Romance is a subjective thing, with one couple’s version of a getaway potentially standing in complete contrast to another; some may conjure up images of relaxing on a secluded, sandy beach, while for others enjoying a drop of quality wine while nestled by a fireplace may be what gets the figurative “fires” burning. Given Australia’s diversity as a country, picking from the thousands of potential romantic break locations can be an overwhelming prospect, with no two sets of tastes exactly quite alike.
If you’re in need of a romantic Aussie getaway, we help narrow the selection down by taking a detailed look at the results of your voted 10 Most Romantic Places in Australia for those looking for an unforgettable – yet intimate – Aussie getaway.
10. Palm Cove, QLD
Why it’s romantic: Beautiful tropical beachfront atmosphere; great sunrises; laid-back and peaceful Reef alternative
Where is it?: Approximately halfway between Cairns and Port Douglas, Tropical North QLD
Who it’s best for: Those looking for a beach and reef destination with fewer crowds and less noise
Most romantic places to stay: Alamanda Palm Cove, The Reef Retreat, The Elysium
Those wanting all the warm-weather benefits of a Queensland reef and rainforest environment with less noise and bustle than the “big two” accommodation hotspots can instead set their eyes to the halfway point between Cairns and Port Douglas – the idyllic Palm Cove. Roughly 25 – 30 minutes to the north of Cairns and slightly further from Port Douglas, Palm Cove strikes a nice balance between seclusion from busier tourist hubs while still allowing easy access to all the activities and Great Barrier Reef trips which serve as the main drawcard for visitors to the region.
Palm Cove mixes together high-end accommodation with lovely stretches of beach, with its main hub on Williams Esplanade lined with palm trees that convey an additional sense of being “in the tropics”.
This is a town slash village where taking things slow, walking barefoot and admiring the ocean views reigns king; its main focal point is its long, extended beach that’s within a short walk of the majority of accommodation and which makes for an enchanting spot to stroll along and take in one of the area’s renowned beautiful sunrises of a morning. Views from the shoreline reach out to the adjacent Double Island and its surrounding coral sea, and the majority of dining options in its main street overlook this panorama for a truly romantic food-and-scenery spectacle.
Views from the shoreline reach out to the adjacent Double Island and its surrounding coral sea, and the majority of dining options in its main street overlook this panorama for a truly romantic food-and-scenery spectacle.
Palm Cove also has a well-deserved reputation as a hotspot for wellness, hair and massage treatments, with many of its resorts and other accommodation offering bundled pampering packages in addition to luxurious poolside amenities. You’ll have multiple options for drifting away under the spell of a quality beauty treatment, relaxing in a bubbling spa or simply lazing poolside at pretty much all of the multi-starred accommodation on offer; recommendations for romantic types include Alamanda Palm Cove (with views directly out to the beach and excellent spa right on the beachfront), The Reef Retreat (nestled snugly amongst the palms and paperback trees), and The Elysium (a fresh and modern low-rise with a great outlook).
The village isn’t strictly high-end accommodation, however; there’s also a caravan park at its’ far end, as well as options for backpackers on non-romantic occasions. A number of charming specialty shops along with an elegant and tasteful nightlife scene that’s more of a concentration on the cocktails/conversation/wine blend than raging music round out the Palm Cove experience; this is not a Cairns that can trend towards upbeat and even a little wild at times.
In terms of things to do, the theme with Palm Cove is definitely “less is more”; there’s relatively little activity-wise to do in town, however most Great Barrier Reef tours offer pickups from Palm Cove, and should you rent a car your options open up substantially – head up the Captain Cook Highway for a great road trip, perhaps try the unique Flames of the Forest rainforest dining experience, and take time to explore the Daintree Rainforest nearby.
There’s a reason this is one of Queensland’s most popular spots for destination weddings – the small village atmosphere makes for a good choice for those looking to avoid large tour groups, and everything is within walking distance and nearly universally tranquil.
