SAY “YES” TO A STYLISH DESTINATION WEDDING OR SURPRISE PROPOSAL IN THE NT
Voters in the Northern Territory joined the rest of the country in welcoming marriage equality earlier this year, with some 60.6 per cent of Territorians backing the potential law change. From the Red Centre’s rustic landscapes immortalised in Priscilla Queen of the Desert, to the tropical Top End with its lush parks and waterfalls, the NT is a must for newly engaged couples looking for the perfect wedding or honeymoon destination in 2018… all it takes is one ring from you!
“The Northern Territory is a place of great diversity and natural beauty - from our incredible national parks, including Kakadu and Uluru-Kata Tjuta, to our fiery sunsets and dramatic landscapes. It is also home to awe-inspiring artwork of the world’s oldest living culture,” said Northern Territory Minister for Tourism and Culture, Lauren Moss.
“I am proud that the NT is a place of diverse landscapes and culture, and celebrates the diversity of the Australian people. We welcome all LBGTIQA couples and honeymooners in both our Top End and Red Centre,” she said.
Territory tourism operators package everything from engagement escapes with an indigenous twist and sunset harbour cruises in Darwin, to adventurous safari getaways in Kakadu and sunrise hot air ballooning over Alice Springs. And with the ink barely dry on the yes vote, the folks at Tourism NT have handpicked a few of the best destinations, experiences and venues for those looking to propose, marry and celebrate in 2018 and beyond.
WE PUT THE ‘GORGE’ IN GORGEOUS, SO HERE ARE FOUR GORGEOUS SITES TO POP THE QUESTION.
Ubirr, Kakadu National Park, Kakadu
Watching the sun set at Ubirr, an iconic destination in Kakadu National Park, is an unforgettable experience all on its own. Add floodplains, rainbow of colours in the sky and reflective blue waters of the billabongs into the mix and this spiritual spot is perfect to pop the all-important question.
Sunrise Hot Air Ballooning, Alice Springs
If you’re about to propose, you may be too nervous to take in the view as you float above the red desert sands in a hot air balloon as the first sunlight creeps over the horizon. When the deed is done, clink champagne glasses with your new fiancé while floating through the skies with a bird’s eye view of Australia’s Red Centre - it’s hard to imagine a more uplifting place to propose.
Litchfield National Park, Darwin and surrounds
An uber-popular day trip destination for outdoor weekend warriors, Litchfield National Park is home to heart-stoppingly beautiful landscapes. Plunge into diamond-hued waterholes beneath the spring-fed waterfalls of Florence and Wangi Falls, or soak in the gentle three-tiered cascade shaded by rainforest at Buley Rockhole. If you’re outdoorsy types who like to camp it up by pitching a tent or maybe casting a line or two, pop the question here with Mother Nature as your witness.
Skydiving Uluru, Uluru
If you’re taking the plunge, nothing proves commitment more than jumping out of a plane and hurtling back to earth with the one you love. For those planning an adrenaline-pumping proposal, SkyDive Uluru is offering married-couples-to-be a HD video and photo package of their jump as a memento.
NINE KNOCKOUT DESTINATION WEDDINGS OR HONEYMOONS IN THE NT
Wildman Wilderness Lodge, Kakadu
Located in the Mary River National Park wetlands of the Northern Territory, Wildman Wilderness Lodge is an extraordinary wedding venue. This luxury bush camp is not only picturesque but teems with wildlife; making stays here more than memorable. While the lodge may feel like it is a million miles from home, it’s only a domestic flight away. Expect romance and the remoteness of an African safari, with untamed wilderness and crisp white linen to boot.
Weddings on the water, Darwin Harbour
Looking for a truly romantic way to say “I do”? Darwin Harbour offers packages that will see you cruise into the rest of your life in style. Slip aboard a yacht and sail to an isolated beach for your nuptials. Sail Darwin will collect your wedding party and even take care of the shore front set-up.
For larger groups, Darwin Harbour Cruises’ Weddings on the Water deal takes full advantage of an iconic backdrop - Darwin’s famous sunsets. And best of all, the company is offering half price charter rates until early 2018 for couples taking the plunge off the back of the Yes vote.
Bamurru Plains, Kakadu
Follow in the footsteps of Pippa Middleton with nuptials fit for a royal (or close to it). Plan an intimate wedding ceremony at a private luxury resort on the edge of Kakadu National Park. Bamurru Plains’ individual safari suites are designed to blend in with the surrounds, and post-wedding day activities include airboat tours, wildlife safaris, fishing and birdwatching. You don’t get that in the city!
Uluru Lookout, Voyages Ayers Rock Resort, Uluru
Journey to the Red Centre to exchange vows on your own private dune with Uluru and Kata Tjuta as your backdrop. You’ll sip champagne as The Rock blazes with colour at dusk and plan your new life together. Voyages operate several resorts and can conjure up weddings and ceremonies with a Central Australian flavor.
Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge, Katherine
With dramatic rock faces, a bubbling river and rock pools, it is easy to understand why Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge is so special to the Jawoyn people and visitors alike. This GORGEous spot provides an awe-inspiring ceremony location and, when the wedding is done and dusted, your reception meal at the luxurious Cicada Lodge combines native bush foods with a decadent contemporary menu.
Kings Canyon Resort, Uluru
If you want to walk in the tyre tracks of Priscilla, then there are few spots in the NT more beautiful than the grooves you’ll find on the Walpa Gorge walk. You’ll also be walking in the 400 million-year old history of the Pitjantjatjara Anangu, for whom the ancient Kata Tjuta mountains of Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park are sacred. The rugged red landscape is the spiritual heart of Australia and one of the most beautiful places to hold a small wedding and reconnect to the country.
For an unforgettable way to end your special day, the Kings Canyon Resort offers a five-course wedding feast under five-million outback stars.
SkyCity Darwin, Darwin
If you want larger tropical weddings with a touch of NT class, Darwin is a great option. The capital has a host of accommodation, and indoor and outdoor ceremony and reception venues. One of the best is the luxurious SkyCity Darwin, with its lagoon-style swim-up bar and decadent onsite day spa for pre and post wedding pampering. Perched on Mindil Beach with views across the Arafura Sea, the resort is the tropical paradise you’ve always dreamed of for your big day. And, with Darwin’s Asian and domestic flight connections, it’s a great choice if you’re inviting international guests.
Pee Wee’s at the Point, Darwin Harbour
You think Sydney Harbour is big? Think again. Laidback Darwin Harbour is seven times its southern little brother and has none of the hustle and bustle. To take it all in, head up to East Point Reserve, just outside the CBD, where Pee Wee's at the Point can roll out the red, or rainbow, carpet. The menu reflects the produce, climate and multiculturalism of the Northern Territory, with wild-caught seafood served with locally-grown Asian vegetables and tropical fruits. But really, it’s all about the view… and you!
To find out more about wedding locations and honeymoon destinations in the NT, visit: www.northernterritory.com