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The six seasons of Kakadu

The Traditional Owners of Australia have a different (and probably much more accurate) view of our cycles of nature, after-all they have lived here for up to 50,000 years.

Over the past ten years the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has been working with the below groups of Aboriginals to learn and document their ecological and scientific knowledge of Australia’s fragile ecosystems.

  • Gulumoerrgin/Larrakia people from the Darwin region in the Northern Territory
  • Ngan’gi, MalakMalak and Wagiman people from the Daly River region in the Northern Territory
  • Tiwi people from the Tiwi Islands, north of Darwin in the Northern Territory
  • Kunwinjku people from western Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory
  • Gooniyandi and Walmajarri people from the Fitzroy River area in the Kimberley region of Western Australia
  • Ngadju people from the Great Western Woodlands region in south-west Western Australia
  • Kundjeyhmi people from the Ngurrungurrudjba (Yellow Water) region in Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory

The Alquemie team enjoyed a private tour of Kakadu National Park in the Top End with Australia’s cheekiest guide Sab Lord in May 2017 (Yekke Season) and learnt first-hand about the stunning Ngurrungurrudjba (Yellow Water) region. We watched as small fires were lit to manage the tall spear grass that had sprung up after the wet season. By keeping this under control, it prevents big bushfires later in the year.

Gunlom Falls in Kakadu
Gunlom Falls in Kakadu

Below are the six annual seasons of the Ngurrungurrudjba (Yellow Water) region that were documented by the CSRIO in conjunction with Violet Lawson, a Traditional Owner from the Ngurrungurrudjba region, whose knowledge of the area was passed down to her from her mother.

Ngurrungurrudjba Seasons (source: CSIRO)

Kudjewk (January, February, March)

Kudjewk is the hot, wet and humid monsoon season. Barra, the north-west monsoon winds, bring thunderstorms, lightning and flooding rain. The wetlands are lush and green, and swollen with water. Plants and animals thrive in the hot, wet and humid conditions. It is a good time to hunt for animals stranded by floodwaters. Bamurru (Magpie Geese, Anseranas semipalmata) are nesting and their eggs are a favoured source of food.

Bangkerreng (April)

In Bangkerreng knock ’em down storms, the last of the wet season, flatten Anbedje (Spear grass, Sorghum intrans). The rain clouds disperse and clear skies return. As the floodplains drain into the rivers and creeks, Namarnkorl (Barramundi, Lates calcarifer) feast on small fish, tadpoles and crustaceans.

Sunset on Yellow Water in Kakadu
Sunset on Yellow Water in Kakadu

Yekke (May, June)

Yekke is a relatively cool time with low humidity. Djimurru, the dry wind from the south-east, blows. Early morning mists hang low over the wetlands. Ngurrungurrudjba is covered with Andem (waterlily) flowers. When Andjalen (Eucalyptus miniata) flowers, it is time to start burning the woodlands.

Wurrkeng (July, August)

Wurrkeng is the coolest and driest season. The humidity is low. The floodplains are drying out, and many creeks have stopped flowing. Cool, dry winds blow from the south-east. Yellow Andjedj (Cochlospermum fraseri) flowers tell us that the Kumoken (Freshwater Crocodiles, Crocodylus johnsoni) are laying their eggs on sandy creek banks.

Kurrung (September, October)

Kurrung is the season of hot dry weather. Whirly whirlies – Nadjurlum – are common. Mahbilil, the salt water wind, blows in the evenings. Bamurru have grown fat on Andem (Nymphaea violacea) and Ankurladj (Eleocharis dulcis) corms and are good to eat. They crowd around the shrinking billabongs with other water birds and are easy to hunt. Thunderclouds start to build high in the sky signalling the return of Kunumeleng.

