South Australia, the “WOW” state known for its Wildlife, Outback, and Wine experiences, provides some perfect answers for romantic sojourns to the bottom side of the world.
The land anchored by Adelaide is magical indeed opening to the marvels of the rugged Flinders Ranges, the rolling hills of the Barossa wine region with the oldest Shiraz vines in the world, and the craggy promontories of Australia’s southern coastline giving way to breathtaking vistas that reach over to Kangaroo Island.
Location: Kangaroo Island
What’s to Love: Southern Ocean Lodge is South Australia’s first true luxury lodge. The resort floats atop a secluded cliff on a rugged stretch of coast and commands peerless views of the wild Southern Ocean and scrubby Kangaroo Island wilderness. The Lodge is a sanctuary of refinement: 21 luxury suite spreads command views of the Southern Ocean – each in a cantilevered line that promises privacy to guests who choose to while the hours on the patio day bed counting the waves. Good to know: The Lodge is a model in green architecture and hospitality. Still, it is easy to be spoiled by the suites. They are large, on two levels, and all inclusive – which means the goodies in the fridge and snack tray are that much more delicious. All rooms are designed to showcase a full frontal panorama of the pristine crystal-blue waters, even from the deep soaking tub. Also included: A nature guide. Don’t miss a trip to the Remarkable Rocks and Admiral’s Arch for spectacular sightseeing. Relax on the sands of Vivonne Bay along the coast of the turquoise waters.
Kangaroo Island is known as “Australia’s Galapagos.” Expect sightings of ‘roos, wallabees, koalas, sheep, ligurian bees and fairy penguins.
Location: Barossa Valley
What’s to Love: The Louise is an idyllic luxury vineyard retreat situated on a gentle hill surrounded by hundreds of acres of vines. Epicurious couples will linger over the indulgent dishes prepared by Chef Mark McNamara degustation menu at Appellation that overlooks the vista. The resort is located in the center of Barossa so it’s right in the middle of some the best vineyards in the world, including Penfold’s who offers a “Make Your Own Blend” experience. (Afterward, the take-home bottle can be paired with dinner at the Appellation.)
Good to know: Fun fact: Barossa is named after a region in Spain, which means “Hill of Roses”, so the several vineyards along the winding roads are lined with the gorgeous red rosebuds. Book a tour with Barossa Trike Tours and be whisked away to a scenic hilltop with a bottle of wine before the sun sets in Tanunda that overlooks the valley (a perfect proposal spot!). Or book a private food and wine-focused day through Taste of South Australia. Romantic tip: Ask to book the suite at The Louise that comes with an outdoor shower.
Location: Flinders Ranges
What’s to Love: It’s one of Australia’s most beautiful properties in the Outback and it offers guests the opportunity to take a four-day, three-night walking safari. At the end of the day, guests can choose to sleep under the stars (great glamping experience) or stay at the homestead in one of the luxury suites. The beautiful landscape in the Outback has remarkable vistas over the ancient land. A sunrise hike in the Flinders Ranges borders on religion—especially as the sun begins to peer over the rugged mountain tables, illuminating a spectrum of siennas that are simply majestic.
Good to Know: Getting to Arkaba requires a bit of a drive (or quick jet-set out of Adelaide) but the scenic journey is rewarded with a cold Aussie beer or chilled Riesling upon arrival. The homestead has multiple bedrooms (aka other travelers in close quarters), so opt for the under the stars swag experience if you’re looking for it to be just the two of you. Take in the mystical aboriginal culture through an experience with Bookabee Tours, run by the keepers of this land.
Location: Barossa Wine Country
What’s to Love: Find this lovers’ lair hidden within the Moorooroo Park gardens, where a collection of historic stone buildings originally built in the 1840′s have been transformed into fairytale cottage-like suites, all individually furnished to create a world of tranquility and whimsical romance. The grounds are covered in lush grasses, the gardens sprawl with grape vines and vibrant roses.
Good to Know: Book the Orchard room—a restored Villa set among the Peach Orchard is the perfect setting for a romantic escape. Moorooroo Park doesn’t have a public restaurant, but rather a private Chef that comes in to create exclusive Degustation lunches.