Located on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef — at the heart of the Whitsunday Islands — surrounded by sapphire waters, beautiful beaches and attractive coral reefs, Hamilton Island is a paradisiacal destination. The island has year-long sunshine and has many romantic things to do, such as spa retreats, sunset charters, and excellent food and wines.
To Do: Take a scenic flight over Heart Reef–a 17 metres-wide slices of the reef, sculpted in the shape of a heart-shaped atoll.
Foodies: Enjoy a cocktail or glass of champagne at sunset atop Hamilton Island’s watch, One Tree Hill, and a romantic dinner in Bommie Restaurant and Pub with uninterrupted views of the Whitsundays.
Sleep: Be immersed in a calm atmosphere, and pampered with a personalised ceremony at the adults-only hotel, qualia–voted by Condé Nast Traveler readers as’Best Resort in the World for 2012′.
2. NEW SOUTH WALES
Only an hour’s drive west of Newcastle and 2 hours’ drive north of Sydney, the Hunter is a renowned couple’s escape, dotted with world-class wineries and cellar-door restaurants and home to a jam-pack yearlong calendar of events.
To Do: Experience the magic of the Hunter from the atmosphere, with a romantic hot air balloon excursion high above the vineyards.
Foodie: Enjoy a glass of wine among the vines at award-winning Brokenwood Wines and dinner in the cozy and intimate Restaurant Botanica at The Vineyards Estate; both are located in Pokolbin.
Sleep: Stay in luxury at the Château Élan in The Vintage, overlooking Greg Norman-designed fairways and the vales of the Hunter Valley.
Unconventional but filled with unique and natural wonder, Hepburn Shire is an inspirational area. The city of Daylesford is a gem from the region’s crown, home to many spas, cottages, and bed and breakfasts.
To Do: Explore the area’s mystical and healing allure, bathe in the waters of one of the area’s many mineral springs.
Foodie: Dine on contemporary Australian cuisine with regional flavours at Daylesford’s establishment Mercato, amid a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere.
Sleep: Recline is a setting that reflects the area’s off-the-beaten-track allure; Jolee Bed & Breakfast offers a romantic ambience surrounded by beautiful bushland.
Awash with fabulous colours, pink granite hills, white sand beaches, grey-green casuarinas, and sapphire seawater — the Freycinet Peninsula is a stunning holiday destination. Rich with impressive organic settings and background, dotted with luxury lodging, and removed from the hustle and bustle of town life, the Tasmanian drawcard is the best place for a romantic escape.
To Do: Visit Wineglass Bay, among the world’s most stunning beaches, home to white, silica-rich deserts, and interesting granite rock formations.
Foodie: Love award-winning la carte meals, complemented with local produce and wines, in The Bay Restaurant and Hazards Bar at Freycinet Lodge. Try the oysters; they’re a famous Freycinet specialty.
Sleep: Designed with privacy, comfort, relaxation and rejuvenation in mind, Saffire Freycinet connects guests with its stunning coastal surrounds within an inspiring and lavish setting. The perfect Tasmanian romantic getaway for couples.
5. SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Steeped in tradition and heritage, the Barossa Valley’s vine-covered mountains are sprinkled with historic villages, stone cottages and old wine estates. A little over an hour’s drive northeast of Adelaide, the Valley was settled and recognised as a wine region and now produces over half of Australia’s wine. Fostering a relaxed and unhurried pace, the area provides for an authentic and romantic escape.
To Do: Experience the best of the Barossa Valley — including renowned Shiraz varieties — with a whole day wine and food tour.
Foodie: Plan a picnic at star chef, Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop. A range of picnic baskets can be purchased on-site, to be appreciated on Farm Shop grounds.
Stay: Discover peace and solitude, seclusion and space in the heart of the Barossa, Stonewell Cottages & Vineyards suites are put on the expansive private vineyard estate, overlooking a scenic lake.
6. WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Located only three hours’ drive south of Perth, Margaret River helms an awe-inspiring region, filled with rolling green hills, fantastic food adventures, and breathtaking ocean and forest settings.
To Do: Discover the area’s famous for cabernets and chardonnays with an onsite experience at wineries such as Stella Bella, Leeuwin Estate, Watershed, and Pierro.
Foodie: Reserve a table at Voyager Estate’s restaurant and dine on a whole food and wine degustation, amid a magnificent Cape Dutch architecture setting.