Best honeymoon destinations Australia

Australia is a perfect place for travellers in general, but even better for honeymooners! This blog is all about finding the best honeymoon destinations Australia has to offer. Australia is a big place, so you really want to focus on some key locations with lots of activities. Make the most out of your limited time. That means you stay in one place longer, rather than moving around too much.

Some of the key attractions for honeymooners such as BridgeClimb Sydney or Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef are ‘classics’. But whatever you decide to do, you will need to consider the weather conditions in Australia. You might be surprised to know that the summer season (Nov – March) is not actually the best time to travel Australia. More details on this in Point 2 below.

sydney opera house

These honeymoon destinations Australia will work

1. Fascinating Sydney and surrounds

Many travellers will arrive in Sydney. After a long flight it’s a good idea to stay in one place for a couple of days. That way, you get to make the most of your ‘recovery time’ to get active and get a sense of the spirit of Sydney. It can be a frantic place with lots of business activities typical of a large city. But, it’s also a fascinating place to start your honeymoon in Australia. Once you are in the centre of ‘town’, you can use public transport to get around pretty much anywhere. We often recommend that to start your stay in Sydney, you go on a half day city tour – this will help to familiarise you with the grid layout. With Australia Luxury Escape tours, you will also get to cover Bondi Beach. However, if you choose their Ultimate City tour you’ll get to sail on Sydney harbour. How cool is that!?

Apart from the the city highlights, there are also major attractions beyond the city – places like the Blue Mountains or the Hunter Valley – they’re  only only a couple of hours away. Don’t bother renting a car and driving around yourself. It really is best to join a guided trip – so much easier and convenient. You will save so much of your valuable time – plus you’ll avoid those nasty ‘toll road’ charges leading to outside areas from Sydney.

And whatever you do, don’t try to self-driving state by state yourself. Australia is a vast continent and believe me, it’ll take you ages – especially if you only have a couple weeks! By far, the best way to move around between key locations is by using domestic flights. Although there are some flights to Ayers Rock and Alice Springs that are probably overpriced, as far as the rest of Australia goes, domestic flights are very competitively priced – remember, you are covering very large distances.

 

2. Exploring Northern Queensland

Let’s touch briefly on Climate.  As previously mentioned, there is a huge variation of climate across Australia. The southern areas could have a dry spell, but the northern Australia areas have their rainy season. The best time to visit Northern Queensland is in the winter season (from April until September). You can also travel outside those times, but you will have a much more enjoyable honeymoon experience if the weather works for you.

Most travellers head for the tropical part of Australia for the snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef as well as the Daintree Forest trips. There is so much more though! The key advice we can give, is to stay at least 3-4 nights in Port Douglas to make the journey north work. Fly into Cairns Airport and either get a rental car (for short drives) or just use a local transport coach. We love Port Douglas, and despite it being quite touristy, it has such a lovely relaxed vibe -just perfect for honeymooners!

You will get a wide range of accommodation options. These may include apartment style or boutique hotels such as The Peninsula. But for something really special, like a honeymoon, I’d go for something like Silky Oaks lodge any time!

The Daintree forest offers romantic treehouse stays for honeymooners

Silky Oaks Lodge is located outside town in the rain forest, so you may want to use a rental car. That way you can spend time at the Mossman Gorge, Wildlife Habitat or at Hartley’s Croc Centre! For a major draw-card like the Daintree Forest, I would definitely recommend a local tour with small group numbers.  You’ll cover so much more when its personalized.

Daintree guided day walk

3. Feel the magic of the Outback

Next, we’re off to the ‘big red’! There are direct domestic flights from Cairns to Ayers Rock and Alice Springs. It often works quite nicely to fly into Ayers/ Uluru and out of Alice Springs. Unfortunately there is a kind of a monopoly in Ayers Rock (one hotel group owns the place), so prices are high. Alice Springs has better prices, but it’s about 500 kms (300 miles) and 5 hours drive one-way to Uluru! This can be done, as the road is very straight. But it’s a tedious drive.

