Honeymooning Down Under

I have some exciting news to reveal…we’re honeymooning in Australia and New Zealand!!! The day after our wedding, Mr. Wallaby and I will embark on a 16-day adventure to the land down under!


Australia’s Great Ocean Road / Photo via Victoria Visitors Bureau

My mom was the one who recommended that we head to the Southern Hemisphere for our late November honeymoon. Like many couples, we want to escape to a sunny place where we can lie on the beach and sunbathe. We would have wanted to spend our honeymoon in the Mediterranean (Mr. W has never been to Greece or Italy and I am begging him to go), but it will be drizzly and a little chilly in November. My parents’ next-door neighbors are a really sweet newlywed couple in their sixties, and they spent their honeymoon in New Zealand and had a blast. My mom remembered some of their stories and suggested we follow their lead.

As soon as Mr. W and I started researching places to go and things to do in Australia and New Zealand, we knew it was the perfect honeymoon destination for us. We both love spending time outdoors, and there is endless kayaking, hiking, swimming, etc. in both countries. We also realized that we can accomplish one of our major bucket-list items: scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef!

Great Barrier Reef diver / Image via the-great-barrier-reef-experience.com

We browsed travel message boards, asked coworkers and friends who have traveled there, and briefly contacted a travel agent to assemble our itinerary. We’ll end up spending a lot of time traveling on planes, but we want to make the most out of our time down there since I’m not sure when we’ll have an opportunity to return!

Here’s what our itinerary looks like:

Day 1: Fly from Houston to Nelson, New Zealand. Hopefully catch some ZZZs on the plane!

Day 2: Travel day.

Day 3: Arrive in Nelson in late evening. Conk out at a hotel near the airport.

Days 4–6: Rent a car and drive to Golden Bay. Relax at our honeymoon cottage on the beach.

Day 7: Fly to Queenstown, New Zealand. Explore the city in the afternoon.

Days 8–9: Do some adventure sports in Queenstown. (Mr. W is excited to go zip-lining and white-water rafting!)

Day 10: Day trip from Queenstown to Milford Sound, New Zealand.

Days 11–13: Fly to Sydney. Do the Sydney Bridge Climb, catch up with old friends, and explore the city.

Days 14–16: Fly to Port Douglas, on the Great Barrier Reef. Go scuba diving. Spend more time being unproductive on the beach. Maybe make a day trip to the Daintree Rainforest to hug some koalas.

Day 17: Fly home.

We booked our flights directly through Qantas Airline, and we booked our hotels through Expedia Australia. We got a lot of great deals on accommodations—I’ll share our experiences after the honeymoon! We will book our rental cars directly through my auto insurance company, since I get a pretty big discount for renting through them. The last item on our honeymoon checklist is to apply for traveler’s visas to enter Australia.

We initially talked to a travel agent about our itinerary, but I plugged some numbers and found that we would save a significant amount of money by booking the trip ourselves. That also allowed us some flexibility to choose all of our accommodations—we had a lot of fun comparing the perks and amenities of lots of hotels before booking each one. If you are too busy to put some time into researching your honeymoon, or if you’re nervous about lining up all of the details, I would recommend hiring a travel agent, especially for trips to Australia and New Zealand. However, if you feel comfortable booking your travel online, go for it!

Where are you traveling for your honeymoon? Did you book the trip yourself or leave the booking up to a travel agent?


Mrs. Wallaby

Wedding Date:
November 2012
Cauldrons on the Chesapeake: South to Solomons
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  1. Member
    mrsjjc 246 posts, Helper bee @ 3:42 pm

    Did you already book your accommodations in Port Douglas? If not, I HIGHLY recommend this place: http://www.bnbnq.com.au/paradise/. Doesn’t look fancy on the website, but it’s like a little slice of heaven. My husband and I were staying there when he proposed. :)

    If you are up for snorkeling instead of scuba diving (the colors are brighter towards the surface), Wavelength is a small, intimate, and eco-friendly company — also highly recommend! http://www.wavelength.com.au/

  2. Member
    futuremrsjohnson_ 1296 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:49 pm

    Oh, you guys are going to have so much fun! I went to Australia and New Zealand for 18 days this past September. My friend and I booked all the tours and flights ourselves as well. Flew from LAX to Sydney and back with Qantas, LOVED their plane/service/food. We took 3 other flights throughout Australia and New Zealand with Jetstar, they were the cheapest option, and while not comfortable, the planes were acceptable. One thing I do suggest is going to the Bay of Islands in NZ if you can, seriously SO beautiful! We stayed on the one island in the Bay that you can spend the night on, and it was so quiet and serene. It’ll probably be more crowded when you go though.

  3. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 3:58 pm

    This sounds amazing, I can’t wait to see all your adventures!

  4. mswallaby Member
    mswallaby 2070 posts, Buzzing bee @ 3:58 pm

    @FutureMrsJohnson_: Thanks for the tips! Your trip sounds really similar to ours! We’re flying the same airlines, we’ve heard really good things about the Qantas A380 planes. Can’t wait!!

