Best places to elope in New South Wales! This is your planning guide to having an elopement in the amazing state of New South Wales (NSW). We’ve done all the work for you, and discovered the perfect locations around New South Wales for you. Get inspired for your awesome day and try to narrow down the locations that inspire you and appeal to you both.
New South Wales is a state located on the east coast of Australia. It has Queensland to the north of it and Victoria to the south. It is the most populated state of Australia, with over 8 million people. The city of Sydney is the capital city. And NSW is a beautiful place to have an elopement with a huge variety of locations and regions to consider.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are over 40,000 marriages each year in New South Wales alone.
NSW has so many amazing locations for the elopement of your dreams. All these places and locations are absolutely gorgeous and you can have an awesome small wedding or elopement at each of these locations. It really just depends on the style of elopement you want.
Say your vows on the white sandy beaches of the central coast as migrating whales swim by. Drink wine and explore the vineyards in the Hunter Valley. Or can get married on a mountain top in the Blue Mountains or Snowy Mountains. The choices are endless.
Also check out: 100 of the best places to elope in Australia
New South Wales Elopement Locations
NSW Elopement Information
There are some marriage guidelines you need to follow to make sure your marriage is fully legal. Your marriage celebrant will go over all these, but basically they are:
- Neither of you can be married to someone else.
- You cannot be marrying a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister.
- Both of you must be at least 18 years old.
- You need to understand what marriage means and freely consent to marry.
- Each partner has to sign a witnessed Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) at least one month prior to the elopement. This is done through your authorised celebrant. (So it takes at least one month to get married in Australia).
- A registered civil celebrant must conduct the marriage ceremony and submit all the legal paperwork for you.
- You need two witnesses over the age of 18, to sign your marriage certificate and other legal documents at your ceremony. (So that means there needs to be at least 2 other people, not including the celebrant at your elopement. You can use your photographer, videographer, stylist or someone from your elopement venue).
Other Information About Eloping in NSW
- If you’re an overseas couple dreaming about eloping in Australia, you may marry here lawfully and legally. You do not need to be an Australian citizen or a permanent Australian resident to get married legally.
- Same-sex marriage in Australia is officially legal .. Woohoo! As of December 2017, Australia has equality of marriage. The act read out at the elopement ceremony now reads “the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”.
- At your elopement ceremony, you and your witnesses will need to sign all the relevant papers with your marriage celebrant. Your celebrant then turns in the papers to the ‘registry of birth, deaths and marriages’ in the state where you got married, within 14 days.
Best Elopement Regions in NSW
New South Wales, like most states of Australia is absolutely huge. It is bigger than Texas and four times the size of the United Kingdom. Therefore it is easier if we break down the regions of the best elopement locations.
Sydney is the capital city of NSW and it is the oldest and the largest city in Australia. It has arguably the most beautiful harbour in the world, with it’s two iconic landmarks. The Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. With a population of over four million people so it is safe to say that Sydney has a lot of wedding each year.
The city of Sydney is built around the harbour and there are so many elopement locations hidden all around the harbour. Parks, beaches, bays and National Parks are all over and around Sydney Harbour.
Sydney is also full of hundreds of wedding venues. From large wedding and function centres to more intimate and unique properties, venues, restaurants that are more catered to elopements. Making it one of the best places to elope in New South Wales.
Hunter Valley Elopements
The Hunter Valley is located about two hours from Sydney and is Australia’s oldest wine region. It is an extremely popular destination for Sydneysiders, not only for its wine but also for its world-class restaurants, concerts & festivals, heritage wilderness areas, unique accommodation and attractions.
The Hunter Valley is also a major wedding and elopement destination. People love the Hunter Valley for elopements because of the breathtaking scenery and landscape. Rolling hills, mountains, vineyards and a countryside full of Kangaroos and farm animals. It has all the ingredients you need for a beautiful elopement.
