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As Australian’s, we often head overseas in search of far away places and beautiful beaches. This means we sometimes forget the beauty that’s in our backyard! The wonderful Ann-Louise Buck from Possum Creek Photography has opened up her own figurative back yard – Byron Bay – to share the secret spots that only the locals know about!

Tell us your favourite place that only locals know about…

The incredible “Whites Beach” between Broken Head and Seven Mile Beach, just south of Byron. It’s truly spectacular and perfect for honeymooners…just don’t tell anyone!!

What about a popular place that is well known for good reason?

Watego’s Beach. You just can’t get past that view over the ocean of Mt Warning and surrounding hills. Bonus points if dolphins & whales jump into your shot!!

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Too many to choose…this is foodie heaven after all!! The Italian at the Pacific, Rae’s at Watego’s or Beach Byron Bay for special experiences; Light Years, The Roadhouse or Barrio for something more relaxed.

Your favourite bar?

The Metz Club

What about your favourite store?

I love supporting independent designers, Spell & the Gypsy Collective, Rowie the Label, St Agni, Pop & Scott and Nikau Store are particular faves.

In your opinion, what’s the best hotel?

To be honest I’m not such a pub-girl these days, but The Beachie (The Beach Hotel) will always have a soft spot in my heart.  The Brunswick Hotel (at Brunswick Heads) is also a classic.

How is the best time to spend your time outdoors?

Walking up the Lighthouse, swimming, sea kayaking, snorkelling, diving, surfing, bush walks in the hinterland… the list goes on…

Who’s the most interesting person you’ve met in Byron Bay?

Oh my, Byron is so incredibly full of interesting characters, and I especially love their open-mindedness and warmth. But the best person I’ve met in Byron would have to be my life partner, Ed!!

The ideal date night in Byron?  

My ideal date DAY would be a morning walk up to the Lighthouse, followed by a swim, followed by a long, lazy lunch at Rae’s at Watego’s, followed by another afternoon swim. Then a light tapas dinner with cocktails at the Mez Club. Ahhhh heaven!!

Anything else that a honeymooner needs to know about Byron?

Don’t forget to head out to the hinterland, there’s plenty more to see & do particularly in Bangalow & Newrybar. Apart from that, it’s pretty obvious – avoid the school holidays & Schoolie’s week.  Surprisingly, winter is often the best time (especially July-August) as the days are still sunny & warm and there’s less rainfall and tourists!

About Ann-Louise from Possum Creek Photography: Ann-Louise is based in Byron Bay Australia, but travels all over the place for weddings. Her photography style blends playfulness with honest, real emotion. She has now gathered over 15 years of professional wedding photography experience and is an Accredited member of the AIPP which means her work has been judged by industry peers and so she is constantly keeping abreast of the latest advancements in photography.

Photographer: Possum Creek Studios
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Image via Lonely Planet 

With Summer right around the corner we’ve gathered three of our favourite Summer honeymoon destinations and I guarantee that you might not have considered just how much these places have to offer.

Cabo, San Lucas

Image via Los Cabos 

If you’re anything like me and grew up in what seemed to be the peak of reality TV, watching Lauren Conrad and the rest of The Hills gang beam over the idea of a Cabo trip, then you’ve probably had it on your must visit list for a while.

What makes Cabo great?

Cabo is perfect for a honeymoon because of the vast range of activities on offer. Take a boat tour and admire El Arco and see if you can spot some sea lions swimming near by. Immerse yourself in the traditional culture at La Coyota shopping village, admiring all the handmade arts as you pass each store. Hike Mount Solmar for some incredible views and a perfect post wedding picnic. Whatever the type of honeymoon, Cabo will promise you sunshine and a huge range of things to see and do.

Image via Jante Ziarra

Mauritius 

If you haven’t heard of Mauritius before you’ll find it off the southeast coast of Africa. With a year-round average temperature of 24 degrees, Mauritius is the perfect summer destination without the scorching heat.

Why Mauritius?

Similar to Cabo, Mauritius has something for everyone. It’s an island full of history, sandy beaches, dense forests and beautiful culture. Some ‘must do’ activities to add to your itineraries are a visit to the Chamarel Coloured Earth where you’ll see seven coloured layers of sand; admire exotic species of flora and fauna at Ile Aux Aigrettes and visit the Eureka La Maison Creole famous for their beef curry dish but also a great opportunity to see an 1830s colonial home which is mostly in its original state.

Image via Tourism Mauritius 

Tasmania, Australia

To escape the heat but still maximise on a summer honeymoon visit Tasmania. It’s close to home and  summer temperatures range from 17 to 23 degrees, it has the worlds cleanest air and some of the worlds oldest trees.

Image via Daniel Tran Photography

What is there to do?

