As Australia opens back up to travellers there are myriad new places to stay. Travel editor Winsor Dobbin looks at three tantalising possibilities.
Imagine soaking in your own private outdoor bubble bath, surrounded by vineyards, and rolling hills with a glass of award-winning shiraz in your hand?
Brockenchak Estate in South Australia has just launched three new luxury B&Bs in the heart of the Barossa, one of Australia’s premier wine regions. Tucked away in the heart of the Eden Valley, just a s short drive from Adelaide, three modern self-contained properties are set on 106 acres of farmland and 43 acres of vines.
Vines planted here in 1896 are believed to be some of the oldest riesling vines in Australia.
The Vineyard B&B is an 1880s cottage that was meticulously refurbished in 2017. It boasts wrap-around verandas with vineyard views and exclusive use of your own outdoor private spa. In 2021, owners Trevor and Marilyn Harch completed renovations on The Retreat B&B, which has spectacular views and two open-air baths.
The third option is the Studio B&; a couples’ getaway with indoor and outdoor fireplaces for a cosy winter stay. It also has an outdoor spa.
All guests are offered an intimate cellar door experience and wine tasting with the owner. Additions include a buggy tour of the property, private massages in your B&B, yoga with a view, a picnic at the top of Mount McKenzie or eBikes to explore the region and nearby cellar doors.
Book by visiting www.brockenchack.com.au/stay and receive a complimentary bottle of wine when you book direct.
Take an almost impossibly lovely riverside campsite in the Tasmanian countryside, surrounded by towering trees overlooking a bubbling stream with its own resident platypus.
Then add some rustic but well-equipped wooden shacks, one with a kitchen/diner and two, tucked a little further back, with an open-air shower and composting toilet. Throw in one very stylish blue kombi van known as Frida, equipped with a sound system, comfortable double bed, and little luxuries. You have one of Australia’s most luxurious camping experiences – and one that is unique to the beautiful Huon Valley, just 30 minutes south of Hobart.
If you have ever dreamed of a completely isolated getaway, then this is it, except for the resident wallabies, echidnas, possums, and all manner of bird life.
Fancy a nude swim in one of the swimming holes that dot Kellaways’s Creek? Feel free.
Want to toast some marshmallows over the fire pit at midnight? Go right ahead.
You can chill a bottle or two of local wine in the river – choose from popping into cellar doors including Home Hill, Kate Hill, Two Bud Spur, Elsewhere, Hartzview and Heriot’s Point. You have absolute peace and quiet with the chance to enjoy an off-grid, camping-style stay with a luxury vibe. You can cook over the fire pit, on a small butane stove, a pot-bellied stove, or on a gas barbecue, but be warned, the local possums are voracious scavengers of anything you might leave outside Frida – from food to your shoes.
Frida is a restored 1975 blue transporter kombi who comes complete with a full-sized double bed for an extremely comfortable night of sleep. To offer a little personal touch, Frida comes styled in the guests’ choice of theme – Boho Ivory, Mandala Magic, or Flower Power.
Kombi Kamp owners Pam Lane and Nic Smith have lived on the 80-acre property for over 20 years.
“Kombi Kamp gives our guests the chance to experience the iconic cool kombi vibe in a stunning private rural setting,” says Pam. “The Kamp is exclusively yours for your stay – no sharing, which makes it a perfect venue for couples seeking their own space.”
The kitchen is stocked with pots, pans, and utensils, as well as a basic pantry including locally roasted coffee, and an herb garden. Breakfast provisions including farm fresh eggs, local bakery bread, milk and jam are also provided for your stay. A small battery-operated fridge is provided to keep provisions cold.
The Kamp is situated in the heart of the Huon Valley – but off a quiet dirt road – and is a perfect base for exploration of the local artisanal food and beverage scene, as well as the region’s natural environment and heritage attractions.
Bookings can be made at https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/53053371
Ever wanted to go foraging for wild mushrooms, but not sure which ones are edible, and which are poisonous?
Kyah Boutique Hotel in the Blue Mountains is hosting three wild mushroom foraging weekends this month, wrapped into a play and stay experience.
Sign up to enjoy a morning of wild mushroom hunting, lunch in the woods, a three-course foraged mushroom dinner at Kyah’s on-site restaurant, Blaq, and top it off with a night’s stay at Kyah.
Hosted by mushroom farmer Mate Herceg, who also happens to be Kyah’s general manager and executive chef, you will be foraging and feasting pine and slippery jack mushrooms in the prime of the season.
The experience kicks off on a Saturday morning, with the chef accompanying you to the woods for a few hours of foraging following by a light lunch and refreshments under the canopy of trees.
Following your exploration of the wilds, you will head back to Kyah to spend the afternoon as you wish; enjoy a cocktail on the deck at Blaq, snag a spot in front of one of the three fireplaces in Blaq to warm up, sneak in a post-hunt nap or take in town of Blackheath.
For dinner, you will enjoy a three-course meal based on those freshly foraged fungi.
Wild mushrooms are only available for a short window of time each year and groups are limited to a maximum of 12 people.
The cost is $315 per person twin-share or $450 per person for single occupancy on Saturdays, April 9, 23and 30. See www.thekyah.com.au/whats-on
See more of Winsor’s recommendations at www.gourmetontheroad.com.