There is also a wide variety of locations to choose from, all over the region. From National Parks, State Forests, vineyards, private properties and rustic wedding venues. There is no shortage of choice for a beautiful elopement.
Goosewing Cottage – Located in Mount View in the Hunter Valley, this is one of the most stunning locations in the Hunter Valley for an elopement. You can stay overnight in their large homestead or cottage then have your sunset ceremony, followed by photos. They have all-inclusive elopement packages and do all the planning for you. So all you need to do is show up, get married and have an amazing experience.
Central Coast Elopements
The Central Coast region of New South Wales stretches all the way from Sydney up to Newcastle. The entire area is filled with National Parks and the whole coast line is full of beaches, bays and secluded cliff tops.
Elopements in the Central Coast will ensure you have an elopement that shows off the beauty of Australia and it is still so close to major cities. It is one of the best places to elope in New South Wales.
The highlights for me are threefold. The long stretches of beaches with barely anyone on them. The National Park with such a variety of scenery, from the thick Australian bushland, plunging waterfalls and rocky mountain lookouts. There is a huge variety of beautiful landscapes that are perfect for elopements and small intimate weddings.
Southern Highlands Elopements
The Southern Highlands is a region 110 km southwest of Sydney. With beautiful landscapes, of lush rolling greenery, picturesque little towns, old homes & homesteads and exquisite food & wine.
Being so near to Sydney it provides for most Sydneysiders a great place for the destination elopement. It is also renowned for its beautiful wedding and elopement locations. Around 1500 marriages happen each year in the Southern Highlands. It is one of the best places to elope in New South Wales.
The aspect that really separates the Southern Highlands from other Australian elopement destinations is its romantic fairy-like beauty. It’s bucolic landscape, with historic romantic homes and country estates in a cooler and greener climate. Having your elopement in the Southern Highlands is really straight out of a fairytale.
South Coast Elopements
Elopements on the South Coast are beautiful, relaxed and stunning. It is one of the best places to elope in New South Wales.
The South Coast of NSW is the coastal strip of land, starting south of Sydney, right down to the Victorian border. So, it’s an enormous area to cover. It divides into four main parts. The areas of Illawarra, Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla and Sapphire.
It is located only a couple of hours from Sydney, which makes it a perfect location for a destination elopement. And close enough for your family and friends to stay and elope with you.
The South Coast has 109 beaches with the whitsest sand and the clearest seas for beach lovers. These are definitely some of the world’s best beaches. There are also some of the greenest hills and farmlands on the South Coast, as well as National Parks and State Forests. From the point of view of having an elopement, the South Coast really does have everything you need for an awesome experience.
Blue Mountains Elopements
If you are looking for more of a mountain elopement with epic landscapes and huge cliffs, then the Blue Mountains is probably one of the bests destinations you can go. The World Heritage Listed, Blue Mountains National Park has some of the most beautiful locations for an elopement and the surrounding mountain towns and villages are perfect places to base yourself for your elopement. It is one of the best places to elope in New South Wales.
The Blue Mountains is part of the Great Dividing Range, which is a mountain range that extends from Victoria to Queensland. It is are located about an hours drive, North-west from Sydney. And they are called the Blue Mountains because they look blue when you look at them from Sydney.
There are many wedding venues, big and small, all over the Blue Mountains. But what I really love about them is that there are so many beautiful locations around the region for a beautiful elopement. Particularly in the Blue Mountains National Park.
Elopement highlights are the mountain top lookouts that look down into the escarpment. There are many waterfall elopement locations around the region and beautiful gardens, which really come alive in Autumn.
Frequently Asked Questions About New South Wales Elopements
What is an elopement exactly?
If you were to ask my parents or grandparents what an elopement is, they may start to speak in hushed tones, shaking their heads and make you feel guilty that you are running away to get married.
But this is the old-fashioned sense of the word elopement. To run off, without telling your parents or family, and marry in shame and secrecy. There is a real negative link with that.
