of course) kangaroos. They also lead beach walks among throngs of seals and sea lions.
The lodge itself is a line of 21 clifftop suites that sit on scrub-covered dunes looking out over the sea. Its cuisine is fresh and imaginative, showcasing local ingredients. But the real joy is gazing through your suite’s expansive floor-to-ceiling windows at the crashing ocean.
If you’ve never seen a kangaroo, wallaby, echidna, possum, koala, goanna or New Zealand fur seal before, this is your chance.
5. Saffire Freycinet, Tasmania
Perched on stunning Oyster Bay, Saffire Freycinet is the latest incredibly luxurious addition to Tasmania’s East Coast. This stunning coastal sanctuary combines sophisticated, intimate style, breathtaking views and unique inspirational experiences to create the holiday of a lifetime.
Overlooking the Hazards Mountains, Freycinet Peninsula and the crystal clear waters of Great Oyster Bay, Saffire Freycinet seamlessly blends the best of mankind and nature. The breathtaking, ultra modern architecture of this eco-resort, with floor to ceiling glass windows everywhere, maximises your enjoyment of the stunning Tasmanian backdrop.
The resort features 20 luxurious guest suites all of which come with the breathtaking vista of the 3 large granite mountains “The Hazards” which reflect changing colour all day. Each suite offers total privacy with huge glass windows looking out at the bay and comfortable chairs to park in front of these windows to enjoy the view. The warmed floor, the beautifully scented products (heartwarmingly all animal cruelty-free), the bathtub and the dual shower with windows opening onto a private patio all make your stay even better. Plus the refrigerator is stocked with a variety of local wines and beers, all of which are included at no extra charge.
Your personal wellbeing is at the heart of everything they do at Saffire Freycinet and because of this all suites come with sumptuous hammocks in your courtyard as well as yoga mats and individual yoga and meditation sessions can always be arranged for you. The resort also features a fully equipped gym, but if you want to enjoy the great-outdoors then the personal trainers are more than happy to point you in the direction of a stunning beach run or a jog through the picturesque bushland.
The food is just exquisite with a liberal array of local ingredients and each night you can choose from a degustation of local produce or have à la carte. It’s worth knowing you can also request food, such as lobster or fillet steak, and they will prepare it for you if they can, in time for your stay. The resort is renowned for its menu of fresh local produce and seafood. The local Pinot wines are excellent. The beautiful panoramic views frame this most exclusive restaurant.
If you’re looking for a moment to relax with a book, or enjoy a casual drink at the bar, the ‘Lounge’ is perfect for you. Specifically designed to make you feel at home with “classically cool” furniture from original 1950s designers, the lounge is the heart of Saffire Freycinet’s hospitality.
The resort has its own beach and at low tide you can go exploring under the rocky shelves where you will find colourful starfish and other wildlife. However you choose to spend your days, your stay here simply won’t be long enough!
6. Qualia, Hamilton Island
This unique Australian expression of a luxury lodge, is nestled in the secluded northernmost tip of Hamilton Island. This is The Great Barrier Reef’s finest hideaway. Everything here has been meticulously considered to relax the mind and spoil the senses.
Sixty exquisite pavilions make up qualia’s offering, classically designed to blend with the natural surroundings and to provide sweeping views of Australia’s northern paradise. Feel time unravel within the natural beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. Facilities include two serene pools and two bars and restaurants. For ultimate relaxation, visit Spa qualia or play a round at the 18-hole Hamilton Island Golf Club on neighboring Dent Island. Use of an electric golf cart, kayaks, snorkeling equipment and catamarans is included, as are VIP transfers to the airport or marina.
7. Capella Lodge
Capella Lodge is Lord Howe luxury and Lord Howe Island’s premium boutique accommodation. Lord Howe Island was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982. Capella Lodge rests atop romantic Lovers Bay, at the foot of the imperious mountain twins rising dramatically above.
Commanding stunning ocean and mountain views the lodge affords a civilised, stylish and sophisticated escape. Capella’s contemporary cuisine, first name service, relaxed sophistication and intimate surrounds combine to deliver a unique and exclusive Lord Howe Island experience. Lord Howe with luxe appeal.
With clear views over the Pacific Ocean and the world’s southern-most coral reef, Capella Lodge rests above Lord Howe Island’s tiny, secret beach at Lovers Bay and at the foot of the imperious twin peaks, Mounts Gower and Lidgbird. Guests are captivated by mesmerising views of the mountains and turquoise lagoon stretching to the horizon from the Lodge’s indoor and outdoor lounging areas, the restaurant and suites.
Capella’s nine contemporary island-style suites are inspired by the carefree spirit of the authentic Australian beach house, suites feature lavish king beds, beach-chic furnishings and generous decks. This is barefoot luxury at its best.
8. Spicers Peak Lodge
On eight thousand acres of pristine land, Spicers Peak Lodge sits on a grassy plateau on Cedar Mountain, part of the Scenic Rim region in Queensland’s Main Range National Park. The wiindy road that leads up the lodge is steep but the trip is worth it.
On arrival, you can truly appreciate the stunning lounge area and views over the mountain spurs, gum forest, and pastureland. Red-necked wallabies can be found in the trees and you can walk or mountain bike for miles along tracks to immerse yourself in the stunning landscape.
On your return, relax in one of just 12 rooms, take in the fresh mountain air or laze on a lounger by the pool. The Peak Restaurant offers excellent modern Australian cuisine. It’s the perfect luxury lodge from which to enjoy the great outdoors.
9. The Louise, Barossa Valley
The Louise, Barossa Valley is situated in the heart of South Australia’s premier wine region. This luxury lodge is home to great food and wine in South Australia, but it’s so much more. Open spaces, big skies, expansive vistas and gnarled old vines.
Float over ancient vineyards and natural landscapes, enjoy a sunrise picnic breakfast with kangaroos in native bushland, tour the undulating valley in a vintage car, walk or cycle bush tracks amongst native flowers, birds and wildlife. They will design your perfect escape.
10. Lizard Island
Secluded within a National Park, enriched with beautiful and diverse Australian wildlife and bounded by private beaches, Lizard Island is an exclusive lodge offering 40 private rooms and suites packaged with cuisine created from local produce accompanied by Australian and international wines.
Complimentary activities include access to your own motorized dinghy and clear-view sea kayaks, gourmet picnics and a minibar that is restocked daily. Located on the Great Barrier Reef, you will be able to experience the world’s best diving and snorkeling. Rejuvenate with a customized spa treatment or meditation and yoga classes surrounded by tranquillity.
Grab a dinghy and a picnic basket and head off to your own private beach, Lizard Island has 24 beaches for only 40 rooms. This bucket list luxury lodge is exclusive and remote with perfect beaches.
Note: Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor.
Disclosure: Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.