9. Hunter Valley, NSW
Why it’s romantic: Rolling greenery; plenty of couples accommodation; enjoying wine around the fireplace; hot air ballooning with champagne
Where is it?: 150km to the north of Sydney
Who it’s best for: Those who prioritise quality food and wine
Most romantic places to stay: Cedars Mount View, Blackwattle Luxury Retreats, Lillies Luxury Retreats, Spicers Vineyards Estate
Wine country is often a favoured getaway of couples looking for an escapist retreat from civilisation – mental imagery of nestling around roaring open fireplaces while sampling a drop of Australia’s finest red can be hard to top – and the Hunter Valley is New South Wales’ most prominent answer to this. Easily accessible from capital Sydney, the Hunter may not be the largest or most famed of Australia’s wine regions, yet it ticks all the boxes one could want in a vineyard-oriented destination within day trip distance of the country’s largest city.
Home to a dizzying array of cellar doors along with plenty of accommodation devoted specifically to accommodating couples, the Hunter Valley is a hub of secluded boutique retreats dotted amongst its landscape of rolling hills and lush vineyards.
The various houses and cottages that can both be seen on the drive in and often stayed at overnight can provide some truly wonderful mountain views and a spectacle of warm, glowing sunsets of an evening, which all forms a lovely backdrop to its main focus: the wine. Famous labels such as Lindemans, Wyndham Estate, Drayton’s and various others stand alongside plenty of smaller wineries – which often have additional time with which to show and explain their cellar door’s history and production methods in detail – and, while the Hunter is famed for its Semillon, the likes of Shiraz, Chardonnay, Cab Sav and more can all be sampled here.
Relaxing and enjoying quality food and wine are not weather dependent; so should your luck turn sour and the weather take a turn for the worse, you’ll still be able to indulge in its offerings without hindrance.
Food also plays a prominent role in the Hunter Valley’s reputation as a culinary hotspot, and visitors will be spoiled for choice when it comes to dining options – there are numerous choices for degustation dinners, with dishes that come impeccably matched with (Hunter Valley, of course) wines. In all it’s an excellent spot to enjoy quality food, with many of the accommodation choices in the area having attached restaurants that are a testament to the skill of the chefs that staff them. Boutique accommodation oriented towards couples in the region includes the Blackwattle Luxury Retreats (self-contained cottages), Cedars Mount View (the epitome of a private retreat with optional spa packages), Lillies Luxury Retreats (upmarket, self-contained accommodation offering some truly rustic elegance), and the award-winning Spicers Vineyard Estate (a striking and beautiful blend of accommodation and an excellent gourmet restaurant).
Outside of indulging your palate and resting your head, while the Hunter isn’t a hotspot for upbeat activities there are still plenty of attractions and experiences to occupy yourself – a hot air balloon ride at sunrise accompanied by champagne is always a favourite, while enjoying a picnic on the banks of the Allyn or Paterson Rivers, playing a round of golf on an immaculate fairway, or strolling through the serene Hunter Valley Gardens are all romantic in their own way.
Perhaps the best thing about visiting a destination such as the Hunter Valley is that relaxing and enjoying quality food and wine are not weather dependent; so should your luck turn sour and the weather take a turn for the worse, you’ll still be able to indulge in its offerings without hindrance.
8. Southern Highlands, NSW
Why it’s romantic: Lovely green and floral landscape; beautiful waterfalls and lookout points; quiet and secluded accommodation options; number of townships to choose from
Where is it?: 1 hour’s drive south-west of Sydney
Who it’s best for: Those who enjoy natural exploration and famously friendly locals
Most romantic places to stay: Crystal Creek Meadows, Links House, Peppers Manor House
This expansive part of rural New South Wales echoes elements of many of the other popular spots on this list, being a verdant slice of scenic country side that’s as visually impressive as it is peaceful, however it’s the combination of diversity of townships and the attitudes of its locals that help set the Southern Highlands apart. The region boasts a sleepy, old-world feel with attitudes to match, and there’s seldom a time where first-time visitors are not made to feel welcome here. The Southern Highlands are home to multiple sub-destinations that make up its lush whole, and the region is host to a highly enjoyable, mild climate that offers welcome relief during the summer months.
