Romance on the road: Special destinations to celebrate love

  • Author Inspiring Journeys
  • Date 14 Feb. 2019

At Inspiring Journeys, we love celebrating love. Love for our families, our partners and our friends. Love for our vocation and avocation. Love for exploring our own backyard and beyond. We’re avoiding the pink kitsch of Valentine’s commercialisation and focussing on the places we love instead. Places that etched memories into our minds and left a mark on our hearts. Places where we can do the things we love surrounded by the people we love. Are you ready to fall in love?

Palm Cove, Queensland

Whether you’re sparking magic with someone special or rekindling your love for Australia, Palm Cove is a thrilling option. Halfway between Cairns and Port Douglas, relaxed tropical vibes instantly satisfy your soul. Rainforest, reef and a pristine stretch of deserted beach offer an intoxicating mix of adventure and tranquillity – the perfect potion for a romantic getaway. Enjoy underwater expeditions, fascinating walks in the Daintree Rainforest and magnificent sunsets with a glass of bubbles in hand. The town itself is sleepy and devoid of bustling crowds, adding idyllic privacy to the enduring peacefulness.

What we love: Palm Cove offers the ultimate in relaxation, where the concept of time seems to float away on the ocean breeze.

Daylesford, Victoria

Nestled in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, Daylesford is an all-year gem. Just over an hour from Melbourne, it feels like entering another world. Country charm, goldmine history, volcanic geology, native wildlife and, what it’s most famously known for, healing mineral waters. Unwind in a calming spa and indulge in a massage treatment. Once you’ve shed any lingering stress, it’s time to sample what else this wonderful country town has on offer. We recommend taking a leisurely stroll along the Daylesford lake circuit track, an easy 40-minute loop. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, devour the incredible local produce at one of Daylesford’s fine eateries.

What we love: The charming country feel, indulgent spa experiences and the abundance of great places to eat.

Hobart, Tasmania

Stretching along a picturesque harbour, Hobart melds historic charm with a taste for the avant-garde. Designer hotels, daring art, divine restaurants and a plethora of natural attractions make the city feel much larger than it is. Immaculately restored wharves and warehouses line the water’s edge. The vibrant food and art districts of Salamanca Place and Battery Point boast galleries, cafes, restaurants and thriving markets selling crafts and gifts. Imagine kayaking to one of the fishing punts in the main dock to nibble on the freshest fish ‘n’ chips. Or blending art and wine at a unique experience hosted by the peculiar Mona Museum and neighbouring Moorilla Winery.

What we love: Hobart is an explosion of dynamic culture and exquisite flavours. Romantic escapes are elevated by the likes of boutique hotel MACq01. Fusing together art, food and incredible views, it’s so very Tasmanian.

Waiheke Island, New Zealand

A short ferry ride from Auckland will find you in New Zealand’s isle of wine. With only 9000 permanent residents, the island feels compact and secluded. There are around 30 wineries to explore, including Tuscan-inspired Mudbrick and internationally known Stonyridge. The vineyards here have a special ambience – something to do with the breathtaking views over the rolling green hills of the island and the turquoise waters of Hauraki Gulf. We recommend discovering the islands many beaches, coves, cafes and stores before sipping your way into a grape-infused haze.

What we love: Bright blue skies and stunning views, romantic walks along the beach and candlelit dinners at exceptional winery restaurants.

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

The lakes of New Zealand have an ethereal feel. Embraced by dramatic mountains and filled with impossibly blue water, Lake Tekapo is no different. Its positioning under the Southern Alps shelters the lake, often transforming it into a perfect mirror and doubling its breathtaking power. Crisp fresh air blows gently through the basin, bringing with it the perfect atmosphere for lakeside walks. Take a stroll around the lake, skip stones on its glassy surface then wander into town for a cocktail or two. Once darkness strikes the real romance begins. Tekapo is an International Dark Sky Reserve. One of only 8 in the world, light pollution is strictly controlled. The sky is so clear that millions, if not billions, of stars become visible. The Church of the Good Shepherd, just east of town, is a famous spot to photograph the dazzling night sky.

What we love: The breathtaking natural landscape and the mind-boggling access to the universe.