Best Places to Elope in Queensland
Best places to elope in Queensland! This is your planning guide to having an elopement in the amazing state of Queensland (QLD). We did all the research for you and found the best places for you across Queensland. We want you to get inspired for your elopement because your choices are endless with a Queensland elopement.
Queensland is a state located on the north-east coast of Australia. It has New South Wales to the south of it, the Northern Territory to the west and South Australia to the south-west It is the third most populated state of Australia, with over 5 million people. The city of Brisbane is its capital city. Queensland is also home to the Great Barrier Reef, the worlds largest coral reef. And there are so many destinations where you could have your elopement.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are nearly 24,000 marriages each year in Queensland alone.
Queensland has so many beautiful places for an amazing elopement. All these places and locations are absolutely stunning and you can have an awesome small wedding or elopement at any of these places. It really just depends on your vision and the style of elopement you want.
You can elope in the Whitsundays on a tropical island surrounded by water and white sand. Or you can head into the wilderness and hike to a Queensland waterfall. A country elopement or an intimate city wedding. The choice is yours. So here is our list of the best places to elope in Queensland.
1. Whitehaven Beach, Queensland
There is nothing more Australian than the white beaches of the iconic Whitehaven Beach. It is in every Australian tourism ad, and rightly so.
Whitehaven Beach is a seven-kilometre stretch of squeaky white sand that is only accessible by boat, seaplane and helicopter from Airlie Beach. And it is just spectacular.
Tie the knot on the white sands and around the pristine blue waters. Then go for a swim, have a picnic and drink champagne. Sounds like an amazing day to me.
2. Palm Cove
If you are thinking of eloping in Queensland then you would have to consider Palm Cove for an elopement destination. Palm Cove weddings are an extremely popular destination in North Queensland and they are equally as good for elopements!
Palm Cove is an idyllic village on the beach, situated 25 minutes drive from Cairns and 45 minutes from Port Douglas, and ideal for your tropical elopement.
With Palm Cove elopements, you are totally spoiled for photography options. There is the gorgeous white sandy beach, lined with palm trees. The Esplanade with rows of Paperbark trees, jetty and the dramatic rocky area on the North of the beach. And it is all nestled under a stunning mountain backdrop. There is also plenty of venues and accommodation available all located very close to the amazing beach.
3. Paronella Park
Looking for something a little different, with some Spanish influence to it? Paronella Park is a totally unique and historic heritage-listed location in Australia, where you can get the most unique elopement photos imaginable.
Paronella Park is located 120 kilometres south of Cairns in the town of Mena Creek, Queensland.
Jose Paronella built his dream castle, at Paronella Park in the 1930s. He designed his castle on 5 hectares with picnic area by the waterfall, bridges, a tunnel, and wrapped it in an impressive collection of 7,500 tropical plants and trees (now a lush rainforest!). José Paronella opened Paronella Park to the public in 1935, and the tales of love began.
What is also makes Paronella Park one of the best places to elope, is that they only allow elopements of 20 people or less. Which is exactly what an elopement is.
4. Heron Island
Heron Island is one of my favourite places and definitely on my list of the best places to elope in Australia.
It is located on small coal cay located in the Great Barrier Reef. Is has crystal clear blue water, white sandy beaches and you can walk along the beach with little reef sharks… I am not even kidding. It is paradise and an amazing place to elope and to explore the Great Barrier Reef region afterwards.
Pro-tip, take a helicopter to the island. The views are spectacular and it is so much better than the boat ride over, especially if you are prone to getting seasick. A Heron Island elopement would be a pretty special wedding to photograph.
5. Waterfall Circuit, Atherton Tablelands
If you are looking to elope at a majestic waterfall then there is the famous Waterfall Circuit! Waterfall Circuit is a 17-kilometre loop around some of Queensland’s most amazing waterfalls. Located on the Atherton Tablelands, just inland from Cairns, it is a pretty amazing location for a waterfall elopement.
Millaa Milala Falls is an 18-metre waterfall and so easy to access and one of the most famous of the lot. Zillie Falls is 7.5 km away, followed by Ellinjaa Falls, pictured below.
There are about half a dozen more waterfalls in the loop and we would recommend you check them all out and decide for yourself which one is perfect for spot for your elopement.
6. Maleny, Sunshine Coast
It’s hard to overlook Maleny when looking for the best locations to elope to. It has rolling hills, lush rainforests, luxury accommodation, perfect venues and spectacular scenery.
