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Can you believe it’s already December and Christmas is fast approaching?! What a year 2018 has been though! So, it’s that time when we look back and thank all the wonderful vendors and wedding experts for sharing their incredible and in-depth knowledge of all things weddings. Don’t forget you can find them all via the Polka Dot Directory too!

To get us in the holiday mood and for a refresher for those who are finalising the perfect honeymoon to complement their Summer Wedding, let’s reminisce on 2018 and the Honeymoon posts we can’t get out of our minds!

Image by Maria Shiriaeva Photography via Laura & Justin’s Waterfall Bali Elopement

Just You & Me! Six romantic places to elope in 2018

“We are cheerleaders for every single kind of wedding here at Polka Dot Bride- Micro-weddings, large weddings, destination weddingsbarefoot weddings, and intimate elopements… If walking down the aisle with 160 pairs of eyes of your nearest and dearest is not your idea of the perfect wedding day, then maybe an elopement is something to consider.”

Image by Theodoros Chliapas via Polyxeni & Gerard’s Kastellorizo Island Greece Destination Wedding

Polyxeni & Gerard’s Kastellorizo Island Greece Destination Wedding

“This destination wedding ticks all the boxes for a loved-up, sunny celebration on the sweetest, tiniest island of Kastellorizo in Greece…returning to the bride’s homeland and a place where the couple had shared many happy holidays together, there was a waterside ceremony, a long dinner as the sun set and the most amazing backdrops that only Greece could provide!”

Image via Barossa.com

Lover’s Weekend Away – 48 Hours in the Barossa with Cherie Hausler

“Cherie Hausler, wears many hats including tea blender, animal hugger, food writer, food stylist, recipe developer and founder of the vegan range All The Things. Cherie is an avid traveller too, but she’ll always call the Barossa Valley in South Australia home. We could not think of a better person to guide us around the world-renowned wine region than this creative local.”

Image by Terralogical via Roxanne & Luke’s Black Tie Bali Wedding At Pandawa Cliff Estate

Roxanne & Luke’s Black Tie Bali Wedding At Pandawa Cliff Estate

“If you ever wondered if a black tie wedding on a tropical island could really be a good idea, then this  Black tie Bali wedding is going to answer the question with a big fat yes! Roxanne and Luke wanted a classic sophisticated wedding and every detail worked together to create their beautiful clifftop occasion that overlooked the stunning Bali scenery with all the sense of occasion they desired.”

Image by Marcus Walters via Inside The Photo: Thalia Haven

 Inside The Photo: Thalia Haven

“I thought it was a fun idea to kick off a series titled “Inside The Photo” which really is exactly as it sounds. Step inside your Instagram, your Pinterest and get the juicy details on those photos that look so perfect that well, they look like a dream.”

Image by Tenille Fink via Astrid & Nick’s Dreamy Destination Wedding In Capri

Astrid & Nick’s Dreamy Destination Wedding In Capri

“It’s an unusual one as we decided to get married before we were engaged” shares today’s bride Astrid. “We’d be planning a 5 week holiday in Europe, joined by friends and family along the way. One night while we were planning our trip, we got to talking about how many of our loved ones would be over there with us, and how great it would be to get married. I called my mum straight away and told her the news.”

Image by Running Under the Sprinkler via Relax in a tropical paradise on your Malolo Island, Fiji honeymoon

Relax in a tropical paradise on your Malolo Island, Fiji honeymoon

“The staff came to meet us at the helipad, and a chorus of “Bula!” greeted us as we settled on the ground and the rotor blades slowed on our chopper. It was a grand, ‘show-offy’ entrance after our 10 minute flight over stunning reefs, islands and all shades of blue. But it was worth it!”

Image by Brisbane City Celebrants.

Brisbane City Celebrants’ Top 10 Tips for Honeymooning in the Maldives

“The Maldives is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in the world making it a honeymooners’ paradise.

With approximately 1,200 small coral islands, the uniqueness of this country means travel arrangements differ a little compared to larger land mass countries, so following a recent visit, our friends over at Brisbane City Celebrants have given us their top 10 tips for honeymooning in the Maldives.”

Image by Love & Other Photography via Carla & Matt’s Boho Whitsundays Wedding

“The Whitsundays is all about the tropical vibes and for Carla and Matt, their destination wedding embodied every piece of tropical beauty. 50 guests flew together to the beautiful Villa Botanica(including photographers Love & Other Photography !) to celebrate the next chapter for these high school sweethearts. Fireworks, barefoot walks in wedding gowns and an outdoor reception just some of what we’re loving about today’s celebration!”

Mia and Zaks’ Maldives, Paris and Dubai Honeymoon

Polka Dot Bride was lucky enough to feature this beautiful couple, Mia & Zak in their Classic Elegant Melbourne Wedding – and now they have taken us around the world with them as they spent their honeymoon travelling through The Maldives, Paris & Dubai!”

Image byAndrea & Federica via Kit & Richard’s Indian Destination Wedding In An Italian Villa

 Kit & Richard’s Indian Destination Wedding In An Italian Villa

“The idea of running away to a stunning Italian villa to tie the knot is the stuff wedding dreams are made of, so when Kit and Richard chose to hold their  Indian Destination Wedding In An Italian Villa, you can bet it was a story I couldn’t wait to share with you.”

 

Polka Dot Honeymoons Directory Mid Banner

Image by Dennis Unlusu via iStoc

Packed with spectacular adventure and intimate romance, New Zealand is the perfect honeymoon destination for a pair of intrepid explorers. Savour your first days of married life in an unparalleled country renowned for its jaw-dropping scenery, vibrant wildlife and world-class food and wine.

Whether you want thrilling action or blissful relaxation, New Zealand has it all. We’ve rounded up the top 6 things to do and places to stay on your New Zealand honeymoon.

