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PICS: Why you MUST head to Australia NOW!

Last updated on: February 12, 2013 18:45 IST

PICS: Why you MUST head to Australia NOW!

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This Valentine's month come discover romance in a destination which is so varied and stunning, it just takes your breath away.

Love will bind you together for a lifetime, but special romantic getaways form unforgettable highlights of your relationship. Whether you are newly-weds, or just looking to share memorable couple-time away from home, Australia is your ideal destination for romance.

Australia offers truly diverse experiences and settings for you to create your very own romantic journey. Whether your desire is to be pampered and left alone at luxurious private retreats, awed by unique natural landscapes from rainforests to deserts, intoxicated by endless pristine beaches, seduced by fine wines and cuisines, or entertained by the colourful happenings of world-class cities, you will find a wealth of choices in our great island-continent.

Drive at your own leisure and discover some of the most beautiful touring routes you'll ever see, from the Great Ocean Road to the Great Sunshine Way. Meander through rolling hills and luscious rainforests, and see amazing coastlines. With our great roads and clear signs, it couldn't be easier.

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Image: Great Ocean Road
Photographs: Tourism Australia

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Capture stunning views by hitting the skies on a scenic seaplane flight, or charter a helicopter for your private aerial tour.

For that age-old romantic flair, nothing beats floating on a hot-air balloon over vineyards or over a waking city.

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Image: Hot-air balloon over vineyards
Photographs: Tourism Australia
Tags: PICS , MUST , NOW , Australia

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Sea breeze caresses your hair as you lay side-by-side on the sundrenched deck... Sailing through the Whitsunday's 74 scenic islands is one of many wonderful activities you both can enjoy here.

Featuring the likes of Hayman, Hamilton and Daydream islands, the Whitsundays sit within the magnificent Great Barrier Reef, offering resorts for the perfect romantic retreat.

The Whitsundays region of the Great Barrier Reef offers helicopter and scenic seaplane flights to the iconic Whitehaven Beach, composed of pure white silica and one of the world's whitest, as well as the perfectly formed Heart Reef.

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Image: Great Barrier Reef
Photographs: Tourism Australia

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As you pull over to take in yet another beautiful sight, one of the Kangaroo Island's friendly residents and namesakes comes peering through your car window. Driving at your own pace is a great way to see the Island, a mere 30-minute flight from Adelaide.

The island is hailed as 'one of earth's last unspoilt refuges', et acquainted with Kangaroos, Sea Lions and Fairy Penguins in their natural habitats here. Marvel at the Island's turquoise beaches (Vivonne Bay), unique geological formations (Remarkable Rocks) and spectacular sand dunes (Little Sahara) within easy reach of your quaint seaside cottage, cliff-top house at the super-exclusive Lifetime Private Retreats, or luxury lodge at Southern Ocean Lodge.

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Image: Kangaroo Island
Photographs: Tourism Australia

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No romantic experience is complete without food and wine. And you don't even need an expensive candlelight dinner. With its rich mix of culture and world quality produce, Australia delivers gourmet and simple good food from a diverse range of cuisines to tantalize your palate.

With many sensational dining locations, you'll find your perfect setting for romance here. Be it the picturesque vineyards like Barossa Valley, Yarra Valley or Hunter Valley or gazing up at the stars whilst you enjoy a scrumptious meal and the Sounds of Silence under the Ayer's Rock.

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Image: Ayer's Rock
Photographs: Tourism Australia

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Sydney Harbour is the heart and soul of Sydney. Alive with ferries, yachts, launches and kayaks, it is Sydney's playground, used by many for sailing, swimming, diving or just enjoying the foreshore. Climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge to see Sydney from a different perspective.

Applauded as one of the most exciting and innovative buildings of the modern era, the dramatic Sydney Opera House is Sydney's premier venue for the performing arts. There's nothing like attending a performance here for a special night out.

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Image: Sydney Harbour
Photographs: Tourism Australia

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Hunter Valley & Port Stephens, New South Wales

When it comes to food and wine tourism, the Hunter Valley is one of Australia's most popular regions. In many ways, the Hunter Valley has pioneered Australian wine destination tourism by incorporating other attractions such as spa retreats, golf courses and family resorts to its mix. In recent years, it has become a foodies' mecca with many local shops offering local cheeses, chocolates and more. Moreover, it now boasts some of the nation's best regional dining at cellar door and standalone restaurants.

Port Stephens, is the perfect holiday destination. It is two and a half hour drive north of Sydney with golden sandy beaches, crystal clear water and blue skies that go on forever. It is known for its nature and abundance of aquatic marine life and land activities on its sparsely crowded sandy beaches, sheltered bays and unspoilt national parks.

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Image: Hunter Valley & Port Stephens, New South Wales
Photographs: Tourism Australia

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Wine Glass Bay, Tasmania

Rugged pink granite mountains, dazzling white sand beaches and sapphire blue waters define the Freycinet Peninsula on Tasmania's east coast. Consistently rated among the top 10 beaches in the world, Wineglass Bay, shaped, as the name suggests, like a wineglass, is one of Tasmania's most iconic destinations.

This sunny peninsula is also renowned for its succulent grass-fed meats and fresher than fresh seafood. Taste crayfish, scallops and salty-sweet oysters picked straight from some of the world's cleanest waters. Overlooking the Hazards Mountains, Freycinet Peninsula and Great Oyster Bay, Saffire Freycinet is a premium luxury lodge immersed in nature. Both sophisticated and intimate, the lodge features the best in design and furnishings to capture the unique nature of the surrounding coastline.

This Valentine's Day come discover romance in a destination which is so varied and stunning, it just takes your breath away.

Choose your gift on Rediff Shopping!


Image: Participants on the beach at Wineglass Bay with the TV helicopter close by, during The Cadbury Schweppes Mark Webber Challenge on November 15, 2003 in Tasmania, Australia.
Photographs: Clive Mason/Getty Images

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