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australianislandstohire

Imagine having an entire island all to yourselves for your honeymoon, with not a soul to be seen, and nobody else but you and your beloved! For the ultimate in private and romantic honeymoon getaways, these Australian islands can be hired exclusively – and they don’t have the ten thousand dollar price tag you’re thinking! All allow you to have an entire island just for yourselves if you so choose – guaranteeing serenity, seclusion and plenty of space.

1. Satellite Island

With dramatic scenery, Satellite Island is a magical hideaway found on the South Eastern Coast of the Apple Isle. It is utterly unspoilt – with rugged cliffs falling away to sparkling waters, the immense beauty of the Tasmanian wilderness is unforgettable. Full of things to experience, such as shucking wild oysters, a sunset bonfire at the peak of the island, fishing, diving swimming, and nature walks, the rest of the world will fall from memory on your own piece of paradise. Image by Adam Gibson and Satellite Island

2. Pumpkin Island

A little jewel surrounded by Queensland’s aquamarine waters and abundant wildlife, Pumpkin Island offers a multitude of activities. Head out dolphin and turtle spotting, explore the sea in a glass bottomed kayak, spend the day snorkelling, go oyster harvesting, hire your own private chef… or simply do nothing at all! Eco friendly self-catered units powered by wind and sun, and all with a private deck, ensure a comfortable stay in this magnificent location which you can have all to yourselves. Image by Adam Gormley

3. Wilson Island

A gorgeous secluded coral island with sandy white beaches, crystal clear water and swaying palm trees, Wilson Island is both a part of the Great Barrier Reef and surrounded by it. Accessible from Queensland’s Heron Island, you can snorkel the stunning waters, discover stunning reef and beach walks, and escape modern-day life on this tiny island. With pristine white sands, reefs, turtle and bird breeding grounds and safari-style accommodation, it really is a peaceful immersion into nature for the two of you. Image by Kellie Blinco

4. Three Hummock Island

If you’re looking to start your honeymoon afresh, look no further than the place with the cleanest air in the world – North Western Tasmania. A magical secluded paradise surrounded by granite coastlines and rolling surf, Three Hummock Island has breathtaking scenery every way you look. With plenty of flora and fauna to take in, it is a wilderness treasure trove. Even penguins can be spotted making their way back up to their nests each night, a sight sure to instil that loved-up feeling. Image by Andrew Strikis

5. Marble Island

For a secret retreat with a rustic feel, Marble Island is the ideal secluded haven to explore and relax in. With an on-island manager on hand to help you organise any activities you wish, you can spend romantic nights star gazing or beach fishing, spend days together exploring the rock pools or guided nature walks, and spend evenings snuggled around a bonfire or clinking glasses at any of the numerous private beaches of this Queensland gem. Image via Marble Island

6. Haggerstone Island

This award-winning island is in the remote regions of Far North Queensland, and encompasses the true feeling of a remote tropical island. With the island full of jungles and waterfalls, opening out onto a lagoon and beyond that the reef, it feels untouched by man. There is an orchard garden that supplies fresh produce. The rates are unbelievably all-inclusive – all meals, non-alcoholic beverages, and activities such as fishing, boat outings, and snorkelling are included. Haggerstone Island is truly a unique location to live the islander life, if only for a short while. Image by Natalie Turner

 

Ms Chinoiserie Says: What a blissful escape – a private island to share just with your beloved is surely time spent in secluded paradise!

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How To Take Honeymoon Photos Like A Pro!

Your honeymoon promises to be the holiday experience of a lifetime, so no doubt you’re hoping to capture some gorgeous photos during your romantic escape, to treasure for years to come.

Perth wedding and lifestyle photographer Angela Higgins has won the hearts of many loved-up couples with her light filled, timeless photography style and her genuine passion for capturing a couple’s special day.

Also a keen traveller, Angela is often jetting off to far-flung destinations, camera in hand, and it goes without saying that her travel photography is equally as stunning!

