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Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, South Australia; closed due to fire (2020)

Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, South Australia; closed due to fire (2020)

Old Feb 9, 14, 12:59 am
  #1  
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Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, South Australia; closed due to fire (2020)

On our recent trip to Australia and NZ another highlight was Southern Ocean Lodge. We had high expectations going in given all the great reviews and we loved this lodge! It met and exceeded all of our expectations. We had an ocean retreat room which I highly recommend. It is a step up from the entry level Flinders suite. The main difference is a larger room and a bath tub that looks out on the ocean! There is also an ocean premium designed for a family or the remarkable suite which has a larger deck and a hot tub. We were originally disappointed we could not book a remarkable suite as we booked late, but as it turned out we were more than happy with our ocean retreat. With floor to ceiling windows looking at the gorgeous ocean, and sunny but moderate temperatures there was no need for a large deck and jacuzzi!
Our suite was large with a sitting room and up a couple of stairs a bedroom. All were designed to take advantage of the views. The bathroom was large with a separate shower and bathtub with a perfect ocean view. The room was really comfortable and a great place to read, relax and stare at the ocean.

This is an all inclusive lodge - all meals, drinks, and even the 3 main tours on the island are included. Your only extras are premium wines ( we found the house wines very good), spa, shopping, and add- on tours.
Kangaroo Island is beautiful with very interesting activities. We loved seeing the kualas, kangaroos, seals, etc. great wildlife and beautiful landscapes. The food was excellent - very fresh and local. Service very good as well. My only complaint was no room service breakfast. I can understand why as the rooms cascade down the hill from the main lodge. However, when paying very high prices if you don't want a big breakfast it is nice to have it served in the room while you are getting ready for the day. For those with an early morning flight they make an exception and nring something simple however.

The main lodge views are absolutely astounding and it was also a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the views. there is an open bar with all kinds of waters, soft drinks, wines, and liquor where you can help yourself throughout the day,or be served before, during, and after meals. it is a very nice relaxed, but luxury environment.

As I said the rooms cascade down the hill so one may want a suite close to the lodge if mobility or walking back and forth an issue. We were the fifth room from the lodge and it was quiet, private and great views. I will say you can hear noise as people walk up and down the hallway, but it did not really other us. We were mesmerized by the views and the very comfortable suite!
I highly recommend and would love to return!
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Old Feb 9, 14, 11:17 am
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Thanks for the TR. This place is definitely on my list.
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Old Feb 10, 14, 5:46 pm
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Thanks for the detailed review of Southern Ocean Lodge.

We are in the midst of planning a three week trip to Australia for next November. We have friends who recently stayed at SOL and they said it was amazing. We definitely plan to stay there for three nights. The other lodges/resorts we are looking at are Saffire Freycinet, Emirates Wolgan Valley and and Qualia Resort.

Besides, SOL which of these others would you choose to visit taking into consideration travel ease, quality and time of year. I think we will have time to do two other resort/lodge properties. From the research I have done, they all sound fantastic.

We are active seniors who like a combination of relaxation and moderate activity....no horseback riding or mountain biking....we do enjoy snorkeling and the beach and loved our safaris to Kenya and South Africa.

Any advice or other suggestions from the Australia experts would be appreciated!
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Old Feb 10, 14, 6:53 pm
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Thanks for the write-up, just booked yesterday for Jan '15. The 4 night KI dreaming package in a Finders Suite. Can't wait!
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Old Feb 11, 14, 1:09 pm
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Originally Posted by glsebs View Post
Thanks for the detailed review of Southern Ocean Lodge.

We are in the midst of planning a three week trip to Australia for next November. We have friends who recently stayed at SOL and they said it was amazing. We definitely plan to stay there for three nights. The other lodges/resorts we are looking at are Saffire Freycinet, Emirates Wolgan Valley and and Qualia Resort.

Besides, SOL which of these others would you choose to visit taking into consideration travel ease, quality and time of year. I think we will have time to do two other resort/lodge properties. From the research I have done, they all sound fantastic.

We are active seniors who like a combination of relaxation and moderate activity....no horseback riding or mountain biking....we do enjoy snorkeling and the beach and loved our safaris to Kenya and South Africa.

