Lost in the Outback, alone facing Uluru , poised over the ocean, nestled in the forest or on a coral grain of the Great Barrier Reef: exceptional country, exceptional accommodation.
My breath is literally suspended, the gaze to infinity without encountering any obstacle to the Antarctic 6000 kilometers below, we discover the view of this amazing room.
From the floor to the ceiling, huge windows leave room for confusion: are we inside? Are we out? On land or still in the air? Behind its walls of glass, the bathroom also erases any reference to being indoors, exposing to the four winds (and to them alone) dazzled bodies, above the breakers that bubble below.
It is finally the aerial view that best illuminates the scene. A line of 21 rooms discreetly drawn by architect Max Pritchard sit atop the cliffs of Hanson Bay, southwest of Kangaroo Island, Noah’s Ark Island, emerging 150 km from Adelaide. Perfectly cultivating the balance between luxury and nature, Southern Ocean Lodge is one of Australia’s most prestigious addresses. Accommodation that has focused on the ultimate wealth of their country: space. Here, luxury comes first and foremost from the scale of the landscape, and the ingenious idea of slipping into it.
Elsewhere, in the Outback, go to another address that does not have one: Longitude 131 °. A simple geographic coordinate pinpointing the site of Uluru, sacred aboriginal heart of the country. There, planted in front row of the ocher sand of the outback, 15 tents out of nowhere face the largest monolith on the planet. This time the view is dominated by the huge red mass of Ayers Rock, symbol of an entire country.
Omnipresent, from the swimming pool to the private terraces, from the bathroom to the bed: the spectacle of the chameleon rock, sprinkled with light so dense that it seems palpable. After a dinner at the communal table of the Dune House, during which the beauty of great speeches goes on, we reach the canopy of white canvases stretched under an outrageously stellar sky. The tent is actually a capsule of comfort and refined charm, a cruel tribute to the pioneers who dared to venture into this hostile desert. A century later,
Swagman, backpacker, name it as you like, Australia is the country of the travelers traveler. He who loves the nights under the stars, far from the developed world. Many travelers however share this beautiful idea without wanting to give up home comforts, the chic idea of the tent has developed across the continent. From the Paperbark Camp cabins – perched under the eucalyptus trees of Jervis Bay south of Sydney – to the nine safari tents at Sal Salis – miraculously set on a wild west coast beach, facing Ningaloo Reef (the other Great Barrier Reef) behind which we go to greet the whale shark, in three strokes) – Australia is one of the most enthusiastic proponents of “glamping”.
WILDERNESS AND WELLNESS
Further north, in the region of Kakadu, the great plains recalls the feeling of the African savannah. Starting from Darwin, the little cuckoo plane lands on a runway, in the morning mist. We then join the delta area of Mary River. There, between the tall grass and the water, float the nine bungalows of Bamurru Plains . A luxury bush camp, set in the heart of endemic nature. The airboat spins on billabongs (marshes), flushing kookaburras, wallabies and sometimes crocos. Then we follow the rhythm of the buffaloes by slipping into the pool, then after a wonderful dinner, we reach his nest, whose walls are just mosquito nets filtering the sounds of the night.
Aware of the richness of the natural heritage they enjoy, these accommodations are integrated in their environment while ensuring maximum preservation. Solar panels, rainwater harvesting, composting, materials, crafts and local products are used. Television and internet forgotten. Nature as the main distraction. Well-being is also cultivated with care. Spas take advantage of natural products and always have a grandiose setting, like the Silky Oaks lodge perched in the Daintree forest or the Lizard Island Resort , nest paradise hidden on the Great Barrier Reef. An additional way to find the natural harmony and better blend into the decor.