From world class wineries to gourmet food and high quality dining, mixed with gorgeous coastal scenery, rivers and mountain ranges, the South West region of Western Australia is a dream destination. From the intriguing city of Perth, to the gorgeous Margaret River; Swan Valley to Albany – the regions here are as vast in their fresh produce as they are in their landscape.
Driven by the mining sector, Perth is a city of variety and the food and wine is no exception. Sit back and relax with some gourmet fish and chips while you watch the sun set over the ocean, drink world class wines in the sunshine (with Perth being the sunniest capital city in Australia averaging 3,000 hours of sunshine per year), visit the fresh food markets and take yourself for a picnic in Kings Park or the Botanic Gardens – one of the largest inner city parks in the world! Enjoy local indigenous flavours as you see the wildflowers in bloom, or simply enjoy a meal at one of the city’s many cafes, restaurants and bars. No matter what you fancy, you will find it in Perth, but if you want to step out further, there are plenty of places outside the city where you will experience gourmet travel like no other.
Just a short drive from Perth is Swan Valley and the Darling Range, where you will find an array of taste sensations. With the vineyards here being the oldest in Western Australia, many are still run by descendants of early European settlers, your palette will experience a party as you sample fruits and feast on the region’s delicious, award winning produce. Tour the region by car, bike or horse drawn carriage, chat with the locals, dine at the restaurants and cafes, visit the distilleries and test some of the fabulous local produce – from cheeses and olives, to chocolate and ice cream; not to mention the fresh fruit and vegetable stalls you will find as you drive through. The region is filled with gorgeous boutique wineries set amongst larger ones, with the region’s specialty being Verdelho wine. There are also have some of the world’s finest fortified varieties and you will even find both liqueur Verdelho and liqueur Shiraz, which are rarely made outside this region.
The Margaret River region is famous for its wines and you will find yourself wanting to stay longer as you taste the best the region has to offer. Located 277 kilometres from Perth, the coast here is renowned world-wide for its surf breaks, while the surrounding region is famous for its wine production and tourism, which sees around 500,000 visitors each year.
There are more than 60 cellar doors in the area, many of which have free tastings. The region accounts for around 20% of all the country’s premium wine sales and even in just one afternoon here, you can see why. Take a drive through the region, or a tour if you prefer, and taste the varieties of Chardonnays, Semillons, Sauvignon Blancs, Shiraz, Cabernets and Merlots. Visit breweries, cheese factories and olive groves. And be sure to dine at one of the many high quality restaurants and stay at one of the superb accommodation choices, from spas and five star hotels, to chalets and budget options. Excellent restaurants can be found at a number of wineries so be sure to drop in for a fantastic meal. Margaret River will also entice with a range of other fresh local products, including venison, coffee, ice cream and chocolates. The biggest recommendation – be sure to bring yourself a BIG bag! You are guaranteed to fill it.
The Great Southern region of Western Australia, which includes Albany, Denmark, Frankland River, Mount Barker and Porongurup, offers a variety of wining and dining choices. The green fertile plains around Albany itself provide the ideal backdrop for fresh produce and farmers are flocking to the region. A 75 kilometre food and wine trail has even been established here which will take you along the coastline and through the hillside to discover locally produced wines and beers, as well as organic cheese, luscious seafood and fresh fruits and vegetables. While you’re in the region, enjoy a BBQ at the Stirling Ranges and see nature at its best, take a picnic at the Porongurups Ranges where views are unsurpassed, and enjoy different flavours as you drop into each town and find yourself a local producer selling their best stock.
Regardless of where you come from, in South West Western Australia, it only matters where you are going to and there is so much temptation you will want to return to time and time again.
When you think of the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, you think of great wine, fantastic food and friendly locals. Hunter Valley is without a doubt, one of the top gourmet destinations in Australia – and it was even named one of the “top 10 wine travel destinations in the world for 2013” by wine magazine Wine Enthusiast!
Just a few hours’ drive from Sydney, Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest and one of its most well-known wine regions. Set amongst the Brokenback Range, the region is so popular it is actually the most visited spot in Australia after Sydney itself. It is here in the Hunter Valley region that you will find world class wines which can last for generations, a vast variety of traditional contemporary delights and a rich diversity of people, history and stunning natural attractions.
