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Image via Barossa.com

Our author today, Cherie Hausler, wears many hats including tea blender, animal hugger, food writer, food stylist, recipe developer and founder of the vegan range All The Things. Cherie is an avid traveller too, but she’ll always call the Barossa Valley in South Australia home. We could not think of a better person to guide us around the world-renowned wine region than this creative local who lives with her husband, Damian, in their renovated farmhouse ‘on the hill.’ Make your Barossa weekend away magic by following Cherie’s suggestions below. 

Image via Milk + Honey House Facebook

Friday 5pm Check in to Milk and Honey House
Staying at Milk and Honey House will set you up in a beautiful part of the Barossa, centrally located but with that quintessential village feel of the country. There’s nothing twee about this place though, not a doily in sight! It’s all about warmth and character, but without feeling like you’re in an episode of Little House on the Prairie. It’s modern farmhouse chic if there’s such a thing!

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Friday 7PM sunset drinks and dinner at Hently Farm 
Hently Farm is as gobsmackingly gorgeous as the art they put on plates for your dinner. I always bring friends to this restaurant and cellar door when they are visiting from out of town because it has that quintessential Barossa look and feel to really let you know you’ve landed in the Valley. And (cheeky aside) they have very good teas!


Sat 8am Barossa Farmer’s Market
This is not only the place to load up on all that you’ll need for your bike riding picnic later today, but it’s the place to meet the locals who have handmade all that you’ll choose from. Grab breakfast when you first arrive and then wander through the stalls of local fare, dropping in to conversations with producers as you go and all the while filling your basket with what the Barossa is famous for.

Sat 11am Bike Riding and Spontaneous Lunch
Organise to hire a couple of bikes from Barossa Bike Hire (they can deliver to your accommodation if you’d rather) and pack your bounty from the Farmer’s Market to take with you for lunch en route. There are mapped out tours available from Barossa Bike Hire, or you can simply jump on to the bike track and see where it takes you.

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Organic, raw lemon, blueberry and pistachio tart with cardamom crust baked by Cherie Hausler

Sat 2pm  Cold pressed juice and smoothies at Pulp & Thread
There’ll be plenty of time to retox, so a detox before proceedings is always a good idea – plus, you’re going to need to quench your thirst after all that bike riding. I love this little shop because they have so many amazing superfood-loaded juices and smoothies to choose from. And if you need a little wearable souvenir from the Barossa, then you can also browse through the small but selective range of clothing curated by owner Nat Siegele’s good taste.

Image via Yelland & Papps Facebook

Sat 3pm Yelland & Papps wine tasting
I grew up not far from this property and it seriously feels like coming home for me. So I recommend it to everyone because it seems to have that same effect on whomever I take here, regardless of where they’re from. It’s the best kind of feel-good, gorgeous space with that ‘hidden gem’ aspect to it. The wines are of course fantastic, but don’t be surprised to be equally enamored of the cellar door and surrounding gardens. You can sneak a little tasting plate in here before dinner too, Susan does an amazing job of putting local fare together to match with their wines. You can even take home a bag of freshly harvested lentils from Susan’s family farm on the Yorke Peninsula. I just love everything about this place and I’m pretty sure you will too!

Sat 6pm Sunset drinks, wine tasting and dinner at Seppeltsfield Barossa
Book in to Fino for dinner. This restaurant is another one that’s always on my list as a way for me to share the Barossa with any friends who visit, and there are many reasons for that. But the biggest is that it manages to be the perfect balance of country hospitality and modern cuisine. Lots of local produce on the menu, house-made sourdough and great wine, all with the feeling that – even if it’s your first visit – you’re a well-loved regular.

Sun 9am Hike through Kaiser Stuhl
Walk through Kaiser Stuhl National Park. Not everyone knows about this aspect of the Barossa, but it’s one of the best ways to re-calibrate your headspace if you haven’t been up-close with nature for a while. There are stunning vistas to take in, all among completely natural bushland, complete with wildlife ambling around you. Wander around for a couple of hours and set your appetite up for the day – this is the Barossa, you’ll be eating non-stop again today!

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Sun 11am Breakfast at Darlings Cafe (Tanunda)
Get your coffee fix and a lovely little something to fill your belly while you watch the parade of local dogs wander past on their Sunday morning walk. Grab a table outside if the weather’s on your side so you can be in the hot seat to scratch a few ears of the ones waiting for their humans to pick up takeaway coffee. Of course you don’t have to love dogs to come here for breakfast, but, really, who doesn’t love dogs? That would just be weird.


Sun 12 noon Alabaster
You’ll likely sit at Darlings sipping your coffee, saying to yourself, “I’m going in there” when we’ve finished breakfast as you glance across the street at this beautiful shop. It has so many really lovely things, and not just for girls but for guys too. Lots of locally made beauty meets small batch labels from around Australia and beyond, I’d be really surprised if you couldn’t find something to fall in love with. Or six things.

