Valentine’s Day experiences your partner will love

Love means never having to say you’re sorry. That’s unless of course you forget to arrange something special for Valentine’s Day. If you’re short on romantic inspiration, here are some love-charged ideas that are guaranteed to make it a day to remember.

Sydney

With its glistening harbour, golden beaches, world class restaurants and iconic cultural attractions, the Harbour City is awash with opportunities to send the love metre into overdrive. Put the world at the feet of the love of your life with lunch or dinner at Skyfeast Sydney Tower. You’ll graze on ‘towers’ of entrées, mains and desserts, accompanied by chilled sparkling wine. For a more organic dining experience, pick up a beautifully curated Valentines picnic from the Sydney Picnic Company. Throw down a rug harbourside and feast on poached and peeled king prawns, kipfler potato salad and Le Dauphin triple cream brie smeared on freshly baked organic baguettes. There’ll be popping corks a plenty on Captain Cook Cruises’ Valentine’s Day Champers Cruise on the harbour, where free-flowing Mumm and a seafood platter go together like, well, you know the rest…

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Couple enjoying a romantic picnic at Camp Cove, Watsons Bay in Sydney's eastern suburbs.
Enjoy a picnic harbourside in Sydney. Image – Destination NSW

Melbourne

They say love makes the world go round, and nowhere is that more the case in Melbourne than in a Valentine’s Day private gondola on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel. Circle high above the city, sipping sparkling wine and nibbling on canapes against a glittering backdrop of city lights. Those views may be epic, but you can spread the love all the way to Africa on a Sunset Safari at Werribee Open Range Zoo. Enjoy a game drive, optional cocktails, canapes and an African-style BBQ, and support the vital work of Rhino Fund Uganda as part of the deal. Back in the city, indulge your loved one on a chocolate and desserts walking tour with Chocoholic Tours. Visit several of the city’s best chocolatiers and do a combined cheese and chocolate tasting at Coal River Farm in the Block Arcade.

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Reach for the stars on the Melbourne Star. Image – Visit Victoria

Adelaide

Valentine’s Day marks the final night of Adelaide’s Moonlight Cinema for 2021, with a screening of romantic drama The Notebook, starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. Splurge on ‘Gold Grass’ seats and snuggle up on a bean bed in this premium viewing location. Speaking of notes (and texture, body, and sweetness), Adelaide is the spiritual home of fine wine and the National Wine Centre of Australia has one of the most impressive wine cellars in the country. They’re pairing top drops with fine fare at a special Valentine’s Day celebration. Over in Elder Park, push the boat out on a Valentine’s Day High Tea Cruise on the River Torrens on board the iconic Popeye. Graze on dainty finger sandwiches, scones, and petit fours, washed down with a glass of bubbles.

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Image – National Wine Centre of Australia

Brisbane

A good old fashioned dinner date is easily done in the River City, with a suite of top eateries across the city offering Valentine’s Day specials. Fancy schmancy Pattina at Customs House is putting on a three-course lunch with a prosecco aperitif, while Naga Thai at Eagle Street Pier promises a six-course banquet and accompanying glass of Perrier-Jouët. The iconic Kookaburra Queens will be taking cues from the Love Boat as they set sail for a sumptuous three-course Valentine’s dinner, including a cocktail on arrival and free-flowing champers throughout the night. Alternatively, hit the river in a kayak with River Life on their Valentine’s Day twilight paddle. Giving chocolates is one thing; making them yourself is entirely another! Enrol for a Chocolate Masterclass Workshop at New Farm Confectionery and learn how to hand-craft an array of treats for your sweet. Full marks for effort!

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Do a twilight paddle with River Life. Image – Visit Brisbane

Perth

A Valentine’s Day picnic in Perth’s stunning Kings Park couldn’t be easier, thanks to the matchmaking folk at The Botanical Café. You bring the blanket; they’ll provide a picnic hamper of cheeses, olives, dips, cold meats and a mouth-watering dessert. Just stake your claim on a shady spot and let love blossom. What could be more romantic than doing some stargazing, then surprising your partner with a star named in their honour? True story! Pre-arrange your twinkling gift at the Star Name Registry, then head for the Planetarium at Scitech to spring the surprise. Afterwards, enjoy dinner and drinks at nearby Mayfair Lane.

Enjoy some together time in Perth’s Kings Park. Image – Tourism Western Australia

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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.

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