There's a reason Condé Nast Traveler named Australia one of the best places to go in 2020. It's a massive country encircled by beautiful playgrounds just waiting to be explored—especially by honeymooners! Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, is a perfect example. As one of the largest cities in the country, it has plenty of major sights—the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Royal Botanic Gardens—incredible food, and sophisticated design, but it's also immersed in nature. The air is clean, it's lush, and it's tropical. Because of its position on the east coast of Australia, it comprises miles and miles of breathtaking coastline, beaches, and parks.
For a Sydney-based honeymoon, you could go a few ways. If you're more of a cosmopolitan couple, a top luxury hotel near The Rocks or Circular Quay is the best plan. For the highest panoramic view of those iconic sights, consider the Shangri-La, where you can watch the sun go down from the 36th floor at Blu Bar. Or try the Langham Sydney, which is conveniently located near Darling Harbour, where you'll want to charter a sailboat for a day out on the picturesque Sydney Harbour.
From there, you can reach many of the city's finest restaurants, including Mr. Wong. Check out the charming neighborhood of Potts Point for romantic meals at Cho Cho San and Apollo and creative, cheekily named cocktails at throwback New York-style bar The Roosevelt, then Surry Hills for boutique shopping on Crown Street and extraordinary eateries. Take the ferry to Manly for a peek at the famous Northern Suburbs, or to the excellent Taronga Zoo. A show at the Opera House is also advisable, as is a starlit glass—or bottle—of champagne at the bar that runs under it.
Ocean lovers seeking more of a typical honeymoon vibe and TLC can find it in the Eastern Suburbs, which includes Coogee and Bronte. The new QT Bondi is just across the street from one of the most famous beaches in the world, Bondi, and with its bright, modern studio apartment-style suites makes a perfect crash pad for a coast-centric trip. Borrow their beach cruisers and check out the neighborhood, or run or walk the famous cliff-top path all the way to Coogee (where the beachy-chic Coogee Pavilion restaurant and bar is a must for brunch, drinks, or even dinner and beyond), taking time to indulge in all the incredibly gorgeous photo ops.
If the white sands of Bondi get too crowded, as they tend to do, head a bit south to Tamarama, nicknamed "Glamarama," for a sunbathing session and fun playing in the waves. Visit Clovelly for a game of bowls—the Australian version of bocce—played with spectacular views from the clifftop perch and a cold cider in hand. When you want to relive your wedding toast, do it with a bottle of bubbly at Iceberg's, the chichi perch above the much-photographed Bondi pool (perfect Instagram spot!). Fantastic boutiques (Tuchuzy, Camilla) and cafes and restaurants—North Bondi Fish, Drake, Bondi Hardware, and Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta—also surround the QT.
Like L.A., there are beautiful, easy side trips to be taken from Sydney. A couple hours' drive or train ride inland gets you to the Blue Mountains, where you can hike to waterfalls and stroll hand-in-hand around quaint small towns. A few hours south is Jervis Bay, home to some of the most brilliant turquoise waters anywhere, which are rivaled only in beauty by the miles of beaches around hippie haven Byron Bay, a short flight north. Of course, the Great Barrier Reef (specifically Hayman Island), also a relatively brief flight away, is hard to top when it comes to spectacular seas and sands. The bottom line: If you're going to journey Down Under, you might as well see as much of it as you can (though you're well off saving Western Australia for another trip).