Romance shouldn’t be restricted to one day of the year, but if Valentine’s Day reminds us of the importance of treating ourselves and our loved ones to something special, then that’s not a bad thing!
So, if you are thinking of indulging that special someone soon, here are some ideas for the best romantic getaways around Australia, all of which not only include amazing and luxurious accommodation, but also surroundings to entice you, if you must, from under the bed covers to experience the magnificent outdoors!:
- An Escape to the Country – For city dwellers, it is a treat to revel in romantic strolls across hills and dales; alfresco dining under cloudless or moody skies; fireside lounging, preferably with a good book and glass of red in hand; and foraging through quaint villages with curios and antiquities galore. In Queensland, Spicers Retreats offers the ultimate in romantic seclusion, luxurious surroundings, spectacular scenery and iconic food! My favourites include Spicers Clovelly Estate in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, about an hour’s drive north of Brisbane, with its French provincial styling, access to some stunning mountains, lakes and waterfalls and hosting the best regional restaurant in the state, The Long Apron. Spicers Peak at Cunningham’s Gap, about one hour’s drive west of Brisbane, is a hunting lodge sporting horizon-edge pools and spas, open fireplaces, a degustation to die for and some hearty walks to sweat off the indulgences! If you hanker after the rainforest, then luxuriating at Silky Oaks Lodge, overlooking Mossman Gorge in tropical North Queensland, is a must. Dining in an open-sided restaurant surrounded by lush forest is a recipe for romance. If you prefer the mountains for your romance and your connection with nature, in New South Wales, Spicers Sangoma Retreat in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney is an enticing prospect, as you can relax in privacy and luxury, surrounded by some magnificent scenery and hearty walks. Likewise, in Tasmania, Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge is a perfect choice, complete with plenty of hiking trails and the potential for snow – no matter what time of year!
- A Sojourn by the Sea – Summer isn’t over yet, so if you still need your seaside fix, the hottest address on the north coast of New South Wales is Halcyon House, overlooking the scenic and serene Cabarita Beach. Treat yourself and your loved one to the unique feeling of being in the Hamptons, when you haven’t even left the country! Ensure you dine at The Paper Daisy, which showcases the innovative cuisine of head chef and former young Queensland Chef of the Year, Ben Devlin. Closer to Sydney, a stay at Bell’s at Killcare will give you the best of a beach-side location, surrounded by lush countryside. Add to that the iconic Manfredi’s restaurant, with Stefano Manfredi a the helm, and you will think you have died and gone to heaven! Why not take it up a notch and catch a seaplane to and from Sydney to make your stay that much more memorable! If the islands beckon, then One&Only at Hayman Island in Queensland is an enticing prospect, being the closest Whitsunday island to the world-famous Heart Reef – so appropriate for lovers!
- A Staycation in the City – Sometimes it’s too much effort to venture far from home, so a staycation in the city can be a chance to rejuvenate and reconnect without having the hassle of a long journey. In Melbourne, the Mansion Hotel and Spa at Werribee Park is a desirable boutique option only 30 minutes from the CBD. The Italianate mansion, dating from the 1870s, is set in 10 acres of lush gardens – perfect for those early morning or after-dinner romantic strolls. The spa treatments are a specialty – don’t deny yourself! With nearby access to wine tasting, golfing and even an open range zoo, you are spoilt for choice! Spending some quality time at the Islington Hotel in Hobart is a treat or, only 15 minutes drive outside Hobart, on the shores of North West Bay is Villa Howden, a Mediterranean-inspired mansion with 10 luxury suites, set amongst lush gardens. With both being so close to the centre of the action, visits to the Salamanca Markets, dining in some of Hobart’s award-winning restaurants, and walks around historic wharves and nearby convict-built villages, are a must. In Brisbane, Spicers Balfour is a great option, being a wonderful mixture of urban chic and sophisticated luxe, close to the shopping precinct of James St, some great dining options and romantic walks along the river.
- A Getaway in a Vineyard – Winery holidays are really quite special and on my bucket list is to visit every one in Australia at least! They are the perfect combination of gorgeous scenery, unique food and wine experiences, luxe accommodation and quaint nearby village life, complete with farmers’ markets, antique shops and plenty of locals who have time for a chat. For some shabby chic you can’t go past Chateau Yering in the Yarra Valley, about an hour’s drive north of Melbourne, Victoria. An historic home, set on 250 acres, bordering the Yarra River, the beauty of staying here is its proximity to some wonderful vineyards, historic townships and superb dining options in the region – say no more! Spicers Vineyards Estate at Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley, north west of Sydney in New South Wales, offers luxury and seclusion as well as walks in the countryside and quaint village life nearby. In Western Australia, a stay at Cape Lodge in the heart of the Margaret River wine region, three hours’ drive south of Perth, puts you in close proximity to pristine beaches, rugged coastline, native forests and boutique wineries. The region is also famous for its local produce, so sampling a range of delicacies in the lodge’s restaurant, or in the privacy of your suite, is an experience you won’t want to miss.
- An Outback Odyssey – The outback offers a perfect backdrop for romance, and for the most iconic Australian outback experience, you can’t go past Bamurru Plains – situated on the Mary River floodplains close to the world heritage listed Kakadu National Park, in the northern part of the Northern Territory. Termed “wild bush luxury” the lodge offers relaxed safari-style accommodation, from which to explore the wildlife, such as wallabies, crocodiles, dingoes, wild pigs and buffalo, and the stunning scenery. Sunset drinks and dining under the stars also feature in this unique experience! Visiting one of the world’s last remaining wilderness areas, the Kimberley Coast, on Western Australia‘s northern edge, is definitely a bucket list item, and what better way to experience it than a stay at the Berkeley River Lodge. Only accessible by air, your adventure begins as soon as you leave civilisation behind. Situated between the Timor Sea and the Berkeley River, you can indulge in a once-in-a-lifetime experience of watching the sun both rise and set over water – romance personified! Activities include river cruising, helicopter flights, beach picnics, sunset drinks, fishing and hiking, to name a few, or just indulging in the rare pleasure of time together.
So, there’s really no excuse for not indulging in romance this Valentine’s Day!
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