Kunumeleng (November, December)

In Kunumeleng the air becomes more and more humid and thunderstorms build in the afternoons. Rain on the dry floodplains brings bring rapid growth. Balmarradja, the wind from the west, starts to blow. Waterbirds spread out as the area of surface water increases. Namarnkorl (Barramundi) travel up the rivers to the estuaries to breed.

When’s the best time to visit Kakadu?

Generally between about May (when the Dry season begins – before that it’s usually quite flooded) and October. In May, some of the main waterfalls may still not be open due to crocodiles however there are less tourists and you can still find the most amazing places to visit.

Learn more about our private guide – Sab Lord – who grew up in Kakadu with the local Aboriginals as his closest friends. His knowledge of the area is second to none.

 

Click here to find out more about Australian travel with Alquemie

 

Jungle surfing – Zipline Australia style in the Daintree Rainforest

Kids and adults alike will love this ‘Jungle Surfing’ zipline Australia adventure through the canopy of the Daintree Rainforest. You’ll be strung up 20 metres above the ground and fly through the jungle between six rainforest canopy platforms.

As you surf the jungle you’ll have gorgeous views of the tree tops, freshwater streams, and out to the coral fringes of the Great Barrier Reef.

  • The adventure lasts two hours, with over one hour in the rainforest canopy
  • There are six eco-friendly tree platforms, seven ziplines plus a Human Hamster Wheel
  • You’ll receive an interpretive talk about the Daintree Rainforest region on each platform

This is a must-do experience for anyone who wants the thrill of flight in one of the oldest rainforests in the world.

Bullo River Station

A 1.5 hour charter flight south-west from Darwin takes you to Bullo River Station – 500,000 acres of privately owned countryside – the perfect place for families and adventurous groups of friends who like to get hands on.

Bullo River Station is encircled by the coffee coloured waters of the Victoria River and rugged hills inscribed with Aboriginal rock art. This vast property is not only home to around 9,000 Brahman-cross cattle but a huge variety of local fauna species including wallabies, dingoes, wild buffalo, a myriad of native and migratory birds, fish and the omnipresent crocodile. The ‘Boab’ is Bullo’s symbol and these proud trees dot the entire property lending their stature to what is already an impressive landscape.

At Bullo you will be the guests of Franz & Marlee Ranacher – their nearest neighbour is over 2 hours drive away, and their property encompasses half a million acres. So remote is this region that there are waterholes and Aboriginal art galleries that have remained unseen and untouched for hundreds of years.

 

Guest accommodation is comfortable and simple; all rooms have private en suite bathrooms, air-conditioning and ceiling fan and floor to ceiling windows so that you can wake to the expanse of it all.

There’s also an option for guests to stay at one of a pair of huts which are accessible either by helicopter or vehicle and sit along a sandstone ridgeline and overlook a lake where buffalo and cattle come to drink. Each hut has a queen size bed and ensuite bathroom with shower and toilet. Guests can sit on the decking with nothing to interrupt the cattle station views at sunset and they offer complete privacy.

Home cooked meals are prepared by the station cook and your own just-caught Barramundi is bound to be the best fish you will ever eat. Breakfast is often al fresco on the wide stone verandah, lunch might be a picnic, perhaps by some beautiful freshwater swimming hole and dinner is usually served in the main dining room. You are encouraged to make yourself at home in the large living rooms of the homestead and there is a small swimming pool for those hot afternoons.

Bullo River Station

Franz, Marlee and the friendly station hands plan your stay to take into account the seasons and your interests, your time with them might include:

  • Taking part in the daily activities of a working cattle station such as bull catching or mustering
  • Horse riding (some competency is required)
  • Boat cruises on the Bullo River Gorge
  • 4WD safaris and quad biking
  • Helicopter flights to the outer edges of the station (additional cost)
  • Wildlife viewing – Wallaroos, wallabies, dingos, crocodiles and buffalo are all regular sightings
  • River and coastal fishing – Barramundi are almost guaranteed at Bullo!
  • Aboriginal art interpretation and viewing
  • Swimming in freshwater rock pools, picnics washed down with billy tea, you can even swag out (camp out) by a water hole if you are feeling very adventurous

