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Australia in Summer


Australia in Summer

Image Credit - South Australian Tourism Commission

Summer in Australia – December to February is a spectacular time to visit Australia. Boasting glorious blue skies and sunny days with warm evenings and a whole host of activities and festivals come to life throughout the southern parts of the country. Our aqua waters glisten and our white sandy beaches put on a show like no other. National parks are in bloom, our native wildlife is basking in the warm sunshine, vineyards are alive with musicians’ songs drifting out among the vines. Sydney harbour is alive with superyachts and fireworks ready for another New Year’s Eve extravaganza.

To make the most of our summer months, some of our state governments literally overrule nature, turning their clocks forward an hour to give their states more summertime daylight hours to enjoy the perfect conditions and summer vibes!

Be mindful when visiting Australia in the warmer months, that summer also marks the start of the wet season in northern parts of Australia, bringing high humidity, heavy rains, and cyclones (November to April). Parts of the Northern Territory (including Kakadu), far north Queensland and northern Western Australia will be inaccessible and most tourism operators including accommodation in these regions close over this season. However, no need to worry, as the southern parts of Australia are just as spectacular and have literally thousands of unique experiences and luxury accommodation to uncover over this period. We have highlighted some summer bucket list experiences below.

New Year's Eve Opera Gala Concert at Sydney Opera House
Location: Sydney, New South Wales

Image Credit - Mike King

Kick up your heels and don your finest apparel as you take your seat at the renowned opera gala performance at the iconic Sydney Opera House. As part of the platinum package, you’ll enjoy a pre-performance dinner and midnight party to create a night you’ll remember for years to come!

Overlooking the spectacular harbour, you’ll be mesmerised by both the 9pm fireworks display during interval, then the midnight fireworks extravaganza – with drinks, live entertainment, and of course prime viewing on the Opera House’s Northern Foyer balcony.

Image credit - Mike King

Indulge at Capella Lodge on the World Heritage-Listed Lord Howe Island 
Location: Lord Howe Island, New South Wales

Image Credit - Baillie Lodges

Soaring high above the coral-fringed Lord Howe Island is truly an incredible sight to behold as you prepare to be wowed at the award-winning Capella Lodge. Its casual barefoot luxury feel, coupled with exceptional service, sensational views of the turquoise waters with Mt Gower dominating the horizon and world-class gastronomical menu, make it a bucket-list experience not to be missed!

With only 400 visitors to the island at one time, guests will enjoy the uncrowded beaches and scenic vistas. Fill your days with massages at the spa, scenic hikes, crystal-clear reef snorkelling, kayaking, golf, or getting to know the friendly colourful fish at Ned’s beach. Marvel at the resident turtles as you float alongside them in the shallow corals. Jump aboard a fishing expedition or island cruise and survey the Admiralty Islands or uncover the lagoons’ very own shipwreck. You will never be short of things to do in this little piece of paradise.

Image Credit - Baillie Lodges

Scenic Rim multi-day walks
Location: Queensland 

Photo Credit - Spicers

Making Lonely Planet’s top 10 destinations list is Queensland’s Scenic Rim. Surrounded by idyllic National Parks, lush rainforests and spectacular mountain ranges with exceptional lookouts located in the hinterland of South-East Queensland – only 1 hour from Brisbane. Choose from Spicers 2 to 6 day hikes where no two days are the same, boasting breath-taking scenery, diverse walking terrain, unique luxury eco accommodation and superb food and wine.

Experience mother nature in all her glory, as our well-informed local guide escorts you through this dramatic, world-heritage listed region. Enjoy the company of our native animals along the way and hear tales of the early inhabitants passed through the generations. No heavy packs are carried as your luggage is transferred to your next unique, memorable, luxury retreat each evening, where a hot shower and gourmet food awaits you – complete with cracking fires and iconic bush views under star-lit skies.

Image Credit - Spicers Retreats

Birdwatchers' Paradise
Location: The Eyre Peninsula, South Australia 

Image Credit - Australian Coastal Safaris

A birdwatcher’s delight, the incredibly diverse Eyre Peninsula is home to 270 species of birds! Encompassing multiple habitats, you’ll traverse coastal dune shrublands, mallee woodlands, sandflats, wetlands, saltmarsh and clifftops within National and Conservation Parks with abundant opportunity to observe many fascinating bird species. Pied and Sooty Oyster Catchers or even the endangered Hooded Plover. In the Mallee you’ll look for the fabulously coloured Australian Ringneck Parrots, brilliant Golden Whistlers and much more, you may just be lucky enough to witness the rare sighting of the endangered Southern Emu-wren. Keen bird watchers will keep an eye to the sky for birds of Prey including Osprey, Sea-eagles and Falcons.

