By Barbra Novac (Guest Blogger)
A pristine beach as wide as your heart and as long as your potential stretched out in front of you; balmy exfoliating sand sliding between your toes, the warmth of the orange sunset off set by the sweet-salt scented ocean air tumbling through your hair.
Or, how about a large weatherboard homestead, raised on stilts and surrounded by a veranda so deep it easily occupies lounge chairs, side tables and protects book shelves from teal coloured storms and endless burnt orange sand. Sipping from a dripping glass of ‘Shandï’ (a mix of lemonade and beer popular with some ladies in Australia) you watch the men come back from a day of droving; shirtless, their hot, steaming muscle gleaming in the days dusk, energy only available for their showers, and the evening’s entertainment with the ladies.
These are some of the more common images of Australia and I am thrilled to tell you that they are all true, and I do live in a mini paradise of warm air, cool breezes and hot men. But there is a little more to Australia, and the following are a few destinations you may or may not have heard of that provide all the necessary pieces of the most sensual romantic puzzle you may have ever encountered:
10) Lord Howe Island
Exclusivity is the word on this world heritage listed island safely tucked away just 2 hours by plane from Sydney. There are some of the best nature walks in the world on this best kept secret, or day spas for those who just want to let it all go. Definitely a great place to TAKE a lover - probably not a great place to find one.
9) King Cross / St Kilda
We all have our strip joint strip. They exist in every city, and are rarely vary in the standard fare of expensive strip shows, greasy take away joints and street hustlers trying to sell pretty much anything you want to get your hands on, at an unreasonable price. Kings Cross in Sydney and St Kilda in Melbourne are really no different, however like all these places if you can hook up with an ‘in’ crowd you can get to some of the most incredible parties - that is if you’re feeling brave and don’t mind a little leather or rubber.
8) Chingalings / Tetsuyas
This may seem like an odd choice to Australians - even Sydney-siders. The restaurant Tetsuyas is one of the top ten restaurants in the world - Australia’s only restaurant in the top ten list in the world. However, if you want to ‘pick up’, or simply be a part of the utra-cool crowd, Chingalings bar in Sydney will really connect you as soon as you walk into the country. This is one of those still relatively undiscovered places where the walls are lined with celebrities (the cool kind - music and art - NOT film and TV) and it looks like the bar staff have to pass a certain looks and image test prior to being given a job there. If you have any desire to see how the other half lives, or play their game for a night or two - these are two of the sexiest places you’ll find in Australia.
7) The Blue Mountains
The second largest canyon in the world was the setting for my second book Honest Masks because it is such a beautiful, romantic place to visit. I am fortunate enough to live close to the Blue Mountains and the cluster of small villages that make up its area, and I go here often to write. It harbours sophisticated hippy-style communities like Katoomba alongside artisan style communities like Leura. Cabins dot the country side, perfect for log fire and red wine getaways. Easily one of the most romantic places in the world.
Located in the Northern Territory, Katherine (about 300 kms south of Darwin) and the surrounding regions offer a loving couple (or a sexy single looking for a delicious fling) the opportunity to meet and mix with different people all experiencing the consuming spirituality of the Australian bush. Visits with several remote Aboriginal communities are available and moment of intense relaxation in thermal pools are a must for people wanting search a little deeper within themselves.
5) Tasmanian Eco holidays
Tasmania is one of the world’s most beautiful pure natural environments, offering so much for the eco friendly couple or the single interested in this sort of fun environment to meet people. There are country cabin style lodges for couples who want to spend a lot of time together as well as opportunities for the more adventurous to get out and about in the wilderness. Scenery that will leave its mark on you.
4) Nimban (Byron Bay)
Free love anyone? I’m not sure about you, but I have a deep romantic ideal associated with the hippy lifestyle - there’s something about bandannas, rainbow prints and Bob Marley that makes me want to ‘lie back and take it all in’ so to speak. Byron Bay is a little more subdued (and famous) but the township of Nimban has never lost their spirit of the 60’s. Doors are open, people spill into the township to play music and ‘chill’ and one of the best, sexiest holidays I ever had was with my man, breaking down the barriers in Nimban.
3) Adelaide wine region
Australia has many wonderful wine regions, but our vineyards rival the south of France. A little over a decade ago, our government got the idea that Australia had a bad reputation wine-wise throughout the world. They created a lucrative tax initiative for retirees to open up their own boutique vineyard. The result: every late life lawyer and doctor with several hundred thousand dollars to spare moved into the boutique wine industry. Vines and winemakers were imported from all over the world, and Australia grew an astonishing Boutique wine industry. The good news for the wine aficionado is that we can’t drink the stuff fast enough, and you can now get it at incredible prices.
2) Cable beach/Broome
If there is one thing Australia can offer in endless erotic abundance, it is some of the best beaches in the world. From Bondi in Sydney all the way through to Cable beach in Broome Western Australia the wide brown land has endless sun, endless powdery sand, and few restrictions on the more remote beaches - meaning you can fulfil all sorts of beach side fantasies and you won’t be seen or much worse caught! I used Bondi beach as the primary setting for Take It As It Comes - just in case you need any fun inspiration!
1) Hanging Rock
Another surprise! Hanging Rock is the setting for the novel I am currently working on, so for me it is the most erotic place on earth at the moment. If you’ve never seen the film Picnic at Hanging Rock, take a look. Australia has been embroiled in the mystery of what happened to three school girls and their teacher who disappeared without a trace on Hanging Rock, but the story has been kept alive by the mystery and presence of the rock itself. Its strange mists, its odd weather-beaten rock formations, and the mysterious magnetic pull of the place have made it an endless source of mystery and delight. As for what happened to the girls - well you’ll just have to read my next novel to find out!
Barbra Novac writes erotic romance and loves delving deep into the complicated psyches of characters through her novels the most. She loves Australia, but also loves the thrill and excitement of travel. When she is not writing she is looking after her son, her husband and the other pieces of life that insist we pay attention to them. Barbra has three novels published. Each is set in one of the exotic locations above, and can be found here: www.barbranovac.com