There is more than 150 wineries and over 50 spectacular restaurants scattered throughout the region, including Pokolbin, Wollombi, Broke, Lovedale and Maitland, and it is a food and wine lover’s paradise, with an array of award winning wineries and cellar doors mixing with high quality al fresco cafes and fine dining restaurants.
Local fresh produce is abundant in the region, from cheeses and other dairy, to breads and olive oils – to name just a few. From the locally made condiments, sauces and jams to the chocolates and homemade gelato, you will never want to leave. Visit any of the restaurants and you will have the chance to enjoy the delights of acclaimed chefs who provide their own unique styles and a personal touch to every meal.
In Hunter Valley, wining and dining go hand in hand and your trip will be incomplete with a visit to the cellar doors, where you can taste an array of the area’s specialty wines. Wine has been made in the region since the 1820s and outstanding flavours have been created created from some of the oldest vines in the country, including plantings of Shiraz in 1867, Semillon in 1899, Chardonnay in 1908 and Pinot Noir in 1921.
You can drive yourself through the region to experience the best food and wine there is to offer, or if you’re looking for something a little different, join a bicycle tour or relax in the comfort of a horsedrawn carriage. There are plenty of food and wine tours available throughout the region, and you might even like to try to your hand at cooking at one of the fantastic local cooking schools.
The Hunter Valley region is so renowned for its food and wine, they even have a full month to rejoice with the Wine and Food Month held in June, celebrating the lifestyle of the region through its wines and fresh local produce. Throughout the month, visitors can cosy up by the fire for taste sensations, experience up close and personal dining experiences with local chefs and winemakers, and you can even get in the kitchen yourself and learn how to create your own magic using local produce. In May, the Lovedale Long Lunch sees wineries along Lovedale Road showcase their wines and local produce through a series of lunches; and in October you will be treated to the Hunter Semillon and Seafood luncheon with seafood and cooking classes, oyster tastings and more than 150 local Semillon wines to taste, as well as the Opera in the Vineyards at Wyndham Estate and Jazz in the Vines as Tyrrell’s Wines. Spring also signals the return of concerts at Bimbadgen Estate, Hope Estate and Tempus Two, so sit back in the sunshine, listen to some fantastic music and enjoy the wine!
While you’re visiting the region you might also like to take time out to visit some of the galleries, antique shops and specialty stores, enjoy a historical tour past some of the old homesteads and through the towns and mountains, spend a day in comfort at one of the local spas, take to the greens on the golf course and rest and relax in one of the many styles of deluxe accommodation. If you’re looking for something adrenaline packed, why not try your hand at skydiving or jet fighter flights.
No matter what you decide to do in the Hunter Valley, you are guaranteed to leave with some sweet memories, a full belly and bags full of tasty treats. With fantastic food, wine and scenery, bring your family and friends and visit for a day, a weekend or even a week or two. Experience the Hunter Lifestyle first-hand but be aware, you may never want to leave!
Your mouth will water before you even hit the road in Victoria’s Gippsland region, where fresh produce and great wine come together as one to tempt you and entice even the fussiest of food lovers. From dairy foods to fine free-range meat products, organic fresh fruit and vegetables to locally caught seafood, Gippsland will take you into a world of taste, where exciting new ventures satisfy the gourmet senses.
The Gippsland region stretches from just east of Melbourne to the state border with New South Wales in the far east, lying between the Great Dividing Range watershed and Bass Strait. The region is best known for mining and farming as well as its fantastic array of tourist destinations. It is a popular destination for tourists and locals with its gorgeous beaches, stunning rivers and lakes, spectacular forests and enticing snowfields (the Australian Alps), and the exceptional quality of local produce ensures people keep going back for more.
Whether you take yourself on a drive through the region, go on one of the many tours offered by local operators, or even if you decide to spend a few days on bicycle travelling through some of the towns you are bound to find an abundance of fantastic places to visit and tasty treats that will leave you wanting more.
From Phillip Island to Noojee, Traralgon to Fish Creek, you will find an array of flavours and while there are a number of tourist trails in the Gippsland region that will take you through an array of scenery to some of the country’s best gourmet destinations, the Gippsland Gourmet Deli trail is actually one of Australia’s longest established and best known food tourism destinations and a must see for all ages. You will feel welcome from the moment you drive past the “You are now entering Gourmet Deli country” sign on the highway. Located in West Gippsland, the Gourmet Deli trail offers the best and freshest foods and takes you through a variety of farms, vineyards, dairies and outlets where you will find an array of local produce and smallgoods.
