The Bride's Tree Volume 10

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real weddings

Real Weddings


REBECCA & JONATHAN Relaxed Nuptials on Noosa River


KYLIE & JAMES Intimate and Heartfelt in Montville


Real Weddings


BRIDE FOR LIFE Being Part of the Flaxton Gardens Family


SHOOTING THE BREEZE ON THE HIGH SEAS A Chat with the Men of the Wedding Industry




inspiration shoots 10

HIDE AWAY WITH ME… Romantic Elegance in a Secret Garden


SMALL TOWN CHARM Coastal Caloundra in Retro


GOLDEN HOUR Gold glitter, champagne and pretty undergarments

also in this edition 8 112 123 124

Recent Blog Highlights Honeymoon in… The Whitsundays Facebook Faves Instagram Faves

editor’s note We have reached double digits! This is Volume 10, and let me tell you, it’s a good ‘un. I have been darn spoiled recently. First of all I was treated to the most relaxing day spa experience I’m still raving about. I blogged about my day with my gal pals test driving Soul and Skin Spa in Peregian, where they offer hen’s spa parties. Divine! What’s more I was whisked away on a mini break to The Whitsundays to experience the height of romance in paradise. Let me just have a little brag for a moment if you don’t mind. From the limousine air port pick up to the beauty product gifts to the private snorkeling experience, every moment outdid the last.

PUBLISHERS Sally Townsend & Jenny Cooper GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jaye Create Copyright The Bride’s Tree 2014 All rights reserved. Please do not publish articles without seeking written permission. ADVERTISE Please email info@thebridestree. to request our media kit if you are interested in advertising in our magazine or on our blog. SUBMISSIONS Find out how to submit to our magazine and blog here.

My favourite part, by far, was the helicopter flight over the reef, where I was lucky enough to sit up front with the pilot for the most stunning view imaginable. Our heli dropped us at the very famous Qualia Resort – that’s where Oprah stayed, you guys! Oprah! Take a flip to page 94 of this here magazine to learn more about my adventures and what you can expect in a romantic Whitsundays honeymoon. Lucky I’ve had pretty, pretty wedding stuff to console my champagne-less self, and now you do, too! Enjoy our big 1-0, gals!

Sally xo PS. Eye candy on page 66. You’re welcome.

Happy 10th Volume to us!

We are so excited to have reached this milestone of double digits with The Bride's Tree Magazine!

The Bride's Tree team have been attending many important wedding industry events lately. (Photos by When Elephant Met Zebra)

Jenny at our stand at A Darling Affair. Sally being a dork at It's My Wedding.

Sally had the time of her life high flying in The Whitsundays. Find out more about honeymooning in this Queensland paradise on page 112.

Follow @thebridestree on Instagram to stay in touch with the team behind the scenes.

recent blog highlights

clockwise from top left: 6 steps to a stress-free wedding morning


Private spa retreat hen’s party pamper

Rustic timbers, gold and champagne accents for Peregian bridal shoot Elegant Noosa wedding with peaches and creams Emerald bridal fashion and beauty



Nature meets simple vintage

Country wedding on the coast.

A very happy engagement shoot.

romantic elegance in a secret garden

In a private hideaway an elegant garden party prettily dressed with luscious textures, exquisite florals and fashion, and all the trimmings, is our setting for this styled shoot.

Images by Andrea Sproxton Photography

‘Batala’ from Spanish designer Pronovias, a divine a-line gown with off-the-shoulder neckline, available from White Lily Couture.


G was dressed by Suits Direct in a classic black suit with bow tie and tuxedo shirt.


Crystal comb headpiece was hand finished in Australia from White Lily Couture

A sleek, glamorous upstyle and classic red lip with defined eyes make for a polished bridal look, created by Rolling Scissors and KJ Artistry respectively.


Siara donned a Tout Mon Amour dress with ruffles and lace for her special day as flower girl.

with blusher from White Lily Couture.