  5. Member
    lovemelovemyhorses 1361 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:50 pm

    I may be biased, but australia is awesome :)

    FH and I went scuba diving on the GBR 3 days before he proposed (he took me on a holiday to hamilton island) and it was amazing. It was a little hard to get the hang of (i kept trying to breathe out my nose and forgot about how heavy the oxygen tanks are out of water lol), but i’m so glad we did it. In November you might even get to see some sea turtles and dolphins (we didn’t, because it was may and they only appear in the warmer months apparently), plus the weather will be great!

    Hope you have fun!

  6. Member
    RapunzelRapunzel 812 posts, Busy bee @ 4:55 pm

    Wow, your honeymoon sounds absolutely incredible! I can’t WAIT for recaps of this awesome adventure (especially the scuba diving and other excursions!!)

  7. Member
    scottie 88 posts, Worker bee @ 5:01 pm

    We’ve been living in Australia since March (here on a 1 year working holiday visa) and actually got engaged in Melbourne in July! If you want any aussie tips let me know! Happy planning :)

  8. Member
    jacofblues 1468 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:01 pm

    I am definitely bias but Australia is pretty awesome! (I am Australian) I live in Victoria which is where that beautiful picture of the great ocean road is, but its not as warm and tropical as the north like in Queensland so it sounds like you’ve made good choices on where to go! Theres this crazy big giant swing thing in Queenstown in NZ that my brother went on which looks crazy fun, so you guys HAVE to do it!

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    orange, Guest @ 5:18 pm

    Hope you see some Wallabys while you are there!! How perfect of a moniker.

  10. Member
    PrincessConsuelaBananaHammock 369 posts, Helper bee @ 6:44 pm

    Oh that sounds so lovely! It seems like you have the perfect mix of relaxation and adventure planned. I hope you enjoy your time down here, in the most beautiful part of the world (in my opinion anyway haha).

  11. castle Member
    castle 1191 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:22 pm

    This sounds amazing! We also booked our European honeymoon ourselves. It was a lot of work but totally worth it!

  12. Member
    alleycat 661 posts, Busy bee @ 8:25 pm

    This sounds so lovely! Australia and NZ are definitely on my “must travel” list. Too bad you’re not flying Air New Zealand though…hahaha… :)

  13. panda Member
    Mrs. Panda 1359 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:38 pm

    oh I am so insanely jealous. that sounds like an amazing trip you guys have planned

  14. Member
    lovemelovemyhorses 1361 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:43 pm

    Jacofblues- i’m from vic too (although a very remote part lol)! I didn’t think any other bees were from vic, most aussies on here seem to be in qld.

  15. Member
    jennifer_nz 339 posts, Helper bee @ 12:21 am

    Ah you will have an awesome time on that trip! We live in Christchurch, so we know a bit about the area 😉 We went scuba diving on Great Barrier Reef last year and it was pretty good, we went on an overnight boat from Cairns so 7 dives in 2 days! Nelson area and all the way to Golden Bay is gorgeous, love Abel Tasman national park – you can get kayaks and go out to the seal reserve which is quite cool. Views in Queenstown, lakes, mountains so beautiful, and make sure you enjoy the New Zealand wine while you are here too!!!!!

  16. Member
    charleenbarila 24 posts, Newbee @ 2:35 am

    We’re headed to New Zealand on our honeymoon next week! Really looking forward to two weeks away in such a beautiful country. We actually booked our trip through a travel agent, who helped us find this awesome package that included a suggested itinerary of cities, rental car(s), and hotels in each city. It worked out perfectly. There’s no forced activities but it was helpful to have a route put together for us. All we had to do was fill in the details of what we want to see in each city and any of the surrounding areas, which we’re planning to do at a very leisurely place. We really just want to relax and explore each place we visit. Visiting wineries is definitely on the list, and we want to check out the hot springs in Rotorua for a little spa therapy :) Enjoy your trip!

  17. Guest Icon Guest
    HeatherRose, Guest @ 7:26 am

    I lived in Australia for 5 months during college and it’s absolutely amazing. One of my favorite things I did near Port Douglas/Daintree was horseback ride on the beach. I went with Wonga Beach Horseback Tours and loved every minute.

  18. mstoadstool Member
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:41 am

    It sounds amazing!

  19. Member
    ChicagoDreamer 509 posts, Busy bee @ 7:22 pm

    This will be an awesome honeymoon! So lovely and fun.

  20. jaguar Member
    jaguar 6502 posts, Bee Keeper @ 11:21 pm

    You’re going to have an amazing time. Australia is lovely (biased Aussie, here) but New Zealand is also amazing!!

  21. Member
    WeddingWonder 33 posts, Newbee @ 11:25 am

    Yay! Australia is fantastic. Ok I’m totally biased as an Aussie but still :)
    Did you know you were heading to Australia when you picked your Wedding Bee ID?

  22. Guest Icon Guest
    Allie, Guest @ 5:54 pm

    I just came back from my Australian honeymoon. I hope you have as fabulous time as we did!

  23. earrings Member
    earrings 2611 posts, Sugar bee @ 2:35 pm

    Im biased, but I think you made some great choices for your honeymoon :) Hope you have a blast!

  24. Member
    bridetobeach 40 posts, Newbee @ 9:29 am

    My fiance and I plan on Honeymooning in Australia too! Have a blessed time! :)

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