With an unofficial four-day long weekend looming as part of Australia Day, where to stay if you’re heading out of town is always a challenge. And while some will camp, head to a caravan park or drive-in motel, there are also some surprisingly quirky places around if you’re looking for somewhere unusual to hang out with family or BFFs, as Destination NSW reveals in this list, provided to Business Insider.
Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase said that sometimes the accommodation alone can be the reason you head somewhere.
“This is often the case for luxury resorts, farm stays and quirky one-of-a-kind options in NSW where the accommodation can be the main star of your holiday,” she said.
From sleeping underground to a cave and a lighthouse on an island, here are eight amazing, wonderful and sometimes weird places to stay in New South Wales.
In Outback NSW, White Cliffs is home to the rare black opal. It’s situated in the desert environment where mining hillocks create a moon-like landscape. Extraordinarily, the town lives underground in dwellings called dugouts to escape the heat.
The White Cliffs Underground Motel gives visitors the chance to experience underground-living first hand. The rooms are a perfect 22 degrees all year round. You’ll have a great sleep in absolute darkness, so dark you can’t see your hand in front of your face as soon as the light is switched off.
On the NSW North Coast is an American bison farm. At Aranyani Bison Adventure Park you can camp in a Native American style teepee. These large teepees can fit up to a dozen people camping out together. In addition to the bison, the ranch has abundant native bird and animals. Enjoy spending your evenings around the campfire and your day exploring the farm.
Perched overlooking a stunning valley near Bathurst, is a 1949 red double decker London bus that has been converted into accommodation for four. At Artisans Park at Turondale, the bus has been lovingly refurbished and includes a deck with beautiful valley views and a wood fire heater to keep you toasty warm in winter.
High up in the canopy in the Blue Mountains is the Wollemi Wilderness Treehouse. With wall-to-wall windows, exposed native timber and perched on timber stilts, the Treehouse offers stunning views of Bowen’s Creek Gorge. This back-to-basics romantic escape includes a spa and wood fire.
Dubbo might seem like an unlikely place to enjoy an African safari escape, but at Taronga Western Plains you can sleep in luxury safari tents on the edge of the African savannah. From your private deck you will see giraffe, zebra and eland as they roam.
In the Blue Mountains there are two amazing caves to sleep in – the Enchanted Cave and Hat Cave. Behind a small wooden door at the top of a cliff is the Enchanted Cave, a luxurious cave offering spectacular views, spa and woodfire.
Set amidst towering escarpments, the Hat Cave is a huge sandstone cathedral, sculpted by nature. This bush retreat is set deep within a mountain gorge surrounded by lush cool temperate rainforest, the cave is perfect for large group camping with its camp fire, solar powered lights, rainwater tap and composting toilet.
You’ll get a glimpse into what life would have once been like for a lighthouse keeper with a night or two in Montague Island Head Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage. Built in 1881, there are two heritage cottage on choose from. Montague Island is off the coast of Narooma on the NSW South Coast, accessible by tour boat only and is home to Australia’s largest colony of Australian and New Zealand fur seals.
Inspired by the traditional Mongolian yurt, Talo Retreat has transformed yurt accommodation into a luxurious couples-only experience on the Murray River. From the canvas walls lined with Australian wood, to the domed skylight to allow stargazing from your bed and the private outdoor spa, this is a unique luxurious yurt experience.
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