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Our team of stylish trav­ellers re­call their most un­ex­pected lux­ury ex­pe­ri­ences

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Destination Luxury - MICHELLEROWE CHRISTINEMCCABE KEN­DALL HILL

Pranc­ing Horse Fer­rari, NSW:

Slip­ping into the driver’s seat of a top-of-the-range Fer­rari is an op­por­tu­nity not to be missed. Driv­ing four mod­els of the famed Ital­ian stal­lion on the same day is enough to send even the most ca­sual car en­thu­si­ast into a spin. It’s al­most four years since my hus­band and I took part in a Fer­rari road trip to the NSW­south coast, and it’s still the sub­ject of din­ner party brag­ging.

Syd­ney-based Pranc­ing Horse Fer­rari Drive Ex­pe­ri­ences of­fers per­son­alised ex­cur­sions for those who want to own the road, if just for a day. Small groups travel in a sleek, red con­voy, swap­ping cars along the way for the full Fer­rari ex­pe­ri­ence (our group of eight novices put a 328 GTS, a F355 Spi­der, a 360 Spi­der and an F430 Spi­der through their paces). Pranc­ing Horse plans to launch overnight tours to Vic­to­ria’s Bal­go­wnie Es­tate in Septem­ber. Wannabe Michael Schu­mach­ers can buckle up for the ride of a life­time through the Yarra Ranges, in­clud­ing the dra­matic Black Spur Drive, in the new 458 Italia, the Cal­i­for­nia and the F430 Spi­der (see P10). More: pranc­inghorse.com.au.

Aprivate is­land is the ul­ti­mate lux­ury. Richard Bran­son has one. Mar­lon Brando did, too. And, for a few days, so do I, ar­riv­ing at Dol­phin’s smart jetty to be greeted by Dawn Simpson and her crew bear­ing leis and a wheel­bar­row for my lug­gage. ‘‘Wel­come home,’’ Dawn says. And she means it. You’re stay­ing in a Cru­soe-chic suite, with freshly caught fish for lunch, and can snooze on an im­mac­u­late lawn or white-sand beach (both swept and primped at first light). I read three 700-page books, snorkel off the jetty and have long baths gaz­ing up at the rain trees. All the while a large but al­most in­vis­i­ble staff is beaver­ing away in the back­ground like the cast from Fan­tasy Is­land, daub­ing rooms with apri­cot hi­bis­cus flow­ers and light­ing hur­ri­cane lan­terns af­ter sun­set. I love the evenings best, with the sound of Dawn’s laugh­ter drift­ing from the kitchen as she whips up a curry feast and Siliva rus­tles up cock­tails for our small house party. And we have heard not a peep from the out­side world in a week. Now, that is lux­ury. More: dol­phin­is­land­fiji.com.

Ar­rival at Moyo is by sea­plane or sail, so the first sight of this j un­gle- cov­ered speck in the Flores Sea is guar­an­teed to be un­for­get­table. What dis­tin­guishes Moyo from the 18,000 or so other is­lands of the In­done­sian ar­chi­pel­ago is Aman­wana, an in­ti­mate re­sort of 22 tents in an ocean­front clear­ing. Guests fall asleep to the rhythm of the waves in drifts of white linen and wake to the cries of macaque mon­keys in the sur­round­ing na­ture re­serve. Con­trasts be­tween the wild set­ting and jet-set re­treat are what make Aman­wana so spe­cial, par­tic­u­larly at night. Guests stroll be­neath arch­ways of wo­ven palm, hung with glow­ing pa­per lan­terns, to reach white-clothed ta­bles on the lawn and feast on flaky roti with de­li­ciously fiery chicken or Thai beef soup heady with lemon­grass. Then you re­tire to the can­dle-lit chill-out lounge for night­caps un­der the stars, with sand be­neath the toes. It’s the last word in bare­foot lux­ury. More: aman­re­sorts.com.

I couldn’t un­der­stand why our ho­tel driver

Flight of the con­dors, Peru:

Clock­wise fro the ex­clu­sive Dol­phin Is­lan Fiji; avoid the on a pri­vate v of the Sis­tine Pranc­ing Ho Fer­rari ex­cur in Vic­to­ria; a pop-up meer in Botswana

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