If you’re anything like us, images of remote nature retreats, luxury accommodation, and boutique boltholes are all it takes to spark intense wanderlust. So we’ve rounded up nine of the best luxury accommodation in Australia’s south beyond the vineyard city of Adelaide. These unique gems are not only a feast for the eyes, they’re run by passionate locals who’ll waste no time in introducing your clients to South Australia’s best kept secrets. From luxury lodges to some of the most unique accommodation in Australia, these spots are true bucket-list material. They are also all fully commissionable.
1. One Kangaroo Island, Kangaroo Island
Few nature retreats in Australia match the luxury of One Kangaroo Island. This exclusive, five-bed beachfront villa comes with your own private chef, who will whip up three-course meals from fresh, local produce. Azure ocean views seep into the property through floor-to-ceiling windows but we prefer to enjoy them from the lavish outdoor bathtub. Down on the idyllic Browns Beach, you can catch sight of dolphins and eagle rays while snorkelling or kayaking in the crystal waters.
How to get there: Kangaroo Island is a 30 minute flight from Adelaide or can be accessed via ferry as part of a wonderful road trip from Adelaide.
2. The Frames, Murray River
Wake up to tranquil views over the Murray River at The Frames. Located three hours’ drive from Adelaide, this luxury accommodation features spacious and secluded contemporary villas. Once you’re tired of pampering yourself in your private hydrotherapy spa, heated lap pool and infra-red sauna, you can explore the Riverland and vast Australian outback on one of The Frames’ fantastic nature tours. Glimpse kangaroos, pelicans and endangered malleefowl on a wetland wildlife cruise, enjoy sunset from a gondola or delve into the ‘food bowl of South Australia’ at the local farms and wineries.
How to get there: The Frames, Murray river is a three hour drive from Adelaide
3. Ikara at Wilpena Pound Resort, Flinders Ranges
Get your glamp on at Ikara Safari Camp, a luxury glamping spot set amid Wilpena Pound’s ancient mountain ranges. After dozing beneath a blanket of stars in your air-conditioned tent, you’ll be ready to rise early. Take the opportunity to traverse the spectacular Flinders Ranges with a local Adnyamathanha guide. Or, for a bird’s eye view, opt for a scenic flight over the mountainous landscape. Nature retreats in Australia don’t get much better than this secluded luxury accommodation.
How to get there: Ikara is located 429 km north of Adelaide, around a five-hour drive.
4. Kangaluna Camp, Gawler Ranges
If you’re seeking unique accommodation in Australia, make a beeline for Kangaluna Camp. After a rejuvenating sleep in a curved-roof safari tent or quirky gypsy wagon, you’ll be ready to immerse yourself in the Gawler Ranges’ wilderness. Follow up your safari with spectacular stargazing and even glimpse Saturn through the camp’s telescope. Nature retreats in Australia are at their best when they’re at one with the environment, and Kangaluna doesn’t disappoint. The camp holds eco certification for its rain water collection system, use of recycled materials and tours that operate with minimal environmental impact.
How to get there: Book your client a flight to Port Lincoln from Adelaide and the accommodation as part of a wider tour with Gawler Ranges Wilderness Safaris.
5. The Louise, Barossa
Surrounded by undulating vineyards, The Louise stands out among the luxury lodges of Australia as a culinary destination. Beyond exploring local wineries like Seppeltsfield, you can sample the seasonal flavours of Barossa at the hotel’s acclaimed fine-dining restaurant, Appellation, which utilises fresh produce from the kitchen garden. Gas log fireplaces add to the property’s country home vibe, while the luxury suites’ private terraces look out over stunning sunsets.
How to get there: An easy 75 minute car journey from the vineyard city of Adelaide.
6. Desert Cave Hotel, Coober Pedy
Desert Cave Hotel is carved into the lunar landscape of Coober Pedy. Like much of the town, it is partially nestled beneath the desert’s dusty orange surface. When you stay at this remote Outback hideaway, you’ll understand the appeal: the rooms are perfectly quiet and cool, with rock walls that give off a sophisticated Flintstones vibe. During your stay, explore the filming location for Mad Max 3, and wonder at the rocky flat-topped mesas of the nearby Breakaways, the richly-coloured hills of the Painted Desert and the shimmering salt crystals of Lake Eyre.
7. Prairie Hotel, Parachilna
Eat, drink and be merry at the welcoming Prairie Hotel. This remote outback pub and lodge radiates country charm from its iconic red and white striped awning to the leather furnishings and mounted stag heads of the interior. Expect to mingle with travellers and locals over in-house brewed beer in the Prairie Gallery Restaurant and Bar before digging into an exotic feast of emu pate, kangaroo fillet and camel sausage. Turn your stay into a nature retreat with adventures in the nearby Ediacara fossil fields and the surrounding Flinders Ranges outback.
How to get there: A six hour easy road trip on sealed roads through the Clare Valley wine region and Flinders Ranges. It’s worth overnighting clients in the Clare Valley to break up the journey and to add to the experience.
8. Rawnsley Park Eco Villas, Flinders Ranges
Luxury lodges of Australia meet nature retreat at Rawnsley Park Station’s eco-villas. Breathtaking views of Wilpena Pound and the star-studded night sky seep in through the glass verandah doors, over-bed skylights and retractable ceilings. With their rendered straw-bale walls and polished timber floors, the villas complement the natural landscape and have earned Advanced Ecotourism accreditation for being energy-neutral. Lounge in the pool in summertime before traversing the surrounding Flinders Ranges by foot, mountain bike, four-wheel drive or helicopter.
How to get there: Chinta Air operates charter flights from Adelaide directly to Rawnsley Park’s private airstrip or organise car hire for your clients, highlighting that it’s about a five hour drive on sealed roads.
9. Sequoia Lodge and Mount Lofty House, Adelaide Hills
Australia’s answer to Jay Gatsby was the original resident of Mount Lofty House. Encircled by breathtaking botanic gardens and vineyards, the five-star modern heritage hotel recently welcomed new luxury accommodation, Sequoia Lodge. Onsen tubs, an infinity pool, wildlife enclosure, tennis court, day spa, walking trails and acclaimed fine-dining restaurant Hardy’s Verandah make it tempting not to leave the estate. We suggest you tear yourself away to uncover the Adelaide Hills wine region, Piccadilly Valley and Adelaide’s laneway dining, museums, galleries, and beautiful beaches.
How to get there: A 20 minute drive from Adelaide city centre
Book luxury accommodation in Australia
Looking for the most unique stays for your clients? As you can see, South Australia is packed with luxury accommodation that gives a taste of the unexpected beyond the gateway city of Adelaide. Although Australia’s borders remain closed for now, the South Australian tourism industry is looking forward to welcoming back international visitors when the time is right. Start planning the perfect South Australia itinerary for your clients here.