Once you arrive in Ayers Rock, you can pick-up a rental car from the airport and start exploring. The best time of the year for this area,  is winter (April-Sept). If you need to travel during other times of the year, be prepared for extremely high temperatures. Also, big-fat blow-flies can make life really miserable when you’re out walking . Believe me, these guys have no fear! You’ll need to purchase a sun hat with netting.

uluru rock is a key location for honeymoon holidays

 

Apart from those few negative points, this part of Australia has a magic all of its own. To absorb the spirit of Uluru, Walk around ‘the rock’ – this is best done in the mornings. Or you could visit the ‘Olgas’ and ‘Twin Sisters’ during sunset. Go with a local aboriginal guide to explore the local history, culture and stories – a lot of folks find this amazing. There is an array of activities and tours to do.

As to accommodation, you do have limited options. From ‘Lost Camel’ to ‘Desert Gardens’ to the ‘Sails in the Desert’ hotels, all these are owned and operated by the same hotel group. If you want something special, check out Longitude 131. Yes, it is priced accordingly, but you won’t remember the price, but you’ll never forget the once-in-a- lifetime’ experience. That’s what a honeymoon is all about, right!?

Longitude 131 is the perfect romantic retreat for a special trip to Australia

4. Taste mother nature on Kangaroo Island

After the colour red we get you to the colour blue again! Heading south with a direct flight from Alice Springs to Adelaide. The capital of South Australia is worth a stay for 2-3 nights. You can use it as the jumping board to head over to Kangaroo Island. It’s an often forgotten place in travellers itineraries. Since I’ve been there I was ‘hooked’. The place is special. They call it the ‘Galapagos of Australia’. If you head over from Adelaide use the fly-fly option please. Going all the way by ferry (and back) is a very long haul.

If you have a bit more spare time (and cash) then spend 2-3 nights on Kangaroo Island. A place such as Southern Ocean Lodge is yet another ‘special’ place you might want to consider. In any case you want to join a local tour. Operators such a Kangaroo Island Wilderness Tours doing a splendid job. Reason why? They run their trips in small, personalised numbers and have knowledgeable local guides.

 

5. Get into the foodie scene in Melbourne

Last but not least… back to one of Australia’s biggest cities. Most honeymooners love trying different cuisines – hey, we all do!. So that alone, makes Melbourne is an amazing place to experience the local food scene. From Italian to Greek, Spanish to Japanese, Australia has attracted so many immigrants over the past 200 years. Spend some time walking around the busy streets and corner in the Flinders area. You will see, smell and taste the world in Melbourne. As with Sydney you might want to consider a half day city tour to get familiar with the local scene.

Well, with those 5 key places for Australia you would have cover quite comfortably, some wonderful key highlights in 10-14 days.

To get started with your planing and see your options in more details, check out our Australia honeymoon itineraries.

Happy Honeymoon Travelling!

Travel Planning Australia

Australia is a huge continent, – about the size of the USA.  So, when travel planning Australia and you’re on limited time, you won’t be able to see all of it – not by a long shot. But it is good to know that you can actually cover large distances across Australia, with domestic flights. Once you arrive at any one locations can either use local transport service or a rental car. A motor home is a very cool option if you’re touring the Australian Outback. It’s such a plus to have air-conditioning, a fridge and a comfortable ride.

Travel Planning Australia

It would be virtually impossible to cover all aspects of travel planning Australia, in just the one blog. But I promise you, it will be a great starting point. If, at the end of this blog, you have a few handy Australia travel tips of your own, please feel free to put these in the comments section.

Suggestion 1: Do some initial Australia research

To get started, have a look at the Australia.com Visitor Information site. This will help you get a visual overview on where you want to go and what you’d like to do. These decisions will obviously be based on your interests and level of fitness. Visitors to Australia require an entry visa, so do check this section first. Remember, depending on what passport you are travelling on, the visa application process could take some time. (New Zealand passport holders do not require an entry visa.) A vital part of your Australia research is to sort out your travel dates.  The next step is to consider the climate and weather conditions for the time that you’re selected to travel.

