Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Rose Jacobs explores the best places to ask for your partner's hand - and how to get the right response.
The course of true love never did run smooth, according to William Shakespeare. So now to take the risk out of that all-important romantic encounter - asking for your partner's hand in marriage?
Marriage proposals have become big business for tourism destinations, with professional proposal planners charging from $1500 to $15,000 to get everything just right.
Tania Saad from My Proposal Co told Explore that 2020 was their biggest year yet.
"As government restrictions began to ease across the country in 2020, we found that those who were postponing their proposal plans were scrambling to propose before the year ended. In addition, all of those who had planned to propose on overseas holidays were now looking to propose here in Australia.
"It seems that amongst all the chaos in the world right now, loved-up couples are still going ahead with their proposal plans."
And the most popular locations?
"Wine regions have been particularly popular as more Australians planning romantic holidays within their own state. The likes of the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, McLaren Vale in South Australia and the Yarra Valley in Victoria.
"Coastal retreats have also been popular with our clients. The South Coast of NSW, Byron Bay and Mornington Peninsula have been in demand.
"For our NSW-based clients, the Blue Mountains has also been a popular destination. Boutique accommodations, like couple's only cabins and hiking proposals, have been a popular request in this region."
After hundreds of proposals, Ms Saad maintains they have only had two couples cry off before the event. Every other couple's surprise meeting ended in a "Yes".
Now, where did you leave that ring?
If you're anywhere near Sydney, then the most iconic way to propose would have to involve Sydney Harbour. With Sydney Luxury Cruise you can fully customise your proposal to suit your whims, onboard the gorgeous MV Bel, a 28-foot Italian-style speedboat. Your private captain, can drop off you and your hopefully bride-to-be at a number of exclusive harbourside locations to picnic, watch the sunset or take a romantic dip as you soak up the atmosphere of one of the most romantic harbours on Earth.
- Price: from $499
For a proposal from a different view, Sydney Seaplanes can whisk you and your lover up and away on a scenic flight from Rose Bay for a romantic lunch at the exclusive Cottage Point Inn in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Hold hands as you take in the sights of Sydney Harbour, the Northern Beaches and national parkland, before dining on delicacies at the renowned, award-winning inn. Your bellies will be full after the three-course à la carte lunch, and your hearts will be overflowing with a photo session from above the Sydney Opera House before you land safely back at Rose Bay, roughly four hours later.
- Price: from $1160 per couple
- Visit: redballoon.com.au
Imagine the crisp morning sunlight rising over the valley as you and your partner are swept up and away for an aerial view of Victoria's majestic Yarra Valley. That's right, a hot-air ballooning ride will literally sweep your loved-one off their feet. The one-hour-long flight over one of Australia's most stunning wine regions is swiftly followed by a delicious champagne breakfast at Balgownie Estate to celebrate. This is one proposal package that is sure to take her breath away.
- Price: from $880 per couple
Escape the city and hit the road for a wildly romantic adventure. You and your sweetheart are being privately chauffeur-driven to your choice from three private proposal locations along the stunning Mornington Peninsula.
Prepare to get hot and steamy as you bathe together at the nearby hot springs and enjoy a romantic day-spa treatment. Then, there's a three-course lunch, wine and cheese tasting and a gourmet chocolate platter. This is a proposal to tantalise all the senses.
- Price: from $1650 per couple
- Visit: redballoon.com.au
Wine Glass Bay has a certain ring to it. And wouldn't a glass of wine with a ring in it be a perfect way to ask your partner to marry you? Pair this up with a romantic weekend stay at Saffire Freycinet in Coles Bay, one of the most picturesque hotels in the world. The spa and wellness centre will delight your senses, as will the hot tubs and the fabulous activities, such as bike-riding, snorkelling, a hike to Bluestone Bay and perhaps even a return trip after the nuptials to Honeymoon Bay?
- Price: about $2500 per couple for two nights
- Visit: saffire-freycinet.com.au
Tassie is world-famous for having some of the best oysters and wines, and its vistas, farmhouses, markets, museums and fishing villages are sure attractions. So, why not indulge in a selection of all of the above with your loved one and visit Cradle Mountain? The spectacular World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is one of Tasmania's premier wilderness regions.
The luxurious wood cabins at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge are perfect for popping the question and then planning your big day as you soak away in your private hot tub. Follow it up with a relaxing couple's massage. The photos will really speak for themselves.
- Price: from $838 per couple for two nights
- Visit: cradlemountainlodge.com.au
Queensland boasts one of the most stunning wonders of the world, so your proposal should embrace the best of the Great Barrier Reef... from the air and under the sea.
Kick off your special day with a private helicopter flight from Cairns over the beaches and reefs of Far North Queensland, before landing on a remote white sandy beach. Kick off your shoes and explore the shoreline before taking the plunge (popping the question) or snorkelling first to get up the courage.
Your pilot meantime, has set out a gourmet picnic hamper with sparkling wine and a beach umbrella and blanket. Take your time and as many photos as you can, this is a proposal that will be hard to ever beat!
- Price: from $1538 per couple
- Visit: redballoon.com.au
If your loved one is the adventurous type, then picture the moment you ask for her hand in front of a romantic open fire, with flowers and candles next to your secluded glamping tent in the Gold Coast hinterland.
This is a truly unique proposal idea, combining luxury and the wilderness to steal her heart. You'll be provided with a delicious food hamper, champagne, marshmallows for roasting and a teepee-style tent decked out with luxury bedding and all the extra amenities. Just follow the rose-petal trail through the hinterland and find your happy ever after.
- Price: from $1500 per couple for one night
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