Tailor-make your own birding itinerary taking in all the magnificent sites the region has to offer, spending your evenings in your very own beach-front accommodation with a private chef, gazing over the blue horizon to Boston Island off Port Lincoln.

Image Credit - Tourism Australia

Combine a little music with your wine!
Location: The Hunter Valley, New South Wales 

During the summer months the Hunter Valley vineyards come alive with concerts, festivals, and live music. From Aussie rock to international headlines, sunset jazz or the magic of a starlit symphony on your picnic blanket with a glass of Hunter Valley red!

The region is also home to two luxurious Spicers Retreats to indulge your senses. Featuring award-winning dining and elegantly appointed suites nestled into the natural bushland or private vineyards with signature experiences including a sensational sunrise hot air ballooning over the picturesque Hunter region.

Image Credits - Spicers Retreats

Phillip Island Penguin Parade
Location: Phillip Island Victoria

Image Credit - Phillip Island Nature Park

Phillip Island is home to the largest Little Penguin colony in the world with over 40,000 penguins. Only 90-minutes from Melbourne you can experience the magic of these adorable little seabirds as they waddle their way from a hard-day’s fishing in the ocean to their burrows in the sand dunes. Dating back to the 1920’s, just after sunset some 700 to 5,000 penguins make their way to the dunes every night, our private guides provide delighted visitors an unforgettable evening on Summerland Beach. Summer is the perfect time to witness the phenomenon with peak breeding season leading to increased numbers making the pilgrimage.

Image Credit - Phillip Island Nature Park

Tasmanian Hidden Gems!
Location: Tasmania

Image Credit - Tourism Australia

Immerse yourself in the sweet perfume and vibrant purple blooms of the world’s largest privately-owned lavender farm. Spanning over 260 acres with approximately 650,000 lavender plants in rows stretching 200 km in total. In December the farm is in full bloom through to early February.

Wander among a fragrant sea of colour as you take in the striking purple landscape straight out of a story book. Learn about the farms harvesting and the wonderful products that are created from the lavender. Finish your day with a delicious lunch in the ambient surroundings with the striking Mt Arthur in the distance.

Combine this fragrant experience with a few nights at Saffire Freycinet, one of the world’s finest Luxury Lodges. Overlooking the alluring Freycinet Peninsula your beautifully appointed suites ooze luxury with all the trimmings, boasting one of Tasmania’s most exclusive restaurants and array of complementary experiences including Wineglass Bay and the infamous oyster shucking dining experience in Freycinet Oyster Farm.

Historical River Outback Experience
Location: The Murray River - South Australia

Immerse yourself in a unique, opulent, and private retreat on Australia’s longest River. The Frames is a 6-star, award-winning accommodation built for discerning travellers on the peaceful banks of The Murray River. A truly Australian iconic river, teeming with native wildlife and towering river red gums with beautiful desert landscapes and flourishing wetlands to explore in this uniquely Australian outback region.

Take in an Australian sunset on a beautifully restored Gondola with champagne and nibbles or experience an Aboriginal cultural Welcome to Country ceremony. Visit a historic shearing station turned brewery, jump aboard a wetland & wildlife cruise or delight in a Riverland bird watching tour. For the foodies, many local wineries, distilleries and coffee plantations are close by where you can indulge in a gastronomic journey or take in a star-lit glamping experience and dine among the gums in this diverse, red-earthed playground.

Image Credits - The Frames

Ready to tick some experiences off your bucket list? 
Reach out to our team for more information on any of the featured experiences.

We’ve been operating since 2001 as an DMC (destination management company) helping luxury travel agents from around the globe craft unique, luxury and experiential itineraries for their discerning clients.
Our team has an intimate understanding of Australia and we are constantly travelling throughout the country to improve our knowledge of what’s on offer. We hand-pick our suppliers – we test out the guides, the accommodation and the experiences so you can be assured that when we put something in an itinerary there is a good reason for it.
Our creativity. In conjunction with our hand-picked suppliers we aim to create the
un-Googleable! ‘Never-had-before, never-to-be-repeated-again’ experiences.
We know the intricacies of each region and how best to reveal what makes them special. We draw on a big pool of relationships to create unique experiences.
Our network of contacts around the country is second to none and means we are uniquely well-informed to design an experience of Australia that goes to the heart of the country.
Come to us for extraordinary itineraries.
Our mantra:
‘Anybody can book accommodation, where we add value is by layering in the magic’.

