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Did you know the word Vanuatu means ‘The Land Eternal’? How perfect is that for this gorgeous island which is becoming a fast favourite for honeymooners! When researching honeymoon resorts in Vanuatu, I stumbled across Tamanu on the Beach, which is only a 15-minute drive from Vanuatu’s capital, Port Vila.

This place has ‘amazing, romantic honeymoon’ written all over it and if you’re considering making Vanuatu your honeymoon destination of choice, you might want to consider staying here.

Australian owners Diane and Yianni Demetre discovered Tamanu seven years ago on their first wedding anniversary and instantly fell in love with it.In fact, on their first morning there, they swung open the doors to their cottage, took one look at the view and exclaimed in unison, “Wouldn’t you like to own this!” It wasn’t until last year that their dream came true and they purchased what they call “their little slice of heaven on earth”.

What sets Tamanu apart from other resorts in Vanuatu is Diane and Yianni’s commitment to ‘keeping it real’. You’ll find no retaining walls holding back nature, no level and perfectly manicured lawns and no perfectly symmetrical gardens. They believe this is part of the resort’s ‘wow’ factor, as well as the breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean and the pristine, private beach. “This is part of the resort’s magic,” they say, “ Authentic, raw, unaffected, natural beauty with a rare location and serenity.”

Tamanu is also the only resort in Vanuatu where the staff lives on site, creating a welcoming atmosphere and sense of harmony, as well as providing opportunities for the locals (as Vanuatu is a developing country). And of course, the accommodation is spectacular.There are only six cottages on site and the resort has a strict no children under 13 years policy. The French provincial style coral cottages are just metres from the beach. Pure peace and quiet awaits! Inside, the cottages have been freshly refurbished, so think light and airy with a tropical feel, bright beach themed furniture, sparkling fittings, crisp linen and fluffy towels. All the cottages boast a king size bed too.

To put the cherry on top, the food is said to be unreal and the resort’s restaurant is considered to be the best in Vanuatu. Their main signature dish is Lobster Mornay – the lobster is caught fresh from the reef that day and prepared by a local chef. If your mouth’s not watering yet, we also hear that they whip up some scrumptious soufflés for dessert.

Diane and Yianni say, “In so many ways, Tamanu on the Beach is the place to be romantic, be inspired, be authentic and to discover yourself with your new life partner.” Doesn’t that sound divine and oh-so relaxing?

PS – Tamanu also hosts weddings if you’re looking to say ‘I Do’ on an island. You can check out their wedding packages here.

Photos are courtesy of Tamanu on the Beach

Polka Dot Honeymoons Directory Mid Banner

After a busy wedding, a honeymoon to a tropical island is a romantic getaway perfect for recharging your batteries. Vanuatu differs from a traditional ‘lying on the beach’ island. There’s many sights to be had, amazing snorkeling, the best beef in the world to eat, and much to explore. A bikini (or six, or seven), a comfortable but modest jersey maxi skirt with a singlet to slip over the top and comfortable sandals. A hip bag is always a wonderful addition when traveling to keep your hands free and the aviator sunnies, a straw fedora and Australian designed earrings add a bit of funk and style to your outfit.

Lyre Lyre bikini from Zimmermann, Kustom Steve Sandal in Black from SurfStitch, Christian Dior Dior Cinquante sunglasses from Esunnies, Stripe maxi skirt from Sportsgirl, , Petit Bateau white tank from Paya, Suboo Fedora from Aussie Swim Store, Kohl gold doily earrings by Polli, Hustler Hip Bag from Mimco,

My husband Ryan and I had been dreaming about a European adventure for years, but when it came to deciding where to go on our honeymoon, we chose a different destination. Such a big trip would require a lot of planning time, leave and money that is hard to come by while also planning a wedding. Instead we chose somewhere closer to home where we could relax and enjoy each other’s company while still seeing the sights. That place was New Zealand.

Unlike a lot of places, I hadn’t seen a thousand postcard pictures, plus Ryan organised the whole thing, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I woke up every day without knowing what to expect and every day I was blown away by something new. We started our trip in Auckland:

 

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It was pretty and had lovely architecture but I was itching to get out of the city and see the natural wonders. We picked up our hire car and zoomed down to the Paeroa area, where we stayed in cabin-style accommodation at a cute winery.

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The highlight of this area was visiting the stunning Waitomo Caves (where unfortunately we couldn’t take pictures). You are guided through the amazing limestone caves until you reach a pitch black underground lake and are taken out on a rowboat to see what looks like a blanket of stars but is actually the ceiling completely covered in glowworms. It was a breathtaking sight I’ll never forget.

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New Zealand is known as the adventure destination of the world, but hell would freeze over before you’d ever get me to fling myself out of a plane or head-first off a bridge. Now, Zorbing on the other hand, was my kind of ‘extreme’ sport because it reminds me more of fun than of, say, suicide.

The thermal park at Rotorua was very smelly, of course, but incredible and eerie.

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As a big fan of early 20th century design, the art deco city of Napier was a definite highlight for me.

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We dined at a gorgeous church converted into a restaurant.

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It has to be said that we don’t mind the odd drop, so it was off to the wine region of Hawke’s Bay.

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Apart from wine, there’s also plenty of delicious icecream and cheese to be sampled.

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We finished our first of two weeks in a pretty little seaside town called Akaroa, which still retains the influence of its original French settlers.

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What a gorgeous view to wake up to!

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A highlight was swimming with dolphins.

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The landscape changes from rolling green hills to jagged snowy mountains as we head south to beautiful Lake Tekapo.

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This photo? Um, yeah it was taken from our hotel balcony …Tekapo-4

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All rugged up for some late-night star gazing.

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Luging down the mountain was quite possibly the most fun I’ve ever had in my life.

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Enjoying a cocktail in a bar made entirely of ice.

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Just outside Queenstown is a quaint little former goldmining town called Arrowtown, chock-a-block with charming cafes and shops.

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We definitely kept the best ’til last. The Fjordlands are an incredible area with a striking combination of tropical rainforests, snow-capped mountains and island-dotted bays. Most tourists go to the more popular Milford Sound but, after soliciting advice from numerous locals, we opted for the quieter Doubtful Sound. Originally named Doubtful Harbour, it got its unusual name when cartographers misunderstood Captain Cook’s handwriting on a map to mean that’s what he had named the harbour, rather than noting his concerns about its suitability for use as a port of anchor.Doubtful-Sound-6

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Apart from the amazing views, there is plenty of wildlife to spot.Doubtful-Sound-13

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A leisurely boat ride along the Avon River in Christchurch was the perfect ending to our trip.Christchurch-4

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Christchurch is a very English looking city, with lots of gorgeous Tudor and Gothic architecture. We didn’t get to spend much time there, which saddens me as many of its most beautiful historic buildings have since been destroyed during the subsequent earthquake.

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Our honeymoon was Ryan’s first overseas trip and our first trip together that was longer than a weekend, so it was really special. New Zealand provided the perfect combination of relaxation and activities. We had the best time and I’d recommend it to anyone.

Ms Gingham says: I love seeing photos of New Zealand. It’s a country with so much natural beauty. Thanks to Alicia for sharing her beautiful honeymoon with us.

Hi, my name is Alicia and I am a paper addict. I love designing quirky invitations through my business Akimbo. I’m also the Atypical Type A, my blog where I share projects and inspiration for home, parties and weddings.