1. Take a wine and gourmet food tour of Waiheke Island

Begin your New Zealand honeymoon in the oceanside city of Auckland, a lively hub of culture and cuisine. For the best in gourmet food and wine, take the 45-minute boat ride to Waiheke Island, a gorgeous haven of pristine beaches, olive groves and vineyards.

Take a tour with a local guide to see and taste the island’s produce with everything from fresh oysters and award-winning olive oil, to superb boutique wines. Enjoy lunch at one of the island’s exceptional restaurants as you gaze out over the sparkling turquoise bay.

Where to stay: Hotel DeBrett

A quirky, glamorous boutique set on Auckland’s High Street, Hotel DeBrett will charm you with its 1920s-themed styling and rich heritage. You’ll melt into the grandeur of the era with elegant Art Deco rooms and retro-inspired bars serving lively jazz music and prohibition cocktails.

Image by Marcel Strelow via iStock

2. Explore the glow worm caves of Waitomo

Take the three hour scenic drive from Auckland to Waitomo to see the magical glow worm caves. You’ll be guided by candlelight through Footwhistle Cave, also known as Te Anaroa Cave, where you’ll be surrounded by twinkling glow worms. The tour ends with a romantic boat ride through the enchanting Glowworm Grotto.

At the end of your visit, make the two hour drive south to Taupo, a spectacular town known for its glittering lakes, geothermal wonderlands, thundering waterfalls and enriching Maori cultural experiences.

Where to stay: Acacia Cliffs Lodge

This exclusive luxury retreat is perched on a cliff top in Taupo with phenomenal views over Lake Taupo, Acacia Bay and the surrounding mountains. The intimate lodge is run by a friendly local family and your stay includes a complimentary local bottle of wine, pre-dinner drinks and canapés and full gourmet breakfast.

Image by ActionAdventure via iStock

3. Sail the Bay of Islands

The most romantic way to see the iconic Bay of Islands is with an exclusive boat charter. Climb aboard a 54-foot sailing catamaran with your partner and get comfortable in the private cabins and lounges. Cruise through the dazzling archipelago of more than 140 islands, brimming with pristine beaches and ancient Maori sites.

Relax on the trampolines in the bows, perfect for dolphin watching, or go swimming, snorkelling, paddle boarding and kayaking in the sparkling waters. Lounge on the sandy beaches, enjoy a delicious lunch, and soak up the beauty of the bay together.

Where to stay: Magic Cottages

Just 40 minutes from the Bay of Islands, Magic Cottages offers a luxury ‘glamping’ site on the banks of Takou River. Tucked away in untouched bushland in a secluded corner of a 150-acre farm, the luxury safari-style tent is fully equipped with a large bed, kitchen, hot shower, flushing toilet, heating, and a romantic outdoor bath overlooking the river.

Image by Robert Chang via iStock

4. Take the TranzAlpine train journey

Beginning in Christchurch, the world-renowned TranzAlpine train takes you on a breathtaking five hour journey from the east to the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island.

You’ll see some phenomenal landscapes from the Canterbury Plains to the Southern Alps, passing through lush farmlands, river valleys and the dramatic mountain ranges of Arthur’s Pass. The train journey finishes in Greymouth, just a 45-minute drive from the stunning Hokitika region.

Where to stay: Hurunui Jacks

Experience another romantic luxury ‘glamping’ experience on the banks of the Kaniere River in Hokitika. Nestled within 15 acres of pristine forest and national parklands, the luxury canvas tent comes fully equipped with a comfortable bed, kitchen, bathroom and running water. Enjoy a glass of wine in the the private outdoor bath with only your partner and the trilling bellbirds for company.

Image by Jacques van Dinteren via iStock

5. See the marine life of Kaikoura

Make some magical memories in Kaikoura, a seaside town famed for its incredible marine life. Take a stroll along the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway to watch seal colonies sunning themselves, or go whale watching to catch a glimpse of magnificent sperm whales migrating through the Pacific Ocean.

You can even swim with pods of dusky dolphins on an eco-friendly tour off the coast of Kaikoura. The playful dolphins are known for their interactive behaviour and love to show off in their natural environment.

Where to stay: Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses

Stay in a charming tree house perched ten metres above the treetops with beautiful panoramic views of the farmland and mountain ranges. Situated only 15 minutes from Kaikoura, the lodge is the perfect retreat for honeymooners with gourmet meals, couples massages and helicopter rides to romantic mountaintop picnics.

Image by Theeradaj S. via iStock

6. Helicopters, cruising and hot pools in Queenstown

Queenstown is packed with fairytale adventure. Start with a breathtaking helicopter tour over the Fiordland National Park and land on a glacier for the perfect photo opportunity. Arrive in Milford Sound for an awe-inspiring cruise through the tranquil valley and soaring peaks.

Take the picturesque drive to nearby Glenorchy and have lunch at the Amisfield Winery. End your blissful New Zealand honeymoon with a soak in the Onsen Hot Pools. Relax in the natural pools and sip champagne together, toasting to your new married life.

Where to stay: Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel

This intimate boutique hotel is set in the heart of Queenstown, surrounded by idyllic parklands. The rooms are elegantly styled with modern furnishings and you’ll adore the mountain views from your balcony. Head to the cosy lounge each evening to indulge in complimentary pre-dinner drinks and canapes.

Ms Zebra Says: New Zealand is such an idyllic holiday destination and perfect for those couples who are keen to relax but also seek a little adventure too! Thanks Wayfairer Travel for sharing these wonderful experiences and places to honeymoon in New Zealand!

About Wayfairer Travel: A luxury tour operator based in the UK, Wayfairer Travel creates exceptional, tailor made luxury holidays for the discerning traveller, without compromising on sustainability and conservation.

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