Long a region considered too far-flung for most holidays, Oceania has seen a surge in luxury tourism over the last several years. Greater numbers of savvy travelers are drawn by the allure of these lands and surrounding seas, possessing an ancient beauty nearly unmatched the world over. The Luxury Travel Agency has seen the best of Oceania’s luxurious properties, and we can’t wait to share them all with you!
When most people think of Australia, the Outback is likely the first thing that comes to mind: endless dry plains, tumbleweeds, maybe the occasional kangaroo. Yet the range of environments found “down under” can surprise even the most seasoned traveler.
Driving west from Sydney will bring you not to the desert, but to the Blue Mountains, one million hectares of eucalyptus forest, striking sandstone cliffs, and wildlife in abundance. Nestled among these hills is the Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, a special property in a special place.
For travelers keen to experience “life in the bush” without sacrificing luxury, this is a destination not to be missed. The adventures at Wolgan Valley are endless: explore miles of trails on horseback, hike behind waterfalls through magical glow-worm tunnels, and hop in a 4WD with your personal guide on a sunset wildlife tour, eyes open for kangaroos, wallabies, and wedge-tailed eagles. When night falls, your guide can drive you out to your own private campfire, complete with culinary treats and a telescope for exploring the awe-inspiring southern stars. Retire to your Villa, an expansive home of natural wood and stone, with a private pool and floor-to-ceiling windows for maximum enjoyment of your surroundings.
Of course, Australia owes a great deal of global clout to its beaches and its most widely renowned natural attraction, the Great Barrier Reef. Located a fair distance offshore, most visitors keen on the Reef have to book day trips from the mainland – but the best place to stay gets you closer. We’re talking about qualia Resort, one of The Luxury Travel Agency’s favorite properties in all Oceania.
The resort is located on Hamilton Island, the central cog in the Whitsundays, a gorgeous grouping of islands that stretch along Australia’s northeastern coast. Daily flights from the major cities will take you direct, and the resort is mere minutes from the airport, making this a convenient tropical escape!
Qualia’s pavilions are sleek, light, and airy, aiming to capture as much of the glorious ocean air as possible; the transition between indoors and outdoors is seamless. We particularly recommend the Windward Pavilions, which have private plunge pools to enjoy – the perfect place to sip on a drink and watch the world go by. All of the usual island activities are on offer – sailing, snorkeling, etc. – but the signature experiences take it up a notch. We love the “Best of Both Worlds” tour: start with a helicopter flight over the Reef, land at a pontoon for snorkeling, then over to your own private beach for an afternoon of pure relaxation. There’s no better way to explore the riches of the Whitsundays!
If Australia is “down under”, New Zealand is “way down under” – as far from the rest of the world as you can get! The assortment of climes here is even more varied than its northern neighbor; lush tropical forests in the north give way to snowy alpine peaks in the south, with beaches, lakes, and rolling hills scattered through the nation.
The North Island region of Taupo is a favorite for visitors and locals alike, with its ancient redwood forests, volcanic hot springs, and world-renowned fly fishing…not to mention a lake the size of Singapore! It’s a place emblematic of its country – and the top address here is the venerated Huka Lodge.
Perched on the banks of the Waikato River, Huka Lodge claims a special status as the first of New Zealand’s ultra-luxury lodges, a designation it maintains today. Dignitaries, movie stars, even royalty – all have called the Lodge home. This is a property of natural elegance, beautifully weaving its history and immaculate hospitality standards with the picture-perfect surroundings. Seventeen acres of impeccably designed gardens flow through the property, with an array of flora unmatched in the country. One of our favourite features are the 20 private dining areas dotted throughout the Lodge and grounds; you can (and should) enjoy your delectable five-course dinner at a different spot every evening!
Down on the South Island, the scenery is even more striking: jagged mountains rise from glittering lakes, with old-growth forests that harken back to prehistoric times. It’s all about the outdoors in these parts – Queenstown (the hub for the region) bills itself as the, “Adventure Capital of the World”, a claim quickly validated by all those lucky enough to visit.
