Inspirato’s Bespoke custom travel benefit is a perfect way for members to explore destinations they’ve always wanted to visit, complete with a custom itinerary designed around their personal tastes. Earlier this year, members Pam and Kevin Stuart utilized the benefit for a trip to a country they’ve wanted to visit for years—Australia.
The Stuarts are an adventurous couple, having traveled on several Inspirato Experiences in the past. They had already been to Antarctica with Inspirato in 2016, making Australia the only continent they had yet to visit.
“We usually have a general idea of where we want to go and what we want to do, so custom travel just makes it easier for us,” Pam said. “We knew we wanted to go scuba diving and see wildlife that is not on other continents, but we really didn’t know a lot of other things about Australia.”
The planning process began about five months before the trip. Initially, Pam and Kevin were planning to visit both Australia and New Zealand during their vacation, but in working with their Inspirato team, they realized that wouldn’t be ideal.
“We had up to two weeks, but to visit both countries, you need way more time because of all the flights that are required,” Pam said. “So with Inspirato’s help, we backed it down.”
Utilizing her extensive network of contacts in Australia, the Stuarts’ planner put together the perfect itinerary that encompassed everything Pam and Kevin were looking for—and then some.
Inspirato did a great job fitting in everything we wanted to do in the time we had to do it.Pam StuartInspirato member
Days 1-2 – Sydney
After a long flight, the Stuarts caught their breath at stop number one: the Langham Sydney, an Inspirato hotel partner. Located in the central Rocks district, the acclaimed hotel is conveniently situated near Sydney’s top sights. Pam and Kevin took a 90-minute walking tour of the neighborhood, stopping to learn the history of Sydney and some of its oldest buildings.
During the rest of their time in Sydney, Pam and Kevin saw even more sights on a private chauffeured city tour and a VIP behind-the-scenes tour at Taronga Zoo, where they got up close with Australia’s most famous residents—kangaroos and koalas.
Days 3-4 – Uluru and the Outback
Next, Pam and Kevin got out of the city—way out. They flew to one of Australia’s most treasured natural landmarks: Uluru, a striking and unusual rock formation in the middle the Outback and a sacred monument for local Aboriginal tribes.
Of course, traveling with Inspirato meant five-star accommodations even in the Outback. Pam and Kevin stayed at Longitude 131°, a contemporary campground featuring luxury safari tents complete with everything a traveler would expect from a top hotel. The experience included guided tours of Uluru and the surrounding water holes, historic Aboriginal sites, and national park land.
“I’ve never had service like we had there,” Pam said.
Days 4-10 – The Great Barrier Reef and Lizard Island
The next phase of the trip went from the dry, red Outback to Australia’s sunny tropical coast and another legendary natural wonder. As avid scuba divers, seeing the Great Barrier Reef for themselves was number one on the Stuarts’ wish list.
“We have wanted to go to the Great Barrier Reef to dive for many years but haven’t had the chance,” Pam said. After a one-night stop in the city of Cairns—often called the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef—Pam and Kevin took a tiny puddle-jumper to Lizard Island, a national park and posh resort located right on the reef, offering a convenient jumping-off point for exploration.
They dove three different times over three days, and beyond the unforgettable experience of exploring the Great Barrier Reef, the Stuarts’ time on Lizard Island included some surprises, as well.
“We met another couple from Australia and ended up having a great time with them,” Pam said. As it turned out, the other couple was on the island attending a food and wine festival—so naturally, the Stuarts joined in. The unexpected surprise included 11-course meals, champagne breakfasts, Cristal tastings, and other fine cuisine.
Days 10-14 – Wolgan Valley
“Our planner suggested we go to a place called Wolgan Valley; we had no idea what it was,” Pam said. Located within the Blue Mountains not far from Sydney, Wolgan Valley is an emerging luxury travel hotspot, known for its breathtaking beauty and abundant wildlife.
Before they even arrived in the valley, the Stuarts accomplished one of their top goals for the trip. “Jokingly, we wondered if we would see any kangaroos out in the wild; we hadn’t seen any kangaroos outside of the zoo,” Pam said. “Then the driver looks up and points at a mob. There were about 150 kangaroos just hanging out. We couldn’t believe it.”
That was just the beginning of their wildlife immersion. During their stay at the stunning Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, the Stuarts stayed in a 900-square-foot free-standing villa with sweeping views of the scenery. They only needed to step outside to get an even closer look.
“We just hung out on our back porch and you’d take a flashlight out at night and see wombats walking by the sidewalk,” Pam said. “The wildlife there was amazing—kangaroos, wallabies, wallaroos. We saw some really cute baby kangaroos ‘kung-fu fighting’ and kickboxing right outside our door!”
For the rest of their time in Wolgan Valley, the Stuarts took advantage of all the natural scenery. They went horseback riding and Kevin, an accomplished distance runner, was even able to keep up his fitness routine on a three-and-a-half-hour guided run in the mountains.
Pam and Kevin are already looking ahead to their next Inspirato trip. For them, Inspirato membership is all about experiences—in fact, they’ve never actually stayed in an Inspirato home—and the connections they have made through them. Up next, they’re heading out on Inspirato’s Arctic Expedition with several couples they met on another Inspirato experience in Myanmar.
Inspirato makes it much easier to plan travel, and I appreciate the quality of the offerings and the knowledge of the team.Pam StuartInspirato member
Inspirato’s mission is to help travelers create lasting memories on unforgettable vacations. With custom travel, members can do that anywhere on the planet. Learn more about all the ways Inspirato travelers can experience the world, from our exclusive luxury vacation homes to once-in-a-lifetime excursions.