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Vines

Western Australia’s South West region has garnered an international reputation for its farm-to-table style restaurants and award-winning wineries, making it a dream honeymoon destination for foodie couples.

A leisurely three hours drive from Perth, the Margaret River region is also bursting with breathtaking scenery, beautiful beaches and luxurious accommodation options.

Geographe Bay

This region is ideal to visit all year round. In summer, it’s all about laid-back beach days and outdoorsy pursuits, while in winter, the crisp mornings and cool nights make it conducive to cosy dinners and red wines fireside.

For couples seeking an Australian honeymoon destination – or those who don’t have a lot of time to spare – then Margaret River could provide the perfect post-wedding vacation.

Beach

Explore

Revered for its rugged coastline, epic surfing spots, untamed bushland and towering forests, the Margaret River region is a stunning location to discover. Blessed with a staggering fifty beaches, coves and lagoons, you could easily spend a few hours (or days!) bay hopping and you might even find a stretch of sand to yourselves. Stop by Yallingup Beach or Bunker Bay for snorkelling, Smith’s Beach for surfing, and grab a post-swim coffee or acai bowl from food trucks at Meelup Beach and Geographe Bay.

Lighthouse

Take a stroll around the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse to admire a beacon of history and enjoy panoramic walking trail views, or descend down below to one of the many natural caves in the region – definitely an adventurous honeymoon experience! Top choices include the cavernous Mammoth Cave and the mystical Lake Cave – a limestone labyrinth brimming with glistening crystal formations.

Rockpools

Drink and dine

With so many wineries, craft cider-makers, microbreweries and distilleries dotted throughout this gourmet region, it can be tricky to know where to begin! Join a winery tour and get a local’s look at the region, or organise private transport to ensure a relaxing experience.

In addition to cellar doors, art galleries, upmarket retail stores and providores, many producers also have adjoining restaurants, perfect for a lunch or afternoon tea stop.

For a relaxed alfresco lunch, visit Laurence of Margaret River and order a carefully curated share platter, piled high with tasty items like truffled cauliflower, citrus topped terrines and antipasto. You can dine on the rolling lawns by the vines, before taking a wander through the spectacular rose garden and take in the perfumed blooms.

Laurence lunch

If you have a penchant for Hampton’s style architecture, sea-inspired homewares and classic cars, you simply cannot go past Aravina Estate. A dreamy haven of white wood panelling, divine cuisine and quintessential vine views, this top-notch winery will linger in your mind long after you’ve polished off your last purchase!

Aravina entrance

Aravina lunch

Voyager Estate is another must-dine destination for devoted gastronomes. With its own kitchen garden and commitment to local ingredients, the estate restaurant serves up fresh seasonal meals with a new menu printed daily. For an extra-special experience, choose the ‘Discovery Menu’ to explore six carefully matched wine and food courses, or time your visit for High Tea to sip bubbles and devour tasty treats all afternoon!

Voyager Estate

Voyager Estate Food

Forage

You could easily spend several days sampling the artisanal produce and handmade delights in this tasty part of Western Australia but if you only have time for a couple of stops, don’t miss these local standouts:

Cocoa lovers must visit Gabriel Chocolate for a decadent fix from the first ‘bean to bar’ chocolate maker in the state. Here you can sample chocolate made from raw beans sourced from around the globe: from smooth milk varieties, to dark and intense styles. After perusing the store, take a sweet break at the adjoining café and order a decadent hot chocolate, waffles, ice cream or all of the above!

For delicious cheeses, stop by the Yallingup Cheese Company to try creamy Camembert, delicate curd and marinated fetta, lovingly handmade from organic milk. This relatively new establishment also holds wine and cheese pairing afternoons and cheese-making classes – perfect honeymooning activities!

Vines 2

Stay

Enveloped by enchanting gardens and expansive lawns, Grand Mercure Basildene Manor is just a few moments drive from the town of Margaret River and is a delightful accommodation option for honeymooners.

Basildene entrance

Basildene

Exuding timeless romance and old-world charm, this heritage-listed property has been lovingly converted from a grand family home into a boutique hotel.

With elegant details like sumptuous bed linen, deep soaking tubs and rain showers, each of the 17 rooms and suites ooze the style and grandeur of yesteryear.