Sun 1pm Wine tasting at Tscharke’s
Head to Marananga en route to lunch at Appellation, but leave yourself time to call in to Tscharke Wines across the road, to taste some of their delicious estate grown and crafted wines. Of course there are so, so many wine labels to choose from in the Barossa, but I just love Eva and Damien’s approach to wine-making, and life in general really. Know that you’ll take so much more than amazing wine away with you after your visit.


Sun 2pm Late Lunch at Appellation
I don’t want to declare I’ve saved the best for last, but you know it’s true! Simply put, Appellation is a very special place to experience the very best of the Barossa and if there’s any way you can work your weekend around a meal here – do it. 85% of Appellation’s menu comes from the Barossa and South Australia, so especially if you’re visiting from interstate, I know this will be an experience you won’t forget because it’s in no way easily replicated. Again, it’s that balance of incredibly high-end service, stunning food and wine, but with the feeling that nothing is too much trouble and there’s every reason to settle in for the afternoon, open another bottle of wine and chat to the team that have given this restaurant its impeccable reputation.

Ms Zigzag says: Thank you so much to Cherie for these exceptional Barossa travel tips. I think any couple visiting this region will have a truly romantic weekend away following your expert advice. 

About the author Cherie Hausler – plant eater, tea blender, cake baker, farmhouse renovator, animal hugger. And creator of new vegan range, All The Things.

Polka Dot Honeymoons Directory Mid Banner

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Polyxeni & Gerard

In the depths of winter, the one thing that can lift us out of the cold is dreaming of sunshine-filled European holidays. Today’s destination wedding ticks all the boxes for a loved-up, sunny celebration on the sweetest, tiniest island of Kastellorizo in Greece.

Our newlyweds, Australians Polyxena and Gerard – who shared their love story from the early years of high school – decided there was no better way to tie the knot than by returning to the bride’s homeland and a place where the couple had shared many happy holidays together. There was a waterside ceremony, a long dinner as the sun set and the most amazing backdrops that only Greece could provide. What magic!

Photographer Theodoros Chliapas joined them on the day to capture plenty of stunning imagery and beautiful moments.

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The bride wore a gown created by Sydney fashion designer Sant Elia.

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Tradition played a big part in the day, the bride choosing a traditional lyre player to play her down the aisle as she walked with her father, mother and sister.

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The bride and groom chose the small island of Kastellorizo for their ceremony and the reception venue. The island has a population of just 500, proving the most beautiful backdrop for their intimate day.

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Living far away, the happy couple chose Golden Apple Weddings to plan and execute their vision. The Golden Apple team note, “The main challenge of planning a wedding in Kastellorizo is that mostly all vendors have to travel from Rhodes Island as, because of its small size, the location does not have local suppliers. During the planning process, we discussed all needed arrangements and booked a group consisting of 11 suppliers to work for the beautiful day.”

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Of their photographer the bride tells, “Theodoros’ photos of a previous wedding in Kastellorizo is what first made us fall in love with the Island; so it was a sure thing he would be the wedding photographer! A great man who captures the wedding moments in the best way!”

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The bride and groom joined their guests at a long table set by the water at Alexandra’s Restaurant for an evening reception. The bride explaining, “Our love of food is beyond measure. We had to find somewhere to celebrate that was truly authentic, local and above all abundantly delicious…and then our planners talked about Alexandra’s. A family-run restaurant, Mihalis is the owner and his mother is the cook. Seafood is locally caught, olive oil comes from the family’s olive trees in Rhodes, oregano and thyme are found wild on the island and a small herb and vegetable garden supplies the restaurant.”

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109710 polyxeni gerards kastellorizo island greece destination wedding by theodoros chliapas

As a nod to the groom’s Dutch heritage, the couple gifted their guests boxes of traditional Dutch sweets. Each held a name tag written by Nikki Design Co and was adorned with fresh eucalyptus.

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Soft neutral tones wove their way throughout the day. The bride tells, “Our main palette is the soft green tones of eucalyptus and the brown colour added by brass details used in our decoration, such as candle holders and utensils! Beautiful foliage matched with white flowers offers a natural yet elegant wedding style that is perfectly matched with the beautiful setting of our restaurant!”

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A big congratulations to Polyxeni and Gerard on your marriage! Thank you for allowing us to share your day. Thank you also to Theodoros Chliapas and Golden Apple Weddings for sharing the day with us.

Photographer: Theodoros Chliapas / Wedding Planner: Golden Apple Weddings / Bride's Dress: Sant Elia / Bride's Jewellery: Vivianne Kats / Bride's Shoes: Billini / Groom's Attire: Epitome Suits / Calligraphy: Nikki Design Co / Reception Venue: Alexandra's Restaurant / DJ: Despo Mania / Wedding Ring: Gary Thyregod
Bamurru Plains, Mary River. Image via Peter Eve Tourism NT

Bamurru Plains, Mary River. Image via Peter Eve/Tourism NT

Winter. Is. Here. And if you’re getting married during the frosty season or perhaps planning a wedding to be held during this time of year, there will be one thing at the forefront of your mind: the weather.

