From a lavish weekend in wine country to an evening of fine dining, supercar adventure or a wildlife safari, these luxury South Australian experiences will help create memories to last a lifetime.
Indulge in South Australian luxuries
Luxury off-grid accommodation brand ESCA boasts two special Nest & Nature suites nestled on a spectacular hilltop site on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Located in the beautiful Inman Valley, the self-contained, studio-style suites welcomed their first guests in 2022. Property owner Mark Kirk says the secluded location is like nothing else. “Being warm and secure among the rawness of nature, watching the sea mist engulf the valley … it’s like waking up in an executive hotel suite, immersed in nature with the utmost privacy, with kangaroos grazing out the front,” says Mark. ESCA has partnered with local massage and yoga provider Pause InHouse Wellbeing for in-house massage and guided private yoga sessions in the suites or on the deck with a beautiful view.
Up, up and away
Life should be all about indulging in experiences and creating memories with loved ones, and that’s exactly what Michael and Barbara Ludlow offer through their year-round sunrise adventures at Barossa Valley Ballooning. Jump aboard with pilot Michael and experience the peaceful yet exhilarating experience of a sunrise balloon flight over the world-famous wine region. Flights last about one hour, providing panoramic 360-degree views of the Barossa, before returning to debrief over a gourmet Champagne buffet breakfast at Novotel Barossa Valley. Be enchanted by the romance and adventure of the oldest form of flight.
These boots are made for walking
The Tailor Touring Co now offers exclusive private visits to the workshop of the celebrated footwear brand R.M. Williams. Meet the passionate people plying their crafts at the modern workshop before a plentiful morning tea and a trip to R.M. Williams’ original workshop location and first retail store in Prospect. Hear about the R.M. Williams story and the state’s pastoral history shared with insider knowledge. Tour the onsite museum before being fitted with your very own pair of R.M. Williams Craftsman boots to take home as a prized souvenir. A popular addition to this half-day tour is an afternoon visit to Penfolds Magill Estate for a three-course lunch and wine tasting.
Creme de la creme
Le Mas is a luxurious retreat made for individuals who appreciate a connection to nature and the romance of being surrounded by 125-year-old vineyards. Located in the Barossa Valley, the petit hotel is inspired by elegant French farmhouses and reflects a contemporary Provencal style while respecting the property’s heritage that dates to 1857. As a guest of Le Mas, you can enjoy the hotel’s intimate dining room, explore local wineries on electric bikes or simply stay and indulge in the extensive cellar, play a game of petanque, unwind in the Napoleon Library, or relax in the outdoor mineral pool.
Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant has recently launched a decadent new High Tea experience on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Be treated to an assortment of delicate finger sandwiches, divine sweet treats, heavenly scones, petit fours and cakes, all to be enjoyed while absorbing the breath-taking Adelaide Hills views. Created by head chef Jin Choi, the food is paired with a selection of premium teas and can be enhanced with Estate Sparkling or French Champagne for a touch of indulgence. Diners can continue their experience by finding a cosy spot around the fireplace, enjoying a cocktail in Hardy’s Bar or savouring a red wine by the firepits on the tiered lawns overlooking the gardens and hills.
Digitally detox and reconnect with family or friends with a stay at the Fleurieu Peninsula’s incredible Naiko Retreat, nestled between Deep Creek National Park and Talisker Conservation Park, about 90 minutes from Adelaide. With three bedrooms, each with ensuite bathrooms, the luxury eco-retreat is completely off-grid and sits on the edge of rugged cliffs with its own secluded swimming beach. Naiko’s expansive front deck provides panoramic views to Kangaroo Island and is perfect for relaxing with a book or enjoying nibbles and drinks while the sun goes down. Guests can explore private walking trails, guided 4WD buggy tours and Aboriginal Cultural tours. The property also features Futuro – a futuristic building that serves as a relaxing wellness hub for guests to enjoy some pampering and massage therapies.
Fit for royalty
The exclusive luxury lodge Kingsford the Barossa has opened its opulent fine dining restaurant Orleana to the public. Previously available only to guests staying at the boutique retreat at the gateway to the Barossa, Orleana restaurant is now taking dinner reservations Wednesday through Saturday, with indulgent culinary experiences designed by executive chef Joel Cugley. Joel takes diners on a journey of Kingsford’s 167-year-history through the decadent seven-course tasting menu called History of Kingsford. There is also the Best of Barossa three-course table d’hôte menu which showcases local South Australian produce with a focus on suppliers from the Barossa region.
