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Published June 21st 2014
Retreats for Dates, Honeymoons & Special Occasions
Think romantic getaways and destinations like Bali, Phuket, Langkawi, Boracay, Amsterdam, Paris, Istanbul and even New York come to mind. If you're planning a getaway for two, Australia is also an excellent candidate with plenty of popular retreats and less-known hideaways located in the various states. Whether you're looking to relax by the water, stroll among the grapevines, listen to nature's melody or soak in the rich history, there is something to match your fancy. Here are 9 romantic destinations to help you and your partner get into the mood.
If you and your partner have always dreamed of holidaying on your own private island, now you can. Double Island, previously available only for whole island use is now open to individuals for short stays. Accessible from Palm Cove by a 20 minutes boat ride or 10 minutes helicopter flight, this romantic escape will enchant you with its palm fringed sandy beaches, lush tropical gardens, oversized hammocks, lagoon style pool and island breezes. You and your partner can enjoy the island at leisure and retreat to your private bungalow.
Hidden in the tranquil and secluded mountain top of the Hunter Valley and Barrington region is Cabins in the Clouds. Three spa cabins offer privacy surrounded by greenery and spectular views of the surrounds. For a romantic getaway, you and your partner can enjoy sweeping valley views while soaking in your own jacuzzi or indulge in a variety of beauty and spa treatments in the comfort of your cabin. A short drive to the valley will take you to boutique wineries, olive groves, dining and shopping.
Knuckey Lagoons Villa, Northern Territory
Photo courtesy of Knuckey Lagoons Villa
A short 15 minutes drive from Darwin CBD will take you to a hidden retreat on the edge of a lagoon featured in the National Geographic Magazine. Knuckey Lagoons Villa is so private, its only you and your partner. There's no one else except the picturesque native bush land, tropical orchards, surrounding gardens and lagoons, passing wildlife and a private pool with waterfall. With everything you need for a romantic vacation in and around the villa, you can just relax and soak in the surrounds. If you looking for more to do, Darwin and Kakadu is just an easy drive away.
Take a step back in time with the rich history of Cape Schanck Lighthouse and its surrounds in Mornington Peninsula. Better yet, enjoy a romantic vacation with your partner in the lovely self-contained Museum Cottage on the grounds of the Lighthouse. This 1887 timber cottage was previously a residence of the Lighthouse Keepers. Your own lookout just behind the cottage will allow you and your partner to take in the magnificent views of Bass Strait and sunsets while sipping on wine.
There's plenty to do around the Lighthouse including tours up the lighthouse in the museum, head off to a picnic lunch at Bushrangers Bay or enjoy the rock pools around Gunnamatta Surf Beach. From your cottage, you can also discover the Mornington Peninsula with its vineyards, orchards, artisan shops and farmers market.
Imagine taking an al fresco bath among the scenic surrounds of the Barossa. This is a signature experience in a beautiful and secluded corner of Kingsford Homestead. Located in a private 225 acre sheep station, this heritage 1856 homestead offers you and your partner a slice of country romance with the smell of morning dew, strolling through the vines, wine tasting in the cellar, savouring artisan food and wine, enjoying a relaxing massage and warming up by the fire. There's still the rest of the Barossa Valley to explore.
Bundeena Beachshack, New South Wales
Photo courtesy of Bundeena Beachshack
Don't be put off by the word "beachshack". While it's not much to look at, this hideaway just an hour's drive from Sydney is a restored 1926 fisherman's cottage. Bundeena Beachshack on Gunyah Beach offers a romantic and relaxing getaway with swimming, snorkelling and bush walks at your doorstep. You and your partner can explore Port Hacking in the kayaks, go shore fishing, take a romantic stroll along the pristine beach or just enjoy a quiet dinner overlooking the water.
Located 90 minutes from Cairns are timber pole tree houses that offer a unique family experience among the flora and fauna of North Queensland. The Canopy Rainforest Treehouses and Wildlife Sanctuary is camouflaged among 100 acres of pristine tropical rainforest. You and your partner can wake up to panoramic views of the native Australian flora overlooking flowing waters, listen to the music of forest birds and watch the fluttering of butterflies, all from the sanctuary of your chalet. For the more indulgent experience a full array of rainforest massages and treatments are available, performed in the privacy of your tree house balcony by a qualified masseuse or therapist.
The Mansion Hotel and Spa offers a tranquil retreat in 10 acres of manicured gardens just 30 minutes from Melbourne. Its charms extends to the Italianate-style architecture and Victorian period interiors completed in 1877. You and your partner can also enjoy access to the garden around Werribee Mansion with quiet shaded spots, pond and original grotto. The nearby Victoria State Rose Garden displays 5000 roses. This living postcard of 19th century Australia, together with fine dining and beautiful surrounds offers the setting for a romantic getaway.
Located just 25 minutes from Hobart in a 1825 convict-built riverfront mansion. Once referred to as 'The Grand Old Dame by the River', Woodbridge on the Derwent offers a romantic retreat in a beautifully restored property for only 16 guests. You and your partner can enjoy the grounds including activities along the banks of the Derwent River and access to a private truffle orchard. Situated in the Derwent Valley, you also have easy access to Tasmania's gourmet food bowl with wineries, farm gate producers and restaurants.