Nestled amidst picturesque rural landscapes, the New South Wales (NSW) Southern Highlands has long been a cherished destination for discerning travellers seeking a tranquil escape. At just under a two-hour drive south of Sydney, the region boasts a timeless allure, drawing visitors with its lush countryside, idyllic villages, and a rich tapestry of colonial charm. Towns such as Bowral, renowned for its elegant boutiques and celebrated dining scene, offer a touch of sophistication. Berrima, with its historic Georgian village ambiance, and Mittagong, a picturesque town dotted with colonial buildings, captivate with their quaint charm.
Explore national parks, where scenic wonders like Fitzroy Falls and tranquil bushwalks await. Indulge in the region’s gourmet delights, with a flourishing food and wine scene showcasing local produce and cool-climate wines. In the NSW Southern Highlands, a sense of serenity and an abundance of natural and cultural treasures await those seeking a revitalising getaway.
Within the stunning NSW Southern Highlands resides the charming Osborn House, Emma and the advisors’ home for the next two nights. Surrounded by rolling hills, sweeping bushland, and flourishing gardens, this hidden gem offers a bespoke experience like no other. With a seamless blend of understated elegance and laidback luxury, Osborn House captivates its guests with a unique fusion of a relaxed retreat and a playful guest house.
The suites, terraces, and cabins exuded an unmistakable charm, adorned with personalised touches that elevate the sense of home. Stepping onto the stunning grounds, Emma and the travel advisors found century-established gardens on one side and a pristine natural park on the other. This private sanctuary provided an idyllic haven, the spaces both inside and out designed by the renowned Linda Boronkay, design director of the famed Soho House.
Emma and the advisors were treated to a truly unforgettable event: the mesmerising “Fire Feast.” The magnificent Argentinian BBQ extravaganza showcased the talents of skilled Argentinian chefs, who enchanted their senses with culinary prowess. For an awe-inspiring six hours, the air was filled with tantalising aromas as succulent meats and an array of vegetables were masterfully grilled over open flames. This vibrant celebration of fire and flavour was cemented as a highlight of their experience at Osborn House, leaving an indelible memory of the Southern Highlands.
Experience Nature Touring
Embarking on an unforgettable touring experience with Experience Nature, the group immersed themselves in the rich cultural heritage and captivating landscapes on a walking tour of the NSW Southern Highlands. Their day began with a profound and moving smoking ceremony, conducted by a knowledgeable Aboriginal elder, this traditional ritual served as a powerful symbol of respect and connection, evoking a sense of reverence for the land and its ancient traditions.
The group then embarked on a series of hikes through the majestic mountain ranges and pristine native bushland. Led by experienced guides, they delved into the intricate ecosystem of the region, discovering a vibrant tapestry of plants and animals that have thrived in the land for centuries.
With its iconic landmarks and breathtaking natural beauty, Sydney is a city that captivates the imagination and leaves an indelible impression on visitors.
Sydney draws visitors in with its kaleidoscope of cultures, cuisines, and customs. From the sun-drenched beaches of Bondi to the lively streets of Darlinghurst, it is a city that invites exploration and discovery.
From indulging in world-class cuisine at award-winning restaurants to sipping on vintage wines at private tastings, Sydney offers a decadent dining scene that rivals any in the world. Aquatic adventures within the city’s iconic harbour, in the shadow of the Bridge and Opera House, offers visitors a memorable journey in the shadow of Australian icons.
After a relaxing stay at Osborne House in the Highlands, it was time for the group to immerse themselves in city life, and that began with the epitome of luxury at Sydney’s newest hotel, Capella. The architecture, interior design, and carefully curated art pieces create a stunning ensemble within the lobby of the hotel that set the tone for their stay. Every detail had been meticulously chosen and placed, resulting in a warm, homely, and spacious atmosphere enhanced by the soaring ceilings. The ambiance strikes a perfect balance between relaxation and liveliness, accompanied by a delightful signature scent wafting throughout the entire property and subtle, well-curated music.
