How to Plan a Romantic Honeymoon in Australia
Romance awaits in the Great Southern Land.
With tropical rainforests, secluded wineries, and breathtaking beaches, Australia has everything every type of couple could want on their honeymoon. “The sheer diversity of our landscapes means there is a part of the country that appeals to every kind of honeymooner, or traveler for that matter—whether they’re seeking out adventure in the heart of the breathtaking Red Centre, or relaxing on beaches that grace the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef,” explains Penny Rafferty, Executive Chair of Luxury Lodges Australia. From hiking in serene nature in Tasmania to exploring the city culture in Sydney or Melbourne, there are ample places to visit and activities to look forward to.
If this sounds like the perfect romantic getaway, read on for everything you need to know about planning your Australian honeymoon—including the best time to go, where to stay, and what to eat.
Meet the Expert
Penny Rafferty is the Executive Chair of Luxury Lodges of Australia.
Related: How to Plan a Romantic Honeymoon in New Zealand
Planning Your Australia Honeymoon
Since the journey to Australia is quite a trek, it’s worth making sure you have at least two weeks in the country. “In reality, honeymooners could spend months soaking up the Australian way of life,” says Rafferty. “Allowing at least two weeks gives travelers time to adjust to a change in time zone, explore the region around them, and revel in meaningful time together.” During your planning, make sure you incorporate a bit of time before and after the trip to help you deal with the time difference, which is a whopping 10-14 hours ahead of most U.S. destinations.
It’s also worth noting that most cities in Australia aren’t easily accessible by car, so you’ll have to incorporate short flights. “For a sense of scale, Australia is not too much smaller in size than the continental US,” explains Rafferty. “The sheer size of the country means consulting with a travel advisor is a great way to ensure you book smart travel routes during your time in Australia, allowing maximum time to experience the destination, the awe-inspiring landscapes, and welcoming culture.”
As for the best time to visit, the best weather is from September to November or March to May. However, this is also the time when most tourists visit the country, so it may be worthwhile to visit a bit before or after to enjoy the weather without the crowds.
Currency: Australian Dollar
When To Go: Although it’s tourist season, the best time to visit Australia is from September to November or March to May. The weather is perfect during this time, making it easy to walk around and explore.
Getting Around: Ubers are easily accessible and can be booked directly from your phone in most major cities. In addition, you’ll find buses and subways in Australia’s biggest cities. Otherwise, you’ll need to rent a car in more secluded areas and fly from city to city since the distances are so large.
How To Get There: Most U.S. airlines fly to the two biggest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, from West Coast destinations, so you’re itinerary will likely include connecting out of San Francisco or Los Angeles. Most recently, United Airlines launched a new direct route from San Francisco to Brisbane, which will help those looking to go directly to the Gold Coast or Brisbane. To visit Cairns, Tasmania, or other Australian cities, you’ll likely need to take short flights on Virgin Australia, Qantas, Jetstar, or Rex once you land in one of the three major Australian cities.
How Much Time To Plan To Be There: Plan for at least two full weeks in Australia to make the most of the long flight. In all honesty, the more time you can spend there, the more you’ll be able to see.
Must pack: Warm weather clothing for Australia’s warm climate, alongside bathing suits, hiking gear, and comfortable walking shoes for exploring cities.
Places to Stay During Your Australia Honeymoon
From resorts on the Great Barrier Reef to sky-high skyscrapers in the major cities, Australia offers a whole slew of accommodation options. All the properties have something special, ranging from 75 acres in the middle of the Scenic Rim to breathtaking views of the Sydney Harbor and Sydney Opera House. Onsite activities include horseback riding, guided bush walks, and direct access to immaculate powdery beaches.
Located directly on the Great Barrier Reef, Lizard Island has direct access to one of the most beautiful ecosystems in the world. “It’s home to 40 luxury villas and suites, 24 powdery beaches, and front-seat access to the splendor of the reef,” says Rafferty. While onsite, she recommends taking a beach hamper picnic with you on a private dinghy ride to enjoy the pure white sands of a completely secluded beach. In addition, couples can take snorkeling lessons, go on reef excursions, paddleboard, play tennis, and more.
