As Valentine’s Day approaches, couples are planning romantic getaways to kindle their passion. From secluded beach picnics on Sydney Harbour to remote luxury lodges and houseboats for two, New South Wales (NSW) has an abundance of options for couples looking to spend quality time together.
Destination NSW research shows adult couples make up nearly a third of all domestic short break visits annually. In Summer 2015-16, 33 per cent of domestic and international overnight short break visitors to Sydney were adult couples.
Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase said “It’s not surprising that NSW attracts so many romantics. Sydney and Regional NSW offer a broad range of accommodation, tours and experiences designed for couples seeking the perfect short break. Whatever your idea of a romantic getaway might be, there’s a holiday to suit in NSW.”
Below is just a sample of some of the special or luxury getaways for lovers available in NSW:
What could be more romantic than a seafood feast and a bottle of delicious sparkling NSW wine on a secret Sydney Harbour beach? Manly Kayak Centre offers packages for couples to paddle to the boat-access only Store Beach where you’ll be met by a picnic hamper, table and chairs, umbrella, and cooler. The Romantic Deluxe package includes a message of your choice in the sand, chocolates and strawberries and fresh rose petals surrounding the picnic.
After returning your kayak to Manly Wharf head further up the Northern Beaches and spend a night or two at Jonah’s Whale Beach – the only hotel in the prestigious Relais & Chateaux group in Sydney. The property has eleven Ocean Retreat rooms with spas and balconies overlooking the sea, and an acclaimed restaurant offering contemporary Australian cuisine.
Lord Howe Island
With its calm turquoise lagoon, striking volcanic peaks, laidback Lord Howe Island is the most beautiful undiscovered island in the South Pacific. Just a two-hour flight from Sydney or Port Macquarie, visitors are limited to just 400 at any time on this UNESCO World Heritage-listed island.
The luxurious Capella Lodge has a friendly and relaxed restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of the plunge pool, lagoon and mountains. Enjoy sundowners and canapes on the deck each evening before dining on the Pacific-themed seasonal menu, which showcases produce from throughout NSW. Order a picnic or barbecue hamper from the lodge and head to Old Settlement Beach, where you can snorkel at the world’s southernmost coral reef, swim alongside turtles, and kayak across the lagoon to North Bay. The Capella Spa offers a range of treatments from the ‘Sacred Stone Therapy’ that draws upon the power of heated basalt stones from the island’s beaches to the three-hour ‘Dreaming’ package.
Soak up the beauty of nature with a weekend getaway at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley. Around three hours’ drive north-west of Sydney, the luxury retreat is set on a 7000-acre private conservation reserve in the Greater Blue Mountains Heritage area. Surrounded by eucalypt trees and towering sandstone cliffs, it has 40 suites, each with their own indoor/outdoor pool. The eco-resort has played host to multiple celebrity weddings including Zoe Foster Blake and Hamish Blake, and Michael and Kyly Clarke.
Indulge in a spa treatment or have a hit on the tennis court, go horse riding, mountain biking, hiking or book a 4WD tour to spot wildlife such as wallabies and kookaburras. Enjoy a private dinner featuring seasonal produce sourced from local farms in your villa or dine at the restaurant in the main homestead. Evening activities are also available, including a stargazing and campfire tour.
Hire a luxury houseboat and meander down the Murray River, spending your time relaxing, swimming, reading, fishing and bushwalking. Pick up your air-conditioned ‘Houseboat for Two’ from Paradise Gardens, around ten minutes west of Moama. Moor the boat in town one day and enjoy lunch at one of the local eateries, including Morrisons Riverview Winery Restaurant, Junction and Three Black Sheep.
For a country escape, book a stay at luxury bed and breakfast Lakeview Luxury Cabins. Around three hours’ drive from Sydney, the couples-only rural retreat is ten minute drive from town, where restaurants include Lolli Redini, Eighteen70 and Union Bank Wine Bar. On arrival you will receive a hamper filled with products from local suppliers including Trunkey Creek Bacon, coffee from Fish River Roasters and a bottle of local wine. Enjoy a massage at Anula Healing, a winery tour or off-road adventure with Simmo’s Off Road Tours or splash out on a scenic helicopter flight with Helicruz.
Tanja Lagoon Camp
Lie back in your luxury safari tent listening to the calls of owls, gliders and nightjars at Tanja Lagoon Camp, half an hour south of Bermagui on the NSW South Coast. The property has four tents with spacious decks overlooking a lagoon. Explore the rock pools at Middle Beach, where the lagoon meets the ocean, go canoeing, kayaking or bushwalking in Mimosa Rocks National Park, check out the oyster farms at nearby Wapengo Lake, and discover the open artist studios in the region. For a fine dining experience, head to Drystone Restaurant, overlooking the vines at Mimosa Winery at Murrah, where the menu changes daily to incorporate seasonal ingredients.
Image Credit: Destination NSW