By Jeff Bollig
NOTE: Acendas Travel is part of the Signature Travel Network. Recently, we caught up Ignacio Maza, who oversees the luxury sales activities for Signature. We asked him to share some thoughts and updates on travel to Australia. Here are his thoughts and notes for the various territories. If you want to learn more about the various opportunities to travel Australia, contact Acendas Travel at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have several South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia travel agent specialists who would be happy to discuss travel with you.
New South Wales
- The new Taronga Zoo Eco Resort is currently under construction. This upscale lodge, located within the zoo, expects to open in DEC 2019. The resort will feature 63 rooms, after hours access to the zoo, great views of Sydney and the harbor, and many unique experiences.
- In the meantime, don’t forget about the ‘Roar & Snore’ program at Taronga Zoo, which gives visitors the opportunity to spend the night in a tent within the zoo grounds. Accommodations are simple and spartan, you share a bathroom, and dining is communal and buffet style – but – the experience is unmatched, especially for families and anyone interested in Australian wildlife. Guests in this program get to enjoy a night safari within the zoo and experience feeding time for the wildlife.
- For wine enthusiasts, a visit to Hunter Valley is a must. Located just 2 hours NW of Sydney, this is Australia’s first oldest wine region. The best place to stay in this area is Spicer’s Vineyards Estate, a beautiful countryside retreat in Pokolbin NSW, offering a wide range of food & wine related experiences.
- The new Ritz-Carlton expects to open late 2019. This will be the tallest hotel in Australia, with a check-in desk on the 79th floor.
Twelve Apostles/Port Campbell area
- The best place to stay in this area will be the new Princetown Eco-Stay, opening November of 2019. This property will be located less than 4 miles from the Twelve Apostle, giving guests early morning/late afternoon access to the site, without the crowds. The lodge plans to offer a wide range of experiences, including fantastic hikes along the coast.
- One of the most sought after lodges in Australia is Pumphouse Point, on Lake St Clair. This lodge is located about 2.5 hours from Hobart. You can drive one way and helicopter out, or reverse. The lodge is made up of industrial buildings that have been converted into a hotel, located in a spectacular natural setting. Open year round, and yes, expect snow during Australian winter (our summer).
- A new Sofitel is expected to open in Adelaide, late 2019.
- InterContinental Hayman Island (a Signature Partner Resort) will re-open this June after a major renovation. The resort will feature all new rooms, restaurants, and facilities, and will retake its place as one of the premier properties in Australia.
- Shangri-La Cairns has been completely renovated, and is now a Signature partner property. This is now the #1 choice in Cairns, by far.
- Bedarra Island Resort has re-opened, on the Great Barrier Reef.
- Silky Oaks Resort, a member of Luxury Lodges of Australia, will be a part of Baillie Lodges (Longitude 131, Southern Ocean Lodge, Capella Lodge) starting this spring.