The jewel in the crown of SkyCity Adelaide is the Grace Villa – a bespoke residential sanctuary that transports guests into ultimate luxury living with commanding views over the Adelaide Oval and Riverbank Precinct. Across 305 square metres of floor space, the one-of-a-kind villa features two expansive bedrooms, both with king bed configurations and generous sized walk-in wardrobes. Starting at $6999 per night, the Grace Villa is SkyCity’s most opulent accommodation that caters to the most discerning travellers, with butler service, marble bathrooms, a sauna and powder room, and smart living technology. Guests also have access to the gym and Eos’ outdoor swimming pool and relaxation area.
Indulgent wine weekend
Refurbished last year to the tune of $3 million, Barossa lodge The Louise has launched a series of indulgent Wine Weekends, offering two-nights of fine dining and accommodation, paired with winery and vineyard tours at one local winery. Each Wine Weekend encompasses a weekend of degustation dinners, long lunches, back vintage tastings and a personal culinary tour of the Barossa. The Louise’s 15 suites have had a significant refurbishment, with contemporary furnishings, king beds, ensuite bathrooms and space to feel at home. Details will be announced in the lead-up to each event.
Luxury at Australia’s best beach
For a romantic luxury retreat ensconced in secluded farmland, natural wilderness and wildlife, Stowaway Kangaroo Island has it all. Located at Kangaroo Island’s Stokes Bay – named Australia’s best beach for 2023 – Stowaway offers four luxury retreats that are carefully spread out on a property of 80 hectares, so the only neighbours you will encounter are the kangaroos grazing by your private deck. Sink into the outdoor hot tub or in the ensuite with its huge bath and glass-fronted sauna, or warm up by the double-sided wood fireplace. Your stay begins with a welcome hamper full of local wine and nibbles, fresh bread, plenty of firewood and luxury linens, bathroom amenities and fluffy robes.
An escape to Arkaba Conservancy promises an opportunity to connect with the natural landscape of the rugged Flinders Ranges while enjoying the refined yet down-to-earth comfort of Arkaba’s beautifully restored 1850s homestead. With the backdrop of Elder Range and Wilpena Pound, guests stay in the four-bedroom homestead while setting off on adventures with private guides for bush walking, 4WD safaris, wildlife tracking and visiting ancient Aboriginal sites. The fully hosted stay includes contemporary Australian cuisine with a hint of native produce and there is even a swimming pool to escape the heat of the summer months. Over the past decade, the property has been transformed from a sheep station into a wildlife conservancy, which has seen widespread regeneration of flora and fauna species.
Stay and play at Seppeltsfield
The recent opening of The Lodge at Seppeltsfield means a visit to the iconic winery can now incorporate an immersive stay and explore experience. There is a variety of indulgence packages on offer, including the award-winning FINO restaurant, JamFactory Craft & Design studios and Vasse Virgin skin care outlet where you can also do an olive oil masterclass or perfume workshop. Tour the jewel in the crown, the Seppeltsfield Centennial Cellar and taste 100-Year-Old Tawny or your birth year tawny. Learn about the history of Seppeltsfield and walk alongside the longest lineage of single vintage wines in the world dating back to 1878. The Lodge provides comfortable accommodation with complimentary breakfast available. The sprawling grounds include beautiful gardens, a pool and a summer house with barbecue.
Luxury supercar tour company Prancing Horse is bringing its awesome collection of vehicles to the Adelaide Hills this spring, with exhilarating day tours exclusively offered from Sequoia Lodge in October and November. Designed for couples – who often choose to bookend the experience with a two-night stay at Sequoia – the tour is a rare chance to get behind the wheel of the latest supercars from Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Aston Martin and more. Starting at Mount Lofty, the 200-kilometre journey winds through the Hills, stopping for morning tea at Pike & Joyce Winery and a five-course lunch at The Lane, with chances to stop and swap cars with other drivers along the exhilarating outing. Top the day off with a luxurious dinner at Mount Lofty and relax into one of Sequoia’s world-class suites.