Specifically, Emma and the advisors were captivated by the remarkable kinetic installation in the main lobby where large fabric flowers in soft pastel colours are suspended from the ceiling, opening and closing in a mesmerising dance. Equally awe-inspiring was the 11-meter-high wall adorned with nearly 70 local species of flora, a botanical marvel that adds a touch of natural beauty upon arrival.
With an impressive day spa, serene pool reminiscent of ancient bathing houses and spacious gym facilities, the group was well taken care of. Dining in Capella’s in-house restaurant Brasserie 1930, they indulged in a breakfast buffet that made their stay as delicious as it was relaxing.
Capella offers nine different room and suite types, fit for the most discerning traveller, and offers a communal ‘Capella ritual’ each night which invites guests to learn something new about the culture and history of the city.
Harbour Bridge Climb
As the sun began to set, the group embarked on a spectacular adventure to the famed Sydney Harbour Bridge to partake in a night climb. Overlooking the city in the middle of Vivid Sydney Festival, when lights and artistry adorned the streets and buildings, it was a truly spectacular experience that left the group in awe.
Splendour Tailored Tours
Splendour Tailored Tours offer extraordinary, tailored experiences of Sydney and greater New South Wales, crafted with personal interests in mind, and led by an innovative local guide. Whilst exploring Sydney, Emma and the advisors met with Matt from Splendour and embarked on a truly personalised journey the delivered a quintessential Sydney experience.
The adventure kicked off as Matt, their spirited guide, whisked them away to the renowned Bondi Beach, an iconic spot for locals and tourists alike. Working their way along the coast, the group had the distinct pleasure of catching a glimpse of whales on their annual migration past the harbour.
A highlight of their tour was a private lunch with Mishy, owner of the esteemed restaurant MISHY’S, and was an experience that surpassed all expectations. Mishy, a celebrated culinary expert, crafted a meal that tantalised the senses with fresh, home-grown ingredients for a dining experience that focussed on community.
Their exploration continued with a visit to the Sydney Modern Art Gallery, a cultural oasis that showcased an inspiring collection of contemporary artworks. The group immersed themselves in the vibrant world of modern art, appreciating the creativity and thought-provoking expressions of renowned artists.
From New South Wales, Emma and the advisors aboard a two-hour flight south to South Australia – a captivating destination beckoning with its diverse landscapes, cultural richness, and unparalleled experiences.
From the stunning coastline along the Great Australian Bight to the majestic outback and fertile wine regions, this state offers a tapestry of natural wonders and vibrant city life. South Australia is renowned for its world-class wines, as well as its thriving culinary scene that showcases fresh local produce. With a rich arts and culture scene, historic sites, and abundant wildlife, South Australia invites travellers to immerse themselves in a journey of discovery, indulgence, and unforgettable moments.
An iconic location within the countryside of South Australia, the Barossa Valley stands as a world-renowned wine region, celebrated for its exceptional vineyards and premium wine production. This fertile land is also home to a vibrant community of small-scale farmers, producing an abundance of high-quality local produce. With tranquil rolling hills, renowned wineries, and a rich culinary scene, the Barossa Valley offers a captivating escape for wine enthusiasts and gastronomic adventurers alike.
The Louise stands as a beacon of luxury in the heart of South Australia’s esteemed wine country, following a multi-million-dollar makeover. Surrounded by lush vineyards, this boutique accommodation offers guests a stylish escape with its private villa-style suites, renowned dining at Appellation, and privileged access to the best of the Barossa region. As the newest addition to Baillie Lodges’ portfolio of luxury lodges, The Louise embodies a budding era of refined opulence.
Inspired by the spacious elegance of Southern European villas, the suites at The Louise open up to sun-drenched private courtyards, offering views of vineyards that paint the country landscape. It’s a serene setting that transports guests to a world of relaxed luxury, where time seems to slow down. Here, Emma and the advisors were able to explore the iconic Barossa region with ease by day and relax in opulent comfort at night.
In the Barossa, where exceptional wine thrives, exceptional food follows suit. The region is renowned for its premium local produce and a vibrant community of small-scale farmers. At The Louise, guests have the opportunity to savour the true essence of the destination through its cuisine. The award-winning Appellation restaurant, hailed as a world-class dining destination, serves as the local culinary gem within The Louise, offering an exceptional gastronomic experience.