South Gippsland has much to offer the visitor including visiting vineyards and touring specialty farms where you can learn about producing everything in the region, from vines to premium grass fed beef and lamb. Have some lunch and enjoy some tastings as you travel through towns like Leongatha, Korumburra, Meeniyan, Fish Creek, Foster, Port Albert and Wonthaggi and step into a world of fantastic locally produced meat, wine and olive oil. While you’re in the region, take a moment at the farmers markets which are held every weekend, wander through some of the many art galleries, buy yourself some organic produce and dine at quality restaurants. Visit the Coal Creek Historical Village, Mount Best Lookout and Wilson's Promontory National Park – one of Victoria’s most loved destinations! Located at the southernmost tip of mainland Australia, Wilson’s Promontory is a stunning world of huge granite mountains, open forest, rainforest and coastlines, with a variety of bushwalks, camping and retreats.
You can also see the largest network of inland waterways at the Gippsland Lakes, enjoy some fishing at Port Welshpool, visit the popular coastal town of Inverloch where you will find an abundance of eateries, and follow the Southern Gippsland Wine Trail. Just to name a few! Spend time getting to know the people of South Gippsland, known for being an industrious and independent lot who have taught themselves how to manage the land and to thrive through the use of all things natural.
Over the years, the Gippsland region has developed a high quality reputation for its fantastic dairy, seafood and meat products and it continues to grow. In the warmer months, you can not only enjoy the treats, but you can even pick your own fruit and berries from many of the farms and orchards. Farmers markets provide easy access throughout the remainder of the year and with a number of restaurants, cafes, pubs, bistros and bakeries in the region, you will find plenty of places to enjoy a meal cooked and served with a friendly smile. If you’re looking to tuck into some fantastic fresh seafood, try one of the fishing villages along the coast. Gippsland is also one of Victoria's fastest-growing wine regions with more than 40 cellar doors in all directions. If fine boutique beers and real ales are more your thing, you will also find breweries where you can test some of the locally made flavours.
The region comes alive year round with regional food and wine festivals; so sit back, relax with a glass of wine and some local cheeses, and enjoy everything the region has to offer.
Less than an hour from Melbourne you can hide away from the world in a premium wine and food district. The Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges has an abundance of fine restaurants and quality wineries, not to mention secluded boutique accommodation where you can take yourself, your family or your friends to escape from the hum drum of the city and immerse yourself in country culture.
The outstanding ambience of the food and wine experiences here match the region’s history, which dates back to the early 1800s. From berry to dairy farms, cattle properties to vineyards, grand old pubs to specialty bakeries – the flavours of the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges are a world of their own and something you should experience at least once in your lifetime.
Spend your day at a local winery, feasting on gourmet local produce and fruity sparkling wine for breakfast, before experiencing everything the cellar door has to offer. The valley is perfect for cool climate wines which are grown in mixed soil types, with the main grape varieties being chardonnay and sauvignon blanc in whites and pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz in reds. There are, however, more than 40 types of wines and blends to try in over 100 wineries, so be sure to stay a while! Some of the wineries even offer free wine appreciation lessons, so get your taste buds and noses ready!
If you’re a lover of a good picnic, there are plenty of fresh foods to choose from. Follow the Yarra Valley Food Trail – with a number of stops sign posted along the way so you know exactly where to go and what you will see there. You will find orchards, farm gates and roadside stalls aplenty so you can stock up on all your favourite locally produced foods. Berries and cherries, cheese and chicken, chilli and capsicum, smoked salmon and pasta – the possibilities are endless!
The town of Yarra Glen is just 40 kilometres north-east from Melbourne's CBD and is actually home to the first vineyard in the Valley, planted by brother William, James and Donald Ryrie in 1838. The town has a long history of gourmet indulgence and aside from the fantastic wines, you can find a range of fresh, locally grown produce. If you’re really after something different, you might even stop by at a working farm and take a walk alongside the resident cattle, pigs and sheep.
