There’s restorative powers in warm water – skin immersed in a deep, luxurious bathtub – made all the more invigorating by an outdoor location and a view that elevates this self-care ritual to new heights.
Whether you adore reading in the tub or can’t remember the last time you enjoyed a bath, these Slow Stays around Australia and New Zealand beckon with their statement outdoor bathtubs. Get the champagne and candles ready; it’s tub time.
The outdoor bathtub at this light-flooded holiday home on the Victorian Surf Coast is just the final sprinkling of sugar to make you click on the ‘book now’ button. Designed to sleep 10, The Wensley in Wensleydale is an architectural ode to timber perched high on 80 acres of rolling green hills close to the Great Ocean Road.
Floor-to-ceiling windows are a major feature while the beautiful concrete fireplace poured in-situ in the living room creates an impressive centrepiece.
Ticking all of our Slow Stay boxes, you won’t find a TV here (okay, there’s one hiding in the shed for ’emergencies’) but instead a nice collection of wine glasses, boardgames and books. There’s also a second stone bathtub in the downstairs bathroom if you prefer to soak indoors.
Nowhere does luxury lodges like New Zealand and The Lindis, tucked away in the Ahuriri Valley, North Otago, is no exception.
With its seemingly shapeshifting lines designed to blend into the high country environment – surrounded on three sides by conservation wilderness – this is an impressive address with five individually-designed suites. After opening only late last year, AFAR magazine called it one of the Best New Hotels in the World in April.
A stay here doesn’t come cheap, starting at $2000 per night, but a soak in this incredible hot tub is worth dreaming about, right? There’s also world-class star gazing thanks to the Dark Sky status of this region, horse riding, fly fishing, hiking, and one hell of a wine cellar.
Keep an eye out for the new glass-pod rooms being added in late 2019.
Kookawood Farm House
Looking every bit the fairytale, especially on misty mornings, Kookawood Farm House is a hand-hewn haven in the Blue Mountains, 15 minutes drive from Lithgow, NSW.
Built over 10 years using recycled windows, antique doors, bridge beams and stone, inside it’s as cosy as a bug in a rug, even with soaring eight-metre ceilings. An open log fireplace and outdoor fire pit help to heat things up, which is especially handy in snowy winters.
As you take a long, hot soak in the outdoor bathtub, keep an eye out for mini horses Billy and Bunny.
The Grower’s Cottage
You’ll find this lovingly restored original farmers cottage, nestled amongst the Dharug National Park just north of Sydney (about an hour’s drive from Hornsby).
As you make your approach to The Grower’s Cottage, stock up on organic fruit and vegetables from local growers and honesty boxes and compliment your finds by picking your own fruit and vegetables on the property – the owners will let you know what’s ripe for the taking.
After making the most of the outdoor stone bathtub, you might feel inspired to hop on the tandem bike and have a picnic in the fields or just prep a handmade pizza to cook in the outdoor pizza oven before toasting marshmallows in the fire pit.
Sustainably sourced timber and old world joinery combine in this hand-built abode on a working macadamia farm in Tintenbar, 20 minutes from Byron Bay.
There are so many thoughtful, rustic touches – from the vintage claw foot bath on the veranda to the shower with timber-frame gas-strut window which both overlook the paddock and a row of tallowwood trees.
Make friends with the owner’s two pet sheep and Harper the friendly goat or just kick back and spot the native birds and wildlife. Being so close to Newrybar, you have the option of a catered breakfast (hello, woodfired sourdough) from Harvest.
Glamping goes next level at Nightfall Camp in the Gold Coast Hinterland.
Limited to only eight guests at any one time, privacy is assured in your beautifully-appointed safari tent. Roll up the sides and let the surrounding bush bleed into your periphery as you and your plus-one soak in the vintage metal bathtub.
Home-cooked organic food, sumptuous bedding, and creekside massages are all on the menu. Watch our Slow Stays story about Nightfall here.
The Old Dairy
Slide open the rustic barn door to reveal this incredible round stone bathtub at The Old Dairy on the Tweed Coast.
Couples or small families are welcomed into this cosy converted dairy just five minutes from Pottsville Beach, blending the best of both worlds. Inside, a four-poster bed for mum and dad, and outside a fire pit primed for making s’mores.
It’s all about the simple life here. Little wildlings will love feeding the farm animals and picking fresh mulberries. Fresh honey from the owners’ hives adds an extra sweet touch.
Picture this: A Swedish-style wood-fired bathtub, totally private, positioned next to your transparent bubble tent and overlooking the second-largest canyon in the world. As far as bathing rituals go, Bubbletent Australia is on another level.
You’ll want to book Leo or Virgo to enjoy the tub life, while all three tents have an outdoor shower, fire pit, telescope and either hammock or swing.
Watch our Slow Stays story about Bubbletent Australia here.
Eagles Nest Retreat
For a slightly more quirky take on the outdoor bathtub, what about soaking in a stainless steel milk vat?
Overlooking Mount Roland, just under one hour’s drive to Cradle Mountain National Park in Tasmania, Eagles Nest Retreat marries spectacular views with this indulgent bathing experience.
With three accommodation options, Nest III is ideal for families, sleeping up to six people with a large open plan lounge, Japanese-style sunken dining area, and designated kids bedroom with blackout curtains.
Outside there are chickens to feed, a large garden and veggie patch, hammocks to swing in and a fire pit.
When you’ve got 3,600 hectares of farmland at your feet, you’re in prime position for a nice long soak with a view.
Pour yourself a glass of wine and sink into the outdoor bathtub at Faraway Domes – your private geodesic dome in the small NSW town of Warialda (about four hours’ drive from Brisbane). Once the sun goes down, the sky is illuminated with your own private celestial show.
Handmade furniture by the owner’s son is balanced with designer touches like a four-poster bed, rainhead shower, stone basin and copper fittings, with a fully-equipped kitchen and Weber barbecue making self-catering a breeze.
Watch our Slow Stays story about this outback oasis here.