Heli trip to the Cascades

One of the highlights is a helicopter trip to the Cascades.  Franz will take you on a spectacular flight across the vast cattle plains, over a huge billabong and the Bullo River before rising up above the escarpment and the stony country on the western edge of the station. He will leave you at The Cascades but before he goes he will roll out your ‘swag’, the bedding of choice for generations of Bushmen, and set up your camp for the night. Once the helicopter has been unpacked and Franz has shown you how to use the satellite phone, the place is yours. Take a dip in one of the waterholes, go for a hike or just relax on the beach. Bullo River will pack a gourmet picnic with provisions for you to cook your dinner on the campfire and this will of course include bacon and eggs for breakfast the next day!

 

5 great films for Australian scenery

There is no doubt that Australia has some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. Our red sand deserts are well known, as is the iconic Sydney Opera House, Great Barrier Reef and Uluru (Ayres Rock). But you can discover many more by watching TV and film (or even David Bowie video clips!).

Here are 5 of our favourite.

Crocodile Dundee (of course!)
Where? Kakadu in the Northern Territory and McKinlay in Queensland

Red Dog
Where? Dampier, Pilbara, Karratha in Western Australia, parts of South Australia

The Man from Snowy River
Where? Merijig & Mansfield, Central Victoria

Tracks
Where? Flinders Ranges, South Australia

The Adventures of Priscilla – The Queen of the Desert

Where? Sydney & Broken Hill in New South Wales, Kings Canyon & Alice Springs in the Northern Territory,  Cooper Pedy, South Australia

Ultimate Kakadu Experience with Bamurru Plains

Immerse yourself in the stone country of awe-inspiring World Heritage Listed Kakadu National Park – one of Australia’s greatest strongholds of Aboriginal rock art and culture. The Ultimate Kakadu Experience is the latest addition at Bamurru Plains and is available with a 3 or 4 night stay. After fantastic rain in the Top End, the floodplains of Bamurru are looking incredible, with vivid colours and clouds putting on a show. In addition, the abundance of wildlife that has already returned is a sign for a fabulous season ahead in 2017 so a visit to Kakadu is the icing on the cake.

Bamurru Plains - Melaleuca Forest Airboat
Bamurru Plains – Melaleuca Forest

Kakadu covers an amazing 20,000 square-kilometres and is recognised for its incredible natural beauty and also its cultural significance to the Aboriginal people who have inhabited the area for over 50,000 years. Experience ancient rock art, beautiful rocky escarpment country and a diverse ecosystem, with about one third of all Australia’s bird species in the park!

Kakadu - Image credit: Peter Boer
Kakadu – Image credit: Peter Boer

The experience

Just a short hop from Bamurru Plains by light aircraft across the river systems that separate Bamurru Plains from Kakadu brings you to the heart of this country. Rock art galleries reveal stories of Aboriginal people and their ancient culture. Textures of colours, vistas across savannah woodlands and floodplains provide a sense of the spirituality of this ancient landscape.

From rock overhangs and caves at Ubirr Rock (think classic scenes from Crocodile Dundee) to the meandering waters of the East Alligator River that drains from the stone country of Arnhem Land and marks the boundary between Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land, this day will expose the senses to country that is rich in Aboriginal culture, flora and fauna.

Aboriginal Rock Art - Ubirr - Image credit: Peter Boer
Aboriginal Rock Art at Ubirr in Kakadu – Image credit: Peter Boer

Travelling with Wild Bush Luxury’s field guides in our custom built vehicle, your day will include a bush picnic lunch and the chance to spend time with an Aboriginal guide on the waters of the East Alligator River before returning overland, with a stop at the Bowali Visitor Centre, returning in time for sundowner drinks, canapes and the comfort of the safari lodge as the sun sets over Bamurru Plains.