Maleny is a small town in the Sunshine Coast region of Queensland, about 30 kilometres south-west of Caloundra. It is located high up in the Blackall Range and one of the things I really love about it is that is has some of the best views of the Glass House Mountains.
7. St Mary’s by the sea, Port Douglas
Port Douglas is totally suited to romantic tropical weddings. The region is the best Far North Queensland has to offer, with luxury 5-star resorts, beautiful beaches, a picturesque jetty and surrounding rainforest. And there is a beautiful little chapel that is perfect for elopements.
St Mary’s by the Sea is a gorgeous little chapel in Port Douglas, on the foreshore of Dickson’s Inlet that is just perfect for an elopement or small wedding. It is located in a very central part of town, close to everything and near Sugar Wharf. The chapel is also air-conditioned which is what you sometimes need in the warm tropical environment.
And if you are looking for a more of an outdoor ceremony location, then Little Cove would be a great option.
8. Sandy Cay, Cairns
How about eloping on your own tiny sandy island in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef? You can if you elope to a sand cay.
A sand cay is a low sandy island that is found on coral reef surfaces. They are formed when drifting sediments on ocean currents descend on the same reef, piling each other up to create an island. So it is basically a sandbar that is like an island.
9. Purling Brook Falls, Gold Coast
Purling Brook Falls is located at Springbook which is about 45 minutes from the Gold Coast. Making it a really good option if you are looking for a waterfall elopement down that way.
It is a pretty amazing waterfall but it is a bit of a walk. It takes about 2 hours to get there and there are quite a few steps.
Best time to elope there would be after some recent rain and avoid peak times. Weekends and the middle of the day.
10. Girraween National Park
Girraween National Park has some of the most unique rock formations and landscapes that make is an absolutely epic location for an elopement.
It is located in the Granite Belt in the Darling Downs region of Queensland. Right down near the border of NSW.
It features massive granite outcrops and boulders balancing on top of each other. It is a seriously stunning location.
If you are scouting the area, you should also check out its sister National Park, Bald Rock National Park. It is across the border in NSW and it also has some equally impressive rock formations and granite outcrops.
11. Little Crystal Creek, Paluma Range National Park
A small elopement ceremony on the rocks, near a small waterfall and underneath a historic stone arch bridge, sounds like a perfect elopement location to me.
Located 61 Kilometres north of Townsville, Little Crystal Creek is known for its historic stone arch bridge, which was built around the 1930s. It has a cascading waterfall and is a popular swimming hole particularly in summer, on weekends and during school holidays.
12. Wallaman Falls, Girringun National Park
For the ultimate waterfall elopement location in Australia, Wallaman Falls in Girringun National Park is the place.
This is Australia’s highest permanent single drop waterfall, standing at a whopping 268 metres in height. It is impressive, particularly after some rainfall.
From the car park, it is a long steep walk down the bottom of the falls. It is about a 2-kilometre walk to the bottom of the falls. This is one of the places to elope in Australia if you love waterfalls.
13. Hayman Island
Located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, you could get married in absolute luxury on one of the premier islands in the Whitsundays, InterContinental Hayman Island Resort.
You can get married on the beach or in a beautiful garden setting and they have lovely options for your wedding dinner. A Hayman Island elopement would be really elegant and beautiful and one of the most stunning places to elope in Australia.
Queensland Elopement Regions
These are some of the main regions of Queensland, and each of these locations has amazing locations for a beautiful elopement. Check out each elopement region and hopefully, this will help you narrow down your choices for the best places to elope in Queensland.
Tropical North Queensland
Frequently Asked Questions About Queensland Elopements
What does an elopement mean?
If you were to ask previous generations what an elopement is, they would tell you that it is to secretly run off and get married without telling anyone. There is secrecy and shame associated with eloping. Dictionary.com still defines it that way. And it is not a correct use of the word these days.
The actual definition of what an eloping means it changing. When you elope you can tell people and you can invite people to your elopement. You can have your parents there
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 advantages of Eloping in QLD?
- One of the greatest advantages of eloping is that it may save you some cash. When you elope you are not buying 100 guests a three-course dinner and drinks all night. So you are immediately saving money.
- By saving money with your elopement, it means you can spend the money on you and what you want for your elopement. You can buy those louis Vuitton shoes you have always wanted. Buy that watch as a wedding gift to you. Stay in the most luxurious villas, book the best wedding photographer and you will still have money for your honeymoon in Paris.
