Best Luxury Lodges for Australian Wildlife Encounters
Australia’s luxury lodges are the gateway to uniquely Australian wildlife encounters. Offering some of the country’s most memorable wildlife experience and personalised introductions to the unique Australian animals that share their spectacular surrounds, these are some of
The Best Luxury Lodges to enjoy Uniquely Australian Wildlife Encounters
Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island is often referred to as Australia’s Galapagos and offers some of the most incredible Australian wildlife encounters. Off the coast of South Australia, more than a third of the island’s land mass is reserved for wildlife conservation areas and national parks. Kangaroos and koalas, wombats and wallabies, penguins and platypus, echidna, seals, sea lions and sea birds are among the 1500 different species that call this island ‘home’.
Guests of Southern Ocean Lodge are spoilt for choice with amazing Australian animal adventures from sun-up to sunset.
Start the day with an exclusive private sunrise tour to Seal Bay Conservation Park to walk among the sea lions basking on the beach followed up with a delicious breakfast in the dunes at Bales Beach. Spend the day touring the islands’ stunning beaches, bays and national parks for the chance to spot some of the locals, take a wildlife cruise for the opportunity to swim with dolphins and enjoy lunch with the world’s leading expert on echidnas for the chance to chat about the island’s unique ecology. Sip South Australian sparkling as the sun sets, whilst enjoying canapes with the local kangaroos that congregate at Grassdale, just a short drive from the lodge.
And for those still hankering for more, a nocturnal native wildlife discovery walk provides the opportunity to see koalas, kangaroos, owls and possums at their most active.
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, Blue Mountains
Set on a 7,000-acre wildlife conservancy on the edge of the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains wilderness, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is home to kangaroos and wallabies, wombats and glow-worms, unique Australian creatures that intrigued Charles Darwin to visit the property in 1836. Today the luxury eco-resort offers some of the best Australian wildlife encounters.
Kangaroos bound through the resort and wombats wander through the bush, whilst a series of guided nature walks explore remote reaches of the resort for the chance to spot some of the shyer residents in their natural surrounds. Birdwatching tours help visitors to spot tiny finches, magnificent wedge-tailed eagles and a plethora of other native birdlife. But without doubt a real highlight of any stay at Wolgan is the signature sundowner wildlife walk. As the sun sets over the dramatic sandstone escarpments, enjoy a quiet drink whilst watching Australia’s native animals start to spring into action. The adventures continue after dark with guests, wearing infra-red and thermal vision devices, invited to meet the locals as they emerge from their nests, burrows and dens to forage and feed at night.
The resort also offers visitors meaningful opportunities to contribute to their conservation activities, from native tree plantings to habitat assessments and wildlife surveys.
Bamurru Plains, Mary RIver Flood Plains in the Northern Territory’s Top End
In the heart of the tropical Top End, Bamurru Plains is bordered by the Mary River Flood Plains and is only a stone’s through from the magnificent Kakadu National Park. Tour the flood plains, wetlands, melaleuca forests and savannah woodlands, by airboat or open-top safari drive to spot some of the local residents; estuarine crocodiles, wallabies, water buffalo and brumby (wild horses). Birdwatchers are in for a real treat, with jabiru and brolga, kingfishers, cockatoos, egrets and Magpie Geese just a handful of the bird species that visit Bamurru, some in flocks thousands of birds strong.
Bamurru’s raised safari-style accommodation ‘tents’ offer a true connection to the sights and sounds of this unique environment, but it is the open-sided tree-top bird hide that offers the ultimate vantage point from which to watch the wildlife in their natural habitats. Stay for lunch or stay the night in this exclusive camp-out for a truly memorable wildlife experience.
Sal Salis, Cape Range National Park on Western Australia’s Ningaloo Coast
A beachside eco-wilderness camp, where the outback meets the ocean.
Sixteen safari-style ‘tents’ nestled in the dunes of the Cape Range National Park are the gateway to a wide range of wildlife experiences: snorkelling with tropical fish, turtles and rays on the Ningaloo Reef and hiking alongside kangaroos and rock wallabies, emu and echidna in the Cape Range National Park. But without doubt the bucket-list wildlife encounters here are with the gentlest giants of the deep – swimming alongside whale sharks (March-July) and humpback whales (August-November).
Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef
Lizard Island is equal parts luxury and nature, creating the idyllic wildlife-lovers’ escape from the every day. On the northern reaches of the Great Barrier Reef, guests staying on Lizard Island can find nemo snorkelling over coral gardens and swim with turtles only metres from the shore. Meanwhile the resort’s luxury launch is ready to whisk divers away to exclusive coral cays and some of the world’s most magnificent dive sites. Just 50 minutes from the island, the renowned Cod Hole on the Ribbon Reefs, invites divers to leap into the deep with friendly potato cod and a rainbow of colourful tropical fish. Visitors to this part of the world in June and July can also take the unique opportunity to dive with Dwarf Minke Whales.
or contact the Southern Crossings Travel Design Team to tailor your personalised Australian wildlife experiences