Gay Globe Trekker

Destination: Down Under

Follow my Priscilla-esque journey Down Under as I reveal each week one of 21 reasons for wearing my love for Australia on my sleeve (literally, tattoed there).

#21: Because the Aussie chic luxury villas with private plunge pools at qualia on Hamilton Island are my new favorite way to recover from jet lag.

Anytime someone finds out I’m headed to Australia, the questions begin in this order: 1) How long is the flight?  2) What’s the time difference?  3) How do you deal with the jet lag?

Answers: 1) 14 hours from Los Angeles—the extra 6 to/from NYC are a bitch, there’s no way around it.  2) There’s an app for that.  And now, thankfully, an enthusiastic answer to 3) Hightail it to Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays and let the lovely staff at qualia take care of you for a few days.

After a 14-hour flight, all you really want to do is take a shower.  But trust me, just wait and make that (relatively speaking) short connecting flight to Hamilton Island.  The qualia service begins the moment the plane touches down—no hanging around baggage claim.  The staff does that for you while they escort you right to the open-air lobby with spectacular views of the Whitsundays, and a glass of champagne.

But the real magic comes in the villas that are what I like to call Aussie chic—they take the best of the Asian-inspired private villa layout with plunge pools and decorate in a modern, sleek, comfortable and sexy style.  The only tough decision I had to make was where to lie down and take in the view—the tub, the bed, the outdoor couch or the pool.  Over two days, like Goldilocks, I tested them all.  A few more sips of champagne, and magically my jet lag disappeared.

photo by Tourism NT

Like one of my all-time favorite films Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, the ultimate destination on my last trip Down Under was Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the country’s “Red Centre.” Granted, I didn’t take a bus or wear a silver lamé dress (damn), but I did sing lots of disco songs and chose a circuitous route. I found the majesty of Uluru spell-binding—one of those places that more than lives up to expectations. No wonder it’s a finalist to be one of the New7Wonders of Nature, an online poll that will announce winners on 11.11.11. Join me in voting for Uluru/Ayers Rock, by visiting Who knows, maybe I’ll end up adding Uluru to my sleeve.

photo by Jamie Beck; tattoo by Friday Jones

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