So what better person to ask to share top tips to make your honeymoon photos sparkle? From selecting the perfect lens, to editing on-the-go, Angela’s tips will help you create a honeymoon album you will love!

Firstly, let’s talk about camera gear essentials for taking great holiday snaps. Are there any particular items to purchase or pack to really make your photos pop?

My priority when travelling is to choose minimal gear to be able to travel light. My travel photography is usually 80 per cent details and 20 per cent landscapes so I don’t need a wide lens – my travel gear go-to is a 50mm 1.4 lens attached to my Canon 5D Mark III body.

If you aren’t sure what you want to photograph, a zoom lens (24-70 is ideal) is great to attach to your DSLR however a point-and-shoot like my Fuji X1000 is great to throw around my neck to capture more candid moments. In addition to the camera, don’t forget lots of memory cards and your battery charger!

Taking photos while travelling means often snapping away pretty quickly and without a lot of preparation – you are on your honeymoon after all! What are your top tips for taking great travel photos ‘on the fly’? 

My advice to getting great photos with little effort is to be very well acquainted with your camera and how light works. The better you know it, the faster you’ll be able to change the settings and focus and shoot instead of telling people to “Wait, lemme just figure this out!” Spend time before your honeymoon using the camera as much as you can in different situations, such as bright light, sunset light, night time, and experiment so you can confidently document your trip.

If you can photograph in manual mode, definitely try to learn it as many tours don’t allow you to photograph with flash.

If you’re only taking your phone on your honeymoon, what tips do you have for taking the best photos?

Despite all of my professional gear, some of my favourite photos are taken on my phone. The camera capabilities are so good for travel photography and it is much less cumbersome than a camera. My tips for the best photos on your phone are to always wipe your camera lens beforehand and to move your feet rather than using the zoom of your phone. You will get a better angle and the resolution will be much better and you can crop it later if needed.

Using the in-built grid on your iPhone also allows you to use the rule of thirds to compose your image pleasingly. With this concept, when you take a photograph you try to put points of interest (where you want the viewer’s eye to be drawn to) at one of the four points where the lines intersect or along the lines themselves. On an iPhone you can turn on the grid at Settings > Photos & Camera > Grid.

Unless you’re going on safari, chances are you won’t be rising at dawn or timing your activities for golden hour! What technical tips can you share to help loved-up travellers get the best photos in less than ideal conditions?

Embrace the moment with a few hacks:

a. If you are shooting manually on digital or film in full sun use the Sunny 16 rule.
b. Try to keep the subject in the foreground in the same lighting as the background – especially for those photos when you’re trying to capture a landscape behind people. For example, don’t stand under the palm tree on the sunny beach, stand in the sun.
c. Avoid your subject looking into the sun to prevent squinting and shadows. Unless you’re on a beach where you can put on your best shades and you’re set!

Apart from happy photos of each other, what tips do you have for really capturing the essence of your destination in terms of details or subject matter?

I naturally gravitate towards details to help tell a story. A cup of coffee in a restaurant. A bowl of fresh fruit. A cluster of palm trees and blue skies. A table of food that represents where you are in the world. Farmers markets.

It is true that a picture tells a thousand words and when you start to put together your photographs as a collection, these details will help tell a story in addition to your landscape photos and make things a little more interesting when you share them with friends and family.

Photographing things such as language (ie, street signs), currency, tickets, decor, your accommodation, the locals and of course food, are great ways to document a location but it is important to also have context. Keep them in situ rather than being isolated. When we were in Paris last year, spring had just broken so I made a point to photograph the brightly coloured fruit and tree blossoms that were everywhere.

Can you share some simple editing tips for those hoping to give their snaps a little extra sparkle? 

When editing on your phone, my preference is ‘less is best’. Using Instagram’s in-built editing is great with your favourite filter reduced to 20 per cent or so and then a little more brightness, less shadow and less highlights. That is all you need!

Post honeymoon, it’s time to sort, store and display those treasured images. Any tips on photo storage or creating a gorgeous photo album? 

