Unique Australian Romantic Getaways – Part 1

Unique Australian Romantic Getaways – Part 1

We might be biased, but Australia is the land of plenty. There are a variety of gorgeous landscapes from red deserts, pristine beaches, luscious rainforests and bustling urban centres. So we thought we would put together our romantic getaway wishlist of the most unique and exciting accommodation around Australia.

We feel very spoilt to live here and try to take mini romantic getaways when we can, particularly looking for something unique and a little different. If there’s a quirky room, an option for glamping or a unique experience to have, we are there!

I’m always trawling the internet to find something a little special and different for our romantic escapes, so we thought, why not share some of our picks with you! To kick the series off, we’ve picked one from each state! Some of these places we’ve had the pleasure of staying in and the others are on our wish list!

Photo courtesy of Thorngrove Manor

Photo courtesy of Jamala Wildlife Lodge

Nestled in luxurious rainforest in northern New South Wales, Mt Warning Rainforest Retreat offer three types of accommodation; each one individually unique. The ‘Air’ option is a handbuilt yurt nestled in the side of a secluded hill, the ‘Water’ cabin is Asian/Balinese themed and overlooks a serene pond with numerous wildlife, and the ‘Earth’ cabin is a secluded cave built into the side of a hill.  

We opted for the Air cabin and absolutely loved it. In fact, Guy went away convinced that we need to move to the rainforest and build our very own yurt. Fully self-contained, with the wonderful aromas of polished timber and slow-burning logs on the fire, fused with the fresh crisp air of the surrounding rainforest, this cabin was the perfect haven to unwind and relax. The outdoor spa bath and hammock on the deck were also a nice touch, and if you are a little adventurous, you can even take an outdoor shower amongst nature.

Rating: Highly recommended. $$$

 Imagine glamping in trendy Melbourne with a view like this!

Like the idea of a glamorous safari tent, but can’t quite get over the fear of creepy crawlies in the night? Then, St Jeromes is the answer. Set in the heart of Melbourne, St Jeromes have rooftop glamping, complete with a breakfast hamper and freshly brewed coffee from an onsite barista. Inside your safari tent, you can feel a world away from everything, but if you still want the connection to wi-fi and a bustling city, then all you need to do is step outside. This is glamping for the millennial digital nomad.

Rating: This is still on our wish list

Longitude 131 by Roderick Eime via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Uluru is one of Australia’s greatest icons. So it should come as no surprise that we had to include Longitude 131, set right at its base, as a must-stay for a romantic escape. You can’t go wrong between the Dune Pavillion (think upmarket desert glamping) or the Luxury Tent (which is more of a cabin) and the location is superb. If you can drag yourself away from the room, there are plenty of activities such as camel riding, tours of local cultural sites and visits to the nearby gorges.

Rating: This is still on our wish list

Photo courtesy of Sal Salis

If Australia is famous for one thing, it would have to be the perfect beaches. We’ve been blessed to grow up on the east coast and explore the beaches that stretch along Queensland and New South Wales during many a family getaway. The east coast gets a pretty good wrap for its beaches, but don’t let that fool you; the west coast also has some of the greatest beaches and scenery Australia has to offer. Sal Salis offers luxurious glamping in safari tents set right on a beautifully pristine beach. When you feel like it, simply walk out of the tent onto the beach and explore the superb snorkelling in Ningaloo Reef right from the shore – no boats required!

Rating: This is still on our wish list

Photo courtesy of Jamala Wildlife Lodge

Canberra is widely known as the place of politicians, and sadly, not much more. In fact, when we were travelling overseas, 90% of the people we met didn’t even realise Canberra was the capital of Australia. But, as our (current) hometown, we believe it deserves a bit more credit.

Canberra is not the sad, boring place you probably remember it to be. I mean, where else can you feed giraffes from the balcony of your accommodation?Or have you ever dreamed of waking up next to lions? Believe it or not, you don’t have to travel all the way to South Africa for that unique experience, as Jamala Wildlife Lodge in Canberra offers some incredible accommodation options where you do all the above and more!

You’ve got three options for accommodation: the giraffe treehouses, a jungle bungalow (where only a pane of glass will separate you from bears, lions, or cheetahs!) and a seven room lodge with a variety of ‘get-close-to-wildlife’ opportunities. Our pick is the treehouse or the jungle bungalow.

Rating: This is still on our wish list

When I hear the word ‘Glamping’, my ears instantly prick up and I’m at full attention. Glamping, or Glamorous camping for the uninitiated, is the perfect balance of luxury and nature. I love the idea of escaping everyday life and getting in touch with nature, but the idea of putting up my own tent to sleep on a slowly-deflating airbed on uneven ground is not my idea of a good time.

So when you get the benefits of beautiful secluded surroundings AND your own shower and comfy bed in an already-erected safari tent, well where do I sign? We are big followers of the Glamping movement, and plan to explore different glamping options all around the world! But why go overseas, when there are plenty of glamping options in the best settings of Australia?