Stop by a farmer’s market and pick up some taste sensations. The Yarra Valley Regional Food Group Farmers’ Market is held on the third Sunday of every months and is the longest running market in Victoria. Speak to the local farmers and producers while you taste test or purchase delicacies, from seasonal fruit, juices and vegetables, to breads, biscuits, jams, cheeses, olives, honey and more.
If you’re a lover of cider, the Yarra Valley Cider and Ale Trail will be heavenly. With seven cider and beer producers in the region, you are sure to find some fantastic flavours. The history of beer making in the region dates back to the early 1800s when it was discovered the land was not only great for grapes, but also for hops. Cider production commenced in the 1900s and you will find flavours created from Australian apples and pears, as well as kiwi fruit.
In the Dandenong Ranges, a drive will take you through rolling hillsides, steep valleys and gullies covered in rainforest where you can stop at one of the popular eateries and tuck into a famous Devonshire tea, enjoy a visit to a farm to taste fresh berries, or feast on local produce in a comfortable restaurant setting. Take a basket of local delicacies on a walk with you through the National Rhododendron Gardens or the Dandenong Ranges National Park and feast as you surround yourself in nature.
If you’re heading to the region in Autumn, be sure you stay for the Yarra Valley Food and Wine Festival which highlights the local produce and producers with a range of world class dining events. The festival has something for everyone, including cooking classes with the experts, tea parties, regional produce demonstrations and even tractor tours!
In Yarra Valley and the Dandenong Ranges, you will not only be entranced by the natural beauty the region has to offer, you will also find yourself delighted by the abundance of gourmet food and wine so be sure to plan your holiday based on an empty stomach and an open mind.
And it’s not just Australia that offers fantastic packages for those seeking luxury travel! Are you looking for that exclusive, once in a lifetime adventure? Something you can brag about to your friends, or something you have worked hard at and can’t imagine you now have the means to make that dream a reality; even a bucket list you can’t wait to get started on.
Around the world, you will discover new frontiers and explore regions of the world you always dreamed of. Whether you’re seeking a custom designed private tour or a fully escorted tour for special interest groups, whether you’re looking to travel by sea, plane or land – the options are endless!
If money is no object and you’re looking for a spectacular place to stay, head on over to Lech am Arlberg in Austria where you can experience access to heli-skiing, paragliding, horse drawn sleighs and other ice adventures for anywhere from $1000 - $3000 a night. In Paris, overlook the city from one of the finest spas in a suite from $2500 a night; Darby, Montana is home to a luxury resort set on 600 acres – costing around $2500 per night; or you might choose to stay at a palace at St. Moritz, Switzerland for just over $5000 a night. And if you have the option open to you, this is one you truly don’t want to miss – imagine yourself staying in a hotel made completely of … wait for it … ice. That’s right. The Ice Hotel is a one of a kind experience that you can have if you make your way to Sweden. Even the beds are made of ice and the temperature in the hotel is always between -5 to -8 degrees!!
By the Waters
If exploring by the water is your image of the perfect holiday, there are plenty of types of luxury cruise liners, from sailing ships to yacht-style vessels, river boats and small replicas of mega-ships. You can explore popular regions, like the Aegean Sea - an ideal option if you’re looking for a cruise that will see you living the high life – the most popular route is from Athens to Turkey and back; or you can take yourself to regions where only few have been, such as Antarctica.
If you’ve ever had a bad day, full of work or life complications, you’ve probably thought to yourself “I wish I lived on a private island!” Well, the good news is, while you might not be able to *live* on one, you can certainly stay on one!! Isla de sa Ferradura in Spain is a 14 acre private island and even includes a subtropical lagoon with a waterfall and a secret cave converted into a spa!! Musha Cay in the Bahamas has 11 private islands and even a private airstrip. Expect to pay anywhere from $150,000 a week for your own island – but for that kind of luxury and seclusion, if you have the funds available – why not use them!
Back on Dry Land
Everyone knows that if you’re looking for a luxury holiday, places like Paris, London, New York and Las Vegas are the ones to beat! But if you want something a little different, you might head to Africa on safari! Lavish safari camps are becoming more popular throughout the continent, not only do they get you up close and personal with some of the world’s most elusive wildlife, but you can do so in comfort! Gone are the days where you had to lug your 20kg backpack around from town to town, set up your 2 man tent on the hard ground and eat beans cooked on a fire in the dark. Now, you can stay in a stand alone gazebo with a four poster bed and window-side Victorian baths in South Africa, enjoy your own guide and butler at a camp in Kenya, and even test out a swing bridge linking tree houses in a South African game reserve.