These days the current definition of an elopement is changing. It’s not said any more in a bad, negative way anymore. It doesn’t suggest that couples run away without telling someone. It doesn’t imply your parents don’t even realise you’re getting married. And this doesn’t suggest it’s just the two of you who get married without someone else present.
Our modern definition of elopement is:
“An elopement is to get married with a small number of guests, in a beautiful location, where the ceremony and the day is all about the two of you.”
What are the benefits of Eloping in NSW?
- One of the biggest benefits of eloping is that it will save you a lot of money. Do you really need to buy one hundred people a three-course dinner and unlimited drinks at the bar?
- Saving money on your wedding means you can spend more money on the things that matter to you for your elopement or your honeymoon. You can get your dream wedding dress, stay in the best accommodation, have your dream photographer and still have money left over to honeymoon in the Maldives.
- By eloping, you can avoid any family dramas. Families can be complicated. Eloping is an easy way to avoid these unnecessary dramas.
- Having fewer people at the marriage ceremony mean everything will be more intimate and personal. It becomes more about the two of you.
- You will be less stressed. Planning a big wedding with a hundred or more guests has got to be far more stressful than planning a small intimate elopement will less than twenty people.
- You don’t have to do all the wedding traditions that are associated with a standard wedding. Do what works for you and your personalities.
- You can say your vows in the most amazing location you can think of. You’re not restricted to where a hundred people of all different age groups are able to physically get to.
- The best part of elopement is that the day becomes all about the two of you, doing what you want, where you want.
How do you make an elopement in New South Wales Special?
- Go somewhere spectacular. Go to a destination that is on your bucket list and get married there. They can be tricky to plan, logistically, but it is far easier than planning a big wedding.
- Eloping doesn’t mean you are having a cheap wedding. It means you can spend the money on the things that are important to you.
- Do a “First Look”. I love couples that break with traditions and I think seeing each other before the marriage ceremony works really well with elopements. With elopements, couples normally get ready together and you will normally travel together to the ceremony location. So it makes sense to do a “first look” so you can see each other in your wedding attire for the first time.
- Make the elopement a whole day affair. They are not just a quick thing where you say your vows and you are done. Spend the whole day together. Do something fun together in the morning. An activity you both love. Have an awesome lunch and slowly get ready together.
- Write your own vows. Don’t let the celebrant do all the taking. And make these vows as personal promises to each other. Commit your lives together, not only legally, but mentally and even spiritually.
- After you say your vows and are officially married, there always comes a moment of “what do we do now?”. One of the best things you can do is to put your favourite song on and do a ‘first dance’ together. Not a choreographed routine. Just dance however you dance. Hug and sway to your favourite love song. Or just hug each other, look into each other’s eyes, and really imprint this moment into your memories.
- Ask special people who can’t attend your elopement to give you letters. And read them out together sometime after you are married.
- Bring your most special people along with you. Yes, you can have people at your elopement. But keep it to only your closest family and friends.
Can you have a wedding after a NSW elopement?
Yes! A lot of couples will have a big party or reception after they have eloped. And it makes total sense. The elopement day is all about you and the reception is more about hosting a big party for your family and friends.
With most traditional bigger weddings, the wedding couple basically is flat out mingling and chatting to everyone and night. You are hosting a big event and the day and night become about that. So it is a great idea to split the two events up.
Is eloping selfish?
Eloping is not selfish. You can choose to have your closest family and friends at your elopement. And you can choose to have a party with everyone afterwards. There is nothing selfish about it in any way.
If you are not inviting someone to your elopement or small wedding, then you probably have a very good reason. It is selfish for people to think that their presence at your marriage ceremony is so important.
New South Wales Elopements
So to conclude, there is a perfect location for your New South Wales elopement. NSW has so many different landscapes, climates, properties so you have a huge variety of choices for your dream elopement.
Check out each elopement region and hopefully, this will help you narrow down your choices for the best places to elope in New South Wales.