The prettiest of ceremonies will be had under this twig archway, trussed up with fresh flowers and strung crystal beads.

this 2 + a half-minute behind-the-scenes film, shot by Bxcsmth.

The big impact floral arrangment to end all is the hanging chandelier, and this one was constructed with thick greenery and delicately strung with individual blooms, meticulously selected for perfection by florist Willow Bud.



Lush carpet, textured cushions and a fur throw make for a comforting and luxurious outdoor space dedicated to romantic moments and champagne toasts.

fingertip mantilla veil.

yellow and pinks with delicate foliage in an unstructured bouquet speak to the untamed bride, and the lush garden surrounds.


2009 & 2010 ABIA Finalist


Table dressed with lace tablecloths, crystal and gold dinnerware, gold tealight candelabra and wild florals in crystal vases. Delicious styling by Splash Events.

lavishly draped with fabric and fastened with strands of pearls and bling.


jelly cups with sugar rims, cake pops and cupcakes, which are always crowd pleasers. Tip: save a shelf for your individually wrapped sweetheart cookie wedding favors. The piece de rĂŠsistance is the watercolour two-tiered tall wedding cake, all handmade by Chocolate 2 Chilli.

Enjoy the finer things in life! Chocolate 2 Chilli brings a touch of luxury to your next special occasion. Elegant high tea for all occasions Beautiful bespoke wedding & celebration cakes Decadent & creative dessert tables & candy buffets Based on the Sunshine Coast - we come to your location! 0409 007 729 |

Photography: Andrea Sproxton Photography Cinematography: Bxcsmth Styling & Décor: Splash Events Flowers: Willow Bud Hair: Rolling Scissors Makeup: KJ Artistry Wedding Coordination: Wild Heart Weddings Location: Camellia House (contact Wild Heart Weddings) Bride’s fashion: White Lily Couture Groom’s fashion: Suits Direct Flower girl’s fashion: Tout Mon Amour Dessert table: Chocolate 2 Chilli Models: Francesca Molina, G Holmes, Siara

REBECCA +Jonathan RELAXED NUPTIALS ON NOOSA RIVER Ceremony: Noosa River Reception: Rickys River Bar & Restaurant Photographer: Karen Buckle Photography Guests: 90 Wedding Budget: $40,000


“We bought our groomsmen their suits and our bridesmaids their dresses. We also had some beer mugs and champagne flutes printed for our bridal party and close family.�

“We wanted a short and sweet ceremony and photographs that captured the natural emotion of the day.�


“Noosa offered the convenience of Our photographer, Karen Buckle, reception without the need to rus

riverside, woodland and beach photos all within a couple minutes’ walk. , captured all these locations, and then at sunset on our boat ride to the sh or hurry. It was so much fun and great to have no time pressure.�

Wedding Secrets Bridal gown: Anna Campbell "Goddess" gown Accessories: Anna Campbell "Charlotte" cuff Shoes: Clarice Bridesmaid dresses: Anna Campbell Dresses in 'Violet' Bridesmaids’ accessories: Pearl drop necklaces from Prouds Jewellers Groom and groomsmens’ suits and shoes: Roger David and Marlow Brown Rings: Michael Hill Jewellers and a little jewellery store in Tasmania DIY: Ceremony guides and wishing well

“We treated our guests to a cruise of the Noosa River at sunset on the Catalina. This was a great way to keep everyone together and to arrive at the reception on time; everyone told us this was a real highlight of the day.�

“When we found the restaurant nothing else compared. The food was first class and the service was beyond amazing. It was the perfect location as it has its own jetty; our guests were able to take a sunset river cruise from the ceremony direct to the restaurant.”


