Travel presenters Jennifer Adams and partner Clint Bizzell recommend four Australian hotspots for an adventurous kind of honeymoon.
Four Australian hotspots for an adventurous honeymoon
LORD HOWE ISLAND
Known as the ‘last paradise’, Lord Howe Island, 660 kilometres off the New South Wales coast, is said to be the most beautiful island in the Pacific. If you visit, you’ll be one of only 400 guests allowed on the island at any one time in order to protect the pristine environment and unhurried lifestyle. There are no cars, and the priority is to relax and enjoy the abundance of activities and adventures that nature has to offer. Hiking one of the island’s peaks, Mount Gower, is one of the world’s great walks. Down at sea level, fishing, surfing, sailing and scuba diving allow you to take advantage of the incredible marine environment with crystal‑clear waters, coral reefs which are among the best in the world, and more than 60 dive sites. WHAT TO DO ✤ Go catch a fish! With no commercial f ishing and an environment surrounded by marine park, Lord Howe Island is legendary as a fishing destination. ✤ Snorkel some of the best coral reefs in the world, just metres from the shore, or visit one of the many dive sites. ✤ Take your pick from a range of accommodation, from lodges to luxury houses, knowing it will never be crowded. EL QUESTRO WILDERNESS PARK This destination doesn’t discriminate. Located in the Kimberley region, El Questro Wilderness Park boasts more activities than a theme park, offers a level of accommodation for every budget and taste, and doesn’t hold back on beauty.
Approximately an hour from Kununurra, the eastern gateway to the Kimberley, El Questro can be accessed by two-wheel drive and offers a true wilderness experience with as much comfort as you wish. With accommodation ranging from campsites and permanent eco-tents to a luxury homestead, El Questro creates its own holiday community.
Hike to spectacular Emma Gorge, a swimming hole beneath towering cliffs, or discover tranquil Chamberlain Gorge. With vast Kimberley landscapes best explored on horseback, fishing spots best reached by chopper, and natural thermal springs where you can soak your cares away, El Questro teems with options to explore one of Australia’s last frontiers. DID YOU KNOW? ✤ El Questro extends approximately 80 kilometres north–south and 60 kilometres east–west, a total of around 400,000 hectares. ✤ Areas of the property are yet to be discovered. Take a helicopter tour and uncover a new gorge or waterfall.
FREYCINET NATIONAL PARK
No matter where you look, a picturepostcard scene is before you in this stunning national park. Positioned spectacularly on Tasmania’s east coast, the park occupies much of the Freycinet Peninsula and is blessed with natural features including the Hazards – pink and red granite mountains – and Wineglass Bay, voted one of the world’s best beaches several times.
The view over Wineglass Bay from the Hazards is almost better than being on the beach itself; the crescent of turquoise water meeting the white sand and granite mountains is instantly recognisable from iconic pictures. And the walking trail to get there, and many other trails, follow in the footsteps of the peninsula’s original inhabitants, the Oyster Bay tribe of Tasmanian Aboriginal people.
Beyond Wineglass Bay are the equally stunning Bryans and Cooks beaches facing Great Oyster Bay, and there is no shortage of secluded coves to escape to.
Fishing, snorkelling, rock climbing and taking a scenic cruise are perfect ways to spend your days in Freycinet National Park.
And with luxurious lodges and incredible dining in the area, the peninsula fully indulges all the senses. WHAT TO DO ✤ Take a four-wheel- drive trip to the Cape Tourville Lighthouse for truly incredible outlooks. ✤ Hike on any number of bushwalking trails for different views of the national park, and meet the resident wildlife along the way. ✤ Kayak across the turquoise sea for a spectacular view back to land.
DAINTREE RAINFOREST & CAPE TRIBULATION
An enduring reminder of the power of nature, the Daintree Rainforest is a living treasure, surviving and indeed flourishing in the country’s far north as if time had stood still around it.
The oldest living rainforest on Earth at around 140 million years old, the World Heritage-listed site is about 12,000 square kilometres of dense jungle with magnificent primitive species and rich biodiversity. Tropical rainforest meets eucalypt forest, wetlands and mangroves, and this incredible region is the only place in the world where two World Heritage sites meet: the Daintree grows all the way to the Great Barrier Reef on the coast.
The Daintree’s traditional owners are the Eastern Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people, for whom the landscape holds significant spiritual value. Part of the ancient rainforest is protected within Daintree National Park, and is drained by the Daintree River, a cruise along which reveals the jungle habitats of a vast array of birds, reptiles (including large crocodiles) and other wildlife.
Cross the river on the cable ferry and enter the wonderland of Cape Tribulation, a headland within the rainforest made famous as the site where Captain James Cook’s Endeavour hit the reef in 1770, causing severe damage. Today it is a place where visitors can experience staying overnight in the jungle and enjoy unspoiled beaches framed by the rainforest. But it is still very much an off-the-beaten-track destination where nature is king. DID YOU KNOW? ✤ The rainforest contains 30 per cent of the frog, reptile and marsupial species in Australia and 65 per cent of the bat and butterfly species. 18 per cent of bird species and more than 12,000 species of insect can all be found in the area, which comprises 0.1 per cent of Australia’s land mass. ✤ The four-wheel- drive Bloomfield Track goes from Cape Tribulation to Cooktown, crossing creeks and venturing through pristine jungle terrain with the roaring Bloomfield Falls as the ultimate reward.
“Kayaking on Coles Bay felt like we were paddling in a postcard; we were treated to the deepest blue sky with the sun lighting up the Hazards.” - Jen and Clint
National treasures Left: Freycinet National Park’s Wineglass Bay. Right: the Daintree Rainforest is the oldest on earth.