LuxeGetaways Magazine – Spring 2017 | Australia as a destination is synonymous with adventure. It offers travelers a front row seat to experience nature and wildlife as it was intended to be experienced – effortlessly. Aquatic and coastal experiences are plentiful and beautiful. The food, wine and beer culture is unique and uncomplicated. Dynamic cities are alive with the arts and history. Every season has its charm, and the allure of exploring native lands and culture is undeniably strong.

After an all too short visit to three Australian destinations – Hayman Island, Wolgan Valley and Sydney, I knew that I had barely scratched the surface of things to do and see in this captivating country. Nevertheless, that small taste made me excited to plan my next Australian getaway. From the impeccable service and amenities that come with the glorious One&Only properties, to the once-in-a-lifetime experiences along the way, here is just a sample of what excited me most about this Australian adventure.

One&Only Hayman Island

Australia has seven states, each with coastal waters envied by landlocked nations, but Queensland wins top prize for the UNESCO-designated Great Barrier Reef. With 3,000 kilometers of coral reefs, these island resorts provide launching points for travelers chasing after world-class snorkeling and diving. The One&Only Hayman Island is a sophisticated, yet laid-back option with incredible private seaplane excursions that provide breathtaking aerial views of Bait, Hardy Reef, Heart Reef and the most exquisite of all, the Outer Reef. However, a favorite adventure alternative is a simpler pleasure – a short launch ride to Langford Island for a picnic lunch where you will be one of only a handful of visitors to the uninhabited sandy spit. It was here that I dined under the shade of a nautical umbrella, sipped chilled champagne, watched majestic sea turtles surface for air, and swam with fish whose brilliant colors rivaled the colors of the most vibrant rainbow.

Looking for similar experiences, but with a smaller price tag? More affordable chic boutique resorts with amazing reef diving can be found on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, The Whitsunday Islands and on the Gold Coast.

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley

It is difficult to express the authentic uniqueness of Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley. It is a conservation resort with private villas, and a 7,000-acre preserve located between two national parks – the Wollemi and Gardens of Stone. Looking for a bit of adventure, we were dropped off in the middle of the nature reserve in the greater Blue Mountains with a picnic lunch and a frosty bottle of pink bubbly. We sat under a leafy limb of an ancient gum tree to take advantage of the shade while perched on the highest overlook point. The views were breathtaking, and we even spotted movement in the bushes nearby that grabbed our attention. We were suddenly eye-to-eye with a joey (baby kangaroo). I quickly grabbed my camera to capture this priceless moment, but the joey proved faster than me and had leaped back into his mother’s pouch before I could take the photo. Despite my lack of camera readiness, this unique adventure proved to be amazing for photographing the wildlife and awe-inspiring views.

Did you know that kangaroos have an excellent sense of smell, but that their eyesight only responds to moving objects? For example, if you silently ride horseback through Wolgan Valley, the curious marsupials will perhaps come close enough to provide you with that perfect Instagram snapshot.

 Top 3 Cocktail Experiences in Sydney

1. GRAIN Bar at The Four Seasons

credit-grain-four-seasonsThis is a great after work business spot. Alex, the bar manager, makes an entertaining and delicious Swipe Right libation with Gin, Cointreau, egg white, lemon, and fresh mango puree topped with strawberry fairy floss (cotton candy).

Four Seasons Hotel
199 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000

2. BLU BAR ON 36 at The Shangri-La Hotel

Reservations are a must here if you plan to enjoy the magnificent sunset views of Sydney Harbour. Famous for the Hendrick’s Gin and fruity liquors based mélange named after notorious gang member, the Madame Devine. It is just as pretty as it is divine. (pun intended).

Shangri-La Hotel
176 Cumberland Street
Sydney NSW 2000

3. The Wild Rover

This speakeasy bar in Surrey Hills has a playful atmosphere, and is noteworthy for their drinks like the Go Figure (a.k.a. go fig) made from fig infused Don Julio Blanco Tequila, lime juice, agave nectar, egg white and pistachio.

75 Campbell Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010


One&Only Resorts

One&Only Hayman Island

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley

Wollemi National Park

Gardens of Stone

Visit to view the Spring 2017 Issue