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Rise of the Regions: Australian Back Country Beauties

Rural retreat hunters are spoilt with a swag of stylish new properties away from the bright lights.

Back roads are back, as slow travel establishes as one of today’s key travel trends in a world that never hits the off button. With plenty of sparse spaces across the country, Australia’s regions have responded to the demand for dalliance.

Kimo Estate is set on a 2800 acre farm, looking out to the Murrambidgee River. Owners Emila and David Ferguson have built three dramatic A-frame eco-huts, scattered across their property. Each hut is off-grid, each has its own tweak: Fergo’s Hut has an outdoor fire pit, ideal for watching sunset with a glass of wine, while the newest, Sweeney’s has an outdoor hot tub, for a soak beneath the stars. There are also two more cottages and the reworked Shearers’ quarters, to sleep a total of 31 on the farm.

Kimo Estate Eco Hut, Photo graphy: Hilary Bradford

Kimo Estate Eco Hut, Photo graphy: Hilary Bradford

Down at another farm, Mt Mulligan Lodge is 3½ hours’ drive inland from Cairns, and sits on 28,000 hectares of cattle country. Dominated by the 18km sandstone ridge that is its namesake, the lodge delayed opening until after the floods across far northern Queensland: now, its pastures are green and each of its eight villas comes with its own all-terrain vehicle for exploring.

Mt Mulligan South

Mount Mulligan Lodge, dining hall

Mt Mulligan is the missing link in Australian company Northern Escapes’ portfolio, which includes secluded Orpheus Island and Daintree Eco Lodge, for a reef-rainforest-outback triumvirate.

Stays at Kimo Estate’s eco-huts cost from $350 a night, kimoestate.com, Mt Mulligan Lodge costs $1700 per room (two people), including all meals, drinks and daily activities, mountmulligan.com