Image: InterContinental Resort Hayman Island

If you had your heart set on a honeymoon spent hiding away on a tropical island, don’t worry, we’ve got you sorted. Yes, island getaways look a little different this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t escape from the world with your honey. Here’s five Aussie island getaways to keep your castaway dreams alive and well.

Hayman Island, QLD

If there was an island to get stranded on, this would be it. It’s the classic tropical getaway that dreams are made of. The Whitsundays island has been beloved by Australia’s serious holidayers for decades. After undergoing a multi-million dollar refurb last year, the island reopened as the InterContinental Resort Hayman Island, and is looking good, really good. The resort’s famous sprawling swimming pool is the size of seven Olympic pools, and if that’s your scene, go for a pool access suite so you can step straight into the water. If you’re more about the sand and surf, the lagoon wing looks out at the ocean, or there’s the super decadent Beach Wing, where Beachfront pool villas have their own private plunge pools and beach access. There are five new restaurants and bars to choose from, and the Great Barrier Reef on your doorstep, so you definitely won’t be wanting to leave anytime soon.

Rottnest Island, WA

Take a trip down memory lane when you step onto Rottnest Island off the coast of Perth. A short ferry ride is all it takes to get back to the golden days of laid-back summer holidays by the beach. Spend your days riding your bike between sheltered coves and pocket-sized beaches and afternoons popping into town for sausage rolls from the Rottnest Bakery and big scoops of ice cream at Simmo’s. And of course, you can’t skip out on a Quokka selfie. As dusk settles, get dressed up (we’re talking relaxed beach chic) and head over to Pinky’s Beach Club for cocktails almost on top of the beach. The Beach Club is part of Discovery Park, the island’s two year old glamping hot spot. It’s the place to stay for a little bit of luxury on the island. Come mid-October, Samphire Rottnest will bring more glam to the island when it opens  at Thomson Bay.

Images: Discovery Parks & Samphire Rottnest 

Bruny Island, TAS

If you’re a couple who loves getting back to nature, but still has a penchant for good food straight from the source, hop down to Hobart for a few days. Self-touring isn’t hard, you’ll have to drive 90 mins south of Hobart and board the car ferry, but if you want to be well looked after, join a Bruny Island Long Weekend. The three-day small group tours start off with a private boat trip straight to the island from Hobart harbour – it’s a Rockstar arrival and the first of a few very special experiences. You’ll spend your days exploring the island on foot, with plenty of stops to experience the produce the island is famous for. That might mean wading out in the water at a local oyster farm and shucking your oyster on the spot, and platters of Bruny Island Cheese and local beer by the firepit before dinner. Afternoons and evenings are spent at camp, glamping tents set on 100 acres of land surrounded by bush nature reserve. The Tasmanian Walking Company runs the walks, and they certainly know how to host – local food, local wines and local guides ensure you’re well looked after.

Images: Bruny Island Long Weekend

It may not be the island getaway honeymoon you started dreaming about, but don’t worry, whether you want to go all out glam or get back to nature, there’s plenty of Aussie alternatives that won’t disappoint.

Ms Floral Says: These look and sound heavenly. We are truly spoiled for choice when it comes to amazing honeymoon destinations in Australia.

About Lisa Perkovic: Lisa has spent the past decade travelling the world writing for Australia’s leading newspapers, magazines and blogs about all things travel. Her own honeymoon was her pièce de résistance – an epic journey to the Maldives and South Africa. Now she loves nothing more than sharing destinations and tips to help other newlyweds work out how to have the honeymoon of their dreams.

Polka Dot Bride Shop

Adelle & Stephen

Elopements are always rather magic, and eloping on the other side of the world, might seem impossible right now, but is a little seed of hope we can plant in our souls and dreams, for those better times ahead. Today we’re sharing the most pretty, the most romantic, the most intimate elopement of Aussies Adelle and Stephen. The pair, who enlisted photographer Roberta Facchini to capture it all and The Tuscan Wedding to bring their own dream to life.

Let’s begin this story, with the tale of how these two first came to meet in Stephen’s words. “We worked together a long time ago. I was searching out people who had been very kind to me in my past and Adelle was the last person I tracked down. We met for a glass of wine and the rest is history.” And the proposal? It was a week-long buildup! “For the seven days leading up to the proposal, I gave Adelle a beautiful card. On my birthday, I proposed on the balcony of our new home, overlooking the ocean.”

The vendor dream team, made this day go off without a hitch says the groom. “Because we eloped I’d like to call out the people that ensured our day was perfect. First, our wedding planner The Tuscan Wedding they are amazing, second my wife’s hair and makeup (she looked so beautiful) Cherie Spisso of Florence, third our Photographer Roberta Facchini, fourth our flowers by Flowers Living and fifth our celebrant Jo Bertolino“.

Before celebrations began, the bride received a very special gift from her future husband. Stephen explains “I purchased a bracelet on the Ponte Vecchio the day before the wedding, in honour of the bride’s family – her uncle did the same thing for her aunt on their 25th wedding anniversary. She wore it on the day.”

The bride wore a gown designed by Rebecca Ingram for Maggie Sottero. The groom donned a blue suit from Aussie brand Oxford.