The region is surrounded by a blend of bush and National Park, with a lovely mixture of gorges and rainforests to explore via a number of scenic walking tracks that wind their way through its wilderness. Chief among these is the Cave Creek Walking Track which culminates in a beautiful waterfall, while the rest of the array of natural highlights in the Morton National Park makes finding a serene spot for a couple’s picnic an exercise in exploratory enjoyment.
In addition to the natural offerings, the Southern Highlands boasts all the typical mixture of cafes, galleries and antique stores that one might expect of a mountain-village district, and there’s plenty of simple enjoyment to be had merely browsing the various storefronts in search of a handcrafted good or trinket.
Of all the locations in the Southern Highlands from which to base oneself, Bowral serves as perhaps the best overall base given its wider quantity of restaurants and cafes as well as shopping opportunities – an important factor for those staying multiple days. There’s also possibly the best panorama of the region available to be had from Bowral Lookout, with a scenic view over the town itself and its ranges in the distance. Other popular locales such as Mittagong and Berrima have retained their smaller, village-type feels now that Bowral has grown in both popularity and development (and is often subject to heavy traffic and scarce parking).
The region is surrounded by a mixture of bush and National Park, with a lovely combinationÂ of gorges and rainforests to explore.
Accommodation options in the region are varied, with many historic and brimming with charm; B&B’s, colonial style manors and secluded cottages provide the chance for hidden and peaceful escapes. Many of them lie within reasonable distance of one another, and given the easily navigable nature of the Highlands as a whole, choice of where to stay may often come down to simply where you can find the best deal at your time of booking. For stylish seclusion, highly regarded spots to lay your head include Crystal Creek Meadows in Kangaroo Valley (its high-end Billabong Spa Cottage in particular for luxurious couples indulgence), the historic Links House in Bowral (blending an old-world facade and delightful garden with modern furnishings), and the vintage leisure offered by Peppers Manor House of Sutton Forest.
The popularity of the Southern Highlands for those looking to escape from Sydney means that getting accommodation over holiday periods and weekends can be difficult; as a result, visiting during midweek comes as highly advisable in order to both minimise price and maximise your romantic peace and quiet. Situated just over an hour’s drive south-west of Sydney and 1.5 hours from Canberra, this is perhaps the best romantic day trip destination available from both cities.
7. Sunshine Coast Hinterland, QLD
Why it’s romantic: Quaint mountain towns with hand-crafted goods; wonderful views of Glasshouse Mountains; plenty of “hideaway” style B&B’s/cottages/holiday homes
Where is it?: 35 minutes from Noosa; just over 1 hour from Brisbane airport
Who it’s best for: Those after a mountain getaway with the possibility of beach access
Most romantic places to stay: Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat, Secrets on the Lake, Glass on Glasshouse, Montville Country Cabins
While the Sunshine Coast might be more widely renowned for its miles of lovely beaches and family-friendly attractions, there’s another element of “green behind the gold” that serves as an alternative lush and secluded getaway destination for the escapist couple. The Sunshine Coast Hinterland consists of mountainous greenery intermingled with a number of historic and charming towns throughout, and offers those looking to head in from the coast the benefits of a combination of fresh, clean air and some truly stunning views.
Its elevation also brings along with it the benefit of a cooler climate – ideal for summer getaways – and with an overall subtropical climate that offers a nice balance of relatively consistent temperatures throughout the year.
Chief amongst the hinterland’s natural highlights are the distinctive and sometimes odd forms of the Glasshouse Mountains, with their characteristic volcanic shapes seen jutting out of the landscape. Great views of the peaks can be seen via a number of walking tracks covering a range of fitness levels, with the more physically adept able to conquer the longest of these – a 6km walk which leads to the area’s best possible vantage point. This majestic outlook makes for a beautiful spot for a picnic, and timing your trek to coincide with sunrise or sunset brings with it a wonderful glow that highlights the mountains’ quirky shapes even further.
Scenery isn’t the only heart-inspiring part of a visit to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, however, as its culinary aspects also shine.
