Whether you’re on a shoestring budget or have some serious cash to splash, there’s a way for everyone to enjoy some of the country’s most romantic locations
1. Mollymook, NSW
Best for: Beach lovers “Just three hours south of Sydney, unspoilt and idyllic Mollymook offers one of the best beach escapes in the country,” says Lonely Planet spokesperson Chris Zeiher.
Shoestring: “Simply pack your own picnic, break open the bubbles and while away the hours dolphin spotting on this perfect patch of paradise.”
Splurge: Check in to the beautiful Ridge Retreat and swim in the stunning infinity pool.
2. Tasman Island, Tas
Best for: Adventurers “Surrounded by steep dolerite cliffs, Tasman Island’s dramatic coastline is absolutely breathtaking,” says travel blogger at This Island Life, Laura McWhinnie. “It’s the perfect place for nature lovers who want to get away from it all.”
Shoestring: The award-winning Tasman Island Cruises allow you to take in the spectacular crags of Eaglehawk Neck and Tasman Island from the water.
Splurge: See the island from the air with this 30-minute helicopter flight over Tasman Island and along to Crescent Bay.
3. Uluru, NT
Best for: Couples wanting to connect “It doesn’t get much more romantic than star-gazing under a blanket of stars at Uluru,” says McWhinnie. “Whether you’re camping, glamping or just dining alfresco, this is the perfect destination for couples wanting to spend quality time together.”
Shoestring: Watch the sun set over the rock from the back of a camel on this tour through the red dunes.
Splurge: Splash out and make this an adventure you’ll never forget with a sunrise tandem skydive over the rock itself.
4. Daylesford, Vic
Best for: Chilling out “Victoria's ‘spa country’ is world-renowned for its mineral springs and healing centres, as well as a thriving LGBTI scene,” says Zeiher. “Set amongst the rolling scenic hills of the Central Highlands, the area is a fantastic all-year-round destination.”
Shoestring: “Love pub grub? The Farmer’s Arms Hotel serves excellent local produce.”
Splurge: It wouldn’t be a trip to Daylesford without indulging in spa treatments. This mineral springs spa and massage is the ultimate romantic treat.
5. The Barossa Valley, SA
Best for: Wine swillers There’s nothing better than cellar-door hopping with the one you love. “Make sure you sniff out the boutique offerings at one of the area’s oldest vineyards, Henshke, before indulging in an ice-cream tasting at Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop,” advises Zeiher.
Shoestring: “The sunsets are amazing. Pull the car over and take it all in – it’s so romantic,” says McWhinnie.
Splurge: Travel in style on horseback on this guided tour through the valley.
6. Lizard Island, Qld
Best for: Peace seekers “With rocky mountainous terrain and glistening white sand beaches that host fringing reefs perfect for snorkelling and diving, Lizard Island is one of Australia’s most remote getaways,” says Zeiher.
Shoestring: “The small Lizard Island campsite offers brilliant bush camping on the border of the national park,” says Zeiher. “Then you can take your pick of romantic picnic spots across the island,” adds McWhinnie.
Splurge: The ultra exclusive 40-suite Lizard Island Resort boasts a private beach for each staying couple, and is the trip of a lifetime.
7. The Blue Mountains, NSW
Best for: Scenery addicts “The World Heritage region of the Blue Mountains will capture your heart,” says Zeiher. “It has dramatic scenery and boutique towns such as Leura and Katoomba.”
Shoestring: “Views of the deep inaccessible valleys are best seen from the less busy Sublime Point viewing points,” recommends Zeiher. Get unlimited travel to viewing spots on the Blue Moutains Explorer Bus.
Splurge: The iconic Fairmount Resort has views to die for, and fresh regional produce in their three restaurants.
8. The Sunshine Coast, Qld
Best for: Cool cats “The lush cool hinterlands and the upmarket coastal towns provide the perfect escape for couples wanting to slow down,” says Zeiher. Caloundra is fast becoming a rival to Noosa, with “cool little bars, hip cafes and a burgeoning creative scene.”
Shoestring: “Stop in at Baci Gelati to sample some of the country’s best gelato.”
Splurge: If you’re staying in Noosa, splash out on a sky surfer flight, over the hinterland and beaches. A truly romantic and exhilarating experience.
9. Eco Beach, WA
Best for: Sunset seekers “With turquoise waters and beautiful white sands, this is a stretch of Australia where waiting for sunset becomes part of the daily routine,” says Zeiher. “The brilliant eco-village of Eco Beach Resort faces the glorious pristine West Australian coastline.”
Shoestring: “Get active by hiring kayaks or paddleboards, or join one of the turtle-watching tours.”
Splurge: Spend a few nights at Eco Beach Resort in a luxury eco tent to really get away from it all.
10. The Flinders Ranges, SA
Best for: Stargazers “This ancient mountain range stretches across 400km, with Ikara (Wilpena Pound) in the heart of the Flinders Ranges National Park being the region’s big-ticket drawcard,” says Zeiher. “The beauty of the night sky here is staggering.”
Shoestring: “Do an unforgettable bush walk. Just make sure you’ve got a day pack and good walking shoes.”
Splurge: Glamp in a safari-style tent, sip wine and look at the millions of stars twinkling above the Wilpena Pound Resort.