You and your love can meander hand-in-hand through the gardens, play a round of tennis, take a dip in the heated pool and dine in the light-filled conservatory overlooking the valley and forest beyond.

Basildene Manor gardens

All images by Anika Reynolds

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Such a divine part of the world – and such a memorable place to start married life together! The wine and food experiences are definitely my favourites!

About Anika: I’m a freelance writer with a love of weddings and creatively styled events. I have a penchant for pretty stationery and perfectly put together cheese plates, and a never-ending sense of wanderlust!

Polka Dot Honeymoons Directory Mid Banner

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Paula & Aaron

I am from Melbourne, Australia. I run my own digital marketing agency and also mentor female entrepreneurs. Since my wedding in Paris I am part of the lovely team at Parisian Inspired Wedding.

Aaron proposed on Valentine’s Day and I had no idea it was coming. He took me out to see a movie on the day but kept telling me he had a special surprise for me later on. Still no idea…..

When we got home we popped open some of my favourite French champagne and I cheekily asked if I would get my surprise and was a little shocked when he snapped ‘no!’ Little did I know he was starting to get a little nervous….

Later in the night he asked me to close my eyes and I could hear him rummaging in another room for something… I was imagining all the gifts it could be… perhaps a dress from my favourite boutique in Melbourne??? I was speechless when I opened my eyes to see him on his knee with a ring… seriously, speechless. I couldn’t answer through my tears for several minutes!! A moment in my life I will never forget!

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After we got engaged, we quickly got swept up in all that goes with planning a wedding. Before we knew it, the whole day had exploded into this huge elaborate affair and we both found ourselves asking: is this what we want?

Aaron and I are all about the experience and we wanted a day that we could truly and deeply experience. Something that was about us and our very immediate family.

We chose to have an engagement in Melbourne, that was really a surprise wedding to include more extended friends and family – and then we had our symbolic ceremony in Paris. We chose to just do legal vows in Melbourne. We swapped our personal vows on the day and they went into a little suitcase, which travelled with us to Paris to continue our vows there.

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We chose Paris because I am in love with the city. I have travelled there many times and have such fond memories. I feel very at home there and wanted my family to share my love for the city with us on one of the biggest days of our lives. Getting to wander around after the ceremony capturing our wedding photos was amazing – there was no pressure of having to get to a reception or keep to a particular schedule. The day was perfection. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

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Camille at Parisian Inspired Wedding made sure that the day was easy and elegant for all involved. From ensuring I had the nicest freshest gluten free bread for my breakfast to ensuring the restaurant was perfect for all our family at the end of the day. I wouldn’t change a thing…. I’d just like to do it again!!

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Dealing with vendors in France can be tricky if you are not from there or don’t speak French. Before I found Parisian Inspired Wedding, I almost thought I wouldn’t be able to pull the day off as I had no idea how to organise anything or how to contact the ‘right’ people. Camille made the whole experience effortless!

Walking through Palais Royal with my father and seeing Aaron and then all my closest family is one of the happiest memories I have so far in life! I remember stopping to take it in straight after the ceremony and thinking – “this is a perfect moment in life, a perfect day.” The weather was perfect, the location was perfect and the desserts and champagne we had straight after getting married were even more perfect!

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Images by Divajo Photography

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations Paula and Aaron – such a beautiful wedding in one of the most romantic cities in the world!

Bride's Dress: Carla Zampatti / Bride's Shoes: Enzo Angiolini / Groom's Attire: Asos / Wedding Planner: Parisian Inspired Wedding / Ceremony Venue: Jardins du Palais Royal / Photographer: Divajo Photography

Loloma wedding pavilion Intercontinental Fiji

The tropical blue waters and palm trees of the The InterContinental Fiji Resort & Spa are so picture perfect it’s right out of a postcard. But there is much more to this ‘resort within a resort’ venue, than the pure white sandy beaches and aqua blue skies that are every tropical destination wedding dream.

The resort, which spans over 35 acres is perfectly family friendly – in fact adjoining rooms, a well equipped kids club, bar, and multiple restaurants mean that it’s the perfect place for little ones. But then there is something extra special, and what became Mr Polka and my favourite feature of all – the Club InterContinental which makes for a perfect sashay through for pre wedding parties, dancing on the beach receptions to secluded, intimate honeymoons.