Head to Thailand or Bali for some high class luxury travel – and as mentioned earlier, you will even find this at a very affordable price!! Great food, excellent spas and the world’s best massages, right on the doorstep of your 5 star resort room. In Phulay Bay, Thailand, one resort even offers your own personal butler. Imperial China is another fantastic Asian destination for the extravagant traveller, combining great 5-star hotels with an authentic Chinese food experience.
Basically, what I’m trying to tell you is that no matter where you go in the world, and no matter what your idea of perfection is, luxury travel is highly available, increasingly popular and often just within reach. So get out there and experience it!
So, you’ve decided to take yourself on a luxury tour in Australia. You know you want something different, and you know you want to experience it in class. You might have decided that a cruise is the best option for you, or you may have thought about escaping it all and getting into the heart of the country, where nothing disturbs you but the wind in the trees. Next question is, where do you go?
Australia is such a large country that really, the options are almost endless. There are some, however, that stand out among the others. Australia is full of luxury experiences for the discerning traveller – from diving pristine waters, to star gazing in the outback, heightening your senses with some fine dining or feeling overwhelming relaxation at spa resorts. The country is abound with options for the luxury traveller, so join us as we take you to some of the best, get your bags packed and prepare yourself for a travel journey you will never forget.
One of a Kind
We all know how amazing the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland is. I mean, it can be seen from space – how great is that! It’s so popular it has two million visitors every year … so how could that be luxury, you ask? There are some islands that are beyond the norm and are much less well known and far less accessible. Have you heard of Lizard Island? Lizard Island is stunning as the most northern Great Barrier Reef resort and is ranked among the world’s top hotels. Here, you can enjoy white sandy beaches which barely see tourists, snorkeling and diving are reserved – just for you, and the island is accessible only by private plane! While you’re in the area, visit the Whitsundays and charter your own yacht!
While you might not consider the outback as a destination for luxury travel, there are plenty of options available that will make your outback adventure a 5 Star, one of a kind holiday. Travel to your destination by private jet or helicopter and enjoy visiting undiscovered private destinations throughout the outback. If you are visiting National Parks, you will find accommodation that will provide everything you could ever imagine, or wish for. Imagine yourself taking a walk through rainforests to arrive at a gorgeous bungalow, surrounded by wetlands, mountain ranges and wildlife. You walk inside to a canopy bed, a basket of local produce awaiting you, and the knowledge that the restaurant nearby will cater to your every need. Ahhhhh, luxury. For this kind of experience you can head to Daintree Rainforest, Kakadu National Park or the Kimberley’s – just to name a few. You also won’t want to miss staying near Uluru and you will find so many great options available you won’t ever want to leave!
Best of the Best
If you’re heading to Tasmania, take a limousine from Hobart or Launceston to Freycinet, where you can stay in comfort and enjoy alluring views for an inspirational experience. Over one-third of Tasmania is protected in National Parks and World Heritage Areas and here you can stay at a luxurious resort, play a round golf, walk with a guide along sandy white beaches or trek up the beautiful Cradle Mountain – before returning to your comfortable high class chalet for the night.
Get in a plane and travel across Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia, enjoying the best views of the outback, wetlands, rainforests and untamed coastlines of the country. New South Wales offers an unparalleled array of luxury travel options, boasting a wide range of luxury accommodation, cultural and historical sites and experiences. Here you can enjoy a skiing holiday that will delight, an outback experience to help you relax, a secluded beach getaway or a wineries tour, even a shopping frenzy in the heart of Sydney!
The Murray River in Victoria is sure to delight with its wide range of high class accommodation, restaurants and tours – not to mention the option to take yourself on a 5 Star houseboat along the mighty river; and the state also offers world-class arts and cultural experiences, boutique shopping, fine wine and food. Meanwhile, Phillip Island is surrounded by some of the best surf and swimming beaches in Victoria and well worth the visit.
