If someone held a party in OZ and invited all the famous lovers of history, we can guarantee that Australia Post would be handling
a grand total of zero of those particular invitations.
Regardless of the fact it had not yet been discovered by Europeans when Antony and Cleopatra were getting it on or Catherine the Great was bedding her numerous conquests, 200 years on the land Down Under has done little to make up for its lack of great paramours.
Italy has Casanova, Spain has Don Juan, even Ireland has the likes of Westlife and Boyzone, who can semi-convincingly carry a note and gaze broodingly down a soft focus lens to woo the ladies. But Australia? No one. How ironic, then, that it is such a great country to spend Valentine’s Day in.
To begin with, it’s in the southern hemisphere so it’s usually hot, meaning that you can use the line “let’s share body warmth” in an appropriately euphemistic way, rather than as a practical heating suggestion because it’s minus two degrees outside and you’re freezing your bollocks off.
Secondly, with the Aussie dollar currently hovering around the value
of Monopoly money, flowers, chocolates and teddy bears cost a third of what they would back home.
Lastly, whether you’re spending it with someone you’ve been sharing a bed with for years or someone you’ve been sharing a bed with since check in, the novelty value alone of a Valentine’s Day in another country is usually enough to impress. Here are our tips to make your day even more special.
A little known law of mathematics is that any action becomes exponentially more romantic when it takes place on a lookout. And Australia has got shedloads of lookouts.
It’s worth remembering that where there is a big, well-known lookout overcrowded with tourists (for example, Echo Point in the Blue Mountains) there are usually smaller, less crowded ones nearby (in this case, along the scenic drive from Katoomba to Leura, or further up the hill in Blackheath).
Take the time to find out more about the geography of your local area
and you will be rewarded with these little gems. They are ideal for a picnic or romantic photo opportunity with your sweetheart, where you can whisper sweet nothings in their ear without being interrupted by fellow travellers asking you to take novelty shots of them “eating” the Three Sisters.
Australia was made for the grand gesture – in fact, it is a widely believed that this was one of the original aims of Captain Cook’s maiden voyage to Terra Australis, to find a place that his countrymen and women could visit centuries later to wow their significant others with experiences so breathtaking they would be guaranteed love forever more. Or something like that.
While we brush up on our history, you could surprise your beloved with snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, watching the sun set at Uluru or a drive along the Great Ocean Road.
If you’re making the grandest gesture of all, proposing, consider the benefits of a Sydney Harbour Bridge climb – they will have to say “yes” to avoid the uncomfortable walk back down.
No matter how economical your other half is, now is probably not the time to whip out the wad of coupons from your favourite travel mag.
If you wanted to save money that badly, you may as well have forgone the condoms you bought especially for the occasion because you will not be getting any bedroom action after trying that one.
Similarly, it is not the time to offer to cook a romantic “home-cooked meal” when that means beans and rice in the hostel kitchen with 20 of your closest friends.
It doesn’t have to be at the most expensive place in town, but why not treat your lover to a meal at a restaurant you’ve never been to before? We promise Scruffy Murphy’s will still be there tomorrow.
Ah, the balancing act that is the purchase of the Valentine’s Day gift. Too cheap and your partner will think you’re a tight-arse, too expensive and they will think you’re trying too hard.
When you’re on the road it becomes nigh on impossible to find a present – it must be lightweight, fit in your beloved’s backpack and be just crap enough that no one will nick it at the hostel.
In these circumstances, buying them something they can use, like tickets to a gig, is better than something you just look at.
If you really must buy their affection with something totally OTT, think carefully. The puppy that looks so cute in your campervan with a big red bow around its neck is not going to look so cute after being stuck in quarantine at Heathrow for six months.
Okay, so the temptation of icy cold beer has proved too great over summer and Australia’s drinking establishments have relieved you of most of your cash, leaving you penniless by the time V-Day rolls around.
Never fear. Many great lovers of the past were impoverished writers and artists who still managed to find companions to keep them warm at night.
Take inspiration from them and hit up the hostel book exchange for the most romantic tome you can find – yes, we realise that this may well be Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club.
Whatever you can get your hands on, take your sweetheart to a picturesque location (parks are good, so are rivers
and lakes) and read aloud to them from the book. Very eighteenth century.
One is the loneliest number. Except, that is, when you’re travelling.If all your trusty pick-up techniques have failed to win you a mate during your time in Australia and you find yourself alone on Valentine’s Day, do not despair.
Take one look around your hostel and you are sure to find numerous people in the same situation – some, like the older guy in the corner who hasn’t taken his anorak off since his Bangkok stopover, will be easier to identify as single than others.
Pick your crew and off you go. Where? Anywhere! The world is your aphrodisiac-charged oyster.