Written by Kristi Gomm

Australia in Spring


Bronte Beach
Image Credit - Tourism Australia

Australia in Spring

Spring – September, October and November, is a spectacular time to visit Australia. The southern states are blanketed in vivid purple jacaranda blooms, temperatures are mild with sunny days and cooler evenings. Our deep blue seas are warming up with the promise of summer just around the corner. Milder conditions make way for a whole host of wildlife spotting, outdoor events and unforgettable experiences.

Be mindful that November marks the beginning of the ‘wet season’ in our northern states Queensland, Northern Territory, and the northern parts of Western Australia. Adding a new and enchanting dimension to our rainforests and bringing tropical showers to our waterfalls and flood plains – so plan your experiences accordingly.

For those who have clients coming to Australia in Spring 2023, we have put together 10 bucket list highlights and suggested itineraries to make their Australian experience truly unforgettable.

River Drift Snorkel Adventure in the World's Oldest Rainforest
Location: Daintree National Park, Queensland

Drifting in the daintree
Image Credit - Back Country Bliss

Immerse yourself in the rainforest like never before! This unique, hands-on experience is like no other. Experience the serenity and the beauty of this World Heritage Listed Rainforest as you drift effortlessly down the crystal-clear Mossman River beneath a canopy of green. Don a snorkel and search for turtles, fish, water dragon and the elusive platypus. Our local guides will show you many interesting species of the region on a short rainforest walk during your adventure. 

Daintree Rainforest and Mossman Gorge
Image credit - Back Country Bliss

Charter a Yacht in the Spectacular Whitsundays 
Location: The Whitsundays, Queensland

Yacht Charter
Image Credit - Tourism Australia

Escape reality and create unforgettable memories in the pristine, turquoise waters of The Whitsundays. With over 74 islands to explore – most of them remote and uninhabited, it’s the perfect place to immerse yourself n Australia’s beach culture. Boasting endless stretches of uncrowded white sandy beaches, coral cays brimming with colourful fish, crystal-clear tropical waters and vibrant night life for those who want to call into Hamilton Island or Airlie Beach – there really is something for everyone.

The Whitsunday Islands
Image Credit - Tourism and Events Queensland

Cows & Canapés in the Outback
Location: South-west of Darwin, Northern Territory 

Finniss River Lodge

Wild-bush charm meets contemporary elegance and sophistication at Australia’s newest experiential lodge, only 90 minutes’ drive or a 20-minute charter flight from Darwin. An all-inclusive high-end lodge set on a 50,000-acre working cattle station on the edge of a vast wetland in the Northern Territory. With a maximum of 12 guests your stay can be as adventurous or relaxed as you choose.

This stunning wilderness area showcases Australia at its best! Teeming with birdlife, lizards, dingo’s, crocodiles and of course the cattle – guests are treated to brilliant sunsets, airboat adventures, buggy tours, safari’s, station experiences and of course their Cows & Canapés truly unique experience. Sip sundowners and take a selfie with these curious and friendly cattle as you indulge in canapés and tales of outback life. A visit in September or October will avoid the ‘wet season’ and guests might be lucky enough to spot some baby calves! Equally as invigorating are the airboats adventures that take flight along the flood plains in the wetter months.

Canapes with Cows
Image Credit - Finniss River Lodge

Southern Ocean Lodge - Reopening!
Location: Kangaroo Island 
Dates: 6 December 2023

Southern Ocean Lodge
Image Credit - Southern Ocean Lodge

After the devastating bushfires in 2020 the multi-award-winning Southern Ocean Lodge is well underway to reopen its doors December 6th, 2023. Perched high on the cliff top with 360-degree views you’ll be mesmerised by the breath-taking views of this wildly diverse landscape.

Surrounded by pristine conservation sanctuaries and national parks, Kangaroo Island is a premium destination for nature-lovers. Take a trip out to Seal Bay Conservation Park and wander among the dunes of Seal Bay, getting up close and personal with Australia’s 3rd largest sea lion colony. Finish the evening with a Southern Ocean Lodge signature experience enjoying sundowners with a twilight expedition to witness the kangaroos and wallabies grazing in the setting sun.

