Best of the Best 2011: Resorts: Saffire Freycinet

Tasmania has long attracted tourists who come to explore the island’s great outdoors. With the opening last June of Saffire Freycinet (+61.3.6256.7888, www.saffire-freycinet.com.au), travelers to this Australian wonderland can now find great indoors to match.

Built within Freycinet National Park on Tasmania’s east coast, the $32 million resort encompasses a giant manta ray–shaped main lodge and 20 modern suites. Floor-to-ceiling windows open the suites to views of the Hazards mountain range, located just across Great Oyster Bay. The main lodge also looks out to the bay and mountains, a vista best enjoyed at sunset—when the Hazards are ablaze in brilliant shades of orange and red—over cocktails in the resort’s midcentury modern lounge.

Saffire Freycinet’s lodge also houses a spa and a restaurant that showcases local meats and produce. Visitors can gather their own ingredients on guided visits to the resort’s on-property oyster farm. Other activities include walks at twilight to observe kangaroos and other local wildlife, and sailing trips around the park’s Schouten Island to view droves of seals and sea lions, and, occasionally, great white sharks. ($1,526–$2,602)

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