I don’t know about you but when I think about holidaying in a lodge I imagine surroundings of peace and tranquillity along with lashings of indulgence. I also envisage plenty of time to do absolutely nothing but relax, recharge and rejuvenate. And, quite frankly, I’d like some hard-earned dollars left in the holiday budget to spend on a bottle of quality bubbles to savour from a bathtub with a view.
Wildly beautiful, the Solomon Islands have slipped under the radar for most travellers, which makes it a perfect destination for holidaymakers keen to slip onto island time. Torpid days at the Wilderness Lodge are mostly spent moving between beach, snorkel site, palm tree, lobster feast, hammock, beach, sunset drinks, more lobster, beach walk, bed. Is there anything missing from a languid lodge holiday?
Where: Gatokae Island, Solomon Islands
How much: $250 per night for 2 guests (includes breakfast, lunch & dinner & some activities)
Photo credit Solomon Islands Visitor Bureau
Eco friendly Cicada Lodge is a sophisticated retreat for those who want to get into the real heart of Australian Indigenous culture. Located inside Nitmiluk National Park, Cicada Lodge is the perfect base from which to explore Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge. If wide open spaces, aromatic bushlands and star-filled skies freak you out this is not your kind of place.
Where: Katherine, Northern Territory
How much: $495 per night for 2 guests (includes champagne on arrival, sunset drinks & canapes & gourmet breakfast)
The Daintree Rainforest has been keeping its secrets close to its chest for over 180 million years. By that yardstick Noah Creek’s Lodge is but a babe in the woods. On the road to Cape Tribulation (about an hour north of Port Douglas), check into the Ridge House in the heart of the forest and chill out as nature intended. The ultimate digital detox, reconnect with nature surrounded by lush, pristine tropical forest. Sigh.
Where: Cape Tribulation, Queensland
How much: from $260 per night for 4 guests
Gilberton Outback Retreat
Outback Queensland probably doesn’t feature highly in travellers plans when dreaming up a luxury lodge that’s not going to break the holiday budget. But it really should. Far from civilisation’s constant demands to be switched on and connected, out west time marches to a different beat. Whether it’s the stomp of cattle, fossicking for gold or admiring ancient Aboriginal art galleries, beneath star-filled outback skies, VIP guests at Gilberton Outback Retreat keep to their own schedule, lapping up a rustic but luxurious take on the iconic tin shed.
Where: approx 5hours west of Cairns by road
How much: $1,600 per night for 2 guests (includes all meals, drinks, personal guided tours & outback adventures). Ask about their 50% off deal in low season!
Jamala Wildlife Lodge
Styled on African safari lodges thanks to owners who are avid travellers and collectors of artefacts, Jamala Wildlife Lodge is located within the National Zoo & Aquarium in Canberra. The accommodation is exquisite with fine attention to detail in furnishings and amenities but the real feature is the sights, sounds and animal smells that accompany all activities. Sure, it’s a zoo and lacks the wildness of a true African safari but a flight to Canberra is a heck of a lot cheaper than one to Cape Town.
How much: from $1,000 per night for 2 guests (includes breakfast, morning & afternoon safari tours, dinner and drinks). Extra cost for optional animal encounter
Each suite overlooks an animal enclosure Photo credit Jamala Wildlife Lodge
About the author
Fiona Harper is a north Queensland based travel writer at Travel Boating Lifestyle. Widely travelled, highly acclaimed and much published, when she’s not writing she’s probably running a marathon or exploring the world by foot, bike, kayak, camel or boat: whatever mode of transport she can get her hands on!