There are plenty of excellent properties to stay at, but perhaps none as singularly impressive as Minaret Station. Here, that old saying about real estate – location, location, location – has never been more apt. Minaret Station is a collection of four one-bedroom chalets and a central lodge, set in a remote glacial valley high up in the Southern Alps. Here’s the kicker: you can only access the property via helicopter! A half-hour from the Queenstown Airport will take you over snowy peaks, coursing alpine rivers, through immense mountains and valleys – and that’s just your transfer.
Activities at Minaret are very much heli-based, since the imposing landscape simply doesn’t accommodate any other means. And what a landscape it is – we hear time and again from our clients that they find themselves “in a movie” as they explore this slice of the globe. Where else can you land on the shores of an alpine lake, the beaches of the mighty Pacific, a stupendous glacier, and a virgin old-growth forest, all untouched by mankind – in the span of only a few hours on tour? When the day is done, Minaret’s chef is ready to welcome you home with only the freshest dishes to enjoy; this correspondent has never tasted more exquisite lamb in his life. There are few world-class properties as remote as Minaret Station, and even fewer that will imprint your memory as it does.
Of course, Oceania is much more than its two largest nations – there’s a whole lot of ocean involved! Pairing a visit to the South Pacific with Australia and/or New Zealand makes for a perfectly balanced journey, as these island paradises offer five-star respite from the endless activities on the “mainland” – and even here, there’s as much to do as anyone could want.
The islands of French Polynesia are some of the most sought-after around the world; while Bora Bora may be the most famous of their number, properties even more exclusive and luxurious can be found nearby. Our favourite? The Brando, located on Tetiaroa Atoll, only a 20-minute plane hop from Tahiti. A favorite of Tahitian chiefs for centuries, the island was purchased by Marlon Brando in 1967, and has only recently evolved into the ultra-luxe hideaway it is today.
Each of the 35 spacious villas provide your own private stretch of soft white beach, along with a plunge pool and generous indoor/outdoor eating spaces. Designed with traditional Polynesian life in mind, you’ll feel intertwined with the island from the first moment you step foot inside. At The Brando, sustainability is key; all materials are locally sourced or recycled, and the resort itself is nearly carbon-neutral, an impressive feat for a property of this calibre. Hosts of rare birds and fish call these atolls home, and it only takes one plunge into the underwater coral gardens to see for yourself. Barack Obama spent a month here immediately following his presidency – not a bad endorsement!
Another favorite haunt of the rich and famous can be found in nearby Fiji, which offers shorter and more frequent direct flights from Australia and New Zealand. Here, all of the top resorts occupy their own private islands – none more exclusive than Laucala Island. Here, guests are treated to nothing less than the very best. Fresh cuisine is ensured by raising and growing nearly everything on the island itself; the greenhouse and gardens are overflowing, the chickens are a unique Austrian breed, and even wagyu cows call it home!
Villas are of a staggering size, with separate chambers so large they could pass for their own small buildings. Private plunge pool? Try a full-sized version, complete with thatched pagodas, sunbeds, colorful gardens, and exclusive stretches of soft white sand. It’s difficult to leave your villa grounds – but when you do, amazement awaits you. Fijian horses, a championship golf course, and some of the globe’s best snorkelling & diving are just a few of the perks to enjoy. Laucala’s private collection of 14 boats includes gorgeous modern yachts and double-masted sailboats – no matter what kind of aquatic adventure you’re after, you’ll be impeccably provided for. We at The Luxury Travel Agency have stayed at hundreds of the best luxurious properties the world over, and very few can match the breathtaking splendor of Laucala Island.
These brilliant properties are just a tiny fraction of The Luxury Travel Agency’s Partner Hotel network, encompassing all of Oceania’s very best along with every other destination you know (and many you don’t – at least, not yet!). At all of our Partner Hotels & Resorts, you’ll get the lowest possible rates, plus a smorgasbord of benefits such as free breakfast, private guided experiences, activity credits, and much more! All for selecting The Luxury Travel Agency as your trusted travel professionals.
We can help with everything from a simple hotel or resort booking to complete travel planning, including yacht and private jet charters, villas, and so much more! Contact us today via Whatsapp or telephone at +1-647-551-4560 and let’s start planning your next trip.
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