Any advice or other suggestions from the Australia experts would be appreciated!
Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island, perhaps. Easy flight from Sydney, stunning location.
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Old Feb 12, 14, 1:38 am
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Originally Posted by glsebs View Post
Thanks for the detailed review of Southern Ocean Lodge.

We are in the midst of planning a three week trip to Australia for next November. We have friends who recently stayed at SOL and they said it was amazing. We definitely plan to stay there for three nights. The other lodges/resorts we are looking at are Saffire Freycinet, Emirates Wolgan Valley and and Qualia Resort.

Besides, SOL which of these others would you choose to visit taking into consideration travel ease, quality and time of year. I think we will have time to do two other resort/lodge properties. From the research I have done, they all sound fantastic.

We are active seniors who like a combination of relaxation and moderate activity....no horseback riding or mountain biking....we do enjoy snorkeling and the beach and loved our safaris to Kenya and South Africa.

Any advice or other suggestions from the Australia experts would be appreciated!
Saffire Freycinet is a two to three hour drive from Hobart airport and IMHO worth the journey. The weather should be mild in November (late Spring). Its setting is gorgeous and the food and wine particularly good. They will arrange activities to suit a variety of interests and activity levels (oyster shucking is a regular feature, guided walks in the national park, easy mountain biking along the beach). Swimming is possible but I'd save that for Qualia. Sounds as if you have a terrific trip planned!
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Old Feb 13, 14, 8:37 am
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What would the weather be like on Kangaroo Island in August and January (the two periods I will next be in OZ)?
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Old Feb 13, 14, 8:44 am
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Originally Posted by redshift27 View Post
Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island, perhaps. Easy flight from Sydney, stunning location.
Easy if you don't mind cancellations for bad weather and shaky over water rides of two hours plus in a twin turboprop . But Lord Howe is unique and one has to deserve it. A Polynesian Island without the heath and the crystal clear water full of reef ( ?? ) sharks and turtles....
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Old Feb 13, 14, 12:59 pm
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Originally Posted by behuman View Post
Easy if you don't mind cancellations for bad weather and shaky over water rides of two hours plus in a twin turboprop . But Lord Howe is unique and one has to deserve it. A Polynesian Island without the heath and the crystal clear water full of reef ( ?? ) sharks and turtles....
It's probably the most isolated you will ever be. You and 749 other people - no-one else in 400,000 square miles.
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Old Feb 13, 14, 11:15 pm
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Originally Posted by JetAway View Post
What would the weather be like on Kangaroo Island in August and January (the two periods I will next be in OZ)?
August - winter - cool (mid teens Celsius), probably wetter
January - summer - warm/hot (average in high twenties Celsius)

I'll bet that view is just spectacular in winter, although personally I'd probably choose another time to go.
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Old Feb 14, 14, 1:09 am
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Originally Posted by Baghoarder View Post
August - winter - cool (mid teens Celsius), probably wetter
January - summer - warm/hot (average in high twenties Celsius)

I'll bet that view is just spectacular in winter, although personally I'd probably choose another time to go.
Our temp in Early January was about 75degrees F, which was perfect. However they told me it can be much warmer that time of year, MUCH warmer, so I think a good time is probably fall or spring. No need to have hot weather here as the purpose is not sunbathing. Temperate conditions are great for seeing the wildlife, chilling out in the rooms or lounge with great views, hiking or walking on the beach!
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Old Feb 14, 14, 3:59 am
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Originally Posted by Larkin View Post
Our temp in Early January was about 75degrees F, which was perfect. However they told me it can be much warmer that time of year, MUCH warmer, so I think a good time is probably fall or spring. No need to have hot weather here as the purpose is not sunbathing. Temperate conditions are great for seeing the wildlife, chilling out in the rooms or lounge with great views, hiking or walking on the beach!
Certainly true that it can be very hot in summer in South Eastern Australia. Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, has experienced a record 13 days over 40 degrees Celsius so far this summer. Not for the faint hearted!