Your Kakadu Day Trip is available to be booked as a shared excursion with other Bamurru Plains guests on a Tuesday or Friday or a private option on all other days of the week.

 

Not just your average Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb

The Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb is one of Sydney’s must-dos. Head up the iconic ‘coat hanger’ for stunning 360 degree views as far as the eye can see and the thrill of watching Sydney’s traffic zoom by far beneath your feet. You can climb from dawn to dusk and far into the night depending on whether you’re an early-bird or night owl and you can do it in private or join a group – whatever takes your fancy.

Services for high-profile clients

BridgeClimb has hosted many high-profile clients and climbs can be tailor-made to meet their needs. There are private changing rooms and toilets, a VIP car entry plus pre and post climb enhancements..…think helicopter fly-overs, sky-writing, fireworks, canapés at the summit, karaoke, yoga, musicians, and the list goes on!

The experience is a bucket-list item for good reason, but if the idea of the usual Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb, isn’t exciting enough by itself, then allow us to bedazzle it for you with some novel ideas.

Have a disco party!

Dance the night away (almost) amongst the clouds. With the tunes pumping and a disco dance floor, it doesn’t get much more fun!

BridgeClimb at Vivid 2016
BridgeClimb during Vivid 2016

 

Get hitched!

While bridge-top proposals are nothing new, they are still incredibly romantic – especially at sunrise or sunset, and especially if it’s an unexpected surprise. Already engaged? Then why-not consider getting hitched 134 metres above the sea. Whilst you might need to forgo the white dress and tux, there’s nothing to stop you getting married.

A magical sunset proposal on BridgeClimb
A magical sunset proposal

 

Make a meal of it

If dining in the sky is something you’d like to try then we can arrange for a celebrity chef to whip up a dish.

Dining in the sky with BridgeClimb
Dining in the sky

Host a children’s party

Lucky kids can experience a special kind of birthday party with themed celebrations.

A Mad Hatter Tea Party on Bridgeclimb
A Mad Hatter Tea Party

 

Find your inner yogi

Salute to the sun from on top of the world with a a sunrise session of yoga from atop the bridge.

Find your inner yogi up high
Bend and strech

 

To discuss unique ideas for your BridgeClimb please contact us.

 

Discover the Wild West Coast of Tasmania

Would you like to breathe the world’s freshest air or stand amongst 2000 year old trees? A new Tasmanian experience allows you to do just that, with an easy day trip from Hobart to discover the Wild West Coast of Tasmania.

Departing from the outskirts of Hobart, a 50 minute scenic flight takes you over the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, one of the most remote areas in the world, towards Tasmania’s Wild West Coast. Landing in Strahan – a harbour-side village on the edge of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, you’ll board a luxury catamaran and embark on a journey to the Gordon River, part of Tasmania’s UNESCO Wilderness World Heritage Area. The area is steeped in history and is full or stories from its convict and pioneering past.

Initially heading out for a peek through ‘Hell’s Gates’ at the mouth of Macquarie Harbour you’ll cruise to see local salmon and trout farms that deliver some of Tasmania’s freshest seafood products around the country.

From there, you’ll head up to the Gordon River through one of the world’s most pristine temperate rainforests where you’ll get to walk amongst the giants of the forest – ancient Huon Pines.

Wild West Coast of Tasmania
Cruise the through Tasmania’s UNESCO Wilderness World Heritage Area.

 

After a chef prepared lunch you’ll stop to learn about Tasmania’s convict history at Sarah Island – a former Macquarie Harbour Penal Station with a reputation as one of the harshest penal settlements of all the Australian colonies. Operating for just 11 years between 1822 and 1833, Macquarie Harbour Penal Station took the worst of the worst convicts as the chances of escape were “next to impossible”. Conditions on the island were so bad that in 1824 a prisoner named Trenham killed another convict in order to be executed rather than face further imprisonment there. (source: wikipedia) The 2008 film ‘The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce’ was inspired by one of Sarah Island’s escaped prisoner’s tales of resorting to cannibalism to survive.

