Monday, June 23, 2014

Best Honeymoon Spots in Australia

From tropical beaches, rustic countryside chic and spectacular vineyards to luxury ski resorts, Australia has many fabulous honeymoon spots. Perhaps you want to find a lovely, secluded place to enjoy each other’s company all day and just relax? Or would you rather organise an active honeymoon packed with adventures and sport activities? 

Once you decide what you want to do, it is time to find the best location for it. Since this is a once-in-a-lifetime journey, why not make it truly spectacular! If you need to relax, find a luxury spa, if want to dive, go to an exotic island, if you are craving delicious food and fine wines, a nice vineyard is the perfect option, and if you prefer a winter fairytale, the snow is the perfect spot for you! To get some inspiration, discover our favourite honeymoon destinations in Australia… 

The Whitsunday Islands 

With clear blue water, white sand, lush vegetation and warm weather year-round, one of the Whitsunday Islands can be the perfect retreat for the newlyweds. You can enjoy lazy time on the beach, go sailing or snorkelling and indulge yourself with delicious seafood. There are 73 islands to choose from, but if you are looking for a dream location, you can stay at one of the luxury 5 star resorts such as Qualia at Hamilton Island or One & Only Hayman Island which was recently refurbished. Temperatures vary from 27-30 in the summer and 23-26 in winter so you can enjoy sunshine whenever you decide to go.

Sunshine Coast

Beaches at Queensland’s Sunshine Coast are some of the best in the world. They are never too crowded and everyone can find their own perfect spot to stretch out on the sand. One of the best spots is Noosa and it is one of the most sought-after honeymoon destinations in Australia. With its fabulous beaches, stunning coastal national park and hip restaurants and bars, it is the idyllic getaway for the newlyweds with plenty of accommodation options, and we recommend Sheraton Noosa Resort & Spa as the only 5 star hotel located in the heart of Hastings Street. Among many other great beaches at the Sunshine Coast, Mooloolaba is another great choice for the newlyweds, and if you are looking for deluxe accommodation you can book with Oceans Mooloolaba Beach resort.

Bryon Bay

Bryon Bay is a fabulous honeymoon destination during the summer season with daily average of 27 degrees Celsius, while during the winter temperatures vary from 11 to 19 degrees. From lying on the beach to surfing and flying in a hot air balloon, there are plenty of things to do in this beautiful place. The best places to stay are luxurious resorts such as stylishly designed and multi award winning The Bryon at Bryon Resort and Spa. You can also stay at luxury private estate Emerald Valley Villa located in lush tropical gardens. 

Barossa Valley 

Renowned for finest wines and gourmet food, Barossa Valley is a great honeymoon destination for couples who are looking for superb gastronomic experience, surrounded by picturesque villages, rolling hills and beautiful vineyards. With more than 100 vineyards, Barossa is definitely one of the world’s biggest wine regions alongside Bordeaux and Tuscany. If you choose to spend your honeymoon there, you will enjoy premium wines, delicious food, sweeping views and rich European heritage spiced up with Aussie spirit. The most decadent places to stay are The Novotel Barossa Valley Resort and Seppeltsfield.

Thredbo Village

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Thredbo in New South Wales is a place to go if you want to experience real winter fairy-tale. This luxury ski resort is much loved by celebrities during winter season. With cool climate and winter temperatures going as low as -8 degrees Celsius, it is the ideal spot for winter sports, but you can also go hiking and fishing in the summer. One of our personal favourite hotels in Threadbo is The Denman. However, if you don’t need a honeymoon suite on the slopes, you can also stay at the gorgeous Lake Crackenback Resort and Spa which is nestled in the Thredbo Valley surrounded by mountains and it is a nice place to visit throughout the year.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Your Dream Honeymoon at The Cook Islands

The remote beaches of the the Cook Islands with their turquoise lagoons, lush vegetation and white sand are a dream honeymoon destination for many couples. Their pleasant tropical climate means you can visit this paradise any time of year! However, you should know that cyclone season lasts from January to March when it is very hot and rainy. 

It is fairly easy to get to the Cook Islands from Australia with Air New Zealand’s direct flight from Sydney to Rarotonga and Virgin Australia’s flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane which connect through Auckland. 

