We get it - when it comes to honeymoons, it's hard to say no to the Parises, New Yorks and Romes of the world.
But we'll let you in on a little secret... there are some pretty sweet spots in Australia, too. And when time and money are stretched (because, wedding), a getaway much closer to home means you still have the opportunity to escape for a few days and revel in that "just married" glow with your new hubby. Enter the minimoon: no passports, no long-haul flights and no second mortgages required.
To prove just how amazing this wide brown land of ours is, we teamed up with the luxury travel experts at Beautiful Accommodation to handpick a selection of Australia’s most romantic escapes. The list includes some of the coolest, off-the-beaten-path minimoon spots around, so whether you’re in search of an action-packed adventure or a secluded break with your love, one of these ideas is sure to be a perfect fit.
For red-hot romance... Alice Springs, NT
Alice Springs is Australia’s red centre for Indigenous culture, food and art, and, being thousands of kilometres from any city lights or crowds, it can be your centre for romance too. The Northern Territory boasts a unique landscape that includes the MacDonnell Ranges, Kings Canyon, Rainbow Valley and Uluru. Watching Uluru’s rock face change colour as the sun rises or sets is a surreal experience to share with your love. If you’re neither an early bird nor a night owl, or you’d just prefer to be cuddled up in bed with your beau, you can also trek around the base at a time that suits you.
Where to stay?
Alice Springs is a destination for the couple eager to learn and explore together, and Vatu Sanctuary is the ideal place to do just that. As a self-described ‘experience for the soul’, it's perfect for those who want downtime after the wedding whirlwind, but something more adventurous than lazing on a beach. An ever-changing gallery curated by one of Australia’s most respected Indigenous art dealers and her artist husband, the wall hangings and murals around the site add another unique element to your honeymoon haven. Bold colours inside and out enhance the vibrant landscape, and at night the tropical gardens are lit by candles, lamps and the stars, amping up the incredibly romantic setting. And with passionate and knowledgeable hosts, you and your SO will be able to experience the best of Alice Springs’ culture, natural attractions and bush foods.
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For a tropical escape... Bedarra Island, QLD
With only a handful of accommodation options available, Bedarra Island on the Great Barrier Reef offers complete and total seclusion. In fact, once you’ve landed on this remote atoll, it’s likely you won’t see another soul, making this one of the country’s most coveted romantic hideaways. The island’s giant granite boulders have formed a series of private coves framed by white sandy shores and lush green rainforest. This landscape creates the perfect luxury setting, with retreats screened away by tropical jungle and fronted by isolated pockets of coast. And with pleasant weather all year round, you can come in winter and still expect plenty of sun.
Where to stay?
Private island getaway East Bedarra Island Retreat is a regular fixture on romantic bucket lists around Australia – and probably the world. Forget crowded resorts and sharing the reef with boatloads of snorkellers, this paradise on the edge of the Coral Sea is just for two. The villa’s stunning showpiece is a deck suspended over the Great Barrier Reef, housing a saltwater plunge pool for you to loll about in or lie beside while sharing a bottle of champagne. And did we mention the moonlight cinema? Snuggle up to watch a film with the stars and a string of islands as your backdrop.
For next-level glamping... The Kimberley, WA
We’ve all heard of Broome and its beaches, camels and year-round summer. Head a little further north and you’ll find a whole section of Australia just waiting for you to discover it. The Kimberley is a vast landscape bordered by oceans and deserts, with an expanse of unchartered coastline, gorges with crystalline streams, shady rainforests, cliffs and waterfalls. Head out on a romantic walk with your one-and-only and you’ll be rewarded by beautiful scenery, including rare wildlife and some of the oldest artworks on earth.
Where to stay?
Completely unspoilt, Kimberley Coastal Camp has no roads, no pollution and no airstrip. Your options for arrival to the island are floatplane landing directly onto the waterfront, or light aircraft followed by helicopter transfer to the pristine beach. Either way, you’ll be arriving in style – and that’s just the start. With cabins decked out in Sheridan linen overlooking the azure waters of the Admiralty Gulf, this is the ultimate in luxury camping. Better yet, it’s all inclusive, with meals and activities prepared for you each day. You can fish, swim, indulge in gourmet food and explore ancient rock art on this one-of-a-kind honeymoon adventure.