Nightfall Wilderness Camp is located in the Lamington National Park of the Gold Coast Hinterland and really puts the Glam in Glamping. You’ve got an opulent safari tent set amongst beautiful rainforest, complete with a heavenly bed, relaxing bathtub and shower, kitchen, fireplace and even fluffy robes. If you really want to splurge, Nightfall also offer delicious organic meals, cooked by the fire and set up by the relaxing sounds of the rippling creek, by the fire tepee or the comforts of your own tent. You will feel so at peace here, you won’t even remember to check your Facebook feed….

Rating: Highly recommended $$$ – Check out our review of 5 Activities for Adventure and Beauty on the Gold Coast

Photo courtesy of Thorngrove Manor Hotel

I love castles, and even after having visited many during our travels in Europe (and even staying in one!), I still am not ‘castled out’. So when I came across Thorngrove Manor Hotel, I couldn’t help but put this place on our romantic escape wish list. Located in South Australia’s oldest wine producing region, Thorngrove Manor looks like something out of a fairytale. This place screams opulence, luxury and romance. And within an easy drive from the centre of Adelaide as well!

Rating: This is still on our wish list

 Pumphouse Point by Shaun Versey via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Tasmania, in general, has been on our travel wish list for some time now. Luscious scenery paired with delicious food is a winning combination. We’ve actually found a few places we would love to stay when we eventually get down to Tassie, but a luxurious standout would have to be Pumphouse Point. Looming over Lake St Clair is the Pumphouse building. It screams industrial opulence and provides the perfect escape from a hectic life. With large windows boasting views of the lake it sits on, this place really lets the stunning scenery in, without compromising comfort.

Rating: This is still on our wish list

If you live in Australia, or are planning to visit, we hope you get a chance to try one of these places for a quick romantic getaway. These places are just the start of a list we have been compiling for Australian romantic escapes, with plenty more to talk about in a follow-up. There’s plenty more ‘glamp sites’ and special rooms to mention, so I think this will be an always-evolving series!

Have you stayed in any of these places? Know of any others to add to our list for Part Two? Comment below!

Boutique Beach Stays in Florida

Boutique Beach Stays in Florida

Florida is a favourite holiday destination for many tourists. From having the ‘Theme Park Capital of the World’ in Orlando, to Miami’s hot and bustling beaches, restaurants and clubs, Florida has plenty to offer for families and travellers. For those who prefer a slightly quieter holiday, but don’t want to give up the wonderful beaches Florida is famous for, here are some boutique options.

Sanibel Island by Andie vE via Trover

Take a round of Golf

For the lovers of the ‘green’, partaking in a round of golf on a championship golf course is certainly a highlight of visiting Florida. If you want to stay near the action, Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort Spa offers 13 different room choices, including villas with wonderful views of the lagoon. If golfing isn’t your thing, guests have access to the private Cabana Beach Club, with water activities on offer, and you can always get pampered at the on site spa. Even pets can have a taste of the high life here! Rates start at $120/night, but during high season start at $186/night.

Cabana Beach Club by Russell Hewatt via Trover

Shells and Sunsets

For a sunset shot worthy of Instagram fame, a visit to Sanibel Island is a must. Only a short drive from Fort Myers, Sanibel Island is famous for ‘shelling’, a favoured past time of collecting and admiring the vast array of different seashells that wash up on the pristine white sand. There’s even a term, ‘The Sanibel Stoop’, that refers to the position one takes when hunching over to pick up and look at the variety of ‘Treasures from the Sea’. Just make sure you don’t collect live shells, as there is a hefty fine if caught. The West Wind Inn is conveniently set right amongst the shelling action and provides sweeping views of the Gulf of Mexico and even bike hire, to explore the island at leisure.

Sanibel Shells by nikoretro via Flickr I CC BY 2.0

Waterfront Culture

With pleasant weather year round, St. Petersburg in Florida has been nicknamed the ‘Sunshine City’. It even holds the title of ‘most consecutive days with sunshine’ with an impressive 768 days! Perfect weather aside, St. Petersburg appeals to the art and beach lovers alike, with museums, artisanal food market and award-winning beaches. Did you know the largest collection of Salvador Dalí works outside of Spain is on display in Florida? Fans can get their surrealism fix by visiting The Dalí Museum. The building alone is a work of art, with curved glass windows coiling around a rectangular building and surrounded by palm trees. They even offer Yoga there, with calming views of the waterfront.

Dalí Museum by Holmes Palacios Jr. via Flickr I CC BY 2.0

For perfect access to the best St. Petersburg has to offer, Dolphin Beach Resort and Sirata Beach Resort both offer beachfront stays. Take an afternoon stroll along the beach and enjoy that perfect weather. The Sirata Beach resort is also pet friendly, so you don’t have to leave your best friend at home.

St. Pete Beach by inazakira via Flickr I CC BY-SA 2.0

Whilst many tourists flock to Orlando or Miami, expanding your Florida holiday to boutique places such as St. Petersburg, Sanibel Island or Pont Vedra will allow you to enjoy the brilliant beaches and wonderful climate of the ‘sunshine state’ and feel pampered at the same time.

Florida sunset by Ricardo’s Photography via Flickr I CC BY 2.0

Have you visited Florida? Where’s your favourite spot? Comment below to let us know.

Title image by Ines Hegedus-Garcia via Flickr I CC BY 2.0

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Imagine all the places you could go...

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