Scenery isn’t the only heart-inspiring part of a visit to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, however, as its culinary aspects also shine. The region is interspersed with a variety of vineyards at which to sample a rather extensive list of wines, along with supplementary taste delights such as fudges, cheeses and other delicacies. Add in plenty of spots at which to pick up fresh local fruit during the drive up to enjoy privately once you arrive – not to mention the cavalcade of award-winning cafes and restaurants on offer – and you’ve got a hotbed of offerings for the tastebuds.
Art galleries, boutiques and unique shops provide the potential for additional distractions, particularly in the main street of hinterland town Montville which offers plenty of charming little spots to browse, while being dotted with colonial-style buildings offering some great views out over the Blackall Range that extend out to the coast. Maleny is the other main option for first-time visitors, and it’s more of a less-commercialised option; think rural landscape, plenty of greenery, local markets and a wonderful (and free) Botanic Gardens that’s a must-visit.
Romantic accommodation in the hinterland walks the line between B&B’s, cottages and holiday homes that offer plenty of chances at seclusion should you be willing to pay for it. Those looking for couples-oriented places to stay can look towards the likes of Hunchy Hideaway (a delightful Montville B&B oriented towards adults-only stays), Glass on Glasshouse (a number of self-contained cottages with full sized windows showcasing views of the range), Montville Country Cabins (a hub of 9 deluxe cabins wrapped in greenery), and Secrets on the Lake (a wonderful collection of “treehouses” immersed in tropical bush).
Easily reachable from Brisbane and thus ideal for short breaks, and offering an incredibly scenic drive to get there and either relax or take in the beauty of rainforests, waterfalls and mountain views, the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is one of South East QLD’s best kept secrets for a couples getaway.
6. Daylesford, VIC
Why it’s romantic: Wonderfully clean waters; mineral spas and springs; water meets greenery nature
Where is it?: Over 1 hour to the northwest of Melbourne
Who it’s best for: Those in search of some rejuvinative pampering
Most romantic places to stay: Samadhi Health and Wellness Retreat, Kudos Villas, 65 Main
While Australia’s not typically a country closely associated with geothermal activity (hello, NZ), the heart of Victoria’s “spa country” offers a surprising experience to the uninitiated. The area around the sister towns of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs features Australia’s highest concentration of natural mineral springs – in fact, 80 of the 100-some springs in the country are located here – and, as a result it has a well-served reputation for being a hub of relaxation and pampering for couples. The fact that it lies just over an hour to Melbourne‘s northwest doesn’t hurt in terms of accessibility, either.
There’s an incredibly large selection of therapies and treatments all within an easily navigable radius here, an area that is also densely populated with spa resorts and B&Bs to accommodate visitors in pursuit of the region’s healing and restorative properties.
Everything that makes this a worthwhile spot to visit begins with the excellent quality of water in this part of Victoria; it’s the home of famous bottled brand Mt. Franklin, and even the tap water simply tastes “fresher” than that of the big cities. Likewise, the waters visitors can immerse themselves in are rich in a number of minerals such as magnesium, silica and calcium that are long believed to have rejuvinative effects for the skin and recovery for aches and muscle pains. Combine these with additional treatments ranging from mud baths to massage, and those couples looking for shared indulgence will be in their element here.
Daylesford isÂ densely populated with spa resorts and B&Bs to accommodate visitors in pursuit of the region’s healing and restorative properties.
The relaxation element of the Daylesford/Hepburn Springs duo is augmented by its added mixture of history and architecture; there’s been a strong Swiss-Italian influence in the region since the 1800’s, and multiple Eurocentric buildings dating back to the 1850’s incorporating elements of granite and sandstone remain in good condition to this day. The natural backdrop to all of these goings on is equally pleasant, as there’s plenty of natural bush scenery to navigate at leisure, while a simple stroll around Lake Daylesford itself is a tranquil spot for a hand-in-hand walking experience. The valleys of the Macedon Ranges also make for an impressive panorama that can be viewed on the tail end of the drive from Melbourne, or by heading further afield and visiting the summit of Mount Macedon itself.
