An Australian Honeymoon Itinerary

Updated 05/11/12

Sydney

Day 1

Morning

You've flown forever and literally a day—if you can, splurge on the Park Hyatt, fresh off a $70 million makeover. Minimalist rooms all have balconies and heart-stopping views of the Harbour Bridge or Opera House. Rooms from $772. If that doesn't fit the budget, book the design-driven Establishment, a hopping scene within walking distance of the harbor. Rooms from $384.

Afternoon

Check out Volume One: MCA Collection, an exhibition of more than 150 Aussie artists at the newly-expanded Museum of Contemporary Art.

Evening

Try the degustation dinner at Quay—just wait for the intricate "snow egg" dessert.

Day 2

Morning

Go stand onstage at the Opera House as part of the two-hour behind-the-scenes tour. You won't be the first to have an American Idol moment.

Afternoon

Join locals in jogging the two-and-a-half-mile Bondi-to-Bronte Coastwalk. Few pedestrian paths match this view.

Evening

Discover the next Aussie star at famed indie theater Belvoir, where Cate Blan­chett got her start. Stay in the bohemian Surry Hills area to browse cute shops, and stop at Bodega for tapas.

Day 3

Morning

Order the banana-ricotta hotcakes and a "flat white"—similar to a latte but with less milk—at Darlinghurst area favorite Bills.

Afternoon

Visit Paddington, a neighborhood crammed with fashion-forward boutiques like Belinda.

Evening

Head to Bondi Beach for Iceberg Sunsets—vodka, Cointreau, Aperol, and grapefruit juice blended with lemon sorbet—and seafood risotto at Icebergs Dining Room and Bar. The legendary swim club's saltwater pool, perched on the ocean's edge, dates back to the 1920s.

Tasmania

Day 4

Morning

Catch the two-hour flight to Tasmania (Aussies call it "Tassie"), the tiny, verdant island-state at Australia's southernmost point. From Hobart, drive three scenic hours up the east coast (keep an eye out for kangaroos) to Saffire Freycinet, a slice of glamour in remote Freycinet National Park. The 20 sleek suites have floor-to-ceiling windows that frame Great Oyster Bay—plus thousand-thread-count sheets. Rates are steep, but they include all meals, activities, and minibar wines. Rooms from $1,873 (all-inclusive).

Afternoon

Sample Riesling at the Freycinet Vineyard.

Evening

Every seat at Palate, Saffire's intimate restaurant, overlooks the bay. The menu features exquisitely prepared local favorites, like snapper baked in rock salt and cumin-spiced venison.

Day 5

Morning

Early birds can kayak off Muirs Beach. Everyone else will want to sleep in.

Afternoon

Walk to the lookout over Wineglass Bay, one of the world's most stunning beaches.

Evening

Drive to the nearby waterfront Freycinet Lodge for oysters. The 60 cabins are rustic but cozy; this is a great lodging alternative if Saffire's out of your price range. Rooms from $235.

Day 6

Morning

Head back to Hobart, a relaxed port town with a vibrant art scene. The place to stay is the Henry Jones Art Hotel, which is decorated with funky pieces by Tasmanians. Rooms from $233.

Afternoon

Don't miss the eclectic Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), which houses everything from Egyptian mummies to a sex-and-death gallery.

Evening

Sit at the communal table at trendy Garagistes, known for its house-smoked meats.

Melbourne

Day 9

Morning

Catch a flight from Hobart to Melbourne. If Sydney gets compared to Los Angeles (think laid-back, slightly hedonistic), Melbourne gets compared to New York City (people wearing lots of black, a big café culture). Check into The Olsen, a mod, all-suite boutique hotel on Chapel Street, which is fabulous for shopping. Rooms from $238.

Afternoon

Do a progressive lunch at Queen Victoria Market, a fantastic open-air market with tons of food vendors.

Evening

Cab to celebrity chef Andrew McConnell's Cutler and Co., a trendy restaurant set in an old factory, and order the suckling pig for two.

Day 10

Morning

Walk the 100-acre Royal Botanic Gardens. Locals love to picnic here.

Afternoon

Head to the up-and-coming Northcote neighborhood, popular with creative, hipster types (it's sort of like Williamsburg in Brooklyn). Visit cool boutiques like Hummingbird 60.

Evening

Take a taxi to the bayside suburb of St. Kilda, which has a great nightlife scene. At Riva, you'll dine alfresco on a deck overlooking the water.

Day 11

Morning

Jump on the tram and head to Clarendon Street in South Melbourne for breakfast. St. Ali café is known for its specialty coffees.

Afternoon

Visit the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia's oldest public art museum, in Federation Square.

Evening

You'll likely wait for a table, but hot Mamasita on Collins Street is worth it. The menu at this Mexican restaurant is designed for sharing. Order the braised lamb quesadillas and black pudding tacos.

Barrier Reef

Day 12

Morning

Fly to Hamilton Island, and check into the fabulously chic Qualia. The 60 suites feature private sundecks overlooking the turquoise Coral Sea. Rooms from $1,017 (A wallet-friendly alternative is Daydream Island, 45 minutes by boat from Hamilton. Rooms are comfortable but basic; perks include seven restaurants and on-site activities like hand-feeding stingrays. Rooms from $320).

Afternoon

Wind down with a rebalancing li'tya kodo massage, inspired by Aboriginal techniques, at Qualia's spa.

Evening

Enjoy seafood dishes like yabbie tails (similar to crawfish) at Qualia's Long Pavilion, with its infinity pool and catwalk-like redwood deck.

Day 13

Morning

It's touristy, and kids run wild, but breakfast at Wild Life Hamilton Island involves cuddling a koala.

Afternoon

Place dibs on a Hobie cat (renting one at Catseye Beach is easy), and explore the Whitsunday Islands.

Evening

Sign up for a sunset sail aboard Qualia's antithetically named Atomic, which sets off from the Hamilton Island Marina for a leisurely outing complete with canapés and wine.

Day 14

Morning

Meet Hayman Island's luxury launch at the marina for the 30-minute trip to this amazing 726-acre private resort. Rooms from $489.

Afternoon

The Panorama Tour includes a seaplane ride, snorkeling past the reef's kaleidoscopic marine life, and a stop on secluded Whitehaven Beach. If you're certified, this is the day to dive coral-rich Blue Pearl Bay on Hayman, since you shouldn't dive for 18 hours before a flight.

Evening

Dress for truffles and wagyu beef at Fontaine, Hayman's fine-dining restaurant.

Day 15

Morning

Get an outdoor cabana massage, with crashing waves as your soundtrack.

Afternoon

Laze by the pool.

Evening

Test your stamina at Hayman's Chef's Bench, a 12-course extravaganza behind the scenes in the kitchen. Why not go big before you go home?

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