Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, Australia
Arriving at Southern Ocean Lodge, it is hard to know where to look. Unfolding from reception, the aptly named Great Room is a masterpiece of design – bespoke furnishings and a vast open bar surrounding the impressive fireplace suspended from the ceiling. But beyond, through the expansive floor-to-ceiling windows, it is the view of the ocean that is most beguiling – a hypnotic panorama of cliffs and sky and pounding waves.
In the coming days, we’ll spend many a moment gazing out at this incredible vista, ostensibly looking for whales and dolphins, but really just happy to stare at the ocean. The architects were obviously well aware of this phenomenon, and their design of this incredible building means this view is visible from almost everywhere in the lodge – the Great Room, the restaurant, the deck, our lounge, our bed, our shower, our bath (even our toilet if one was inclined to leave the door open, which we are definitely not!).
We are writing this post from the daybed of our terrace, with just a few metres of scrubby bushland separating us from the limestone cliff and the tumultuous ocean below. The terrace has a roof but is otherwise open to the elements, so the air is salty, you can feel the rumble of the pounding waves, and, despite the summer day, the wind is brisk (there’s nothing but ocean between here and Antarctica). Fortunately Southern Ocean Lodge provides cosy cashmere rugs to ward off the chill, and we are eminently comfortable in our tucked-in typing.
On arrival at Southern Ocean Lodge, we were welcomed with champagne, canapes and a personalised itinerary – a no-obligation arrangement that offers a selection of included activities, from clifftop walks to seal-watching excursions to nocturnal wildlife spotting. Having our own wheels means we decline many of these group tours, and instead head out on independent adventures, heading north, west and east in a thorough exploration of this enchanting island (see our “Kangaroo Island” post for a more detailed description of things to do). Then in the evenings, as the sun lowers in the sky, and kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas and lizards decide it is time to cross the road, we return to Southern Ocean Lodge.
Here, glad to have worked up an appetite from our day of exploring, we settle in for a decadent evening. We drink sparkling wine from our complimentary mini-bar as we bathe and dress. In the Great Room, we imbibe cocktails and spirits from the very well-stocked open bar as we watch the light slowly fade from the dunes. And, as the stars emerge overhead, we head in to the restaurant for a gastronomic adventure – four courses of stellar Kangaroo Island local produce, prepared with pride by the accomplished chefs. We are always too full to contemplate dessert, but can’t say no to returning to our room with the cheese platter and a dessert wine, consumed while curled up in pyjamas in front of our fireplace, lulled by the sound of those Southern Ocean waves…
Southern Ocean Lodge is part of the Baillie Lodges collection, luxurious properties located in unique Australian wilderness locations. The collection includes, among others, the highly acclaimed Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island, which was the first of the Baillie brand.
Southern Ocean Lodge is also a member of the Luxury Lodges of Australia group, a collection of Australia's most iconic properties, which makes planning an itinerary of fabulous Australian accommodation destinations all that much easier to implement.
Some of our photos of the Lodge, including our room, are below.
And if you would like to learn more, here are some useful links -
Baillie Lodges (note we will be staying at Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island, in February 2019 so look out for our review)
And finally, if you are thinking of staying at the Lodge, we booked through our favourites Mr & Mrs Smith (for the great service, but also some extra goodies, including a private and customised degustation dinner in the lodge's Wine Cellar).