Daylesford also brings along with it an excellent balance of accommodation and restaurants to go along with its relaxation-oriented attractions, with many of them quiet and secluded – there’s a number of cottages off the main bridging area between Daylesford and Hepburn Springs in particular. Choose from top spa resorts, B&B’s and other boutique accommodation including the Samadhi Health and Wellness Retreat (an Eastern-themed devotion to peace, tranquility and recovery), the Lakehouse (a high-end combination of accommodation and dining in a single spot overlooking the water), Kudos Villas (a blend of sophisticated seclusion and individual “themed” villas based around the elements), and 65 Main (a guesthouse dating back to the 1800s overlooking the forest).
The Daylesford/Hepburn combo makes for an excellent choice for Melbournian couples looking for a relatively underrated destination that’s well within reach either for a day trip or overnight stay, with weather that generally trends towards less wet than Melbourne city, too.
5. Adelaide Hills, SA
Why it’s romantic: European influenced region with all the charm that entails; long lunches and gourmet indulgence; enchanting old-world feel throughout
Where is it?: 20 minute drive from Adelaide CBD
Who it’s best for: Those wanting a balanced mix of food and European architecture
Most romantic places to stay: Adelaide Hills Country Cottages, Mount Lofty House, Thorngrove Manor Hotel, Amble at Hahndorf
Residents of South Australia’s capital are fortunate in that those looking for a dose of travel romance aren’t subject to much of a journey in order to get it – the offerings of the Adelaide Hills are numerous for couples, and lie a mere 20 minute drive from the city’s CBD. The Hills serve as an embodiment of the greater region’s European influence in a single locale; it’s a section of South Australia that mixes together elements of Germany, France and Australia into a cosmopolitan blend of wineries, craft foods and beers, and varied landscapes to form a wonderfully rich and enjoyable whole.
Visual eye candy of picturesque farmlands, wineries that come with beautiful settings and lovely views, and gourmet meals to be enjoyed over a drawn out period of time are the name of the game here, and the variety is extensive enough to be able to return multiple times and remain delighted on each visit.
Touted as the “Land of the Long Lunch”, food here is an eternal highlight, and the Adelaide Hills are a wonderful region for both catered dining as well as picnics under its ever-changing foliage, with plenty of fresh local produce available to pick up and enjoy at your leisure. This is South Australia’s oldest wine region, and thus wine experiences and matchings form a key part of the Adelaide Hills experience, while the likes of old-world ice creameries and sweets stores, boutique cheese and chocolate producers and more offer a tantalising array of places in which to indulge.
The offerings of the Adelaide Hills are numerous for couples, and lie a mere 20 minute drive from the city’s CBD.
The Adelaide Hills consists of a number of wonderful little townships each with their own distinct dining options, from Bridgewater with its iconic Mill & Restaurant, to the foliage-rich Stirling nestled alongside Mt. Lofty, to perhaps the most famed of all – Hahndorf, a small yet comprehensive encapsulation of all-things-German. Couples looking for a tourist town with a difference can pay a visit to Hahndorf and soon find themselves browsing stores featuring immaculately hand-crafted cuckoo clocks, dining on bratwurst sausages, or clinking a mug at a German-themed pub. Each of the towns are rich in architecture as well, and their historic buildings and enchanting manors and cottages conjure up imagery of fairytales.
Plenty of charming small-luxury accommodation options – including some outstanding B&B’s – can be found in the Adelaide Hills, highlighted by the likes of Adelaide Hills Country Cottages (a series of self-contained hidden retreats), Mount Lofty House (an iconic manor hotel overlooking the Piccadilly Valley), Thorngrove Manor Hotel (a beautiful fairytale-style manor at Stirling), and the Amble at Hahndorf (quaint B&B just 150m from Hahndorf’s main street), to name just a few.
Add to all of the above the fact that the delights of the Barossa Valley await just on the Hills’ doorstep, quality wildlife attractions for animal-loving couples, Mount Lofty serving as a wonderful starting point with sweeping views, and it being an amazing region in which to enjoy a leisurely drive and stop at various highlights of your choosing, and you’ve got a flexible destination for romance in South Australia.
