Living in Oz means you don’t have to go far to find some truly bucket-list-worthy places to visit. And bucket-list-worthy stays? Well, we’ve also got those in spades! From incredible views, indulgent extras and attentive staff, here are some of our favourites from around the country.
Ooraminna Station Homestead in Hale is a must-visit for anyone who’s ever wanted a true outback experience. A 30-minute drive from Alice Springs and a 10-minute drive from the Napwerte-Ewaninga Rock Carvings Conservation Reserve, Ooraminna is surrounded by incredible landscapes, with lots of excellent bush walks to explore (perhaps with your furry best friend – yep, dogs are welcome too). Its private stone and log cabins perfectly balance rustic with charming. On-site restaurant The Wild Horse Bar & Grill gets a big tick of approval too!
Insider tip: Autumn (March to May) is one of the best times to visit Alice Springs – the days are warm and the evenings cool, with average temperatures ranging between 12°C and 27°C. Spring (September-November) is also pleasant, with average temperatures between 13.8°C and 30.6°C and spectacular evening thunderstorms!
The InterContinental Hayman Island is the jewel in the Hayman Island crown, with pampering, privacy and some seriously luxe swimming pools all on the menu. Sure, there’s the swanky (and huge!) saltwater pool overlooking that incredible Whitsundays water, but you could also find the plunge variety attached to your very own room (if you’re going all out, that is 🤑). With an incredible on-site spa, indulgent mod cons (think rainfall showerheads, pillow-top bedding and in-room espresso makers), you’ll never want to go home.
Want to stay in a castle just a 20-minute drive from the centre of Hobart? Then Villa Howden is for you! French-inspired, with only ten rooms, it screams romantic luxe – perfect for weddings. The indoor pool is STUNNING, as are the views of the North West Bay from the water and bay view rooms. All rooms come with free brekkie, WiFi, and complimentary mini-bars. Don’t miss the amazing high tea!
In the Adelaide Hills wine region, surrounded by the stunning Mount Lofty Botanical Gardens, Mount Lofty House is a dream come true for anyone who likes their holidays with a side of old-school glam. Originally a manor house built by Arthur Hardy (the South Australian “Great Gatsby”), the property was once the site of lavish and infamous parties for the Adelaide elite. Today it’s home to Hardy’s Verandah (one of Adelaide’s finest restaurants, with three Chef Hats to its name), an incredible 170-year-old wine cellar and a cool New York-style cocktail bar. Très fancy 😎
Insider tip: Visit between April and May if you can – the autumn foliage is just gorgeous 😍
A shopaholic’s dream awaits at the Sofitel’s Hotel Chadstone, conveniently located as part of the biggest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere. A stay here is LUXE – so luxe that a travelator whisks you from the Chadstone centre to the hotel to save you the walk. Once there, your art deco room comes complete with free Balmain toiletires, as well as an extra large tub and baby bottles of Negroni. Racegoers will be even more impressed, as the Hotel Chadstone is only five minutes from Caulfield Racecourse too.
Artsy and art-loving travellers will find themselves right at home at Ovolo Nishi on the edge of Canberra’s CBD. In fact, you’d be forgiven for mistaking your hotel lobby for an art gallery, especially when you see your oh-so-cool room, with its retro cork cupboard and shag wall art. But the epic freebies are what really make this a bucket-list spot. You’ll find free in-room snacks, a free mini-bar and even free buffet breakfasts. Be sure to catch a movie at the Palace Electric Cinema and stop in at the Monster Kitchen and Bar for a plate of gnocchi.
The hardest part about a stay at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is leaving. With its on-site Timeless Spa, restaurant, swimming pool and more, all designed for relaxing and recharging, you’ll feel like a million bucks. Borrow a bike for the day and explore the gorgeous 40-acre property, or take the kids out for some tree-planting. End the day with stargazing by the campfire, BYO marshmallows.
Set in the sand dunes of Cape Range National Park, with a view of the Indian Ocean, Sal Salis is one of the best glamping experiences in all of Oz. Only a few steps from Ningaloo Reef, it’s the perfect home base for swimming with the famous whale sharks, as well as humpback whales and hundreds of species of fish and coral. Sal Salis is also one of the best spots on earth to see the Milky Way, which alone is worth the trek.PLAN YOUR UNIQUE GETAWAY
Heads up! Due to COVID-19, government restrictions are in constant review and travel guidelines may changes and attractions before scheduling trips or making bookings, take extra care and follow all rules.