Renowned for fine Riesling, Watervale is fast becoming an epicurean experience destination bringing people from far and wide to the Clare Valley wine region. Foodies interested in where their produce is grown can tour the organic and biodynamic Penobscot Farm before enjoying a six-course degustation sitting at the Chef’s Table in the Watervale Hotel kitchen. Plates can be matched to Penobscot mocktails or Clare Valley wines. For those wanting to learn more about the region’s wines, a comprehensive wine masterclass is offered daily, followed by lunch as a Teach me, Feed Me experience. Couples can stay in the Penobscot Farm Cottage, and for groups of up to six couples there is the Watervale Hotel guesthouse.
Out of the ashes
The new and improved Southern Ocean Lodge is just weeks away from opening, having been rebuilt by Baillie Lodges to the tune of $50 million after the original lodge was razed in the Kangaroo Island bushfires of 2019/20. Each suite has been reoriented to offer even better views of the ocean to capture glorious sunrises, sea mists and thundering cobalt waves breaking on the shore. The lodge offers a spa, gymnasium, sauna and hot and cold plunge pools. “We’re very fortunate to have had the support of the Kangaroo Island community, the tourism industry, media and our loyal guests over the past three years during which we have been rebuilding Southern Ocean Lodge and regenerating the surrounding coastal wilderness,” says Baillie Lodges’ Hayley Baillie. The lodge welcomes guests from December 6.
Take in the Adelaide Hills by scenic private helicopter flight, come within a whisker of Monarto Safari Park’s pride of lions and enjoy a five-course lunch at a Hills vineyard with the bucket-list Lions and Wines experience. This ultimate day out starts with a scenic flight from Adelaide Airport over the Hills to Monarto Safari Park to hand-feed the lions at the Lions 360 experience – a hair-raising encounter that helps Monarto to continue its work as a conservation charity. The chopper then takes you to The Lane for a divine five-course lunch. It’s back to the air for a birds-eye view of the Mount Lofty Ranges and city skyline before touching back down near Adelaide Airport.
Authentic adventure on the Eyre Peninsula
The vast, contrasting and refreshingly uncrowded landscape of the Eyre Peninsula makes this region a rich natural bounty to explore, particularly via four-wheel drive. Choose your own adventure with a custom-made itinerary with the expert Port Lincoln-based Australian Coastal Safaris. Offering a four-bedroom luxury beach house as the base of your trip, and modern Toyota Land-Cruisers in which to explore, Australian Coastal Safaris tailor special moments from paddock-to-plate culinary experiences, fishing, guided wildlife encounters and myriad ways to explore the region’s caves, beaches and outback. From yoga among wildlife to paddleboarding and electric mountain bike trips, there’s no excuse not to have the time of your life on the Eyre Peninsula.
Enjoy complete seclusion, immersion in nature, expansive ocean views and starry night skies at new Fleurieu farmstay, Saltbush Farm. Located five minutes from the Cape Jervis ferry terminal, Saltbush Farm is surrounded by native bushland with breath-taking views that can be enjoyed from a heated plunge pool, outdoor firepit, or indoors by the double-sided fireplace. With four bedrooms and sleeping up to 10 people, the dwelling is equipped with a provisioned kitchen and luxury bathroom with rain shower and bath. Expansive glazing showcases the gulf and Kangaroo Island. As they work to develop the land, owners Gabi and Jim have dreams to build their progressive Australian farm with animals, crops and produce, with the aim to offer farm-to-table food experiences.
Oasis in the vines
For an unparalleled luxury stay in the gorgeous McLaren Vale wine region, Beresford Estate now offers a range of indulgent suites nestled on 30 hectares of rolling vineyards. To enjoy the ultimate private oasis with vineyard views, choose the Grand Reserve suite which features a bathhouse, outdoor terrace and secluded plunge pool. Soak in a freestanding bathtub and enjoy luxury Australia-made skincare, book an in-room massage, or indulge in onsite experiences such as a wine flight at the Beresford Tasting Pavilion. Sit outside on the deck or by the fireplace and enjoy regional cheese platters and snacks to complement the wines. Wake up to the serenity of the estate before spending a day exploring the region.
This article first appeared in the September 2023 issue of SALIFE magazine.
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