Kangaroo Island

Taronga Zoo - Private Tours
Location: Sydney, New South Wales 

Wildlife Retreat
Image Credit - Taronga Zoo Wildlife Retreat

Taronga Zoo’s private tours are back with a whole new and interactive Australian enclosure due for final completion mid-May 2023. A must-see day out for any visitor to Australia. Meander your way through the newly designed board walk taking in the kangaroo, wallabies, emu, dingoes and more as you ascend into the treetops among the Koala’s lazing dreamily in the Eucalyptus trees. Visit the state-of-the-art and interactive nocturnal house and experience close encounters with a number of animals on your private tour, complete with the infamous view of Sydney Harbour as your backdrop.

Finish your visit with an overnight stay at the award-winning Wildlife Retreat nestled in its own private animal sanctuary within the Zoo’s enclosure. Be wowed by more intimate experiences including feeding the resident giraffe, with their incredibly long purple tongues.

Taronga Zoo

Bucket List Dining Experience in the Rainforest
Location: The Treehouse Restaurant, The Daintree Rainforest, Queensland

The Treehouse Restaurant
Image Credit - Silky Oaks Lodge - The Treehouse Restaurant

Perched high in a leafy rainforest canopy overlooking the majestic Mossman River is a tropical paradise like no other. The incredible floor to ceiling open-aired layout of The Treehouse Restaurant creates an unforgettable dining experience complete with the soft flowing sounds of the river tumbling below.

Tantalise your taste buds with spectacular creations from renowned chef Mark Godbeer. A contemporary Australian menu inspired by an abundance of fresh produce sourced from the resort’s kitchen garden and the surrounding local region.

As the evening draws to a close and the warm candlelight radiates from the tables, extend your rainforest dining experience with a stay at Silky Oaks Lodge in their prestigious Daintree Pavilion. High-end luxury showcasing the rainforest from every vista.

Silky Oaks Lodge
Image Credit - Silky Oaks Lodge

Authentic Aboriginal Deep Country Experience
Location: Great Ocean Road, Victoria

Sand Art
Image Credit - Localing tours

Far removed from the traditional ‘tourist’ experience, this transforming cultural experience will see you enjoy a bushfood inspired morning tea on the renowned surf coast along the Great Ocean Road as you get to know our local Aboriginal artist. Hear his tales from the earth and sea as he explains some of the typical ways story and dreaming are represented through symbols in different aboriginal art traditions. Work alongside him to create an authentic aboriginal landscape artwork in the sand.

After a scenic drive and some lunch in the infamous town of Torquay, you will be transported to private, local Aboriginal lands and be treated to a traditional ‘Welcome to Country’ smoke ceremony from the elders of this region. Learn how to throw boomerangs and traditional spears as you listen to the harmonious sounds of the didgeridoo and enjoy a rare dance performance from locals.

Great Ocean Road

Bay of Fires 4-Day Walk
Location: Bay of Fires - Tasmania, Australia

Bay of Fires
Image Credit - Tasmanian Walking Company
One for the nature and walking enthusiasts. This multi-day spectacular coastal walk covers some of the most stunning and remote stretches of coastline in the world, located along the northeastern tip of Tasmania. The Bay of Fires is famed for its white sandy beaches, vibrant red lichen covered boulders, diverse woodlands and tranquil waterways.

An off-grid easy beach walking experience, rich in culture and stories from the traditional owners and first nations people of the region. Enjoy wild swimming and kayaking opportunities along the way whilst your evenings are spent in various high-end accommodation including the award-winning Bay of Fires Lodge with rejuvenating spa and renowned panoramic bathtub experience. Foot spas, gourmet meals, canapés and delicious local wines are all part of the experience. Departures October to May. This great walk is also available in a 3-day, pack free option for those short on time.

Sculpture by the Sea
Location: Sydney, New South Wales 
Dates: 20 October - 6 November 2023

Sculpture by the Sea - Bondi
Image Credit - Sculpture by the Sea - Destination NSW

Witness over 100 sculptures from artists all over the world as you traverse the sandstone cliffs on this iconic, sundrenched, 2km coastal walk in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs. Marvel at the unique sculptures that dot the horizon on this spectacular seascape canvas from September through to October. Celebrating its 25th year, Sculpture by the Sea is the world’s largest, free-to-the-public outdoor exhibition with $100,000 in prize money on offer. 

Sculpture by the Sea
Image Credit - Charlotte Curd

Get Back to Nature Experience
Location: Southern Highlands, NSW

Bendooley Estate
Image Credit - Bendooley Estate

The Southern Highlands are surrounded by national parks with plenty of spectacular hiking trails winding through rainforests and ancient eucalyptus forests, with a multitude of activities to entertain. From thundering waterfalls to picturesque historic towns, antique stores and flourishing gardens, wineries and museums. Our local guide can curate the perfect private tour to suit your interests in this diverse and magical region.

