When you travel with us by chartered jet, we can take you to destinations out of reach for most major airlines. Beyond its big-name attractions, Australia has remote regions across the country where hidden art and sacred stories hold the key to remarkable indigenous cultures.
Aboriginal people arrived in Australia around 65,000 years ago and, despite rich cultural traditions, remain one of the most misunderstood and unrecognised indigenous populations in the world.
Before the pandemic hit, we had the pleasure of creating a fascinating private jet adventure for one of our clients, taking a deep dive into Australia’s past to explore the ancient wisdom of the world’s oldest living culture. With Australia’s borders re-opening, there’s no better time to immerse yourself and connect with history, culture and the great outdoors once more.
This insightful exploration of Australia began with a private jet flight from Brisbane to Laura, home to the largest collection of prehistoric rock art. This is the only place where you can see Quinkan Rock Art – there are more than 10,000 sites – and UNESCO lists Laura as one of the world’s most important rock art sites. On a tour here, a Kuku-Yalanji guide can introduce you to the ‘Magnificent Galley’: a 20,000-year-old outback museum packed with diverse pieces of art that all have a story to tell. For the most authentic experience, we arranged for our clients to stay at Jarramali Camp, where guests sleep deep in the outback on traditional land owned by Johnny and his family for hundreds of years. Planning unique moments is what we do best, and in this sacred place our guests were treated to a personal audience with songkeeper Jessie Lloyd – a talented Aboriginal singer, cultural ambassador and founder of the award-winning Mission Songs Project. Around the warmth of a crackling campfire, Jessie takes her audience on a moving musical journey, sharing almost-forgotten folk songs and intimate stories of how daily life would have been for indigenous communities on Christian missions and state-run settlements.
The discoveries continued in Cape York, flying over spectacular turquoise reefs, verdant rainforest and rust-red outback landscapes. Cape York is the northernmost tip of Australia and here, on the sweeping sands of secluded Frangipani Beach, our clients tucked into a mouth-watering picnic washed down with ice-cold beers. On a trip to Cape York, there’s also the opportunity to visit World War II wreckages, Aboriginal homesteads and pearl diving sites. For remote relaxation, stay at Banubanu Beach Retreat in the northeast corner of Arnhem Land – very few people travel to this corner of the country, so the beaches are gloriously unspoilt and it feels more like a Pacific island than mainland Australia. Activities are about getting back to nature – go fishing and you might spot prized Spanish mackerel or coral trout.
In an age of too much screen time, a digital detox is a welcome way to fully connect with your surroundings – and that’s exactly what lay in store for our clients at Bamurru Plains. Here, you can head deep into the wilderness on guided tours in search of dingo and buffalo, and explore the rock art, cascading waterfalls and lush rainforest of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park. The journey is part of the adventure as you’ll travel by quad bike or airboat. Even mealtimes are a thrill – lunch can be served high in the treetops at a secluded hide, with just the birds for company.
The next journey took our clients to Ayers Rock Resort in the remarkable Red Centre for a stay at Longitude 131°, where the front-row views of Uluru are astonishing. Sunrise and sunset over Uluru are mesmerising, and the scenes don’t disappoint after dark either, thanks to Bruce Munro’s beautiful Field of Light exhibition, where 50,000 glass bud-like stems illuminate the desert landscape. Uluru is Australia’s spiritual heartland; alongside the luxury hotels and exclusive dining, there’s the opportunity to take part in a one-of-a-kind authentic Aboriginal experience, learning how the Luritja and Pertame use bush tucker and bush medicines for healing and much more. By special arrangement, our clients were also able to meet local artisans and gain an insight into the ancient techniques and stories that form the basis of their Tjukurpa artworks.
The final stop was Kangaroo Island, Australia’s wildlife haven, where sea lions laze on the beach and wallabies freely hop around the island. Luxury isn’t overlooked in this rugged region – our clients stayed at One Kangaroo Island, an exclusive retreat on the shores of a pristine beach. To round off this immersive itinerary, a private dinner with Craig Wickman – one of Wanderlust’s top three guides in the world – provided incredible inspiration while guests tucked into wood-fired pizzas at his home.