Port Douglas travel planning

Suggestion 2: weather and climate – summer is not always best!

Within the vast continent of Australia, there are different time zones – but more importantly, there are huge climatic contrasts across Australia! This aspect of planning is often overlooked – but trust me, this is so important! Mostly all most travellers assume that ‘summer’ is the best time to travel any country. This is quite the opposite for Australia. In fact, the only exception to this, is Tasmania. The Australian summer season is between November and March. It can be unbearably hot at this time of year. In the summer for 2019, Adelaide recorded 47 degrees celsius or 116 Fahrenheit.  Even Sydney and Melbourne, have high temperatures in the summer season. And in the Outback, it can be even worst! For the northern region (e.g. Darwin, Cairns) you have the cyclone season with heavy rain, strong winds and extreme humidity. Not many of us are very happy with these conditions.

Suggestion 3: Focus on key locations and stay longer

There are a few self-drives within Australia you may have time to do. On the other hand, if you could spare a period of 6-8 months, you would be able to criss-cross the continent. But if you have only have 2-3 weeks, don’t even think about it!

I’d recommend a stay of 3-5 nights at one location – this will give you more time to explore each of your chosen areas. To save you time, you can then can use a domestic flight to explore the next region. Sample: Northern Queenstown with Cairns & Port Douglas. One day you could go snorkelling the reef. The next day, a relaxing tour of the Daintree Forest.

Daintree Forest holiday research

Daintree Forest

Another day, you might do Kuranda or visit the Wildlife Habitat. This approach is very successful and will focus your time. To many people, myself included, have actually driven over these vast distances for many days and have vowed “never again”!

Suggestion 4: Self-driving Australia

Here are the highlight drives we do actually recommend and have done ourselves. As mentioned, you can build these scenic drives into your overall itinerary by using domestic flights:

Great Ocean Road:

This is a very popular ‘classic’ and can be done in 3 nights, or better still, 4-5 nights.

Travel Planning Australia with Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road

If you want to do the Great Ocean Road, I usually recommend that you travel from Adelaide to Melbourne. That way, you’ll avoid relocation or one-way rental car fees. The longest time you will spend on any one day, will be from Adelaide to Mt. Gambier (6-7 hrs). The next stop after Mt Gambier, is Port Fairy, which is  your last stop. After Port Fairy, you’ll be cruising into Melbourne!

Western Australia:

Western Australia is a destination on its own. If you have 1 week to spare,  you will be able to cover Perth and the Margaret River area. If you have 2 weeks, you can easily add the southern southern coast line to include Denmark and Albany area. These two areas are quite stunning!

Western Australia travel route itinerary

Elephant Rocks – Denmark Western Australia

Brisbane, Noosa and Fraser Island:

In my opinion, travelling all the way up the eastern coast of Australia is not a good idea. Although some parts are manageable and interesting, it really is quite tedious. Once again, this is where domestic flights come in very handy, especially if you want to visit Fraser Island.  And believe me, you will want to do this.  Its that type of place a lot of travellers revisit.

My favourite area out of the above 3, would have to be Fraser Island, a heritage-listed island found off Australia’s eastern Queensland coast. In fact, it is the world’s largest sand island, stretching over 120km. I guess you could quite rightly describe Fraser Island as an  ecotourism destination.

Exploring Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island

 

Suggestion 5: Accommodation options Australia

Australia is full of outstanding accommodation options. Unlike New Zealand, there are not as many Bed & Breakfast options, but you can find some good ones. Many regions are well covered with hotels and resort. If you like ‘special places’ and are happy to spend a little extra, why not choose some of the Luxury Lodges of Australia. They are located in amazing settings and provide exceptional service with top-notch facilities. Many of them include transfer and guiding services.

Magic Southern Ocean Lodge

Suggestion 6: Tours in smaller groups

One key aspect of your holiday in Australia are the activities and tours you will undertake. We believe the key difference between a ‘nice experience’ and a ‘wow experience’ is a personalised tour. These tours mostly have local guides with a wide knowledge.  Its it so more more personalised if you’re in a small party with maybe 4-6 travellers.  Yes, you will be paying a bit more, but the memory will last a lifetime.  Ask yourself, how often do you travel to Australia!? Here is a list of sample tours worthwhile considering.

