Couples Retreats

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COUPLES RETREATS – Romantic Escapes Across Australia’s Changing Landscapes.

The language of love is perennial. Endless and timeless. People ask us “is there a romantic getaways season?” Couples retreats are often centred around a proposal or engagement, a Valentine, honeymoon, anniversary date, babymoon, or simply a romantic getaway for no reason at all. The allure of a time of year or season is personal and at times a surprise (for the other partner) like a snow trip for a partner who doesn’t ski but is great at building snow critters & après!

Romantic and honeymoon destinations feature: small numbers of guests accommodated, privacy, personalised service and a sense of intimacy like a hot tub for two. Bespoke touches arranged by Hosts or partners who can arrange, for example, a gourmet picnic basket, massages for two, twin kayaks, a dreamy bunch of blooms on arrival or a crooner at a candlelit table in a beach setting!

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Tin Dragon Eco Retreat, Branxholm, North East Tasmania

2024’s top 10 romantic destinations in Australia are:

  1. The Whitsunday Islands, QLD
  2. Daintree Rainforest QLD
  3. Byron Bay NSW
  4. Blue Mountains NSW
  5. The Great Ocean Road VIC
  6. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park NT
  7. Margaret River WA
  8. Ningaloo Reef WA
  9. Freycinet Peninsula TAS
  10. Barossa and Clare Valleys SA

Let’s see where Australian seasons can take you both…from the affordable, gorgeously romantic spots to hi-end spoilt-us-rotten-stays, TRAVELLARKS sets its heart on our wide community tastes, needs and desires discovering WOW Stays to add to its directory.

Travellarks is expanding its collection of Couples Retreats around Australia that suit the summer season – both coastal and inland hideaways for romantic getaways. If you wish to list your property in our Couples’ Retreats Collection (and other categories) reach out please via  List your property, or want Travellarks to find you a gorgeous couples getaway Contact Us and we’ll come up with handpicked suggestions for you.

Winter Wonderland: Snowy Escapes and Fireside Bliss

Embrace the romance of winter in Australia’s alpine regions, featuring snow-covered landscapes, alpine lakes crackling fires, and indulgent experiences for couples.

Winter activities such as snowshoeing or hiking on snow, hot springs visits, and après-ski cuddles in destinations like the Snowy Mountains in NSW, Mount Buller & Hotham and Falls Creek in Victoria and Cradle Mountain in Tasmania has enormous appeal for energetic couples. Let’s face it there’s romanticism in snow covered country, trees laden with white snow, clear skies and the après enjoyed afterwards, especially in hot tubs. Hot stone massages, spa treatments, saunas and dining on delicacies, it’s every reason to take a romantic escape in wintertime. For fresh snow with a beautiful bushland backdrop having appeal as honeymoon destinations or couples retreats look up Australia’s best snow destinations.

Accommodation takes on special considerations for couple’s getaways whether it’s an alpine lodge, boutique chalet or an intimate luxury cabin offering warmth, intimacy and comfort amidst snowy vistas, perfect for romantic winter retreats.

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Omaroo High Country Retreat, Bonnie Doon, Victoria

Victoria’s High Country boasts Mount Buller and Mount Hotham in the snow yet by going “óff piste”, gorgeous smaller towns like Bonnie Doon offer stays such as Omaroo High Country Retreat. A humble abode set on 5 acres with spectacular views of rolling hills with the Brankeet Arm of Lake Eildon and Strathbogie Ranges in the distance. Imagine the romance of it all. Unwind here with stunning scenery, excellent regional food and wine, and high-country hospitality.  Even in the off season alpine and high-country destinations carry an attractiveness unfounded elsewhere that’s exceptionally enlivening. You’ll often encounter lower tariffs too.

Escaping the cold is appealing to many couples so heading to northern Australian destinations and is after all the ‘dry’ season from April until November!

