If you’re looking forward to unwinding after your wedding, might we suggest the natural beauty and untamed wilderness of Tasmania? With “boutique” and “luxury” the buzzwords of the state’s growing hospitality scene, there’s a whole lot to tempt you to the Apple Isle. Here’s our pick of its top four honeymoon destinations.
What to do: Perched on Tasmania’s southwest rim and surrounded by 4500 sq km of World Heritage forest, Port Davey is as remote as it gets.Giving you access to its pristine beaches and primeval forest for three days and two nights is an incredible new retreat called Port Davey Wilderness Camp ($1950 per person including flights, accommodation and food). Think of it as glamping where someone else cooks for you and makes your bed – sweet!
Get there: Considering how remote Port Davey is, it’s surprisingly accessible. Fly by light plane from Hobart across the rugged south coast to Melaleuca. A short boat trip across the Port Davey Marine Reserve and you’re there.
Romance factor: Feeling like you’re the only two people on earth in virgin territory? We’ll give that a 10.
When to go: November through to April.
What to do: People watch at the Salamanca Market on Saturday mornings and hit the buzzing bar scene on Saturday night. Visit MONA, and take a long stroll through the Royal Botanical Gardens. Finally, stay at the award-winning Islington Hotel ($350-$550 per night) where breakfast is served in the conservatory each morning and a local red in the music room in the evenings. Luxury!
Get there: Fly to Hobart from many of the country’s major cities or take the overnight ferry from Melbourne across the Bass Strait to Devonport and drive from there.
Romance factor: Visit Garagistes restaurant whic serves up some seriously fine Australian produce, perfect for a loved-up dinner.
When to go: Hobart is in full festival season in summer, but the cooler months are a nice excuse to get cosy in the numerous pubs, cafes and restaurants.
What to do:Lake St Clair National Park is home to Tasmania’s tallest peak, Mt Ossa, and Australia’s deepest lake, but the half-moon curve of Cradle Mountain is the star attraction. Serious trekkers come here to tackle the eight-day Overland Track circuit (the holy grail of bushwalking), but there are many other easier walks to take, including the three-hour Dove Lake circuit, and day climb to the Cradle Mountain summit.
Get there: From mainland Australia, fly to Launceston and hire a car for the 2.5-hour drive to Cradle Mountain. Coach transfers are also available.
Romance Factor: Stay in one of the charming Cradle Mountain Highlanders Cottages ($115-250 per night). With their own hot tubs and wood fires, you might forget to go see the mountain…
When to go: Going in September will mean waking up to a snow-covered wonderland glistening in the sun.
Freycinet National Park and Wineglass Bay
What to do: The Freycinet Peninsula is a breathtaking region of ocean, white sand and granite headlands streaked with bright orange lichen. Embark on the three-day trek and sleep under the stars or explore the peninsula on a cruise boat. Take a dip in Wineglass Bay’s ice-blue water and spend a sunset at tiny Honeymoon Bay. Appropriate much?
Get there: Coles Bay is the entry point for the national park, and a three-hour drive from Hobart.
Romance Factor: Luxury lodge Saffire Freycinet ($1450 - $2450 per night including lunch and dinner) has an epic view of The Hazards mountain range. A rare mineral in the mountains make them appear to change colour in different light. Cuddle up in your suite and watch them change from pink to violet to a bluish grey. Very romantic…
When to go: If you visit in summer, you can also take in a performance at the Freycinet Outdoor Theatre.