The couple were married in the garden in a private ceremony led by Jo Bertolino. Stephen shares “It was a very personal wedding centred around myself and my wife with our own written words to each other, a poem I wrote and readings from our Celebrant Jo Bertolino.”

Stephen? He is a big fan of eloping! Telling “We just made sure the focus was on us. Our wedding planners ensured this in every way. Because we eloped, our wedding planning team took all the pressure off us and stepped in where ever needed.”

Stephen remembers one of his favourite moments of the day. “After the ceremony in the garden we climbed some stairs to a place called The Fortress a beautiful structure at the villa. The villa says at this spot time stands still. That couldn’t have been more true. We took a breath, drank some champagne and enjoyed each other’s company. It was magic.”

Advice for couples yet to tie the knot? “Hire a wedding planner,” says Stephen. “If your wedding is a destination one, either eloping or with lots of people, having a wedding planner makes the whole process so much easier and removes stress.”

To celebrate their marriage, the newlyweds were treated to a private dinner in the onsite Winter Garden. Says the groom “The whole day & night was filled with love and music. There was no formal dance.”

“We gave quite a specific outline to our wedding planner around the lead-up, ceremony, photos, dinner. Our expectations were exceeded in every way. At the heart of our wedding, we wanted a memorable experience that we would fondly look back on for the rest of our lives and we got that and more.”

A big congratulations to you both Adelle & Stephen! Thank you both for sharing your story with us today. And thank you to Roberta Facchini & The Tuscan Wedding for sharing today’s wedding!


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Image by Caroline Sada via Cherlyn & Seng Wai’s Great Ocean Road Romantic Honeymoon Photos

A honeymoon is usually the most romantic and extravagant holiday of your life. A time to unwind and relax with your freshly hitched companion. Traditionally, jetting off directly after your reception and embracing the deliciousness of newly married life. Couples often dream about their honeymoon just as luxuriously as their wedding, choosing somewhere they have always dreamt of visiting when they found that special someone (Champagne on a balcony in Paris – sipping hot miso in a ski village in Japan or smooching over a Frangelico infused hot chocolate in the Canadian Rockies?) – but what if COVID-19 got in the way?

Image: Perla Photography

A lot of weddings did not go to plan this year, which of course included a lot of overseas and local honeymoons. But we can’t let that stop us from planning and dreaming. And just as soon as we can venture beyond our 5km radius, you can still escape from your jobs, families, and day-to-day woes in your own backyard! Honeymoons are about swooning over your perfect match, not the destination.

Below are some close to home options for the Victorians that still want to celebrate.

The Yarra Valley

Image via Visit Victoria

Scenic wining and dining… What more could you want with your partner in crime? This delightful little piece of the Earth really does tick of all the romancing boxes. Not a wine lover? The Yarra Valley not only has a rich history of wineries but also a significant history with beer and cider production! With countless fresh produce at your fingertips to perfectly cleanse your palate between beverages. Why not polish off a stressful year with a balloon ride? Gaze over the rolling green landscapes at 2,000 feet – with a sparkling wine to match. We think so.

The Mornington Peninsula

Image via Visit Mornington Peninsula 

Time to slow down, relax and restore your senses. The Mornington Peninsula is all about wellbeing and enjoying the little luxuries in life. Whether it is a couple of takeaway coffees whilst strolling by the bathing boxes on Dromana Beach or immersing yourselves in a steamy day at the hot springs, you will feel at ease in seconds! Steal a smooch at Arthurs Seat Lookout or take a dip at Bushrangers Bay. By night? Al fresco fish and chips and bottle of wine for two. Those seaside coastlines could not be more inviting for an impromptu dinner picnic!

The Great Ocean Road

Image via Australias.Guide

Breathing in the fresh sea air, maybe even embracing the ethos of the coast, and popping out for a quick morning surf. The Great Ocean Road is famous for harbouring some of the most beautiful beaches in Victoria, so make sure you pack your swimmers! If water is not your preference there are many incredible national parks to fill your days with – Cape Otway or the Twelve Apostles are our favourites. What we love most about this area is the relaxed and laidback ambience, somewhere you can really take a deep breath and focus on what is most important, each other. When you tire of sun and sea, you can make your way to the incredibly dreamy Lorne Theatre for a film, what more could two love birds want!

Honeymooning – a love tip: Why not choose accommodation where there is little to no signal for your mobile phone. No in-room internet. No television. Somewhere you can unplug from all digital distractions and instead really connect with each other.

Ms Floral: Some fab ideas for keeping things local! So much to see, explore and love about the diversity of Victoria.

About Refresh Hospitality: At Refresh Hospitality we are all about creating experiences. We specialise in event management and catering and will go above and beyond to ensure your big day is perfect! We can involved as little or as much as you like. Let us take the reins with exceptional service, fresh, delicious and local produce and competitive pricing. We offer a range of menu options from cocktail events to plated menus and shared dining experiences. All of our packages are flexible, we believe in tailoring a food and beverage package to suit your requirements rather than simply choosing from a set package. We work alongside some of the best industry professionals to ensure your day is stress-free, enjoyable and delicious from the first canapé to your last drink!