VILLAS WITHIN A LODGE
Even more exclusivity and privacy, where family and friends share the journey.
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WORDS CATHERINE MARSHALL
THE HOUSE AT LIZARD ISLAND STANDS SENTRY...
on a bluff overlooking an infinite expanse of reef-ribboned sea. It’s a beacon of sorts, rising sharp and elegant against the lacquered sky as our boat approaches from across the lagoon. A manta ray dances along the seabed beneath us and saltwater speckles our skin; we’ve spent the afternoon snorkelling at Cod Hole, a reef-enclosed chamber frequented by giant potato cods and schools of shimmering fish. Tomorrow we will rise early to climb Cook’s Look, where Captain James Cook surveyed a safe passage for his ship through the submerged atolls undergirding the Coral Sea.
There’s nothing to see but the mercurial ocean spilling over the horizon, the strip of alabaster beach below, the marine creatures darting pin-sharp in the shallows.
The House at Lizard Island.
The perspective is reversed from the loungers on the rooftop at the house atop the bluff: there’s nothing to see but the mercurial ocean spilling over the horizon, the strip of alabaster beach below, the marine creatures darting pin-sharp in the shallows. This ever-changing vista is certainly something to write home about; but there’s no need, since The House and its cottage annexe are designed to host the extended family - or posse of friends. If not for access to the amenities afforded by the adjacent Lizard Island Resort - butler, private chef, spa treatments and expert guides to unlock the mysteries of land and sea - you might well imagine you’re inhabiting your own residence on the lip of one of the world’s seven wonders, Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef.
Unparalleled levels of privacy.
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COME ONE, COME ALL
Striking three storey contemporary design.
The House exemplifies the evolution of the family holiday from getaways-with-mum-and-dad to sojourns with the extended brood or close friends. It’s one of a new generation of villas incorporated into existing lodges in the Luxury Lodges of Australia portfolio; collectively, they offer the space in which to enjoy the company of chosen travel companions and celebrate holidays or milestone events in luxuriant privacy. Their dress-circle locations guarantee uninterrupted views of some of Australia’s most transcendental landscapes: Uluru at Longitude 131°, the Scenic Rim of the Great Dividing Range at Spicers Peak Lodge, the Daintree Rainforest at Silky Oaks Lodge. Indigenous culture, connection to nature, people and place is bred into the bedrock here; it’s discovered on family explorations led by lodge guides.
Own private beach.
Pristine coral reef.
Custom designed furniture.
THE WHOLE FARM
The country’s more bucolic nature is showcased at Dairy Flat Lodge by Lake House, Daylesford in the region neighbouring Victoria’s stunning Macedon Ranges. This is a place of rolling farmland and infinite skies; after dark, the heavens flare with celestial light. The earth below fizzes with mineral springs and billows with volcanic soil. Seclusion is guaranteed here - the lodge is located near the hamlet of Musk, ten minutes’ drive from the Lake House - but loneliness is an impossibility: with six king suites, a superfluity of leisure space and discreet, exemplary service, it’s particularly suitable for larger coteries.
The flock can ramble in all directions — to the heirloom orchard, olive groves, beehives, vineyard, vegetable garden — for a chat with growers and a taste of the fruits of their labours.
The fecund Dairy Flat Farm.
The 38-acre Dairy Flat Farm is a verdant extension of the retreat on which it’s centred. The flock can ramble in all directions — to the heirloom orchard, olive groves, beehives, vineyard, vegetable garden — for a chat with the team of growers and a taste of the fruits of their labours. Regenerative farming practices are employed here, and produce makes its way onto the plate at the family table. Your noses will lead you pied piper-like to the cellar, now occupied by The Bake House, where slow-fermented sourdough and viennoiserie are magically summoned from the ovens each morning.
Beyond the farmland lies the Wombat State Forest - large enough for the clan to lose itself in while meditating on nature’s replenishments: waterfalls, lakes and native flora and fauna - including the marsupials for which the forest is named.
Dairy Flat Lodge by Lake House.
Paddock to plate philosophy.
The new Farm Spa Experience.
Family memories are made anew as you watch the countryside unfurl from the seat of your lodge-supplied e-bikes, take workshops on gardening, beekeeping and baking, or - for a taste of the ‘big smoke’ - make a priority-guest booking at the 2 Chef Hatted Lake House Restaurant in Daylesford.
There will be no need, however, to spend time sending travel missives. The people you most wish to tell about your glorious journey will be right here, sharing it with you.
Vineyard Suite at Dairy Flat Lodge.
40 acres of productive farmland and gardens.
An ever evolving sustainable yield.
Private ‘villas within lodges’ will continue to be a feature of ongoing reinvestment across the Luxury Lodges of Australia collection in 2023.
When the highly anticipated Southern Ocean Lodge opens next year after a state-of-the-art rebuild following the 2020 bushfires on Kangaroo Island, its showpiece will be the ‘owner’s residence’ — a feature across Baillie Lodges’ properties. The four-bedroomed 'Ocean Pavilion' will encompass a private outdoor terrace and wet-edge pool from which to meditate upon those hypnotic Southern Ocean swells.
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley’s signature federation style, gentle opulence and exquisitely framed views of the valley and Greater Blue Mountains will characterise the upgrade of the three-bedroomed Wolgan Villa and two-bedroomed Wollemi villas.
In Western Australia, the Cape Lodge masterplan includes the revitalisation of The Residence, a four-bedroomed guest house overlooking a private lake and secluded amid the tranquility of a three-acre garden.
Australia’s tropical wilds will be showcased from a fresh perspective when Bamurru Plains in the Northern Territory introduces a new suite comprising two bungalows interconnected by a timber boardwalk. Guests will be able to sink into the suite’s infinity pool and settle in for their own private viewing of one of the world’s most extraordinary habitats.
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