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Luxury Australian Itinerary – Uniquely Australian Wildlife

Uniquely Australian Wildlife

15 nights, plus a night on route where required.

Australia is a place of exceptional natural beauty where ancient rainforests and vast national parks, rugged mountain ranges and reefs, beaches and waterways, provide sanctuary for Australia’s wondrous wildlife.

With the continent accommodating more than 20,000 plant species and 2,300 animal and bird species, many of these endemic, this itinerary encourages complete immersion themselves in Australia’s pristine natural environments and the ability to get up close and personal with our unique wildlife.

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.

Bamurru Plains is the essence of luxury travel to Australia
Bamurru Plains is the essence of luxury travel Australia

BAMURRU PLAINS TOP END, NORTHERN TERRITORY (3 NIGHTS)

(Bamurru Plains is open from 1 May to 31 October)
Bamurru Plains is an extraordinary safari-style 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.

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 achingly beautiful natural environment and the prolific bird and wildlife it hosts.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Fishing – plus, with the camp being located on the edge of the floodplains it is the ideal place to hook one of Australia’s great sports fish, the Barramundi.

View wildlife by horseback at Emirates Wolgan Valley Blue Mountains
View wildlife by horseback at Emirates Wolgan Valley Blue Mountains

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

Experience the breathtaking beauty of the Australian wilderness at the conservation-led Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley. With 40 stand-alone suites, each with its own private swimming pool and 7,000 acres of nature to explore, enjoy a memorable break with distinctive dining and very special wildlife experiences.

A selection of must do’s

  • Wolgan Wildlife Drive – An all-encompassing tour of the Wolgan Valley reserve, guests can observe Australia’s native wildlife including the rare white wallaroo. The tour concludes with canapés accompanied by a glass of sparkling wine as you watch the sun disappear over the horizon.
  • Trail ride – Horse riding in Australia’s Blue Mountains is the ideal way to become familiar with the bush, and the types of terrain while encountering the reserve’s wildlife.
  • Nocturnal Wildlife Spotlighting – Torchlight reveals the flashing eyes of sleepy possums, grazing wombats, wallaroos and wallabies. Lucky guests will see an albino wallaroo – one of only a handful in existence (a rare genetic strain found only at Wolgan Valley).
  • Guided mountain bike tour – Following tracks and trails over largely level terrain with only the occasional small hill, the exhilarating mountain bike rides skirt a picturesque freshwater dam where wildlife is commonly seen.
Capella Lodge at Lord Howe Island has fabulous marine life
Capella Lodge at Lord Howe Island has fabulous marine life

CAPELLA LODGE LORD HOWE ISLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES (3 NIGHTS)

Often referred to as the last paradise on earth, world heritage listed Lord Howe Island is home to Capella Lodge, a contemporary luxe beach-style lodge offering an exclusive and unique island experience. Located on the world’s southern most coral reef, with a mixture of temperate and tropical marine life – many endemic to the island, Lord Howe has a unique under water world to explore.

A selection of must do’s

  • Ball’s Pyramid and surrounding sites – World class diving and species endemic to the region. Expect to see massive schools of Violet Sweep, Amberjack, Kingfish, Silver Drummer, Ballina Angelfish, Rainbow Runners, Trevally and occasionally Marlin, Dolphins and Wahoo. The dive sites average 25 metres in depth and range from drift dives, cave dives or simply following a coral wall.
  • Lord Howe Island Museum – Acquaint yourself with Lord Howe’s colourful past, you’ll find a library, plus historical and environmental exhibitions, as well as a replica skeleton of a long-extinct giant horned turtle. At 5pm each day (except Wednesday and Saturday), local experts conduct presentations on history and the environment.
  • Undertake a journey of discovery with world renowned naturalist Ian Hutton, spend a day exploring the most remote rocky coves while walking to the summit of Mt Gower rated as one of Australia’s best day walks and learn all about the islands rare birds, plants, geology and marine life.
  • Fish feeding – At Ned’s Beach let the fish come to you! Be part of a favourite Lord Howe ritual and help feed eager mullet, wrasse, garfish, silver drummer, spangled emperor and metre-long kingfish.
Exclusive Australian accommodation for groups at Arkaba
Spot unique Australian wildlife on a sunset safari at Arkaba

