Valentine’s Day is an elaborate affair.
But while a fancy dinner paired with a red wine can make for a romantic evening, there are many other original ways to spoil loved ones.
Australian travel site LuxuryEscapes.com, which specialises in five star getaways, compiled a list of the ten most luxurious escapes in Australia.
The list taps into Australia’s natural wonders such as the wilderness of the Blue Mountains, heritage-listed Lord Howe Island, remote paradise on Lizard Island through to tropical villas in Port Douglas. While they make for a great escape for Valentine’s Day, they’re also perfect for any other time during the year when you want to take your loved one on a romantic weekend getaway.
“We’re really lucky in Australian with so many amazing luxury properties across the country to choose from if you want to pamper yourself and your significant other,” said Adam Schwab, CEO of LuxuryEscapes.com.
Here are Schwab’s picks:
Blue Mountains – Wolgan Valley, NSW
For absolute luxury and supreme privacy surrounded by unique natural wonders, you can’t go past the multi-award winning Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley. Nestled within the vast wilderness of the heritage-listed Greater Blue Mountains, the conservation-based resort is set on 4,000 acres of wildlife reserve.
“Wolgan Valley combines absolutely luxury with a quintessentially Australian bush experience, and it is perfect for couples who want an upscale yet secluded getaway,” Schwab recommends.
Lizard Island – Great Barrier Reef, QLD
After damage forced it to close after Cyclone Ita in April 2014, the Lizard Island Resort in the Great Barrier Reef reopened last year after a lavish $45 million refurbishment.
Seventeen miles off the Queensland coast — and only accessible by a scenic flight — this island paradise couldn’t be more remote. Spend days exploring the island’s national park, its 24 beaches as well as the surrounding coral reef.
“What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than in the midst of the breathtaking beauty of one of the seven natural wonders of the world?” Schwab said.
One&Only Hayman Island – Whitsunday Islands QLD
Newly engaged Mariah Carey and James Packer have reportedly put the opulent One&Only Hayman Island on the short-list of venues for their big day, and who can blame them?
Considered Australia’s most iconic private island resort, the multi-award winning and recently multi-million dollar refurbished One&Only Hayman Island is the definition upscale luxury.
“It doesn’t get more romantic than dining under the stars or indulging with a couple’s massage in the waves on a private island resort,” Schwab said.
Berkley River Lodge – Northern WA
Experience pure luxury in the remote wilds of Western Australia at the lush Berkley River Lodge. Located in the stunning Kimberley and overlooking the Timor Sea, this luxury lodge is super remote and only accessible via private air transfers.
“Have a romantic picnic prepared by the lodge’s renowned chef, and hop on-board a helicopter to explore stunning waterfalls and untouched rock pools in the grand wilderness of Kimberley,” Schwab said.
Saffire Freycinet – Tasmania
Named the top luxury hotel in Australia by Tripadvisor at the 2016 Travellers Choice Awards, Saffire Freycinet is a gem.
The luxury lodge captures the best of what Tasmania has to offer; cutting edge design, amazing wilderness, spectacular local fresh produce and premium local wines. Nestled in a fantastic natural environment overlooking the Freycinet peninsula, you can spend days exploring the untouched area.
“One of the memorable experiences Saffire offers is the Freycinet Marine Oyster Farm experience, which lets you enjoy an oyster tasting in the water– it doesn’t get fresher than that,” Schwab said.
Capella Lodge – Lord Howe Island, NSW
Lord Howe Island Group is listed as a World Heritage Site by Unesco, and lies 600 kilometres off the coast of NSW. With untouched forests and immaculate beaches, this romantic destination will make you feel like you’re in another world – David Attenborough has described Lord Howe Island “so extraordinary it is almost unbelievable”.
The upscale Capella Lodge is the island’s premium boutique hotel, and offers a stylish stay with stunning ocean and mountain views.
Southern Ocean Lodge – Kangaroo Island, SA
Dramatically located atop a secluded cliff on Kangaroo Island, Southern Ocean Loge offers comfort and luxe in the midst of the island’s rugged wilderness.
Kangaroo Island is considered Australia’s own Galapagos, a unique region and home to a diverse range of native species — so it’s the perfect romantic getaway for the animal lover.
Peppers Convent – Hunter Valley
Hunter Valley is without a doubt one of the most romantic destinations in Australia, and award-winning Peppers Convent is the perfect place to stay with its European-luxe-meets-Hamptons-vibe. To add an extra touch to your Valentine’s getaway, you can travel by private helicopter from Sydney.
“The Hunter Valley is blessed with so many spectacular romantic settings so take a gourmet picnic and enjoy a bottle of locally produced wine whilst sitting amongst the vines,” Schwab recommends.
Niramaya Villas & Spa – Port Douglas, QLD
Port Douglas is the perfect destination from which to explore the world famous Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest, and the Balinese-inspired Nimaraya offers the ultimate in tropical romantic luxury. Each of the villas at the five star Niramaya Villas & Spa in has a plunge pool, and the resort is just a short stroll away from the pristine white sands of the world famous Four Mile Beach and the chic village of Port Douglas, which offers award-winning dining and boutique shopping.
The Dudley Boutique Hotel – Hepburn Springs, VIC
If you’re after rustic romance without compromising on luxury, consider a getaway to The Dudley Boutique Hotel, nestled in the historic Hepburn Springs.
Dudley Boutique Hotel was named Luxury Boutique Hotel of the Year 2015 in Victoria, and only accommodates 14 guests at any given time, so it’s the ultimate getaway for the couple that enjoys privacy.
“For an afternoon of pampering and mineral baths, which the area is famous for, don’t miss the historic Bathhouse and Spa in Hepburn Springs,” Schwab said.
For more five star holidays and weekend getaways, head to LuxuryEscapes.com.