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Uluru is definitely a place everyone should visit at least once in his or her life. I traveled there late last year and was blown away by its beauty, colours, quietness, mystery and the fact that it would make an amazing honeymoon location! There’s just something romantic about being in the middle of nowhere with your loved one. There are tons of ways you can ‘do’ Uluru too, so you’ll be able to find something to suit the type of experience you want and be able to keep to your budget.


Accommodation

There’s are two places you can stay near Uluru. The first choice is Ayers Rock Resort, which is in the little town of Yulara. It’s about 18km away from Uluru. Ayers Rock Resort is made up of different accommodation types:

Sails In The Desert – 5 star hotel

Desert Gardens Hotel – 4 ½ star hotel

Emu Walk Apartments – 4 star self-contained apartments

The Lost Camel Hotel – 3 ½ star hotel

Outback Pioneer – choice of 3 ½ star hotel or 2 star lodge

Campground – cabins, village tents, camping (powered or non-powered)

Pool at Sails In The Desert Hotel

The second choice is the gorgeous, but expensive, Longitude 131°, described as “the luxury Australian outback experience”. The price averages around $2000 per night with a minimum two-night stay. It’s very lavish and understandably you get treated like royalty. It has many perks – all meals and drinks included, touring programs, entry into Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and private views of the sun rising and setting over Uluru.

Photo from Longititude 131)


Things To Do

* Walk around the base of Uluru. It’s about a 9km walk but it’s worth it. Getting up close to the rock will take your breath away and you’ll see things you’d never expect to see there – like a waterfall!


At the base of Uluru where you start the walk

* Visit Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) – it’s often overlooked because of Uluru but is incredibly beautiful in its own right and there’s a lot to explore there as well.

The sun setting over The Olgas.

* Do a day trip to Kings Canyon. It’s three hours up the road, and a great place to stop over if you’re heading to Alice Springs from Uluru. Once you’re there you can walk through the valley and its creeks, or if you’re feeling adventurous you can climb up and walk around the rim.

Kings Canyon

* Sounds of Silence Dinner – watch the sunset over Uluru, enjoy dinner and drinks with new friends and stare up at the night sky while you’re taken on a tour of the stars.

(Photo from Ayers Rock Resort) A yummy dinner in the middle of the desert.

* Go on a camel ride. They do sunrise and sunset rides. It’s lots of fun and something you’ll remember for a long time to come. Plus, your photos will be unreal.

Meet The Camels!

Top Tips

* Hire a car to do your day trips. It works out to be a lot cheaper, plus they book out really quickly so you could miss out on one if you wait.

* Head to the Tour & Centre Information in the Town Centre to book your tours. They’re more helpful than the tour desks in each hotel. It’s important to book these early because you might miss a spot on some of the more popular experiences. It’s also best to research what you want to do before you get there.

* Take your walking shoes. Even if you think you’re going to sip cocktails by the pool every day, chances are you’ll get swept up in the wonder of the place and will want to go exploring!

* Stock up on water (especially if you’re doing walks in the middle of the day) and of course, slip, slop, slap and wear a hat. It’s hot out there.

* Food can be a little pricey at Ayers Rock Resort so be prepared by taking more cash than you think you’ll need.

* Don’t climb the rock. The traditional landowners of Uluru, the Anangu people, prefer that no one climb it due to its cultural significance. There is a chain that goes up the rock to assist climbing, however there’s a sign just in front that goes into detail as to why you shouldn’t climb. If you’re interested in finding out more while you’re there, you can head to the cultural centre in the national park.

Big sign telling tourists why they shouldn’t climb Uluru.’

All photos by Ms Floral unless otherwise stated.

Polka Dot Honeymoons Directory Mid Banner

If you and your fiancé are not the ‘lay by the pool honeymoon’ type and are after a honeymoon with a twist of adventure, I have the place for you… New Zealand!

New Zealand is home to the beautiful Bay of Islands, cosmopolitan Auckland, Christchurch and my personal favourite the scenic South Island.  New Zealand has rare a mix of charm, solitude and beauty.

There are a few different places you could go for a honeymoon in New Zealand.

Birds eye view of Queenstown's landscape

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown

For newlyweds who would prefer to take advantage of the great outdoors on their honeymoon, there is Queenstown, located on the South Island. Queenstown offers both beautiful lakes and picturesque mountains that are perfect for the couple that likes to be surrounded by breath taking scenery. Honeymoon activities here could include taking the plunge of another kind and taking part in bungy jumping, hitting one of the best ski fields in the world at Coronet Peak or The Remarkable’s or sipping on the local speciality – Pinot Noir on a wine tasting tour.

Coronet Peak Ski Fields

Coronet Peak, Queenstown

Coronet Peak is one of the best ski resorts I have been to, and caters extremely well for all levels.

The Lake

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown

Shotover River Jet

The Shotover Jet in Shotover River, Queenstown

Some local features include:

The Millenium Hotel is a lovely 5 star hotel to stay at. The hotel features beautiful views, great customer service and also includes a heated pool and spa!