Spend a morning paddling the scenic Shoalhaven River in your custom-built double canoe rig. Indulge your taste buds with wild native canapés and a local award-winning cold-climate wine as you glide through the pristine waters and rugged gorge abundant with birds and wildlife. Enjoy a long lunch at an authentic local winery, take a guided forest walk with local indigenous first nations people in the footsteps of their Ancestors and see Australia through a different lens. Discover many fantastic waterfalls and panoramic views in the surrounding national parks and foodies will enjoy a foraging experience for wild mushrooms and truffles in season.

Southern Highlands

Ready to tick some experiences off your bucket list? 
Reach out to our team for more information on any of the featured experiences.

We’ve been operating since 2001 as an DMC (destination management company) helping luxury travel agents from around the globe craft unique, luxury and experiential itineraries for their discerning clients.
Our team has an intimate understanding of Australia and we are constantly travelling throughout the country to improve our knowledge of what’s on offer. We hand-pick our suppliers – we test out the guides, the accommodation and the experiences so you can be assured that when we put something in an itinerary there is a good reason for it.
Our creativity. In conjunction with our hand-picked suppliers we aim to create the
un-Googleable! ‘Never-had-before, never-to-be-repeated-again’ experiences.
We know the intricacies of each region and how best to reveal what makes them special. We draw on a big pool of relationships to create unique experiences.
Our network of contacts around the country is second to none and means we are uniquely well-informed to design an experience of Australia that goes to the heart of the country.
Come to us for extraordinary itineraries.
Our mantra:
‘Anybody can book accommodation, where we add value is by layering in the magic’.

Written by Kristi Gomm

Luxury Australian Itinerary – Wine Flight – Margaret River, The Barossa Valley & Kangaroo Island

Wine Flight

Spend 2-3 nights at each property. This itinerary works equally well in reverse.

Not surprisingly wine region culture so often seeds a strong food culture and vice versa. The two simply go hand in hand. Australia’s reputation as a premium wine-producing country is undisputed.

Wine lovers from around the world are drawn to the ‘home’ of the wines they have tried, savoured and loved. The Louise Barossa Valley, Cape Lodge Margaret River, and Kangaroo Island offer an entree to these prestigious and emerging wine regions, and very often, a personal connection with the winemakers and characters who live there.

This itinerary offers world-class wine experiences together with warm and knowledgeable hospitality alongside culinary excellence and luxury accommodation.

This itinerary is just an indicator of what’s on offer in Australia. At Alquemie we tailor make every vacation based on the whims of our guests. Please contact us to find out about the magical holiday we could craft for you.


Cape Lodge, Margaret River
Cape Lodge, Margaret River


Cape Lodge private estate and boutique hotel sits within 40 acres on its own vineyard in the heart of the Margaret River wine region – a wine region by the sea. This premium wine region has a strong reputation for fine gastronomic flavours and spectacular scenery, where rolling vineyards sit against a backdrop of ocean and forest.

A selection of must do’s

  • Best of the Best Wine Tour – A sophisticated behind the scenes wine tour often referred to as “The wine tour for people who don’t do tours”. No minivans, no crowds; the Best of the Best Wine Tour represents personalised touring at its best.
  • Gourmet Weekends are also scheduled throughout the year bringing together winemakers, food producers and lovers of food and wine. These weekends include master classes, tastings and winemakers dinners.
  • The Cape Lodge Cooking Classes are ideal for lovers of great food and wine experiences. Keep an eye out for the Long Table Lunch Calendar including Truffle Hunt Tour.
The Louise overlooks stunning vineyards of the Barossa Valley
The Louise overlooks stunning vineyards of the Barossa Valley


The Louise, an idyllic luxury vineyard retreat, encompassing acclaimed restaurant Appellation, is situated on a gentle hill surrounded by hundreds of acres of vines, with breathtaking vistas across the world renowned Barossa Valley. Home to more than 100 wineries, the Barossa is a vibrant community with a rich 160-year old cultural and architectural heritage and the oldest continuous food and wine culture in Australia.