From the rugged Flinders Ranges, to the gorgeous natural haven Kangaroo Island; from the wine regions of Barossa Valley and Clare Valley, to the Eyre Peninsula and Adelaide Hills, South Australia also offers some stunning luxury travel options – massages and spas, cellar doors and lavish cottages, you can’t go wrong!
How do you define luxury travel? To some people, this is simple. Posh resorts and fancy restaurants is a great start. But when you want to travel in luxury, you want to experience it ALL. It’s not just about where you stay and what you eat, it’s about being in the moment, feeling completely relaxed and content, and wondering to yourself “how could life every get any better than this?”.
THAT is what luxury travel is all about. On our journey into the world of luxury travel, we take you through some of the experiences, and to some of the most stunning places. You will experience indulgence in its purest form – some might think it’s over the top, but really, “over the top” is what luxury travel is all about! There is no denying that. And the best part is, while its entirely your decision if you want to spend all your life’s savings taking a gold class cruise or lapping it up on a private jet, you don’t have to! Luxury travel is not always about the price tag, it’s about the quality of the experience and the world has some amazing experiences to offer.
Every traveller has a different view of what luxury is, so we’re here to give you a taste of it all. Travel itself is so much more accessible in the modern world, so what might seem to be luxurious to some, is not the same for others. You might define luxury yourself as a week in a designer resort, your own private pool, balcony overlooking the ocean, massages on hand and room service at your fingertips. You might prefer seclusion and an escape from reality in your own definition. From designer resorts, first class flights, limousines and gourmet restaurants, to a month in the outback with no one but the local animals – everyone has a different perception of Luxury Travel. Embark on a tailor made holiday, join a cruise ship, charter a private yacht or travel through the heart of a country by train; the options are endless.
Whether you define luxury travel by its monetary value, or by its personal value – either way, as long as the journey you take tailors to your own personal definition of “luxury”, you are guaranteed a holiday to remember.
Have you ever pictured yourself in this situation: 5 star resort with your own private pool, Jacuzzi and sauna, someone who comes into your room daily to give you a massage, your own personal chef and, on hand whenever you want them, your own personal tour guide?
What about this: a gorgeous double canopy aboard one of the world’s most luxurious cruise ships where, while you might be hundreds of miles out at sea, yet everything you could ever want is right at your fingertips and the cocktails just keep on coming? Or perhaps you’ve imagined yourself relaxing on a recliner while being flown around the country in your own private jet, enjoying a world class safari in air conditioned comfort and “camping” with all the comforts of a 5 star resort, or exploring great lands by rail from the highest quality suite, while you sit back and enjoy a glass of champagne.
Million Dollar Holiday
Have you heard about the million dollar holiday that is being offered by one UK company? It’s the world’s first ever World Heritage holiday and over a period of 2 years, it will take the visitor to 936 World Heritage listed sites around the world. The Taj Mahal, Stonehenge, Egypt's Pyramids of Giza, Easter Island, China's Forbidden City, Machu Picchu, the Grand Canyon, Petra in Jordan, the Acropolis and the Great Barrier Reef all in one trip – there is no doubt this would be one of the most exciting and memorable experiences a couple could ever wish for as you wind your way through 157 countries. And all that at a cost of just $1.5 million, per couple. You get your own private tour guide and you get to stay at the world’s most exclusive hotels – Hotel George V in Paris, the Plaza in New York, the Cipriani in Venice, The Ritz-Carlton in Moscow and the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai, to name a few.
WOW! Sounds fantastic doesn’t it? Add a little luxury travel to your life. You’re probably sitting there wishing and dreaming that you could afford to do it.
The thing is, while a $1.5 million holiday might not be on the cards for you, the options for what we classify as luxury travel are truly endless and as long as we all realise that luxury travel goes beyond staying in a high class hotel, you are bound to find an experience that will astound you and remain in your memory for life.
If you’re lucky enough to have plenty of savings or just some spur of the moment spare cash to throw around (perhaps you just had a nice win on the lotto, or received some inheritance and want to treat yourself in that loved ones memory), you have a world of options open to you. But not everyone has money, yet these kinds of experiences are still very possible. Have you ever been to Phuket or Bali? I went to Phuket for my honeymoon in 2012 – we stayed at a 5 star resort with our own private pool, fresh breakfast on our verandah every morning, we had private tour guides to take us around the island and introduce us to some of the best markets and most luxurious stores. It was such a relaxing holiday and so luxurious, you’d think it would have cost a fortune! But we spent $3000 in the 2 weeks we were there – and that included our flights there from Brisbane, accommodation, tours and meals!! What I’m trying to tell you is that luxury IS affordable!
