New South Wales

6 romantic getaways in NSW to rekindle the romance

While Sydney’s urban beat makes for a thrilling place to live, some romantic weekends call for escapes beyond the city limits.

Within just a few hours’ drive of Sydney are the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains for taking in panoramic views, exploring ancient caverns and marvelling at rare flora and fauna. Sheltered beaches and blissful rainforests call visitors to Byron Bay, where heart-pumping adventure activities can be found next to decadent spa destinations.

Your hotel can make or break your lovers’ weekend. So we’ve rounded up a list of all-inclusive forest retreats, swish spa-centred resorts and intimate private bungalows in the mountains to inspire your trip. That means spending Sunday morning gazing out over a nature reserve from your villa’s netted veranda. Or Saturday nights spent in a steaming hot tub in a suave hotel. You’ll have your pick of private moments (think sharing a bottle of bubbly delivered by in-house service) and photo-worthy settings – our favourite is an outdoor infinity pool overlooking the Australian bushland. From boutique accommodation on a white sand beach to a spa hotel in a nature park, our pick of hotels will spoil you for choice when it comes to romantic getaways in New South Wales (NSW).

Waterfront retreat on the Hawkesbury river


For a restful weekend escape on the Hawkesbury River, arrive by boat to Calabash Bay Lodge – an exclusive, secluded property on the waterfront. You can meander through the airy, three-storey property and find your own nook to unwind in among clean, wood-trimmed outdoor spaces. Imagine snoozing in a Brazilian hammock under the violet shade of a jacaranda tree, or stretching out on a B&B Italia daybed on the upstairs sun terrace. The lodge’s four elegantly appointed guest rooms have inviting beds dressed in 500 thread-count organic cotton linens, so you can wake up in luxury to native birdsong and the murmur of the river lapping gently against the shore.

If you prefer to awake with energy, you can dive straight from your private pontoon into the river for an invigorating wild swim. Alternatively, take your tandem kayak out to explore the sandstone cliffs, then moor at a secluded bay or beach for a romantic picnic. From the lodge, you can head out on foot for a wander along the Great North Walk through serene eucalypt forests in search of Aboriginal rock art sites.

The lodge’s guest packages focus on different themes, such as gourmet dining or relaxation, so you can design your ideal couple’s getaway to suit your personal wishlist. You can treat yourself to gourmet flavours with the Deluxe Degustation package, where you’ll chat to the on-site sommelier about wine pairings while your Michelin-starred chef-in-residence prepares a seven-course degustation meal. If peace and pampering are the ingredients of your weekend of choice, the Luxe Lovers package lets you wake up to a lazy Sunday brunch on the waterfront and take in an hour-long couples massage.

Calabash Bay Lodge

9.8 Excellent (49 reviews)

NSW romantic getaway with an African twist


Hidden in mist and mountains, the all-inclusive Spicers Sangoma Retreat is designed for couples to reconnect both with each other and with nature. Picture bushland teeming with life, décor made of African safari dreams (the name of the resort comes from the Zulu word for ‘healer’) and intimate, candlelit dining. Thoughtful touches come in the form of champagne and under-floor heating. Artifacts and traditional works by Australian artists add culture to already chic interiors, and plush daybeds, soft-glowing lanterns and flickering flames invite romance.

The five accommodation types range from luxury, glamping-style tents to a two-storey luxury pad with its own kitchen, dining room and plunge pool. The Escarpment Suite, as spacious as it is private, is crowned by a free-standing soaker tub with tranquil forest views and an uninterrupted flow onto the suite’s open-air balcony.

In the resort’s common areas, find a sky-reflecting infinity pool surrounded by oversized daybeds and relaxation pods with sweeping views over the valley. Spa-goers will be lulled into nature-inspired sleep in a semi-outdoor massage room next to a tumbling waterfall. Dreamy days end with complimentary glasses of champagne and exquisite sweet dishes like mandarin and violet semifreddo topped with pistachio, blueberry and honeycomb. Come morning, new a la carte breakfasts appear daily – try eggs with sides of spinach, bacon, sausage, cured salmon and roasted mini tomatoes for a healthy yet upscale start to a day of romantic relaxation.

Spicers Sangoma Retreat - Adults Only

Top rated
9.9 Excellent (70 reviews)

A romantic getaway in a Queenslander history house


Renovations have turned this early 20th-century Queenslander house into a light and airy five-bedroom holiday home. Wrapped around the house is a wide wooden deck elegantly dressed with woven tables, chairs, a day bed and a chaise longue for lazy mornings listening to country silence. Rolling private lawns make a pastoral setting for romantic afternoon picnics and hand-in-hand walks at sunset.

