Post-coronavirus, the trend for luxury travel (minus the crowds) sees families and small groups of friends flying private, staying in exclusive villas and chartering yachts across Australia.
1. Stay in style
Cascading water features, tropical gardens, shimmering views – you’ll find it hard to tear yourself away from Azure ultravilla on the Sunshine Coast. Part of the Luxico portfolio of upscale rentals, the property sleeps eight, with perks like a cinema, wine cellar, infinity pool, spa, gourmet hamper on arrival and concierge on call.
2. Jump behind the wheel
Australia has its fair share of epic road trips – made all the better when you’re sitting behind the wheel of a luxury sports car. Specialising in Tasmanian adventures Down Under, Ultimate Driving Tours experiences unite shiny cars with upscale accommodation, fine food and motorsports events. Fuel your wanderlust indeed.
3. Charter a chopper
Why drive to the Hunter Valley from Sydney when you can chopper there? Your sky-high charter chariot can whisk you to NSW’s premier whine region from the state’s largest city – when you arrive, linger over a champagne breakfast before touring top cellar doors and taking a scenic spin over vines to your lunch setting: five courses with matched wines, of course.
4. Take to the water
Channel your inner James Bond on an Ahoy Club superyacht, whether cruising around the Whitsundays with an intimate group of friends or exploring the Kimberley with your family. Private chefs, sommeliers, watersports butlers… you’ll want for nothing on one of these charters.
5. Grab a bird’s-eye view
Private jets, exclusive accommodation, memorable meals – an air cruise with Bill Peach Journeys offers a glimpse of Australia that is as lofty as it is luxe. Trips vary in length, taking in destinations ranging from the Great Barrier Reef to Kakadu, the Kimberley to the Flinders Ranges.
6. Jump to the front of the queue
Well, skip them altogether when you charter a private plane or chopper through ExecuJet. The company’s concierge team is on call to craft a bespoke travel itinerary for your group – or come up with your own, then journey in style.
7. Enjoy a city escape
Want to leave the big city behind, without actually leaving it behind? One Fine Stay’s Sydney portfolio includes the dreamy Pacific Retreat, which sleeps 12 people over three levels, each with unbroken views across the infinity pool and Palm Beach. There’s really no reason to retreat from this cocoon, but if you do, call on your private concierge to get you a reservation at that exclusive restaurant and your chauffeur to get you there smoothly.
8. Bliss out in Byron
In northern NSW, Byron Bay is home to some of Australia’s most exclusive accommodation. Not in the least the jaw-dropping, timber-and-glass Beach Box from A Perfect Stay. Bring along nine of your closest friends to enjoy sweeping coastal views from the 10-metre pool, then ease into evening barbecues around the outdoor firepit.
9. Hit the rails
There’s plenty of drama to be had in the Australian outback, and it’s best absorbed from the comfort of the country’s most opulent train experience. Enter the Chairman’s Carriage, a private addition to either the Ghan (Adelaide to Darwin) or Indian Pacific (Perth to Sydney). In addition to four spacious cabins, the carriage comes with a dining room and lounge, plus your own team of staff delivering highly personalised service.
10. Island hop in the Great Barrier Reef
Dive, swim with dolphins, watch turtles hatch on the sand… these are some of your daily diversions on a Great Barrier Reef cruise with Ocean Alliance. The company’s fleet of superyachts is hard to beat – take your pick, then float between destinations including Fraser Island, Lady Eliot Island, Fitzroy Reef and Hervey Bay, with world-class food and wine, watersports and exclusive experiences along the way.
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Lead image: Charter a chopper or plane with ExecuJet