Romance may have pivoted slightly in 2020, thanks to self-isolation and social distancing, however we can still plan and dream to our hearts desire.
Whether you want an action-packed honeymoon or some serious privacy, or a camping experience with the rough edges knocked off, here are six of the best places to honeymoon in Australia.
1. Makepeace Island, Queensland
Best For: Honeymooners who have kindly benefactors or are luxuriously-inclined
Forget heart-shaped balloons and chocolates. This sanctuary with its heart in the right place is the original love island.
Arrive in your luxury yacht to the heart-shaped Makepeace Island, which was named after the housekeeper who inherited it from its owners in the 1930s.
Located within minutes of Noosa or a 20-minute drive from Sunshine Coast Airport, the island is owned by Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Australia co-founder Brett Godfrey, which adds to its appeal for wannabee gazillionaires.
The island features a two-storey Balinese wantilan, where guests can settle down on Balinese day beds while overlooking the Noosa River. There’s also a boathouse, large lagoon pool, 15-person spa, tennis courts and outdoor cinema.
Those who want to give the credit card a workout can also head to the fashion boutiques and hatted restaurants in nearby Noosa.
The island accommodates 22 lovebirds in luxurious seclusion.
Best for: East Coasters who want to escape their in-laws
After dancing till midnight on the East Coast of Australia, you can go west and embrace the time difference to add a few more memorable hours to your big day.
Start your love affair with WA by booking into Como The Treasury in Perth, which offers an exceptional five-night experience aimed at more active couples.
After a refreshing night’s sleep and breakfast for two, honeymooners can head north to explore WA’s wilderness, with a three-night experience at either El Questro Homestead in the Kimberley region or Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef on the northwest coast.
If you are having a winter wedding, head to Sal Salis Ningaloo beachside safari camp where – if you’re lucky – you may even get to swim with whale sharks.
Como has curated three five-night itineraries, which are designed to make newly married couples swoon while simultaneously sharing the love for WA. Como The Treasury is in the heart of Perth, so use it as your base to stay and play.
The Berkeley River Lodge is also a sweet spot to visit with your significant other. East Coast couples flock to the Kimberley Coast to relax on the beach and watch the sun set over the sea. The lodge can arrange a cruise along the Berkeley River to Casuarina Falls.
3. The Coffs Coast, NSW
Best for: Everyone from boho types on a budget to those with healthy trust funds
Point your car with the bouncing cans tied to the bumper toward the hippie bubble that is Bellingen. The Mid North Coast region of NSW has a range of options to suit: from a fully furnished bell tent at Sapphire Beach Holiday Park to an architect-designed chalet at Promised Land Retreat with views of the Great Dividing Range.
Staying in Bello doesn’t have to be a patchoulis-scented affair. Those with a healthy trust fund in play can fork out $18,000 a night for a two-night minimum stay at Hermes Estate Luxury Retreat. It’s not a hotel. It’s not a resort. It’s a two-bedroom private villa with a fulltime butler and a fulltime chef located near a bend of the Never Never River.
The villa near the small town of Gleniffer along Waterfall Way is surrounded by rainforest with all the luxuries imaginable: take your complimentary glass of Dom Perignon for a walk-through: there’s a media room, private spa studio, full-size kitchen with Villeroy & Bosch dinnerware and Hermes Estate branded cutlery.
When the cloak of night falls over the retreat, it’s just you and your sweetheart being serenaded by the resident tree frogs. Note: the paint is only just dry at the gorgeous estate, which starts taking bookings in April.
Best for: Adventurous types who eloped ahead of their impending nuptials
Forgo the big, fat wedding in order to better afford a week-long retreat at Longitude 131° in the stunning Northern Territory.
Uluru is a less obvious choice than the cliched beach destination for honeymooners where even the palm trees seem to beckon and sway in a suggestive way. But for likeminded couples whose idea of luxury is drinking in nature and exploring the rich Australian landscape, Uluru is paradise.
Longitude 131° lets the landscape do the talking: the luxury desert basecamp is embedded in a river of red dirt overlooking the iconic rock. Here, bespoke experiences include a trek to Kantju Gorge, dinner under a night sky at Table 131°, and a meander around artist Bruce Munro’s solar installation, Field of Light under a big sky, confetti’d with stars.
Stay in a luxury tent or contemporary pavilion offering views over the World-Heritage listed Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
Ayers Rock Resort also offers a compelling argument to elope to Uluru.
5. East Coast of Tasmania
Best for: Couples who adore nature as much as each other
Whether you’re on a babymoon, honeymoon, mini moon or mega moon, Tasmania’s scenic East Coast is a great out-of-earshot, gone-to-ground place to start your romantic getaway. A shared adventure is always romantic: strengthen your quads and your bond with a walk to Wineglass Bay and explore the spectacular Bay of Fires before rounding another bend and arriving at Saffire Freycinet, one of the most fancy-schmancy resorts that freckle the coast of Tasmania.
Couples who are feeling frisky can bunker down in this romantic getaway while swooning over the view. Forget five-star pomp, think barefoot luxury as you eat oysters shucked to order while knee-deep in an estuary, and seafood line-caught from the bay.
Reinvent the dinner date by telling executive chef Iain Todd of your likes and dislikes and ordering room service to be enjoyed on your deck overlooking Great Oyster Bay.
6. The Whitsunday Islands, Queensland
Best for: Those who have a strong affection for sun, sea and sand
Honeymooners love anything heart-shaped. After promising your heart to another, and saying your ‘I-dos’, take a scenic flight over Heart Reef in The Whitsundays to admire the Instagram-friendly island tinged with turquoise seas.
Happy couples staying on Hamilton Island can also travel by helicopter to the Heart Island pontoon helipad where they can swim and snorkel and enjoy a boat ride around the reef.
Those whisking a loved one to the Whitsundays can choose between a range of accommodation: from the swanky Hamilton Island hideaway qualia to the oh-so-chic InterContinental Hayman Island Resort, which has a romantic ‘Sunset Escapade’ that includes a speedboat ride to Blue Pearl Bay for a private picnic.
Sustainable-minded sweethearts will also find Elysian Retreat on the southern point of Long Island appealing. The retreat is the first 100 per cent solar-powered resort on the Great Barrier Reef and is barefoot luxury at its very best, with only 10 bungalows available.