We know; your first days as newlyweds were supposed to be spent in sun-drenched Sicily, until a global pandemic put a dent in those plans. Amid border closures and widespread uncertainty, many couples are pressing pause on their grand international itineraries and indulging in a post-wedding minimoon closer to home instead. And there’s a lot to like about a local honeymoon, not least the cheaper airfares and shorter flights. Here are seven romantic Australia getaways, ordered for your convenience from purse-friendly to seriously plush.
1. Stay in a designer pool house
Fresh from the pages of a glossy magazine, The Pool House scores points for its slick styling and Sunshine Coast locale (Queensland’s Mooloolaba). Sip on cucumber margaritas on the deck and you may as well be in Palm Springs.
From $177/night (also check out its larger neighbour The Palm House, or rent them both together for a group getaway and exclusive use of the pool).
Visit Airbnb to book.
2. Unwind in a tiny eco hut
After an adrenaline-fuelled wedding, JR’s EcoHut in south-east NSW is the perfect place to switch off and unwind. It’s architecturally designed, entirely off-grid and utterly secluded – though it’s known to book up months in advance. If your dates don’t line up, find other teeny-tiny houses here.
Visit Kimo Estate to book.
3. Camp (in style) in the Kimberley
There’s no shortage of super-sumptuous stays in remote Australia, but at Lonely Continent we’re committed to supporting Indigenous-owned businesses where possible. Kooljaman Cape Leveque is an 100 per cent Aboriginal-owned wilderness camp on the Dampier Peninsula, north of Broome, WA. Stay in a deluxe safari beachfront tent, dine on native foods, brush up on your Australian history and behold one the most glorious sunsets in the world.
Visit Kooljaman to book.
4. Drink all the wine
Guests might come to Jackalope on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula for the made-for-Instagram moment (that black infinity pool, those rolling vineyards), but they stay for the farm-to-fork fare: a gourmet degustation at two-hatted Doot Doot Doot, elevated bistro nosh at Rare Hare and daily wine tastings. Beyond the hotel, a wealth of cellar doors, beaches, national parks and hot springs await.
Visit Jackalope to book.
5. Indulge in island life
Why do we escape to far-flung beaches when Australia boasts some of the best in the world? For a relaxed, resort-style honeymoon, try Elysian Retreat in Queensland’s Whitsundays, a solar-powered sanctuary where the rainforest meets the reef. Chic whitewashed bungalows and hammocks are dotted along the shore, with guests capped at 20 and no kids allowed.
Visit Elysian Retreat to book.
6. Spend a night in a luxury lodge
Nestled in the wilderness on the East Coast of Tasmania, Saffire Freycinet frequently tops international hotel lists – perhaps because for all its polish and grandeur, it still feels down to earth. And who doesn’t love a private plunge pool? This is definitely one for the lust list.
Visit Saffire Freycinet to book.
7. Sail away on a superyacht
Turns out yachting holidays aren’t just for the Mediterranean. Sydney Harbour Escapes offers overnight charters for some of its luxury vessels – we like Seaduced, a slick 55′ Riviera. Or you could go the full Beyonce and Jay Z and hire a superyacht from LuxeHouses by Contemporary Hotels, which naturally has private jets on rotation too.
Visit Sydney Harbour Escapes to book.