A selection of must do’s

  • The Most Brilliant Blend – Don a labcoat and enjoy the challenge of being a winemaker for a day in the Penfolds laboratory where many of the iconic Penfold’s wine blends originate. Bring your blended wine back to Appellation to form part of your dining experience that evening.
  • Numerous private tastings and winemaker introductions may be arranged for guests such as the exclusive private tour of Seppeltsfield – A National treasure and living museum of wine history.
  • Appellation features a nightly wine-paired Chef’s Tasting Menu and believes that the sum of ‘food + wine’ should be greater than the individual parts and that wine is a finished product. A series of dishes created to pair with specific wines, creating a unique marriage, with ingredients directed by the season.


Kangaroo Island is the third largest island off the coast of mainland Australia and is known as Australia’s Galapagos. It is home to an abundance of iconic native Australian wildlife species and features stunning coastlines and spectacular scenery.

Indulge yourself in premium luxury at Ocean View Eco Villas, Kangaroo Island. Oceanview Eco Villas is a fully-hosted eco-luxury accommodation located on a 500-acre rural property, nestled atop the stunning Kangaroo Island coastline known as ‘Redbanks’.

A selection of must do’s

  • See Kangaroos (and koalas) in the wild of course!
  • Dine your way around the island as you explore a diversity of wild-catch and farmed seafood, olive oil, honey, wines, micro-brewed beer, gin and free range eggs.
  • Meet with researchers, volunteers and find out what is happening behind the scenes for conservation on Kangaroo Island.
  • Explore Kangaroo Island on a multi-mode adventure – four-wheel drive, walking, ocean rafting and fat-tyre cycling.
  • Walk among Australian sea-lions on a beautiful sandy beach at Seal Bay Conservation Park.


Click here to begin your tailor-made journey to Australia

Luxury Australian Itinerary – Uniquely Australian Wildlife

Uniquely Australian Wildlife

15 nights, plus a night on route where required.

Australia is a place of exceptional natural beauty where ancient rainforests and vast national parks, rugged mountain ranges and reefs, beaches and waterways, provide sanctuary for Australia’s wondrous wildlife.

With the continent accommodating more than 20,000 plant species and 2,300 animal and bird species, many of these endemic, this itinerary encourages complete immersion themselves in Australia’s pristine natural environments and the ability to get up close and personal with our unique wildlife.

This itinerary is just an indicator of what’s on offer in Australia. At Alquemie we tailor make every vacation based on the whims of our guests. Please contact us to find out about the magical holiday we could craft for you.

Bamurru Plains is the essence of luxury travel to Australia
Bamurru Plains is the essence of luxury travel Australia


(Bamurru Plains is open from 1 May to 31 October)
Bamurru Plains is an extraordinary safari-style bush experience on the edge of Kakadu National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory.  The coastal floodplains of northern Australia are home to prolific bird and wildlife (Australia’s answer to the Okavango Delta) whilst Kakadu and Arnhem Land are the heartland of the country’s indigenous culture.

A selection of must do’s

  • Airboat tour – A morning trip out on the floodplain wetlands of the Mary River catchment in an airboat is utterly exhilarating and the only way to truly experience this achingly beautiful natural environment and the prolific bird and wildlife it hosts.
  • 4WD safaris – With the recession of the waters from much of the floodplain in the dry season, the plains become accessible to 4WD vehicles and an afternoon out with one of the guides will provide a unique insight to this fragile yet very important environment.
  • Bird watching – The Mary River catchment is home to some 236 species of bird, many of which are found at Bamurru Plains. Even in the dry season the floodplains on the property still retain large areas of water to which the birdlife congregates in extraordinary numbers rarely seen elsewhere in Australia.
  • Fishing – plus, with the camp being located on the edge of the floodplains it is the ideal place to hook one of Australia’s great sports fish, the Barramundi.

View wildlife by horseback at Emirates Wolgan Valley Blue Mountains
View wildlife by horseback at Emirates Wolgan Valley Blue Mountains


Experience the breathtaking beauty of the Australian wilderness at the conservation-led Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley. With 40 stand-alone suites, each with its own private swimming pool and 7,000 acres of nature to explore, enjoy a memorable break with distinctive dining and very special wildlife experiences.