Hand-picked Team That Made It All Happen Photographer: Karen Buckle Wedding Planner: First Class Functions Florist: First Class Functions Caterer: Rickys River Bar and Restaurant Cake: Cake Designs Transport: Catalina Cruises Makeup Artist: Marina Passalaris Hair Stylist: Hair by Nicola Entertainment: Benjam & In the Booth Stationery: Crafty Fox Celebrant: Cassandra Neilson: Coastline Celebrant Wedding Night Accommodation: Outrigger Little Hasting Street


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CEREMONY AND RECEPTION: Spicers Clovelly Estate PHOTOGRAPHER: Jennifer Oliphant Photographer GUESTS: 35 WEDDING BUDGET: $28,000

wedding secrets BRIDAL GOWN: White by Vera Wang ACCESSORIES: Pearl bracelets from a stall in Lombok, Pearl earrings from Etsy. SHOES: Tony Bianco GROOM’S SUIT AND SHOES: Suit from Magnifique Tailors, shoes Trent Nathan RINGS: We hand-made our wedding bands at the Irish Design Shop, Dublin DIY: Save-the-date stamped magnets, table runners, favors and guest book. 48

“I always wanted to be married under a big old tree, and James didn’t want to be away from our guests for too long for photos. Spicers Clovelly Estate ticked all the boxes, it was beautiful.”


“We truly are the best of friends. We trust and confide in each other and really cherish spending time together.�


“We both had a clear vision of what was important on our special day. We wanted beautiful food and wine and somewhere we could have the ceremony and reception at the one place so we could really enjoy the entire day with our nearest and dearest.�

hand-picked team that made it all happen PHOTOGRAPHER: Jennifer Oliphant Photographer VIDEOGRAPHER: Mitch Lally Evernew Studios FLORIST: Bridal bouquet & Groom’s boutonniere - Twig & Blossom CAKE: Whipped Cake Co. BOMBONNIERES: DIY

MAKEUP ARTIST: Makeup 4 Brides HAIR STYLIST: Hair 4 Brides ENTERTAINMENT: Frank Benn & Chops Trio CELEBRANT: Cassandra Neilson WEDDING NIGHT ACCOMMODATION: Spicers Clovelly Estate

Nestled in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, the AnnaBella Chapel is the idyllic intimate venue for your wedding ceremony. Only 15 minutes from beautiful beaches, this is the perfect venue to start your wedding celebration. AnnaBella is stylishly designed and decorated and set on a sprawling country property with countless photo opportunities in the luscious gardens, paddocks and alongside the charming dam. Find AnnaBella on Facebook Just 15 minutes from Mooloolaba 264 Wilson Road, Ilkley Qld 4554 p 07 5478 9411 m 0418 814 232 e

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Georgina and Alan Thompson, along with their children, lead a charmed life in the Sunshine Coast hinterland in the sweet little town of Flaxton, where they run their family business. Wedding venue Flaxton Gardens allows them to welcome new families into the fold

every single day as they plan their nuptials. We asked Georgina to share a little about the new program she has designed with benefits to the couples, who love to come back after the wedding for a walk down memory lane. Images by Alan Hughes Photography


Georgina, your bride for life program at Flaxton Gardens is a brand new concept conceived by your clever mind. Tell us a little about it! We just felt our brides and grooms needed rewarding for having chosen us for their special day. It is such a trend to return to Flaxton Gardens post wedding – baby showers, anniversaries, reminiscing etcetera - we see past brides here most weekends, and then we thought why not get others involved where they can also benefit? How important is it to you to continue to have a relationship with brides who marry at Flaxton Gardens?


Very! Marriage is a journey, not an event! A lot of our business is built on return visits. It is so lovely when you see past brides and their families – we all reminisce together and swap news; it is just lovely. Can any bride married at Flaxton Gardens become a Bride for Life member? Yes, each bride is given five cards in their wishing well (or posted) – they can then give them to bridesmaids or family, or anyone they wish, and then they too can enjoy returning to Flaxton Gardens, and the area, for all the benefits.

