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  • The Russell (The Rocks, Sydney; tel. 02/9241 3543): This B&B, wonderfully positioned in the city's old quarter, is the coziest place to stay in Sydney. It has creaky floorboards, a ramshackle feel, brightly painted corridors, and rooms with immense character.
  • Echoes Boutique Hotel & Restaurant (Katoomba, NSW; tel. 02/4782 1966): Echoes is right on the edge of a dramatic drop into the Jamison Valley. The views from the balconies are breathtaking.
  • Casuarina Estate (Pokolbin, Hunter Valley, NSW; tel. 02/4998 7888): Each suite here has an unusual theme, like the Moulin Rouge, the Oriental, Casanova's Loft, the Mariners Suite, Out of Africa, Palais Royale, and Romeo's Retreat. The most popular is the Bordello, with a pedestal king-size bed, voluptuous pink curtains, and strategically placed mirrors.
  • Ulladulla Guest House (Ulladulla, NSW; tel. 02/4455 1796): Works of art on the walls, fabulous food, and a lagoonlike pool among the palm trees -- all this and lovely rooms, with hosts who can't do enough for you.
  • Lilybank Bed & Breakfast (Cairns, QLD; tel. 07/4055 1123): This rambling 1890s homestead used to be the Cairns mayor's residence. Today, owners Pat and Mike Woolford welcome guests to its comfy rooms, wide verandas, and blooming gardens. You can also stay in the renovated gardener's cottage.
  • Marae (near Port Douglas, QLD; tel. 07/4098 4900): Lush bushland full of butterflies and birds is the setting for this gorgeous contemporary timber Queenslander house. Owners John and Pam Burden promise a warm welcome and a wonderful breakfast.
  • Fothergills of Fremantle (Perth, WA; tel. 08/9335 6784): Two lovely old terrace houses have been converted into a classy B&B, within walking distance of the delights of Fremantle. The balconies are great for sundowners, and the place is filled with owner David Cooke's wonderful art collection.
  • The Rocks Albany (Albany, WA; tel. 08/9842 5969): The Rocks is a superbly sited and furnished heritage mansion. The double-story stone building, enclosed by broad timber balconies, is set within a .8-hectare (2-acre) garden with sweeping views across Albany's harbor. It was built in 1882 and later became the summer residence of WA's governors; it has since been restored to that level of luxury with facilities such as billiard and piano rooms.
  • Collingrove Homestead (Angaston, the Barossa Valley, SA; tel. 08/8564 2061): This grand homestead was built for the original Angaston patriarch, John Howard Angas, in 1856. The house is full of original family furnishings and memorabilia. It's open as a museum during the day, but you can stay in one of two rooms within the historic homestead or several en-suite rooms in former maids' quarters.
  • Cotterville (Melbourne, VIC; tel. 03/9826 9105 or 0409/900 807 mobile): A beautifully and lovingly restored terrace house with elegant courtyard gardens, where you will be surrounded with art and music and entertained by gregarious hosts and their friendly dogs. A home away from home in every sense.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.