One example of an exciting winter destination is Northern Outback Queensland that boasts vast, arid plains and rugged ranges, with sparse vegetation dotting the landscape. The weather can be extreme, with scorching temperatures in summer and chilly nights in winter. This region holds a rich Aboriginal history, evident in ancient rock art and cultural sites. Two of the oldest-known Aboriginal sites in Queensland are found on the tabletop of Mount Mulligan, which is known as Ngarrabullgan by the Traditional Owners, dating back over 40,000 years. A new luxury outback lodge located 150Kms north-west of Cairns offers seclusion on a fascinating and captivating landscape built on a secluded 28,000-hectare heritage site. It’s also a working cattle station, with luxe lodging and guided outback adventures for just 20 guests.

Enjoy the enchantment of winter together and soon it will be Spring!

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Spring Romance: Blossoming Gardens and Botanical Retreats

Celebrate the arrival of spring in Australia’s wildflower and native bushlands, formal blooming gardens wonderlands, buds forming on grapevines, fragrant orchards, and renewed life that create a romantic mood. It’s a time for scenic drives, flower festivals, farmers markets, garden walks. Discovering diverse flowers, trees, landscapes and wildlife associated with flora is something to celebrate with your treasured one.

Head to romantic spring destinations where you’ll be immersed in beautiful nature-based places like the Hunter Valley in NSW. Experience a lifetime labour of love at Hunter Valley Gardens by Bill and Imelda Roche with their themed award-winning and creative gardens tended by over a team of 40 landscape gardeners, architects and engineers.

Here’s another beautiful destination for couples in NSW. Two and a half acres of peace and beauty reside at the Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre, Cowra NSW. It is classified by the National Trust as ‘A place of significant cultural, architectural and historic significance’, a powerful symbol harmony and peace fostering unity and tranquillity following WWII’s prisoner of war camp built by the Japanese in 1944. There’s a saying in Japanese that means ”A sense of season”‘ or ”Kisetsukan” that pays homage to all seasons of the year as gardens to consider anytime.

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Cowra Japanese Gardens, NSW, Australia

In geographical contrast are the Maleny Botanic Gardens & Bird World located in Sunshine Coast QLD. Gloriously positioned on a 4-hectare property in the rainforest within Glass House Mountains National Park it’s suitable for weddings and special occasion events. Botanical Retreats are often collocated with showcase garden cottages, country estates, and heritage homesteads surrounded by blossoming flora, offering a romantic escape amidst nature’s renewal. A wonderful resource for finding the most beautiful gardens can be found here Australia’s most beautiful gardens.

Only 6 minutes to the seaside on NSW’s South Coast and set in gloriously romantic gardens, are several suites at Foxglove Gardens, surrounded by 5 acres of exquisite gardens and the sounds of nature. Select from one of 3 beautiful French provincial boutique stays – The Olive Tree, The River and Velvet Pear. Additionally there’s a luxurious King and Queen Suite. This romantic cluster is beautifully positioned near secluded Tilba Beach.

Closer to Sydney in the foothills of Kurrajong  are The Willows at Kurrajong, an eclectic mix of bushland and blooms best experienced in spring. Not far away is a fabulous private apartment for two at Mountain Sojourn, that includes breakfast and honours environmental practices, including EV charging. Only roughly an hours’ drive, it’s an easy romantic getaway.

In this article on couples retreats we’ve only just touched the sides on what is available in Australia for romantic getaways. Many others only showcase luxury and high-end couple’s retreats. Travellarks has a novel approach, highlighting lesser-known places with wider appeal. The aim is to help reflect everyone’s love language where dream getaways that are more meaningful (and affordable!) to couples. Our growing collection can be found right here Travellarks Couples Retreats

Book your dream getaway through Travellarks to embark on a romantic journey across Australia’s changing landscapes throughout the seasons.

Summer Serenity: Coastal Retreats and Seaside Romance

If your idea is heading to a barefoot paradise together, Australia’s picturesque coastal destinations spanning almost 70,000 kilometres are plentiful. Hot summers (December to February) and the shoulder seasons extend the traditional summer months to include Spring & Autumn experiencing milder, temperate weather. Australia offers pristine beaches, cerulean waters and seaside serenity. Summer season means couples can be intoxicated by equal parts of outdoor adventures and relaxation. Swimming, snorkelling, boating, kayaking, diving and whale watching on both eastern and western Australian coastlines. (Whale watching season runs from May to November). Back on land, you can both soak in panoramic hikes on scenic trails, unpack a scrumptious picnic, then later tuck into indulgent meals where fresh local produce is often the star.

