Aug 04, 2016
Discover seven of Australia’s remote getaways for couples.
On one side are the vineyards of the Margaret River region; on the other, the Indian Ocean, its waves crashing against a pristine Western Australian beach. In between the two is your villa – one of 10 at this retreat in Yallingup, about three hours south of Perth. Enjoy a swim in the private plunge pool or hike a section of the Cape to Cape Track – the resort is located right on the trail. And when it’s time to kick back and relax, head to the on-site spa for a 90-minute Herbal Fusion massage.
Think about a romantic place to stay and we bet a 1940s hydro-electric pumphouse doesn’t come to mind… unless it’s resting on an achingly serene, mirror-like lake amid World Heritage wilderness and has been transformed into a luxe hotel. Stay in the Pumphouse – suspended over the water and reached by a 250-metre concrete flume – or the Shorehouse, which sits on the edge of Lake St Clair, and savour the stillness. You can be social in the communal dining area or keep to yourselves in your room, which includes a larder stocked with local cheeses, cured meats and plenty of wine.
High on the banks of the Murray in South Australia’s Riverland region, three light-filled residences – Pastiche, Montage and Collage – offer a sense of seclusion, with nothing but bird calls to break the silence. Each hideaway is wrapped in luxury and features its own pool and a balcony that looks across the Murray River. Take in sunset with a river cruise on a beautifully restored century-old wooden boat before returning home to a three-course meal, prepared in-room by your personal chef.
No roads lead to this waterfront lodge on a quiet tributary of the Hawkesbury; only waterways. Whether you glide to a stop in front of its pontoon in a seaplane (splurge option!) or pull up in a dinghy (if you’ve left your car at Berowra Waters, an hour’s drive from the Sydney CBD), you’ll feel the worries of your everyday life wash away. Go bushwalking in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, fish off the pontoon or explore the majestic sandstone cliffs of the Hawkesbury River from a kayak. And when it’s time for dinner, settle for nothing less than a meal at the nearby Berowra Waters Inn restaurant.
This retreat at the foot of Mount Buffalo is all about minimalist opulence. Feathertop Château comfortably sleeps 10 but couples can still enjoy an intimate escape; the Peggy Adelaide Suite has its own balcony, complete with an outdoor bath. The château’s indulgences extend to a heated lap pool, stone pizza oven and fully stocked wine cellar – and then there’s that dramatic view across the vineyards to the awe-inspiring Victorian Alps.
Head to the Mary River floodplains west of Kakadu for a night in a luxurious tent on stilts. With three walls made of mesh screen, there’s no greater way to spend a night immersed in the wilderness of the Top End, where the buffalo roam, crocs lurk and wallabies play. For extra privacy, have lunch in The Hide – a six-metre-high platform with matchless views of the region’s flora and fauna. And if you really like the high life, you can spend a night among the treetops in a deluxe swag.
Just 10 kilometres off Mission Beach, accessible by launch or chopper, Bedarra Island Resort is the go-to retreat for couples who want to take themselves off the grid. The eight-villa sustainable, luxury hideaway is low-key and that’s why we like it. Spend the day snorkelling, playing tennis, deep-sea fishing or doing nothing at all as you laze by the pool with a drink in hand, looking out at the cerulean Coral Sea.