Time for a Digital Detox?
These outstanding retreats and ecolodges in Australia are designed for a full immersion into their pristine natural surrounds, redefining the modern luxury of getting off the grid.
Oikos (pronounced eekos) was designed to complement the rugged backdrop of Breakneck Gorge, only a couple of hours north of Melbourne, near Daylesford. This sculptural hilltop masterpiece is a piece of isolated heaven amongst the gumtrees. Floor to ceiling windows frame the open bushland, allowing you to experience the peaceful surrounds from every angle. Oikos was designed by Robert Nichol & Sons Architects and has won many awards, including an Architecture MasterPrize, Dezeen Award and IDA Design Awards. The interior rivals the view. It’s pared-back, with seamless integration of textures and materials, and a serene, muted colour palette. The freestanding bath and fireplace beckon.
Treehouse of Dreams
Nestled within the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest, Daintree Ecolodge offers the treehouse experience of your childhood dreams. If you’re looking to reground yourself there is no better place to do it than in the oldest tropical lowland rainforest on Earth. A rare combination of lush tropics, white sand beaches and coral reefs make this spot unforgettable. Sustainability lies at the core of Daintree Ecolodge, and they are committed to using their business to instil positive changes in the world. These initiatives include donating a percentage of every guest’s accommodation tariff to the Reef Keepers Fund, a collaboration with Rainforest Rescue to plant trees within Daintree Rainforest and a partnership with Thrive Refugee Enterprise that helps refugees in finding employment when arriving in Australia.
Sal Salis is hidden away in a remote stretch of Western Australia’s World Heritage Listed Ningaloo Coast, committed to bringing a luxury experience with the most minimal impact on their incredible piece of earth. Their pledge is next level. The camp comprises of 15 wilderness tents, raised off floor level to blend naturally into the surrounding landscape, and have no effect on the natural flora and fauna below. The camp is powered almost entirely by solar power and the tents have been positioned to catch the optimum impact of the sea breeze off the Indian Ocean to cool the interior, naturally. The bathrooms are eco-friendly, with the used water carefully managed to ensure only filtered water is dispensed back into the ground. To top it off, Sal Salis is positioned on one of the world’s most pristine stretches of coastline.
Tiny House Escape
CABN sets a new standard for nomadic travel and living, with ‘tiny houses’ you can rent or buy, with an emphasis on reconnecting with the people and environment around you. One of their original CABNs lives in the stunning Adelaide Hills. (Winery neighbours? Yes!) Built on wheels for ease of adventure, this CABN has no wifi to remove digital temptation. All the essentials you need to detach from the everyday are incorporated cleverly into its little walls. Floor to ceiling windows allows you an almost 360-degree view of your surroundings. Self-contained and sustainable, CABN is built from local Australian materials and designed to make as little impact on their environment as possible. You can even design and own your own CABN. Our advice? Use their lockboxes for your phone and disconnect from the hustle and bustle for as long as you need.
Old School Charm
As one of Esperance’s original holiday destinations, the Esperance Chalet Village isn’t fussy. Rather, it proudly wears its old school charm, re-imagined with Scandi-meets-Australia interior styling. The village lives behind the sand dunes near that famous Western Australian beach with the kangaroos. The A-frame chalets are built from solid Jarrah Timber and recently bejewelled with the beautiful artwork of Western Australian creatives including Salty Wings the Knots & Weaves Co and custom pottery from Mint Blue Sea. It is a great destination to relax after a hard day at the beach with the laid back lifestyle associated with coastal towns in Western Australia. Don’t be afraid of local traffic, you’ll only hear the sounds of waves crashing on the break wall at Bandy Creek and the birds chatting throughout the night. Not just for summer, winter at the village offers one of the best views of starry skies and the opportunity to rug up beside an open fire. If you need a sign to detach from busy life – this is your sign.
Named after the National Park it resides in, Freycinet Lodge is an ecolodge that brings a certain elegance to the private wilderness of Tasmania’s East Coast. First built by local pioneer Ron Richardson in 1934, this accommodation is deliberately understated while ensuring all the little luxuries incorporated tastefully. The Coastal Pavilion rooms, in particular, leave you conflicted about where you want to spend your time, inside or outside? Floor to ceiling windows make up half the walls of the room, which is decorated with custom-designed furniture including deluxe outdoor hammocks so you can soak in the surroundings of Freycinet Peninsula and the nearby Hazards Ranges. There’s secluded beaches, ancient pink granite mountains and jewel-coloured waters of the world-renowned Wineglass Bay. Can we book it for the whole year?