Australia – 35 stylish Australian travel experiences from Outback Encounter

Hand-crafted journeys to Australia’s elite experiences

By Robyn Lewis
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Enjoy a five star experience with Outback Encounter tours

Enjoy a five star experience with Outback Encounter tours [©Outback Encounter]

Enjoy a five star experience with The Tailor tours
Enjoy a five star experience with The Tailor  tours

 

Okavango or the Serengeti? Shanghai or Tokyo? St Petersburg or Prague? St Lucia or Mustique? Beaune or Bordeaux?

Where to spend your next vacation?

Choices. We all have to make them. But as we all know in business, and in life, it’s sometimes the option that isn’t yet on the table that might be best. And that’s true for your vacation, too.

You’re seeking new horizons. A villa in France or Tuscany? Been there, done that. Sardinia maybe? No, you want to get further from motorways, try something new. Beijing? Too polluted. You’re thinking differently this year – after Madoff and sub-prime rolled into a financial tsunami and brought the GFC on its crest in ‘09, new horizons with some ‘me’ time beckon.

On the underside of the Equator lies Terra Australis – great southern land. It’s a whole continent you’ve maybe never explored, or considered. The size of America, with a quarter the population of California, a fraction of China or India, it has one thing that many other destinations lack – space.  Room to move, clear the head, stretch out and get in touch with yourself, your family. A genuinely uncluttered environment.

It’s the world as you haven’t seen or even heard it before. Stretch out at night and see stars you can scarcely believe. Feel the quiet and stillness of the outback. The air so clean, the sky so blue you can see for miles. Bizarre but benign animals that you can get close enough to touch. Ancient scenery to not only see from a distance, but to step inside and tread the pathways of its original inhabitants. Experiences to enrich your life.

Warm and friendly locals with an easy smile and a generous welcome. Food and wine that will keep you more than content, but will surprise you with their class and flavour – no need to be concerned you’re entering some gourmet wilderness here.

But how to access the best? The exclusive island resorts, safari-style camps, fishing lodges, outback ranches, chic city hotels, luxury yachts, exclusive villas and beach houses and the most sought-after private guides, that very few people will ever experience, Australians included. It’s all there, but how do you find it?

Australia in Style brings 35 of these unique Australian experiences direct to you. From El Questro Homestead in the Kimberleys of the remote north-west - made famous by Nicole Kidman and High Jackman in the movie Australia - to Southern Ocean Lodge on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island, from Double Island on Queensland’s Barrier Reef to bothfeet on Victoria’s Great Ocean coastline or Tasmania’s Bay of Fires, these are all destinations in themselves that you may not easily unearth on Google.

Luxury is an overdone word in travel, as 43 million search results for luxury Australia on Google will testify. And as you know, there’s luxury and then some.

The book alone is a visual feast. Produced by Outback Encounter and published by R.M. Williams – ‘bush outfitters’ best known in the past for their iconic Australian riding boots and plaited leather stockwhips – Australia in Style puts paid to any doubts you might have that Australia is a land simply for backpackers, students on short-stay visas and (as the locals might say) ‘roughing it’. No you don’t have to make sacrifices in quality, and yes, you will experience something new. Something memorable, to entrance and amaze you and your friends.

You’re seeing the Australian dollar heads towards parity with its US counterpart – heights not seen for two decades – so naturally there might be some cause for concern. Sure, most of us want value for money. But at these establishments you’ll get it, and more. With magic, mystique and romance thrown in.

As an Australian who has travelled widely overseas, I am astonished that many of the destinations in Australia in Style have remained secrets in my own land for so long. I’ve lodged in Kenya, tent safaried in Botswana, ryokaned in Kyoto, fished the Snake River and travelled through Inner Mongolia, and been to more wineries than I can remember, from the Loire to Stellenbosch. So I’m not about to go wow – that is, until I see Haggerstone Island off Cape York, or Longitude 131 at Uluru, Merrindie Mountain Retreat in Victoria’s north east…. They all look sumptuous. So calm. And so inviting. 

Some of these featured properties I have visited, and can be reached alone, but as their name implies, Outback Encounter is dedicated to 'off the beaten track' travel, but with a distinctly luxurious edge. Theirs is a full service travel company, joining the pieces of the travel puzzle including coordinating transfers, accommodations, guides, and charter flights. Acting as your private travel concierge to arrange anything from dinner reservations and opera tickets to golf lessons.

You want these details to be taken care of. To devote yourself to simply being and enjoying, with no unpleasant surprises. To have your own unique journey.  

Something to consider for my next vacation, perhaps? Yes, I feel I could escape in my own country at any one of these locations – come to Australia from further afield and you most certainly will.

Your concerns about the environment can even be laid to rest. Outback Encounter gives you the opportunity to offset all your CO2 produced during your travel in Australia, and help build the OE Forest to continue greening Australia. The properties themselves while luxurious are all low key – no LA-style energy-burning resorts here.

So, what are your choices? Put Australia in Style on your table and you’ll still have a few, but they’ll be determined more by nature’s rhythms and your preferred time of travel than any concerns to avoid the madding crowds – and once you’ve selected a few courses from this fabulous Australian menu, all you have to do is contact Outback Encounters and – if you desire – they will arrange everything.

 

Australia in Style is published by R.M. Williams Publishing (Sydney, 2008), RRP A$39.95. Copies are available at select Outback Encounter establishments or from Outback Encounter.

Outback Encounter is a Partner of VisitVineyards.com. They can be reached by phone + 61 8 8354 4405, email
ais@outbackencounter.com or online at www.outbackencounter.com 

Please mention this VisitVineyards.com article when you enquire or make your bookings.

 

Members'  Offers:

As a special gift, the first four Members of VisitVineyards.com who book an
Outback Encounter VisitVineyards.com Flying Food Safari of South Australia will receive a complimentary 2004 Penfolds Grange Pack: a bottle of the highly rated 2004 vintage Penfolds Grange, a bottle of 2004 Penfolds St Henri Shiraz per party, and a Penfolds Rewards of Patience book per couple - a gift worth nearly A$800 (that will only appreciate should you choose to cellar it).

Become a Member of VisitVineyards.com for only A$99 (single, or A$169 for a couple) and this outstanding gift will be yours on booking.

 

bothfeet walking tours are also a VisitVineyards.com Partner and offer Members a complimentary one hour massage after one of  their  four or six day's hiking.
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October 27th, 2009
 
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