What happens when a world class artist turns his hand to textiles? Colin Heaney has been one of Australia’s best glass artists. His creative skills have led him to own Australia’s largest glass blowing studio and his works are known for his attention to detail and use of colour.
In 2006, Colin turned to silk and now exclusively designs textiles – including his range of beautiful kaftans, sarongs, swimwear, home wares and accessories – all of which would make a stunning statement on your honeymoon. Wandering the sands of Bali in an aqua blue kaftan? Or perhaps more to your liking is more lazing by the pool in shades of jade and orange. Throw on a belt, beaded sandals and glitzy earrings and you have the perfect outfit for dinner (I do love the versatility when I’m in a balmy location!)
The Whitsundays are one of my favourite parts of Australia – the scenery, the crystal blue waters, the tropical nature – sigh! Today’s decadent destination is Paradise Bay.
Honeymooners are welcomed to the island with chocolate dipped strawberries, Belgian chocolates and bubbles – you know you’re on the right track when after a long day of travel you get to indulge in some of life’s greatest treats.
Paradise Bay is an eco friendly resort which allows no more than 20 guests at a time, which means there is plenty of seclusion and privacy – the perfect combination for a honeymoon.
The bungalows are crafted from solid Australian hardwoods with cathedral height ceilings for maximum comfort. Each bungalow is fitted out with a king size bed complete with duck down toppers for that extra comfy feel, a pillow menu, ocean views, and the bathrooms? Not only are they newly refurbished with rainwater shower heads (3.5 star Eco friendly rating) but they’re also stocked full of Australian Jurlique products.
Each bungalow is decorated with fine pieces of Aboriginal art hand picked from the owner’s personal collection complimenting the feel of the bungalows – that is if you can tear your eyes away from the uninterrupted ocean view.
Paradise Bay is all about the experience – a relaxing sleep in, a stroll to your finely catered breakfast, the Whitsundays at their finest on the resort’s private catamaran (visiting perhaps just one of the island’s many private destinations). Choose to sun-bake, snorkel, kayak or sleep before your hosts greet you back on the island with cool drinks and freshly baked treats.
There is no worry about damaging the environment either as the owners of Paradise Bay have made it their priority to build a sustainable, environmentally friendly resort. It generates all it’s own power, treats all it’s own waste and is self sufficient for water. Guests can even enjoy a behind the scenes tour to understand the many facets ( construction and design, solid waste, power systems, waste water treatment, water collection and usage, purchasing, carbon off-set) of the resort’s undertaking.
With the care taken in your surroundings and the care for the environment, it makes sense that the menu you’ll be feasting on in Paradise Bay is no exception. Designed to include the best of local produce, the menu will have you dining on three delicious meals a day – from old favourites like Eggs Benedict, to private picnic style lunches and multiple courses at dinner complete with matching wines (after you kick off your evening with cocktails and canapes by sunset of course).
Private dinners by candlelight on your balcony or even in the rainforest set aglow by tea tree candles are also available to enjoy.
Waking up in our penthouse suite at the Brisbane RiverView Hotel, I knew the moment we opened the curtains, we would see our P&O Cruise Ship already docked and waiting for us to embark on our 7 night cruise through the Whitsundays! After a quick pit stop for a much needed breakfast and bucket-o-coffee, we made our way to the port and checked-in on board. We very quickly made our way to the top deck for the sail away party with cocktails in hand!
On the first evening we passed the Sunshine Coast just as the sun was setting, it was the most beautiful sunset I had ever seen. Our cabin had a lovely large window which meant we got a gorgeous view of the ocean and the coastline-when we could see it! Now, a word of warning for any of those that read this and think of booking a cruise – you will eat A LOT of food, I mean A LOT. Our daily activities always revolved around breakfast, lunch and dinner. Something Chris and I learnt quickly was that the buffet was off limits. The food was nice, but the lines were always a mile long! We ate all of our meals in one of the main dining rooms, which offered a full service a la’ carte menu (3 course). The variety of food available is amazing, there is always something even for the most fussy of people, including Chris!!
Our first port of call was Airlie Beach. We dropped anchor at Pioneer Point and caught tender boats onto the mainland. We only had 1 day in Airlie Beach, and had to be back on board by 3.00pm. Our second port was Cairns, and we were lucky enough to have 2 days to sight see. Unlike Airlie Beach, the boat actually ported at the Cruise Ship Terminal, which meant we could come and go off the boat as we pleased. Our original shore tour for Cairns was cancelled as enough people hadn’t booked. This actually worked in our favour! We basically ran to the information centre, booked a bus trip to Kuranda 10 minutes before the bus left, and before we knew it, we were on the Skyrail taking in the amazing views of Cairns. It is truly beautiful to see the rainforest meet the sea! We spent a few hours walking around Kuranda, checking out the local markets which are open every day for tourists, grabbed a bite to eat and then caught the Scenic Railway train ride back to Cairns. The building of the historic railway was really interesting and there were some amazing photo opportunities along the way.
Chris and I were very excited about the shore tour we had booked for our second day in Cairns. We were spending the day at Green Island!! We got up early to catch the catamaran over to Green Island. We then spent the day riding the glass bottom boat, checking out the crocodile park and snorkelling (unfortunately I didn’t get to do much snorkelling because I got a blood nose … I have never swam out of the ocean so fast in my life!!!!) Chris loved the snorkelling (I was happy to watch him from the beach)! The island is only small; you can almost walk around the entire island. It is a gorgeous place, teeming with friendly wild life. We both really enjoyed the time we got to spend there.
The activities on board the ship are endless. Neither Chris nor I had ever played bingo in our life, and bingo afternoons were some of the best times on the ship! Here is a list of just some of the activities that we partook in – laser shows, stage shows, poker tournaments, health/wellness seminars, themed nights (we had Hawaiian night, rock ‘n’ roll night and country and western nights!), day spa (we spent $400 on massages … I KNOW!), late night stand-up comedy, gym, and the champagne waterfall on our last night at sea … and this is only just the beginning! The staff on board are amazing and nothing is ever too hard. Our room steward knew our names after the first night.
I know cruises aren’t for everybody, but we had the most relaxing honeymoon possible! You only need to unpack once, but you get to see more than one place, all of your accommodation and main meals are included in the one price, and you are basically left alone to do what you want, when you want.What more could you possibly want for your honeymoon? Another cruise will definitely be on the cards for us newlyweds!
Images from Sarah and Chris’s collection
Ms Gingham says: It looks like so much fun! I think I’d be walking around the whole time singing the theme song to “The Love Boat” in my head … the love booooat lalalalalalala!!
Sarah describes herself as: “Newly Wed who loves to blog about weddings and food! Loved everything about planning my wedding and honeymoon, and absolutely devastated that it is all over now 🙁 Have the most amazing husband who I love with all my heart, and am so looking forward to the journey life will take us on together now that we are married!”