In the spirit of love on this most romantic of days, here are ten romantic places in New South Wales for your next coupled-up sojourn
A Vintage Escape
Immerse yourself in nostalgia with a short break to the historic Blue Mountains. Stay in one of the most famous hotels in the area, The Hydro Majestic, with stunning valley views and old-world charm. At Katoomba, sip an elegant apéritif at Champagne Charlies inside the heritage Carrington Hotel, dine at charming and good-value French bistro, The Rooster, and don’t miss the sunset from famous vantage point and wedding-photo fave, Lincoln Rock in Wentworth Falls.
Nature Meets Wellness
For a wellness escape steeped in luxury, stay at the remote, renowned Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley. One of Australia’s top retreats, it boasts 40 heritage-style villas with private plunge pools and extraordinary views. The two-night Romantic Retreat includes a 90-minute couple’s spa treatment in the wellness sanctuary, a gourmet picnic on a private deck, in-villa breakfast with Champagne, gourmet lunch and more.
Welcome to the Jungle
A dramatic setting on Illawarra Escarpment make Tumbling Waters Retreat a spectacular couple’s escape blending natural beauty and laid-back luxury. There are seven room types to choose from but our favourite is the new, luxurious oceanside suite Amanzi with its tropical vibes and freestanding tub overlooking the beach. The infinity pool makes it an ideal summer spot, but for those that visit in the cooler months there is plenty to keep you busy – or not. Unwind with a massage in your room and when it’s time for dinner dig into seasonal produce at Dining on the Edge. tumblingwatersretreat.com
Romantic Cabin in the Woods
With just two private and romantic cottages, Blair Athol Estate Wollombi specialises in intimate holidays for couples in a remote natural setting. Nestled in the Hunter region in the town of Wollombi on an 800-acre wildlife sanctuary and farm, the luxury retreat has log fires, hot tubs, and a golf cart for each couple to explore the surroundings. Choose from the Athol one-bedroom cottage with heated spa and fireplace, or The Dairy, a two bedroom retreat ideal for two couples. blairatholestatewollombionline.com
A Small, Sexy House
Situated on a working 7000-acre farm, Kimo Estate is designed to give guests a memorable rural experience with an edgy, modern aesthetic. The romantic option is the eco hut JR’s, perched high on the hill with 360-degree views of Murrumbidgee River Flats and Kimo Valley. Kimo has firmly established itself as a go-to wedding destination too, offering a restored barn reception venue as well as authentic Shearer’s quarters with six bedrooms to accommodate larger groups.
A Vine Romance
Known for its acclaimed cool-climate wines, fresh produce and fine restaurants, Orange is a gem of a region to explore with your foodie better half. Base yourselves at centrally located Cottage 79, a self-contained cottage circa 1880 on the Orange Heritage Walk. The romantic home away from home fuses heritage charm with modern styling and has a private garden and outdoor patio, fireplace, light-filled living spaces and plenty of mod-cons (think under-floor heating, air-conditioning and double-glazed windows).
Glamping Under the Stars
For those who can’t get enough of the bubble tent phenomenon sweeping the world from the Maldives to Switzerland and back Down Under, you’ll want to check out the Aussie iteration in Capertee Valley, New South Wales. Bubbletent Australia‘s three snug spheres named after zodiac constellations are available to book, with each of the clear inflatable tents providing the perfect portal for star-gazing with your love come nightfall. Not to mention there’s plenty of luxury to go around with plush bedding and a wood-fired bathtub.
On the Sapphire Coast, meanwhile, is renowned Paperbark Camp, which offers luxurious but sustainable camping experiences in a bushland setting. There’s an on-site restaurant Gunyah and the elevated, safari-style tents have hotel-quality linen and amenities, hot showers, a wrap-around deck, full insect screening, as well as a bathtub in the Deluxe tents.
Capella Lodge Lord Howe Island has reopened after a four-million dollar refurbishment. With just nine contemporary suites and only 400 humans allowed on the island at any one time, this is an exclusive and secluded stay for luxury travellers. The updated suites feature plenty of luxe additions such as heated plunge pools and daybeds, and are a stylish base for a holiday exploring the natural surrounds of the island, including the turquoise water of the aptly named Lovers Bay.
Far From the Madding Crowd
Milton Park is an institution in New South Wales’ Southern Highlands, its grand manor charm reminiscent of the English countryside. Originally a homestead, it was converted into a boutique hotel by two doctors in 1984, was inspired by their love of the great country hotels of Europe. The elegant hotel is now a popular wedding destination and stands serenely in grounds of Cypress-lined drives, wisteria archways and bluebell fields, and boasts an oft-photographed ivy-covered pool house, high-end spa and fine dining at onsite restaurant, Horderns.
Perched high on a hill in Hunter Valley wine country is Bistro Molines – the long-time passion project of renowned restauranteurs Robert and Sally Molines. Linger over a decadent lunch in the restaurant savouring chef Robert’s dishes from his native Provence and sampling wines sourced locally. You can stay overnight in the delightful Little Orchard Cottage, within strolling distance of the bistro and styled artfully by Sally. Come morning, enjoy a generous breakfast of bacon, eggs (from Sally’s chickens) fresh local breads and fruit from the nearby orchard.