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7 unique stays for your next Australia vacation

Destinations

The diversity and scale of Australia’s natural beauty is breathtaking. From humbling deserts and otherworldly rock formations to ancient rainforests and the world’s largest coral reef, the range of sights to see is vast. As is the range of accommodations to book.

For an unforgettable trip, try glamping in a remote part of the Outback, enjoy an authentic Aussie station (farm or ranch) experience, or spend the night in a grand, historic Melbourne hotel.

A glampsite in the Outback, Karijini National Park

A glampsite in the Outback, Karijini National Park, Western Australia

A glampsite in the Outback, Karijini National Park, Western Australia

Found deep within Karijini National Park, Karijini Eco Retreat provides a luxury experience while immersed in the natural beauty of the Outback. Just a short hike from your glamping tent, you’ll find the red rock of Joffre Gorge, a natural amphitheater with a pool of water and a pebbled rock island in the middle. Other park highlights include the stunning year-round Fortescue Falls and Mount Bruce, whose summit trail rewards you with breathtaking views of the majestic, arid landscape. Camping in the Bush offers almost unparalleled stargazing, so pull up a seat on your tent’s private deck when the sun goes down. The sound of dingoes and owls howling and hooting in the distance as you fall asleep in the comfort of your big double bed adds to the sense of adventure.

A beachfront villa, Byron Bay

A beachfront villa, Byron Bay, New South Wales

A beachfront villa, Byron Bay, New South Wales

For laid-back Aussie beach life with a touch of luxury, plenty of privacy, and your very own swimming pool, Fat Frog Beach Houses is the perfect choice. The vacation home is located just a short walk from the captivating beach in Byron Bay, a mellow surf town that’s long been known for its surfer and hippie communities. If the novelty of fantastic waves and sunning yourself on the sand wears off, hike up to Cape Byron Lighthouse to touch the most eastern point of Australia.

A harborside apartment, Sydney

A harborside apartment, Sydney, New South Wales

A harborside apartment, Sydney, New South Wales

For those who want a taste of city life Down Under, a stay beside Sydney’s spectacular harbor is a great place to start. At Milson Serviced Apartments, some units have sweeping views of the Harbor Bridge, Lavender Bay, and the city’s stunning skyline. You’ll also be close to many key sights, including the Opera House and the Royal Botanic Garden.

A historic shearer’s quarters, Derwent Valley

A historic shearer’s quarters, Derwent Valley, Tasmania

A historic shearer’s quarters, Derwent Valley, Tasmania

One of Australia’s most famous and historic paintings—“Shearing the Rams” by Tom Roberts—depicts daily life in a timber shearing shed. The wool industry has been a huge economic and social force in Australia over the years, and now guests can stay within the confines of one of Tasmania’s most historic homesteads. Just under an hour’s drive from Hobart—the capital of Australia’s scenic and stunning Tasmania island state)—the Georgian Rathmore House and its Shearers’ Quarters Rathmore boast a range of accommodations. From stylishly revamped and minimal self-catered rooms in the old shearer’s quarters, to beautifully restored suites in the main homestead where you’ll be served sumptuous meals, a stay here will give you a glorious glimpse into 19th-century rural Tasmania. Spend your days spotting platypuses in the Dew Rivulet, going fishing for trout, and admiring the resident black swans, peacocks, and wombats. Spend your afternoons and evenings sipping a cup of tea on your terrace, tasting local wines, or toasting marshmallows on the campfire.

A historic hotel, Melbourne

A historic hotel, Melbourne, Victoria

A historic hotel, Melbourne, Victoria

Australia has its fair share of fascinating historic hotels – from a Frank Lloyd Wright-style building in Canberra that’s been the site of much political hijinks over the years to a 19th-century quarantine station that’s now a working hotel (with ghost tours available). But it’s afternoon tea at the grandiose Hotel Windsor that will most impress history lovers. It’s the oldest hotel in Australia, where the Constitution of Australia was drafted in 1898, and has hosted guests including Sir Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh. Admire the Renaissance Revival facade that makes it a Melbourne landmark, still proudly standing opposite the Gold Rush-era Parliament House and Treasury. Then step inside and behold its burgundy carpeted, antique-filled lobby to be met with a level of tradition and grace that brings to life the hotel’s grand Victorian history. And if a stay here feels a little too extravagant, there’s always the renown afternoon tea with classical music and opulent floral arrangements in the 1920s dining room.

A remote Outback station, Adelaide River

A remote Outback station, Adelaide River, Northern Territory

A remote Outback station, Adelaide River, Northern Territory

To explore the Outback and enjoy as close to an authentic Aussie station experience as possible, the historic Mt Bundy Station is a great bet. Located on the banks of the Adelaide River, room types range from glamping to homestead suites and self-contained cottages. Guests get to see the station’s resident livestock, wild wallabies, frogs, and maybe the occasional crocodile peppering the landscape. It’s a rustic experience, with outdoor bathroom amenities that add to the authentic nature of the stay. But you’ll also get plenty of creature comforts like the property’s Outback Bar and Pizza nights, and perks like the outdoor pool and its beautiful panoramic views over the fields.

A secluded mountain lodge, Woodbridge

A secluded mountain lodge, Woodbridge, Tasmania

A secluded mountain lodge, Woodbridge, Tasmania

Nestled high up in the hills of Tasmania, Woodbridge Hill Hideaway is a mountain lodge retreat that overlooks Bruny Island’s Great Bay and the native forests below. Each private bungalow features a bathtub overlooking the gum trees and a beautiful balcony. Enjoy a peaceful soak in the tub while watching the sunrise before tucking into the lodge’s delicious bacon and eggs breakfast. Days can be spent exploring Tasmania’s ancient forests, wild swimming, and enjoying barbecue dinners in the summer. In the winter, take a dip in the lodge’s heated swimming pool before cozying up by your bungalow’s private fireplace.

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