- Family are complicated and there are sometimes dramas. But eloping you can avoid those dramas quite easily.
- Having less people at your elopement ceremony means everything will be so much more personal. The whole day becomes focused on just the two of you.
- There will be far less stress for you both. The planning that goes into a big wedding is so much more stressful that the planning of a beautiful small elopement.
- Eloping means you can skip all those wedding traditions that people do at weddings. 99% of people do them but have no idea why they are doing them.
- You can have your elopement ceremony anywhere. Go to the most amazing location you can think of and elope there. You are not restricted because you have lots of guests and the logistics involved in that.
- What I love about eloping is that the day is just all about the couple. You can be, go and do whatever you want at your elopement.
How do you have the most amazing Queensland elopement?
- Choose a Queensland location that is absolutely beautiful to you. Go to a place that has some special meaning to you, or choose somewhere you have always wanted to visit. Sometimes it can be tricky to plan an elopement when no one has ever done one at a certain location. But it is still so much easier than organising a large wedding.
- People who elope aren’t necessarily trying to have an inexpensive wedding. They just want to spend their money on the people, places and items that are important to them.
- We absolutely recommend you do a ‘first look’, where you both see each other fully dressed in your wedding gear for the first time. We find it is really great for elopements because most of the time you will be travelling together to the ceremony anyway.
- An elopement should be the entire day, not just a quick ceremony. Try to spend quality time together doing things you love. Go swimming, get a couples massage, have a picnic brunch. But spend the whole day together.
- To make any marriage ceremony special, you should write your own personal vows. Then read then out to each other at the ceremony. You don’t have to let your celebrant do all the talking.
- Once you are officially married, we recommend that you celebrate together in some way. Do a celebration that is typlically you. A champagne spray, like what race car drivers do. Or just a special slow dance together, swaying together to your favourite song. It is a special moment.
- Readout messages from loved ones who aren’t there. Ask these important people to write you a message and read them out load somewhere beautiful.
- Make sure you bring you closest, most special people to your elopement if you want. It will make it extra special for you and for them to witness your marriage.
Should you have a wedding after a Queensland elopement?
It is totally up to you. Many couples will have a large dinner party or gathering after they have eloped. If you want to have a party to celebrate with your family and friends, then it is a great idea.
You will find, that with most weddings, the wedding couple is so busy all night being a host to all their guests. That they barely spend any time together. That is the great thing about elopements. So it is a really smart idea to break the two events apart.
Will people think we are selfish if we elope?
Firstly, you can’t control what people think. And secondly, eloping is not a selfish act. You are committing your lives together. That is not selfish. It is more selfish for someone to think that they are needed at your Queensland elopement ceremony
If someone is not invited to your elopement, you probably have a really great reason why. That’s what I think.
Queensland Elopement Information
There are a number of marriage laws and requirements to make sure your marriage is fully legal. Your elopement celebrant will help with these, but basically they are:
- Neither of you can be married to someone else.
- One of you must be at least 18 years old. The other can be 16 or 17 but must have a parent or guardian permission and a Magistrates Court Order.
- A registered civil celebrant must conduct the marriage ceremony and submit all the legal paperwork for you.
- One partner can be 16 or 17 years old but must have parent or guardian permission and a Magistrates Court order.
- You can’t get married if you are: still married to another person, including legal marriages overseas (talk to a family lawyer if you are unsure)
- in a relationship with a parent, descendant, sibling or half-sibling.
- You both must sign the notice of intended marriage application form in the presence of a qualified witness.
- You need two witnesses over the age of 18, to sign your marriage certificate and other legal documents at your ceremony.
Other Information About Eloping in Queensland
- If you are an overseas couple thinking of having an elopement in Australia, you can legally get married here. You don’t have to be an Australian citizen or a permanent Australian resident to legally get married.
- Same-sex marriage is officially legal in Australia. 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”.
- You and your witnesses will need to sign all the relevant papers with your wedding celebrant at your elopement ceremony. Your celebrant then turns in the papers to the ‘registry of birth, deaths and marriages’ in the state you were married to, within 14 days.
So to conclude, there are so many options and locations for your Queensland elopement. Queensland has so many different regions, scenic landscapes and properties to choose from. My tip, if you are planning a Queensland destination elopement, is to try to combine your elopement with your honeymoon. Queensland is huge, and even if you had a month for your honeymoon, you still wouldn’t be able to see all that Queensland has to offer.
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