ARKABA FLINDERS RANGES, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Arkaba’s true luxury lies in the fact that its 60,000 acres of private wildlife conservancy is shared by just 10 guests, taking the definition of exclusivity to a new level in Australia.  Located in the ancient and awe-inspiring scale landscape of the Flinders Ranges, Arkaba 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

  • Arkaba’s wildlife is prolific – with Australia’s three largest macropods (Red Kangaroo, Western Grey Kangaroo and Common Wallaroo) all regular sightings. The country’s most endangered macropod, the Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby, has also returned to Arkaba’s range since the introduction of active conservation programs.
  • For those keen to learn more of the challenges Australia faces in saving its diversity of wildlife, join one of Arkaba’s field guides one evening to track a radio collared feral cat or set up the trip cameras that monitor key sites across the property. The tourism dollars that are spent at Arkaba go straight back into wildlife conservation on the property and an ever improving wilderness experience.
  • 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 on Australian fauna and flora.
Getting up close and personal with the local seals
Getting up close and personal with the local seals

SOUTHERN OCEAN LODGE, KANGAROO ISLAND, SOUTH AUSTRALIA (3 NIGHTS)

Kangaroo Island is renowned as Australia’s Galapagos and nicknamed ‘the zoo without fences’. It brims with diverse wildlife and natural beauty. On the island’s southwest coast, globally celebrated Southern Ocean Lodge offers unrivalled luxury in a uniquely Australian setting.

A selection of must do’s

  • Wonders of KI – A half-day guided journey into Flinders Chase National Park showcasing natural icons the Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch, home to a fur seal colony. A spectacular introduction to Kangaroo Island’s wildlife, marine heritage and stunning coastal landscapes.
  • Kangas & Kanapés – Signature sunset drinks experience at nearby Grassdale, a historic island property. Premium South Australian beverages, canapés and kangaroos grazing in the late afternoon sunlight.
  • Explore Cape Young-husband –Trek with your naturalist guide through dense Mallee scrub and along impressive limestone cliff tops. Experience the wonder of hardy flora growing along this amazing rugged coastline, spot the Osprey hovering above, the Fur Seals frolicking in the Southern Ocean waters below and the intriguing formations of the Remarkable Rocks in the distance.
  • Quad Bike Safari – a fun, interpretive quad bike adventure led by the lodge naturalist guide providing insight into the local wildlife and landscape seen along the way.

 

Click here to begin your tailor-made journey to Australia

Luxury Australian itinerary – A Trip For Twitchers

A Trip For Twitchers

12 nights, plus a night or two at your arrival or departure destination if desired

Australia’s environment is one of the most diverse on earth and its landscape is one of the oldest. Its flora and fauna have evolved in isolation for 45 million years, untouched by the upheavals of the world’s continental plates.

Twitchers are spoilt for choice with over 800 species of birds – many of these endemic to Australia – enabling the country to stake a strong claim to be the world’s greatest hotspot of bird endemism. Many of the species are easy to observe due to their charismatic and colourful physiques and beautiful song.

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.

 

Emus at Arkaba
Emus at Arkaba

ARKABA FLINDERS RANGES, SOUTH AUSTRALIA (3 NIGHTS)

A private wildlife conservancy, Arkaba’s true luxury lies in the fact that its 60,000 acres are shared by just 10 guests, taking the definition of exclusivity to a new level in Australia. Located in the ancient and awe-inspiring grand scale landscape of the Flinders Ranges, Arkaba provides the opportunity for guests to immerse themselves in the story of the bush – its ancient geology, diverse bird and wildlife and the chance to understand the conservation challenges that Australia faces.

