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Five top romantic getaways

Five top romantic getaways

By CASSANDRA CHARLESWORTH

1. Margaret River WA

Beautiful beaches, gourmet restaurants, cute towns and of course wine makes Margaret River a fantastic option for couples looking for a romantic break.  There are 6 main towns and many smaller villages so I think it’s best to hire your own car so you have the freedom to explore. A visit to the wineries has to be top of your list of things to do and there are some very well -known wineries such as Vasse Felix (I recommend coming here for lunch and having their 5- course set menu with matching wines), Evans & Tate and Leeuwin Estate as well as many smaller wineries.  Vino Culture do good private winery tours if you prefer not to drive yourself. Margaret River has also developed into a real Foodie mecca with lots of local producers, farm gates and markets. There are cheese, chocolate, olive, bread and gelato producers to name just a few. Where to stay?  A great couples friendly accommodation option is Empire Retreat and Spa. It is an adults only boutique retreat on a 12 -acre wine estate. What’s better than staying on a property with their own winery? The luxury villa with open fireplace and private garden courtyard would be my pick of their accommodation.

 

2. Fiji

If you want to go a bit further afield then Fiji is the perfect romantic paradise.  I think it is hard to go past Turtle Island for a romantic break. It’s not the newest or the flashiest of resorts but does everything so well. There are only 14 villas so there is a maximum of 14 couples on the island at any one time.  There are also 14 private beaches so every couple has their own private beach every day. You can be dropped at your private beach with champagne picnic and phone and have a real Robinson Crusoe moment. The resort is all inclusive even including water activities such as fishing and diving and some spa treatments. It has an amazing location on a blue lagoon with crystal clear water and white sands. Just be sure you don’t inadvertently book to stay during one of their family weeks when they let the kids come to stay!

 

3. Luxury Australian Lodge

This would be a bit of a splurge option. Australia is finally starting to get a seriously good selection of luxury lodges. Think Southern Ocean Lodge on the rugged and remote Kangaroo Island, Qualia on Hamilton Island with the Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach at its doorstep, Capella Lodge on beautiful Lord Howe Island surrounded by amazing snorkelling and beautiful beaches and Saffire Lodge on the stunning Freycinet Peninsula in Tasmania with its amazing hikes and of course food and wine. All these lodges pride themselves on their excellent food and their interesting private touring options. At Southern Ocean Lodge you can take a sunrise walk through the sea lion colony of Seal Bay. At Qualia you can take a helicopter ride to your game of golf or even out to the Barrier Reef. At Capella Lodge walk to the summit of Mt Gower or hand feed fish in the shallow water. At Saffire Lodge have a Tasmanian devil experience or shuck your own oysters at an oyster farm. 

4. Glamping

There’s no such thing as romantic camping but romantic glamping is definitely a possibility- a luxury tent complete with bed, ensuite and a stunning view sounds like the perfect get away from it all. Glamping has taken off in a big way in the last few years and for those that don’t know-stands for glamorous camping. Here are a few of the best: Longitude 131 is located in the Red Centre with incredible views of the red desert and Uluru. Wills and Kate Middleton recently stayed here so as you can imagine it is not cheap but it is all inclusive with all meals, open bar including French champagne and signature touring experiences.

Paper Bark Camp Jervis Bay is the very first example of eco-tourism and glamping I had ever heard about and is still going strong. It’s located by a creek in beautiful Jervis Bay, has a fantastic onsite restaurant, a good supply of paddle boards, kayaks and bikes and can provide massages and beauty treatments.

Pitch Luxury camping Noosa- you just tell these guys where you want them to set up and they will pitch you a luxury tent with all the trimmings. Think beach location with amazing ocean views and your luxury tent with bed, table, chairs and even fairy lights and you can also order food hampers-this is the way camping was meant to be!

5. Hire a boat 

To really escape everything and everyone there’s nothing quite like hiring your own boat. Imagine pulling into a deserted bay and diving from your boat into the water for a snorkel before coming back to the boat for sunset drinks and nibbles. The Whitsunday Islands are a prime spot for this- 74 islands with fantastic beaches, snorkelling opportunities and also resorts such as Hamilton and Hayman island if you crave a bit of action and a restaurant lunch. You can choose to sail the boat yourself or have a skipper do it for you. Whitsunday Rent a Yacht have a range of yachts and motor cruisers available.

CASSANDRA CHARLESWORTH

Cassandra Charlesworth is a features writer with 20 years’ journalism experience. She loves a good old-fashioned story and getting to the heart of a great yarn. She’s also a mum to three children who have encouraged her to hone some secret skills. Nimbly navigating Lego pieces left on her loungeroom floor and creating stylish Barbie attire from all manner of household objects are just a couple of credentials she’s recently added to her resume.

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