It must feel so special to be a part of a couple's everlasting memories! How does it make you feel when you reunite with a bride and groom on their anniversary or for their baby shower? It’s great! They love to meet Alan, too, as he is usually hidden in the kitchen on the night of the wedding! Even our children, too, if they are around. After the wedding the couples become friends and not so much clients – it really is like that. Tell me - did you concept Bride 4 Life just so you could play babies when the couples come back for their baby naming ceremonies? Because that's something we would do! Oh yes! It is great to have a cuddle and then hand them back! No, seriously it is lovely and, in a weird sort of way, one feels a connection. After all, this is where their Mum and Dad got married and for years to come they can continue to bring their families back. I will know my days are up when their children are looking for a venue! How have you involved the local community in this program? We asked our regular wedding specialists if they wanted to jump on board. For the bride it gives them suppliers they can choose again post-wedding, and for the wedding specialist it gives them potential new business after the wedding day, which is a bonus. We will bring in accommodation places in the near future. From eating in a local café to staying in

a B & B – brides can get benefits, and it is all business, which helps across the region. If a bride knows that they can return and get many offers only by being a Bride for Life it just allows them to be part of something, and to be part of our family as a region.

If a bride knows that they can return and get many offers only by being a Bride for Life it just allows them to be part of something, and to be part of our family as a region. What kind of special offers can a Bride for Life member expect? Various Flaxton Gardens offers: automatic discounts, champagne, and high tea vouchers. From suppliers they can get floral decorations, baby naming/ christening cakes discounted, photo shoots, make up, music so much! It’s all listed on our website. What do you think is the best thing about being a Bride for Life? The connection – that a bride becomes part of the Flaxton Gardens family and not just the wedding day. That they can be thanked and recognised for making the biggest decision of their life happen on The Range. How have couples responded to the Bride for Life program so far? We have sent out about 800 cards, it’s been great and can only grow.

The Sunshine Coast hinterland region is a magical place, Georgina, we are quite jealous you wake up there every day. What's your favourite part of living and working in Flaxton? The community and lifestyle. This is our third restaurant – one was in London Fulham, and then other one was a hotel and pub in the English countryside – both were amazing experiences and shaped us for what we do today, and like Flaxton Gardens, a lot of hard work with incredibly long hours. Here we feel a real sense of commitment and love for our job. Yes, one gets tired (I guess we are a bit older!), but nothing beats the satisfaction.


From the concept of a new couple viewing to the post-wedding brunch – all the planning and meetings and seeing it all come together. Families and friends coming together in agreement as witnesses – it is wonderful. Marriage is a blessing… a joining of two to become one we are honoured to be part of. For more information on the Flaxton Gardens Bride for Life program, visit their website.

SHOOTING THE BRE ON THE HIGH SEAS We took to the water with seven of the Sunshine Coast’s most creative people. They also happen to be a really cool bunch of guys! Mooloolaba Yacht Club was our hang out spot, the harbor our backdrop, the Set Sail Cruises catamaran our mode of transportation and these dudes our posse… Images by Cassandra Ladru Photography



ROY BYRNE Occupation: Photographer Business: Roy Byrne Photography What are your passions? Photography and travel are two of the things I’m most passionate about. Being able to tell stories through imagery helps me to not only tell my own story but the stories of the people I meet. What’s your favourite part of a wedding? I always look forward to the exchanging of the vows, especially when couples write their own. It’s kind of corny, but the honesty and perfect love that goes into those promises is such a beautiful thing to witness. If you set sail, what five things would you stow away? 1. Miss Jordan Pie (That’s the name of the lovely creature that I share my

life with, an adventure on the seas wouldn’t be complete without her) 2. Super obvious, but a camera. 1. Miss Jordan Pie (That’s the name of the lovely creature that I share my life with, an adventure on the seas wouldn’t be complete without her) 2. Super obvious, but a camera. 3. Guitar. 4. One of our small olive trees to remind me of home when I get homesick. 5. Rum, so I can pretend I’m a pirate. Where would you sail away to? Can I say everywhere? First destination would be to the Mediterranean I think. France, Italy, Greece, Croatia it’s all good! What would you name your hypothetical yacht? The Wanderer

