NO WI-FI, NO WORRIES: WHERE TO GO OFF-GRID IN AUSTRALIA
Sometimes all we need is a quiet wide-open space to sit back, relax and enjoy the simple things in life. Start planning your dream nature escape with these ten secluded stays.
By Ute Junker
With so many wild spaces scattered across the continent, Australia is a wonderful destination to go off-grid; places where you can let go of the urge for constant digital connection and instead focus on the natural beauty around you. Not all of the escapes on this list are completely tech-free, but if you are ready to switch off and unwind, these back-to-nature getaways will help you get there.
WAKE UP TO WHALES IN NINGALOO REEF
SLEEP AMID THE VINES OUTSIDE CANBERRA
You don’t have to go far to escape Australia’s cities. Just 20 minutes’ drive outside of Canberra, the Mount Majura Vineyard takes things back to basics with its old-school glamping option, the Naked Cubby Co. No, you don’t have to take your clothes off – here, “naked” simply means that this is a totally tech-free zone.
Named after winemakers Edgar and Frank, there are just two tents located in suitably scenic corners of the property, each one equipped with the old-fashioned basics – beds, books and board games – that let you savour the stillness and the joys of good wine and company. Better yet, rates include breakfast in bed.
FIND STILLNESS ON BREMER ISLAND
A vast wilderness in the north-east corner of the Northern Territory, Arnhem Land lures visitors with its remote nature and its world-class fishing. At Banubanu Beach Retreat on Bremer Island, which features glamping-style bungalows overlooking the Arafura Sea, you can enjoy both.
A 15-minute flight from Gove Airport (reached by plane from Darwin) brings you to this unspoilt island; once you are here, there is little to do other than stroll the beaches, fish for Spanish mackerel and coral trout and enjoy feeling a world away. The fan-cooled rooms are simple but comfortable, and meals are a highlight, with the resort’s chef serving up superb seafood tinged with tropical flavours.
RELAX AMONG THE TREETOPS IN NEW SOUTH WALES
At Paperbark Camp on the scenic New South Wales South Coast, 2.5 hours south of Sydney, it’s all about savouring your surroundings. Stay in one of their safari-style tents and you may wake to the sight (and sounds) of a kookaburra perched on a nearby branch. The tents themselves are indulgent – each one has hardwood floors, a comfortable bed draped with an alpaca throw and an open-air bathroom – but here it’s about the simple joys of the wild, whether that’s stretching your legs on a bush hike or enjoying a gentle kayak in the creek.
STARGAZE FROM YOUR BATHTUB IN TASMANIA
Set on a secluded headland on Tasmania’s east coast, a stone’s throw from Freycinet National Park, the wind- and solar-powered Thalia Haven rental cottage, which has four bedrooms built from ancient stone, lets you immerse yourself in nature. Wake up to the sound of the sea, and enjoy long walks on your own private beach before grilling up some fresh fish for lunch on the outdoor fire. Treat yourself to a long soak in the outdoor bathtub, where you can enjoy stargazing with spectacular views of the Milky Way. It is hard to believe that such tranquillity is available just a couple of hours’ drive from Hobart.