Shangri-La Hotel Sydney
If you’re looking to take in all the best of Sydney from above, Shangri-La Sydney is the perfect sanctuary. With panoramic views of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, the hotel’s 36 floors are a great way to take the city in from the sky. One of the main draws to the property is the award-winning dining experiences, which can be enjoyed while taking in the views all around you.
Adventurous honeymooners will revel in all the bush experiences that Bamurru Plains has to offer. “The luxury wildness safari lodge has exclusive access to 300 square kilometers of floodplain and savanna woodland,” says Rafferty. “Thrilling airboat rides across the floodplain and guides bush walks are just a small few of the activities available to honeymooners.” The property itself only hosts about 20 guests at a time in 10 bungalows, so you’ll have ample privacy to take in the wildlife and wilderness around you.
With 75 secluded acres, Beechmont Estate is an incredible reprieve amidst the Scenic Rim. The property is located just 45 minutes from the Gold Coast and 90 minutes from Brisbane, so it makes the perfect escape from the busy city. Farm-to-table dining, guided hikes through nearby Lamington National Park, and a private picnic on the pristine grounds are just a few of the onsite activities that couples can enjoy. Not to mention, the accommodations are housed in individual farmhouse-style cabins with private balconies.
Langham Gold Coast
Nestled between Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach, The Langham Gold Coast is the first new beachfront hotel to open in more than 30 years. With direct beach access, couples can easily spend their time enjoying flawless beaches that line the Gold Coast. However, the Chuan Spa, which offers holistic treatments, indoor and outdoor pools, and renowned Afternoon Tea are just a few of the incredible onsite activities worth making time for.
Situated on Hamilton Island, Qualia is an oceanfront oasis. Surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef, the property offers views of the neighboring Coral Sea and nearby Whitsundays. “Qualia provides exceptional levels of service,” says Rafferty. The property offers two types of accommodations, both secluded pavilions, which provide tons of privacy for newlyweds. During your stay, opt to take private excursions to the Great Barrier Reef or Whitsundays for snorkeling, diving, or other water-based activities. Guests can also take advantage of of the Hamilton Island tours, which allow you to see native wildlife like kangaroos and koalas.
Located just outside the UNESCO World Heritage site of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Longitude 131 is the only accommodation with views of the park. “A suite of signature experiences allows guests to experience one of the most sacred places for indigenous people of Australia,” says Rafferty. The property is made up of tented accommodations, each of which offers a luxury glamping experience with views of the red-dusted dunes directly from your bed.
Park Hyatt Melbourne
With views overlooking St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Fitzroy Gardens, the Park Hyatt Melbourne creates a haven in the heart of the bustling city. The convenient location, beautiful architecture, and luxe guestrooms are just a few of the main draws. However, Park Hyatt is renowned for it’s personalized service, and this hotel doesn’t disappoint.
Things to Do During Your Australia Honeymoon
There are so many incredible activities to do in Australia for every type of couple, ranging from hiking through one of the many national parks to sitting back on a beach to relax. For example, adventure-loving couples will adore renting a car and driving through the scenery of Tasmania, whereas those looking for a relaxing experience should rent a boat and sail the Whitsundays.
From visiting Kangroo Island to winery hopping in the Barossa Valley, here are some of the many activities that you shouldn’t miss out on during your honeymoon to Australia.
Have a Beach Day
Whether you want to enjoy an afternoon on the famous Bondi Beach in Sydney or on one of the many exemplary beaches on the Gold Coast, Australia has plenty of lovely beaches for couples to enjoy. If you’re looking to just sit back and relax, it shouldn’t be difficult to find a quiet spot to spend some quality time together.
Explore the Great Barrier Reef
With the largest living reef system in the entire world, the Great Barrier Reef is something you need to experience firsthand. From world-class snorkeling to diving, there’s no shortage of incredible water activities for you and your loved one to do together.
Drive Through Tasmania
For a once in a lifetime experience, opt for a road trip through Tasmania. The untouched mountains, rivers, forests, beaches, towns, and lookouts provide an idyllic backdrop for some time spent exploring a new place. Whether you’re looking to spend a few days or weeks exploring, there are outstanding views around every corner with easy-to-follow routes. Also, getting to Tasmania is super easy, simply take a short flight or overnight ferry from Melbourne.