These days, private travel is becoming more popular and depending on where you go, you will find plenty of options at a price that won’t break the bank. Many resorts and even some bed and breakfasts which are run by locals offer private tours of the surrounding areas, no matter where you are. You might choose to stay in seclusion at a property in the centre of Australia, where your phone won’t ring, your internet won’t work and the stars are shining bright. Glamping – or glamour camping - is actually a great way to experience this kind of luxury and is an up and coming “big thing”. You get yourself a high quality tent, hut, yurt, airstream, villa or treehouse, and stay in the outdoors in complete luxury. Glamping is becoming increasingly popular, particularly for those who love the outdoors, but don’t like the idea of getting their hands dirty. You can do this around the world, or right here in Australia.
Commercial air travel can be annoying. First you have to make sure you make it to the airport with plenty of time to spare, which can be difficult if along the way you get stuck in a traffic jam. The plane isn’t going to wait! Then once you actually do arrive at the airport, you spend the next hour or so (depending where you’re headed) standing around lining up to check your luggage in. From there its through to security, where again, you might line up for what seems like forever as you wait to walk through the pearly metal gates – only to get pulled up because of the belt you forgot to take off. Finally you make it through with nothing on except your underwear (or so it seems), and then you have to wait around again for another hour or so before they will actually let you get ON the plane. Another line up to get through the gates, again as people offload their on-board luggage on the way to their seats, and FINALY you arrive at your designated seat … Row 58, seat K … a window seat! FANTASTIC!!! But once you have put your luggage overhead and crammed your way in, you find there is not even enough room to stretch your toes, let alone your legs; and you have to keep your arms folded because the person sitting next to you feels its their right to take as much room as they want (which includes half of your seat). Your window seat turns out to be a view of the wing and you have to pay $20 for a diet coke and bag of peanuts. Don’t you just love commercial air travel?
So, picture this. You arrive at the airport and get whisked away like a rockstar! Your bags are taken away from you before you can even say hello and you are led down the red carpet (or so it seems) to your own private jet. You get on board, knowing your luggage is safe and secure, and get yourself comfortable in a reclining lounge. Within seconds you have a glass of champagne in your hand, some caviar on crackers, and before you can count to 100, the jet is up in the air taking you to your chosen destination. When you look at the two scenarios, it’s easy to see why a growing number of leisure travelers are turning to private jets. These can take you from anywhere in the world, to anywhere in the world – short distances and long. If you wanted to go from Brisbane to London – you can expect to pay around $320,000.
Sail or Rail Away
Whether you’re with the one you love, or a group of friends, if you love the sea and sunshine, chartering your own private yacht will see you in heaven. Private yachts can pretty much cater to everyone’s requirements, and you can either hire yourself a skipper, or take on the role yourself.
Or if you want someone else to do all the “work” during your luxury stay on the ocean (or river), luxury cruising is definitely the way to go. There is no greater feeling of freedom than to be out in the open waters, exploring the world like people have done for many hundreds of years and if you can experience that freedom, while living a gold class lifestyle, why would you say no? Many cruise ships around the world charge a set fee to travel and then everything, and I mean everything!, is included once you’re on board – from entertainment and excursions, to meals and drinks! Take a private excursion on shore when the cruise liner stops at port and immerse yourself in local cultures, while indulging in all of life’s little pleasures on board.
Meanwhile, if you prefer to stick to the land, the number of rail options that will see you living a lavish lifestyle while on holiday are increasing. Train travel has been around for longer than most other options, yet it is one that is often overlooked. Perhaps because it takes longer and people are always in such a rush, or maybe its just not seen as being comfortable enough, or popular enough. But if you have ever seen the Rovos Rail in Africa or India’s Palace on Wheels, both of which have been titled one of the world’s most luxurious trains – you know luxury certainly does exist on train tracks. And the best thing about trains? Often they can take you to places where cars and planes can’t!
Just remember, luxury travel is as much about the journey as it is the destination!