Images of vacationing or honeymooning in Australia might conjure up images of beaches, kangaroos, and crocodiles, but that is definitely not all that Australia has to offer. If you are getting ready to tie the knot, a destination wedding and honeymoon in Australia has a lot of variety to offer. Diverse landscapes abound with the Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea on the east side to the Indian Ocean and Coral Coast on the west side and rainforests, snow mountains, and wine country sandwiched in between. When it comes to choosing that perfect place for your wedding and honeymoon, Australia offers up some of the most romantic, unusual, and secluded wedding destinations. Whatever your taste is, Australia has a beautiful wedding locale that fits it; and for your honeymoon, whether you seek adventure or relaxation or any combination in between; it’s here too. Hiring your own car puts you in control of getting to where you need to be and gives you the freedom to go where you want to be.
The Whitsunday Islands
Photo Credit: tourismwhitsundays.com.au
Heart Reef, pictured above says it all about the Whitsunday Islands. The island chain near the Great Barrier Reef is made for love. Secluded white sand beaches and the perfectly turquoise colours of the Coral Sea provide amazing scenery for a barefoot beach wedding. If more traditional chapels are more your thing, they are available too. Honeymooning on an island paradise filled with private beaches, luxury spas, and more water sports than you can imagine all equal an unforgettable, once in a lifetime experience.
Photo Credit: tourismwhitsundays.com.au
In the Whitsundays, fill your days:
- Yachting in the yacht capital of the world
- Whale Watching June through September
- Crocodile Safari cruise in the Proserpine River Wetlands
- Swimming in the natural pool at Cedar Creek Falls
- Pamper yourselves at the many spas in the Whitsunday Islands
Getting to the Whitsunday Islands
The Whitsunday Islands are a 74 island chain located just off of the coast of Queensland. Of course, you can’t take your rental car over to the islands, but you can hire a car on the mainland in Proserpine. You can also return your rental car there if you are coming from Cairns to the north or Brisbane to the south. You can take a ferry over to the islands from the mainland and you can also fly into Hamilton Island on a domestic flight.
Photo Credit: Daintree-Ecolodge.com.au
From the oceans to the rainforest gives you an example of the diversity available in the choices for your wedding location. A two hour drive north of Cairns in Queensland is the Daintree Rainforest. Daintree is a wonderful vacation spot, and who wouldn’t want to say they were married and honeymooned in the oldest rainforest in the world? There are several different locations within the rainforest or in the surrounding lodges and hotels that make for a perfect wedding and reception venue.
Photo Credit: Daintree.com
The Daintree Rainforest also has much for you to explore during your honeymoon including:
- The SkyRail gives you a birds-eye view of the rainforest
- Cultural and historical aboriginal tours
- Bushwalking, hiking, biking, and boating tours help you see all the rainforest has to offer
- Nocturnal tours allow you to see a different side of the rainforest at night
- Kayaking or boating in the Coral Sea next to the Daintree gives you an ocean side perspective and view of the rainforest.
Getting to the Daintree Rainforest
The Daintree Rainforest and Daintree National Park are located just 30 km north of Port Douglas. Both Port Douglas and Cairns are well known for being Great Barrier Reef vacation spots. The close proximity can also mean that if you wanted to mix it up on your honeymoon you can easily drive to the different spots of your choosing.
Photo Credit: Voyages.com.au
First we covered islands and oceans, next the rainforest, and now, the desert. Uluru is the original name for this sandstone monolith, which is also known as Ayers Rock. It is the largest monolith in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are several different and equally breath taking reception sites both outdoors and at local resorts with the beautiful red rock as the background scenery. As the ceremony and wedding reception go on throughout the day, the landscape will change dramatically with the colours of the sunset.