If you are looking for a luxurious resort, we recommend The Rarotonga Beach Resort & Spa and Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, but you can also find accommodation in timber houses, cottages and traditional Kikau huts. The food is exquisite with all meals prepared from fresh seafood and vegetables, and you can find restaurants and bars that serve both local specialities and international dishes. If you want to try a traditional meal, don’t miss the opportunity to taste “umukai”, succulent dish prepared in the underground oven and “matu rori” which is a sea cucumber salad served with lemon and baked green banana. 

The Cook Islands are ideal for couples who want to spend their honeymoon in a secluded place where they can enjoy perfect solitude and just simply relax on the beach. However, from scuba diving and snorkelling to riding around on scooters, there are many things to do and places to explore. If you are located at Rarotonga island, you can visit the Perfume Factory where you can buy handmade beauty products and see the Library Museum & Society in Avarya where you will find memorabilia devoted to Captain Cook. If you are looking for the perfect souvenir, you can find black pearls at great prices.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Year Round Warm Honeymoon Destinations

When tying to picture your dream honeymoon destination, are you thinking about hot sunny weather, beautiful beaches and exotic resorts or a winter fairy-tale with lots of snow? Would you rather go to France and have a romantic time in the city of love or get married in Vegas? Whichever time of year you choose for your wedding, we can help you find an idyllic honeymoon spot with the perfect climate.

Finding The Perfect Location 

There is no need to be stressed about arranging your honeymoon trip. All you need to do is make a good plan well ahead. Ideally, you should start working on it 12 months before the wedding. The first thing you need to do is set your budget, and then you can start researching honeymoon destinations. If you are not sure where to go yet and need some inspiration, you can look through the latest edition of The Bride’s Diary® and online to find the perfect location. Our wedding planner will help you find the hotspot with ideal weather, or help advise you when is the best time to visit your favourite place.

Hawaii is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations because of its relaxed atmosphere and nice weather all year round. However, you should know that the hottest months are August and September, while December and January are the coolest, and the wettest period is between November and March.

The best time to go to Bahamas is November to April, whereas ideal weather conditions for visiting Bermuda are between May and October. You can go to Caribbean between December and May and avoid official hurricane season from June to November.

Paris, the city of love, is one of the most romantic honeymoon destinations in the world, but if you want to travel to France or some other beautiful country in Europe, you should know that the weather is nice between May and September. Warmest summer months, July and August can sometimes be too hot for sightseeing and the worst time to travel to European capitals is from December to February.

If you want to get married in Vegas, the best months to go there are March, April, October and November. The same goes for Florida, but not for The Florida Keys where you will find pleasant Caribbean-like weather year-round. The weather in Mexico is great from October to May, while the rain season runs from June through September, and perfect time to go to Southeast Asia is November to February.

Beautiful beaches of South Pacific and French Polynesia are a dream escape for many couples and the best time to go is between May and October, while the worst months are from December to February when the weather is hot, humid and rainy. 

Also, The Bride’s Diary's Wedding Planner (located at the back of each edition) includes a checklist of year round warm weather destinations, as well as cool weather hotspots around the world and a timeline that will help you plan your dream honeymoon. 

Get Ready For The Journey 

When you choose the perfect destination, make all the necessary bookings and pay deposits for flights and accommodation. If you are planning to travel during peak season when the weather conditions are the nicest it is not easy to find a place to stay, so it is best to seal the deal as soon as you can. At this point you should also arrange your travel insurance.

Four to six months ahead you should arrange leave from work, confirm all your bookings and ensure that your passports and other documents are in order. If you are travelling overseas you should also check if you need to take any vaccines.

One month before the honeymoon you should work out the currency conversion and prepare any credit cards and cash that you want to take with you. You should also organise pet and house-sitters if they are required. Finally, one week before the journey, you should have all your bookings confirmed and gather all the necessary documentation including tickets, passports, visas, vaccination certificates, credit cards and traveller’s cheques. Purchase personal items you might need such as clothing, toiletries and medicines and pack your bags. Don’t forget to appoint a member of the bridal party to return any hired items and deliver your wedding dress to the dry cleaners.