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Image: Elise Hassey Photography

The sun sinks towards the horizon, the water droplets slide down the side of the champagne, the waves lap across your ankles. It’s just you, your partner, the ocean (and the celebrant). Whether it’s on the beach, among the eucalyptus trees, or in the vines, there is something downright magical about eloping. Here are three spots around Australia where eloping feels just right.

Mountain Magic in NSW:

Swap function centres for fresh mountain air with a sneaky trip up to the Blue Mountains. For Sydneysiders, it’s only a 90 minute drive , but you’re a world away from the rat race. No matter the season, the charm is laid on heavily in the Blue Mountains, but autumn’s changing colours always have a special place in my heart.

Say the words:

Lookouts are the name of the game for elopers in the Blue Mountains. I’m not talking about Echo Point. There are plenty of smaller, more intimate spots to say your vows with a serious background vista. Local favourites are Lincoln’s Rock, for its wide flat natural ‘stage’ and the dramatic multi-tiered Pulpit Rock.

Image by Damien Milan via Ashley & Kyle’s Romantic Blue Mountains Elopement

Stay:

Put the dollars you save skipping the big party towards a seriously decampment wedding night. Spicers Sangoma Retreat is tucked into a quiet corner of Bowen Mountain and is the stuff honeymoons are made of. Private villas with open air plunge pools, deep freestanding tubs, wood burning fireplaces, well stocked all-inclusive mini bar (hello champagne!), all set to the backdrop of perfect Aussie bushland.

Image via Spicers Sangoma

Island escape in QLD:

Just because you can’t head to the Maldives, Tahiti or Fiji, doesn’t mean you can’t have the island elopement you’ve always dreamed of. Lucky for us, Queensland has plenty of tropical island paradises to choose from.

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In my opinion, it’s all about the sand. And of course, your special someone standing beside you. Squeaky white sand, aqua azure water. Now we’re talking! Whitehaven is world class, with huge potential for rockstar entrances via helicopter or seaplane.

Image: Love & Other Photography via Carla & Matt’s Boho Whitsundays Wedding

Stay:

North of Townsville, Orpheus Island Lodge is serious honeymoon territory. And since you’ve skipped the big wedding, you can go straight to the honeymoon! Just 28 guests at a time get to enjoy this secluded spot in the Great Barrier Reef. Beloved by divers, it’s also well suited to those who like all-inclusive barefoot luxury.

Images: Elise Hassey Photography

Wining and dining in WA:

Well, if you’re wine lovers, the south of France may be off the table right now, but Western Australia certainly has the wine lists to keep you happy. Make a beeline for Margaret River, just three hours drive south of Perth, where you can take your pick from hundreds of cellar doors and dozens of special spots to say I do.

Say the words:

Howard Park Wines has its very own ‘Wine Chapel’– a gorgeous private tasting room that will fit the bill for wine lovers. Weathered Cyprus pine on the walls, polished concrete floors and elegant chandeliers made from the property’s 40 year old vines create some very serious ambience. Then there’s the estate’s museum wine collection. Who needs guests when you can be surrounded by well-aged beauties?

Image via Howard Park

Stay:

Grab your bottles of wine and make a beeline for Injidup Spa Retreat. Tucked into the coastal trees and wildflowers along the famous Cape to Cape track, just outside of Yallingup, these spa villas are heaven. Private plunge pools look straight out to the ocean – you’ll spot whales while you soak.

Images via Injidup Spa Retreat

Whether you want to be whisked away to tropical paradise or hideaway in the forest, it’s all about finding the place that you and your special think feels just right.

Ms Floral Says: This is some serious local elopement inspo! How wonderful that we have so many diverse and beautiful locations to choose from too.

About Lisa Perkovic: Lisa has spent the past decade travelling the world writing for Australia’s leading newspapers, magazines and blogs about all things travel. Her own honeymoon was her pièce de résistance – an epic journey to the Maldives and South Africa. Now she loves nothing more than sharing destinations and tips to help other newlyweds work out how to have the honeymoon of their dreams.

Polka Dot Honeymoons Directory Mid Banner

Image: InterContinental Resort Hayman Island

If you had your heart set on a honeymoon spent hiding away on a tropical island, don’t worry, we’ve got you sorted. Yes, island getaways look a little different this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t escape from the world with your honey. Here’s five Aussie island getaways to keep your castaway dreams alive and well.

Hayman Island, QLD

If there was an island to get stranded on, this would be it. It’s the classic tropical getaway that dreams are made of. The Whitsundays island has been beloved by Australia’s serious holidayers for decades. After undergoing a multi-million dollar refurb last year, the island reopened as the InterContinental Resort Hayman Island, and is looking good, really good. The resort’s famous sprawling swimming pool is the size of seven Olympic pools, and if that’s your scene, go for a pool access suite so you can step straight into the water. If you’re more about the sand and surf, the lagoon wing looks out at the ocean, or there’s the super decadent Beach Wing, where Beachfront pool villas have their own private plunge pools and beach access. There are five new restaurants and bars to choose from, and the Great Barrier Reef on your doorstep, so you definitely won’t be wanting to leave anytime soon.

