Fancy getting away from it all? These off-the-beaten-track lodges come with a tech-free mindset and unique adventure to get you there. Grab a good pair of hiking shoes, jump in a raft, or mount a mule and enjoy the ride. Just remember to leave your devices at home – except your camera, for those gorgeous deep-in-nature scenes you’ll want to gloat about later.
Photo credit: Tasmanian Walking Co
Deep within Tasmania’s Mount William National Park, resides the Bay of Fires Lodge – a stylish eco retreat perched amid hilltops over thrashing surf, and surrounded by rugged nature. The only way to get there is via a four-day hike through dazzling coastal wilderness. Guided daily walks on the four-day, three-night trip unfold along secluded beaches and other enchanting landscapes hopping with wildlife. Dolphins, whales, wombats, wallabies, Tasmanian devils, kangaroos, and any of 100 bird species may say G’day! at any time. Nighttime accommodation moves from a stylish beachside camp to the Lodge, where days of exploration, kayaking, fishing, snorkelling, and animal spotting are rewarded with gourmet meals, fine Tassie wines, and signature spa rituals inspired by ancient Aboriginal technique; and infused with native bush ingredients. In this remote corner of Australia, cell service is spotty at best and Wi-Fi is non-existent, so it’s largely a tech-free zone – though walking guides do carry satellite phones in case of emergency.
Photo credit: Outdoor Project
Tucked almost 5,000 feet below the Grand Canyon, Phantom Ranch gives hikers the chance soak up one of the world’s greatest wonders from below-the-rim, but that privilege must be earned. This tech-free oasis can only be reached by mule, foot, or rafting down the Colorado River. Rustic stone and timber cabins could be straight from a fairytale, and basic dorm accommodation is also on offer. The cute canteen serves hearty breakfast, packed lunches, and dinner for a fee, but as the only lodge below the canyon rim, demand is sky high, so Phantom Ranch uses a lottery system for random selection of bed space. You won’t be able to boast about your adventure on Instagram (there’s no cell or Wi-Fi), but postcards can be shipped via mule mail – seriously! The hike to Phantom Ranch is around 7.7 miles down the South Kaibab Trail (4-5 hours), and 10 miles from the Bright Angel Trail (around 4-6 hours down, and 6-10 hours up).
Photo credit: Len Foote Hike Inn
Nestled within Georgia’s Amicalola Falls State Park, this intimate, eco-friendly Inn is only accessible via five-mile hike, crossing small streams, mild ridges, and fern-filled valleys – taking anywhere from two to four hours depending on pace. While the 10-mile round trip can be tackled in one day, a night or two at the Inn offers peace and beauty deep in nature, far from the stresses of modern life. In the theme of unplugging, cell phones, laptops and radios aren’t tolerated, in favor of a peaceful getaway vibe. Board games and puzzles, wildflower and photography walks, local hikes to explore, and just kicking back in an Adirondack chair keep activities simple and soothing. Practical, private guest rooms come with hot showers and fresh linens. Family-style home-cooked meals (dinner and breakfast) are included in the rate. There is a solar-powered charger for cameras, but the Len Foote is otherwise a tech-free zone. Digital detox, anyone?
Cover photo credit: Tasmanian Walking Co
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