Ten Unique Places to Stay in Australia
With the days becoming longer and weather increasingly warmer, it's time to head outside and experience the great outdoors and start exploring. Australia is a vast and beautiful place with hidden gems that are waiting to be uncovered. Here are our top 10 picks for you.
1. Homestay in Arnhem Land, Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory
Arnhem Land is an area the size of Scotland and Wales combined, where access by non-Aboriginal peoples is by permit only. It is a country within a country and the last corner of ancient Australia. Here, you can still apply in court to spear a man if he wrongs you. In this chunk of land, you are now offered the chance to live and learn, with Australia's indigenous locals. Home stay options are available for a fully immersive experience.
2. Barn Hill Beach Side Station Stay, Kimberley, Western Australia
Only in the Kimberley can you find a cattle station overlooking the Indian Ocean and beachside accommodation that is technically in the outback. At Barn Hill you can play outback lawn bowls, go fishing, enjoy the famous home-cooked roast on a Sunday, explore the sandstone pinnacles, play bingo, potter around the rockpools and shower under the stars. What more could you want from a relaxing holiday? If you are driving just note that the last 10 kilometres of the journey is by 4WD access only, but that is what makes this place truly special.
3. Banubanu, Bremer Island, Northern Territory
An eco-wilderness retreat just a 15 minute flight in a light aircraft from Gove Airport, Banubanu is part of a greater arena of beautiful offshore islands in the Arafura Sea. Nestled into the sand dunes on the north tip of Bremer Island between two pristine beaches and rocky headlands there are plenty of activities for the whole family including fishing, five star cruises, exploring the white sand beaches and clear turquoise waters, to watching the sunsets.
4. Nightfall Wilderness Camp, Queensland
In a relatively untouched pocket of paradise, Nightfall’s luxury tent camp sits beside the crystal-clear tumbling headwaters of Christmas Creek and Queensland’s ancient Lamington National Park rainforests. The nightfall ‘glamping’ experience redefines luxury through architect-inspired, hand-built, permanent safari tents; sumptuous fire-cooked cuisine and the relaxed feeling of staying with old friends. Heart, body and spirit are nurtured through a tonic of immersion in nature, serene nights under-the-stars and the intimacy of a well-spaced luxury tent accommodation (with fireplaces for winter).
5. St Jeromes - The Hotel, Melbourne, Victoria
The last place you'd expect to find a campground is in the middle of the Melbourne CBD, but here it is – stretching over a concrete roof off Level 3 of the vast Melbourne Central shopping mall. St Jerome's spreads out into two sections – the 'West Wing' and 'East Wing' – divided by a raised skylight. The whole area has been astroturfed, with rows of tents alongside walkways dotted with benches and potted plants. Each of the larger Luxe Plus tents has its own patio, set with Acapulco chairs and a small table, along with random animal statues. In one corner of the property is the General Store, a hut-like structure which serves as a café-bar. The view is impressive, taking in the extravagant facade of the former Myer building (now Emporium Melbourne), as well as towering modern buildings all around. Some essentials are provided with your stay including thongs and gumboots, along with a Samsung tablet and free wifi. An esky sits on a table, containing complimentary beer from the local Temple Brewing Company and boutique soft drinks. Also complimentary are two packs of beer snacks.
6. Enchanted Love Cave, Bilpin, New South Wales
The Love Cave is a place to cook simply, relax easily and love your partner. This cave comes with a relaxing spa while you watch the afternoon clouds roll over the mountains. Then as daylight fades the fireplace provides a warm and comforting light that dances across the rock walls. To top it off the sounds of the river will provide you with nature’s natural music. This in a primitive utopia, a glimpse of the primeval earth untouched and unspoilt by humans from an age far gone.
7. The Trilby, New South Wales
For a heavy dose of Australiana, you need to leave the comfort zone of the big cities, head out into the middle of nowhere and stay in the sort of place where no man is without a big hat and 200 head of cattle. The Trilby Station is in NSW’s deepest darkest outback and promises a real cowboy experience. Their station has self-drive tours, complete with comprehensive trip notes for activities including fishing, canoeing and birdwatching. Here you can also enjoy approximately 10 kilometres of bush running, walking, cycling or driving tracks that meander amongst the river red gums - or observe seasonal station activities. If you really want to get involved you can also volunteer your time to work on the station and they will provide you with the perfect location to set up home for a few days or weeks.
8. Old Mount Gambier Jail, South Australia
After closing its doors as a prison the Old Mount Gambier Jail was converted into a hostel with some of the creature comforts that its former residents did not enjoy. However there is still no mistaking the fact that you're sleeping in a former prison cell. A tour is available which shows the areas that were used as mess halls, exercise yards and last refuge for those condemned to hang. This one is definitely an out of the box experience.
9. Karijini Eco Retreat, Pilbara, Western Australia
This tented camp in the Karijini National Park is the park’s first luxury tented accommodation. It is owned and run by the local Gumala Aboriginal Corporation which represents the collective interests of the Niapiali, Bunjima and Innawonga Aboriginal people of the Pilbara region. Experience a unique Outback fusion menu and the chance to explore Karijini’s dramatic creeks, gorges and sheer chasms up to 100 metres deep.
10. Dirk Hartog Island, Western Australia
An Eco Lodge with a Castaway vibe, Dirk Hartog Island Eco Lodge is a rustic retreat where guests can escape, discover and explore. Sitting just off the coast of Denham and part of the Shark Bay World Heritage area, this ‘conservation ark’ is teeming with dugongs, loggerhead turtles and sea birds The six guest rooms and private villa blend simple elegance with luxury and comfort, offering stunning ocean views.
Looking for more unique accommodation within Australia to include in your travels or want more info on the above? Download and search the Crooked Compass Travel App for inspiration.
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