This is the tough part. Firstly, download all your images and select your favourites and avoid duplicates, out of focus/unflattering images, etc. Once you’ve chosen your favourites you will have a couple of stand outs that you might like to print or even more that would be great to be printed in a travel album or uploaded as a Facebook album. Use a service like Artifact Uprising or Momento to easily create an album of your travels. Make sure you back up to a cloud service or create a physical hard drive back up just in case!

What are some of the most romantic, photogenic and memorable places you have been to? (Including your own honeymoon!)

My own honeymoon started before our wedding as we had a destination wedding in New Zealand. New Zealand is a photographer’s paradise and some of my favourite memories were from the days leading up to and following our wedding, as our family flew in from around the world.

We also loved traveling to Lyon and the Beaujolais and were fortunate to have some friends show us around and experience it as a local (Lyon is actually known as the food capital of France!) and the scenery was to die for.

We recently celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary in Paris and it couldn’t have been more perfect! It’s the most romantic city in the world and a photographer’s paradise.

Any other honeymoon travel tips?

When traveling with your camera gear, avoid using camera bags as it can make you a target for thieves. My preference is a bag that has a double purpose of holding my purse, maps and personal items plus my camera, but looks like a normal bag. My favourite travel option is an ONA bag or my Louis Vuitton tote.

And Angela’s final tip? “Don’t forget, sometimes the most memorable moments are the ones that I didn’t photograph so remember to just stop and breathe and experience the beautiful location you’ve traveled to.”

All images by Angela Higgins

Ms Chinoiserie Says: Beautiful photography! Some fabulous tips about capturing those special moments – particularly about which filters to use and getting some wonderful detail shots!

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!

Image via Get Busy In The Maldives

Choosing a honeymoon spot can be a dizzying (though exciting!) decision, on top of all the wedding planning. There are a number of ways to make a choice, depending on whether budget, climate or sightseeing is your first priority. Although great weather and optimal sight-seeing equates to high season and more expensive hotel room rates, the perks may be well worth it for a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon. If you are looking to flee the extreme heat (or cold…depending on where you are located) of January, here are a few of our favourite honeymoon destinations to consider.

1. Maldives

The climate in the Maldives in driven by monsoons. In summer, from May to November, there are strong winds with a lot of rain and storms. The best time to enjoy Maldive’s turquoise water and white sandy beaches is no doubt between the months of December and April, with January promising the best weather.

Where to Stay
As a tourist paradise, many of Maldive’s archipelago’s islands have transformed into luxury hotels and stylish resorts. One&Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives live up to its name: sprawling across its own island, the boutique resort has its own diving centre, sun spa, climbing wall and three pools to choose from.

Image via One&Only Reethi Rah

For couples chasing the stunning coastal view, W Retreat & Spa Maldives’ Ocean Villa is a sure delight. The sprawling master suite features panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and your own private infinity plunge pool.

Image via W Retreat & Spa Maldives

What to Do
The tourist paradise has no shortage of things to entertain its visitors. The capital of Maldives, Male, is small and peaceful, with small mosques, a large bazaar and many tea rooms.

Diving fans will probably delight in discovering the underwater world in Ari, South Male and North Male. Swim with the rays and sharks up close or marvel at the vibrant corals underwater before relaxing with a massage or spa treatment.

2. Myanmar

Out of this world at any time of the year, January is the best month to visit Myanmar. The region promises lots of sunshine during this first month of the year. Formerly known as Burma, the South-East Asian country is quickly rising to become an economy powerhouse in the region. A series of reforms undertaken by the government also saw the country fast becoming a tourist favourite.

Where to Stay
Yangon is the largest city in Myanmar as well as a history-filled one. Given the number of sights within and nearby the city, it’s a great place to stay for your Burmese honeymoon adventure. Belmond Governor’s Residence is the former home of a Yangon governor, transformed into a luxury hotel. Set in the midst of a lotus garden, the teak mansion offers a tranquil sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Image via Belmond Governor’s Residence

What to Do
From its pagodas and temples in the misty mountains where the Himalayas begin, to its blissful, never-knew-existed tropical islands, Myanmar is a honeymoon destination unlike any other.