The Tailor Touring Co, Day One
Emma and the advisors embarked on an extraordinary journey to South Australia, immersing themselves in the beauty and rich flavours of this renowned wine region on a day trip with The Tailor Touring Co, a small-group touring company that specialised in bespoke local experiences. Their first stop was the picturesque Barossa Valley, a haven for wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike.
Their stay at The Louise, a luxurious retreat nestled amidst vineyards, proved to be a culinary delight. They indulged in a delicious dinner, savouring exquisite dishes crafted with the finest local produce. Each bite was a symphony of flavours, showcasing the region’s gastronomic prowess.
Continuing their exploration, Emma and the advisors visited Seppeltsfield winery, where they embarked on a truly unique experience – the ‘Taste Your Birth Year’ journey. They were transported back in time as they sampled rare, fortified wines from the year of their birth straight from the barrel offering an extraordinary connection to the winery’s rich heritage.
Another highlight of their trip was a visit to Hutton Vale Farm, a working sheep farm and vineyard. They immersed themselves in the rustic charm of the countryside, witnessing the harmonious coexistence of farming and winemaking, while stopping for an incredible lunch of farm-to-table produce. The warm hospitality of the owners made the experience all the more memorable, as they learned about the traditional practices and tasted exceptional wines created on the estate.
Their journey continued with a visit to Torbreck Winery, renowned for its old-vine shiraz and exceptional red wines. Emma and the advisors revelled in the artistry of winemaking, as they were guided through a barrel tasting of the winery’s acclaimed offerings. The rich, complex flavours danced on their palates, leaving an indelible impression.
Having indulged in Sydney’s seductive lure, encountered the luxurious charm of The Louise in South Australia, and the refined opulence of Osborne House, the last stop for Emma and the advisors was Sequoia Lodge in the Adelaide Hills.
Amidst the idyllic landscapes of the Adelaide Hills, Sequoia Lodge stands as a beacon of tranquillity and refined luxury. This exquisite retreat, surrounded by towering trees and lush greenery, offers an enchanting escape from the bustle of everyday life only 30-minutes from the centre of Adelaide.
Offering world-class dining, wellness and immersive experiences highlighting the best of the state, Sequoia Lodge sits at the forefront of luxury in Adelaide. Beyond the lodge’s elegant interiors, the Adelaide Hills beckon with a wealth of experiences. An outdoor heated pool and spa overlooking the picturesque Picadilly Valley is an experience unlike any other in South Australia.
The Tailor Touring Co, Day Two
Emma and the advisors embarked on a second day tour with The Tailor Touring Co, immersing themselves in a bespoke journey through South Australia’s remarkable landscapes and unique experiences. Their adventure began with a visit to Cleland Wildlife Park, where they had the rare opportunity to hold koalas and interact with native Australian wildlife. It was a magical encounter, allowing them to meaningfully connect with these iconic creatures.
Continuing their exploration, they ventured to the scenic Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard for a delightful lunch. Set against a backdrop of rolling hills and lush vineyards, they savoured delectable cuisine paired with exceptional wines, soaking in the tranquil beauty of the Adelaide Hills.
At Deviation Road Winery, Emma and the advisors indulged in a truly personalised sparkling wine experience. Under the guidance of Chief Winemaker and owner, Kate Laurie, they became part of the winemaking process, bottling their own sparkling wine and adding their desired amount of sugar, creating a bespoke blend that suited their taste.
Taking to the skies on a private PC-12 aircraft, Emma and the advisors continued their South Australian journey to the majestic Flinders Ranges. The stunning vistas unfolded beneath them, showcasing the rugged beauty of this ancient mountain range. Immersing themselves in the natural wonders of the Flinders Ranges, Emma and the advisors basked in the sheer magnificence of this iconic destination. From rugged gorges to dramatic rock formations, they witnessed the awe-inspiring beauty of the outback.
Their journey continued with a visit to the RM Williams Workshop back in Adelaide, where they discovered the heritage and craftsmanship behind this iconic Australian brand. Exploring the workshop, they gained insight into the meticulous techniques used to create these renowned leather goods, adding a touch of cultural immersion to their itinerary.