From luxury lodges in stunning coastal, island and bush settings to a front-row view of the Sydney Opera House, Australia is home to the honeymoon hotel of your dreams.
By Katrina Lobley
Whatever it is you want from a honeymoon – to get away from it all or to be in the thick of things – Australia has the perfect place to celebrate your union. Take a look at some of our favourite honeymoon hotels (you may want to book in to more than one).
qualia, Hamilton Island, Whitsunday Islands, Queensland
At the northern tip of Hamilton Island, on Queensland's Great Barrier Reef, is qualia, the island’s most prestigious address. This is where 60 pavilions, fashioned from bluestone, hoop pine and hardwood, are nestled among the gum trees. Some pavilions feature an infinity plunge pool while others have a deck facing the sunset. Guests can drive a golf buggy around qualia's steep site and take it out to explore the entire island. Romantics can be dropped off at a secluded beach on a nearby island with a picnic hamper.
Longitude 131, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Red Centre, Northern Territory
Near Uluru, the monolith that sits at the geographic and spiritual heart of Australia, is Longitude 131. This romantic luxury wilderness camp sits atop rust-red sand dunes, offering an extraordinary view of Uluru, which looks its blazing best at sunset. The 15 tents are more like exclusive hotel suites, with a king-size bed sitting beneath a romantic draped canopy, and floor-to-ceiling glass doors offering views of the national icon. At night, admire the star-filled desert night sky.
El Questro Homestead, The Kimberley, Western Australia
El Questro Wilderness Park, in Western Australia's east Kimberley region, offers a range of accommodation, but nothing beats checking in to the Homestead, which caters for just 18 guests. The Chamberlain Suite, perched out over the river of the same name, is the pick of the Homestead accommodation, but the Clifftop Retreats, a trio of villas each featuring an egg-shaped bathtub on the veranda, are also pretty special. Arguably the best thing about staying here, however, is that guests can enjoy exclusive access to the pretty Zebedee hot springs, and only one couple at a time.
The Louise, Barossa Valley, South Australia
The Louise, in the famed Barossa Valley wine region north of Adelaide, is home to luxurious suites as well as a celebrated destination restaurant. Appellation showcases produce from the Barossa and South Australia, which it pairs with the region's finest wines. Some suites feature a luxurious outdoor shower and there's also an infinity-edge lap pool with views over the vines and olive groves.
Lake House, Daylesford, Victoria
The town of Daylesford, 110 kilometres (68 miles) north-west of Melbourne, is the epicentre of Australia's spa and wellness scene. At Lake House, a boutique hotel set on lush acreage at the edge of Lake Daylesford, it's possible to soak in the region's famed mineral waters in a circular tub tucked within a secluded tree-top cabin. The hotel’s cutting-edge restaurant is nationally acclaimed.
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley Resort, Blue Mountains, New South Wales
Beyond the Blue Mountains, enfolded by steep sandstone cliffs, is Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley. The conservation-based resort occupies a tiny part of a vast nature reserve that attracts grazing wallabies and wombats. Hop on a bicycle and explore the resort early in the morning while dew still sparkles on the grass. Back at your villa, take a dip in your own private enclosed pool and admire the villa's architecture, inspired by Australia's Federation period. The communal dining room celebrates the best of the region's produce.
Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
Lizard Island, Queensland’s northernmost island resort, doesn't allow kids aged nine and under, making it the perfect grown-up honeymoon destination. With just 40 rooms and suites, and 24 white sand beaches to explore, there's every chance you'll find yourself enjoying a private beach picnic. Snorkel off one of the beaches, or head further afield to dive or fish the Great Barrier Reef.
Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Peer out over the wild Southern Ocean from the clifftop Southern Ocean Lodge, located on the rugged south-west coast of Kangaroo Island, known as Australia's Galapagos. After spending your days discovering the South Australian island's extraordinary wildlife (koalas, kangaroos, Australian sea lions, New Zealand fur seals and more), return to this contemporary sanctuary for some gourmet local fare.
Park Hyatt, Sydney, New South Wales
Urban honeymooners take note: there's no city view in Australia more remarkable than the one on offer at Park Hyatt Sydney. Open the curtains to drink in the sight of the Sydney Opera House, spectacularly backlit by the sunrise, as well as the comings and goings of the Circular Quay ferries bringing commuters to work. From the hotel (where visiting rock stars and dignitaries often stay) it's a short stroll to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Relax in a wilderness hot tub
Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge sits at the edge of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park in north-west Tasmania. It's one of Australia's most spectacular wilderness regions. After exploring the park's hiking trails and scenic Dove Lake, beneath Cradle Mountain's towering spires, relax in a King Billy suite with its double-sided fireplace and private hot tub on the outdoor deck.
Saffire Freycinet, Freycinet Peninsula, Tasmania
On Tasmania's east coast, Saffire Freycinet is a drawcard luxury lodge with suites and private pavilions facing the rugged Hazards mountain range in Freycinet National Park. Guests can try unusual experiences such as wearing a pair of waders and standing in saltwater shallows at Freycinet Marine Farm to eat fresh Pacific oysters straight from the shell. Oysters have never tasted so good.
Capella Lodge, Lord Howe Island, New South Wales
Lord Howe Island is less than 800 kilometres (500 miles) from Sydney but it's the ultimate place to switch off as it has no mobile phone reception. Without any outside world distractions, enjoy the island's simple pleasures: ride a bike from one side to the other to swim among colourful fish and turtles frolicking in the waters, admire the two blocks of rock – Mount Gower and Mount Lidgbird – that define the island's southern profile and enjoy a front-row view of both from the pool at luxurious Capella Lodge.
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