HOT SPRING SAFARI

The Metung Hot Springs is a $12 million complex open now in Victoria鈥檚 far-east, comprising of natural thermal springs and luxurious safari-style glamping tents.

There are ten opulent lagoon-side tents, each with a king-size bed and private ensuite. These tents also contain private bathing barrels, meaning you鈥檒l be able to soak in solitude around the clock.

Several of the tents back onto a lagoon, and will provide a view of the terraced amphitheatre that is set to sit near the front of the site and is slated to host live music, movies and other entertainment.

During the day, treat yourself at the geothermal pools (of varied depths) or bathing barrels, elevated massage tents, and for the brave, fire and ice therapy: an icy cold-plunge tub located right next to a steaming hot Scandinavian sauna.

There are also plans for a floating sauna on the lagoon, and while the complex is open, some of the build is yet to be completed.

Epic Uluru Experience on it’s way

Just when you think they couldn鈥檛 do anything cooler up at Uluru, they go and drop this on us.

Wintjiri Wiru is the name of the extraordinary, brand-new light and drone show above Uluru, coming in May.

It brings to life the ancient dreamtime story of Mala via 1,000 luminous drones taking flight each night to lift the ancient images above Uluru and into the sky. Exquisite choreography and visual artistry is accompanied by a narration in Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara languages, and a soundtrack with traditional inma recorded with members of the local Anangu community.

The number (1,000) of drones involved makes it the largest drone show of it’s kind on earth.

The result is a pretty cool marriage of technology and the world鈥檚 oldest continuous culture.

Two Wintjiri Wiru sound and light shows will run every night, from March until December (from 11 May in 2023), with one show a night operating in January and February.

A three-hour sunset dinner precedes the experience, which includes welcome cocktails and canapes while the sun sets over the bloody serene setting of Kata Tjuta and Uluru. Once darkness has settled the dramatic sound and light show will begin.

We cannot wait.

Check out the briefest of teasers below:

B贸i oh B贸ia

Ever feel like you鈥檙e just floating along in life? Metaphorically drifting aimlessly, without direction while getting inebriated every weekend with your mates who are doing the same thing?

Well, now you can do that for real, and your mates can come too! B贸ia is the Perth-based brand selling water-based products like the Harbour: a horseshoe-shaped floating chill area that is absolutely made for summer.

Imagine jumping on a B贸ia with a few friends, and having either your own private island party or the ultimate place to relax, out on a lake or an ocean. Not bad.

Don’t have any friends? Say no more fam, just set your B贸ia up at Cottesloe Beach or similar, and let the friends come to you (see below).

They’re perfect for bad b贸is, good b贸is and sk8r b贸is alike.

There are a variety of different products available from $1,075 – get one here.

The Tiny Renaissance

Into the Wild Escapes are a set of tiny homes that seem to be multiplying faster than Catholic rabbits, with 45 now dotted around Australia.

Their concept is fairly simple: make a bespoke, very small home, and plonk it somewhere beautiful with a guarantee you will not come into contact with another human being or building.

The co-founder of the Into the Wild movement says they plan to open more than 500 around the country at some stage, which sounds like a lot.

They’re called Tiny Homes but unlike the Derek Zoolander Centerfor Kids Who Can’t Read Good and Who Wanna Learn to Do Other Stuff Good Too, you can actually fit inside them.

Some have outdoor bathtubs and fireplaces, all have an economy of space on the inside which you probably wouldn鈥檛 want for more than a week, but feels novel and cosy – especially when you’re sipping a coffee and gazing pensively out the window, a requirement of the stay.

They are not to be confused with the movie Into the Wild, where the main protagonist never makes it out after disappearing into the bush to live in a bus, which is kind of like a tiny home, when you think about it. This is unlikely to happen however, it鈥檚 not a guarantee we鈥檙e willing to make.

Tiny Homes have been around a while now – long enough to be experiencing a renaissance.

The Into the Wild concept is a smart one: the majority of these homes are within two hours of capital cities around the country, so they鈥檙e an easy get-to.

The idea that you can guarantee not seeing anyone, and having only the company of your partner and/or kids is either paradise or horrific, depending on where you stand. But trading your iPhone and traffic for fresh air and some of the brightest stars in the world is attractive to all.

OARSOME BAY

Typing Yasawa into a search engine is enough to work out that this remote archipelago in the west of Fiji is an absolutely stunning patchwork of beaches, coral and dormant volcanos.

What a Google search won鈥檛 do is satisfy your quench for the ultimate beach holiday. For that you鈥檒l need to head to Oarsman’s Bay Lodge on the northern tip of the islands, an impossibly attractive resort with recently renovated, simplistic 鈥楤ures鈥 and the happiest of Fijian smiles.

Turquoise waters and white sand beaches back up against volcanic peaks, with the tough decision of swimming, snorkelling, diving or laying in a hammock with a book. For about AU$160 you can even rent out your own island for the day 鈥 ideal for honeymooners and lovebirds, or extreme introverts.

From AU$280 per night

Click for YAAS-AWA

Dad’s shed beneath the stars

Dad鈥檚 shed, but get rid of the tools and put in a bed. And make that bed slide out, so you can lie outside beneath the stars at night.

That鈥檚 Stella the Stargazer in a nutshell, A brand new, epic off-grid stay that is being shifted around the Victorian countryside this summer.

The idea that spawned Stella came from the designer鈥檚 childhood, in which his family would move a double bed into the middle of a paddock so that they could stare up at the stunning night skies southern Australia is blessed with.