Inside, light-filled en-suite bedrooms with window seats overlooking papaya trees are decorated in coastal chic style. White timber walls accented with macrame wall hangings, light-reflecting mirrors and art prints give Mahalo its calming boho vibe. Tasteful rugs bring colour to the polished wooden floorboards, while louvred glass windows provide fantastic airflow for city-dwellers to breathe easy.

Fully independent, Mahalo House is set up for self-catering. Armed with fresh fruit and veg from the Bangalow farmers market, make use of the open kitchen’s tasteful crockery and linens. In the garden, you’ll find grills and tables for sunlit or under-the-stars dining. Should you venture out, the house is just 15 minutes from Byron Bay beaches and town attractions. Explore postcard-esque Bangalow for famed locales like the ’70s-style Woods Café. If you’ve got far to go after your getaway, Ballina Byron Gateway Airport is just 20 minutes away by car.

Mahalo House

Byron Bay

An intimate romantic getaway with a world-class spa


Effortlessly blending luxury with a characteristically Australian bush experience, the Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley has romanticism on tap in a 7,000-acre wildlife conservation reserve. Nature-inspired accommodation consists of 40 spacious and free-standing villas with temperature-controlled private pools, netted verandas and double-sided fireplaces – ideal for couples who prize waking up to birdsong in high thread-count yet sustainable bedding. Warm, earthy tones and neutral linens are complemented by handcrafted wood furniture to create a homely yet markedly affluent atmosphere. Each villa offers privacy and valley views, and retractable glass walls bring uninterrupted sunlight and mountain air into your living space – just watch out for curious baby kangaroos.

The main building features two restaurants that echo the resort’s sustainability philosophy. The Country Kitchen plates up small but elegant dishes like butternut pumpkin and black cod tortellini, while the polished Wolgan Dining Room offers a scenic backdrop of the valley and an ever-changing menu of seasonal Australian delicacies prepared from regional organic produce.

If relaxation is your aim, the resort offers a selection of treatments in the One&Only Spa, a world-class sanctuary of wellness and tranquillity. Six private double treatment rooms come each with their own changing area, bathroom and Japanese-style hot tub for trading in cares for aromatherapy and bubbles. Slip into the azure waters of the hotel’s generously sized outdoor infinity pool and float as the sun rises over mountains shrouded in morning mist.

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley

Top rated
9.6 Excellent (120 reviews)

A romantic getaway in the famed Blue Mountains


Nestled comfortably in the Blue Mountains National Park is the Sofitel Fairmont Resort. Overlooking the Jamison Valley, it’s only a 90-minute drive from Sydney and provides easy access to Leura, one of the most charming upper-mountain villages in Australia. All 222 spacious rooms and suites are stylishly decorated in autumnal colours and present panoramic views of the valley, the fairway, the on-site swimming pool or gardens.

Romance seekers can find secluded moments in the resort’s extensive nine and a half hectares of grounds and gardens, dip into the hot tub or challenge each other to a good-spirited game of golf at the adjoining Leura course. The hotel also makes a great jumping off point for exploring local attractions like Wentworth Falls and the Zig Zag railway.

This hotel offers five on-site dining options depending on your mood or the formality of the occasion. Take high tea or share intimate secrets over evening drinks in the Sublime Lounge, cuddle up in casual fireside dining at Embers or try a three-course degustation menu at Eucalypt Restaurant.

Fairmont Resort & Spa Blue Mountains - MGallery by Sofitel

8.2 Very good (2336 reviews)

A cool couples' retreat for a secluded romantic getaway in NSW


Elevated over Byron Bay and steps from the beach, Beach Box is a modern retreat in a superb setting. Unforgettable panoramas across the hinterland and out to the sparkling bay change colour as the sun rises and sets. Located next to Belongil Beach and a 10-minute walk to Byron town centre, this architectural marvel is ideal for couples seeking a romantic vacation next to the ocean.

Beach Box features expansive glass walls for uncompromised views and washes of natural light. Light timber floors, ceilings and polished concrete walls lend a funky but sophisticated feel. Sprinkled with industrial features, colourful pop art and buttery leather furniture, the space is undeniably cool while still being cosy. The living area is comprised of a spacious, airy lounge, stainless steel kitchen and a dining area with bench seating for romantic meals side-by-side. The space flows out to a lavishly sun-drenched deck ornamented with a barbecue, fire pit and an oversized table for al-fresco dining. A grassed area and refreshing in-ground pool complete the outdoor space.

Five bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms, mean everyone at Beach Box has their privacy. Upper-floor bedrooms benefit from vista views of lush foliage, Belongil Beach and the Byron Bay coastline all the way to the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse.

Beach Box

Byron Bay