Sombrero’s on Beach Street, have the best Mexican food, the nachos and cocktails are delicious.

The view from the top of the Skyline Gondola is absolutely breath taking –  take your camera! While you’re up there, enjoy a romantic dinner for two!

Fergburger on Shotover Street is a well known take away burger shop, that has the best burgers in the world. The queue is normally half way down the street, but well worth the wait.

The Shotover River Jet is a lot of fun and it’s a beautiful way to see the mountains.

Honeymooners who enjoy boating and fishing and ‘on land’ adventure, The Bay of Islands (North Island) is an aquatic playground for you. You and your partner could take a day or evening tour through  a sub tropical rainforest, or take part in a half day island tour. A trip to the Bay of Islands isn’t complete without an excursion to play with the local dolphins as part of a day cruise. Enjoy a vineyard picnic, delights at local restaurants or quick but amazing bite at one of the many farmers markets.

Whitney’s tips on essential items to pack:

– Camera without question! Take advantage of some of the most amazing scenery in the world.

– Warm clothes are a must, boots, coats and hats or beanies for the winter season.

– Joggers (runners) as there are a lot of activities that will involve comfortable and safe footwear!

– Swimming costume – yes, even though it can get very cold, you want to be able to take advantage of the heated pools, spas and saunas.

Enjoy x

Ms Polka Dot says: New Zealand – one of the most beautiful places on earth, so be sure to pack your camera for a thousand and one photo opportunities! And the best bit – it’s a short hop from Australia!

La Belle Weddings is a Sydney based boutique wedding planning agency. Whitney says: We are here to assist brides in turning their dream wedding into a reality whilst saving you time and money.

All photos taken by Whitney of La Belle Weddings

If you, like us, are time poor (we had our wedding, settlement on our first home and me starting a new job all within the same month so had literally 10 days off!), you may want to delay your overseas honeymoon for a few months and set off on a mini-moon.

There are more advantages to this than just the cost. Staying local means we were able to thoroughly enjoy a leisurely brunch at our favourite deli and within two hours of driving we arrived in the gorgeous Spa country to commence our honeymoon. It was great being able to relax almost immediately following the wedding without the stress of rushing to the airport and sitting on a long haul flight.

Just because you stay close to home, doesn’t mean you have to skimp on luxury. We stayed at the gorgeous Kudos Villas and, because each villa has something different to offer we split our time between Kudos Temple (to enjoy watching movies on the projector screen whilst sitting in the sunken spa)……….

Above images courtesy of Kudos Villas

There’s a kangaroo there I promise!

It was very hard to drag ourselves outside…

…..and Kudos Indulge (for the outdoor sauna and bathtub to relish in the true spa country experience).

Above images courtesy of Kudos Villas

We also took advantage of the in room massage which effectively pummeled away all the wedding planning tension and left us blissfully relaxed and ready to explore the culinary delights of the region.

Difficult as it was to tear ourselves away from the warmth of the fireplace and sipping champagne in the spa, we managed to brave the brisk winter air for a few delectable meals.

We had a fabulous lunch on a crisp winter afternoon overlooking Lake Daylesford at The Lake House Restaurant, a beautiful middle eastern inspired meal at The Grande (phone: 03 53488500), a 1920’s hotel overlooking the Wombat State Forest, delicious pizzas at Pizza Verde (we’ve since also had the pleasure of their Sunday Roast which is well worth the drive to Kyneton!) and a very romantic dinner (with impeccable food and service) overlooking the lavender fields at Sault which by the way makes a gorgeous wedding venue! And after an invigorating walk through the forest, we warmed up with a steaming bowl of chowder from Chowder House (phone: 03 53482221) on the Main Road. Be warned though, this chowder is famous so get in early to avoid the queues.

We also made time (I know, it’s a tough life!) to visit the new and spectacularly improved Hepburn Bathhouse for a private mineral bath which was sheer heaven……..

Image courtesy of Hepburn Bathhouse

………..as well as a trip to Castlemaine to pick out some beautiful crockery from Phil Elson and do some retailing at the huge antiques store and the delightful Malmaison.

The best part about our mini-moon? All those places which bring back our special memories are only a quick car trip away and make a great weekend anniversary or birthday getaway. We headed back to the region on our baby – moon where we indulged in more great food (sans the wine!).

Ms Polka Dot says: The lovely Mrs F is back to tell us about her mini-moon! Just a wee bit envious of all the indulgences she describes – but what a wonderful way to unwind after a hectic time leading up to your wedding! It makes a lot of sense to go local and re-visit those memorable places at other special times in your lives – as she suggests!

Nicole says: Melbourne based, married to Mr F and new mum of one particularly gorgeous baby S, I love my boys, all things wedding, travel, food, my cat Chloe and of course all things Polka dot!
Nicole’s favourite cocktail – Peach Bellinis at New York Bar & Grill, Tokyo.