Aquarium Sailing and Snorkelling from Port Douglas

Instead of being with 500 people on a cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef, why not take a leisurely cruise with just 10-15 people? For something like this, I’d recommend the Aquarius – a luxurious catarmaran -the food will be so much better too!

Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef

Daintree Forest Explorer

Again, small is beautiful. You’ll get a Personal guide, attention to details and you’ll meet interesting people! These smaller tours tend to have more flexibility to visit places that may be of great personal interest to you.  In other words, they can change the plan on any given day, time permitting.

Uluru Awakening Experiences

Instead of ‘meeting the crowds’ at Uluru at 5.30am why not use a local guide. Either in group or as a private booking?

Ayers Rock holiday

Kangaroo Island ex Adelaide

This is such a ‘classic’! Instead of the 18 hours coach-ferry-coach trip from Adelaide, why not use a short flight to Kangaroo Island, go with a local operator in a small tour group and be back for dinner!?

Here are some sample travel itineraries providing you with a good ‘kick-starter’.

Summary on your Australia holiday planning:

1.  Do the initial research. Check key subjects such as climate and your Australia travel locations.
2.  Plan on staying stay longer by choosing fewer locations to explore. Less is more!
3.  With your limited time, the smartest way to cover key locations is by using domestic flights.

If you follow the above strategies, I guarantee it will help you to achieve the best possible Australia travel experience. We understand there is much to consider when planning your Australia trip. So, for any questions, please contact us – we’ll guide you in the right direction!

For more travel planing check out some sample Australia holiday itineraries. This will make it all easier for you!

Happy travelling Australia!

Margaret River highlights

Wine Tasting

Once in Perth Australia to take in Margaret River Highlights, get ready to taste great wines.  We were so lucky to get real characters on the wine tours we took.  You won’t find any pretentiousness.  In fact the winemakers are quick to tell you that “there’s no romance in wine – “just bloody hard work”. We tend to stick with the boutique wineries.  With the smaller wineries, you’ll have a better chance of meeting the actual winemaker.  So you’ll probably want to stay a bit longer for a chat. Whatever boutique winery you visit, you’ll be guaranteed a sampling of a handcrafted product. These wines consistently score in the high 90’s. One of these is the Brown Hill Wines. To get to this winery from Margaret River, you can enjoy a beautiful scenic 12 km drive. See top attractions.

Margaret River highlights

Brown Hill Estate

Actually for us, this was the best wine-tasting experience of the day. Bill Bailey was happy to share his vast knowledge and very strong opinions on what he considers a good wine. Next on our list of wineries, was the beautiful 300 hectare Voyager Estate property – all 300 hectares of it.

Margaret River Highlights

Voyager Estate property

This building has a very large interior and a sizeable restaurant.  There is a separate tasting area and lounge.  On a cold day the crackling in the hearth is very comforting. This winery has a rustic style. There is a complimentary tasting option, but you’ll find that a fee will be charged sampling the top tiers. We also popped into the Leeuwin estate.  Now this is a great lunch option, as it has a cafe, plus a full restaurant. Its great to have options!

Voyager Estate2

Coffee and Chocolate

But there’s more than just wineries in the Margaret River Highlights.  If you’re looking for a one-stop shop for coffee and chocolate, look no further than Yahava Koffeeworks and Temper Temper Fine Chocolate. The Yahava Koffeeworks is a fascinating warehouse for coffee and tea lovers. The coffee beans are roasted and blended on site. The smells are delicious.

Koffeeworks margaret River

On the day we visited The Temper Temper Chocolate shop and factory it was a wet and windy day. But inside, it was so warm.  You’ll have a great time browsing through a vast selection of goodies. And its good to know that the cacao used in the chocolate is sourced from sustainable farms.  How interesting that their suppliers are from over 24 different origins.

