Crystalbrook Lodge joins upmarket travel group
EXCLUSIVE Outback property Crystalbrook Lodge, owned by John Morris and Jim Noli, is now part of a trio of upmarket resorts – including Silky Oaks and Lizard Island – being represented by destination marketer Luxury Lodges of Australia.
Crystalbrook, a venture by Port Bajool P/L, which is well known in this region for its quality residential and rural property developments over more than 20 years, is 180 km west of Cairns and opened its doors to a wellheeled clientele last April.
It is part of the historic 34,000 ha Crystalbrook Station.
The lodge brings together the outback, abundant wildlife on Crystalbrook Lake and the hospitality that defines luxury lodges around Australia. With only five courtyard suites, the lodge is an oasis of luxury in the outback.
Penny Rafferty of Luxury Lodges of Australia said the inclusion of Crystalbrook now meant the region had three first-class destinations that showcased the best the area had to offer.
They offered a diversity of experience to their guests.
‘‘There is a true contrast between the wet tropics and the Outback,’’ she told the Gazette.
‘‘Crystalbrook adds another unique experience and further depth to Australia’s extraordinary regional diversity and high-end experiential travel.’’
Lodge director John Morris said he was delighted Crystalbrook Lodge had been admitted as the newest member of Luxury Lodges of Australia. ‘‘We have spent many years enjoying the character and natural environment of the wilderness areas of North Queensland.
‘‘Creating the quintessential outback experience in building Crystalbrook Lodge has been a passion, and we’re delighted to share it with guests looking for something that is authentic and the best our region offers.
‘‘We hope this will be a perfect complement to the other North Queensland Luxury Lodges offering reef and rainforest experiences.’’
Crystalbrook marketing director Wendy Morris said, ‘‘For international travellers, the Great Barrier Reef is a must-do destination, and with Crystalbrook Lodge less than an hour’s flight from Cairns (or Lizard Island) combining outback with a reef experience or rainforest (such as Silky Oaks Lodge) is very achievable in a short timeframe.
‘‘The big attraction of Crystalbrook is the isolation – flying over rugged outback terrain brings home just how empty this part of northern Australia is.
‘‘The lake and the lodge appear out of the vast outback like an oasis.
‘‘The serenity, crystal clear starry nights, stunningly spectacular dawns and dusks are proving as much a high- light as exploring the lake, rivers and station surrounds.’’
On the lake, fishing, kayaking and wildlife spotting is available while helifishing on the rivers is likely to be a big drawcard for keen barramundi fishermen.
Guests can explore the bush wilderness along the lakeside trails, step back in time at the old station homestead over afternoon tea and scones, or can get up close and personal with some of the station’s 2000 big Brahman cattle. A visit to the remarkable Chillagoe Caves, which was an ancient ‘‘ great barrier reef’’ along the old Pangea coastline is all part of the Crystalbrook experience.
Elegant outdoor dining overlooking the lake features a menu offering the best of the rich local produce of the region including wild barramundi, grass fed beef and tropical produce from the Atherton Tablelands.
Luxury Lodges of Australia was formed as a result of the change in the Australian travel landscape since 2000. Australia has seen the emergence of a new breed of exceptional lodges and camps in some of Australia’s most beautiful and outstanding regions.
With the addition of Crystalbrook Lodge, 18 of Australia’s leading independent luxury tourism properties comprise the Luxury Lodges of Australia collection. The lodges are independently owned and operated.