For all the art and culture... Hobart, TAS
Hobart ranks on travel hot lists year after year, and it's not hard to see why. With its blend of art and culture, heritage architecture and waterfront scenery, not to mention all the gourmet food and drink you could possibly consume, it's a must for minimooners. Explore the curiosities of MONA, gather picnic supplies at the Salamanca Markets and sail away on a Bruny Island cruise at sunset. Climb Mount Wellington for a spectacular view, journey to nearby cellar doors and pretty up for a night out at one of the city’s award-winning restaurants.
Where to stay?
With so much to do in Hobart you're going to need a rest eventually, and that's where Lenna Penthouses come in. Staying at the rooftop of this heritage hotel means you’re perched high above the city, looking across the sparkling harbour to Mount Wellington. Besides the wraparound balcony to make the most of the view, these suites offer plush spots to cuddle up and an array of high-tech gadgets to entertain (like remote-controlled blinds so you can sleep in after a night of sipping vintage champagne at the Chandelier Lounge). And with an incredible room service menu, you can indulge in Hobart’s finest produce without leaving your bed.
For getting back to nature... Central Coast, NSW
Super secluded and quiet, Toowoon Bay on the Central Coast of NSW is perfect for a quick minimoon getaway. Hike through national parks, wander around clear lakes, spend time between golden stretches of sand and the waves of the Pacific Ocean, and share incredibly fresh seafood with the surf crashing in the background. Alternatively, if you're feeling adventurous, grab a 4WD and explore further afield.
Where to stay?
Life doesn’t get any sweeter than at the luxurious Kims Beach Hideaway. It’s just a short drive from Sydney to reach this absolute beachfront haven surrounded by tall pines. On a minimoon here you’ll be shacking up with your beloved in breezy, exotic style - think lounging side-by-side on the deck, saltwater in your hair and hot tub soaks after sunset. Throw open the doors, walk across the front lawn and you’re on the sand. Some of the bungalows and villas even have their own private pool and sauna, perfect for some well-deserved relaxation.
For a little bit of luxury... Daylesford, VIC
Whatever the season, Daylesford is a beautiful place to visit. And for a minimooning couple, it gets even better. You’ll soak in natural springs, be pampered side by side at day spas, sip local wines alongside gourmet produce and, finally, feeling blissfully relaxed, curl up together in bed. It doesn’t have to be all about lazing and indulgence, though (unless you want it to be, then that’s cool). The Lake Daylesford circuit is great for a peaceful wander, and there are plenty of scenic cycling trails through native bush, farmlands and rolling hills. We’d also recommend checking out the Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm – here you and your guy can play a game of boules, or just splay out together between rows of lavender, watching the clouds float by.
Where to stay?
Just a 10-minute drive from Daylesford, set atop Breakneck Gorge, you’ll find a stylish and secluded minimoon spot. Breakneck Gorge Retreat is an architecturally-designed property that’s both a contrast and complement to its rural surrounds. A warehouse-style space, it has soaring ceilings and a cosy mezzanine bedroom. A folding glass wall opens from the spa room onto the deck for luxurious indoor/outdoor bathing - sink into the two-person tub with a glass of bubbly and take in the incredible view of Mount Franklin. Among the 45 acres of landscaped gardens you’ll find the pergola, where you can dine under the stars with your main squeeze.
For wine time... Hunter Valley, NSW
For Sydneysiders wanting a piece of the Daylesford action, remember you have the Hunter Valley just a few hours’ drive away. As well as relaxing in the spas, tipping back the wine glass, and generally revelling in each other’s company, you can try the Hunter’s local food specialities, like creamy cheeses, freshly baked sourdough, olives, handmade chocolates and jams. When the sun goes down, head out to one of the region’s fine dining spots to sample even more of the local produce. For something different, you can soar above the landscape in a hot air balloon at dawn.
Where to stay?
To partake in all the gourmet fun and then crash out in style, check yourself into the Heritage Retreat in Allynbrook. A schoolhouse and principal’s residence circa 1881, the space has been thoughtfully redesigned into three suites with individual flair. The French Wing comes with a clawfoot tub that sits on retro chequered floors, while the River Wing boasts a private Jacuzzi on the deck and a croquet lawn. Our favourite, though, is the School House, for its swanky New York loft vibe, spacious interiors including exposed red brick and a mod glass bath. Whichever you choose, you’ll have a warm bath and plush bed to sink into, and a cosy haven where you can spend time together after exploring the Hunter Valley’s sprawling vineyards.
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