Contrary to what most might believe, there is so much more to Australia than beautiful beaches and sparkling city harbors. The farther you get from the main tourist attractions of the cities, the more the Australian flora and fauna come alive, and the more you’re able to experience the true spirit of the country. Here are our picks for Top 5 nature-focused stays in Australia:
Top 5 Nature-Focused Stays in Australia
Imagine black glossy cockatoos nesting on the nearby creek, koalas climbing up the towering gum trees, kangaroos hopping around the paddocks, and staying in the most luxurious, rammed earth, eco-friendly villas amongst it all… Well, that’s what you get at Ecopia Retreat on Kangaroo Island.
Kangaroo Island is a remote, pristine island in the Southern Ocean, just off the coast of South Australia. To access it, you can catch a small plane or a 45 min ferry ride from the mainland.
Ecopia Retreat is a family-owned haven in the best place if you want to experience all of the untouched nature of Kangaroo Island. It’s centrally located so it’s the perfect home base for all of the island’s adventures – spend the day gin or wine tasting, exploring Flinders Chase National Park, and visiting the world-famous honey and other fresh produce farms.
Do be warned: the villas here are so nice you might be tempted to stay there and soak it all in from den, the deck, or our personal favorite – the bath – with a glass of local KI wine.
Distance from Adelaide, South Australia: 3 hour drive and a 45 min ferry
If you’re looking for a taste of times gone by but still crave a bit of luxury, Twamley Farm is your spot. This 7,000 acre working sheep farm is nestled conveniently nestled between some of Tasmania’s best attractions in the southeast.
The accommodation options are varied, ranging from the original 1840s stable-turned luxurious loft, to a modern farm eco-friendly pod to a glamping tent, and they stock the kitchens with local luxuries, baked goods, wine and spirits.
The Turvey family has been on the property for 150 years, and it’s a working sheep farm. They do all sorts of events at the farm, and the activities available range from hiking and mountain biking to clay pigeon shooting and catch-and-release trout fishing, cooking classes and workshops, and our personal favorite – relaxing. Nothing beats watching the sun go down while kangaroos hop across the valley from a fire pit and wood-burning hot tub.
Distance from Hobart, Tasmania: 1 hour drive
How does a luxury treehouse tucked high above a private beach in the middle of one of the world’s most ancient tropical rainforests sound? For us, it was a dream come true. At Thala Nature Reserve in Tropical North Queensland, some of the most impressive nature surrounds you. You’re tucked into the tropics, near the Daintree Rainforest which is 40 million years older than the Amazon! And if you prefer the ocean, you’re on the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system.
There are experiences available to guests like stargazing, nature walks with they grounds keepers, luxurious meals and views at the renowned Osprey Restaurant, and ample opportunities to relax on the private, secluded beach and various pools.
What’s really cool about this luxury property is the commitment to the rewinding of the land. It was once a sugar cane plantation, as is common in the region, but Thala has dedicated the last 20 years to reforestation and regeneration efforts to rehabilitate the native flora and fauna. It’s a single-use-plastic-free property, and their commitment to the surrounding ecosystem is reason enough to spend some time there. Click here for the full details on our stay here!
Distance from Cairns: 1 hour drive
he Mountain Den is one of our all-time favorite cottages. Tucked away in the mountainous Grampians National Park, it is right in the heart of Halls Gap – a quintessentially quaint mountain village nestled amongst the beautiful Australian bush.
The Den itself is ultra modern yet still so cozy, and the earth tones and wood-burning fireplace bring the beauty of the outdoors in. It’s the perfect spot to cuddle up on the couch with a good book and a cup of tea, play some board games, or admire the handmade local art and treasures. It’s also a scenic drive to some of the best hikes in Australia, like the Grand Canyon, Pinnacle, MacKenzie Falls, and The Balconies.
Distance from Melbourne: 3 hour drive
Camping: Anywhere in Australia
Although the more luxurious stays are always a treat, our all-time favorite nature-focused stays have been at both free and national park campgrounds all around Australia. We’ve spent 2 full years traveling and camping in our caravan all across the continent, and there’s nothing better than waking up to the sounds of the galahs and rosellas (beautiful native parrots), seeing the sun crest over the rugged, remote outback landscape, making a cuppa outside the door and having virtually no one else around you. It’s pure magic, there’s no other way to describe it!
This country is full of beautiful countryside retreats, and these take the cake for our top 5 nature-focused stays in Australia. For more information on hiking, camping, and road-tripping across Australia, check out our website and follow us on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Until then, Wander On!
– Maddy and Jeff