The home is made out of corrugated iron salvaged from central Victoria, that is 鈥渁t least鈥 60 years old, according to the makers. The kitchen is centred around a woodfire oven that also functions as a hotplate, with glass sliding doors that open out onto a modular deck. There鈥檚 also a bush TV (firepit) for you to talk shit around.

The house has been touted as a tiny home but we think this doesn鈥檛 quite encapsulate it. There almost needs to be a more niche category: outback-corrugated-iron-astro-stay is probably more it’s vibe.

The first activation will take place at Blue Gables vineyard in Maffra, with two more locations to follow which get lost aren鈥檛 allowed to tell you yet. But we can tell you, they鈥檙e really bloody beautiful and full of that fresh country air.

And stars. Heaps of stars.

Live out your James Bond fantasies

Ever wanted to be James Bond for a day? In the Northern Territory, you can.

00Seven are a Darwin company offering epic Bond-themed adventures, on both water and land.

get lost took on the Casino Royale tour 鈥 a jet-ski adventure at full throttle along Darwin鈥檚 waterfront.

Fly along at long sun drenched, unspoilt coastlines while spotting marine life, feeding fish and enjoying the thrill of the pristine, open water. The tour goes over World War Two shipwrecks, and past Darwin鈥檚 iconic Mindil Beach Casino, making it feel as if you鈥檙e in hot pursuit of Le Chiffre following a high-stakes poker game.

All of the jet skis are named after Bond girls (get lost found itself on Pussy Galore) with the best tours running at sunrise and sunset, with the stunning ambience of Darwin鈥檚 famed red skyline providing the perfect backdrop.

As well as Casino Royale, other excellent picks are Golden Eye (an amateur photography class, by jet-ski) and Espresso Martini tour (an express session, with a 鈥榮ecret鈥 mission).

Back on land, the Moonraker, Licence to Thrill and Skyfall four-wheeler tours through Charles Darwin National Park are epic adventures in their own right, taking in wild trails, World War Two ammunition storage spots, bunkers and more.

The company is a well-oiled machine, with free photography and videos a part of the tour at the end of the day, and knowledgeable guides providing information along the way.

All skills and experience levels are welcome 鈥 you don鈥檛 have to be a Bond-level marksman, and doing a flip on a jet-ski that鈥檚 on fire as you chase a bad guy is not expected.

Darwin

Darwin can be visited at anytime, but is definitely best during the dry season, from May to October each year.

Temperatures are generally in the late 20s and the Top End鈥檚 famed humidity is more than manageable during this time.

Grand Designs in Portarlington

The 1888-built Portarlington Grand Hotel has had a few renovations over the years, but none as big as this.

A $10 million refurbishment has turned the local watering hole of this once sleepy town on the Bellarine into an absolute coastal gem.

There鈥檚 a few different parts to get your head around. First, the Atrium; a light-filled, open-air space with nautical vibes that don鈥檛 overdo it.

Out the back of the Atrium there鈥檚 the Lawn, a breezy, green area with picnic tables and umbrellas. You can imagine an absolute vibe kicking up here in the summer months.

Heading indoors there鈥檚 the front bar; with wooden floorboards and booths 鈥 a bloody good spot to catch some mates. And further down through the classy walkway is the bistro, which is packed out most weekends for lunch and dinner.

The pub鈥檚 food offering makes heavy use of this coast鈥檚 excellent seafood. Portarlington mussels 鈥 the subject of a truly riotous mussel festival every January 鈥 are especially delicious here in the seafood-and-chorizo risotto. You鈥檒l also find pub staples such as panko-crumbed schnitties, the classic chicken parma, whiting with chips and more. Locals supply the grog, with esteemed wineries Jack Rabbit and Terindah Estate, plus Flying Brick Cider Co, The Whiskery and more.

Portarlington is only an hour from Melbourne by ferry, which cuts across Port Phillip Bay and is actually shorter than driving, making it the perfect weekend getaway location. There’s 18 stunning rooms upstairs from the pub main, six featuring balconies looking out over the town and the water.

There鈥檚 been plenty of pub and restaurant openings over the last few years, and s well as being on the water and a destination in its own right, Portarlington is in close proximity to surf coast hotspots like Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads.

Get down there鈥efore everyone else does.

SHELLBACK

At the very southern tip of mainland Australia is both a landscape and promontory so magical they belie the true nature of the destination.

Wilsons Promontory in Victoria is one of Australia鈥檚 most breathtaking national parks, laced with white sandy beaches, wombats, endless walking trails and ancient bushland. Shellback in nearby Cape Liptrap offers unbelievable views over 鈥楾he Prom鈥, a laidback farm-style stay with modern touches in an open plan kitchen and living room. Life doesn鈥檛 get much better than sitting on the deck with a craft-beer from nearby Burra Brewing in Korumburra, and farmland lapping at the edge of this timeless property.

From AU$450 per night

Click here for a S’HELL OF A STAY

A BY ADINA

New hotels come and go in big cities, but when they make an effort to truly redefine the guest experience from the minute those lift doors open, you know it’s a keeper.

The studio rooms and apartments at A by Adina in Sydney are completely surrounded by office buildings and sandstone Victorian architecture in the city’s CBD skyline, but not imposingly so. Instead the rooms here feel cradled and secure, like a jewel in the casing of a necklace. The modern fit-out of the two-bedroom apartments, including the fully automated blinds on the floor-to-ceiling windows, are certainly chic, but not overstated. But please do yourselves a favour and hire a babysitter so you can saunter upstairs to Dean & Nancys on 22, a swanky new speakeasy featuring some of the most Instagram worthy cocktails in the city.

From AU$399 per night.

Click here for A PLUS LUXURY