Australia’s most romantic holiday destinations
Celebrate an anniversary, book a honeymoon or rekindle your relationship with any of Australia's most romantic escapes.
What better way to celebrate a milestone with your partner in life than to travel to the destination of a lifetime. Whether you like your romance served hot (dinner on a private tropical beach) or cold (snuggling in front of a cosy fire surrounded by misty mountains), Australia has all kinds of luxurious getaways for all types of couples.
Find a desert oasis
Near Uluru, the monolith that sits at the geographic and spiritual heart of Australia, is Longitude 131°. This romantic luxury wilderness camp rests atop rust-red sand dunes, offering an extraordinary view of Uluru, which looks its blazing best at sunset. The 16 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 Milky Way as it lights up the desert sky.
Travel to the end of the world
Frosty mornings and cosy fires can be just as romantic as the tropics, and there's plenty of cool-climate luxury to be found in Tasmania. The island is Australia’s most southerly point and it is rich with scenic spots, but few are as lovely as the forest-fringed Lake St Clair, a 2.5-hour drive north-west from Hobart. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, it is a great place to grab a canoe and a thermos of hot chocolate and drift along without a care. Pumphouse Point offers luxury accommodation in a 1940s hydroelectric pumphouse suspended over the lake. Each room has a larder packed with local produce, such as cheese, cured meats and wines.
Escape to the Flinders Ranges
South Australia has its own vast mountain ranges - the Flinders Ranges - and set amongst them is the exclusive Arkaba Conservancy. The resort is set on a 260-square-kilometre (100-square-mile) private reserve dedicated to the conservation of wildlife and birds - you’ll have an easy time spotting emus, kangaroos and wallabies while you sip your morning coffee. The luxury property sleeps just 10 guests at a time, and the all-inclusive rates feature daily activities that showcase the magic of Arkaba such as bushwalking, 4WD safaris, tracking native wildlife, visiting ancient Aboriginal sites or just soaking up the sights and sounds of the Australian bush.
Go off grid
If your idea of romance is sleeping under the stars on an isolated beach at least 1300 kilometres (over 800 miles) from the closest city, then Sal Salis is the place for you. Located on the untouched shores of Ningaloo Reef, the entire region is a World Heritage Area thanks to its incredibly diverse wildlife population. Expect to switch off your phone (there’s no mobile service) and completely immerse yourself in the landscape. Explore the sand dunes with a hike, snorkel the coral reef just metres from your eco-luxe wilderness tent, and head out on a private boat to dive with the resident whale sharks and passing humpback whales - one of only a few places in Australia to offer this experience. This truly is one of Australia’s best kept natural secrets.
Hide away in a treehouse
The largest in Australia, the Daintree Rainforest in Tropical North Queensland, is a natural wonder full of awe-inspiring beauty (it was the inspiration behind the film Avatar). Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of this ancient landscape with a stay at the Silky Oaks Lodge & Healing Waters Spa. This luxury lodge was built high up in the treetops, hovering above the crystal-clear waters of the Mossman River. The nutrient-rich water from the river is actually used in many of the spa treatments and is said to have healing properties. Daintree Ecolodge offers a similar experience with 15 eco-friendly bayans nestled in the heart of the Daintree canopy surrounded by ancient Bull Kauri trees and a private waterfall. From here, you are at a perfect vantage to explore the rainforest all around you.
Experience a true wilderness frontier
The Kimberley region is still regarded as one of the world’s last wilderness frontiers. It offers adventure-seekers the chance to completely escape all signs of urban life and get back to basics. If this sounds enticing, but you’d still like to enjoy the comforts of a luxury hotel, then there are a couple of places you can go. El Questro Wilderness Park offers plenty of secret places to explore with a number of accommodation options to choose from. The most luxurious is The Homestead, offering magnificent views of the Chamberlain Gorge and tailor-made excursions to give you a taste of frontier life. Berkely River Lodge is so remote you can only get there by air or sea. Join outback excursions by day and sip cocktails by the pool as the sun sets over the Timor Sea.
Get cosy in the mountains
Just beyond the Blue Mountains (less than two hours west of Sydney), in a valley that’s nestled by national parkland sits Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley. A conservation-based luxury resort that occupies just one per cent of a 7,000-acre nature reserve. Each federation style villa comes with its own private enclosed pool and bicycles which you can use to ride around the property. Expect to encounter mobs of kangaroos and wombats who call the valley home, as well as a pristine landscape that is meticulously maintained by a conservation team. For the best kind of picnic experience, let the staff know where you’d like to break for lunch and they’ll drop off a gourmet picnic complete with champagne on ice.
Sleep just metres from the Great Barrier Reef
If you envisage your honeymoon spent snorkelling in aquamarine waters and snoozing in a hammock under palm trees with a coconut in hand, then Tropical North Queensland is calling. Orpheus Island Lodge is an all-inclusive, luxury, private island lodge located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Sleeping just 28 people, guests are treated to three impeccable meals daily, full use of the water sports equipment and a daily Orpheus experience. All you have to do is book and turn up. On Lizard Island, Queensland’s northernmost island resort, children aren’t allowed, 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.
Shuck oysters and sip champagne
On the glorious east coast of Tasmania stands Saffire Freycinet, voted Australia’s most luxurious lodge again and again. Overlooking the magnificent Freycinet National Park and Wineglass Bay, it has 20 private suites and tailors all of its experiences to its guests. Strap on a set of wader boots and visit a working oyster farm to enjoy freshly shucked oysters and champagne while still knee-deep in the crystal clear waters of Coles Bay, or rather, check yourself into their spa for a full day of total relaxation.
Stay on a working cattle station
In the Queensland outback (about a 3.5-hour drive west of Cairns), you can find another all-inclusive luxury property situated on a secluded 28,000-hectare (69,000-acre) heritage site. Mount Mulligan Lodge accommodates just 16 indulged guests at any one time, with each room assigned its own electric buggy to explore the property. Enjoy guided tours of the goldfields that once littered this region, hike around the southern face of Mount Mulligan, go barramundi fishing, or just lay by their infinity pool and order a cocktail at the sunset bar - it’s your holiday.
Be spoiled in the Whitsundays
The Whitsundays is home to 74 stunning islands, a few of which offer luxurious accommodation from which to explore the Great Barrier Reef. At the northern tip of Hamilton Island, is qualia, the island’s most prestigious address. This is where 60 pavilions, fashioned from bluestone, hoop pine and hardwood, are tucked 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. On Hayman Island you can unwind and indulge with a private island experience at InterContinental Hayman Island Resort for an incredible Whitsundays experience. Snorkel or dive the reef on a day trip or just enjoy the incredible resort pool.