After visiting this interesting historic site you’ll cruise back to Strahan for some free time before your return scenic flight to Hobart.

Book this experience >

Seven Peaks Walk – a Great Walk of Australia

Imagine a 6 night / 5 day walk in a region of Australia with wildlife to rival the Galapagos Islands. Well it exists. The stunning Seven Peaks Walk on UNESCO World Heritage listed Lord Howe Island showcases not only magnificent vistas but also the island’s unique biodiversity.

Lord Howe’s isolation (despite being only 2 hours flight from Sydney), the variety of terrain, combined with submarine volcanic activity has resulted in rare and endemic flora and fauna. The island has recorded 241 species of indigenous plants of which 113 (47%) are found nowhere else in the world, 207 different bird species and more than 1,600 terrestrial insect species, of which approximately 60% are found nowhere else in the world. (source: Destination NSW)

The Seven Peaks Walk traverses rugged sea-cliffs

 

The Seven Peaks Walk is based out of Pinetrees Lodge on the sheltered Western side of the island, with glorious views and a tropical lagoon perfect for swimming or snorkelling. Each day the walk showcases something new and is topped off in the evening with a sumptuous 4 or 5 course dinner back at the lodge.

Seven Peaks Walk - Pinetrees Lodge
Accommodation on the Seven Peaks Walk is at Pinetrees Lodge

The walk itself is moderate to challenging with a maximum of 12 guests. It traverses 45 kilometres and along the way guests will see sheltered swimming coves (with swimming opportunities), subtropical palm forests, freshwater creeks, rugged sea cliffs and volcanic peaks. There’s an optional last day climb to the peak of Mount Gower almost 900 metres above sea-level which will get even the fittest of hearts racing.

The walk is moderate to challenging with some exciting narrow ledges

ITINERARY:

DAY ONE
North Bay – starting the day with a glass bottom boat cruise to North Bay, then a climb of North Head and Mt Eliza. Depending on conditions, walkers replace one climb with a trip to the Herring Pools from the Gulch, which is an amazing place, but only available on the low tide without swell. Guests then walk over Dawson Point to Old Settlement Beach and back to Pinetrees along the Lagoon foreshore.

DAY TWO
Malabar – climb to Kims Lookout and traverse the ridge between Kims and Malabar (two peaks). Descend the south ridge of Malabar to Neds Beach and have a swim or feed the fish. Then walk to Middle Beach and climb Transit Hill before returning to Pinetrees. This is a moderate trail with steps and rough ground. It offers spectacular views of the island.

DAY THREE
East Coast – walkers head to Mutton Bird Point and Rocky Run, and then climb to Goathouse on Mt Lidgbird – an optional walk which is steep, uses ropes and provides the most rewarding views of the island. Walkers then descend to Smoking Tree Ridge and climb Intermediate Hill to the new observation platform (funded by Dick Smith). Walkers return to Pinetrees via Blinky Beach.

DAY FOUR
Water day (and rest day) – snorkelling trip on the outer reef (or an offshore snorkel adventure to the Admiralty Islands) followed by a kayak trip on the Lagoon. All optional – guests can choose their own adventure. Can be used as a weather day if earlier days are not favourable for walking.

DAY FIVE
Mt Gower – this is the optional day for the advanced walker to climb Mt Gower at 867m. Stunning views await and a chance to experience the unique mist forest and bird rookery at the summit of this extinct volcano. Variations of this day are offered depending on the group ability. If people aren’t up to the summit of Gower (and many won’t be) then there is the option of the stunning Erskine Valley or an off-track adventure to some secret spots on Mt Lidgbird. All options take people along the Lower Road, which is one of the most spectacular 400m walking tracks in Australia.

Please get in touch for more information or to book this walk.

