Travellers in search of a unique place to stay are in for a treat in Australia as some of the most unusual accommodation is found in the unlikeliest places. Whether you're looking for a hotel or holiday rental, a stay on the coast or in the rainforest, there's a quirky place for you to rest your head at night.
For a seaside escape in Victoria, you should look no further than The Pole House, which sits 40 metres above sea level on the Great Ocean Road. The quirky property's walkway extends from the cliff top and provides a 360-degree view over Fairhaven Beach, offering an unforgettable place to wake up to the ocean. Prefer to be even closer to the sea? A trip to the Great Barrier Reef can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience with a night spent under the stars on the world's largest coral reef system. Wildlife fans sleep on a floating pontoon in an area teeming with corals and more than 10,000 fish and marine species.
If it's a truly odd hotel you'd like to check into, the "weirdest accommodation of them all" can be found at Mira Mira. This bed and breakfast in the Gippsland Region features fantasy rooms that range from a striking cave-inspired retreat to a Gaudi-influenced room nestled among the trees.
Luxury seekers can also enjoy a taste of the unexpected at a remote lodge in one of the world's last true wilderness areas, Kimberley. Berkeley River Lodge is only accessible by air and has just 20 villas positioned along a 65-metre high dune. And in South Australia, a romantic castle with fantasy turrets and towers awaits lovers of antiques, art and baroque design.
Discover some of Australia's most unusual places to stay below.
Unusual places to stay in Australia
Unusual places to stay in Australia
The most photographed home in Victoria is The Pole House, an undisputed landmark along the renowned Great Ocean Road and an unforgettable place to wake up to the ocean. Suspended 40 metres above sea level, this quirky property's walkway extends from the cliff top providing a 360-degree view over Fairhaven Beach, the longest stretch of beach on the Great Ocean Road. Inside, the decor is sleek and modern with everything you need for a coastal getaway and the bed looks directly over the ocean. From $3,710 (£2,221) per week for two people.
Australia's most remote luxury lodge is located in one of the world’s last true wilderness areas, Kimberley, and is ideal for romantic couples who are looking to escape from it all. Berkeley River Lodge, part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, features just 20 luxury villas positioned along a 65-metre high dune commanding 180-degree views sweeping from Joseph Bonaparte Gulf to Reveley Island. Each private en-suite villa has a king-sized bed and free-standing bath tub. Only accessible by air, getting to the lodge is half the adventure with daily scenic flights from Darwin and Kununurra. From $1,650 (£987) per night.
Dubbed the "weirdest accommodation of them all" by its owners, Mira Mira offers a quirky accommodation experience in the beautiful Gippsland Region. The bed and breakfast is a collection of three two-bedroom fantasy retreats that offer guests the chance to "live in art". The Cave provides an underground experience, keeping you call in the summer and warm in the winter, while the Japanese Zen Retreat is set on a tranquil pond, and Tanglewood was inspired by the works of Gaudi and transports you to a place where colour knows no boundaries. From $400 (£242) per couple for two nights.
A romantic castle retreat with inspired architecture featuring fantasy turrets and towers, Thorngrove Manor Hotel is the perfect place for lovers to stay near Adelaide. The five-roomed hotel boasts winding staircases, friezes and fireplaces, antiques and artwork fusing contemporary design and baroque interiors. Part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, each room has its own private entrance with some suites underground. As privacy and discretion are key, you may never see another guest. From $1,450 (£876) per night.
For a remote stay in Victoria, look no further than the Lightstation Cottages in Wilson’s Promontory National Park. Only accessible by foot, the three cottages offer visitors a taste of the lighthouse keeper lifestyle as you sleep beside Wilsons Promontory Lightstation, built in 1859. Hikers can make the most of the coastal route (23.8km one-way) during their stay. The trek is not for the faint-hearted and the cottages are a welcome delight for those willing to go the distance. Book the exclusive-use Lightstation Banks Cottage, which offers outstanding views from the open-plan living room, a queen-sized bed and a fully-equipped kitchen. From $352 (£213) per night for two people.
Offering pure escapism, Daintree EcoLodge & Spa is where you can release your mind, body and spirit with natural spa treatments, fresh seasonal cuisine and tranquil exploration among the wild, unspoilt and unique rainforest canopy. Daintree’s Rainforest Bayan rooms are nestled among the trees in the world’s oldest rainforest and feature private hot tubs overlooking the surrounding lush tropical rainforest. From $425 (£257) per night.
Set in a deep mountain gorge with panoramic views across Mount Wilson and Wollemi National Park, Hatter's Hideout and Lodge provides unusual cave accommodation and a three-bedroom lodge for those who prefer to sleep in luxury. The property respects its pristine environment and guests can look forward to camp fires, barbecues and candle-lit relaxation. From £152 per night with Airbnb.
For a night like no other, visitors to the Great Barrier Reef can sleep in a floating tented camp on the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Located 26 nautical miles off the coast of Cairns, the Moore Reef Pontoon is in an area teeming with corals and more than 10,000 fish and marine species. You'll sleep outside in a swag under the stars and with Black Tomato, you can enjoy stargazing, canapés or a full surf and turf barbecue dinner as you feel at home in the heart of the ocean. This unique experience is offered as part of a 14-night luxury holiday which costs from £6,000 per person.
The first hotel of its kind located on a shopping centre rooftop in the heart of the Melbourne CBD, St. Jerome's - The Hotel is home to 21 luxury canvas bell tents fitted out with queen-sized beds, premium linen, a heating and cooling system, a tablet loaded with movies, plus a stocked cooler filled with local craft beer and cider. Guests can fall asleep under the stars against Melbourne's skyline and wake up to 360-degree views of the city. The hotel also provides a 24-hour reception, a bar, toilets and showers, plus an infrared sauna. From $390 (£235) per tent, per night.
Providing unique treehouse accommodation among 230 acres of tropical rainforest, Rose Gums Wilderness Retreat is ideal for getting away from it all. The nine timber treehouses are located 100 metres from each other and offer seclusion in a natural setting in the Cairns Highlands. Guest can dine at the LEAF restaurant set in the rainforest canopy and there are plenty of wildlife opportunities, from viewing parrots and kangaroos to discovering platypus. From £148 per person, per night as part of Flight Centre’s tailor-made Tropical North Queensland holiday.