Often our travels are crafted around what we’ll be doing when we arrive at each destination. But we have a confession to make…we also have a fondness for unwinding and indulging in the finer things in life – whilst doing very little. Who doesn’t? Life is a busy place to be, and I am certainly keen to take the opportunity to remove myself from the daily chaos when I can.
Self-indulgence, recharging, taking in our surroundings, all whilst lying in a predominantly horizontal position, were top of our list when we scheduled our escape to the luxury private estate of Amileka.
Amileka is positioned high in the picturesque Byron hinterland, only twenty minutes from the centre of Byron Bay itself. Whilst Byron Bay and the surrounding Northern Rivers region have long accommodated for all tastes and ages, over recent years they have become top of the list for the discerning traveller looking for an exclusive retreat.
Byron Bay sits on a National Marine Park that boasts some of the most impressive views in Australia. You can take or leave the many facets that Byron Bay has to offer. In fact, you will be able to read our thoughts on ‘the perfect day in the Bay’ very soon. But for now, we wanted to immerse ourselves in the world that is Amileka. There really is no need to leave this paradise.
As you head towards the property through rolling hills, manicured macadamia farms, and winding roads, you start to feel your body and mind adjust to the tranquillity that awaits.
Here are the highlights from our most decadent experience at Amileka…
You know that feeling…when you arrive at a destination and instantly feel an overpowering presence that gives you permission to leave your day to day life, and first world problems behind? That feeling of surrendering to what is before you in that very moment. This is exactly what happens as you enter the stately gates and drive down the tree-lined driveway to what can only be described as a work of art.
Your draw drops, your shoulders relax, and your smile pleasantly ascends.
Stepping through the imposing doors of the property you are greeted with a view of the 18-metre pool, a contemporary sunken lounge, large indoor/outdoor dining areas, a slick fire pit, and expansive views of the valley that take your breath away; a sight that only gets better as the sun rises and sets each day. You can see instantly why Amileka has received so many accolades, including ‘Best Property in Australia’ and a notable award from the ‘Australian Institute of Architects’.
This five-bedroom escape overlooks a stunning valley that is blessed with mysterious low hanging clouds first thing in the morning, creating the most spectacular of views. The property grounds are dotted with pretty fruit trees, perfect for picking fresh limes to add to your gin and tonic. But what commands the landscape is the dramatic Moreton Bay Fig tree. Hanging from this wise old giant is a swing that even an adult cannot resist with a glass of wine in hand during golden hour.
This architecturally designed property is something else. We spent hours in the pool, wandering the grounds, entertaining in each area, and watching movies in the home theatre before immersing ourselves in a deep slumber in our opulent room with a view.
Our days were filled with discoveries of the chic, the contemporary, the indulgent, the technologically advanced, and the surprising. All the mod cons were seamlessly integrated to make life ‘oh so easy’. We gasped with amusement as the roof to the outside dining area began to close automatically as a few drops of rain fell. We could be forgiven for thinking we had arrived on a multi-million dollar set from a glamorous James Bond movie.
Amileka is not catered for (the beauty of privacy), however, you can arrange for in-house catering to take full advantage of this relaxing escape. So of course, that’s what we did…
We arranged for a long lunch with a gourmet platter from the delightful Prue at The Picnic Portal. We sat back and sipped on fine wines whilst working our way through local delights from some of the regions most talented artisan producers. The platters can serve as many people as you need and will be set up for you in the finest of displays so that all you have to do is sit back and admire the view of both scenery and food. Sampling some of the local delicacies helped us to fully appreciate the ‘foodie’ side of the Northern Rivers, a region that is becoming highly acclaimed in both the food and beverage industries.
In the evening we had the option of venturing to one of the local villages or towns such as Bangalow and Byron Bay to experience some of the many restaurants and bistros, but we were happy to stay put and make the most of Amileka. If like us you’d rather do the same, then we can highly recommend the talented chefs from Italian catering company Olive & Luca. Feast on canapes, a la carte dishes, whole fresh fish and sides of sirloin. Life doesn’t get much better if you’re a foodie.
Just minutes from Amileka is the small village of Federal where we found a number of artisan shops, a local store serving a whole array of local produce, wines and craft beers, and the charmingly rustic and characterful Doma Cafe. Doma is a Japanese cafe serving beautifully prepared breakfast and lunch dishes that satisfied every mouthful.
Just twenty minutes from Byron Bay you will find the small, idyllic, and serene village of Federal. Not far from here you will find the gates to Amileka.
If you are coming from further afield then you can easily fly into the Gold Coast (Coolangatta), or even better, the Byron-Ballina Gateway. Either way, you will be less than an hour from heaven on earth.
Embrace the lavish vibe of Amileka. Go all out. It’s a once in a lifetime experience that you won’t forget. Spend the day lazing over a long lunch that has been lovingly prepared for you, choose your favourite tipple, sit by the pool, read a book, and watch the sunset over the valley with a roaring firepit and great company to complete the ambience.
We’ve only shown you a snippet of this stunning property, but what we can say with confidence, is that the owners of Amileka have created a masterpiece that you simply have to experience for yourself. Enjoy!
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Parts of this trip were kindly gifted, but all opinions and recommendations are strictly our own.
Welcome along. I’m Clare, Founder of Take Me To Australia. Having moved to Australia six years ago, I made it my mission to learn more about this epic country we now call home. As we travel across the country to unique destinations, we share with fresh eyes the most extraordinary places we are lucky enough to experience. We aim to inspire others to follow in our footsteps, live their absolute best life, explore what Australia has to offer, and even encourage people further afield to make a similar move. We’ve grown a like-minded community of over 120,000 people. Be sure to join them by signing up to receive all the latest inspo, and connecting with us on Instagram and Facebook. See you soon.