ALAN HUGHES Occupation: Photographer Business: Alan Hughes Photography


What are your passions? I know it's clichĂŠ, but my work is my passion. I'm lucky enough to have a job that I love. Away from photography my passions are movies and music. What inspires you? I get inspired every day - I see inspiration in so many ways: mother nature, my children, my wife, other photographers and old masters and pioneers of photography like Bresson, Salgado and Erwhitt. What is true love? You can only realise it's 'true' love for sure after several years. When you've been through the good and bad times and are still together, looking out for each other and accepting each

other's imperfections and flaws without hoping they'd change. When and where did you get married? We got married back in 1999 at the Chelsea Football Club stadium in London. What is style? I think that style is something that finds you. Do what feels right and what ultimately comes natural to you - your style will be uniquely yours. What would you name your hypothetical yacht? Hypothetical Indeed! And how big would it be? (Does size really matter when it comes to yachts..?) Big enough to be not the smallest in the harbor.

MATT ROWE Occupation: Photographer Business: Matt Rowe Photography

What is true love? It’s a knowing, a passion and a course with predominantly smooth sailing but the muster and endurance for the tumultuous times too. What is style? Ever-changing fashions, but what pulls it off is confidence (and a little bit of unique daring). When and where did you get married? Spring time under a huge fig tree overlooking the Glass House Mountains What do you do when you have bloke time? Play guitar and jam with friends – a bonfire is the ideal location for this. If you set sail, what five things would you stow away? My wife, my daughters and cats – and a guitar and camera Got any tips for groomsmen? If you can heckle the groom and each other, that can be really helpful. (Just not during the ceremony) Funniest thing you’ve seen happen at a bachelor party? You’re not supposed to remember all of that!


AARON DUNCAN Occupation: Disc Jockey Business: Cut a Rug What are your passions? Music. Family. Sushi... not necessarily in that order. Who inspires you? My 'cut a rugrats' What is true love? It's unconditional. It's warts and all. It's not needing to impress, but wanting to anyway. What’s your favourite part of a wedding? The grand entrance - I love seeing a room full of people come together in that one moment where the bride and groom enter the reception. Done well, it is electrifying! If you set sail, what five things would you stow away? 1. T-Pain, 2. My swim trunks, 3. My flippy floppies, 4. Santana champers, 5. A nautical themed pashmina afghan. Where would you sail away to? Anywhere down that big blue watery road. What would you name your hypothetical yacht? Off The Hook And how big would it be? (Does size really matter when it comes to yachts..?) It would be average size. Does size really matter for yachts? I used to think so, but I've been assured that it doesn't.

KRIS BALDWIN Occupation: Wedding filmmaker Business: Jasper & Ruby Visions What are your passions? Travel, cameras and making films with my wife. Who inspires you? Anyone who choses a career they love and goes for it no matter how hard. What’s your favourite part of a wedding? The dancing. I sometimes forget I’m not a guest and want to dance. When and where did you get married? We were married in Buderim Forest park in the rainforest like a couple of hippies. If you set sail, what five things would you stow away? Laptop, camera, Djambe (drum), Spotify, skateboard. Got any tips for grooms? If you usually have a beard don’t shave it off for the sake of your wedding day. Stand strong, brother. Funniest thing you’ve seen happen at a bachelor party? I want to say it happened to a friend but alas I cannot. My ‘Friends’ wrapped me, shoulders to ankles, in Glad Wrap and buried me in a hole at the beach up to my neck and left me there to dig myself out. Did I mention I was also made to wear a pink mini skirt and crop top?

LEE BEVINGTON Occupation: MC, DJ, Music Director and Radio Personality Business: Lee Bevington Entertainment

What are your passions? Family, fun and music.

Wi-Fi, iPhone, clean underwear and coffee.

Who inspires you? People that follow their passion and succeed.

Where would you sail away to? I don't like to travel, so Bribie Island.

