The tragic wildfires in Australia have captured the world’s attention, as reports have come out about the millions of acres burned, billions of animals lost, and long-term devastation to the continent. The travel industry, too, has been deeply affected by the blazes; the iconic Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island, for example, has been completely lost, though thankfully no staff or guests were harmed. (Owner Baillie Lodges has vowed to re-build the hotel better than ever.) In response to the fires, many organizations have stepped up to help—including some top luxury hotel brands that are auctioning off stays to benefit the relief efforts.
Dubbed Australian Spirit Soars, the high-end travel auction has been organized by Australian luxury communications agency Élysée Collective and resort marketing/representation agency World Resorts of Distinction, who have each tapped some of their clients to join the event. All proceeds generated from the auction will go to Australian Wildlife Rescue (WIRES). Bids can currently be placed here on 15 (and counting) different dream trips; note that the items do not include airfare, and bidding ends on January 27th at 6pm Australian Eastern time.
Currently, the roster of available hotel stays will take you from the New Zealand countryside to lush shores of Sri Lanka. Entrepreneur Chris Burch’s much-lauded, experience-driven Nihi Sumba in Indonesia is offering a five-night stay for two guests with full board, as is the eco-luxe Bawah Reserve retreat off the coast of Singapore. You can also win five nights for two (with breakfast) at one of the sustainably-minded Soneva properties (your choice of Soneva Fushi in the Maldives or Soneva Kiri in Thailand), head to Otahuna Lodge in Christchurch for a tasting menu dinner and two nights in the charming inn, or support Australia further with a two-night penthouse stay at Rae’s on Wategos in trendy Byron Bay. If Sri Lanka is on your must-visit list, bid for two-nights at the seaside Amanwella and two-nights at the heritage Amangalla, or go for six nights with Resplendent Ceylon spread over three of their unique properties, including the famed Wild Coast Tented Lodge.