Whether it’s a treehouse escape in the heart of the Daintree Rainforest, or private island indulgence on the Great Barrier Reef, these are Queensland’s most unique stays.
From the vast outback to the island-studded Whitsundays and the Daintree Rainforest’s ancient magic, Queensland sure knows how to put on a show. And what better way to appreciate the handiwork of Mother Nature than by choosing to stay smack-bang in the centre of it all?
Mountain lodges, private island resorts and privately chartered catamarans – discover some of the sunshine state’s most unique stays to immerse yourself in Queensland’s natural wonders.
Ready to escape? Discover our Queensland offers here.
Mt. Mulligan Lodge, Outback Queensland
About 150 kilometres north-west of Cairns on a sprawling 69,000-acre private heritage site is the stunning Mt. Mulligan Lodge. This all-inclusive lodge, accommodating just 28 guests at a time, offers an unparalleled opportunity to experience the vastness of the Queensland outback in utmost comfort. Days start with an epic sunrise that casts golden hues upon Mount Mulligan. As the day progresses, participate in a myriad of activities: climb aboard your own ATV quad bike, enjoy a chef-prepared picnic on the property, go for a hike along the southern face of the mountain, or take advantage of the outback night sky with star gazing. The pinnacle of each day is the Sunset Bar experience, where you can unwind with a signature Mulligan Margarita, soaking in the awe-inspiring vistas.
Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef
Many have heard of Lizard Island’s natural beauty, but few are fortunate enough to have stayed here themselves. This exclusive private island located on the Great Barrier Reef also doubles as a national park. Encompassing an expansive 2,400 acres, the island boasts 24 sugar white-sand beaches and rich birdlife. Discover an abundance of scenic walking trails that weave across the island and cater to all levels of exploration, from the easy-graded Blue Lagoon walk to the intermediate Cooks Look trail (a 2.5-hour trek featuring loose track surface, steep inclines and tough access points). Lizard Island Resort is the perfect place to retreat after a day exploring the land and sea, with the Essentia Day Spa menu featuring decadent treatments that incorporate native ingredients, such as the invigorating organic Australian lemon myrtle scrub, or the Kakadu plum and cucumber body soufflé.
Spicers Peak Lodge, Brisbane
Hide away on Maryvale’s moody mountains at Spicers Peak Lodge, a five-star mountain lodge overlooking the Great Dividing Range. Wake up each morning among the clouds, which roll across the horizon to reveal a rising sun, while the resident highland cows moo-in the morning. When it comes to dining, Spicers Peak Lodge takes inspiration from its surrounds. The cuisine is defined as elevated, modern Australian, with the ethos of ‘the best of Australia on a plate’, evident in dishes like school mackerel with Mooloolaba prawn, red gum lamb rack and Abrolhos Island scallops. Beyond the culinary triumphs, Spicers Peak Lodge offers a total immersion into nature, where the magnificence of the mountains converges with the indulgence of a world-class retreat. The lodge is a sanctuary, inviting you to experience the finest of Queensland hospitality amid a backdrop of untamed wilderness.
Orpheus Island Lodge, North Queensland
Picture yourself cocooned on a private island in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. From beneath the canopy of gently swaying palm trees, you’ll see water stretching to the horizon – and no one else in sight. Is this heaven? Not quite, it’s just private island luxury at Orpheus Island Lodge. Only 28 guests are permitted on the island at a time, ensuring that the service at this all-inclusive lodge is personal and bespoke. With the Great Barrier Reef literally on your doorstep, you can’t pass up an opportunity to explore the underwater world. In addition to snorkelling and diving, the chance to take a private charter out on the reef or – to go that extra mile – soar over the reef in a helicopter for a gourmet picnic on Havannah Island is also available.
Silky Oaks Lodge, Tropical North Queensland
Find yourself surrounded by billions of years of natural history when you stay at Silky Oaks Lodge, located in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest. This is the world’s oldest continually surviving tropical rainforest, dating to at least 130 million years old. It’s incredibly bio-diverse, and you can admire the lush landscape and the trilling songs of native birdlife from your treehouse. Each of the 40 treehouses are styled in pared-back, refined luxury that is fitting for the landscape: with nature stealing the show, there’s no need for added frills. Step out onto your spacious veranda and sink into your hammock where you can while away the hours swaying in the cool breeze, listening to the symphony of the rainforest.
Portland Roads, The Whitsundays
You can be the captain of your own adventure in the Whitsundays’ bejewelled seascape with acclaimed eco-tour agency Portland Roads – Sailing The Whitsundays. Private sailing charters are available for up to eight guests to set sail across the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, stopping for swims, snorkelling and island explorations. The 74 islands scattered across The Whitsundays are yours to discover: because you’re the skipper, you can choose which islands to make a pit stop at. Step ashore to silky silica sands and spend time lazing on beaches, enjoying short bushwalks and spotting local wildlife, from laughing kookaburras to bush turkeys.
For more Queensland travel inspiration, read Escape to K’gari, Queensland: The Kingfisher Bay Resort Experience.
Feature image: Lizard Island, courtesy of Tourism Tropical North Queensland.