The rich red landscapes, cascading waterfalls, unique formations and deep blue billabongs of the Top End are seemingly straight off the pages of a storybook, mesmerising travellers with the prospect of untouched beauty. And though these legendary Australian locations exude the mysterious allure of secluded and rugged nature, they are not without a little touch of luxury.
Wildman Wilderness Lodge
Sitting halfway between Darwin and Kakadu National Park in the Mary River region, this wilderness experience is best described as outback 'glamping' at its finest. Several luxury safari tents and cabins hold up a spot of secluded bushland with never ending views across the bush. Each tent and cabin is fitted with full ensuite bathrooms, plush bedding, screens and ceiling fans. They also have covered porches from which to kick back and enjoy the sunset while watching the native wildlife. The lodge itself boasts an infinity edge pool to escape the sultry seasonal heat along with a gourmet restaurant and bar. Spend your days touring the area on a billabong boat trip or nature walk, and enjoy nights around the campfire watching the stars.
Banubanu Wilderness Retreat
If exclusive seclusion on a private island is what you seek, this wilderness retreat has what you need. Able to accommodate only 14 guests at a time, it is nestled into the sand dunes on the northern tip of Bremer Island. It combines the best of beach life and bush life, situated between both the coast and rocky headlands. Choose between simple tented accommodation, deluxe beach front eco tents or one of two available cabins. All of which has been designed to maintain a minimal ecological footprint while providing comfort and style. Your stay will be fully catered, with your hosts utilising fresh, quality ingredients to create gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinners. There is also plenty of activities available to make the most of your time on the island. This includes guided fishing trips, cultural activities with the local Yolgnu community, bird watching, turtle watching and four wheel drive tours.
Bamurru Plains - Wild Bush Luxury
Just west of Kakadu National Park, on the Mary River floodplains, this award winning wilderness lodge specialises in quality stays with uniquely Australian style. You'll have the choice of beautifully appointed safari bungalows or the Kingfisher Suite. The former are built on stilts overlooking the floodplains to offer premium views and bird watching opportunities. Inside, quality bedding and an ensuite bathroom with high pressure shower allow relaxation, while regional interior detailing harkens back to the wild surrounds. Guests are also invited to cool off at the lodge's infinity edge pool and enjoy the spoils of the land at the lodge restaurant. Wilderness experiences can also be arranged, allowing you to skim across the floodplains on an airboat, search for crocs along the Sampan river, take a four wheel drive safari or guided walk.
Davidson's Arnhemland Safari Lodge
Nestled against the Arnhemland escarpment, this award-winning eco-lodge is all about inviting guests to enjoy the incredible beauty of its location, while maintaining minimal impact on the land. Comprised of a lodge with all the amenities expected of a premium stay and separate cabins, this safari lodge provides an exclusive experience. Choose from ensuited cabins and deluxe ensuited cabins, with the added luxury of comfortable bedding, quality fixtures and wifi access. While the cabins are well-appointed, a large part of the appeal of this lodge is getting back to nature. Take part in a billabong cruise, wetlands exploration, rock art and artefacts tour, bush tucker and medicine walk or walk through the catacombs to discover ancient mortuary rites.
Kings Canyon Wilderness Lodge
Holding up a spot between the ancient beauty of Alice Springs and mysterious Uluru, this luxury lodge is surrounded by the sunburnt soil of the Red Centre. Another outback 'glamping' experience, there are 10 luxury, air conditioned tented cabins surrounded by beautiful desert oaks. Each is appointed with all the creature comforts, allowing you to relax in style as you enjoy the incredible views of the surrounding land. When you're not relaxing in your private accommodation, the beauty of Kings Canyon awaits. Hiking and nature walks provide an up close view of a diverse range of flora and fauna across the canyon, with stops at the domes of the Lost City and the Garden of Eden. Quad bike tours, camel rides and scenic helicopter tours can also be arranged onsite.
Perhaps the outback's most famous luxury wilderness experience, Longitude 131 is described as a "transcendent experience of discovery" at the foot of iconic Uluru. Comprised of just 15 beautifully appointed tents, everything you could possibly want or need is at your fingertips. It's the perfect point from which to enjoy the serenity of the desert, from sunrise to sunset. Your day is yours to spend how you please, with plenty of onsite and offsite activates to pique your interests. From camel tours at sunrise to cultural exploration with the local Anangu community, you can explore all aspects of this amazing destination. And when you're not out trekking (by foot, scenic flight or 4x4) you can relax with a treatment at the Red Ochre Spa. Finish each day off by indulging in contemporary Australian cuisine prepared by chef Seona Moss onsite, or book a night at Table 131 for the ultimate outback dining experience under the stars.
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