4. Heart Reef, QLD
Why it’s romantic: Naturally-formed “heart” shape; beautiful colours of the Great Barrier Reef; chance to see marine life from the air
Where is it?: Approx. 80km off the coast of Airlie Beach, QLD
Who it’s best for: Those after the ultimate travel snap of the Whitsundays; those looking to “pop the question”
Most romantic places to stay: Qualia Resort, Palm Bungalows, Airlie Waterfront Bed & Breakfast, Pinnacles Resort
Slightly cliche? Perhaps. However, there’s a reason that this completely natural reef formation in the heart of the Whitsundays’ Hardy Reef has been the site of more proposals than perhaps any other location in the country. Say what you will about mankind’s ability to assign sentimental value to what is really just a random shape – the reef is simply one of several thousand coral bommies that populate the Great Barrier Reef – however a trip here still can’t help but feel romantically significant.
It may be just a tiny part of the overall reef, but Heart Reef still serves as an embodiment of the amazing natural wonder as a whole, and its unbelievable contrast between the colours of the reef and its surrounding waters are striking – no Photoshop needed.
Heart Reef may have become one of the travel icons not just of the Whitsundays region in which it lies, but Australia as a whole, and it has justifiably been a staple of promotional imagery showcasing the region for years. This is despite its small size – the reef measures only 17 metres wide – and the fact that it can’t actually be swam or snorkelled at due to its protected status. As a result, the aspiring romantic traveller aiming to pop the question to their significant other will have to fork out some cash for a scenic flight flown by an expert pilot who understands how important a quality glimpse of Heart Reef is to their passengers; its scale can make it easy to miss from the air.
Additional flight time can be arranged over the reef for special occasions (hint, hint guys), while pilots are skilled in navigating the area and fly relatively low, allowing for a clearer look.
Enter local operator Air Whitsunday, the original discoverers of the reef back in 1975, who have been flying guests over the reef for decades and run trips above it several times per day. “Heart Reef is extremely popular for proposals, occurring [with us] many times throughout the year”, says Air Whitsunday Operations Manager Sam Collins. “It’s been a natural phenomenon since the 70’s and now a major feature of the international tourism market.”
Additional flight time can be arranged over the reef for special occasions (hint, hint guys), while pilots are skilled in navigating the area and fly relatively low, allowing for a clearer look as well as multiple passes to offer multiple chances at the perfect snapshot. This lower altitude affords the chance to spot sharks, turtles and manta rays from the air as well, but be sure to bring a proper camera for the ride as relying on a smartphone simply won’t do the spectacle justice.
Experiences to Heart Reef typically coincide with an extended visit to the gorgeous Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island as a follow up, with a picnic on the sands an example of romance incarnate. Finish it all off with some champagne, and you’ve got the ideal capper to one of Queensland’s true bucket list items. Hardy Reef which Heart Reef lies within is one of the most popular reefs in the entire greater reef, lying off the coast of hub Airlie Beach and offering the chance for travellers to snorkel in a private lagoon nearby. Of course, the Whitsundays as a whole is a hotspot for alternative romantic island escapes, with the potential for luxury and pampering being limited only by the depth of your wallet.
Flights over Heart Reef are available that depart both from Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach itself, with the more budget-conscious option being to stay on the mainland and fly out from there.
3. Cradle Mountain, TAS
Why it’s romantic: Immersive accommodation within pristine landscape; spotting native wildlife from indoors; beautiful alpine scenery
Where is it?: 2.5 hours’ drive from Launceston, Tasmania
Who it’s best for: High-end couples wanting exclusive wilderness luxury
Most romantic places to stay: Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge, Eagles Nest Retreat
Tasmania’s abundant wilderness is romantic in and of itself, as the “island state” is inherently more mountainous and features a number of dramatic peaks, mountain lakes and rocky cliff faces that form a fairly stark contrast to most of the Australian mainland. Cradle Mountain remains one of the most iconic of the state’s peaks, and its surrounding Cradle Mountain / Lake St. Clair National Park is draped in sections ancient rainforest and untouched bushland that makes for a wonderful combined backdrop for a secluded trip away.
It’s also remarkably accessible given its alpine beauty; a reasonable 2.5 hour drive from Launceston is all it takes to reach its borders, and once in the region you’ll have a range of options for a romantic base all offering the privacy of wooded bushland that forms natural barriers for peace and quiet.
