Luxury Lodges bounce back after a forgettable summer

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This Australian summer has had its fair share of challenges. Let’s be honest, it’s been tough. Drought, bush fires and a global health pandemic dominate our thoughts during a time when most of us are either on holidays or are planning our next one. Glamping, camping and luxury lodges are often at the forefront of these plans as Australian’s holiday close to home. Luxury Lodges of Australia has taken stock after a forgettable summer, for each of their 19 lodges, which are dotted across the Australian landscape.

Around the world, news reported that much-revered Southern Ocean Lodge was destroyed in the Kangaroo Island fires, with Baillie Lodges founders James and Hayley Baillie immediately pledging its rebuild. Their leadership inspired many, and set the tone for enormous solidarity, vision, empathy and inspiration.

While the vast majority of Australia was not impacted by fires and Luxury Lodges and their communities have continued to operate throughout the summer, in the areas that were directly affected there is already visible and pleasing evidence of regeneration.


Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley Lodge, Blue Mountains, NSW

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley Lodge, Blue Mountains, NSW

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in the Greater Blue Mountains escaped direct impact from fires, however access roads were closed and the surrounding bush was impacted.  After an almost two month closure the lodge reopened in February. Importantly for future guests, the lodge reopened with a  clearer focus on options for guests to proactively engage with ongoing conservation and sustainability work at the lodge, including habitat and landscape regeneration, and wildlife recovery.

Luxury Lodges of Australia have always been so much more than somewhere to merely rest one’s head, with connection to place a key element of each lodge. Between them, the lodges deliver over 250 individual experiences and activities, all created to give guests a genuine connection to place, with the luxury of privileged access. Lodges are constantly innovating, to meet the curios, adventure-seeking spirit and desire for real engagement by guests.


Mt Mulligan Lodge, QLD

Mt Mulligan Lodge, QLD

Each lodge offers a heightened awareness of both the fragility and resilience of the land and its people. And in the wake of widespread and much needed rains, the natural and supported regeneration of country continues, adding opportunity for an even deeper connection to Australian places, experiences and people. Each lodge is rooted in their local community, and each plays a vital role in the regional economy.

Collectively, these 19 lodges partner with well over 1600 tourism-related businesses which supply products and services,  including expert guides, artists and craftspeople, gin distillers, winemakers, organic and specialist food producers. These people are the storytellers – the secret sauce for guest experiences and are as essential to the luxury lodges as the food that is enjoyed, the wines that are savoured and the accommodation that wraps itself around guests in a warm embrace. Another way the lodges support their communities is through all the local businesses and services which are dependent on the lodges; tradesmen, mechanics, builders and behind-the-scenes suppliers.

To travel within Australia now is to support these extensive networks of small and medium businesses. Ultimately, by holidaying at home, you are helping Australia’s tourism industry show the world that we’ve been knocked about a little, but we’re back on our feet and throwing open our arms to welcome visitors. See you soon!

About the author: Fiona Harper is a Queensland-based travel writer – follow Fiona at Travel Boating Lifestyle


Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef, WA

Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef, WA

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