With autumn kicking in down under, our top tip for a warm-weather staycation is Australia’s aptly named Sunshine State. Here, we bring you our pick of the best Queensland holiday houses…
Alinghi, Great Barrier Reef
Stay A contemporary cedar, glass and steel eco-eyrie set in 14 acres of bushland, this architect’s beach pad clings to the cliffs of Queensland’s Capricorn Coast. Sleeping up to 14 in five bedrooms, it includes a serene master suite separated from the main pavilion by a dramatic travertine terrace. Although the sleek living and dining spaces are sure to wow, it’s the sea views that are the star here.
Play Swoon-worthy Honeymoon Bay and Springs Beach are just a hop from the house, with marked trails for discovering deserted coves. The estate also boasts a barbecue, tennis court and lounger-flanked, 25-metre saltwater pool. Pack your yoga kit for sun salutations on the sea-facing terrace, and use the handy telescope to spy passing whales from mid-July to November. Swimming, snorkelling and diving also beckon, as you’re on the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef.
Getting there Fly in to Bundaberg Airport, an hour’s flight north of Brisbane; from there Alinghi is a two-hour drive north, near Agnes Water.
Bali Hai, Port Douglas
Stay Sleeping up to 10 in three airy Balinese-style bedroom huts and a spacious main dwelling, this tropical retreat epitomises stylish self-catering. Perfect for families or friends who fancy getting away from it all, Bali Hai teams rustic thatched roofs and cooling stone floors with Indonesian antiques. The knockout dining room opens up on three sides to reveal the inviting pool and mountain backdrop, and there’s catering on tap if you’re not in the mood to cook.
Play Spa treatments, yoga and day trips can be arranged, or just chill out and enjoy the vast lawns, bordered by a stream and orchards. Beyond your fab fiefdom, explore the rainforest-rich Daintree National Park or hit the beach at Port Douglas.
Getting there Touch down at Cairns – from there it’s a spectacular one-and-a-half-hour coastal drive north to Bali Hai, near Mossman, just beyond Port Douglas.
Glass on Glasshouse, Sunshine Coast
Stay Bauhaus goes bush at this tranquil cluster of three cottages (each sleeping two), nestled in the jaw-dropping Glass House Mountains, inland from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Floor-to-ceiling windows capture views of extinct volcanos, groves of macadamia and mango trees, and inquisitive kangaroos. Indoors, despite the minimal style, king-size beds, seductive double spa-baths and toasty fireplaces keep things cosy.
Play Nature lovers, stargazers and couples seeking a country escape will like this laid-back rural scene. Wander the walking trails in the mountains, with scenic look-outs for view-blessed picnics. Stock up on tasty local produce at the farmers’ markets at Caloundra and Eumundi, or in the charming hinterland towns of Montville and Maleny. Beach fiends can sample the seductive sands of the Sunshine Coast (try Mooloolaba, Caloundra or Maroochydore), with stylish wining and dining at Noosa, further north.
Getting there From Brisbane Airport, it’s a 50-minute drive north to Glass on Glasshouse; Sunshine Coast Airport, at Maroochydore, also services domestic flights.
For more holiday-house inspiration, browse our global collection of stylish self-catering stays.