Top 5 Australia and New Zealand Resort Hotels in 2019

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
Photo: Courtesy of The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

Traveling to the Antipodes can be like visiting another planet. (The Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed throughout New Zealand, after all.) The rural, wild resorts in Australia and New Zealand have an otherworldly quality, steeped in nature and adventure, but with a level of luxury that belies their far-flung settings.

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.

Related: The World's Best Awards 2019

A perennial favorite among readers since it opened in 2008, the 21-room Southern Ocean Lodge (No. 2) is located in the wilderness of Kangaroo Island, off the coast of South Australia, on a cliff overlooking a vast expanse of open sea. According to one reader, the environment "is amazing," with "beautiful views, privacy, but also access to nature and wildlife. The service was impeccable. Somehow every person knew our name and what we liked or didn't like."

"Spectacular scenery and more kangaroos than you can count" is how one reader described Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in New South Wales' Blue Mountains (No. 4 this year). Situated on a 7,000-acre conservancy, the property is bisected by the Wolgan River, with hardly any signs of civilization beyond the resort's cluster of 40 free-standing villas — all of which come with private, heated pools.

Which other properties made this year's list of best resorts in Australia and New Zealand? Keep reading to find out.

5. The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, Matauri Bay, New Zealand

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs
Courtesy of Robertson Lodges

Score: 94.50

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4. Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, Blue Mountains, Australia

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley
Courtesy of Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley

Score: 94.73

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3. Matakauri Lodge, Queenstown, New Zealand

Matakauri Lodge
Courtesy of Matakauri Lodge

Score: 96.27

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2. Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, Australia

Southern Ocean Lodge
George Apostolidis/Courtesy of Southern Ocean Lodge

Score: 97.43

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1. The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
Courtesy of The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

Score: 98.57

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This "amazing property," as one reader described it, sits on a 6,000-acre sheep and cattle farm on New Zealand's North Island. It benefits from its location in one of the country's best wine and agricultural regions (unsurprisingly, the food is a big draw). Golfers, meanwhile, can play a cliffside course, designed by Tom Doak, while taking in panoramic ocean views. Kids and families can participate in "only in New Zealand" activities, like the Kiwi Discovery Walk, which gives them the opportunity to see the rare, namesake bird in its natural habitat. There's also the chance to try sheepherding firsthand and horseback rides to discover the farm's pristine splendor up close.

See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2019.

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