Autumn can sometimes be a better choice than Spring (which can be a little erratic and unpredictable). Here in Melbourne, for example, we frequently have warm, mild, balmy weather until late April.
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Old Feb 17, 14, 6:20 pm
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Just back from SOL and Wolgan Jan 28 to Feb 6th 2014

Its all in the details......

Wolgan: As other TR have posted, the location is very beautiful. A huge valley flanked by rocky bluffs and a magnificent sky. No-one else in sight.

The lodge and the villas are very well done. We loved the "indoor"pool for cooling off, as during the day the temp was about 39-40. It is dry, though. We found it to be quite cool when the sun goes down. If its too hot, make like a wombat and borrow into your cool villa and nap! The food is fantastic. Even the b'fast breads and yoghurt were super. Lots of marsupials about.

The details detract from the overall experience. The restaurant staff is not well supervised.
I could see my morning flat white going from table to table before it found me. When the dinner entrée was served, it was placed on the table (nicely, with a smile) but the server would not check for wine, bread, ice, other requests before dashing off. She/he would ignore wild gesticulations from other tables. No-one was paying attention to the flow of the room: who had nocturnal excursions and needed to finish promptly at 9pm, for example.

Worse was missing out on our much anticipated helicopter transfer FROM Wolgan to SYD to catch our flight to Adelaide. It was never booked by the hotel. The arrival and departure details were never confirmed prior to or during our stay, tho we asked. There is no "check out "letter delivered the night before to the room, which would have alerted us to the transfer change. If Emirates ran the Airline like this they'd be out of business. Luckily, a Qantas schedule change in our favor and a very good driver got us to the airport in time: 3 hours versus 30 minutes!

To sum up Wolgan: Beautiful Resort, great people and experiences; no attention to basic management issues is a real problem. If you go, double check every detail.


Now, on a happier note. Do not hesitate to go to Southern Ocean Lodge. Do not think twice. Do not think. Just go!

This was our fourth visit but we had not been for 3 years, and I was not sure about what the February weather would be like, reading all about the heat. Actually, only one day was very hot. It was windy and cool two days, and perfect the rest of the stay. (We stayed 6 nights, and wished we had more time). After Wolgan Valley, the professional, seamless organization of the Baillies shows. From pre-arrival confirmation emails to the "letter of doom" slipped under your door the last night to confirm departure time, flight details, etc everything is really perfect. The food is just exactly right. The wine is well chosen, and beyond limitless....the servers are telepathic and show up at your table with whatever you need, before you know you need it.

. I could go on and on, but just check out reviews in various sites. One thing though, really try to stay a minimum of three nights. The island is really big, and it takes a while to drive anywhere. There is a lot to take in, and the Lodge is so comfortable that you'll want to lounge around there too.
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Old Feb 17, 14, 6:22 pm
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Originally Posted by JetAway View Post
What would the weather be like on Kangaroo Island in August and January (the two periods I will next be in OZ)?
As per my other post, I think the weather would be fine either month. We were on KI in late July one year and it was lovely.
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Old Feb 17, 14, 6:29 pm
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Originally Posted by glsebs View Post
Thanks for the detailed review of Southern Ocean Lodge.

We are in the midst of planning a three week trip to Australia for next November. We have friends who recently stayed at SOL and they said it was amazing. We definitely plan to stay there for three nights. The other lodges/resorts we are looking at are Saffire Freycinet, Emirates Wolgan Valley and and Qualia Resort.

Besides, SOL which of these others would you choose to visit taking into consideration travel ease, quality and time of year. I think we will have time to do two other resort/lodge properties. From the research I have done, they all sound fantastic.

We are active seniors who like a combination of relaxation and moderate activity....no horseback riding or mountain biking....we do enjoy snorkeling and the beach and loved our safaris to Kenya and South Africa.

Any advice or other suggestions from the Australia experts would be appreciated!
SOL: try for more than three nights.
Capella: on LHI is the best place in the whole world, and November would be a great time to go: baby birds and Orchids in bloom. We've been 8 times and only had one flight cancellation, which gave us an extra night at Capella.
Saffire is great too. The connections between different locations are tricky some times, so be sure to keep those in mind when planning.

If you want to do the Great Barrier reef try Lizard Island. Fun!
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