Tasmania’s natural landscape is the number one drawcard bringing tourists from all over the world, though you’ll find it’s still relatively quiet and not dominated by crowds. Bridestowe Lavendar Estate is a must if you have never seen lavender fields before. The sea of purple flowers are at their best during December to January and it is only $10 per person! Take a dip at the Bay of Fires, cooling down in the sparkling blue waters whilst admiring the orange stained rock shoreline. Among the beautiful beaches you’ll also find some amazing places to hike, do your research and pick the best tracks for you. There’s nothing like finishing a hike together and taking in the amazing scenery around you.

Image via Amusing Planet

 

Photo by Nadine Aucamp

There’s a reason why South Africa appears on so many top honeymoon lists. It’s more than just a destination for romance – romance is at its very heart. It’s in the crash of the waves of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, meeting at the tip of a continent, where seals bask in rocky bays and whales make their annual pilgrimage from the deep. It’s in the sounds that fill the starry African night – the symphony of cicadas, the nightjar’s lonely trill, the chatter of hyenas. It’s in the stars themselves – those points of fire that led sailors to safety by the light of the Southern Cross. Whatever romance means to you – sleeping on a sunny beach, basking in luxury, sharing new cultures or wild adventures – South Africa has it in abundance. Here’s our top 10 most romantic ways to spend a South African honeymoon.

  • Picnic in a vineyard: A visit to the Cape winelands means glorious scenery, delicious cuisine and wonderful wines (of course), and there are dozens of farms offering tastings along the way. Get the best of it all by pre-ordering a gourmet picnic – Buitenverwachting and Mont Rochelle come recommended.
  • Eat oysters in Knysna: Since oysters are a famous aphrodisiac, what better to enjoy with your honey than the annual Knysna Oyster Festival (held in July)? Beyond that, you can stay in a treehouse, laze on one of the beaches or add to your art collection at one of the local galleries.
  • Watch the sun set from Table Mountain: It’s a popular Cape Town tourist attraction during the day year round, but in the summertime you can take a late cable car up to Table Mountain and enjoy an African sunset with one of the best views on earth.
  • Live the Out of Africa fantasy: South Africa has a huge number of safari options, whatever your budget, from exclusive private reserves like Richard Branson’s Ulusaba to the famous Kruger National Park. Days start with dawn game drives, and end with G&Ts under a velvety night sky.
  • Book a dinner à deux : South Africa’s cities are full of wonderful restaurants, but the most romantic table for two has to be at five star Bushmans Kloof in the Cedarberg, where staff will set up private dining experiences at a range of special locations in the reserve, including a walled garden, a secluded river boma, or a picnic table laid out among the spring flowers.

Photo by Bright Girl 

  • Get your heart racing: Adrenaline enthusiasts will have the time of their lives in South Africa, where adventures include shark cage diving with Great Whites, bungee jumping from Africa’s highest bridge, white water rafting along the mighty Orange River, or zipping through the lush Blue Grotto Forest on a canopy tour.
  • Take the Blue Train: A trip on South Africa’s most luxurious train is a step back in time to the era of steam and locomotives, silks and tuxedos, complete with a stop in diamond town Kimberley or Victorian Matjiesfontein. From 2016, the train will also add a regular route to the Kruger National Park – a dream start to your safari.
  • Sail away in a hot air balloon: Another deliciously nostalgic means of transport, a hot air balloon ride is a favourite with honeymooning couples. While there are several great location options around the country, one of the most memorable is over the undulating grasslands of the Cradle of Humankind, just an hour from Johannesburg. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to 40% of all human ancestor fossils, as well as birds, wildlife and picturesque views.
  • Watch whales in Hermanus: Although summer is the most popular season for visitors, winter brings a special kind of magic to the Cape coast, with regular sightings of southern right whales, as well as humpbacks and minkes. It’s also a good excuse to spend time in some of the charming fishing villages along the way, with their rustic whitewashed cottages, freshly caught seafood and quirky antique shops.
  • Pamper yourselves at an African spa: For the ultimate post-wedding chill-out session, book yourselves in to one of the many acclaimed South African spas, some of which combine local plants, herbs and minerals with African rituals and ceremonies to make the experience truly special.

Ms Zebra Says: Africa is such an incredible place with beautiful people, animals and scenery. What a wonderful way to spend a honeymoon with your love!

About Gaby Frescura: “I’m the proudly South African owner and editor of SouthBound Bride. I started SBB in May 2010, as a way to showcase the beautiful weddings of my home country, and to connect brides both local and long-distance with the best of wedding pros. I’ve been inspired by my readers and industry friends ever since. I never thought when I started this journey that poring over pretty things and romantic love stories would lead to becoming a full-time girlboss, or meeting the amazing friends and colleagues that I have along the way, but I’m so lucky that it has!”