While a myriad of our favorite international destinations may be out of reach (for now), our wanderlust has never wavered, inspiring and enticing us to explore and experience the vast and majestic corners of our own home soil. Enveloped by glittering coastlines and rugged terrain, Australia is steeped in an unmatched intoxicating beauty (which we so often take for granted), making it a perfect honeymoon destination that stacks up against the rest.
With endless opportunity, we asked globetrotter and self-confessed water baby, model and photographer Emily Yates to share with us her little black book of Australian destinations for an unforgettable romantic getaway. From cosy beach shacks perched amongst hidden private bays to luxurious, once-in-a-lifetime tropical resorts, serene crystal-water islands to soulful desert-scapes, undulating coastlines and everything in between, she did not disappoint… there is a destination here for any budget, any style.
Satellite Island, Tasmania
If you were planning on a remote Nordic Fiordland honeymoon this year, have no fear, I have you sorted. A private island, off an island, off an island, off an island – Satellite Island is the ultimate in secluded luxury. Spend the days collecting fresh oysters off the rocks and washing them down with champagne, and the nights drifting off over the water to the sound of the often bioluminescent waters lapping the open boathouse. I’m warning you though, once you come to Satellite Island, you will be plagued by a heartsickness to return year after year. I came for my 30th, and have been every year since.
Sal Salis, Western Australia
I know I often wax poetic about Rottnest Island, so I’m not going to bore you with an aggressively patriotic description of the West’s beauty. But just know, you never seen water so blue, land so vast, soil so red, or sunsets so spectacular than in the West (I’m done, I swear!). Sal Salis is a luxury safari camp nestled in the dunes just metres from Ningaloo Reef. If you dream of swimming with whale sharks, gorge walking and star gazing at what feels like the end of the earth – this is your spot.
The Little Black Shack, Great Mackerel Beach
In the small sun kissed bays of the Northern Beaches of Sydney, sits a house unlike any other. Perched on the soft seaside, The Little Black Shack is exactly what the name suggests. A secluded beach shack, open to the elements with it’s own private beach access to boot. Accessible only by ferry or private boat, stock up on groceries and spend some time making wood-fired pizzas under a starlit sky to the sound of the ocean caressing the shoreline.
Rottnest Island, Western Australia
If you’re looking for opulence and five-star service, then skip right along. HOWEVER, if you’re not looking to mortgage your house for a honeymoon but still want the allure of the Greek Islands – look no further. A 30-minute ferry ride from Fremantle in Perth will put you on what I will vehemently argue as the most beautiful place in Australia. Pack sunglasses, because the turquoise blue water glinting off the powder-white sands will burn your retinas. No cars here, bicycle or the old foot falcon are the only ways to get around the island.
You can choose from two types of accommodation; the heritage-listed cottages, or the luxury glamping tents of Discovery Rottnest Island. My tips for honeymooners is to book a stand-alone cottage or a Deluxe Dune Tent – both will have ocean views and be secluded enough to enjoy some privacy. Or if bougie luxury is more your thing, then hold out for the new Hotel Rottnest opening Summer 2020.
Orpheus Island, Far North Queensland
Located in the Great Barrier Reef and accessible only by helicopter, this slice of tropical paradise is truly worth the hype. If spending your days paddle boarding over vibrant corals, feeding baby reef sharks and soaking up the sun rays poolside with a cocktail (all inclusive, of course) screams your newly married name, than this is the place to kick-off those wedding heels and indulge the art of relaxation.
Yacht Hire, Whitsunday Islands
So, want something a little different? The run of the mill resort and spa just doesn’t tickle that metaphorical fancy? Well, how about skippering your own yacht around Australia’s most beautiful archipelago of islands. No licence is required – you’ll receive a comprehensive briefing before you set sail (or, can hire a skipper if you’re not quite Bear Grylls enough for that option). Just imagine – the two of you and 74 tropical islands to explore at your leisure. Sign. Me. Up.
Longitude 131°, Uluru
Looking to make it short, sweet, but totally unforgettable? Then sleeping in arguably Australia’s most breathtaking Unesco World Heritage site has got to be on the to-do list (I know it’s on mine). With direct views to Uluru across the dusty red soil plains, this truly is a cultural experience like no other. A once in a lifetime, bucket list experience.
Raes on Wategos, Byron Bay
As close to a European getaway that you’re going to get in 2020. Raes is my favourite Australian haunt. Chic, almost sculptural rendered white walls against a backdrop of crystal blue rolling waves and gently swaying pandanus. You can eat, shop and drink your way around idyllic Byron Bay (I’m biased, I live here) while hubby surfs the day away. If you’re a dynamic duo who thrives on action and activity, then the shire is the perfect spot to let off some of that post-wedding steam. Note: They do the best prawn sandwich I have ever tasted. Ever.
Capella Lodge, Lord Howe Island
This, fellow readers, is my ultimate bucket list destination. I keep hinting furiously at my husband that this is where I want to spend some form of occasion. Birthday, 10 year anniversary – I don’t care, just get me there. Think Tahiti having a baby with Hawaii, add an Australian accent and you pretty much have Lord Howe Island. This is the ultimate luxury getaway – and for those that really want to indulge in romance (FYI that’s me. I want to indulge in this romance. I will even go as someone’s luggage carrier).
Lotus House, Magnetic Island
She’s tropical, she’s sultry, she’s perched on the picturesque shores of an island floating around in the Great Barrier Reef (artistic licence taken there). I’m talking about the Lotus House located on Magnetic Island, a tropical paradise off the coast of Far North Queensland. The best part part about Magnetic Island (Maggie to the locals, of which I am one), is that you can spend the days exploring the bays and bars in a topless Mini Moke. There really is nothing quite like the feeling of having fresh air dry your salt crusted locks after a long day of island lazing, and coming home to your open air Balinese style beach villa to rinse the day away.
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