If you are looking for something a little out of the ordinary, these are our top five accommodation picks from four years of extensive travel in Australia. These hotels are all destinations in their own right but also happen to be surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet.
What are you doing for the next long weekend?
Ever wanted to spend a night in the rainforest? How about in a tree house in the oldest living rainforest in the world? We’re used to rainforest stays meaning some serious roughing it but this couldn’t be any further from the Silky Oaks experience.
The tree houses are the height of luxury as each one comes with a beautiful rainforest view. They also come with that all important hammock on the balcony from which take it all in. There is nothing more relaxing than letting the sound of the forest lull you to sleep.
Our days started with a morning swim in the fresh water billabong, followed by some hiking on one of the lodge’s own walking trails and then dinner with THAT view. For a post hiking treat we visited the Healing Waters Spa and the view from the bath tub already has us dreaming about going back.
2. Pumphouse Point, TAS
You may have seen pictures of this place, it's a former hydroelectric pumphouse in the middle of a lake that has been converted into a boutique hotel. There are only 12 rooms in the pump house itself so it feels intimate though all the rooms are very private. Although you can stay in the shore house, we opted for the pumphouse for the incredible views. Make sure you take a moment to look out the window at night, there can't be many places you can see the Milky Way through your bedroom window.
Dinners are another highlight at the pump house as you share the dining table with up to six other guests. Swapping stories with other travellers from all corners of the globe made the experience all the more enjoyable. The initial apprehension that we might be sat with people who we had nothing in common with disappeared after the first conversation and it was a night to remember.
You know you've found somewhere good when you struggle to leave your room and you're in one of the most fascinating places in Australia. The view from Hanson Bay Cabins is one that will stay with us forever. If you're lucky enough to have Stormy Petrel (the room on the corner) you'll be blessed with a view of the Southern Ocean through the floor to ceiling windows.
The cabins are modern and have great cooking facilities which is a bonus as it's a rather remote part of the island. Light a fire in the evening, toast a few marshmallows and watch the tammar wallabies graze just in front of your balcony.
If you can tear yourself away from the room, Hanson Bay is a beautiful and wild stretch of beach. We never saw more than one or two people there, but that’s KI all over; quite frankly it’s a dream destination.
Forget any ideas of camping meaning roughing it, this place is definitely glamping and at its finest. Not only is it in a terrific spot perched on the side of hill overlooking Springbrook and Lamington National Parks, but the interior is heavenly too – think four poster bed and a free standing bath. That bath view will take a lot of beating!
Another lovely touch is the owners leave you a homemade pasta dinner that you just need to reheat and a bottle of wine so there really is no reason to leave the tent! We went there for a winter getaway, but could imagine a summer BBQ on the veranda would be another great option.
Canopy Treehouses is a wildlife lovers dream! The treehouse is in a patch of rainforest that was saved from the wide deforestation in the area and as a result has an extremely high concentration of animal and bird life. The treehouses themselves are beautifully appointed and have that all important log fire for cooler evenings (the tablelands tend to be around 10 degrees colder than at sea level).
We saw too many different animal and bird species to count but the highlight were two Cassowary chicks wondering underneath our balcony. If you're lucky you may see the elusive Platypus in the creek beside your treehouse. Possums make a nightly appearance and likely so too will Rex the Red Necked Pademelon. Rex was rescued by the owner and is being treated with medication but wanders freely through the rainforest and enjoys visiting you on your balcony for cuddles!
If that isn't enough for you, each treehouse has a jacuzzi......
If you have any questions about any of these hotels or have any recommendations of your own please get in touch, we'd love to hear from you.