What is true love? When can you just sit next to someone, not say a word and be content.

What would you name your hypothetical yacht? Ima. Ima Yacht.

What’s your favourite part of a wedding? Speeches. Love the stories and the love expressed. When and where did you get married? Eloped at Coolum Boardwalk in November 2013. If you set sail, what five things would you stow away? MacBook Pro, Pocket

And how big would it be? (Does size really matter when it comes to yachts..?) Big enough for 10 people. Got any tips for grooms? Go easy on the drinks and make sleep a priority the night before. Funniest thing you’ve seen happen at a bachelor party? What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.


JAYDEN TOOHEY Occupation: Videogapher Business: Sunshine Coast Videography What are your passions? My wife, daughter, my business, filming and surfing. Who inspires you? Wow I had to really think about this one, lists of cinematographers popped in my head but really it's Tara, my wife. She watches pretty much every video highlight before the bride and groom see it and tears it to shreds. Once I wipe my eyes and finalise my edit, it's always such a better video because of her. Every great videographer should have a Tara. What’s your favourite part of a wedding? I know it is cliché but that moment when the groom is waiting nervously for his bride and those moments he watches her walking towards him. That was an unforgettable experience at my wedding and so hard to hold the tears back. What do you do when you have bloke time? Surf or go to Double Island, both are great thinking time while still having a blast. If you set sail, what five things would you stow away? Can you stow away your family? What's the fun setting sail without them - The other 3 items they can decide as I'll have everything I need. Got any tips for grooms? Think about your bride to be, love on her, give her a gift, write her a note, open her door, tell her she has never looked more stunning, hold her hand, treat her like a princess.


THE DREAM TEAM Photographer / Cassandra Ladru Photography Concept + Coordination / Sally Townsend, The Bride's Tree Stylist / Wholehearted Studio Venue / The Yacht Club Makeup / Makeup 4 Brides Hair / The Guillotine Hair Artistry Fashion sponsor / Yd. Catamaran / Set Sail Cruises Vintage props / Coastal Vintage Models / Alan Hughes, Matt Rowe, Jayden Toohey, Lee Bevington, Aaron Duncan, Kris Baldwin, Roy Byrne


In place of a bouquet, there are plenty of other fresh flower arrangements you can have on your person on your wedding day. Wrist corsages, necklaces and hair wreaths make three smashing bouquet substitutes.

Coastal Caloundra is for the fun, relaxed couple, who just want to chill out on their wedding day. Sunshine and natural beauty meets quirky fun with a hint o’ retro charm. Images by Love and Emvy Photography

Retro wedding fashion

teamed with sneakers always calls for cruising with ease from beach to boardwalk on retro cruiser bikes. Your love by your side and room for your bouquet, you’ve got everything you need.

There’s a lot to do today.

Time for no-fuss hair and makeup.


Really, it’s a must for getting about in style in this small coastal town.

Specialising in modern and textural designs, tailored to your personality. We’d love to help you create the wedding you have always dreamed of. Visit

Suspenders and bow ties

are as fancy as it gets for a relaxed coast wedding.


Pom-pom tassels are a welcome addition to any geometric retroinspired cake.

Keep Out! Kids Only!

Teepee entertainment at its finest.

Photo by

Photographer / Love and Emvy Photography Dress / Retro Bride Suit / Suits Direct Hair and Make Up / The Beauty Case Flowers / Ginger, Lily and Rose Floral Design Cake / Ideas in Icing Celebrant / Penelope Watson Transport / Deluxe Kombi Service Location / Dicky Beach and Kings Beach Reception contributors / Miss Poppins Nanny & Babysitting Service Models / Chi, Kodan, Melissa, Brendan and Wolfie

THE SUNSHINE COAST’S LEADING SUIT RETAIL & HIRE SPECIALISTS Extensive range of menswear from classic cuts and vintage suits through to the latest European design. Shop 3, 137 Brisbane Road, Mooloolaba (07) 5444 0204 | |

Golden hour That blissful time you have with your best girls before your wedding is golden. Sister solidarity is what it’s all about. And gold glitter and pretty undergarments; champagne and laughs and loves. Lots and lots of loves.