A selection of must do’s

  • Wolgan Wildlife Drive – An all-encompassing tour of the Wolgan Valley reserve, guests can observe Australia’s native wildlife including the rare white wallaroo. The tour concludes with canapés accompanied by a glass of sparkling wine as you watch the sun disappear over the horizon.
  • Trail ride – Horse riding in Australia’s Blue Mountains is the ideal way to become familiar with the bush, and the types of terrain while encountering the reserve’s wildlife.
  • Nocturnal Wildlife Spotlighting – Torchlight reveals the flashing eyes of sleepy possums, grazing wombats, wallaroos and wallabies. Lucky guests will see an albino wallaroo – one of only a handful in existence (a rare genetic strain found only at Wolgan Valley).
  • Guided mountain bike tour – Following tracks and trails over largely level terrain with only the occasional small hill, the exhilarating mountain bike rides skirt a picturesque freshwater dam where wildlife is commonly seen.
Capella Lodge at Lord Howe Island has fabulous marine life
Capella Lodge at Lord Howe Island has fabulous marine life


Often referred to as the last paradise on earth, world heritage listed Lord Howe Island is home to Capella Lodge, a contemporary luxe beach-style lodge offering an exclusive and unique island experience. Located on the world’s southern most coral reef, with a mixture of temperate and tropical marine life – many endemic to the island, Lord Howe has a unique under water world to explore.

A selection of must do’s

  • Ball’s Pyramid and surrounding sites – World class diving and species endemic to the region. Expect to see massive schools of Violet Sweep, Amberjack, Kingfish, Silver Drummer, Ballina Angelfish, Rainbow Runners, Trevally and occasionally Marlin, Dolphins and Wahoo. The dive sites average 25 metres in depth and range from drift dives, cave dives or simply following a coral wall.
  • Lord Howe Island Museum – Acquaint yourself with Lord Howe’s colourful past, you’ll find a library, plus historical and environmental exhibitions, as well as a replica skeleton of a long-extinct giant horned turtle. At 5pm each day (except Wednesday and Saturday), local experts conduct presentations on history and the environment.
  • Undertake a journey of discovery with world renowned naturalist Ian Hutton, spend a day exploring the most remote rocky coves while walking to the summit of Mt Gower rated as one of Australia’s best day walks and learn all about the islands rare birds, plants, geology and marine life.
  • Fish feeding – At Ned’s Beach let the fish come to you! Be part of a favourite Lord Howe ritual and help feed eager mullet, wrasse, garfish, silver drummer, spangled emperor and metre-long kingfish.
Exclusive Australian accommodation for groups at Arkaba
Spot unique Australian wildlife on a sunset safari at Arkaba


Arkaba’s true luxury lies in the fact that its 60,000 acres of private wildlife conservancy is shared by just 10 guests, taking the definition of exclusivity to a new level in Australia.  Located in the ancient and awe-inspiring scale landscape of the Flinders Ranges, Arkaba provides the opportunity for guests to immerse themselves in the story of the bush – its ancient geology, diverse wildlife and the chance to understand the conservation challenges that Australia faces.

A selection of must do’s

  • Arkaba’s wildlife is prolific – with Australia’s three largest macropods (Red Kangaroo, Western Grey Kangaroo and Common Wallaroo) all regular sightings. The country’s most endangered macropod, the Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby, has also returned to Arkaba’s range since the introduction of active conservation programs.
  • For those keen to learn more of the challenges Australia faces in saving its diversity of wildlife, join one of Arkaba’s field guides one evening to track a radio collared feral cat or set up the trip cameras that monitor key sites across the property. The tourism dollars that are spent at Arkaba go straight back into wildlife conservation on the property and an ever improving wilderness experience.
  • Spending time with a local guide bushwalking along the dry bed of the Arkaba Creek is a great way to soak up the sounds and smells of the bush and expand your knowledge on Australian fauna and flora.
Getting up close and personal with the local seals
Getting up close and personal with the local seals


Kangaroo Island is renowned as Australia’s Galapagos and nicknamed ‘the zoo without fences’. It brims with diverse wildlife and natural beauty. On the island’s southwest coast, globally celebrated Southern Ocean Lodge offers unrivalled luxury in a uniquely Australian setting.

A selection of must do’s

  • Wonders of KI – A half-day guided journey into Flinders Chase National Park showcasing natural icons the Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch, home to a fur seal colony. A spectacular introduction to Kangaroo Island’s wildlife, marine heritage and stunning coastal landscapes.
  • Kangas & Kanapés – Signature sunset drinks experience at nearby Grassdale, a historic island property. Premium South Australian beverages, canapés and kangaroos grazing in the late afternoon sunlight.
  • Explore Cape Young-husband –Trek with your naturalist guide through dense Mallee scrub and along impressive limestone cliff tops. Experience the wonder of hardy flora growing along this amazing rugged coastline, spot the Osprey hovering above, the Fur Seals frolicking in the Southern Ocean waters below and the intriguing formations of the Remarkable Rocks in the distance.
  • Quad Bike Safari – a fun, interpretive quad bike adventure led by the lodge naturalist guide providing insight into the local wildlife and landscape seen along the way.