Photo Credit: UluruCamelTours.com.au
Once it is time for your honeymoon, Uluru and the surrounding aboriginal lands offer much for the newlywed couple to do:
- Go on a camel ride tour of Uluru and the surrounding landscapes and aboriginal lands
- Aerial helicopter tours or hot air balloon rides
- Learn from the aborigines people that protect the land
- Tour the nearby caves, canyons and variety of landscapes
- Dine outside under the stars at Table 131°
- Pamper yourselves in the spas and resorts
Getting to Uluru
Photo Credit: Google Maps
This screen shot of Google maps gives you an idea of the enormous scale of Uluru. It is located in the south-western corner of the Northern Territory. The closest large city is Alice Spring, which is about a 6 and half hour drive from Alice Springs. Since the Northern Territory is rugged, desert terrain, make sure to check with your car rental agent for safety tips and make sure that you leave plenty of daylight driving time to arrive at your Uluru resort destination before dusk.
Photo Credit: AmusingPlanet.com
This is the geographic spectacle of the Bunda Cliffs. Visitors here describe the experience as “standing on the edge of the world”. What could be a more romantic wedding locale and sentiment than, “I will follow you to the ends of the Earth”? Here in South Australia along the Nullarbor Plain the flat terrain meets the ocean in a dramatic 90 metre drop. The Bunda Cliffs and the Nullarbor Plain may not be known as a “wedding destination” but that makes it perfect for the couple that is not looking for a commercialised, run of the mill wedding and honeymoon. It also means that accommodations won’t break the bank either. The Nullarbor Plain area offers accommodations from camping to motels.
Photo Credit: SAWhaleCentre.com
Things to do at the Bunda Cliffs and Nullarbor Plain:
- Whale watchining between May and Septmeber
- Visit the Koonalda Homestead, and old abandoned town, for a look back into history
- Aerial tours to see the cliffs from above
- Off-road driving will allow you to explore the area, see the European and aboriginal history and the wildlife in the area including wild camels, dingos, birds, lizards, and the Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat
- Murrawijinie Caves are spectacular caves nearby that you can explore on land and underwater
- Visit the Eyre Peninsula to see the Australian Sea Lions and do some bird watching too
Getting to the Bunda Cliffs
Photo Credit: Google Maps
The Bunda Cliffs and the Nullarbor Plain are located in Southern Australia along the Southern Bight Coast. The closest main city is Ceduna, which is about 540 km to the east. You can hire a car in Ceduna and take the fascinating drive west along the way with many stops that can make the drive part of the fun.
Kalbarri National Park
Photo Credit: Department of Parks and Wildlife
The Kalbarri National Park is one of the most well-known parks in Western Australia. It offers some of the most diverse landscapes all in one place. Any of the post card picture-perfect views throughout the park could make for a spectacular wedding location. There are also luxury resorts just outside of the park where you could also hold the wedding and reception and then spend your honeymoon playing in the park since it offers so many adventures. The park is located along the Coral Coast of Western Australia and boasts coastal cliffs on the west side and the Murchison River and Murchison River Gorge on the east side with an abundance of wildlife and wild flowers in between.
Photo Credit: AustraliasCoralCoast.com
The amazing views plus the adventurous things to do make Kalbarri National Park the perfect wedding destination for couples seeking a honeymoon filled with action and adventure.
- Hiking and bushwalking tours to several lookout points along the Murchison River Gorge including Nature’s Window pictured above.
- Take to the rivers and the Indian Ocean in the same trip with boating and fishing available for either river or ocean.
- White water rafting, canoeing, kayaking or cruising on the Murchison River
- Whale watching in the Indian Ocean
- Wildflowers and wildlife can be seen during walking, hiking, climbing, tours that also educate you about the aboriginal caretakers of this land
Getting to Kalbarri National Park
Photo Credit: Google Maps
The Kalbarri National Park is located 485 kilometres north of Perth. If you hire a car in Perth, you can drive to Kalbarri during the daylight hours, as driving outside of Perth’s city limits after dusk is restricted for safety reasons. It is just a little over a 6 hour drive north up the Coral Coast, so if you leave after breakfast, you will have plenty of time to take a leisurely day long road trip and arrive to the national park or accommodations in Kalbarri city before dark. If you are flying in from out of the region, you can fly into Geraldton Airport and hire a car in Geraldton; the drive to Kalbarri from there is under two hours and easier to travel within the day time guidelines. Please remember that this is rural and rugged terrain, check with your car rental agent for any additional safe driving guidelines and safety restrictions.