A guaranteed romantic destination is the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland with its stunning beaches, clear turquoise waters, and luxurious resorts. The Whitsunday Islands are perfect for a romantic getaway. Couples can enjoy activities like sailing and scenic helicopter rides over the Great Barrier Reef.

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Whitsundays Whitehaven Beach & Heart Reef, QLD

Some find the summer humidity overbearing so consider the shoulder seasons of an Australian Spring (September to November) or Autumn (March to May). Summer is also jellyfish season, but accommodation with a pool can solve that problem. Click here for Jellyfish Safety. Heard about crocs, sharks and wildlife? Don’t let it put you off, check here for Wildlife Safety precautions. Or better still be lured north towards warmth during winter months.

A distinctive romantic getaway in QLD – a hidden gem – can be found on the eco wonderland of  Norfolk Island. Only a 2.5-hour flight from Brisbane, Sydney and Auckland you’ll find two stunning private luxury villas with ocean & mountain views called  Glencar Luxury Villas. These are year-round properties to mooch in. Couple’s activities can be found at Things to do around Norfolk Island and getting around is easy as your stay includes use of a mini-Moke (with current driver’s license). Travellarks has already mapped a Roadtrip around Norfolk Island. Immerse yourselves in island culture, fill up picnic baskets and forage in the island’s unique Honesty Boxes area. Ask Glencar’s extraordinary on-island Hosts about their special couples packages.

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Glencar Luxury Villas, Norfolk Island, Queensland, Australia

Another popular spot for a love-in is Byron Bay and its hinterland, a cornucopia of romantic getaways in NSW. A cool coastal destination for lovers and others, Byron exudes laid back living and a bo-ho lifestyle, alongside a strong beach and cafe culture. Its vibrant community isn’t shy in expressing an environmental and creative ethos. Beyond the beaches, for adventurous romantics, there’s hiking in the lush hinterland, kayaking in the crystal-clear waters, scenic walks and drives along the coast. For newly marrieds Byron is a wonderful honeymoon destination in NSW if you can beat the crowds in summer and school holidays.

Other little-known coastal romantic getaways in NSW along various coastlines north and south worth considering are Tilba Coastal Retreat; SALT at South West Rocks. A rather special love nest with ocean views atop a mountain 2 hours south of the big smoke on NSW’s south coast is Eagleviewpark Guesthouse. Rather luxe, you’ll have pool access whilst gazing over the ocean.

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Eagleviewpark Guesthouse South Coast NSW

If romance includes sinking into a hot tub under the stars, can we suggest Kundalini Lodge Retreat for a romantic getaways in NSW with a private spa. This couple’s retreat has a choice of 3 private cabins located on the fringe of Mudgee in the Central West of NSW – a 3-hour drive from Sydney. Whilst it’s off grid, thoughtful touches such as pancakes for breakfast can be expected. A place for rejuvenation, healing and serenity. Just bliss.

The Blue Mountains, New South Wales is a 2-hour drive from Sydney, and offers breath-taking scenery, including dramatic cliffs, lush forests, and cascading waterfalls. Couples can enjoy bushwalks, scenic drives, and stay in mountain retreats, quaint cottages, grand hotels, B&Bs and lodges. One such place just beyond Blackheath, near Bathurst in the town of Glanmire is The Red Hill Nest (even the name is perfect!). A quaint cottage on epic acreage that’s surrounded by gardens, soothing sunsets, and fresh country air and refreshing walks. It’s a relatively short cruisy 2 hour drive from Sydney.

The Red Hill Nest, Bathurst accommodation
The Red Hill Nest, Upper Blue Mountains, NSW

Margaret River, Western Australia can be hot and dry during summer months. The shoulder season is arguably better. Known for its world-class wineries, pristine beaches, and stunning coastline, Margaret River is perfect for a romantic escape. Enjoy wine tasting, gourmet dining, and exploring underground caves. Another nearby country town on the ocean is Albany and a lovely seaside soulfulness prevails, history and natural beauty of the ocean and coastline.

