Luxury Lodges of Australia Looks to the Future

Feb 25, 2020

This summer has been undeniably tough. Australia, and countries around the globe have faced unprecedented challenges. As a member-based organisation, Luxury Lodges of Australia has taken stock of what this means for each lodge.

Around the world, news reported that globally acclaimed and loved Southern Ocean Lodge was destroyed in the fire storm, with Baillie Lodges founders James and Hayley Baillie immediately pledging its rebuild. Their leadership inspired many, and set the tone for enormous solidarity, vision, empathy and inspiration.

While the vast majority of Australia was not impacted by fire and our lodges and their communities have continued to operate throughout the summer, in the areas that were directly affected, there is already visible evidence of regeneration.

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in the Greater Blue Mountains escaped direct impact, however the fires closed access and damaged the surrounding bush. After an almost two month closure the lodge reopened on February 2, 2020. Even better, the lodge reopened with an even clearer focus on options for guests to proactively engage with ongoing conservation and sustainability work at the resort, including habitat and landscape regeneration, wildlife recovery.

The lodges have always been much more than just a (great) place to stay. Delivery of connection to place is key to the purpose of each lodge. Between them the lodges deliver over 250 individual experiences and activities, all created to give guests a genuine connection to place, with the luxury of privileged access. And they are constantly innovating, to meet the curiosity, adventure-seeking spirit, and desire for real engagement by their guests.

There is a heightened awareness of both the fragility and resilience of the land and our people. And in the wake of widespread and much needed rains, the natural and supported regeneration of our land continues and will add opportunity for an even deeper connection for guests with our uniquely Australian places, experiences, and people.

Each of the LLoA properties is rooted in their local community, and each plays a vital role in the regional economy. Essential to a stay at the lodges is a genuine experience of the place and its characters.

Collectively the 19 lodges partner with well over 1600 tourism-related businesses which supply products and services that are clearly visible to guests, including expert guides, artists and craftspeople, gin distillers, winemakers, organic and specialist food producers. These people of our places are our storytellers. They are the secret sauce for guest experiences, and essential to the rich fabric of our luxury lodge travel experiences. In addition, a whole range of local businesses and services unseen by guests are dependent on the lodges; tradesmen, mechanics, builders and behind-the-scenes suppliers.

To mobilise, plan and book travel to and around Australia now, is to support these extensive networks of small and medium businesses.

With a view firmly and positively to the future of high end experiential Australian tourism, Luxury Lodges of Australia provides media, the travel trade and consumers around the world a trusted, central point of reference for accurate and up to date information and news that resonates with the travel preferences of our high end experience seeking guests.

Central to this are the stories of the people and places across the diverse and remarkable regional destinations the 19 luxury lodges call home. Luxury Lodges of Australia has profiled storytellers across the diverse regions the lodges are located in who can tell the genuine, entertaining and lively stories from each destination. Contact us for more details or advice on specific insights and storytellers.

New news and regeneration stories will continue to evolve. Southern Ocean Lodge’s sister properties Longitude 131 ° at Uluru Kata Tjuta, Silky Oaks Lodge in the Daintree Rainforest and Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island, along with fifteen other lodges in destinations across Australia’s most spectacular regions are welcoming guests daily to share their unique experiences, food and wine and connections to community and culture.

  • Green regrowth is readily visible in the bushland around Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley and habitat restoration work has been stepped up to support the regeneration of the landscape. Guests are invited to get involved in the hands-on restoration of bushland and waterways.
  • Spicers Peak Lodge in Queensland’s spectacular Granite Belt wilderness also had fires come close in November 2019 and briefly closed due to lack of access. However the lodge reopened within a few days and has welcomed guests as usual throughout the summer, many of whom have witnessed the first phase of regeneration in Big Sky Country.
  • Generous rains in the outback has seen the gorges fill in The Kimberley, promising signature boab trees in full green bloom and rivers bursting with barramundi in time for the El Questro Homestead’s seasonal reopening in April and the commencement of True North’s signature Adventure Cruises along the Kimberley Coast.
  • As plans for rebuild of Southern Ocean Lodge take shape, its resident echidna Enchilada and kangaroo SOL have been spotted in their usual places around the lodge, green shoots are emerging and the Kangaroo Island community is rallying together to deliver the magical Kangaroo Island experience. Much of the island is completely unaffected and is welcoming visitors daily.

Further Luxury Lodges of Australia Information:

People have different preferences in how they source and absorb information. You can access the latest news from Luxury Lodges of Australia in the following ways:

  • New news at the lodges: A news summary on our website. Please bookmark this page for quick reference. It is updated several times a week.
  • Or simply follow our social media channels - new news is posted almost daily. Facebook and Instagram are the major channels.

Additional resources and information:

  • Images and Videos - Image download library for all lodges and a Video library. Please download videos (via our vimeo channel https://vimeo.com/user22080137) and if you share, please tag Luxury Lodges of Australia and relevant lodge/s.
  • Experiences - Each lodge offers a true experience of place, of the uniquely Australian region they are located in. These experiences reflect Australia's incredible diversity. There are also specific summary lists of experiences relating to:- the diverse and often interactive Food and Wine experiences, the aquatic and coastal water based adventure at each of the lodges, plus a great summary of Aboriginal Australia connections at the lodges.
  • What to do when? – The sheer scale and diversity of environment across the continent means, for Australia, guests are spoilt for choice, at any time of the year. This is our new resource tool ‘Our Seasons’ highlighting what visitors can expect to see and do in Australia during a particular season.

Editors’ Notes: Luxury Lodges of Australia (LLoA) is a collection of 19 independently owned and operated luxury lodges in unique Australian destinations. Each member property offers guests a luxury base from which to explore, a unique and personal experience of the destination, with the chance to connect with the landscapes, wildlife, people and local communities and culture. A stay at a Luxury Lodge of Australia is a chance to step away from the busyness of the everyday and connect with the people, the place and like-minded travellers. A sustainable approach to the environment, the community and culture is key to each lodge’s operations and to a genuine, often life-changing guest experience.

Media enquiries:

Penny Rafferty                     penny@luxurylodgesofaustralia.com.au

Sarah Shields                       media@luxurylodgesofaustralia.com.au
+61 425 318 966


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