Don’t disappoint this Valentine’s – whether you’re strapped for cash or seeking something new and different, we’ve got you covered.
For some, Valentine’s Day is a poignant opportunity to let your special someone know how you feel about them. For others, it’s 24-hours of corny clichés, ugly greeting cards and bad dates. Whether you love it or hate it, we’ve found the perfect date for your mood this Valentine’s Day.
If you don’t know each other that well yet
You need a buzzy, atmospheric restaurant without pretension to keep the mood light and fun. NOLA Smokehouse and Bar at Barangaroo is impressive without being stuffy and has no set-menu, so you don’t have to commit to a five-course dinner if you’d rather skip out after your main for a handheld walk along the water. And, with uninterrupted views over Jones Bay Wharf, it’ll be romantic without the cheese-factor.
If you’re broke but still want to impress
Have you got a pretty beach, park or lookout nearby? Pack a gourmet picnic with lots of cheese, olives and a bottle of wine, and take your sweetheart to your location of choice with a blanket and cushions in tow. If you want to be extra thoughtful and have some time to spare, arrive early and set up your picnic with flowers and other romantic accessories before your date gets there. If you’re running straight from work, you can even find someone who’ll pre-pack your picnic.
Or, step aboard Arbory Afloat in Melbourne, a waterside pop-up bar serving $3.50 oysters and $11 Italian prosecco, which you enjoy while overlooking the Yarra River.
If you’re madly in love and eager to wow
Australia’s full of incredible scenery, which is even more impressive when viewed from above. For a date you’ll never forget, take your partner on a hot air balloon ride to explore the beautiful Australian landscape.
Take a scenic 60-minute balloon ride overlooking the Gold Coast hinterland, finished with a home-cooked champagne breakfast at O’Reilly’s Homestead and Vineyard, or marvel at Australia’s wine country in a balloon flight over the Hunter Valley.
If you’re in Sydney, take your date to the 3 Weeds in Rozelle, and order the seafood platter for two. This decadent feast includes a dozen Sydney Rock Oysters, tiger prawns, blue swimmer crab, Balmain bug, Coffin Bay scallops and kingfish ceviche for $125.
If you want to do something different
What could be more romantic than making something beautiful with your favourite person? A pottery class is not just a fun date and a great chance to learn a new skill, it also allows you to explore your creativity and is said to increase mindfulness, so you and your number one can spend some quality time together. And – if you’re feeling really bold – you can try out recreating that pottery scene from Ghost.
Terrariums are another unique date idea which will leave you with something to keep and tend to long after the class is over. Book in a workshop with your Valentine and get creative with your planting scheme. Or, discover the science behind building a terrarium, open a bottle of wine and make one yourself in the comfort of your own home.
If you can’t sit still
If you’re not the fancy restaurant, sitting-still kind of couple, you should think outside the box for a Valentine’s Day activity that’ll keep you both on your toes. Regardless of where you live, there’s likely to be a hiking trail a short drive, bus or train ride away, so put on your hiking boots and head into the great outdoors for some one-on-one alone time. Trail Hiking Australia helps you to find a local hiking trail suited to your abilities all across Australia.
If you live in a city or large town, take advantage of one of the walking tours on offer – like this free one in Brisbane – and discover things about your hometown you never knew. Be sure to finish with a delicious gelato cocktail at Salt Meats Cheese!