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Rooms with a View

> more on romantic getaways in Australia

Australia’s greatest attractions don’t have to disappear as soon as you close the door of your hotel. With a bit of forward planning you be a part of your surroundings from the moment you wake up to the time you go to bed again. Here’s a small selection of what’s on offer when it comes to combining accommodation with the local scenery.

City Lights

Many of Sydney’s hotels have fabulous city and harbour views, though two in particular stand out among the crowd. Rooms at the ANA Hotel Sydney, particularly those on the 20th floor and above, offer eagle-nest lookouts across either Darling Harbour – the city’s premier entertainment district – or across the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

Just down the road, and right on the water’s edge, is the Park Hyatt Sydney, another five-star gem. Many of the rooms here look right across at the Opera House, with nothing between you and Sydney’s famous cultural icon than the colourful ferryboats.

Tasmania’s capital, Hobart, also boasts a fabulous hotel with standout city and water views.  The Wrest Point Casino, looks right across the clear blue waters of the River Derwent towards this gorgeous maritime city and the imposing form of Mount Wellington behind. Oh, and if you fancy a flutter on the gaming table’s then you’re in the right place too.

In Melbourne, head for Crown Towers, part of the Crown Casino complex. This top-of-the-range hotel located on the banks of the Yarra River has luxurious guestrooms with spectacular 360-degree views of the city skyline and the boats on Port Phillip Bay.

Another hotel of note as far as city views go is the Stamford Plaza Brisbane in Queensland’s capital. It’s situated on the river and alongside the Botanic Gardens.

Ocean Views

You can rest easy in the top-class Saville Park Suites Darwin, with fabulous views across Lameroo Beach foreshore and Darwin Harbour to the Arafura Sea. Watch out for the spectacular sunsets and dramatic displays of lightning far out to sea.

In tropical Queensland you can’t get a much better ocean vista than from the Coral Sea Resort on Airlie Beach, the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands - a beach going, fishing, cruising, and diving mecca. This boutique resort features suites with spa baths and double hammocks on balconies positioned at the high water mark.

Meanwhile, down in Victoria you can indulge in the country charm dished out by Blue Johanna Cottages. Located along the Great Ocean Road – one of the world’s greatest panoramic drives – these delightful accommodation options are nestled among 12 acres of rolling green hills, fern gullies scattered with Glow Worms, and cottage gardens. Plus there’s the entrancing blue sheen of the sea.

Also a star attraction in Victoria is Rothsaye on Lovers Walk, on Phillip Island – a place famous for its nightly penguin parade. The suites and cottage are right on the beach and it’s only a short walk to the fairy penguin gathering.

Into the Bush

Of all the world’s best views one of the most dramatic must be of Uluru, or Ayres Rock, as it’s also known. Slap bang in the centre of the Australian Outback, and occupying one of the best spot to see ‘the Rock’, is the brand new Longitude 131. The resort is made up of 15 luxury tents set on an isolated sand dune, from where you can absorb the spectacular landscape, and the peace and solitude.

Many properties in the cool Blue Mountains, just west of Sydney, look out across dramatic crags and canyons filled with dense native bush. In the historic township of Leura you’ll find the five-star Peppers Fairmont Resort, a very special retreat with dramatic views across countless gum trees deep within the Jamison Valley.

Other properties with tremendous views up here include Echoes Guesthouse and Lilianfels Blue Mountains, which both creep up to spectacular rock formations and the heart-stopping drops to the valley below. Another place worth visiting for Blue Mountains’ views is the newly renovated historic spa resort, the Hydro Majestic. Built in 1904, the ‘palace in the wilderness’ offers both art deco and French provincial-style rooms with sweeping outlooks over the awesome Megalong Valley.

In Victoria you could try out Aquila Mount Abrupt Eco Lodges, which are set in 100 acres of virgin bushland on the lower slopes of the Southern Grampians west of Melbourne. The four-star self-contained lodges are in the middle of the bush, so you get  close up to native plants, birds, kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, koalas, emus and wombats.

Across the Vines

Australia is taking the world of wine by storm, and there’s no better place toexperience some of the planet’s greatest drops than by staying where the action is.

More than a quarter of Australia’s wines and a disproportionate number of top labels, come from the Barossa region in South Australia. While here, head to the Hermitage of Marananga, a tranquil B&B set on a hill, with 360 degree views across vineyards to the Barossa ranges.
In Victoria, Glen Erin Vineyard Retreat also embraces a vineyard panorama. The 4 1/2 star corporate retreat is situated in the foothills of the scenic Macedon Ranges, a short drive from Melbourne. The local area offers wineries, mountain walks, horse riding and bushwalking.

The Hunter region north of Sydney also mixes vineyard views with a glass or two of premium wine. Up there with the best is the four-star Hunter Valley Cooperage B&B, which has rooms with vineyard views and five distinctly individual cottages. Another Hunter Valley property with sweeping vineyard vistas is the Vineyard Hill Country Motel, which has self-contained chalets sheltering among tall trees and bushland. The outlook stretches across several vineyards to the beautiful Brokenback Range – it’s the perfect grape escape.

  • ANA Hotel Sydney www.anahotel.com.au
  • Park Hyatt Sydney www.sydney.park.hyatt.com
  • Wrest Point Casino www.wrestpoint.com.au
  • Crown Towers www.crowntowers.com.au
  • Saville Park Suites Darwin www.savillesuites.com.au
  • Coral Sea Resort www.coralsearesort.com
  • Blue Johanna Cottages www.johannabeach.com
  • Rothsaye on Lovers Walk: no internet
  • Longitude 131 www.voyages.com.au
  • Peppers Fairmont Resort www.peppers.com.au
  • Echoes Guesthouse: no internet
  • Lilianfels Blue Mountains www.slh.com
  • Hydro Majestic www.hydromajestic.com.au
  • Aquils Mount Abrupt Eco Lodges www.ecolodge.com.au
  • Hermitage of Marananga www.hermitageofmaranaga.com.au
  • Glen Erin Vineyard Retreat www.glenerinreteat.com.au
  • Hunter Valley Cooperage B&B www.huntervalleycooperage.com
  • Vineyard Hill Country Motel www.vineyardhill.com.au