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Image: Kakadu from the air, Tourism NT/Salty Wings

Natures best comes out in Spring, where we are greeted with warmer temperatures, colourful blooms and the promise of an upcoming summer sun. For your Spring honeymoon, why not take advantage of the season and bask in some of our most beautiful destinations to witness the true grandeur of Spring.

Pack your camera and maybe some hiking boots, and let’s go see some of these natural beauties! 

Image: Kakadu from the air, Tourism NT/Salty Wings

Kakadu

Before the Summer heat settles in, Spring is the perfect time to visit the top end. To avoid the wet season and humidity, the best time to go is early Spring when temperatures average between 21 and 31 degrees. 

This region is incredible and there’s a lot on offer, so we recommend making a list of your must see and do items so that you don’t miss out. Some of our top picks of experiences that best capture this vast and rugged region of the country include: 

Take a dip at Gunlom Falls, natures version of an infinity pool

Image: Nature’s infinity pool at Gunlom, Tourism NT/Jewels Lynch

Wander the Indigenous rock art site of Ubirr

Image: Sunset at Ubirr, Tourism NT/Jonathon Clayton

Cruise Yellow Water

Image: Cruise on the Yellow Water, Tourism NT/Bronte Stephens

Rainbow Valley 

Another natural gem to add to your list whilst exploring the northern regions of our country is Rainbow Valley. Best viewed in the early morning or late afternoon light, Rainbow Valley is famous for its colour-changing rock. Hire a four-wheel drive and make a day trip of visiting the Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve which is an easy 2 hour drive from Alice Springs.

Image: Starry Red Centre desert nights, Tourism NT/Carmen Huter

Things to consider…

Remember whilst you’re travelling, that these natural sites are precious and in order to remain as they are, we need to ensure we take the utmost care in protecting them. To limit your footprint when visiting these sites or any others for that matter, there are a few things you can do:

  • Bring along an ‘adventure bag.’ The adventure bag movement is all over social media and it’s something you should be a part of too. For every adventure, aim to collect a bag of litter and dispose of it appropriately. This keeps our natural sites clean and ensures our wildlife are not affected by careless mistakes. If you think a whole bag of rubbish is too hefty for you, perhaps just pick up litter when you see it. Every bit counts!
  • Support local businesses. The culture and heritage in these areas is rich! Where you can, eat local foods and support the hardworking people of this region. Immerse yourself in cultural experiences and learn more about the indigenous people and caring for our land.
  •  Skip flying and opt for a road trip. Flying produces incredible amounts of carbon emissions, plus you’re missing some incredible sights and charming small towns that you could explore from down below. Opt for a road trip honeymoon and spend quality time with one another exploring something new around every corner.

Ms Zebra Says: We are so rich in everything we have in our backyard. These are some great tips to enjoy the sights of the Top End whilst also taking care of this incredible environment.

About Bec Lawrence: I’m an animal lover, sustainability advocate and natural landscape enthusiast. On a good weekend, you’ll find me hiking with my two adorable beagles and my equally adorable husband.

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Sarah & Rory

Can we just state right now, there are few places in the world that capture a winter lovers heart as much as a hotel made of ice and winter skies of Northern Lights. Oh yes, you read that right, because today we’re sharing the amazing winter elopement o two Aussies – Sarah and Rory and their snow and ice-filled, utterly magic wedding day.

And if you’re already shivering in your boots, take the assurances of these newlyweds, that their day was nothing like the ice-cold you would imagine. “I find it hard to describe the atmosphere,” remarks Sarah. “You would expect it to be cold and lonely in some ways. It was very much the opposite, the generosity of those involved was incredible and the energy we felt on the day was amazing.”

Enlisting Who Shot The Photographer to join them to capture it unfolding, Sarah and Rory decided to elope at the same time they decided to get married. They explain “We proposed the idea of eloping to each other, maybe as a joke at first to avoid some of the stress and costs of a full wedding. But the idea took seed and we felt that it was a really good option for us. Neither of us enjoys big ceremonies nor being the centre of attention, we wanted to have a small private affair. Eloping to a winter wonderland in the hopes of seeing Northern Lights was the winning idea.”