Let’s look at The Great Ocean Road, Victoria: Take a road trip along the iconic Great Ocean Road and marvel at breath-taking coastal scenery, including the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge. Stop at quaint seaside towns, enjoy gourmet food, and cosy up in boutique accommodation. The romanticism of the collection of limestone stacks off the shore of Port Campbell National Park is irresistible.

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Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia

A wonderful time of year to visit Tasmania is during the summer season. Its rugged landscapes, pounding ocean, stunning surf beaches, coastal crags cliffs and bluffs, pristine wilderness, and charming towns are elements for a sentimental journey with your beloved. Explore national parks, indulge in gourmet food and wine, discover Australia’s early settlers well preserved history, visiting unique towns like Launceston (also an an internationally UNESCO listed City of Gastronomy).

From Launceston, it’s a 2hr drive (175km) south-east drive to the Freycinet Peninsula, or from Hobart, a 2.5-hour journey travelling northeast. The star attraction of Freycinet is Wineglass Bay, yet the coastline is dotted with loads of little bays and long stretches of beach. Just the setting to pull over and throw out the blanket wine and cheese (all local produce of course). The magic of Freycinet is in its pristine white beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and rugged granite peaks all in one breath-taking landscape. Create unforgettable memories together wining on legendary cool climate Pinots and Cuvees, farm-to-table dining, indulging in the freshest of seafood, walking, hiking, sunset cruises, stargazing or a picnic on the beach with locally sourced delicacies. Oh so much to lose oneself in. For a more secluded experience, venture to lesser-known spots like Sleepy Bay or Honeymoon Bay – apt names!

In surrounding main Tassie towns couples can escape civilisation easily to discover charming places just for two such as in the town of Sorell, only 30 minutes’ drive south east from Hobart. Here you’ll fall in love with a pair of exquisitely styled self-contained private suites in a rural setting overlooking the ocean, near Marion Bay. Look up Wherewithal Luxury Suites. You can expect a wonderful bespoke experience here, including being driven to & from the fabulous Van Bone Restaurant quietly proud of its small-scale philosophy and intimacy of its wood fire oven. This is the heartbeat of Vane Bone.

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Consider destinations and unique romantic experiences at more modest places that won’t break the bank such as Marina Rose Stanley  only 700 metres from Godfreys Beach in Northwest Tasmania. Or a romantic private cottage at White Croft Cottage in the historic village of Ross. If your thing is relishing in an eco-sustainable getaway, where beauty surrounds you, head to Tin Dragon Cottages for a humble yet authentic native bushland setting, babbling brooks, the joys of a happy Alpaca Farm, diverse wildlife and the pristine Ringarooma river for trout fishing, kayaking. Explore the glorious surrounds, picnic down by the river, witness a sunset or find yourselves on a blanket under a big sky before an obligatory nap with the sounds of the bush as you drift off…zzzzzz.

Bruny Island with its rugged natural beauty is an outstanding destination for couples who adore the nostalgia of ferrying across to Bruny and venturing to the numerous nooks and crannies around the circumference of the island.  Perhaps surprisingly there are an abundance of spots to hide away as a couple such as at Questa at Barnes Bay, on the northern end of the island. Absolute waterfront, Questa is a self-contained heritage cottage with 2 indoor classic fireplaces, a private beach, a piano (!), heat pump and a wraparound Tassie oak deck to sip those delicious Tassie wines. Fit for snuggling in winter too. Here’s a taste of Questa, Bruny Island.

Questa, Bruny Island, Tasmania

Autumn Romance: Rustic Charm and Leafy Retreats

Everyone loves autumn in Australia. Cooling down after long hot days is characterised by golden hues, crisp air, and vibrant foliage that magically defines romantic settings for couples’ retreats.

It’s a time for leaf-peeping drives, wine tasting tours amongst grape laden vineyards or better still, staying in one! Here Travellarks will showcase boutique cottages, winery stays, and countryside B&Bs nestled amidst autumnal landscapes, providing intimate settings for couples’ getaways.

