The Best Holiday Homes and Vacation Rentals to Book in Australia

Bask in luxury at the Spice at Oak villa in Port Douglas
Bask in luxury at the Spice at Oak villa in Port Douglas | Courtesy of Spice at Oak, Port Douglas / Booking.com
Photo of Jennifer Johnston
9 November 2021
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After scrolling through one too many celebrity Instagram feeds, are you desperate to add a touch of style or indulgence to your next escape? Of course you are. Whether you’re looking for a whale-watching paradise in Byron Bay or a luxury apartment in the heart of Canberra, there’s a stunning holiday house Down Under with your name on it. These are some of the best holiday home rentals Australia has to offer, all bookable on Culture Trip.

Spice at Oak, Port Douglas, for tranquil solitude

Spice at Oak in Port Douglas, with chairs set out on decking overhanging a pond
Courtesy of Spice at Oak, Port Douglas / Expedia

Natural daylight from large glass windows floods the spacious rooms in this serene, laid-back oasis 10 minutes south of Port Douglas and a 40-minute drive from Cairns International Airport. It’s a stunning two-storey villa, all Moroccan limestone and Burmese teak underfoot. You’ll connect to nature the moment you step outside. The beautiful beach is a few paces away – a secluded stretch of sand made for long strolls and sunset viewing. It’s one of the most tranquil holiday rentals in Australia, with the soothing swish of waves lapping the shore one of the only sounds breaking the silence.

Tasmanian luxury at Woodbridge Hill Hideaway

The bathroom at Woodbridge Hill Hideaway has a spa path with a view of tall trees and hills
Courtesy of Woodbridge Hill Hideaway / Expedia

A 35-minute drive south of the Tasmanian capital, Hobart, brings you to this secluded bolthole, balanced on top of a hill in spreading acres of natural bushland. Decked out with salvaged timber and art by local creatives, the cabins exude tranquillity – try to drag yourself away from the fine views (towards the Tasman Peninsula) outside, because real comforts await within. For starters, each of the four luxury, eco-friendly residences boasts a private spa bath. For most of the year in Tasmania it’s too cold to swim outdoors but you can take a dip anytime in the indoor heated pool. Prior booking is required, but then it’s exclusively yours for your whole swim.

Four Winds Villas Byron Bay, for Balinese beauty

An outdoor pool with a waterfall and sea view at Four Winds Villas Byron Bay
Courtesy of Four Winds Villas Byron Bay / Expedia

Lashings of marble and timber transport you from room to spacious room, each filled with Balinese-themed decorative art, at this luxury Byron Bay proposition – but for us it’s the view of the hills and ocean that seals the deal. You’ll find yourself distracted by that outlook as you lounge on the wraparound veranda. Or loaf around indoors – you can still feast your eyes on that vision of endless blue from your lounge-room bed. Keep an eye out for whales breaching in migration season, between May and November.

Luxury lodgings at Villa Vivante, Coffs Harbour

A long pool in front of a sunny terrace at Villa Vivante
Courtesy of Villa Vivante / Expedia

Location, location, location! Teetering some 228m (750ft) above the ocean, these private villas overlooking the Coffs Coast have some of the best views of Australia’s east coast. At the top of a steep driveway across three separate pavilions are five suites each with a terrace overlooking the ocean. They ooze elegance, all bare timber floors and trim four-posters. Nothing blocks the sumptuous 360 degree views of the Pacific Ocean below. Arrive in movie-star mode – this property comes with its own private helicopter pad, not to mention house caterers, a butler service and spa treatments, should you desire.

La Mer, Noosa Heads, for beautiful beach proximity

A table for six on a balcony overlooking the beach at La Mer, Noosa Heads
Courtesy of La Mer, Noosa Heads / Expedia

Calling all romantics – Noosa is a destination on everyone’s lips. The deal is: attractive apartments overlooking Noosa’s Main Beach. Not everyone can pucker up in location right on the beach, but book into La Mer you and most certainly will. You’ll find the (all three-bedroom apartment) complex in the heart of Noosa, on hip-and-happening Hastings Street. Try and bag the three-bedroom penthouse apartment if you can – views from the balcony extend all the way to Double Island Point. An outdoor pool and hot tub offer an alternative to salty sea water. While you’re here, take a walk through nature, on any of the many trails in nearby Noosa National Park.

Resort-style living on the city’s edge, at Birch Apartments, Canberra

Modern furniture fills a room with floor-to ceiling windows at Birch Apartments in Canberra
Courtesy of Birch Apartments, Canberra / Expedida

It may be the Australian capital and the seat of its national government, but you should leave politics aside and simply relax when you check into one of these luxurious one- and two-bedroom apartments in Canberra. Find them on the 16th storey of the Manhattan on the Park building, in the centre of Australia’s capital. They’re generously dimensioned and open-plan, close to the action but veritable cocoons of solitude once you close your door to your luxurious escape. Slip outside to the nearby shopping and dining precinct when hunger pangs strike, or – if you don’t fancy eating out – stay in and cook up a storm in your self-contained kitchen.

Seashells Mandurah, for paradise at one with nature

Loungers around a pool with a beach view at Seashells Mandurah
Courtesy of Seashells Mandurah / Expedida

Less than an hour’s drive south of Perth and only 800m (2,500ft) from the heart of Mandurah, Seashells is your perfect marine-getaway hunker-down. It’s all about watery views at this desirable complex of villas and apartments: you’ve got Comet Bay on one side and Dolphin Quay (named accordingly) and the Ocean Marina on the other. There’s no need to hop out of your swimmers for sunset cocktails – the “in” place when the sun dips is the beachfront infinity pool. Romance goes up a level in a beachfront villa, with uninterrupted ocean views and a spa bath big enough for two.

Fine wine and surf at Eight Willows Retreat, Margaret River

Eight Willows Retreat
Courtesy of Eight Willows Retreat / Expedia

The Margaret River region has a reputation – richly deserved – for premium wineries and a world-class surf break. When the wine tasting is done for the day, escape to this tranquil 75 acre (30ha) property, just 15 minutes’ drive from Margaret River’s centre. Eight Willows Retreat has 25 fantastic self-catering luxurious chalets – one- and two-bedroom, as well as The Residence, which can sleep up to 12 guests in pale and superbly comfortable rooms. The property is surrounded by vineyards and rustic countryside, so remember to pack the hiking boots – there are many bush-walking trails so gather a group of friends and explore.

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