Stay comfortable and content amid the wonderful and sometimes harsh Australian wilderness with this lineup of the country’s best overnight stays.
GREAT BARRIER REEF, QUEENSLAND
The rarified experience of being among the otherworldly formations and life of the Great Barrier Reef is taken to a whole new level with Reefsleep, which allows you to spend a night at the reef. Tucked up in a swag on a permanent pontoon located 39 nautical miles from shore, you can see the stars, smell the sea, and watch the seemingly miraculous marine environment change from dusk till dawn. With restaurant meals provided and activities like diving, snorkelling, massages, underwater viewing chambers and scenic helicopter flights also available, this is an opportunity to make a far deeper connection with one of Australia’s most significant natural wonders.
EXMOUTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Sal Salis gives guests the ultimate chance to reconnect with nature and immerse themselves in a pristine, unspoilt environment. With just 16 eco-tents nestled in the dunes, guests of Sal Salis have superb access to Ningaloo Reef, which lies just metres from shore. Discover an underwater world bursting with life and take advantage of the world’s best place to swim with whale sharks. Your nature immersion continues onshore with tours of limestone gorges, home to a range of native wildlife. Having worked up an appetite, retire to the deck overlooking the Indian Ocean where your meals will be served featuring the very best in fresh, regional produce.
Desert Cave Hotel
COOBER PEDY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Spending a night underground at the Desert Cave Hotel in Coober Pedy will certainly give you something to write home about! Do as 50 per cent of the locals do and sleep in the cool, dark comfort of an underground room. You’ll escape the scorching outside temperatures and the traffic noise of home will become a distant memory. Aside from giving ‘dugout’ living a go, you’ll also be able to dine and shop underground and even slake your thirst at the underground bar. A night at the Desert Cave Hotel will leave you well rested and ready to experience more of Coober Pedy’s quirky highlights.
ULURU, NORTHERN TERRITORY
For the epitome in luxury desert accommodation, look no further than the magnificent Longitude 131° basecamp at Uluru-Kata Tjuta. Offering uncompromised views of two of Australia’s best-known natural landmarks, the luxury tented pavilions feature local Indigenous art, custom furnishings and, for some tents, a private plunge pool. Unparalleled views of Uluru’s changing lights play out from the end of the bed, or on balconies from the warmth of a luxury swag unfurled in the cool night air. Use Longitude 131° as your base to explore Field of Light, an internationally acclaimed art installation, now on until the end of 2020.
Pinky’s Eco Retreat
ROTTNEST ISLAND, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Like the idea of camping but not the reality? Soon you’ll be able to immerse yourself in Rottnest Island’s pristine environment, minus having to pitch a tent, by staying at the island’s first eco retreat. Opening in early 2019, the new accommodation will feature a range of contemporary ecotents suitable for couples, families and groups. Nestled in the dunes behind Pinky’s Beach, you’ll be just a short walk from an unspoilt beach which is perfect for swimming. The eco-tents will be complemented by Pinky’s Beach Club – an open air dining venue where you’ll be able to toast to another day in paradise.