By Julietta Jameson
Whisk your loved one away on a South Australian adventure, enjoying food, wine and luxury on these Australian romantic getaways.
Soar the lofty heights of love
There’s a reason – or several – why couples choose Mount Lofty House for wedding nights, anniversaries, birthdays, getaways and proposals: the place simply oozes romance.
It’s only 15 minutes out of Adelaide, so that’s less time driving and more time romancing. Find it set high in the dreamy vineyard region of the Adelaide Hills and prepare to be smitten. This is the historic summer home of the famous Hardy winemaking family.
The estate, dating back to 1852, is now home to a boutique luxury hotel and fine dining restaurant serving South Australian cuisine and wines. Rooms and suites have spa baths, classic interiors and seductive panoramic views.
Then there are the famous manicured gardens full of lush roses, elegant hedges, shady trees and green lawns, all looking out over vineyards and far beyond.
The romance of the river
Wake up to the gently lapping river at your doorstep. Take a leisurely breakfast on your little jetty. Spend dappled sunlit afternoons under trees by the pool. Toast painterly sunsets with the finest South Australian sparkling. Birks Harbour, on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula, writes the script on romantic getaways.
In the historic river port town of Goolwa, Birks Harbour offers three luxury retreats overlooking the Murray.
The Boathouse Retreat is right on the marina and has a private sundeck with stunning views. The Riverview Retreat and Captain’s Retreat are on an elevated block and share a mineral swimming pool and two acres of private gardens.
Each of them has luxurious, nautical-inspired decor, is pretty as a picture and promises to transport you to your own little romantic riverside bubble.
Watch colours change dramatically from dawn to dusk and gaze at the most brilliant of starry skies with an awe-inspiring natural wonder at your doorstep. This is just part of the experience that awaits at Rawnsley Park Estate.
This Flinders Ranges property offers self-contained eco villas with one or two bedrooms, living and dining areas, over-bed skylights, luxurious bathrooms and well-equipped kitchens and barbecues.
And then there’s the view. Right from your veranda, behold Wilpena Pound, the extraordinary natural amphitheatre formed by mountains including the highest peak in the Flinders Ranges.
There’s a swimming pool to relax by. But you’d be remiss if you didn’t get active and explore – this is one of the most ancient and dramatic landscapes on earth.
Hike out to see up close the intriguing rock formations. Some pretty special wildlife is almost sure to cross your path. Or take a helicopter ride to see Wilpena Pound in all its vast glory from the air.
Wine and dine
Find exquisitely and individually decorated suites and the essence of luxury at Jacobs Creek Retreat. This Barossa property is dedicated to relaxation, tranquility and you-time, perfect for the couple looking to slow down, reconnect and spend quality days together. It’s also a foodie couple’s fantasy getaway.
Head into the pretty gardens to find a solar-heated infinity-edge pool and indulge in a massage in one of the spa bays overlooking the lawns and vineyards. Or book in-room massages and spa treatments.
Breakfast is a feast sourced directly from local producers, served in the pavilion along the banks of Jacobs Creek. The proprietors love to organise a cheese tasting plate for you to enjoy in the gardens, with a selection of local offerings, including artisan cheese from the famous Barossa Valley Cheese Company. You can get out and about wine tasting in this famous region, of course. But with all this relaxation, you may not want to move far. Lucky there’s Moorooroo Park Vineyard right next door.
Romance by design
Architecture buffs and lovers of modern elegant design love the pedigree of this incredible Fleurieu Peninsula property, Lush Pastures. Award-winning South Australian architect Max Pritchard – the man behind world-famous Southern Ocean Lodge on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island – designed three eco-friendly villas in striking style that sit high on a ridge, overlooking a glorious panorama.
But it’s the TLC and passion of owners Andy and Cheryl that make Lush Pastures such a wonderful couples’ retreat.
Beautiful food (including fruit and vegies grown on the property, regional wines and picnic baskets), a stunning property that is perfect for strolls and relaxation, and warm South Australian hospitality make this the perfect country weekend away.
Cosy up on the coast
It incorporates everything that is brilliant about this area – the historic buildings, great style, stunning countryside, access to the seaside, spectacular food and wine and a friendly welcome – and you’re left wanting nothing.
Self-cater here, with succulent seafood picked up in the nearby township of Robe, or let the owners provide you with lobster (in season), champagne and chocolate – all the food groups covered. Chef service can be arranged for breakfast, or eat out at one of a handful of great restaurants in town.
There are sumptuous interiors, verandas overlooking the green expanse and plenty of places to laze the days away. And you can have it all to yourself.
Virgin Australia flies to Adelaide from all major Australian cities. Most major hire car companies are at Adelaide Airport.