A sweet and funny video today from Natalie and Luke at beautiful Hayman Island, part of the Whitsunday Islands, off the Queensland coast. Aqua blue waters, palm trees, sunny days – perfect for a honeymoon!
Natalie tells us: ‘My husband and I got married on the eighth of January this year and honeymooned on the beautiful Hayman Island. It was just perfect for what we were after. Plenty of relaxation but there were also loads of activities at our fingertips if we were ever at risk of getting bored. We also liked that it was the kind of place we would only go for a very special occasion – so we felt very spoilt! Just before our wedding I purchased a zumi digital camera that we used for our wedding video so I brought it along on the honeymoon and captured this…’
We had the opportunity to visit the Argentinean Lakes District recently and absolutely fell head over heels in love with it. We’d heard that Bariloche and Villa la Angostura (a town 45 mins drive from Bariloche) were really popular for honeymooners and we can definitely understand why! It’s the perfect place for combining a snuggle-by-the-fire holiday with a full-of-adventure holiday. The whole area just has this really romantic feel to it … cosy cottages nestled into the mountains, incredible views at every turn, hand-made chocolate, and of course the famous Argentinean wine is simply amazing. But as well as that, there’s skiing in the winter, rafting, fishing, hiking, bike-riding and more, so it’s pretty impossible to be bored here. After spending only four days exploring the area it’s now well and truly on our ‘we want to live here one day’ list!
We highly recommend hiring a car to really get the best out of this area. So much is to be seen just driving around the gorgeous lakes and stopping wherever takes your fancy. We stayed in a friend’s holiday house in Villa La Angostura (got to love those friends!) but there are countless Hotels and B&B’s or ‘Hosterias’ to choose from.
We decided one of the best ways we could really get to see the views was by being on the water itself so we decided to book a tour on a gorgeous little yacht run by Impatiente. This was the most amazing experience. Our drivers were so sweet and we had the best time sipping wine on the deck surrounded by such incredible natural beauty – it really was one of the most calming and refreshing things we’ve ever done.
You must try the delicious hand-made chocolates at Benroth. They let you create your own chocolate box! Be sure to choose something with the famous South American caramel ‘Dulce de Leche’.
Many of our photos were taken at local camping grounds that are dotted around the lakes. Yes, camping grounds. As avid campers back home we were wishing we had our swag with us! So there’s accommodation for every budget! We hope you’ll have the opportunity to spend some time here one day and experience what an incredible country Argentina is, so diverse and full of beauty.
Ms Gingham says: “What an amazing honeymoon location! Thanks so much to the extremely talented team at Feather and Stone Photography (you must check out their website) for sharing this wonderful part of the world with us through their spectacular photos!”
Adam and I spent three weeks traveling around the South Island of New Zealand in February and March 2010. I planned the first half of the honeymoon, visiting lots of wineries, restaurants, seaside towns and luxury resorts. Adam planned the second half of our trip, which was filled with adventure activities and glacier walks. It was great that we could combine both our interests into one amazing holiday!
We were treated to lots of sunshine and beautiful warm weather. It was the perfect time for us to visit New Zealand. After a short flight from Melbourne, we arrived in Wellington to connect to a 30 minute flight to Nelson, at the top of the South Island.
After hiring our car for the next three weeks, we drove to Ruby Bay in the Nelson region, only a short drive from the Abel Tasman National Park.
We stayed at Ruby Bay Vineyard www.rubybayvineyard.co.nz for three nights in their beautiful cottage. It was the perfect beginning to our trip, and one of the highlights for both of us. We had stunning views of the vineyard, Tasman Bay and beyond, and enjoyed their selection of single vineyard wines. The local town of Mapua was only 5 minutes drive, with a great choice of waterfront restaurants, cafes and boutique stores.
Ruby Bay Cottage
Ruby Bay Cottage view
Ruby Bay Cottage kitchen
From there we drove to Picton, a picturesque town in the Marlborough region. This is where the ferries arrive from Wellington, and where the Marlborough Sounds begin. We caught a water taxi out into the Sounds, and were greeted by dolphins swimming alongside us.
We arrived at The Bay of Many Coves resort www.bayofmanycoves.co.nz where we were greeted by the staff on the jetty. The resort was amazing, if only we could have stayed more than one night! Our private balcony looked out into the bay, and was so secluded and peaceful. We had the most amazing dinner in their 5 star restaurant, and took a night walk to find the glow worms.
Bay of Many Coves Resort
Deck at Bay of Many Coves Resort
On our return to Picton, we spent the day visiting wineries in the Marlorough region, with a special stop at Montana (Brancott Estate).
We drove along the coast to Kaikoura, a seaside village surrounded by snow capped mountains.
The drive there was amazing with stunning views along the east coast.
After a couple of days we headed inland to Lake Tekapo, famous for its glacial turquoise lake. We took a drive to the alpine village of Aoraki Mount Cook, to see New Zealand’s highest mountain and the famous Southern Alps.
One of the highlights of our honeymoon was spending a week in Queenstown. We stayed at The Rees Hotel www.therees.co.nz which we cannot recommend enough. The staff were lovely and the rooms were beautiful, looking out onto Lake Wakatipu. The concierge at the hotel organised our helicopter flight over Queenstown, a Shotover Jet ride through the river canyons and Adam’s skydive experience with NZONE. I convinced Adam to do the 15,000ft 60 second freefall, while I relaxed in the spa and watched movies!
During our stay in Queenstown we drive down to Milford Sound and the Fiordland National Park. We spent two nights in a riverside chalet at the Milford Sound Lodge www.milfordlodge.com with the heaviest rainfall we have ever seen! It created thousands of waterfalls through the Sounds, which we were able to see on a cruise Adam had planned. It was a wonderful experience to stay in such a pristine natural environment.
Helicopter at Queenstown
Waterfall at Milford Sound
Back in Queenstown we enjoyed our last few days touring the region for wineries and exploring historic Arrowtown. This is a former gold mining town, and the main street and lanes are filled with galleries, shops, restaurants and a boutique cinema. It’s a beautiful area only 20 minutes from Queenstown, and it’s definitely worth a visit!
We spent the remaining of our honeymoon driving up the west coast with stops at Wanaka, Franz Josef and Fox Glacier. We returned our hire car at Greymouth, where we took the TranzAlpine scenic train to Christchurch. It was a beautiful journey although we much preferred having our hire car and our own space.
With a very early flight the next morning, we stayed at a hotel close to the Christchurch airport. After 3 incredible weeks we returned home, with definite plans to one day return to New Zealand, hopefully in the not too distant future!
Ms Polka Dot says: What a beautiful place New Zealand is – and a perfect place for a honeymoon to suit all tastes, whether active and adventurous, or pampering and luxurious! Thank you Belinda and Adam for sharing your honeymoon trip with us.
You can see Belinda and Adam’s sweet purple themed wedding here