Watch the Seven Peaks Walk video

 

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Luxury Australian Itinerary – Best of Bush Luxury

Best of Bush Luxury

8-9 nights (plus a city stop)

Australia’s wild bush doesn’t mean you need to rough it. Discover just how extraordinary our wilderness is; from the floodplains of the Top End at Bamurru, to Arkaba in the spectacular Flinders Ranges of the Southern Outback, to Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in the Blue Mountains, you’ll find that luxury and nature make for a great combination.

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.

The Kingfisher Suite at Bamurru Plains

BAMURRU PLAINS, TOP END, NORTHERN TERRITORY (3 NIGHTS)

Bamurru Plains is an extraordinary 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.

*Bamurru Plains is open from 1 May to 31 October.

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 key natural environment.
  • 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.
  • Aboriginal Culture in Arnhem Land & Kakadu National Park – The rock art galleries of Kakadu and Arnhem Land are only a short distance away and Bamurru provides an ideal base from which to visit Kakadu or Arnhem Land.
  • 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.
Exclusive Australian accommodation for groups at Arkaba
Spot unique Australian wildlife on a sunset safari at Arkaba

ARKABA, FLINDERS RANGES, SOUTH AUSTRALIA (3 NIGHTS)

Arkaba’s true luxury lies in the fact that its 60,000 acres are shared by just 10 guests. Located in the ancient and awe-inspiring scale landscape of the Flinders Ranges, Arkaba’s 5 room Homestead is at the heart of a 60,000 acre private wildlife conservancy and 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

  • 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 of Australian fauna. Australia’s three largest macropods (Red Kangaroo, Western Grey Kangaroo and Common Wallaroo) are all regular sightings. The country’s endangered Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby, has also returned to Arkaba’s range since the introduction of conservation management programs.
  • Evening dining – Dining is a communal affair –within the homestead, or al fresco around an old wool-classing table on the outdoor terrace. With the ever-changing light and sounds of the bush all around, this is a special and uniquely Australian outback experience. After dinner be lured to the fire-pit and take in the enormity of the night sky and stars.
  • Indigenous culture – the area is rich in Aboriginal culture and the Elder Range on Arkaba is steeped in stories and with rarely visited art sites. Allow the guides to introduce you to the region’s Aboriginal story.
  • 4WD safari – During a longer stay at Arkaba, a day trip into the neighbouring Flinders Ranges National Park includes driving through the Brachina and Bunyeroo Gorges, a visit to the old mining town of Blinman and lunch at an outback pub hotel.

 

EMIRATES ONE&ONLY WOLGAN VALLEY, SYDNEY – BLUE MOUNTAINS, NEW SOUTH WALES (2-3 NIGHTS)

Easily accessible with a 3hr drive from the cosmopolitan city of Sydney, the Greater Blue Mountains is a wilderness covering more than one million hectares of rainforest, canyons, eucalypt forests and heath lands. Experience the breathtaking beauty of the Australian wilderness at the conservation-led Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley. This is the quintessential Australian bush experience, combined with distinctive dining, dramatic scenery, heritage and 7000 acres of private conservation reserve to explore.

A selection of must do’s

  • Guided mountain bike tour – or trail ride on horseback – in Australia’s Blue Mountains is the ideal way to become familiar with the land, and the types of terrain while encountering the reserve’s wildlife including wombats and rare albino wallaroo.
  • The Valley Bar & Terrace Lounge offers an expansive terrace to enjoy in the warmer months, or an open fireplace indoors for when it’s cooler. At any time of the day or year, panoramic views across the valley frame the varying hues of the seasons, encouraging guests to sit back, rest and recuperate.
  • Enjoy a refreshing dip in your own private lap pool.

Click here to begin your tailor-made journey to Australia

Capella Lodge – Luxury Lodges of Australia

Capella Lodge, on World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island is Australia’s answer to Tahiti with the magic of the ocean and spectacular views.  Elise Johnson, Sales Manager for Capella, tells us more about this Luxury Lodge of Australia.