A selection of must do’s

  • Over the last 3 years Arkaba has confirmed sightings of 10 new bird species including the Stubble Quail (Coturnix pectoralis), Spotted Nightjars (Eurostopodus argus) and the Horsfields Bronze Cuckoo (Chalcites (chrysococcyx) basilis).
  • Spending time with a one of Arkaba’s expert guides 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 on Australian fauna and flora whilst enjoying the abundance of birdsong.
  • Arkaba appreciates birds can be environmental indicators and studies them to help understand how the natural environment is faring. For those keen to learn more of the challenges Australia faces in saving its diversity of birdlife, join one of Arkaba’s field guides one evening to track a radio collared feral cat or set up the trip cameras that monitor key sites across the property.
Magpie Geese on the floodplains of Bamurru Plains
Magpie Geese on the floodplains of Bamurru Plains

BAMURRU PLAINS TOP END, NORTHERN TERRITORY (3 NIGHTS)

Bamurru Plains is an extraordinary wild bush luxury experience on the edge of the Mary River floodplain, adjacent to Kakadu National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory. The coastal floodplains of northern Australia are home to prolific bird (236 species) 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

  • The Mary River floodplain is home to an extraordinary gathering of Magpie Geese and during the period after the young have hatched (April/May), the floodplain will host hundreds of thousands of these birds. The hatching period also draws a huge number of raptors (kites, goshawks and sea-eagles) to feed on the young goslings.
  • A cruise on the Sampan Creek offers the chance of sighting a Great-billed Heron. Other rare species at Bamurru Plains include the Grey Goshawk and the Red Goshaw.
  • Waking at dawn to hear the cacophony of sound from the Magpie Geese, Whistling Kites, Blue-winged Kookaburras is nature’s own alarm clock and the perfect start to a day’s safari.
El Questro Homestead in the Kimberley
El Questro Homestead in the Kimberley

EL QUESTRO HOMESTEAD, THE KIMBERLEY, WESTERN AUSTRALIA (3 NIGHTS)

In the middle of almost 1 million acres of Wilderness Park and 100km from the nearest town, the luxury of the El Questro Homestead sits in stark contrast to Western Australia’s rugged Kimberley landscape. Perched on a cliff top, with vistas of one of the most strikingly beautiful locations, the Homestead is a relaxed and exclusive retreat catering for a maximum of 18 guests.

A selection of must do’s

  • The variety of ecosystems in the park attract 100 different bird species including, Rainbow Bee Eaters, Pheasant Coucols, dancing Brolgas and even the once near extinct Gouldian Finch.
  • Spend an afternoon at the Zebedee Thermal Springs – A magical place to relax and rejuvenate after a busy morning birding and climbing through the gorges.
  • The Little Pied Cormorant is the smallest Australian cormorant and is fairly common on El Questro waterways. It can be seen sitting on exposed rocks along the route of the Wandjina boat in the Chamberlain Gorge. Their nest is a small, shallow structure of sticks and it breeds throughout most of the year.
crystalbrook-lodge_outback-queensland_sea-eagle
A sea-eagle at Crystalbrook lodge

CRYSTALBROOK LODGE NORTHERN OUTBACK, QUEENSLAND (3 NIGHTS)

Remote…wild…elegant. Hidden in the rugged outback of North Queensland, Crystalbrook Lodge is a secret outback mecca catering to only 10 guests is an oasis of luxury perched over the spectacular Crystalbrook Lake and is part of the historic 85,000 acre Crystalbrook Station. Home to a staggering array of wildlife including birds, freshwater crocodiles, and fish guests can spend their days on the lake or riverside, exploring the bush wilderness or just enjoying the serenity and stillness of the outback from the lodge.

A selection of must do’s

  • The birdlife here is spectacular with nesting sea eagles regularly seen near the lodge. Enjoy the freedom of solitude and observe Bee Eaters, Koel Jabiru, Blue Faced Honeyeaters, Scarlet Honeys from the purpose built bird watching viewing platform.
  • Glide along the lake aboard a kayak or in the lodge’s virtually silent electric boat and become part of the lake’s daily rhythm as dainty Lotus Birds walk by on Lily pads and Jabiru and other water birds go about their business.
  • In the evening enjoy the Theatre Room where the day’s birding photos may be viewed and shared over a glass of wine or engross yourself in the bird and wildlife reference library.

Click here to begin your tailor-made journey to Australia

Australia’s Best Guides – Brendon Bevan | Naturalist & conservationist

Brendon Bevan

We talked to Brendon Bevan from Arkaba, one of Australia’s most experienced guides and a passionate conservationist.

 

Please tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?

My name is Brendon Bevan and I manage Arkaba Conservancy (A Luxury Lodge of Australia), The Arkaba Walk (A Great Walk of Australia) and the property’s conservation model.

 

What got you started with conservation and what do you find most interesting about it?