The Clare Valley and Barossa Valleys in South Australia are ideal with the angle of the sun shifting in autumn.  For wine-loving couples, these legendary wine growing regions offer a romantic escape amidst vines row upon row, award winning wineries and cellar doors, charming villages and culinary experiences lavished upon you by passionate growers, cooks and providores. Whoa, that was a mouthful. Explore world-class wineries, dine at award-winning restaurants, and unwind in luxury accommodation. Here’s some highly recommended vineyard stays that would suit couples seeking a vinicultural sojourn.  Wren Cottage at Skillogalee Winery a lovely B&B, with an on-site award-winning restaurant and accompanying wines. Casa Barbera located in historic Mintaro, a Clare Valley town is a wonderfully eclectic stay in a private vineyard. Self-contained Casa Barbera is in stark contrast to most local stays with its open-concept layout, clean, uncluttered spaces, sleek and minimalist, with an emphasis on functionality and comfort. In nearby Watervale, Battunga Cottages offer a selection of B&B cottages, with two being for couples. Choose between Battunga Cottages – Rosella or Battunga Cottages – Kookaburra where you’ll awake to a chorus of magpies, galahs and kookaburras whilst relishing your farmhouse breakfast basket brimming with locally sourced produce with dietary requests catered for. Amble over to the Watervale Hotel from Battunga for their multi-award-winning gastronomy and suggest you book well ahead as it can have congo lines waiting for tables!

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Battunga Cottages “Rosella” Watervale, South Australia

It’s easy to be seduced by legendary Hunter Valley wineries where romantic week-end getaways in NSW attract lovers along country laneways, vine studded fields, undulating slopes and country air that bursts with vigour. The cutest little vineyard cottage based at Winmark Wines is Villa Vino, a cosy bolt hole with a sumptuous queen bed under a pitched roofline, with a minimalist chic makeover of soft colours and designer lighting.  And surrounded by stillness, privacy, studded with trees a few grapes!

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Villa Vino, Winmark Wines Vineyard, Hunter Valley. NSW

Further north in Paterson in the Upper Hunter Valley, surrounded by history and nostalgia are The Barracks Tocal. It sits with grandeur among grand buildings including the Tocal Homestead nearby for weddings and functions. It’s only 15 minutes’ drive from Maitland and 2.5 hours’ north of Sydney. Aesthetically restored from its former 150-year-old quarters, each accommodation suite is individually appointed with impressive vaulted, exposed-beam ceilings which have been retained with a nod to Tocal Homestead’s significant past. The words nostalgia and romance spring to mind. Each suite has kitchenette, your own bathroom, a cosy sitting room, dining setting and a complementary gourmet breakfast hamper that awaits on your first mornings stay. Romantic getaways in the Hunter Valley continue to hold a special place in couples’ hearts judging by the number of weddings celebrated each year during autumn and springtime.

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The Barracks Homestead, Paterson, Upper Hunter Valley, NSW

If the summer heat has beaten you, this is a wonderful time to head to places like Hamilton Island in Queensland, one of the jewels of the Whitsundays. Hamilton Island offers luxury resorts, secluded beaches, and plenty of activities for couples, such as sunset BBQ cruises, kayaking, sailing, snorkelling and diving, Great Barrier Reef Day Trips, beach picnics. Take your treasure for a fabulous sunset cocktail at One Tree Hill. Treat each other to a spa at Hamilton Island Spas. An array of restaurants beckons hungry lovers – see dining at Hamilton Island. Doesn’t get much better does it!

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in the Northern Territory forms a wonderful option during Autumn and Spring seasons. Experience the magic of the Australian outback with a visit to Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). Watch the sunset over Uluru, embark on guided walks, and stargaze under the clear desert skies. Dining under the stars is a must, magical to say the least as the stars twinkle oblivious to life on earth nevertheless is a spark wonderment to us below. Making sure you explore the natural wonders of Uluru and surrounds is a joy for couples creating lasting memories of thousands of years. Discover Uluru and beyond.

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Uluru, NT, Australia. Photography Kylie Hinkson

A better time of year is autumn for a romantic getaway in the Daintree Rainforest, Queensland: For couples who love nature, the Daintree Rainforest offers a romantic retreat amidst ancient trees, crystal-clear streams, and diverse wildlife. Stay in eco-lodges, go on guided walks, and cruise along the Daintree River. The northern part of Queensland is less humid at this time of year, including wintertime offering an alternate temperate destination.

 

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