Describe Capella Lodge in 3 words.

Stylish barefoot luxury.

Tell us a little bit about Capella Lodge and what makes it so unique beyond great food, great wine and a very comfortable place to sleep?

Capella Lodge is a luxurious retreat on Lord Howe Island, a small, breathtakingly beautiful island that was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982. The island is bordered by a reef-fringed lagoon, rolling surf, and the world’s southern-most coral reef. Only a fortunate few enjoy this stunning island paradise, with a small number of residents and only four hundred visitors permitted at any one time, to ensure that the island is preserved as nature intended.

Capella Lodge is Lord Howe Island’s premium boutique accommodation and a close-kept secret amongst those in-the-know! It’s inspired by the authentic Australian beach house, with nine island-styled suites designed to reflect Lord Howe’s pristine natural environment. A unique feature of Capella Lodge is its prime location, resting above Lord Howe Island’s tiny, secret beach at Lovers Bay and at the foot of the island’s famous twin peaks, Mounts Gower and Lidgbird. Capella prides itself on its contemporary cuisine, first name service and relaxed sophistication, which delivers an exclusive Lord Howe Island experience. Despite all of this, it is the genuine hospitality that each guest receives from the Lodge Managers, Mark and Libby, along with their team of warm and welcoming staff, that always leaves a lasting impression, long after our guests have left our little spot of paradise.

Capella Lodge is a luxurious retreat on Lord Howe Island
Capella Lodge is a luxurious retreat on Lord Howe Island

What activity should guests not miss during their stay at Capella Lodge?

Take a stroll with our resident naturalist guide, Caitlin, who offers interpretive nature excursions around the island. Caitlin is a walking encyclopaedia on Lord Howe’s flora and fauna, and has a natural knack of discovering the shyest of rare sea birds or cleverly camouflaged marine wildlife!

Best dining experience at Capella Lodge?

Capella Lodge has a regional approach to cuisine ensures the finest and freshest produce from Lord Howe Island and New South Wales is showcased in every inspired menu. The light and airy, beach-house styled Restaurant and Bar has spectacular views of the lagoon and mountains, providing a dramatic backdrop for all dining.

My own memorable dining experience was a relaxed BBQ lunch with my husband on our anniversary. We rode bikes (complimentary for Capella Lodge guests and the best way to get around the island!) to Ned’s Beach, where Capella Lodge arranged a BBQ pack and bottle of wine to be delivered in time for our arrival. We spent the afternoon enjoying a BBQ lunch, along with fresh salads and dessert, followed by fish feeding and paddle boarding in the blue waters of Ned’s Beach. Bliss!

Sea-birds abound on Lord Howe Island
Sea-birds abound on Lord Howe Island

Please describe a typical guest at Capella Lodge.

We have welcomed a diverse range of travellers from all over the world, each looking to capture a piece of our island paradise! Our guests return again and again to reignite the magic they discovered at their secluded beach hideaway and to enjoy a warm ‘welcome home’ from their Capella family.

Is Capella Lodge child friendly?

We welcome children 10 years and older at Capella Lodge.

Capella Lodge at Lord Howe Island has fabulous marine life
Capella Lodge at Lord Howe Island has fabulous marine life

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Capella Lodge is just one property in the ‘Baillie Lodges’ collection, which offers premium experiential travel in some of Australia’s most inspiring locations. See the real Australia, in style, by visiting our sister properties: Southern Ocean Lodge on the coastal sanctuary of Kangaroo Island, and Longitude 131° at Australia’s spiritual heart, Uluru-Kata Tjuta.

 

Elise Johnson
Sales Manager for Baillie Lodges (Southern Ocean Lodge, Longitude 131, Capella Lodge)

Elise Johnson is the Sales Manager for Baillie Lodges, a collection of intimate luxury lodges in unique wilderness destinations.


 

Click here to find out more about Australian travel with Alquemie