I guess since my younger years when my parents purchased a series of cattle farms in Africa and we set about de-stocking and restoring the land. Conservation is a pretty broad subject, but when you get to actually witness change and habitat improvement as a result of your efforts, it is truly the most rewarding thing on earth.

 

How do you bring conservation to life on your tours?

I like to get folks out of vehicles and into the thick of it! See it, feel it, smell it, taste it! Don’t make them spectate – let them participate.

 

Why do you think it’s important that people learn about conservation?

It’s everywhere! It is right under our noses and we get so caught up in “The real world” we take it for granted. We all have a roll to play in conservation.

 

If people wanted to find out more about conservation are there any particular books, documentaries or websites you would recommend?

To the contrary, I would say put down your book, switch off your television and disconnect your Wi-fi! Go outside and explore. Question the world!

 

What’s your favourite Australian animal and why?

Got to be a Wedge-Tailed-Eagle! Just look at it!!!

 

What place is Australia’s best-kept secret?

Has to be Arkaba!

 

What haven’t you seen / done in Australia that you’d like to and why?

So, so many things! Spending time in Arnhem Land would have to be right up there…

 

Is there anything else you’d like to add that hasn’t been covered by the questions already posed?

I guess the only thing I’d add is that there’s more to conservation than being a “Greenie”! There’s a real harsh coal face of conservation involving feral animal control and population dynamics. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but it is an absolute necessity.

 

Finally, how can people follow you on social media?

I guess they can’t really! I’m on Facebook I suppose, but really need to get better at that sort of thing.

 

Click here to find out more about Australian travel with Alquemie

 

Exclusive Australian accommodation for groups of friends

Picture this…Your favourite people, an amazing location, a heavenly bed, delicious food, wine aged to perfection and a range of unique and interesting activities that would delight even the most seasoned traveller. Sound good? Well that’s what’s on our list of small boutique properties are just perfect for groups of friends. These gorgeous options for exclusive Australian accommodation for groups will make you want to go on vacation right now. Read on…

Spicers Peak Lodge

Exclusive Australian accommodation for groups at Spicers Peak Lodge
Spicers Peak Lodge is Queensland’s highest mountain lodge retreat.

With just ten luxurious suites and two Private Lodges, Spicers Peak Lodge serves as an intimate and relaxing accommodation experience in one of South East Queensland’s most beautiful wilderness areas. Located on 8,000 acres at the peak of a ridge, with breathtaking views of the World Heritage listed Main Range National Park and Scenic Rim.

There is a range of experiences designed to give guests access to this strikingly beautiful part of the Australian wilderness including rainforest bushwalks, mountain biking adventures, and wine tasting at the nearby Granite Belt wine region. There are also guided four day treks ending in a night of luxury at the lodge.

Exclusive Australian accommodation for groups at Spicers Peak Lodge
For those that love nature, the four-day walk is recommended

Pretty Beach House

Exclusive Australian accommodation for groups at Pretty Beach House
The gorgeous view from Pretty Beach House

Pretty Beach House is the epitome of relaxed luxury and elegance for those looking for a private getaway not far from Sydney.  A serene escape nestled within the heart of the NSW Bouddi National Park and high above Pretty Beach (just a 5 minute drive away), here you’ll find the perfect balance of intimacy, privacy and personalised butler service. With just four luxurious pavilions a group can have this exclusive Australian accommodation all to themselves.

Exclusive Australian accommodation for groups at Pretty Beach House
Enjoy a private picnic or fishing during your stay at Pretty Beach House

Arkaba

Arkaba_Flinders-Ranges_South-Australia_Sunset-Dinner2-1024x654

Arkaba’s true luxury is delivered by the fact that its 60,000 acres are shared by just 10 guests, taking the definition of exclusivity to a new level in Australia.  Located in the ancient and awe-inspiring grand scale landscape of the Flinders Ranges, Arkaba is a genuine blend of conservation and tourism.

Arkaba’s team of expert field guides live and breathe the bush and through a mix of guided walks, open top safari drives and sheer passion, they will open up the secrets of one of Australia’s most fascinating and spectacular landscapes.

