To me it’s all about the people and the experience. I am not so much concerned with gold taps and chandeliers!

I want to walk away from an Outback stay saying that was truly incredible and I would only find that in Australia!

I want to experience it through the eyes of the locals and get a deeper understanding of the country and the way it affects those that know it best – the ones that live there.

The Outback is at the heart of the Australian identity and as such is something that everyone should experience if they really want to discover Australia.

The following Outback Lodges are all owner operated, by passionate Australians who love their piece of paradise. All are vastly different in climate, landscape and offer unique insight into this wide brown land.

My choices are in no particular order.

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1. Angorichina Station – Flinders Ranges

This property is also in my top 5 luxury lodges. Ian Fargher your host will do and show you things that the normal traveller does not get to see. Like the time that one of his clients said I would die for a short black to which Ian replied no problem come with me. With that Ian took the client to his hangar (really a shed) and said to the client jump in the Cessna and they took off and flew to the Prairie Hotel landed the plane a few metres from the back door of the local pub, went in and had a coffee and were home within the hour. Experiences and stories like that can’t be scripted they just have to happen with special places and people.

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2. Bullo River Station – Northern Territory Top End

Host and owner Franz Ranacher has a can do attitude. Whether you want to catch a giant barramundi, see a huge saltwater crocodile or just enjoy the stunning scenery this place has it all. One of the truly special experiences at Bullo is a trip to the cascades. The cascades are series of rock pools and waterfalls, high up in the escarpment of this 700 square mile property away from the crocodiles that flow from one to the next. The location is astonishing and the crystal clear water and total isolation make it even more spectacular. The trip to the cascades in the helicopter with Franz is jaw dropping on its own, but nothing prepares you for the beauty of the cascades. Most guests stay overnight and are left with a satellite phone, swag, gourmet BBQ and a star filled sky. Bullo is a property that with all the tricks ranging from, dramatic gorges, rivers, floodplains, extensive wildlife, aboriginal rock art, fishing, quad bikes, horse riding and a big welcoming smile. A must for anyone that is adventurous!

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3. Faraway Bay – The Kimberley

I love the story of Faraway Bay and this place is truly special! Owner Bruce Ellison spent years roaming the Kimberley’s, being a buffalo hunter and setting up camps for mining companies. Then one day he happened upon what is now Faraway Bay and he rang his wife Robyn and said I have found the most beautiful place I have ever seen. The rest is history, Bruce and Robyn created Faraway Bay so that others could share this untamed beauty. Situated only minutes from jewel of the Kimberley “The King George Falls” Faraway Bay is the perfect place to explore this rugged land. Blessed with incredible rock art, The King George Falls, endless beaches, superb fishing, spectacular rock pools and unlimited exploring there is simply no better way to see the Kimberley’s. I will never forget climbing the escarpment to the most idyllic natural rock pool you have ever seen and knowing that I would be only a handful of people top ever experience this. Then coming back to the lodge and eating mouth watering meals at the stunning Eagle Lodge. A must for anyone that wants to visit the Kimberley’s or just enjoy a true wilderness.

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4. Burrawang West Station – Outback New South Wales

Again it is the people that make Burrawang special. Owners Graham and Jana Pickles along with farm manager Bill Royal are truly passionate about the property. The property is first-class all the way in terms of its accommodation, meals and activities along with the stunning location. I will never forget the Swiss clients we took to Burrawang who were concerned it wouldn’t be interesting enough! Well after 3 days riding quad bikes, seeing literally thousands of Kangaroos, canoeing the river and exploring the 14000 acre property they literally did not want to leave. A good recommendation with Burrawang is to do it at the end of your stay as it is always a highlight. When you arrive at Burrawang you know you are in the Outback but as one very well heeled New York client put it to me after visiting Burrawang “I sure do like the Outback, its not what I expected at all”. A must for anyone travelling in a small group wanting something truly authentic and extraordinary!

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5. Stranraer – Kangaroo Island

Host Lyn and Graham Wheaton take hospitality to a whole new level. To say Lyn’s food was incredible would be the ultimate understatement. They offer effortless warmth and generosity in their charming homestead. The location of their farm on Kangaroo Island offers a great opportunity to see wildlife and farming first hand. With only 4 rooms in the original homestead Stranraer offers intimate and very personalised service. I believe it is one of the best priced properties in Australia. I will never forget the time that Graham took us for a walk through the nearby bush and we were fortunate enough to see 6 echidnas together which is very rare. Stranraer is a must for anyone looking for superb food and genuine country hospitality with class at an affordable price.

Bio pic of Drew Kluska

About Drew Kluska

Managing Director – Drew was raised on a property in rural South Australia before attending boarding school and university in Adelaide majoring in Agricultural Science. Drew travelled to Kenya in 1996 and found himself hosting guests at one of the flagships of East African tourism, Lewa Downs Wildlife Conservancy. It was this experience that prompted him to found The Tailor in 1998, showcasing the best of Australia through the eyes of those who know it best ‘The Locals’, whilst always maintaining an exceptional standard of quality in all areas. Drew’s passion has led to The Tailor growing to be one of the largest luxury travel companies in Australia and rated as one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies On Earth” and “Number ONE in Australia” by National Geographic Adventure USA .
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