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If you live in the northern hemisphere, you might be settling in for the winter season and preparing for chilly months ahead. So this is an ideal time to remember that the southern hemisphere is enjoying its warm, sunny summer. Why not take advantage of Australia’s summer season?
Australia is an adventure seekers paradise, but even the most hardcore traveler can enjoy a little luxury from time to time. Mexico and the Caribbean are always popular winter destinations for North American travelers and Europeans often head to the sun-soaked Mediterranean region. But if you’re looking to shake your travel plans up a bit this year, consider the island continent of Australia to satisfy all your adventure and luxury desires. These are some of the best luxury resorts that Australia has to offer.
**Update: This article was originally written before the devastating fires in Australia. For more information and how you can help, go here.
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Considered one of the most luxurious resorts in the South Pacific, Queensland’s Lizard Island Resort is situated in a truly unique location on the Great Barrier Reef. It offers a sense of total seclusion that has plenty of privacy for travelers looking to spend some much-needed time with loved ones. The meals served are nothing short of decadent and the room rate is all-inclusive. Take a chartered flight to the island to enjoy lovely aerial views of the Great Barrier Reef and arrive at the resort. Not surprisingly, this is one of the best places to go snorkeling and diving in the world, so visit a local dive shop to gear up when you arrive.
Another favorite Australian resort off the Queensland traveler’s circuit is the Southern Ocean Lodge, located on Hanson Bay on Southern Australia’s Kangaroo Island. It’s perched on a secluded cliff along a rugged stretch of coastline with views into the pristine wilderness. Enjoy the delights of fine gastronomy at the onsite restaurant which offers a daily changing menu and local ingredients. There are luxury suites here that bridge the gap between the wilderness setting and creature comforts that guests love.
McMillans is an expansive resort in Gippsland that has a beautiful waterfront location and a village-style atmosphere. The resort spans over six acres of land and is beautifully landscaped. It’s family-friendly and has a children’s playground and a game room onsite. Thanks to its onsite day spa and gorgeous grounds with views of the Bancroft Bay, it’s also a popular wedding destination. There are cozy cottages and villas here, and popular local activities include fishing and strolling along the boardwalk.
The Noosa Springs Resort is perhaps best known for its championship 18-hole golf course that has a perfectly manicured landscape. However, both golfers and non-golfers will enjoy this resort, which aims to soothe the mind, body, and soul. There’s a day spa and fitness center on site and an award-winning restaurant with spectacular views. If you want to check out the nearby towns, there’s a courtesy bus that will take you there to explore.
Located on the northernmost tip of Hamilton Island in Queensland, Qualia means “a deeper sensory experience” in Latin. And that’s exactly what the resort staff here strives to provide its guests. A top spot for honeymooners in Australia, the pavilions at this resort are spread across 30 acres of tropical land and many have their own sundecks and private pools. There are both casual and fine dining options onsite, including an elaborate seven-course meal at the formal Long Pavilion. Lots of food options are seasonal and organic, and the staff gets the highest ratings for friendliness and efficiency.
There are elegant rooms at the Pullman Port Douglas Sea Temple Resort & Spa, which is known for having one of the most gorgeous pools in Queensland. This resort is located right next to Four Mile Beach and is surrounded by rainforest. Guest rooms have large spa baths and furnished balconies to enjoy the view. The lagoon pools are perfect for swimming up to and ordering a cocktail. This is a great resort for travelers looking to escape and get away from it all. It’s located far enough away from busy towns nearby and offers a peaceful sanctuary for relaxation.
Eco-conscious travelers will love the Paradise Bay Eco Escape, a Fraser Coast resort that is secluded, gourmet, and all about sustainable pampering. This is a kids-free zone and a place where ringing cell phones are shunned. Some of the best things to do while staying at the resort are snorkeling in the clear waters, kayaking, walking barefoot along the beach, and eating lots of delicious seafood. Couples will enjoy staying in one of these waterfront bungalows with a king-size bed and a private balcony.
Located in Caloundra, the Rumba Beach Resort is a top pick for travelers vacationing in Australia with their families. It’s a beachside resort along Australia’s East Coast, and the nearby town has a charming and rustic appeal. Rumba overlooks the Pumicestone Passage with the famous Glass House Mountains and offers beachfront apartments and suites.
As you can see, most of Australia’s top resorts are located along the Queensland coast. However, Australia’s Northwest Broome and The Golden Outback simply cannot be left off the list. The Bali Hai Resort and Spa is ideal for couples and honeymooners because of its romantic sunsets and private hideaways. You can book a studio or a two-bedroom villa, and both have lounges and tropical bathrooms. The resort’s spa is centered on a pool courtyard and has a unique blend of treatments from Australia and Bali. The Bali Hai Resort strikes a perfect balance between the laid back nature of Broome and the luxurious accommodations that are hidden inside.