Exclusive Australian accommodation for groups at Arkaba
Spot unique Australian wildlife on a sunset safari at Arkaba

Cape Lodge

Exclusive Australian accommodation for groups at Cape Lodge
Cape Lodge attracts those who are seeking a private, stylish and sophisticated retreat

With 22 romantically secluded rooms and a magnificent five bedroom private luxury Residence, Cape Lodge in the Margaret River Region of Western Australia sits on 40 acres of manicured parkland and ornamental lakes and has its own 8 acre vineyard producing fine Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz exclusively for guests of the hotel. The superb Cape Lodge Restaurant is voted one of the ‘Top Ten in the World for Food’ in Conde Nast Traveller’s Gold List and is described as “one of Australia’s finest new generation dining establishments.”

Private, tailor-made activities in the nearby surrounds of Margaret River can include wine tasting (of course!), devouring some of the best regional produce in the country, learning about the Aboriginal significance of the region, surfing the world-famous breaks, multi-day walks, whale watching, truffle-hunting and much more. Read our review here.

Exclusive Australian accommodation for groups at Cape Lodge
Explore the nearby stunning beaches

Crystalbrook Lodge

Exclusive Australian accommodation for groups at Crystalbrook Lodge
The Executive Chef catches dinner at Crystalbrook Lodge

Hidden in the rugged outback of North Queensland this secret outback mecca catering to only 10 guests is an oasis of luxury perched over the spectacular Crystalbrook Lake.

The lake is haven to a staggering range of wildlife including birds, freshwater crocodiles and fish; a nature lover’s paradise, guests can spend days on the lake or riverside, exploring the bush wilderness or just enjoying the serenity and stillness of the outback in the lodge’s private manicured grounds. Keen fishermen will be hooked on giant barramundi or heli-fishing in the gulf rivers. Here in “big sky” country, the colours of dawn and dusk bookend nature’s daily theatre.

Lakeside Dining At Crystalbrook Lodge
Lakeside Dining At Crystalbrook Lodge

 

Travelling with groups of friends is one of the loveliest ways to spend time. On the other hand, trying to organise everybody can be difficult and sometimes pleasing everyone can be tough work. This is where Alquemie comes in. Our Alquemists are specialists at crafting magical holidays and ensuring that each and every traveller has the trip of a lifetime. Get in touch today.

 

Click here to find out more about Australian travel with Alquemie

Unique and exclusive Luxury Holidays Australia

At Alquemie the unique holidays we craft are unparalleled. Our expert team are specialists in designing itineraries for high-net-worth individuals travelling to Australia who demand discretion, precision planning and an authentic and unique experience. We create one-of-a-kind luxury holidays Australia that leave lasting memories through exclusive experiences.

To us, the true luxury is sometimes in the exclusivity of being one of only a few to experience something. For example, Arkaba, a Wild Bush Luxury property in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia is a private wildlife conservancy roughly five times the size of Sydney harbour. This is shared by only ten guests in supreme comfort, with fabulous food and wine, and one of Australia’s most spectacular landscapes. It is this exclusivity that creates the true luxury.

Luxury Holidays Australia at Arkaba
Arkaba is one of Australia’s most exclusive properties

In the Top End of Australia lies Bamurru Plains, another Wild Bush Luxury property where again exclusivity is the true luxury although great food and wine are a given. Guests stay in safari-style bungalows with mesh walls on three sides and expansive views out overlooking flood plains where the wildlife roam free. Activities such as airboat safaris or game drives show off the spectacular wilderness in this exotic part of Australia.

At Bamurru Plains guests can airboat over the Mary River Flood Plains
At Bamurru Plains guests can airboat over the Mary River Flood Plains

On the Great Barrier Reef you’ll find that luxury comes in many styles. On Lizard Island you can take your own private dinghy to one of 23 white sand beaches that you are likely to have all to yourself.

SUP board on Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef
SUP board on Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef

For those who prefer the luxury that an urban escape can bring, we call upon our network of guides and experts to show you a side of our cities you wouldn’t find yourself.

Whether it’s our cities, the outback or the coast, there is no end to what Alquemie’s specialists can conjure up. Download our Holiday Planning Guide for more inspiration  then allow us to reveal the magic of Australia through a carefully constructed itinerary that will enchant, educate and surprise.

Hero image: El Questro Homestead in the Kimberley

Click here to find out more about Australian travel with Alquemie