And in a story that’s come full circle, we need to set the scene with how these two met, so very aptly in Europe! “We met while travelling in Europe in 2010, we were on the same Topdeck bus tour. We got very close on the trip and after the tour, we spent some more time travelling in the UK together before having to part ways, Rory back to Australia and Sarah to England. We stayed in contact and six months later Sarah visited Australia for a short holiday. The rest is history, she loved Australia, and probably to some degree Rory too!”

The bride wore a dreamy gown by Mywony telling “Before anything was booked for the wedding I already had my dress, I saw this beautiful sea-foam blue and white dress with a sheer top with delicate lacing and jewels. As it was a bit chilly outside, -20C!, I wore a wool shawl over the top and cinched it with a belt. To complement the dress I wore Swedish designer Georg Jensen iridescent moonstone earrings and necklace and a handmade headpiece from local Canberra designer Tania Maras.

Oh, and I got to wear thermal long johns and my favourite comfy Sorel boots so I couldn’t have been more comfortable! I was also very lucky that my dress fitted into hand luggage as I was worried about putting it in checked luggage, it also sprang back to life when it was unpacked with no wrinkles. The whole outfit felt very Scandinavian, rustic and unique.”

Groom Rory topped his (many) layers with a custom made merino wool suit designed by MJ Bale.

Sarah carried a bouquet of blooms designed by InterFlora Kiruna. She tells “I chose a lovely relaxed style bouquet with thistles, tumbling ivy and a few roses. When it turned up it was even more beautiful than I had imagined!”

Sarah and Rory enlisted the help of a very special photographer to capture their day. “I (Sarah) am very lucky to have a very talented brother as a professional photographer. When we knew we were getting married in the Ice Hotel, there was only one photographer I wanted, my brother. We both had so much fun having the pictures taken and James knew all the best spots to get some awesome photos. Given that we were both wearing snow boots and thermals nowhere was off limits!”

Sarah and Rory made sure they ticked all the boxes, Angela Hewitt of Magnetic North Travel helping their plan their trip to Sweden and resulting three week honeymoon in Australia and the team at

Ice Hotel planning every detail of the wedding itself. They tell “Eloping makes life pretty easy for planning and have an amazing travel agent (Angela – Magnetic North Travel) and wedding coordinator (Louise – Ice Hotel) made getting married overseas so much less stressful. We really think the Ice Hotel and Louise the wedding coordinator went above and beyond our expectations. At every stage of the wedding day, we were surprised by something we hadn’t expected that just made the day that little bit more magical. We still think Louise must have used some wizardry to get the northern lights to show on our wedding night!”

Rory and Sarah chose the Ceremony Hall at Ice Hotel for their ceremony, sharing “The main venue for us was the Ice Hotel Ceremony Hall. The scale and detail of the hall was amazing, including the Ice chandelier and the reindeer skins covering the pews. Each year they invite a new artist to come to build a unique chapel, so it’s never the same. 2019 was Japanese artists Natsuki and Shingo Saito, and the carvings look like a Japanese family tree, with diamonds showing the flow and major moments of life. As we both love Japan it made the ceremony even more special.”

Rory and Sarah walked down the aisle together to “Turn Up Your Light” by Boo Seeker.

The couple were married by Eva Lundquist. “We both knew we would be nervous so didn’t write any vows to say to each other” they remember. “It was also around -5c inside so we were keen for a short and sharp ceremony for that reason too! The celebrant (Eva) suggested a reading from Sami artist Nils-Aslak Valkeapää book of poems Trekways of the Wind. The opening line was ‘the wind blew the tundra spoke’, and the Eva read it in both Swedish and English. It was very fitting for a couple that loves the snow and ice, and was very ethereal.”

The newlyweds received a special gift at the end of the ceremony. “At the end of the wedding Eva presented us with a white grouse, which is the symbol for Kiruna. In Australian slang, “grouse” means something is awesome so we saw it as a good sign! We named him Klaus der Grouse and he proudly sits in our bedroom now.”

“As it was less traditional we did not have a “first dance” as such” tell the newlyweds. “However, as the ceremony ended we were allowed time to take photos and play some additional music while in there. We had “I Would Do Anything For You” by Foster the People cued up after the ceremony finished and we lit a few candles. After that we played “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin, needless to say, we all had a good dance, wedding planners and celebrant included!”