Travelling and staying in the Cradle Mountain region makes for a holiday that’s all about getting away from civilisation; it’s a part of the country where no TV or mobile reception actually serves as a plus rather than a negative. Bring a book or three and zone out in a land where no time seems to pass, or simply *gasp* enjoy each other’s company uninhibited by technological distractions. Visitors here can embrace the best of the Great Outdoors and take part in the likes of horse riding, canoeing, mountain biking and other activities, while there are also plenty of walking tracks available in the region – including the famous Dove Lake with its glasslike surface and impeccable view of Cradle Mountain itself.
The Cradle Mountain region makes for a holiday that’s all about getting away from civilisation; it’s a part of the country where no TV or mobile reception actually serves as a plus.
Accommodation here is another locale that’s oriented around high-end relaxation and wellness treatments, with lodges located amongst the beautiful Tasmanian wilderness surrounds and alpine spas for beauty treatments and spa and massage therapies. These can be enjoyed at the indulgent Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge – situated in the closest possible location to the border of the Cradle Mountain / Lake St Clair National Park and widely regarded as one of the country’s preeminent luxury hotel experiences.
The Lodge features a large number of cabins of varying accommodation levels (with the topmost being both incredibly pricey and nearly flawless), as well as its excellent Highland Restaurant replete with tavern-style seating along with high quality food and a social atmosphere for meeting other travellers over a drink. Eagles Nest Retreat is another gorgeous luxury option that overlooks Mount Roland and offers outside spas and luxuriously appointed rooms with open fires.
This part of the country is prone to fairly unpredictable weather systems, however watching it in action from indoors as mountains transition in and out of view – all while being pampered – is hard to match. The surrounding area is rich in native wildilfe, too, and it’s possible to spot the likes of wombats ambling their way across the terrain from afar. In all, the Cradle Mountain area is a wonderful choice for the summer months – and the February Valentine’s season in particular – due to both its natural charm and a cooler climate which adds a refreshing bonus to its escapist scenery.
2. Broome/Cable Beach, WA
Why it’s romantic: Famously beautiful sunsets; opportunity to explore the amazing Kimberley region; pristine beach without the crowds
Where is it?: Kimberley region, far north-west WA
Who it’s best for: Beach-lovers and adventurous couples who don’t expect massive shopping centres
Most romantic places to stay: Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa, Pearle on Cable Beach
There are few things more romantic than a sunset, and there are few sunsets in Australia that can quite compare to those of Western Australia’s Cable Beach. Voted #2 on the list of “Australia’s 10 Most Beautiful Sunsets” during our national poll back in 2013, Cable Beach’s Indian Ocean aspect adds a different spin on the more frequently visited east-coast beach environments of Australia. Located just to the north of the town of Broome, the spectacle of the sun disappearing into the maw of the Indian Ocean makes Cable Beach a moving experience for couples enjoying a drink while watching this natural phenomenon at work.
The beach itself features 22 kilometres of unspoiled, pristine sand and strikingly crystal-clear water that comes with a chalky-blue tinge, and the warm weather of the region makes it possible to take a refreshing dip all-year-round.
The sunsets of this part of Western Australia take on an additional layer of beauty during the period from March to October when its famed “Staircase to the Moon” optical illusion comes into view; the glow reflects off the exposed tidal flats of the bay to form a figurative “staircase” into the evening sky. Ironically, the best spot to view this is not actually Cable Beach but Town Beach just outside Broome itself – and on nights of minimal cloud cover it’s a truly spectacular – and romantic – sight.
Broome and Cable Beach make for a wonderful winter getaway destination for those looking to escape the cold.
This part of the country comes with a laid-back atmosphere that permeates the town and its surrounds, and it’s history-rich as well; there’s a fascinating mix of cultures and bloodlines with a juxtaposition of Japanese, Malaysian, Indonesian, FilipinoÂ and even Aboriginal Australian having played a large role in the region’s development. This is in large part due to the area’s pearl production which was a major reason for its initial western habitation; this remains a strong part of the region’s lure, and romantic lovers will have plenty of opportunities to purchase their significant other a pearl-oriented keepsake of your visit.