Temper Temper chocolate

No visit to a place like this is complete without a hot chocolate drink.  Its dark and rich with a wonderful after flavour. You’d be spoilt for choice – every variety of chocolate is on display.  The Madagascar chocolate was my absolute favourite.

temper temper chocolate2

Prevelly Beach

After all that chocolate, you might welcome a brisk walk! One of the Margaret River highlights would have to be Prevelly Beach.  This is where we based ourselves for a few days.  The countryside around here is wild and beautiful.

Prevelly Beach Margaret River

We’ll continue our travels tomorrow – first through Augusta and Pemberton.  By the evening, we should be in Albany.  Albany is a lovely port city and we’re looking forward to our 4-day stay here.

View other travel blogs on the Western Australia region:

Happy Travelling in beautiful Western Australia!

Western Australia Highlights near Albany

There’s so much to love on the scenic drive to the Port City of Albany. This area is a part of Australia that has such a beautiful contrast of red soil and lush green bush land. For the next few days we’ll be experiencing Western Australia highlights near Albany.

After travelling through Augusta, Premberton and Denmark, we arrived at Albany. As the oldest settled city in Western Australia and has an incredibly rich history. But at this time of year, Albany is also famous for a spectacular event! In this whole area you can see the most giant migrating whales. However do keep in mind, that you only see Humpback and Southern Right Whales in late May to early October. So if you really want to see these wonderful creatures, try try to schedule your trip for that time.

 

We booked into the The Beach House at Bayside, a family-owned hotel with terrific hospitality and a great breakfast! What a difference a family-owned business can make.  We learned so much in the breakfast room. The host flitted around from table to table, passing on her local knowledge.  In fact, she gave us many handy hints on what to do.  In fact, a lot of what she advised, we didn’t know about.

At the time of our visit, the owners were building higher-end apartments just down the road. They should be well and truly completed by now. If B & B accommodation is not really your thing, these apartment would be a great option. Of course, they will be differently priced.

 

Western Australia Highlights near Albany – Whalers Station

The Whaler’s station is one of Western Australia highlights near Albany. In 1978, the last whale was taken at Albany in 1978. What remains, is an historical account of those times. What the Whaler Station does really well, is to give you an overview of the station’s history.  I would definitely recommend all visitors to choose the the guided tour.

Believe me, on this tour, you’ll get plenty of bang for your buck. We were surprised by how much clever technology was used. There’s a great 3-D presentation (glasses supplied). Three large oil tanks have been converted into small theatres. I have the say, the the actual film footage of this bleak period made quite an impact on us. We would pretty blown away by the display of whale skeletons. These are housed in a separate warehouse – up close, they’re an absolute showstoppers!

 

Western Australia Highlights near Albany – The Gap

Our next stop was at The Gap, located in the Torndirrip National Park, 10kms from Albany. The Gap is a a 24-metre drop to the sea and the Natural Bridge. It really is such a fantastic display of the Southern’s Ocean’s awesome drama. But a word of warning – do wrap up warmly, as it can be very cold.

 

There is a very safe platform. Here, you are allowed access access 40 metres directly above the foaming torrent below. How’s this for a sheer drop!

The Gap viewing shoe

I guarantee that you’ll find the powerful surge of water to be pretty awesome!

The Gap Albany

The scenery and rock formation is quite powerful and so dramatic. In fact, most people find the scenery quite beautiful.

 

National Anzac Centre

The National Anzac Centre is a state-of-the-art interpretative museum overlooking the King George Sound. For atmosphere alone, it is a must-do tour. Each visitor is provided with their own audio technology.  This means that you can just stroll around at your own pace.  It’s incredibly moving to hear the actual letters and diaries of these soldiers being read out. You’re very much aware that the mood is somber.  We were impressed with how all of these soldiers are given respect – no matter what side they fought on.