Amongst the country’s many temples and pagodas, Shwedagon Paya is a must-see. Visible from almost anywhere in Yangon, this is one of Buddhism’s most sacred sites. The 99 metre-tall zedi (bell-shaped monument), adorned with 27 tonnes of gold leaf and thousands of diamonds and other gems, is believed to enshrine eight hairs of Gautama Buddha as well as relics of three former Buddhas.

Image via Shwedagon Paya

3. Coast of Mexico

The coast of Mexico is vibrant, warm and exuberant – and the best time for to visit is January. It is hot, but not-too-hot, with barely any rain at all.

Where to Stay
The Cape at Los Cabos is a reimagined surf retreat. Its all glass, clean lines with a dash of Southern California style will delight even the fussiest minimalist. Splurge for the villa that is kitted out with a private plunge pool, kitchen and your very own butler.

Image via The Cape

Recoup after a long-haul flight with a gentle “Just Landed” rub down, or roll back those wedding preparation stresses with a signature anti-ageing massage for a blissful start to your marriage.

What to Do
Nature has carved some amazing formations at Los Cabos, and El Arco is perhaps the most famous. A signature icon of Los Cabos, the limestone arch carved by time, wide and wind runs down to the water’s edge and into the sea. From a distance, the formation looks like a dragon, and up close the arch frames sky, sea and sand for picture-perfect photos.

Image via Visit Mexico

4. Canada

For newly-weds seeking reprieve from the heat, January in Whistler, Canada is the perfect place to be. Right in the middle of the skiing season, you’ll find that January in the ski resorts are not as busy after the Christmas break. Even if you are not a seasoned skier, you’ll be captivated by the breathtaking, snow-covered slopes.

Where to Stay
Fairmont Chateau, located at the base of Blackcomb Mountain is the embodiment of mountain luxury. The resort is elegantly decorated with warm, earthy tones throughout its finishes. After a full day of exploring, relax into one of the three outdoor slope-side whirlpools or enjoy a spa treatment at the on-site Vida Spa.

Image via Fairmont Chateau

What to Do
Although Whistler is well-known for skiing, the alpine region has plenty of other things to offer its visitors. Explore the forests and trails surrounding Whistler in the uniquely Canadian way – pulled by a team of exuberant sled dogs. For food lovers, the Whistler Tasting Tours will take you through a multi-course dinner in four of the local favourite restaurants, a chocolate shop and a brewhouse.

Image via Tourism Whistler

5. Iceland

Iceland has become increasingly popular amongst travellers for its natural wonders. And January is one of the best time to visit for honeymooners; it is not as cold as one would imagine it to be, and it is one of the best times to see the magnificent Northern Lights. The natural phenomenon lights up the skies in dancing shades of various colours and the truly magical experience is sure to be one of the most memorable ways to start off your marriage.

Where to Stay
Hotel Budir is a small country hotel two hours’ drive away from Reykjavik on the dramatic landscape of Sanefellsnes Peninsula. Located next to a wide and windswept beach, guests can often spot seals bobbing around the inlet. One wall of the hotel is covered in artist’s impression of Icelandic fairy tales and another has pictures dating back to hotel’s inception.

Image via Hotel Budir

What to Do
The scarcely populated island makes it a popular spot for viewing the Northern Lights, but Iceland has much more to offer. The Nordic nirvana is a rugged landscape that is mind-blowing – lighthouses, shipwrecks and glaciers that stretch as far as the eyes can see.

Image via Guide to Iceland

The country that seems to be in a perpetual winter is also home to some of the best natural hot springs. Blue Lagoon is a milky-teal heaven amidst a black-lava field. The super-heated water is rich in blue-green algae, mineral salts and fine silica mud, which is amazing for conditioning and exfoliating the skin. You are guaranteed to emerge from the springs invigorated and relaxed.

Image via Blue Lagoon

Ms Chinoiserie Says: So many romantic places to visit in January – Iceland is definitely on my ‘must see’ list!