Let’s say you’ve decided to have your wedding in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide or… gulp, Hobart, then you’re already aware that it’s going to be chilly.

And since it’s winter weddings month over on our Polka Dot Weddings blog, I thought I’d throw a curve ball at you and find a few ways to defrost after you’ve said your nuptials.

One destination sprang to mind immediately: the Northern Territory – a place which conjures up images of red earth and glorious sunsets.

Northern Territory Minister for Tourism and Culture, Lauren Moss describes it as a place of “diverse landscapes and culture”.

“The Northern Territory is a place of great diversity and natural beauty – from our incredible national parks, including Kakadu and Uluru-Kata Tjuta, to our fiery sunsets and dramatic landscapes. It is also home to awe-inspiring artwork of the world’s oldest living culture.”

It’s also worth noting that the ‘top end’ of Australia has two distinct seasons, the ‘Wet’ and the ‘Dry’.

The Wet spans from November until April during which you can expect monsoonal rains and storms.

But from May to October, it’s ideal wedding conditions – sunny days and cool nights – although it may stray into the ‘too warm’ territory for some. Expect temperatures to range from from 21C (70F) to 32C (90F).

So let’s take a look at a few places you can defrost  in the NT after your Winter wedding. And remember, these don’t have to be honeymoon destinations, you could always change your mind and have a destination wedding – leave your thermals at home!

Ubirr sunset Kakadu National Parl Peter Eve Tourism NT

Ubirr sunset Kakadu National Park. Image via Peter Eve/Tourism NT

Ubirr, Kakadu National Park Kakadu

Ubirr is an iconic destination at Kakadu National Park.

You’ll be overwhelmed by romance as you hold hands and watch the sun set over the floodplains. Expect rainbow skies and reflective blue billabongs. Side note, it’s also not a bad spot to pop the question, if you haven’t already! More information here.

Sunrise Hot Air Ballooning, Alice Springs

Anyone who has ever been hot air ballooning before, knows it’s a truly unique experience. However, throw in views of red desert sands with sunlight slowly appearing over the horizon – and you’re in a whole new world (Aladdin reference intended). You can also get your hands on a couple of glasses of champagne while you’re in the air – it’s a win-win! More information here.

Litchfield National Park, Darwin

Are you and your partner outdoor junkies? The Litchfield National Park is home to cascading rainforest canopies, diamond-hued waterholes and stunning waterfalls. You can pitch a tent and cast a line to grab dinner and so much more! More information here.

Florence Falls, Litchfield National Park. Image via Sean Scott/Tourism NT

Florence Falls, Litchfield National Park. Image via Sean Scott/Tourism NT

So, there’s a few ideal honeymoon locations in the NT in order to defrost. However, if you’re still in the planning stages of your wedding – and looking for a destination a little out of the ordinary, the NT is brimming with amazing wedding locations as well! Here’s just a few to spark your interest:

Wildman Wilderness Lodge, Kakadu

Located in the Mary River National Park wetlands of the Northern Territory, Wildman Wilderness Lodge is a luxury bush camp. Picturesque and teeming with wildlife, the lodge will give your wedding that unique, remote feeling – and it’s only a domestic flight away. Expect romance, untamed wilderness and crisp white linen – a rare combination to be sure. More information here.

Weddings on the water, Darwin Harbour

Are you and your partner in love with the water (as well as each other)? Slip aboard a Darwin Harbour yacht and sail to an isolated beach for your nuptials. Sail Darwin will collect your wedding party and even take care of the shore front set-up. Win! More information here.

Darwin Harbour. Image via Peter Eve/Tourism NT

Darwin Harbour. Image via Peter Eve/Tourism NT

Bamurru Plains, Kakadu

Another one for the outdoorsy types, Bamurru Plains boasts a private luxury resort on the edge of Kakadu National Park. Their suites are designed to blend in with the surrounds and provide a safari like stay. More information here

Uluru Lookout, Voyages Ayers Rock Resort, Uluru

Journey to the Red Centre to exchange vows on your own private dune with Uluru and Kata Tjuta as your backdrop. Experience the wonder of Uluru as it blazes with colour at dusk while you sip champagne with your significant other. More information here.

So there you have it, a bunch of different ways to escape the cold, whether it be a destination Winter wedding or that post-winter wedding defrost. Now get planning!

Ms Zebra Says: Wow! The Northern Territory has been on my list for ages, but this list of amazing places & beautiful romantic spots have definitely put it back to the top of the list! Imagine defrosting in 30 degree weather by one of the Waterfalls or overlooking Uluru! I’m there!

About the author Mr Houndstooth: I am a happily married man. I enjoy a fine whisky, a new suit and swashbuckling around town with my beautiful bride. Looking back on my wedding day always makes me smile, even though it began to rain just as I said ‘I do’.