All you need is love – that, and somewhere memorable to express it, especially around Valentine’s Day. Here are nine romantic places around Australia to say ‘I love you’. Book accommodation for a romantic interlude in any of these destinations at ChoiceHotels.com.
1. Sydney Harbour Bridge (NSW)
It’s fair to say that Sydney’s famous Coathanger is one giant love magnet. According to BridgeClimb Sydney, to date more than 5,000 couples have become engaged at the top of the Harbour Bridge. Countless more have uttered the simple words ‘I love you’ with the epic views of the Opera House, glittering harbour, city and beyond as their backdrop. A proposal on the bridge does take a bit of preparation. Loose items are not permitted on the climb, so the ring needs its own safety attachment. You’ll need to pre-arrange it with BridgeClimb.
Need a place to stay? Browse Sydney accommodation options
2. Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road (VIC)
There are few natural landscapes in Australia more breathtaking than the 12 Apostles on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, and declaring undying love on one of the lookouts overlooking this epic coastal vista, just feels, well, right. What you don’t want to do is share the moment with busloads of selfie-stick-wielding day trippers down from Melbourne, so plan your visit accordingly. The lookouts are open from dawn until dusk. Head to the Apostles early and catch them bathed in the soft light of sunrise, or opt for a dramatic sunset of yellows, oranges and pinks. Either way, the crowds will be a whole lot thinner.
Need a place to stay? Comfort Inn The International is located in beautiful Apollo Bay, around an hour’s drive from the 12 Apostles.
3. Elizabeth Quay, Perth (WA)
The Italians know a thing or two about romance (they practically invented it!) and there are few places on earth more loved-up than the city of Venice. Those in Perth can enjoy a touch of that watery magic with Gondolas on the Swan. Book a 15, 30 or 60-minute cruise from Elizabeth Quay in what looks incredibly like an authentic Venetian gondola. These boats were actually built locally and feature a sternpost shaped like a black swan. They come complete with plush velvet interiors, curtains, and a gondolier in traditional Venetian costume at the helm.
Need a place to stay? Browse Perth accommodation options
4. Q1, Gold Coast (QLD)
The glittering Gold Coast has long been a popular destination for couples, and for those keen to give their partner the world at their feet, a visit to the SkyPoint Observation Deck at the Q1 tower is just the ticket. Q1 soars 230 metres above Surfers Paradise. Take in the stunning views, enjoy a meal or cocktail, or push the relationship boundaries by doing Australia’s highest external building climb!
5. Cape Hillsborough National Park, Mackay (QLD)
Celebrated in any number of Aussie tourism marketing campaigns, the beach-loving kangaroos of Cape Hillsborough National Park north of Mackay draw plenty of visitors down to the shoreline at dawn. There’s something quite magical about watching the ’roos nibble contentedly on mangrove seed pods washed up on the beach as the sun rises slowly behind them and lights up this exquisite piece of paradise. If it doesn’t inspire an ‘I love you’ or two, we don’t know what will!
Need a place to stay? Comfort Resort Blue Pacific is located in Mackay’s Northern Beaches, which is handy for those planning to head out to Hillsborough. Econo Lodge Beachside is comfortable, contemporary and within easy reach of the CBD and airport.
6. Crocosaurus Cove, Darwin (NT)
Unless your names happen to be Mr and Mrs Dundee, declaring your love for one another while up to 800 kilograms of hungry saltwater crocodile watch on might not sound all that appealing. But believe it or not, there have been proposals made and accepted in Crocosaurus Cove’s famous Cage of Death. The Darwin wildlife attraction sees visitors lowered into a crocodile pool at feeding time. You may come up against toothy, 690-kilogram Will, himself no stranger to love. His partner Kate has laid eggs regularly since the pair were introduced at Crocosaurus Cove back in 2011. The eggs have to be removed and incubated elsewhere as adult males have a habit of eating their young. There goes the romance.
Need a place to stay? A stay at Quality Hotel Darwin Airport feels very much like a resort holiday. Enjoy the contemporary setting, tropical-style pool and free Wi-Fi.
7. Blue Lake, Mount Gambier (SA)
Built on the slopes of an extinct volcano, Mount Gambier on South Australia’s Limestone Coast is home to a number of stunning geological oddities. One of them is the famous Blue Lake, which occupies what was once a volcanic crater. No one is too sure why, but from November to March the lake’s colour turns a deep, rich cobalt blue. The 3.6-kilometre walk around the lake offers plenty of opportunities to stop and stare into each other’s baby-blues.
8. Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park (TAS)
It’s one of the most Instagrammed locations in the country and once you’ve seen it, you’ll understand why. The combination of azure water, pristine white sand, and the delicate sweep of the bay itself has made Wineglass Bay in Tasmania’s Freycinet National Park the darling of the world’s Insta influencers – and a bankable setting for romance. Book a day cruise from nearby Coles Bay with Wineglass Bay Cruises and soak up the vistas from the adults-only Sky Lounge as you sup and sip on freshly shucked oysters and local cool climate wines.
Need a place to stay? Freycinet National Park is an hour’s drive south of the town of St Helens on Tassie’s east coast. Stay at Comfort Hotel Bayside, which overlooks Percy Steel Reserve and Georges Bay.
9. Haigh’s Chocolate Factory, Adelaide (SA)
Nothing says ‘I love you’ like a huge box of choccies. Haigh’s is Australia’s oldest family-owned chocolate maker and a proud South Australian exporter to the rest of the country. The Haigh’s Visitor Centre in Adelaide is the perfect spot to whisper sweet nothings to the love of your life while you spoil them rotten with their choice of chocolates from the vast array on offer. You can also tour the adjoining factory to see where the magic happens.
Need a place to stay? Browse Adelaide accommodation options
About the writer
Adam Ford is editor of The Big Bus tour and travel guide and a travel TV presenter, writer, blogger and photographer. He has previously had the opportunity to travel the world as host of the TV series Tour the World on Network Ten.