Outdoors + Nature

Where the Weather's Always Perfect

by Sarah Tuff

Blue Mountains, Australia

The friendly skies: According to an expert from the World Meteorological Organization, the world's most equitable climate—mild temperatures, low humidity, and a higher percentage of oxygen in the air than nearby towns at higher elevations—is found in the Australian village of Faulconbridge, about 50 miles northwest of Sydney. Now, you won't find much else there, but the surrounding Blue Mountains are indeed a Shangri-la in a country full of superlatives. They really do look blue, too, thanks to droplets of eucalyptus oil in the air.

On the ground: So conducive is the climate to producing and preserving rare living things, the Blue Mountains are on the World Heritage list—and should be on the short list of any traveler in Australia. Eucalyptus forests spill down from sandstone plateaus; pink- and apricot-tinted stalactites dangle in limestone caves; and koalas are just one of the 400 animal species here. The 85 guest rooms at the ridgetop Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa, about a 30-minute drive west of Faulconbridge, make a great base for taking it all in, starting with gasp-worthy views of the Jamison Valley from your organza- and silk-draped king-size bed. The staff can arrange outings with all manner of transportation, from a Harley-Davidson to a golf cart to a guided bush walk (a.k.a. hike). A formal afternoon tea gives way to six-course tasting menus (perhaps Tasmanian salmon to start; slow-cooked saffron pineapple for dessert), with wines to match each dish. How very equitable, indeed.

Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa
Lilianfels Avenue
Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia
Tel: 61 02 4780 1200
Doubles from $225.

Next: Consistent temperatures in central Mexico >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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