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A couple having a picnic at sunset next to Lake Daylesford. Two ducks are walking past them
Photograph: Visit Victoria

Six insanely romantic Melbourne staycations to try

Stay truly, madly, deeply enamoured with our city as you explore its mushiest experiences and memorable hotels

By Time Out in association with Visit Victoria

In Savage Garden's 1997 smash hit 'Truly Madly Deeply' Darren Hayes belts out the iconic line, "I want to stand with you on a mountain, I want to bathe with you in the sea". This song speaks to a universal sense of shared adventure. An eternal well of deep feelings for your paramour as you long to traverse the globe together. And if you feel as deeply about exploring the leafy gardens, seas, cute laneways, romantic hotels and (okay, maybe not mountains) memorable meals-with-a-view that Melbourne has to offer as you do about your significant other... Baby, this list is for you.

We’re showcasing road trips across this glorious state alongside Visit Victoria’s ‘Stay close, go further’ campaign. These road trip guides are meant to help you rediscover all the natural beauty, one-of-a-kind towns and covetable dining experiences Melbourne and Victoria have to offer. If you've been planning to reconnect and dip your toes into some old fashioned romantic holidaying you've come to the right place.

Come. Let us ignite your wish, your dream, your fantasy with this round-up of our city's most explicitly romantic experiences and dreamy staycation ideas. 

Six romantic getaways that will sweep you off your feet

  • Things to do
  • Walks and tours
  • South Yarra

If your idea of romance is a little less Savage Garden, more Dean Martin's 'That's Amoré' then this is the enchanting activity for you. Sit aboard a classic flat-bottom boat in the middle of the lush Royal Botanic Gardens and make meaningful eye contact with your date. 

Punting expeditions are led by a personal tour guide and skipper – think Venetian gondolas and gondoliers – just replace singing with a detailed history of the garden. And there are multiple tour options including a half-hour tour, a High Tea tour and even a one-hour Sunset Tour (only in the warmer months) with romance written all over it. Adult tickets start at only $25pp so you can make a big lovey-dovey statement without breaking the bank.

  • Hotels
  • Southbank
  • price 3 of 4

Hello! Look at that Pretty Woman-esque foyer. Imagine leading your love up that staircase (ignoring the elevators for drama purposes, obvs), the chandelier reflecting in their eyes and the marble adding a warm glow to their cute cheeks. Too much? C'est impossiblé. The Langham is built for lavish romantic luxury.

Spring for a fancy suite with a deep bathtub, velvety chaise lounges or a Melbourne skyline-viewing terrace for two. Order room service breakfast in fluffy robes or hit up the in-house restaurant Melba to dine by the Yarra. Add even more affectionate grandeur by booking a treatment or massage at Chuan Spa. Cap it all off with a cheeky dip in the heated rooftop pool with a view.

  • Things to do
  • Richmond

You'd be hard pressed to name something more romantic then a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Melbourne CBD. And look, we're not saying you have to propose or anything but this is one helluva devotional gesture. Rug up together (tandem snuggie) and smugly coast over Fitzroy Gardens, the city skyline and teensy tiny people having a deeply un-romantic day below.

Sunrise rides will have you in the air for about an hour and you can also opt to have breakfast post-ride, which is usually a buffet breakfast (with sparkling wine! j'adore! romantic!) at Richmond’s Amora Hotel Riverwalk. Global Ballooning rides run every day of the week and start at $405 which includes complimentary in-flight photos.

  • Hotels
  • Melbourne
  • price 3 of 4

Live your 19th century fantasy without skrimping on mod cons at the conveniently located Hotel Windsor. This hotel has got romance written all over it and even offers ultra-luxe pamper packages for you and the recipient of your affections.

Go all out and book the Grand Romance Room Package for an incomparably enchanting experience. You'll get a bottle of Champagne on arrival, a posh breakfast for two in your room, a cute Windsor teddy bear, free parking and a late checkout of 1pm so you can luxuriate for longer. You can apply the package to any room, but we reckon you should do the full Pride and Predjudice cosplay and book one of the expansive Victorian suites for full effect.

  • Bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 2 of 4

Swoosh your beloved up to the ear-popping 55th floor of the Rialto. No, we're not suggesting dinner at Vue de Monde, but rather take a sharp left towards the enchanting bar. Settle in among overstuffed lounges and flouncy lampshades and sip Martinis as Melbourne twinkles below.

It takes a knockout food-and-drink offering to distract from that view. Fortunately, Lui is more than up to the task. The bar snacks are A-grade aphrodisiacs – oysters with lemon myrtle right through to a 30g jar of Beluga caviar for a cool $210. Raise a glass to each other and to enjoying fancy, funky Melbourne forevermore.

  • Health and beauty
  • Spas
  • Collingwood

Before you can build a sense of "us" you must first establish a sense of self, someone wise once said. So why not share a good 'ol head-to-toe body scrub, buff and polish together in the pastel-tinged luxury of new spa Sense of Self.

Enter through a nondescript, heavy rusted door in Collingwood and be transported to a romance novel-like Mediterranean paradise. From the soft colours of the flowing curtains and upholstery to the striking brass highlights of the tapware and waterfall (yes, waterfall!) Sense Of Self is a truly immersive experience. Align your heart rates with your significant other in the hot mineral bath or conjure up some steamy feelings in the Finnish sauna. 

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