High above a lazy bend in the Gilbert River, six hours’ west of Townsville, sits a single open-air pavilion, beautifully framed in local timber, with rugged walls and floors of quartz, sandstone, granite and schist. This is Gilberton Outback Retreat, one of Australia’s most singular luxury escapes.

The all-inclusive Gilberton sits on the land of the Yanga people within a fully operational seventh-generation cattle station. There’s no phone, no television, no internet. A stay here instead means exploring old gold fields, four-wheel-driving the 36,000-hectare station, and learning about Yanga culture and history. Or you can set out with a guide to discover the flora and fauna of the surrounding Gilberton Nature Refuge, snacking on bush tucker and trying to catch a glimpse of rare albino wallabies.

Or just camp out in the pavilion, soaking in the enormous bathtub with its views overlooking the surrounding landscape, sipping champagne and enjoying farm-to-table food. Because the real hook at Gilberton is that there are no other guests – it’s just you and your plus one with the run of place – so you choose how you engage with the experience.

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Updated: December 15th, 2022

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