Travel guru Catriona Rowntree shares her favourite destinations for amazing honeymoons to suit different budgets and tastes. Whether it’s a tropical paradise you seek or an exciting South African adventure, romance awaits at these superb locations
I picked my honeymoon location long before I’d even met my hunky husband.
Is that unusual?
All I know is that the moment I laid eyes on the world’s most beautiful lagoon, Aitutaki, in the South Pacific’s Cook Islands, I was hooked.
I thought “if anyone is ever crazy enough to ask me to marry them, THIS is where we’ll be honeymooning”.
Thank heavens I eventually found that crazy loon.
When it comes to choosing your Honeymoon location, each of us love-struck couples is different, we yearn for different environments and hanker after different needs, often for very personal reasons.
For example, in my family, my brother and his bride couldn’t wait to have the grand tour of Europe post wedding as they’d not done a lot of travelling together and didn’t know when the next opportunity would arise.
They were right, as within the year of the wedding the only thing rising was my sister-in-laws tummy with baby on board.
For me, like so many others, the only thing I hung out for post-wedding, was a beach, a Bex and a good lie down.
The stress of planning a wedding that was a year in the making made me daydream longingly about that perfect strip of white sand I’d spotted years before in The Cooks.
I was right and hubby was happy waking at dawn for fishing trips, while I slept in then read romance novels borrowed from the hotel library.
Happy as clams, us honeymooners were.
Thankfully the honeymooners’ market is full of wonderful options to suit all budgets – you just have to follow your heart, which I’m sure you’re accustomed to by this point and decide as a couple ‘what can we afford, what do we truly need?’.
I know many couples who choose for budget and work reasons to have their honeymoon at a later date. No one will judge you for this, least of all your bank manager or boss.
As you can imagine, in my job as a travel reporter and “Australia’s most travelled woman” I can barely walk down the street without someone asking me “where should I go for my honeymoon?” or yelling from across the street “took your advice on Aitutaki Catriona, loved it!”. Both make me happy as I love to hear feedback from my suggestions and to share ideas with those willing to listen.
I’ve got some left-field doozies for Geelong Bride readers too.
Keeping in mind we are all different, I do love a dollop of adventure.
If you share my love of adventure may I suggest Knight Inlet Lodge in Canada for bear watching? The gorillas of Rwanda? Or a safari at Lion Sands Sabi Sabi South Africa? The thrill of nature is hard to surpass.
Are you a diehard romantic who dreams of Paris? Why not book into Hotel Daniel for some mega-personal attention, heck even a broom cupboard in that city would satisfy me as long as I could wander those cobblestoned streets with other loved-up fools.
Don’t forget Rome, Venice and my personal fave, Tuscany. You’ve got the food of love combined with factory outlet shopping in the Tuscan mountains. Did someone say ‘Prada at last season’s prices!’
Espace is where I’m sending you mi amore.
If Tahiti is calling why not try Eden Beach Hotel Bora Bora if you’re on a budget. A cruise of any kind is a great option so you only have to unpack once. And if it’s a combo of adventure and the beach you’re after, then do consider Southern Ocean Lodge or Capella on Lord Howe.
Close to home
Of course, Australia is second-to-none when it comes to honeymoon possies.
I love Tassie for a combo of romance and adventure. Take a hike during the day and make up for the exertion with a degustation meal at night. Try Saffire in Tassie for the ultimate experience on every level.
Hamilton Island is your one-stop shop. Get married on the beach or the sweet local church and stay for an extra week to work on your tan post-ceremony.
Broome in winter cannot be beaten. Why not buy your groom some Paspaley cufflinks while you’re there as wedding gift to always remember?
You know, I could go on for hours about this subject, but follow my lead, go with your heart when it comes to your honeymoon and I’m certain you’ll be happy that you did.