Rottnest Island, WA

Take a trip down memory lane when you step onto Rottnest Island off the coast of Perth. A short ferry ride is all it takes to get back to the golden days of laid-back summer holidays by the beach. Spend your days riding your bike between sheltered coves and pocket-sized beaches and afternoons popping into town for sausage rolls from the Rottnest Bakery and big scoops of ice cream at Simmo’s. And of course, you can’t skip out on a Quokka selfie. As dusk settles, get dressed up (we’re talking relaxed beach chic) and head over to Pinky’s Beach Club for cocktails almost on top of the beach. The Beach Club is part of Discovery Park, the island’s two year old glamping hot spot. It’s the place to stay for a little bit of luxury on the island. Come mid-October, Samphire Rottnest will bring more glam to the island when it opens  at Thomson Bay.

Images: Discovery Parks & Samphire Rottnest 

Bruny Island, TAS

If you’re a couple who loves getting back to nature, but still has a penchant for good food straight from the source, hop down to Hobart for a few days. Self-touring isn’t hard, you’ll have to drive 90 mins south of Hobart and board the car ferry, but if you want to be well looked after, join a Bruny Island Long Weekend. The three-day small group tours start off with a private boat trip straight to the island from Hobart harbour – it’s a Rockstar arrival and the first of a few very special experiences. You’ll spend your days exploring the island on foot, with plenty of stops to experience the produce the island is famous for. That might mean wading out in the water at a local oyster farm and shucking your oyster on the spot, and platters of Bruny Island Cheese and local beer by the firepit before dinner. Afternoons and evenings are spent at camp, glamping tents set on 100 acres of land surrounded by bush nature reserve. The Tasmanian Walking Company runs the walks, and they certainly know how to host – local food, local wines and local guides ensure you’re well looked after.

Images: Bruny Island Long Weekend

It may not be the island getaway honeymoon you started dreaming about, but don’t worry, whether you want to go all out glam or get back to nature, there’s plenty of Aussie alternatives that won’t disappoint.

Ms Floral Says: These look and sound heavenly. We are truly spoiled for choice when it comes to amazing honeymoon destinations in Australia.

About Lisa Perkovic: Lisa has spent the past decade travelling the world writing for Australia’s leading newspapers, magazines and blogs about all things travel. Her own honeymoon was her pièce de résistance – an epic journey to the Maldives and South Africa. Now she loves nothing more than sharing destinations and tips to help other newlyweds work out how to have the honeymoon of their dreams.

Adelle & Stephen

Elopements are always rather magic, and eloping on the other side of the world, might seem impossible right now, but is a little seed of hope we can plant in our souls and dreams, for those better times ahead. Today we’re sharing the most pretty, the most romantic, the most intimate elopement of Aussies Adelle and Stephen. The pair, who enlisted photographer Roberta Facchini to capture it all and The Tuscan Wedding to bring their own dream to life.

Let’s begin this story, with the tale of how these two first came to meet in Stephen’s words. “We worked together a long time ago. I was searching out people who had been very kind to me in my past and Adelle was the last person I tracked down. We met for a glass of wine and the rest is history.” And the proposal? It was a week-long buildup! “For the seven days leading up to the proposal, I gave Adelle a beautiful card. On my birthday, I proposed on the balcony of our new home, overlooking the ocean.”

The vendor dream team, made this day go off without a hitch says the groom. “Because we eloped I’d like to call out the people that ensured our day was perfect. First, our wedding planner The Tuscan Wedding they are amazing, second my wife’s hair and makeup (she looked so beautiful) Cherie Spisso of Florence, third our Photographer Roberta Facchini, fourth our flowers by Flowers Living and fifth our celebrant Jo Bertolino“.

Before celebrations began, the bride received a very special gift from her future husband. Stephen explains “I purchased a bracelet on the Ponte Vecchio the day before the wedding, in honour of the bride’s family – her uncle did the same thing for her aunt on their 25th wedding anniversary. She wore it on the day.”

The bride wore a gown designed by Rebecca Ingram for Maggie Sottero. The groom donned a blue suit from Aussie brand Oxford.

The couple were married in the garden in a private ceremony led by Jo Bertolino. Stephen shares “It was a very personal wedding centred around myself and my wife with our own written words to each other, a poem I wrote and readings from our Celebrant Jo Bertolino.”

Stephen? He is a big fan of eloping! Telling “We just made sure the focus was on us. Our wedding planners ensured this in every way. Because we eloped, our wedding planning team took all the pressure off us and stepped in where ever needed.”

Stephen remembers one of his favourite moments of the day. “After the ceremony in the garden we climbed some stairs to a place called The Fortress a beautiful structure at the villa. The villa says at this spot time stands still. That couldn’t have been more true. We took a breath, drank some champagne and enjoyed each other’s company. It was magic.”

Advice for couples yet to tie the knot? “Hire a wedding planner,” says Stephen. “If your wedding is a destination one, either eloping or with lots of people, having a wedding planner makes the whole process so much easier and removes stress.”

To celebrate their marriage, the newlyweds were treated to a private dinner in the onsite Winter Garden. Says the groom “The whole day & night was filled with love and music. There was no formal dance.”

“We gave quite a specific outline to our wedding planner around the lead-up, ceremony, photos, dinner. Our expectations were exceeded in every way. At the heart of our wedding, we wanted a memorable experience that we would fondly look back on for the rest of our lives and we got that and more.”

A big congratulations to you both Adelle & Stephen! Thank you both for sharing your story with us today. And thank you to Roberta Facchini & The Tuscan Wedding for sharing today’s wedding!

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