If you’re looking for adventure – or for a laid-back honeymoon on the beach – it’s hard to go wrong with Australia, a country that provides natural wonders, cultural arts, charming hotels, and unique tours that you can’t find anyplace else on Earth. There are six states in Australia, and the continent is so large (about the size of the United States) that you may not be able to see everything in one visit, but a week or 10 days should give you time to get a grand taste of what the country has to offer.
Australia Honeymoon: The Basics
Beachside accommodations abound in Australia, and couples who want to tuck themselves into a top-notch resort for the duration of their honeymoon will not be disappointed in the possibilities. Consider the fabulous Hayman Island Resort in Queensland, one of the country’s most esteemed establishments; the comparatively remote Lizard Island Resort, with its superb diving, fishing, and gourmet picnicking on secluded beaches; or BLUE Sydney, a five-star boutique hotel built in 2000 that will put you at the heart of Sydney’s attractions, dining, and nightlife.
For a change of pace, stay at the Victorian Chateau Yering in Melbourne, located in the middle of the country’s wine region and facing the Yarra River; the top-ranked Thorngrove Manor Hotel in Adelaide; or the five-star Hunter Lodge, located in a vineyard in Pokolbin, New South Wales. Another possibility – especially if you want lots of alone time – is LifeTime Private Retreats on Kangaroo Island, which places you in your own private home, provides gourmet food, and gives you the option of adding helicopter picnics, private yoga sessions, massages, or deep-sea fishing. While staying at any of these resorts, you can make arrangements for activities such as wine tasting, hot air ballooning, boating, canoeing, motorcycle touring, diving, biking, hiking, outback safaris, or cruising.
Australia Honeymoon: Cruising!
And speaking of cruising, Australia offers an incredible number of cruise options, from jaunts around Sydney Harbor to explorations of the Great Barrier Reef to cruises to the Whitsunday Islands. You can also book a cruise on the Murray River, where you will get a taste of the country’s Aboriginal culture at the Aboriginal Australia Art and Culture Centre, or cruise the Daintree Rainforest, which abounds with wildlife. Nature lovers will also enjoy seeing koala bears on Kangaroo Island, swimming with dolphins in Baird Bay or whale sharks on Ningaloo Reef, seeing the fairy penguins on Phillip Island, or exploring the Blue Mountains by foot, mountain bike, or on horseback.
Treks – also called “walkabouts” or “bushwalks” in Australia – are also a good way to see the country, and you can set out from just about anywhere. Great spots for bushwalking include Kakadu National Park, a World Heritage Site in the Northern Territory; the Gawler Ranges in South Australia; Freycinet National Park and Hartz Mountains National Park in Tasmania; and Windjana Gorge National Park in Western Australia.
Australia Honeymoon: Hot Spots
No matter how far you wish to wander, you will probably want to take in some of the city life, which includes dining, cultural arts, nightclubs, shopping, and sightseeing. You won’t want to miss Sydney, the largest city in the country. You may want to invest in a See Sydney & Beyond Smartvisit Card, which provides free access to more than 40 Sydney museums, tours, and local attractions, and will definitely save you money if you plan to spend a lot of time in the city. Be sure to tour Sydney Harbour, either by boat, helicopter, bus, or monorail, and visit the Sydney Opera House, the Royal Botanic Gardens, and the Taronga Zoo. Also, take the opportunity to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge and you’ll be rewarded with a group photo and a certificate celebrating your achievement. End your day at Bondi Beach for some excellent seafood and wine, and top your meal off with a gelato.
Melbourne hosts the Australian Open tennis tournament in January, and the city is also known for its lively arts and shopping scenes and its excellent restaurants. Observe the city from atop the Melbourne 360 observation deck, stop in at the Werribee Open Range Zoo or spend the day diving at the Point Cooke Marine Sanctuary. Brisbane, Cairns, Perth, and Canberra are also worth a stop, and each city has its own unique flavor. Don’t miss a visit to Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, your gateway to the Outback.
Australia is the perfect place to make your honeymoon dreams come true. If you don’t get to see everything on one trip, that’s just another reason for coming back to the beautiful land Down Under!