Due to its romantic nature, special packages are often available catered specifically for honeymooners, and both popular accommodation spots the Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa and Pearle on Cable Beach offer the likes of adults-only pools and poolside dining and drink options to complement this. The Cable Beach Club in particular comes nested in greenery yet right on the coast, and is host to both an excellent spa and beautifully secluded tropical garden that’s a popular spot for hosting weddings.
Add in the fact that the Kimberley region beckons as an endlessly appealing adventure destination beyond, and Broome and Cable Beach make for a wonderful winter getaway destination for those looking to escape the cold.
1. Freycinet, TAS
Why it’s romantic: The best of Tasmanian nature all in one location; some of Australia’s best high-end luxury accommodation; one of Australia’s most beautiful views
Where is it?: Eastern Tasmania, 2.5 hours’ drive from Hobart
Who it’s best for: High-end luxury travellers; camping and hiking enthusiasts
Most romantic places to stay: Saffire Freycinet, Freycinet Lodge
Standing in stark contrast to the misconception for many of Tasmania as a snow-dusted, farmland-draped mini-simulation of the United Kingdom’s landscapes, the Freycinet region of the east coast of Tasmania takes this perception and turns it on its head. Mixing together the best elements of Tassie’s signature alpine environment with picturesque slices of water and beach all draped in bushland, Freycinet possesses perhaps the best overall balance of romantic factors in a single spot. It’s sparsely populated; it’s host to gorgeous accommodation; it’s got something for beachlovers and bushwalkers alike; and it’s home to one of Australia’s most beautiful signature outlooks.
Chief amongst these highlights is the famously beautiful clam-shaped cove of Wineglass Bay, and there are few better spots for aspiring romantics to propose than atop its lookout that showcases sweeping views of its contrast of vivid waters, pristine sand, and pink-granite mountain surrounds.
Staying here means you’ll have all the wonders of the Freycinet National Park right on your doorstep, with a range of short walks through its terrain leading to hidden lagoons where you’ll be able to laze on the sand or have a dip while surrounded by the echoes of bird life. Visitors to the National Park wanting an extended stay have the option of camping in spots that have direct access to the beach, and there’s no ugly commercialised development to mar the landscape or inhibit the views and nature.
Whoever said that money can’t buy happiness obviously never spent a night in a world-class, high-end suite while indulging in deluxe spa treatments.
Accommodation-wise, this part of Tasmania is home to two of Australia’s signature luxury wilderness retreats – the gorgeous Saffire Freycinet and the wonderfully secluded Freycinet Lodge. Saffire Freycinet offers the ultimate in romantic luxury and is widely considered one of Australia’s best for this purpose as it comes with numerous appealing highlights for the couple looking for a glamourous escape. The building boasts an amazing architectural design along with incredible views, with an outlook to the Hazards mountain range, along with an incredible selection of cuisine from which guests can partake from the in-house Palate Restaurant that features an innovative use of flavours and gourmet degustation offerings.
Whoever said that money can’t buy happiness obviously never spent a night in a world-class, high-end suite while indulging in deluxe spa treatments, followed by a cruise before a meal on the beach replete with crisp tablecloths and champagne. Visitors to the region looking to go one step further can even visit an oyster farm to shuck these fresh seafood delights right out of the water – your very own “Tourism Australia moment”.
Freycinet Lodge, meanwhile, sits in an idyllic spot between the Hazards and Great Oyster Bay within the Freycinet National Park, with a range of cabins to choose from for couples of varying budget levels. The complex incorporates a number of timber walkways to adjoin its buildings, and there’s an obvious level of consideration given to making its environment feel as organic – and remain as eco-friendly – as possible.
While the high-end luxury options may be out of the financial reach of some travellers (aiming for off-peak season helps greatly in this regard), simply pitching a tent or visiting from the nearby hub of Coles Bay serve as enjoyable substitutes in their own right – and thus those looking for Australia’s ultimate romance should strongly consider directing their eyes to the south of the map.