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Far-flung retreats in Australia and New Zealand perfect for social distancing

Far-flung retreats in Australia and New Zealand perfect for social distancing

With the trans-Tasman travel ‘bubble’ on the horizon, we check in to Australian and New Zealand hotels that let you holiday – and social isolate at the same time.

Australia

Picnic Island

Tasmania, Australia

Want absolute seclusion in one of the most beautiful parts of Tasmania – indeed, Australia? Picnic Island sleeps just one group of 10 guests on a slip of windswept land off Tassie’s east coast Freycinet National Park. There are luxe eco-lodges, dramatic views, wilderness aplenty – and the rest is up to you. The retreat is totally unstaffed, so this is exclusivity at its finest.

Picnic Island
Picnic Island © Carmel Boyd

Hermes Estate Luxury Retreat

New South Wales, Australia

One of Australia’s newest hotels, Hermes sits on a leafy two-hectare estate adjoining the Never Never River in New South Wales’ sleepy town of Gleniffer. The opulent property is available for exclusive rental only: just four guests, a butler, chef and spa therapist. It’s a 45-minute drive here from Coffs Harbour, but we highly recommend making the most of the private helipad to chopper in.

Hermes Estate Luxury Retreat
Hermes Estate Luxury Retreat

Pretty Beach House

New South Wales, Australia

Just 100 kilometres north of Sydney, but a world away in terms of laid-back atmosphere, this lodge comes style to spare. Got a group of friends? Book out the four pavilion-style suites, which configure into one communal house – with private pools and gourmet food on demand.

Pretty Beach House
Pretty Beach House © Luxury Lodges of Australia

Lake House

Victoria, Australia

This acclaimed Daylesford property is known as much for its setting – on a vast property in the heart of Victoria’s spa country – as its food. Book the Retreat, which offers private accommodation for up to four guests, and is set apart from the main lodge and restaurant, with private parking and extra luxuries to boot.

Lake House, Victoria, Australia
Lake House © Luxury Lodges of Australia

New Zealand

Matakauri Lodge

Queenstown, New Zealand

The whole of this property is spectacular, but the Owner’s Cottage is particularly beguiling, if only for its jaw-dropping setting overlooking Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables, just outside Queenstown. The private alpine retreat comes with space to sleep eight, paired with a spacious lounge, full kitchen and dining room. Cook up a storm, or call on your chef for in-villa meals backdropped by mountains.

Matakauri Lodge
Matakauri Lodge © Robertson Lodges

Kauri Cliffs

Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Kauri Cliffs’ 22 suites sprawl across more than 2,400 hectares of farmland in the Bay of Islands region – it’s fair to say, social distancing is in its DNA. Even more exclusive are the brand new Residences: three four-bedroom villas set in a separate enclave to the main lodge. Ideal for families and groups of friends travelling together.

The Residences at Kauri Cliffs
The Residences at Kauri Cliffs © Robertson Lodges

Otahuna Lodge

Tai Tapu, New Zealand

One of the first NZ lodges to reopen, back in May, Otahuna’s Lord of the Manor package allows you to hire out the entire luxe property. Which means you and nine friends have exclusive run of the historic Victorian mansion, set on immaculate grounds south of Christchurch. Enjoy calming walks through the countryside, then return for gourmet meals and fireside wine.

Otahuna Lodge
Otahuna Lodge

Maruia River Retreat

Murchison, New Zealand

Secluded and surrounded by native forest on the banks of a river, Maruia is the ultimate natural antidote to city life. Until mid-October, its seven villas are available exclusively to 14 guests travelling together, with diversions ranging for forest bathing and sunrise yoga to guided hikes and river rafting. Disconnect, recharge and rejuvenate.

Maruia River Retreat
Maruia River Retreat © Boutique Hotels & Lodges NZ

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Lead image: The view from The Residences at Kauri Cliffs © Robertson Lodges