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The Short Version: Couples seeking a luxurious venture into nature should consider visiting Longitude 131. Located in Australia’s picturesque Red Centre, this gorgeous luxury camp offers fine dining, spa treatments, and World Heritage Sites. Guests learn about local culture, history, and geology while enjoying the amenities of a world-class resort.
Novelty is an important part of keeping the spark alive in any relationship. Whether you’re trying out new restaurants for date night, undertaking new hobbies together, or even exploring an entirely new country on vacation, a great way to maintain excitement in your relationship is to mix up the habits of daily life with your partner.
One way couples attempt to add some spontaneity into their partnership is to get back into nature. They may start with simple hikes in their area or go on weekend hiking trips a few hours away. Outdoor adventures are never predictable, making them the perfect option for couples who want something new and exciting.
But there’s a problem. Camping – especially when done for more than one night or in a remote area – isn’t exactly an activity filled with romance.
My partner and I love to go backpacking together, but we’re well aware that we’ll probably be dirty, smelly, and exhausted for most of the trip. Dinner is usually instant mashed potatoes and granola bars – not exactly a candlelight dinner for two. Camping is still a great way for us to connect with each other, but we aren’t usually feeling our most attractive.
Couples who want to combine adventure and romance, however, do have an option. They can enjoy a beautiful luxury stay in the expanse of Australia’s Red Centre at Longitude 131. This gorgeous destination combines a closeness with the natural beauty of the area – guests stay in high-end tents overlooking the desert – with the comforts of a premium resort.
Instead of hauling heavy packs into the woods just to sleep on top of rocks and twigs – even with a sleeping mat, it’s always impossible to fully eliminate those – Longitude 131 visitors can relax on lush beds surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass that gives them unrestricted views of Uluru, the massive sandstone rock in the middle of the Red Centre. They can dine on first-rate meals and enjoy the cool sanctuary of Spa Kinara.
At Longitude 131, adventure doesn’t need to be uncomfortable. Still, the climate of the Outback brings its own quirks. “Don’t pack white shoes; the red dirt doesn’t leave!” the staff said.
The Longitude 131 team describes its location in Australia’s Red Centre as “a vast outback wilderness characterized by endless horizons of rolling red sand dunes, green Desert Oaks, and great domes of blue sky.” The natural icons Uluru and Kata Tjuta, which are designated World Heritage Sites, lie in view of the 16 tented pavilions at Longitude 131 and offer great opportunities for exploration during your stay.
Longitude 131 visitors have the benefit of participating in activities in the Red Centre with the help of guides and staff who know the area. Visitors can go on a sunset walk to Uluru, learn about history and geology while enjoying a morning hike to Walpa Gorge and Kata Tjuta, or take a walk through the area while learning about the Aboriginal Mala people. Instead of learning about local history, culture, and best practices on their own, they have experts with them to help and educate them.
The Baillie Escape package even includes a daily champagne delivery along with its signature guided experiences.
Australia’s Outback is gorgeous, but it’s known for being unforgiving at times to travelers who don’t know the area or come unprepared. Fortunately, with the support of the Longitude 131 staff, visitors can feel safe and secure as they explore the area. They receive explicit instructions on what to bring for each excursion and the assistance they need to stay on the right path so everything runs smoothly.
For those who value privacy on their vacations, visitors can book private tours and excursions in the area with only their family and a guide. Otherwise, they can participate in activities alongside other Longitude 131 guests, which can be a fun adventure in its own right.
Longitude 131 may be set in nature, but it still offers a luxurious and comfortable travel experience.
The lodge’s spa, Spa Kinara, offers guests a space to revitalize the body and soul in a traditional Aboriginal shelter or wiltja. Guests can enjoy several spa treatments using native beauty products. Many of the treatments use irmangka-irmangka, or Scented Emu Bush, a balm-like cure-all used in local folk medicine. The rub is made by women in the Ngangkari Program run by the local Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Lands Women’s Council.
Spa Kinara combines modern massage techniques and spa treatments with indigenous wisdom, ceremony, and ritual for healing. Guests can customize their spa treatments — from hair and scalp treatments to full-body exfoliation — to focus on the areas most important to them.
After treatment at Spa Kinara, guests feel calm, mindful, and ready to enjoy the rest of their trip.
If you’re looking for somewhere to relax outside of the spa, you can take a dip in Longitude 131’s gorgeous swimming pool. While it’s perfect for cooling off from the heat of the summer, you’ll enjoy swimming with the Red Centre’s beautiful background the entire year.
When I’m traveling, one of the most important things to me is having good food. Longitude 131 offers its guests luxury dining options that are sure to impress a date.
Visitors enjoy espresso and tea, a grazing table of fresh-cooked pastries, fruits, and cold meats, and an à la carte menu each morning. They can lounge outside while eating a multicourse meal for lunch with paired wine, dessert, and espresso. And for dinner, they have an exquisite and artful meal under the stars or in the Dune House. “With premium produce flown in from right around the country, dining at Longitude 131 is a taste of Australia enjoyed with a view to Uluru,” the staff told us.
Executive Chef Ryan Ward takes a daily approach to designing each menu to make sure that guests receive innovative culinary experiences perfectly in line with their time in the Red Centre.
The team at Longitude 131 works hard to ensure that guests experience the perfect blend of pampering and adventure when they stay in the Outback. They offer high-end lodging with a deep awareness of the cultural significance of the lands and the communities in the area.
First Nations peoples have inhabited the land long before Longitude 131 came to be and continue to live there now. The lodge team works to incorporate Aboriginal people into their community by working with several First Nations artists and cooperatives to support their work.
The partnerships Longitude 131 has with artists are beneficial for guests as well as the local art community. Since 2016, Longitude 131 has worked with the indigenous art cooperative Ernabella, providing ceramists in the cooperative with funding and promoting their work.
Guests at the lodge get to meet local artists and view their work up close. They also learn about indigenous artistic practices and the rich cultural history of indigenous groups in the area.
In all activities at Longitude 131, the staff is mindful of the cultural background of every practice and site in the area. From spa offerings to hikes, guests receive a culturally informed explanation of everything they see and do at Longitude 131.
When you go on a romantic vacation, your primary focus is to have fun with your partner. You want to relax, see beautiful sites, and make memories in a gorgeous setting. But when you know that the business you’re supporting helps other people, too, you can feel confident in your vacation choices.
At Longitude 131, you and your partner can experience the majesty of the Australian Outback and know you’re connecting with the local history and community.