Sunrise over Tathra / Image via Destination NSW
This year. Wow. What a wild ride. There has been so much change, so much uncertainty, and so much taken away from so many. But there is always hope. As long as you can dream about when things will get better and how you can help get them there, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. And so, this year, if you’ve got a honeymoon on the horizon, don’t despair, instead, dream. You might not be able to book that overseas getaway, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start dreaming about and planning an Australian honeymoon.
And the good news is, that honeymoons will go a long way to helping people in our own backyard who need a boost too. From beachside towns and high country heartlands to majestic mountains, here’s our roundup of amazing destinations bouncing back from the bushfires where you can have a honeymoon with real heart.
High Country, Victoria
Three and a half hours drive north east of Melbourne, the beautiful town of Bright was spared from the bushfires, but many of the locals lost business and are slowly trying to build back up. Do your bit by spending a few days exploring the region – Mount Buffalo National Park has reopened and is home to Australia’s only ‘Cliff Picnic’. Hosted by Bright Adventure Co, you and your special someone will go abseiling and pause to ‘hang out’ with a hamper full of local treats 300m up – it’s one serious bird’s eye view!
Images via Bright Adventure Company
For those less adventurous, an hour to the north is picturesque Beechworth, where the Bakery’s pies are the perfect pit stop lunch and the bee sting custard pastries are legendary. But it’s worth staying the night, in one of the quaint B&Bs or cottages around town. Splurge with a meal at The Provenance, Michael Ryan’s award winning, produce driven restaurant. You won’t regret it.
Sapphire Coast, New South Wales
Mimosa Rocks National Park, Tanja / Image via Destination NSW
Hop in the car and head five hours south of Sydney for some of the world’s best beaches and one of the most resilient communities you’ll ever meet. Much of the bushland might be gone, but the serenity of the Sapphire Coast and the sparkle of its rugged coastline remain. The small coastal communities are doing whatever they can to build back up so they can welcome guests with open arms and every visitor counts. Like oysters? Make a beeline for the Lockstocking Brewery & Oyster Bar near Pambula, grab a dozen oysters, a couple of cocktails and a seat by the outdoor fireplace. If you’d rather hide away from the world, head to Tanja Lagoon Camp and spend a few nights in a luxe African safari tent on a lagoon in Mimosa Rocks National Park.
Kayaking, Pambula River / Image via Destination NSW
In Tathra, you can make your white washed, weatherboard cottage dreams come to life with a stay at Seatons.
Seatons images: Gabrielle Connole & Bec Haycraft
Wine Regions, South Australia:
The grapes may be gone in some places, but the spirits of the wine makers are still strong. Help them out by visiting cellar doors that are still open and stocking up on the wine that is still very, very good. In the Adelaide Hills, make a beeline for Bird in Hand’s cellar door. Grab some of their sparkling rose if you can, and a couple of bottles of shiraz. At Goldings Wines, you will want to linger over a long lunch at Market Kitchen, especially when you’re sitting out on the terrace with a bottle of Pinot Gris and fresh pizzas. The property’s vineyards were destroyed, but their famous gardens are still blooming.
Blue Mountains, New South Wales
Parklands Country Gardens & Lodge, Blackheath / Image via Destination NSW
Escape to misty mountain mornings and romantic bush walks just two and half hours drive west of Sydney with a honeymoon in the Blue Mountains. Your first stop should be Leura, make a beeline for Josophans Chocolates and stock up on the famous chocolatier’s delicate truffles and decadent blocks. Leura Cellars is also another stop worth making – stock up on a few red wines for chilly mountain evenings. Continue on to just outside Blackheath, where pulling up at the Parklands Country Gardens and Lodge is akin to arriving at a grand country estate. Take a stroll around the manicured lawns before booking into the spa before dinner. You won’t regret it.
Snowy Mountains, New South Wales
Nimbo Fork Lodge, Killimicat / Image via Destination NSW
Want to start your honeymoon with a splash? The Snowy Mountains might be known for ski holidays, but they sure know how to do romance right. On the northern edge of the region, you can wine and dine without a care in the world. Take a ‘Vine to Wine Adventure’ with True North Helicopters. Hop aboard at the Tumut Heliport, soar over orchards, forests and the Tumut river for a very luxe half day tasting experience at two different wineries with a seriously Rockstar entrance. Curl up for the night near the banks of the Tumut River at Nimbo Fork Lodge, where Hamptons heads to the countryside.
Truenorth Helicopters, Snowy Mountains / Image via Destination NSW
About Lisa Perkovic: Lisa has spent the past decade travelling the world writing for Australia’s leading newspapers, magazines and blogs about all things travel. Her own honeymoon was her pièce de résistance – an epic journey to the Maldives and South Africa. Now she loves nothing more than sharing destinations and tips to help other newlyweds work out how to have the honeymoon of their dreams.