Then it was time for champagne- in a way that only the Ice Hotel could manage! “We had a traditional champagne toast, and naturally being the Ice Hotel the champagne flutes were made of ice. The best thing about the glasses is you can take them outside a throw them against the wall, which is great fun!”

The celebrations continued late into the evening with a very special meal. Sarah and Rory explain “Our wedding meal was just amazing, we had a special Chefs Table which was an incredible degustation with us and a handful of other guests. The food was out of this world and at the end, the chef surprised us with a wedding cake, which was beautiful. A wonderful family from the UK also found out we had just got married and gave us a bottle of Dom Perignon to celebrate which was so generous. To top it all off, right at the end of the meal one of the children from the family ran in saying the Northern Lights were happening so we hurried out. We spent the next couple of hours watching the wondrous display of lights while standing on the frozen river behind the hotel .”

And there was the most magic of endings- the beautiful Northern Lights making their appearance. “It was amazing celebrating it all under the Northern Lights!” tell the newlyweds. “We really thought we may have gone the whole trip without getting to witness them, but it was such a gift to witness the majestic splendour of shimmering lights dancing through the night sky.”

A big congratulations on your marriage Sarah and Rory! How special to be able to share your day! Thank you also to Who Shot The Photographer for the beautiful images!

Credits

This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.

  • Ceremony Officiant
  • Eva Lundquist
  • Hair & Makeup Artist
  • Nina Alariesto

If spectacular landscapes and a unique and tranquil location is what you are after in a honeymoon destination, Pumphouse Point in Tasmania will more than deliver. Set amongst a breathtaking backdrop, Pumphouse Point is a destination like no other.

The location

Nestled at the southern end of Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park and amidst Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area is Lake St Clair. At only a 2.5 hour drive from Hobart, Launceston or Devonport, Lake St Clair is easily accessible by car, or if flying is more to your liking you can arrive by air from Hobart in less than an hour. You’ll be surrounded by a rugged, yet tranquil landscape where you’ll be able to sit back and take in nature’s best.

About the accommodation

Pumphouse Point offers three types of accommodation all within close proximity and with views of the lake.

The Pumphouse

Spend you nights floating on the lake in this spectacular region of Tasmania. This boutique accommodation is spread over three floors with a variety of rooms on offer. Get cosy in the lounge where you can take advantage of the bar, a fireplace, deep seats and a mezzanine level.

Image via Pumphouse Point – AJG

The Shorehouse

Fitted with the original exterior of the former sub-station, the Shorehouse features a dining area and offers all of your conveniences in the one location. Some rooms in the Shorehouse do not have seaside views but instead boast beautiful views of the surrounding natural bush land.

Image via Pumphouse Point, Adam Gibson 

The Retreat

Tucked away in the native bush land is the Retreat. Bask in a king bed or gaze at the stars in your glorious outdoor bathtub and take in views of the lake. This accommodation is perfect for additional privacy and has been created as a place of togetherness and a quiet retreat.

Image via Pumphouse Point, Adam Gibson 

Inside the photo

Rain, hail or shine, the Pumphouse has a historic beauty to it and is an incredibly unique and picturesque location to rejuvenate and explore the natural beauty Tasmania has to offer.

Much of the buildings exteriors remain as they were over 70 years ago not only as a tribute to their heritage, but as a way to impart history onto future generations.

Historic photo of the Pumphouse under construction 

Also loving

Whilst you might feel secluded and tucked away in your own private world whilst visiting Pumphouse Point, should you want to participate, there are plenty of activities on offer in the surrounding area.

Borrow one of the bikes for free and set out exploring the bush land and the native species that call it home. Pack a picnic and make a day of it, or set off to explore the expansive national parks.

All images via Pumphouse Point 

Ms Zebra Says: Wow what a tranquil and beauty filled place! We are so lucky with all we have on offer here in Australia. Thanks for sharing Bec!

About Bec Lawrence: I’m an animal lover, sustainability advocate and natural landscape enthusiast. On a good weekend, you’ll find me hiking with my two adorable beagles and my equally adorable husband.