Click here to begin your tailor-made journey to Australia

Australia’s Best Guides – Craig Wickham | Kangaroo Island naturalist

Craig Wickham

Craig Wickham is one of Australia’s leading experts on the fauna and flora of Kangaroo Island and he has been sharing Kangaroo Island’s secrets with guests for since 1990.


Please tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?

I grew up on Kangaroo Island and always had a keen interest in nature and wildlife. I spent a year living and travelling in Africa and studied wildlife and conservation management at University before working as a wildlife ranger with the South Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service. My family has a long history with hospitality and accommodation so the opportunity to work for myself with a professional guiding and tour service provided the chance to blend nature and hospitality.


What got you started with wildlife observation and what do you find most interesting about it?

Growing up with a strong sense of curiosity meant I was constantly observing and learning about the wildlife which surrounded me. Living on a spectacular coastal farm meant there was a constant stream of visitors and I was always keen to show people around and share what I knew. Once I started studying more formally it was clear how little we know about the natural world and guiding provides a chance for continuous learning. One specific element to wildlife observation which intrigues me is wildlife behaviour and habituation – how we are able to amend our behaviour and develop a level of trust in the animals we go to observe. The ability to blend into the background and watch animals doing what they would ordinarily do – not fearfully watching us ready to flee but grooming, joey kangaroos jumping in and out of their mothers’ pouch, or interacting with each other.


How do you bring wildlife observation to life on your tours?

A really positive message to share with our guests is the method by which we develop that habituation – not by providing artificial food sources but by carefully and quietly moving through the landscape and when we see the animals we stop and observe them, and then slowly move closer. Once they start to react we take a step back and sit down. We do not have to be totally silent – the animals will tolerate us speaking at a low volume. Over time this approach distance reduces and the animals start to ignore us – proceeding to feed, lay down to rest and even turn their backs to us, a clear indication that we are no threat to them.


Why do you think it’s important that people learn about wildlife observation?

I think this is a technique which is clearly transferrable and people can take this home and try it with their local wildlife species. It also gives an alternative to feeding which whilst in the short term would meet the objective of animals being habituated, it also rapidly leads to dependance, higher than usual densities which has environmental consequences, and often leads to conflict as animals become more demanding.


If people wanted to find out more about wildlife observation are there any particular books, documentaries or websites you would recommend?

I am unaware of specific books or documentaries relating to wildlife observation through benign habituation but there is plenty of commentary in research articles such as this one which outlines quite a few of the elements of the topic. A couple of favourite wildlife documentaries are: Faces in the mob – summarised in this short clip ; and The Ocean’s Supermum


What’s your favourite Australian animal and why?

The short-beaked echidna  – they are incredibly adaptable and flexible – being the most widely distributed native animal in Australia both in terms pf habitat type and climatic range. They are similarly diverse in their behaviour – one echidna will immediately “go to ground” digging into the earth and remaining absolutely still and I have been “out-waited” by echidnas for over 40 minutes! Another will appear very bold – trying to nudge people’s feet out of the way, tipping over camera bags left on the ground and appear to have no fear of people at all. I find it interesting that is a popular culture sense outside of Australia the platypus is very well know as “the egg-laying mammal” yet echidnas are virtually unknown despite being a far more widespread animal.


What place is Australia’s best-kept secret?

A favourite place of mine is Cape Gantheaume on Kangaroo Island’s south coast. Incredibly remote – half a day of walking to get there and I have fixed in my mind a day which held so many elements. White-bellied sea-eagles and ospreys wheeling overhead, Australian sea-lions on the whitest sand beach, thousands of long-nosed fur-seals out on the rocky point to the east and at the base of cliffs lay several long wooden beams – the fractured remains of the masts from the SS You Yangs which wrecked off the coast on Pelorus Islet on 14 June 1890. To me this spot epitomises the diversity of Australia, our wildlife and rugged coast and the powerful natural forces which continue to define our land and our history.


What haven’t you seen / done in Australia that you’d like to and why?

Whew – that is a long list! I am yet to dive with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef, I would love to explore the extraordinary fossil beds at Riversleigh, I have not visited the Kimberleys and then there are thousands of places I have been once and would love to go back to!


Finally, how can people follow you on social media?

Twitter: @craigwick
Instagram: craig.wickham
Google+ +CraigWickham
Pinterest craigonki


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