 

As you enter, there’s a continuous reel of real footage showing soldiers marching through a street. The sound of their boots is like a slow beating heart and it is quite haunting. We very quickly noticed that the lighting in this building is very subdued.  And although photos are encouraged, you cannot use the flash on your camera.  I guess this would interfere with the overall atmosphere.  I think the dimmer lighting allows the visitor the freedom to show their emotions. It is incredibly moving to read the personal diaries of soldiers who served during this time.

 

 

It was with sober heart that we left the National Anzac Centre. We times it perfect to head back into Albany.  The late afternoon sun was warm on our backs – the ideal opportunity for a refreshing beach walk.  What has been quite surprising, is how mild the winter is around these parts.

I have to say, it was a great way to end a sightseeing day.  You really can’t place enough value on getting the inside local knowledge.  We managed to see so much in one day!

View other travel blogs on the Western Australia region:

Happy travelling in Western Australia!

Top 7 holiday suggestions Port Douglas

Port Douglas is a fabulous place to visit as there is lots to see and do. This blog looks into the best holiday suggestions Port Douglas has to offer. One thing for sure, Port Douglas leads the field for outdoor activities.  The Great Barrier Reef will be right at your doorstep. And a short drive away, is the lush Daintree Rain Forest.  Guided tours for all outdoor activities, is probably the best way to see these places – you’ll see and learn so much more. And there’s nothing better than kicking back and letting someone else do the driving!

Top holiday suggestions Port Douglas

1 – Wildlife Habitat

Well, when it’s fun, could you really call it working? We’ll let your kids be the judge of this activity. Every school holiday, the team at Wildlife Habitat open their gates for school-aged kids to fulfil their inner ‘Wildlife Warrior’ dreams. This is where they become a ‘Junior Keeper’ for the day. From feeding the animals to caring for the injured at the animal hospital – it’s a fun day out for them (and a great way for you to enjoy some alone time!).

port douglas wildlife habitat

2 – Swing through the jungle

You’ll be following close behind of course – Jungle Surfing is way too much fun to just let the kids do it. Work together as a team and conquer your fear of heights. Plus, you’ll have the backdrop of the Daintree Rainforest to enjoy. And don’t worry, there are stringent safety measures in place for the whole family,

port douglas jungle swing

3 – Go snorkelling or diving for couples

There are great sailing options for families on the more larger boats, but here’s one for just the two of you. A luxurious day trip for couples, is a day trip to Low Isles on the Aquarius Catamaran.

Everything is taken care of by professional staff who will really look after you. You’ll get plenty of time for snorkelling – plus you can leave the boat to the explore the island.  The biggest plus for us was swimming alongside exotic fish and beautiful green turtles. The gourmet lunch is pretty awesome as well. Read more on our experiences.

4 – Feed the crocodiles

Okay, this may not sound too child-friendly, but the folks at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures guarantee that feeding a croc really is. There’s nothing quite like the sound of this ancient beast’s jaws snapping around a chicken carcass – you’ll never forget it and your kids will love it!

port douglas crocodile hartleys

5 – Spot the crocs in the wild

If hand-feeding a crocodile isn’t really your thing, then a leisurely boat cruise might be.  This is where you’ll have an experienced local guide leading the way. We suggest heading north to the Daintree River. That way you can meet Scarface, Lizzy and her babies from – from a safe distance. Everybody wins.

port douglas crocodile

6 – Visit the Daintree Forest

The Daintree Rainforest is more than a day trip – it’s a whole world of wonder ready to explore. The Daintree Discovery Centre will keep your kids busy for hours alone (check out their neat headsets explaining all the cool facts about the rainforest in a language they will understand). Check out the Daintree day tour we did.

Afterwards, you can check into the Cape Trib Beach House and sit by the bonfire. But if you’re anything like us, you’ll really want to stay as long as you can in the Daintree.  It’s an awesome back-to-nature experience.  It really will put you in your happy place!

7 – Check out the beach in Port Douglas

Building sand castles or playing beach cricket on Four Mile Beach will keep your family entertained all morning. After that, go on a short explore into Macrossan Street.  Here, you’ll find plenty of outdoor eating options for the whole family. Check out some great Port Douglas accommodation options too.

Happy travelling to Port Douglas!

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