Five Best: Aquatic Aussie Hideaways

Wheelhouse Luxury Apartments

These two properties on the west coast of Tasmania are inspired by the sea. Each resembles a fishing trawler (albeit a luxury one), with the glass-fronted living room cantilevered over a cliff above Macquarie Harbour. The nautical theme is continued in the bedrooms (one sleeps two, the other four), which feature porthole windows. On the deck, there is a barbecue where you can grill freshly caught crayfish while sipping a sundowner.

Wheelhouse Luxury Apartments, Strahan, Tasmania (00 61 3 6471 7777; Rental from AU$220 (£95) per night, including breakfast.

Bedarra Island Villa

Bedarra Island Villa's talcum-powder beach slopes into the Coral Sea, undisturbed by day-trippers to this Great Barrier Reef island hideaway. Situated on a private estate, the villa guarantees solitude and uninterrupted views of the reef's islands and beyond. The interior was designed by award-winning architect Ian Moore and is the epitome of barefoot luxury. A wrap-around balcony offers a panoramic outlook. Inside, the villa sleeps four and features wooden flooring, white-washed walls and stylish muted furnishings with delicate seashell mobiles dangling from the bedroom walls.

Bedarra Island Villa, Doorila Cover, East Bedarra Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland (00 61 2 9331 2881; www.beach Five nights' rental from AU$2,750 (£1,175).

Wobby Beach House

It's only an hour from Sydney, but the Hawkesbury River feels a world away. Surrounded by national parks, the banks and hills of the meandering waterway conceal many secluded settlements. Wobby Beach House is accessible only by boat and has a private jetty where fresh river oysters can be delivered. The 1950s cottage sleeps up to four guests and has polished wooden flooring throughout. But the real draw is the private pool and deck on the river's edge, offering spectacular views of the surrounding scenery.

Wobby Beach House, Little Wobby Beach, Hawkesbury River, New South Wales (00 61 2 9985 7888; Two nights from AU$690 (£295).

Beach Villa on Newell Beach

This luxury Balinese-style villa in Port Douglas sleeps six in three spacious bedrooms. The ambience is distinctly tropical, with four-poster beds draped with muslin, oriental-style day beds and a thatch roof. French windows open onto a private garden with a small infinity pool, but the best place to cool down is in the Coral Sea, just beyond the garden. The villa is tucked behind the 3.6km stretch of Newell Beach and guests can make use of its catamaran and water skis or unwind with in-room spa treatments.

The Beach Villa on Newell Beach, Port Douglas, Queensland (00 61 7 4098 1418; Five nights' rental from AU$2,625 (£1,125).

Ron Roozen's Place

Artist and surfer Ron Roozen began letting his stark, modern beach house to guests last year. The three-bedroom home overlooks the crashing surf of Prevelly Beach and Rivermouth, where the Margaret River meets the Indian Ocean. The open-plan building sits low on the hillside, offering 180-degree vistas of the coastline from all its rooms, with sleek, if slightly sombre furnishings. The rooms are brightened, however, with contemporary art and tropical flowers, and the house is ideally located for exploring the Margaret River vineyards.

Ron Roozen's Place, Prevelly, Margaret River, Western Australia (00 61 4 08 918 896; Rental from AU$500 (£210) per night.