Go Winery Hopping in the Barossa Valley
Spending a day at the vineyard underneath feels like something out of a storybook, and Australia’s Barossa Valley has tons of picturesque hidden gems. With over 150 different vineyards in the area, Barossa Valley is renowned for its world-class wineries. And while it’s beloved for its Shiraz, you’ll find excellent Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot there as well.
Hike Through a National Park
There’s no shortage of beautiful National Parks in Australia, which makes it the perfect spot for nature-loving couples to go hiking. The diverse landscape of the country is an incredible backdrop for some of the best hiking trails, and it’ll give you a glimpse of what the land down under has to offer.
Visit Kangaroo Island
If you’re looking to spot some kangaroos and koalas on your Australian adventure, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Kangaroo Island. Dubbed one of the best places in Australia to see wild animals, you can expect to spot sea lions, koalas, kangaroos, and seals during a day trip.
Sail the Whitsundays
Crystal clear blue water, white powdery sand, and lush greenery are highlights of the Whitsundays, which looks like it came directly out of a fairytale. Spend your day taking advantage of some rest and relaxation on the untouched beaches or try out one of the many water sports within the Great Barrier Reef that surrounds it.
Enjoy City Life in Melbourne
Incredible museums, delicious food, and national landmarks are just a few of the things you can look forward to during your time exploring Melbourne. The city is beloved for being a mecca for foodies, art lovers, and sports, and there are ample activities that you can fill your time with, ranging from a cooking class to a gallery visit.
Where to Eat During Your Australia Honeymoon
Whether you’re spending time in Australia’s nature or energetic cities, there are tons of delicious food choices. Opt to try Barramundi, a popular fish, or any of the incredible seafood, which is available just about anywhere. Many of the restaurants are farm-to-table, so you’ll have tons of fresh, local ingredients alongside many different cuisine types.
Lake House Daylesford
According to Rafferty, Lake House Daylesford is a favorite for honeymooners. “Under the guidance of Culinary Director Alla Wolf-Tasker, the kitchen serves innovative dishes, celebrating farming sourced from small-scale suppliers and its own dairy farm.”
Located within the Sydney Opera House, Bennelong prioritizes local produce and wine in every single dish. During a fancy night out, opt to try the three-course a la carte menu, which includes options like housemade koji-enriched noodles and a Maremma pasture-raised duck.
The Agrarian Kitchen
Dubbed one of the best restaurants in Tasmania, this restaurant highlights authentic food by using fresh produce as the main ingredient in each dish. The onsite garden provides all the fresh fruits and vegetables for the restaurant and cooking school—and can be toured by visitors.
Deer Duck Bistro
We’d be remiss to mention that Brisbane’s food scene is extremely underrated, and this spot should be at the top of your list. With a mix of Australian and European cuisine, the fine-dining experience offers a handpicked five to nine-course meal, paired with delicious wines.
Offering stunning views of Melbourne, Bomba is a fan favorite for pre and post-dinner drinks and snacks. Don’t miss out on the handcrafted cocktails or delicious authentic Spanish tapas, which are the perfect after-dinner treat.
This underrated pizza spot features traditional pies and rustic dishes, all intended to be shared. Plus, all the food is accompanied by a vast selection of wine and cocktails, which were specifically created to complement the menu.
Gray and Gray
Created by a fine dining chef and a sommelier, Gray and Gray focuses on Russian and Georgian food. Prepare to kick things off with Georgian-style flatbreads, followed by seasonal dishes such as kiszka (a traditional Ashkenazi sausage) and dessert, which is typically served in the form of thick wedges of a 10-layered medovik (Russian honey cake).
Hidden within the HOTA gallery, Palette Restaurant is a true feast for the senses. Each dish takes inspiration from the artworks and exhibitions within the gallery, proving that creating dishes is an artwork of its own.
Budgeting for an Australian Honeymoon
As with any honeymoon, a trip to Australia can vary, depending on how you fly, where you stay, and what activities you choose to fill your time with. It’s best to budget around $8,000 to $10,000 and upwards for around fourteen days.
However, if you plan to splurge on business-class flights and ultra-luxe hotels, you’ll have to spend a bit more. Those looking to save could incorporate more road trips, affordable hotels, and more nature-focused activities
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