Parliament House. Image by Jpp

Recently, Mr Floral and I decided to go on a road trip to Canberra. Neither of us had been since our primary school excursion days, and we were actually really excited to rediscover the town and see it with a fresh perspective. We had a fantastic little trip, and it wasn’t until we were on the way back home to the ‘big smoke’ that I realised… you could honeymoon in Canberra AND have a fab time while doing so! Some of you might not be so convinced, seeing as Canberra has a reputation of being… well… a bit on the dull side. But it’s really not the case if you whip yourself up an awesome itinerary and select a nice place to stay.

So here are my tips!

1. Be a tourist

That’s right; even if you’re Australian you can still play the tourist in Canberra. There’s stacks to see and do, and if you’ve never been or haven’t been for a while, it will be an even better experience. Although it can be tricky to navigate at first (hello circle roads!), you’ll soon get the hang of it and notice that lots of the sights are really close by. My favourite places have to be:

  • The National Library of Australia: books galore! What’s not to love? They also have fascinating events and exhibitions, a well-stocked bookshop and a scrummy café.
  • Old Parliament House: so much history… if only the walls could talk. Sure, Parliament House is pretty impressive, but Old Parliament House is beautiful and takes you back to where it all began.
  • Royal Australian Mint: see where money is made and for the novelty factor, mint your own coin!
  • Australian War Memorial: it’s pretty emotional walking through the ground and the museum, yet it can’t be missed.

Australian War Memorial. Image by John Torres

2. Take a cruise

There’s just something about Lake Burley Griffin! Head on down and follow the signs to the lake cruise. Don’t expect something grand – the little boats might not be impressive, but the operators sure are. They’ll show you where everything is and give you a concise history of Canberra. This is especially handy if you need to get your bearings.

Lake Burley Griffin. Image by Adam Carr

3. Stay in style

You can’t go past the Hyatt Hotel Canberra or one of the Rydges hotels – they offer beautiful and comfortable rooms, central location and great amenities.

Deluxe room at Rydges Capital Hill Canberra. Image by Rydges 

4. Pick your time wisely

Canberra is quiet compared to the bigger cities in Australia, so even peak times like the Christmas holidays are bearable (although it can get quite hot, and if you’re there on a public holiday or just after new years, it can be a bit of a ghost town), believe it or not! Canberra gets busier when sporting matches, Floriade and other events are on, so do some Googling before you go to find all this out.

Flowers from Floriade, and the National Library of Australia in the background.
Image by John O’Neill

 5. Branch out

If you’ve done all the main things in Canberra, try exploring its outer suburbs. There’s DFO in Fyshwick (yay, shopping and bargains to boot!) and Cockington Green in Nicholls (very cute and a cool place to take lots of happy snaps), as well as the wine regions and the Snowy Mountains not too far away.

Cockington Green. Image by Ms Floral

So don’t let anyone tell you Canberra is uninteresting! You won’t be bored here and you’ll relish how laid back and quiet it is.

Ms Gingham says: OK. I have to admit out of all the Australian honeymoon locations that spring to mind Canberra is probably not at the top of my list. Having said that, this makes me actually interested in exploring our Nation’s Capital so I have to thank you Ms Floral!

Polka Dot Bride Shop

We recently checked out an amazing resort in Brazil and now we’ve got the travel bug! If you’re heading to vivacious and vibrant Brazil for your honeymoon (we’re totally jealous if you are!), here’s our top style picks…

1. OPI nail polish in atomic orange

2. Catarzi Cowboy Hat from Asos

3. Lacquer Laser Underwire Bikini by Zimmerman

4. Red/Orange Printed Dress from Dorothy Perkins

5. Gold Bangles from Diva

6. Beaded Boho Sandles from Forever 21

When I first heard about Kenoa Beach Spa & Resort, I couldn’t stop looking at the photos, and I knew I had to share it with you, dear Dotties. Wow! This has to be one of the most beautiful places to stay in Brazil.

Owner Pedro says, “The first few hours guests are here, they cool off. They tell us this is the perfect place to do nothing. That’s what they need. A place for peace and the music of the waves.” What better place then to get some R&R after all your wedding planning and the enormity of the big day?

Looking at the rooms, it’s easy to see what he means. Who would ever want to leave them? The hotel is shaped like a triangle, and you can choose between the suites on one side (that have balconies and a view of the ocean and the natural reserve) or there are the villas, which are right on the beach. They have private pools and gardens, and three of them even have direct access to the beach.

Along with comfort and simplicity, thinking about the environment and sustainability was important to Pedro when building the resort. “We tried to keep all of our materials sustainable,” he says. “All our wood is reforested, we use LED lights to save electricity, we have a solar heating system, the employee uniforms don’t require ironing, nor do the napkins we use, and we use as little chemicals in our pool as possible.” You can definitely see this thought and care carried out in the design and it’s fantastic that Kenoa is as green as it is stylish – one hasn’t be compromised for the other.

As for recreation and facilities, the resort has a restaurant (seafood is the main dish here), swimming pool, whirlpool/Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, spa, gym, lounge area and a variety of books and games to keep you entertained. And don’t worry, even though you’ll feel like you’re away from it all, there’s WiFi if you really need to check your Facebook or email (or want to post up some pics of you and your husband or wife kicking back at Kenoa!).

There are also places you can venture off to nearby. Past guests have enjoyed visiting the lagoons where you can go scuba diving or take surfing lessons. There are also mangroves, a coconut plantation and a natural reserve close by to visit. Pedro says, “The main tour we recommend is to visit the nearby oyster farm. It’s only 10 minutes from the hotel yet it takes you into a completely untouched region. You get into a canoe, hear nothing but birds and nature itself, travel into a mangrove, and then you arrive at the oyster farm, which a small community of people have put together. You can taste the oysters there and we offer champagne to compliment the raw nature with some sophistication.” How’s that for an experience?

I’m hooked on Brazil now after investigating it for you guys! What do you think? Another positive is that the weather there is usually good all year ‘round, so it won’t matter what time of year your honeymoon is. Have any of you, or are any of you, heading to South America for your honeymoon? Have you got any advice or tips you want to share with your fellow readers? Leave a comment or write us an email!

Photos from Welcome Beyond / Rogerio Maranhao

Ms Gingham says: Well Ms Floral I’m definitely hooked too! I really want to pack my bags for this stunning resort right now.