Not that we should need an excuse to whisk our significant other out of town for a romantic rendezvous, but with the annual day of love just around the corner, it’s undoubtedly the perfect excuse to do exactly that. There’s no better time than Valentine’s Day to discover some of Australia’s most romantic and idealistic destinations — the ones that may not necessarily be gracing your travel bucket lists, but the ones that are just as worthy. Think intimate interiors, postcard-like views and tranquil settings, these are the escapes that are guaranteed to make you fall in love over and over again.
The Cottage, Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales
Originally housing The Kangaroo Valley Times — a local newspaper from the late 1880s —this charming, white weatherboard home is nestled in the heart Kangaroo Valley just two hours south of Sydney. Owned and curated by Australian artist and stylist Lisa Madigan, The Cottage is an interior lovers delight. Behind it’s somewhat humble façade, the quaint home boasts an original brick fireplace, an impressive collection of fine art and styling so inspiring you’ll wish it was your own. Tucked behind two beautiful crepe myrtles and an old federation palm tree, this one bedroom abode is an oasis of charm, calm and curation. Get ready to relax and reconnect.
Captains Rest, Lettes Bay Village, Tasmania
Captains Rest is a historically listed, secluded waterfront cottage in Lettes Bay Village, just outside of Strahan, Tasmania. Complete with its own jetty out the front, it’s impossible not to fall instantly in love with this place. Captains Rest has been designed, renovated and decorated with objects and furnishings that have been hand selected both locally and globally making it your dream home away from home. The once run-down shack has been transformed into one of the country’s most popular holiday destinations and is ideal for two people. Go for the setting, stay for the serenity.
Paperbark Camp, Jervis Bay, New South Wales
If your idea of a romantic escape is to get back to nature and go off the grid (sans tent pitching and blow-up mattresses), it’s time to book yourself into Jervis Bay’s famed Paperbark Camp. The chic safari-style retreat offers 12 luxury canvas tents (think outdoor furniture, polished hardwood floors and solar powered lighting) that have been placed thoughtfully amongst the soaring eucalypts and paperbarks, an exceptional food and wine offering and a seriously serene setting. Welcome to Australia’s most indulgent camp site.
Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach, New South Wales
Romantic, relaxing and refined are three words that spring to mind when thinking about of Cabarita Beach’s renowned Halycon House. The boutique hotel and spa has become an iconic stay on NSW’s north coast since being converted from an old-school motel and opening in 2015. With private beach access, free bikes to borrow, Anna Spiro-designed interiors and a hatted restaurant on site, Halcyon House is a fool proof Valentine’s Day destination.
Lindenderry, Red Hill, Victoria
For the couples who appreciate fine wine, good food and a pretty view, Lindenderry has your name on it. Set in the very heart of Red Hill amongst 34 stunning acres of gardens and vines, the 40-room boutique hotel is one of the Mornington Peninsula’s most prized properties. It might be just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, but it feels worlds away from the bustling city life. If a weekend filled with world class hospitality, award-winning wines and farm-to-table dining sounds like your perfect escape, look no further than Lindenderry at Red Hill.
Lake House, Daylesford, Victoria
As its name suggested, Lake House in Daylesford lies on the shores of beautiful Lake Daylesford in the heart of Victoria's Spa Country just 90 minutes from Melbourne. Home to exquisitely designed suites, idyllic lake views and established gardens, Lake House is undoubtedly one of Australia’s most romantic retreats. And if you want to take the romance to the next level, here’s the place to do it — book yourself into the hotel’s state-of-the-art spa, order a picnic hamper to devour on the banks of the lake, experience the treetop hot tubs or indulge at chef Alla Wolf-Tasker’s multi-award-winning restaurant. The Australian’s Wish Magazine sums it in one sentence — “this elegant retreat blends the rural life with sophisticated pleasure of fine dining and elegant surrounds.”
El Questro Homestead, Kimberley, Western Australia
Among the vast and ancient landscape of Western Australia’s East Kimberley region sits the untamed natural beauty of El Questro. A destination unlike any other, El Questro is home to some of country’s most breath-taking nature — from deep gorges and majestic mountains to thermal springs, mud and salt-flats, rainforests and cascading waterfalls. Also located on the property's incredible 700,000 acres is The Homestead — a relaxed-meets-luxurious retreat located on a cliff top overlooking the Chamberlain River which accommodates up to only 18 people. During your stay, be sure to take a cruise through sun-lit gorges, enjoy a guided history, nature and wildlife tour in a 4WD Safari vehicle, and treat yourself to the Homestead helicopter tour to explore untouched areas of the property.