An isolated oasis in the heart of the Queensland outback. This is a private and exclusive lodge that can host a maximum of just 10 guests, set deep within the great Australian wilderness.
The isolation of the property is astounding and the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere is tangible throughout.
The lodge and its five acres of lawns and gardens sit adjacent to a 300-acre lake, within a gargantuan 85,000 acres of the Australian outback. The nearest one-pub town, Almaden, is a 30-mile (48 km) drive away via a dirt track and the city of Cairns lies 120 miles (193 km) or so to the east.
The isolation of the property is astounding and the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere is tangible throughout. Boasting unpolluted, starry night skies and local kangaroos, the lodge sits right on the edge of the expansive and intimidating Australian bush.
Fresh and spotless throughout, the lodge is significantly more homely and inviting than most conventional hotels. Inside, there’s an open-plan dining room and informal bar area leading to a kitchen, followed by a living room with a projector and screen, sofas and beanbags. Interiors are unpretentious and comfortable, with large windows that look out over the property’s vast lake full of freshwater crocodiles and barramundi.
Hosts Glen and Nadine live in a house beside the lodge and they’re on hand to provide guests with delicious meals, hiking routes and relaxing boat tours of the adjacent lake. Service is friendly and informal, but professional and efficient. There’s also an airstrip and rudimentary helipad for guests that wish to fly in, plus kayaks, fishing rods, and bikes to borrow.
This is not a hotel, but a relaxing wilderness refuge with a delightful infinity pool, emerald lawns and resident sea eagles that live high in a nearby eucalyptus tree.
The bedrooms aren’t huge but they’re cool, bright and well ventilated – perfect for the Queensland heat. There are whitewashed walls and charcoal carpets, plus attractive canvas prints of the nearby lily ponds. The bedrooms feel delightfully clean and inviting, and the open-plan, tiled bathrooms lead out to private outside terraces. There are large walk-in showers.
Consistently delicious and using local produce where possible, the food is outstanding across the board. Guests are encouraged to submit dietary information ahead of their stay and then Glen will create breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus cakes and snacks throughout the day.
The beef is particularly delectable and sourced from Crystalbrook’s very own cattle station, and the barramundi comes from either the Gulf of Carpentaria to the northwest of the lodge’s very own lake. There’s a well-stocked, all-inclusive and self-service bar boasting Australian wines, beers, spirits, and champagne.
Double rooms, based on two sharing, cost 1,800 Australian dollars (£1,027) or 1,200 Australian dollars (£685) for single occupancy. This rate is inclusive of meals, snacks, and alcohol. Free Wi-Fi. No mobile phone reception.
The lodge is set on one floor and its interiors are certainly wheelchair-friendly. However, the rest of the property is spread across vast swathes of the outback and any excursions will involve uneven, remote terrain.
Children aged 12 and over are welcome and the property is just crying out to be explored. Glen and Nadine would be happy to accommodate younger taste buds, with prior warning