Intercontinental Fiji Grounds

Intercontinental Fiji Beach

InterContinental Fiji Beach

Despite the resort’s grand size, there is one factor I adore – the resort will only host one wedding a day. So you have no chance of running in to another wedding or competing for the best spot on the waterside.

Loloma wedding pavilion

While couples can choose to marry anywhere on the property (the Navo Restaurant lawn perhaps my favourite outdoor spot) the glass walled Loloma wedding pavilion, which seats 60 frames the classic tropical view to perfection. Air-conditioned, it’s decorated with carved wooden pews and fresh flowers for a wedding arrival – absent guests can even dial in to the chapel’s live feed and watch the ceremony from afar.

Intercontinental Fiji Wedding Chapel

Intercontinental Fiji Chapel Lawn

Intercontinental fiji kama beachfront beach

Receptions are of course equally as beautiful with the pavilion lawn, situated in front of the ceremony spot, allowing for outdoor receptions and easy access to dance the night away. The adjoining Kama Beachfront is also popular, allowing guests to kick off their shoes (and has a capacity of 350). For something a little more private, Navo Restaurant and its lawns, located on the lagoon, give the best of both worlds – stunning views and award winning cuisine. The resort’s grand infinity pool rounds out the options – although like many things InterContinental your wish is their command, and any area of the resort is available for celebrations.

kama beachfront intercontinental fiji

Kama Bar

Navo Restaurant Lawn Fiji

Navo restaurant intercontinental fiji

Navo restaurant lawns fiji

Intrcontinental Fiji Infinity Pool

Everything is taken care of here at the InterContinental – the glowing Jane, who showed us around the property, oversees the weddings here, and works with couples and their InterContinental wedding planners via email, Skype and conference call.

Every wedding booked at the InterContinental includes a Lagoon view room (my favourite room style of this part of the resort), the lawns spill out to the still lagoon and are situated away from the crowds, making them a gorgeous spot for a few pre-dinner drinks with the friends.

Intercontinental Fiji lagoon View Room

Intercontinental fiji lagoon room king bed

Even the most basic package (Vau Vata) includes all the luxuries – from the hotel room, to a private cabana dinner just for two, champagne on arrival, airport transfers, spa treatments, tropical flower arrangements and even a traditional Fijian Choir to serenade you.

From the base package, the guest inclusions only get better. Packages adding on everything from wedding reception tastings, tribal drumming rituals and fire shows, pre dinner drinks and canapés – the list goes on and is only limited by your imagination. The “Sogo Lagilagi” package the crème de la crème, which includes everything from return business class flights, the exclusive use of the club lounge area and club level accommodation for 110 guests. You can only guess how I am envious of the endless inclusions of that amazing, ‘don’t lift a finger’ experience!

When it comes to the wedding day, couples can make the most of the onsite spa – the private Orchid Room bridal suite complete with outdoor spa and twin massage beds has plenty of room for bridal parties and guests to spend their morning in air conditioned comfort.

Intercontinental Fiji Spa

Intercontinental Fiji Spa Bridal Suite Room

Intercontinental Fiji Spa Bridal Suite

Intercontinental Fiji bridal Suite In Spa

The wedding team works one on one with you to customize your experience. Want to dance all night? They’ll book out the Jambu bar for you. Want to escape from the main resort for your honeymoon? They’ll work with you to upgrade to the exclusive club level.

Intercontinental Fiji CLub Level

Club InterContinental King Bed

Club InterContinental Outdoor bath

Club InterContinental Fiji Outdoor Pool

And while packages and additions and special treats are the foundation of why the InterContinental Fiji Resort & Spa makes such a gorgeous wedding spot, it is the team here that really makes the experience special.

During our stay at the resort, when it was almost full capacity, we somehow felt as if we were the only guests in sight. Team members widening their grin as we came into view,  the extra little treats that seemingly came out of nowhere but made our experience that much more memorable, and above all trust – trust that we were being looked after and the team had it under control. And if there is one thing I know about wedding planning, it’s that trusting your wedding team is the most important part of all.

Polka Dot Bride was flown to Fiji and stayed at The InterContinental Fiji Resort & Spa as a guest of The InterContinental Fiji Resort & Spa for editorial consideration in accordance with our disclosure policy.

All images taken by Ms Polka Dot.