While international borders remain closed, interstate travel within Australia is now permitted, with certain restrictions within particular states or territories. With careful planning and adherence to government-mandated health protocols, you can still have an enjoyable vacation. And with any luck, travellers from this side of the world will soon be able to plan their trip Down Under. After all, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that discussions are underway to expand Australia’s travel bubble to several Asian countries, including Singapore, by early 2021.
In the meantime, here are six extraordinary properties – one from each state – to consider for your next holiday.
1. Tasmania: Saffire Freycinet
Set within Freycinet National Park, with breath-taking views of the iconic pink granite peaks of the Hazards mountain range, it’s no wonder this luxury lodge is often voted as one of the most beautiful hotels in Australia. The property comprises 20 well-appointed villas, each with its own private courtyard and floor-to-ceiling windows that offer panoramic views of the rose-hued Hazards. While you might be tempted to stay in all day, the hotel offers a complimentary range of activities that includes guided walks, kayaking, birdwatching, and even beekeeping. After a day of hustle and bustle, unwind over a gastronomic feast at the acclaimed Palate restaurant, which specialises in using seasonal ingredients from the east coast of Tasmania.
Best for… Couples looking for a romantic getaway
2. Victoria: Notel Melbourne
Its name comes from the fact that they don’t consider themselves a hotel in any traditional sense of the word. With six chrome airstream trailers parked on the roof of a nondescript carpark close to Flinders Lane, you can perhaps think of them as a high-end trailer park. Each of these 31-foot American-made Airstreams has been refitted to look like the inside of a studio apartment, complete with a plush queen-size bed and a surprisingly spacious bathroom. Even before the pandemic, Notel has been big on contactless check-ins – to gain entry, guests are invited to download an app, which is used to operate various electronic locks.
Best for… BFFs looking to score Instagram points
3. New South Wales: Taronga Zoo Sydney
What can be better for the little ones than to spend the night among some of their favourite animals? The Taronga Zoo’s Roar and Snore experience allows you to roam the park minus the crowds and see Australia’s largest zoo in a whole new light. Your evening starts with a night safari to get up close with nocturnal creatures such as the fishing cat and the Binturong (also known as a bearcat) before you bed down in a fully equipped safari-style tent that overlooks the Sydney Harbour. In the early morning, join another guided walk to catch your favourite animals at their most active before the zoo opens for the day. The experience includes delicious international cuisine at the zoo’s on-site restaurant, The View.
Best for… Families with young children
4. South Australia: The Cube
If you’ve always dreamt of living out the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, you can now do so at this tiny floating house just one hour from downtown Adelaide. This self-contained houseboat is anchored along the Murray River (the longest river in Australia) and offers an idyllic space to simply veg out and unwind. Wake up to the sounds of the gently lapping waves and look out for the graceful pelicans, black swans and ducks that often swim by the house. Enjoy your breakfast or some early-morning sun salutations on the outdoor deck before hopping into the two-man kayak provided to explore the surrounding riverbanks.
Best for… City dwellers looking to go off the grid
5. Queensland: Reef Suite, The Whitsundays
Dive into Australia’s first-ever underwater hotel. Moored offshore at Hardy Reef, part of the world-famous Great Barrier Reef, Reefworld is a refurbished pontoon that offers guests a chance to stay in a glass-walled suite beneath the Coral Sea. Your journey starts with a cruise through the Whitsunday Islands to Hardy Reef onboard a high-speed vessel. After lunch, you can spend the day snorkelling, scuba diving or swimming in the crystal-clear waters or take to the skies in a scenic helicopter flight to see the famous Heart Reef. Back at the hotel, enjoy a starlit dinner on the pontoon’s upper deck before retiring to your suite and fall asleep to the mesmerising sight of multi-hued fish and other sea creatures swimming languorously outside your window.
Best for… Travellers with a thirst for adventure
6. Western Australia: The Lily
Experience two cultures in one at The Lily, a Dutch-inspired and Dutch-built windmill set against the dramatic backdrop of the Stirling Range. Designed to look like a 16th-century Dutch windmill, The Lily is the only operational flour producing windmill on mainland Australia. You can choose from several quaint self-contained accommodations which sleeps between two to six people, each with its own outdoor seating area and fully equipped with all the mod-cons.
For something extra special, book yourself into the Dakota, an original military transport aircraft that is now parked alongside The Lily. Within the forward half of the passenger section is the bedroom with two single beds while the former navigator’s room has been converted into a bathroom. A small kitchen is located next to the doors, giving you a chance to enjoy your own “inflight” meal. The cockpit remains intact and offers a glimpse of the plane in its halcyon days.
Best for… History buffs
Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.
The information is accurate as of press time. For updated information, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.
To learn more about Singapore Airlines flights, visit singaporeair.com.