The Big Six: Australian rooms with a view
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Saturday 12 December 2009
Southern Ocean Lodge, South Australia
This "lodge" comprises 21 luxury suites perched atop the cliffs of Kangaroo Island, Australia's third-largest island. Much of this unspoilt wilderness is protected as a conservation area or national park, home to kangaroos, koalas and seals. The lodge's contemporary suites overlook the pounding surf of the Southern Ocean. They feature glass-walled bathrooms and private outdoor terraces.
Southern Ocean Lodge, Hanson Bay, Kangaroo Island, South Australia (00 61 299 184 355; southernoceanlodge.com.au ). Doubles start at A$1,800 (£1,000), full board.
Longitude 131°, Northern Territory
Offering iconic views of Uluru, Longitude 131° is a luxurious Outback camping experience. Each of the 15 tents is dedicated to the memory of an Australian pioneer or explorer and is decorated with artwork relating to them. Cultural tours of Uluru are offered at sunrise and sunset, with dinner served back at camp under the stars.
Longitude 131°, off Lasseter Highway, near Yulara, Northern Territory (00 61 282 968 010; longitude131.com.au ). Tents start at A$2,020 (£1,122), full board, with airport transfers, entry into the National Park and tours.
Stonebarn, Western Australia
Australia's Margaret River wine country is firmly on the tourist map, but Stonebarn is in the lesser known "epicurean region" of Western Australia, known for its black truffles. The architect-designed stone and timber "barn" has rustic valley and forest views from its six elegant suites. The double-height rooms feature timeless decor and luxurious furnishings such as four-poster beds and claw-foot baths. There's also a "bush bath" out in the open under the tree canopy, an intimate restaurant and a well-stocked wine cellar.
Stonebarn, Pemberton, Western Australia (00 61 8 9773 1002; stonebarn.com.au ). Doubles start at A$350 (£195), including breakfast.
Royal Mail Hotel, Victoria
This low-lying hotel is set against the dramatic backdrop of Mount Sturgeon in the Grampian Ranges. Established in 1855, the hotel offers contemporary accommodation and an acclaimed restaurant with its own kitchen garden, orchard and olive groves.
Royal Mail Hotel, 98 Parker Street, Dunkeld, Victoria (00 61 3 5577 2241; royalmail.com.au ). Doubles start at A$140 (£78), including breakfast.
Bamurru Plains, Northern Territory
Just outside Kakadu National Park, these bush "safari suites" overlook a floodplain, so you could wake up to see buffalo wading through the water or migratory birds sweeping past.
Bamurru Plains, Mary River Reserve, Northern Territory (00 61 2 9571 6399; bamurruplains.com ). Doubles start at A$1,860 (£1,034), full board with activities.
Arkaba Station, South Australia
Presiding over a 60,000-acre working sheep station, this 19th-century homestead opened as a hotel last month. With just five bedrooms, it offers an upmarket taste of the Outback experience.
Arkaba Station, Wilpena Pound, near Flinders Ranges National Park, South Australia (00 61 2 9571 6399; arkabastation.com ). Doubles start at A$1,580 (£878), full board with activities and transfers.
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