Islands & Beaches

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Local Craig Tensely reveals why the Gold Coast has become one of the most romantic hang-outs in Australia.

It’s seven o’clock and the last surfers of the day are paddling past us in the dark. The waves they’ve been riding at Burleigh Point are washing in around the tables here at the Gold Coast’s most lauded dining establishment, Rick Shores. The tide peaks at 7.11pm; if we can get through the next 20 minutes, our shoes should stay dry. The maître d’ says they’re ready for anything; guests can move to a higher table if they’re squeamish. Though none of the couples seated along the sea’s edge look the least bit concerned. They’re distracted by the Moreton Bay bug rolls, the spiced mackerel with white radish kimchi, and the gentle glow of the three-quarter moon rising fast over the ocean.

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Nothing stirs our creative spirit quite like a sublime location. The flash of sunlight on rock, a serene expanse of green or the milky blues of a lagoon all foster inner calm while channelling the artist within. And while writer Robert Louis Stevenson was smitten with Samoa and artist Vincent Van Gough inspired by the French countryside, the Thai island of Koh Yai Noi has proved a modern muse for a new generation of creatives.

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A South Pacific playground for romantics and adventurers, the private island of Iririki offers the complete holiday experience. Located in the turquoise waters of Mele Bay, just minutes from Vanuatu’s capital Port Vila, Iririki Island Resort & Spa combines convenience with an exclusive island location. The beautiful bay and glorious landscapes offer a sense of tranquillity, yet it’s just a five-minute journey across the bay to enjoy the vibrant rhythms of local island life. Couples will love the position-perfect accommodation, bars and restaurants, generous inclusions (daily breakfast, ferry transfers, and more) and endless resort activities and off-island excursions. Iririki invites you to enjoy a stress-free tropical escape.

Soak up views to the surrounding islands from Cape Kudu’s infinity pool
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Discover an elegant oasis of tropical beauty and indulgence in Phang Nga

The luxe Cape Panwa Hotel is tucked away from the crowds
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Beloved for its beautiful beaches, screensaver-ready islands and rich culture, Thailand's Phuket is the stuff of romantic holiday fantasies. Hidden amongst the destination's palm-dotted shores, the five-star Cape Panwa Hotel invites couples on the ultimate tropical getaway, far from the crowds.

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