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Monday, January 19, 2015

10 of Australia's Best Country Retreats

The World's Leading Hotel Price Comparison Site names 10 of Australia's best country retreats

Australia is about so much more than its major city centres – from beaches to deserts, we lay claim to some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes on the planet. With over 12,000 diverse Aussie accommodation options on our site, and with the Australia Day long weekend once more upon us, HotelsCombined has listed 10 incredible country retreats worth seeing.

Berenbell Vineyard and Retreat

“Australia Day is the perfect excuse to get back to nature and to explore all the spectacular gifts that Mother Nature has bestowed upon us,” says Alycia Simons, Global PR and Content Manager for HotelsCombined. “Based on features such as location, amenities and guest reviews, we've selected 10 stand-out properties that promise a truly unforgettable – and distinctly Australian – experience.”

Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat, Tweed Valley, New South Wales

Location: A former banana plantation situated on the cusp of the New South Wales and Queensland border.

Highlights: The property's bungalows are enveloped by lush vegetation and strategically placed far enough apart to ensure complete privacy. In-room perks include a double spa bath and a fully-equipped kitchen, with some lodges even boasting heated plunge pools.

We recommend: The nearby walking trails, which weave through pristine creeks, rockpools and a glow worm colony.

Driftwood Cottages, Huon Valley, Tasmania

Location: A small, peaceful marine community in Tasmania's far south.

Highlights: All accommodation options here provide sublime waterfront views over Port Esperance Bay.

We recommend: Splurging on the Beach House for its private outdoor Jacuzzi and indoor wood fire stove.

Stonewell Cottages and Vineyards, Barossa Valley, South Australia

Location: A sprawling vineyard estate with its own lakefront.

Highlights: From Nespresso machines to candles, all the extra in-room touches here really make this place shine (there's even a little container of breakfast to feed the property's resident ducks!). Other perks include complimentary fishing rods and private outdoor courtyards with gas barbeques.

We recommend: Exploring the estate via row boat (naturally, the use of the property boats is complimentary).

Rose Gums Wilderness Retreat, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland

Location: A tropical sanctuary nestled within the coastal mountain ranges of the Cairns Highlands.

Highlights: We love the hand-crafted treehouses here, all of which come equipped with luxury amenities such as a large spa bath, private balcony, internal laundry and a complimentary breakfast hamper.

We recommend: For a family holiday. The property welcomes guests of all ages - highchairs, children's backpacks and cots are all available upon request.

Faraway Bay Cabins, the Kimberley, Western Australia

Location: A remote setting of untouched beaches, freshwater pools and vast coastline.

Highlights: One-of-a-kind features include secluded outdoor showers, nightly campfires under the stars and a clifftop golf course.

We recommend: Indulging in a scenic helicopter tour.

Cape Otway Cottages, Great Ocean Road, Victoria

Location: Sheltered within 60 acres of native bushland between the forest and the coast.

Highlights: Pet-owners will appreciate that the accommodation here is all pooch-friendly – special canine amenities include beds, towels and natural dog treats.

We recommend: A stay in the Dunes Homestead, a luxury three-bedroom holiday house with amazing views and a gourmet kitchen.

Berenbell Vineyard Retreat, Hunter Valley, New South Wales

Location: Centrally located in wine country, a mere two minute drive from 17 different cellar doors.

Highlights: A picture-perfect haven with quaint accommodation touches like claw-foot tubs and cedar bay windows.

We recommend: A visit to the Blue Tongue Brewery, which is just a four minute walk away.

Spring Creek Mountain Café and Cottages, Killarney, Queensland

Location: Perched 1,005 metres above sea level, overlooking several famed Scenic Rim sites including the Condamine Gorge and Wilson's Peak.

Highlights: Spectacular panoramas can be had nearly everywhere on the property and fresh, locally-sourced fare is only a short walk away at the onsite café.

We recommend: A guided bushwalking tour or horseback riding expedition.

Dragonfly Lodge, Rocky Hills, Tasmania

Location: On a clifftop, boasting dramatic panoramas of the Tasman Sea.

Highlights: Offering up three spacious bedrooms each with its own en suite bathroom, the self-catered residence houses an open stone fireplace, reading library, fully-stocked pantry and even an electronic piano (should the need for an impromptu music session arise).

We recommend: For a get-together or special even.

Woodlands Rainforest Retreat, Yarra Valley, Victoria

Location: Overlooking a quiet lake amidst a thick tangle of fern gullies.

Highlights: The spacious outdoor veranda is a lovely spot to unwind with a glass of wine or to view the resident wildlife (sightings could include kookaburras, wombats, wallabies, echidnas and platypus).

We recommend: Spoiling yourself with an in-room massage or ordering a gourmet picnic basket for an outdoor adventure.

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