The dream team Photographer: The Wanderer and The Wolves Hair and Makeup: The Beauty Case Location: Mango Hill Farm Flowers: The Beauty Case Intimates: Madonna Bain Eco Intimates Dresses: Marilyn Crystelle Bridal & Camilla Models: Kate Tuttle, Ebony Nave and Brooke Lee

Hammock snuggles, snorkelling the world’s largest reef, hand holding on the whitest beaches, paddle boarding adventures – The Whitsundays has it all, as I recently experienced. The Whitsundays is a definite Australian must-see, and what better time than on your honeymoon. Luxury and romance guaranteed.


You can’t help but wonder what it’s like to live in Airlie, especially when every local you meet is so darn cheerful. From here you can travel to all the different islands and of course out to the Great Barrier Reef. Coral Sea Resort is built on and

around the old town public pool, which now serves as the resort pool. Great for holiday laps, for those wanting to keep the daily workouts in the mix. And for those with more relaxing pursuits in mind, by the pool overlooking the marina makes for a perfect cocktail hour location. At sunset, mosey down to the jetty and jump on board the Pure Papillon for a private pre-dinner sunset

cruise with champagne to boot. Peppers on Airlie is home to Tides Restaurant and Bar, which is renowned for its amazing food and incredible service and open air setting with views to the Coral Sea. The bar staff will helpfully point you in the direction of Tides’ signature chocolate dessert, so if you’re planning one night of decadence in Airlie, this is it.



One of the wonders of the world, the world’s largest living coral reef, visible from space, and only a 40-minute cruise to the most unique snorkelling experience ever. Seriously, I will eat my flipper if you can name a more fantastical experience other than spending the night atop the Reefworld pontoon, camping under the stars in a swag or in the kingsize honeymoon suite. The sleepover is only on offer to a handful of people per night, so when you wake up in the morning, until the day trippers arrive, you have the entire reef virtually to yourselves! As the sun rises, the water shines like diamonds and the reef appears before you in the most radiant aqua. For an unforgettable experience, take a scenic flight over the Reef, including, of course, the iconic heart-shaped reef. No better way to see The Whitsundays.

qualia has been voted the world’s best resort. The WORLD’S BEST resort. Just let that sink in a minute. If you are wondering what it takes to be the world’s best, I can tell you it’s first luxury. It’s next the ability to own complete privacy, and finally it’s exquisite attentionto-detail and first class service. Actually not necessarily in that order… I think they all come equal first. I was given the opportunity to visit the suite Oprah Winfrey herself stayed in on her Australian tour, and let me tell you, friends, the “Aha” moments

were rife. Aha! There’s our own lap pool! Aha! There’s a monsoon shower outside! Aha! There’s the deepest bath I’ve ever seen! Aha! There’s a GUEST HOUSE. And all overlooking the stunning tranquil view of the private beach and calm waters beyond. At this point, all you can do is sigh, “ah-haaaaa…” qualia is an adults-only gated resort, while the other resorts on the privately-owned island employ an open door policy, and a free shuttle bus service. You can hop on the bus and hop off at a neighbouring resort to enjoy their facilities.

Pampering in Paradise Every last spot you visit in The Whitsundays has a pamper experience you will most definitely want to get amongst with your honey. Here is our must-do pamper in paradise list: • Customised facial at Peppers Endota Spa, Airlie Beach • Six-hour Sixth Sense Indulgence spa journey and lunch cuisine at Spa qualia, Hamilton Island • Visit the massage tent atop the Reefworld Pontoon between dives • Couples spa package at Rejuvenation Spa, Daydream Island • Hot stone massage + reflexology at Rejuvenation Spa, Daydream Island

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Photo by Karen Buckle Bouquet by Ginger Lily & Rose Floral Studio

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