We can assure you that, despite our greeting, these properties are much more ‘wow’ than they are ‘yeehaw’ – unless you want to style them to be that way, of course. While every venue is unique in its own way, they all have a few things in common: picturesque grounds, incredible planning teams, and luxe settings that make for epic wedding photos.
Before you boot scoot your way through our top picks, get an inkling for how you want to style your venue with our Best Of 2022: Styling Ideas. You will also see a few of the below mentioned in our Best of 2022: Real Weddings, as voted by our readers, because you really do have the greatest taste (we’re not bias). Now, let’s get this show on the road!
AUDLEY DANCE HALL
One of our fave things about Audley Dance Hall is the location. After driving through the Royal National Park, you arrive at Audley Village nestled amongst the bushland, overlooking the Hacking River. Wanna know a secret? While you feel like you’ve been transported somewhere far away, you’re actually only 10 minutes from Sutherland CBD in Southern Sydney. The timber-lined Dance Hall fits 200 of your nearest and dearest, and the food is pretty freaking scrumptious – trust us, we’ve ventured there plenty of times to try it for ourselves! This is our pick for people wanting a country venue but not wanting to travel. To find out more, get in touch with the wonderful Audley team here.
Location: Royal National Park, NSW
EMU BOTTOM HOMESTEAD
Fun fact: Emu Bottom is Australia’s oldest Homestead. The team behind it, The Epicurean Group, have absolutely nailed the brief when it comes to thoughtfully restoring the property to be uber chic while still honouring its history. Surrounded by expansive lawns (perf for a marquee wedding!), Emu Bottom sits in the Macedon Ranges, an easy half hour drive from Melbourne. For Jess and Tom, there was no competition when choosing their venue. “Not only did Emu Bottom tick all the boxes, but the tranquility of its gardens and surroundings made it an easy choice,” they explained. For more info from The Epicurean Group, reach out to them here.
Location: Sunbury, VIC
THE BOWER ESTATE
Up in the mountain ranges of the Gold Coast Hinterland, The Bower Estate sits on 120 acres of green forest, lush hills and stunning views. If you like the idea of a wedding overlooking mountain ridges, then we’ve found the venue you have been searching for! The reception space is an 18m x 10m clear marquee adorned with fairy lights and nestled snugly in the trees. There’s plenty of great spots for couple photos too, with some picturesque opportunities for colourful sunset skies. Known for their feasting tables, you will be taken on a culinary journey with the luxe menu options. To find out more, you can read all about their wedding packages here.
Location: Natural Bridge, QLD
We love a survival story *cue Destiny’s Child – Survivor* and Golding Wines is a great one. After rising from the ashes of the 2019 bushfires, the venue is back and better than ever. In fact, that was one of the very reasons why HM couple Bianca and Dave picked the family-owned property for their big day. “We absolutely fell in love with everything,” they share. “The gardens, the vineyard, the stone building, Amy the event manager, the wine and the food. It was also really nice to support the venue after they were almost burnt down.” Don’t cha love to hear it? It was the perfect decision, judging by their photos alone, which you can see here.
Location: Lobethal, SA
The Sapphire Coast is one of the HM team’s beloved weekend destinations, so of course we’ve gotta include one of our fave venues there, Mimosa Wines. Occupying a whopping 200 acres of land, the estate features a restaurant, vineyard, deck, courtyard, and even a lily pond for photo ops. Don’t live near the Far South Coast? No probs, there’s two fully decked out cottages onsite, and Mimosa‘s personal wedding planner is super helpful when it comes to recommending all their local favourites. Get in touch with them here to take a tour and get the ball rolling.
Location: Bermagui, NSW
Hear us out: there’s highland cows called Lizzie and Raymond. We’re not kidding. Check them out here. That’s all the info you need.
… In all seriousness, Meelup Farmhouse has everything you could want in a wedding venue, from great food to a bevy of scenic ceremony locations. Ashleigh and Chelcey were besotted with the place on its opening weekend, and were the very first to enquire about getting hitched there – they were onto a good thing! “Chilled coastal luxe vibes” is how they describe it, and we think that just about sums it up. We’ve got all the pics of their big day here, so you can see for yourself.
Location: Eagle Bay, WA
THE EPICUREAN RED HILL
If you haven’t worked it out yet, we love a venue with a bit of history behind it, and The Epicurean Red Hill is no different. The iconic Cool Store has been standing since 1921, and it is indeed very cool, in every sense of the word. The Loft, filled with natural light and overlooking the Hinterland, is an ideal spot for romantic indoor nuptials, while the masterfully designed Shed, encompassing Carrara marble and open fireplaces, allows up to 225 peeps to enjoy a seated dinner at your reception. Speaking of dinner, the team only use regional produce to ensure the freshest and most divine culinary experience. Sold? Get in touch with The Epicurean Group here.
Location: Red Hill South, VIC
GOLD COAST FARM HOUSE
We were totally taken by Gold Coast Farm House as soon as we saw it, and it seems that we’re not the only ones! “The moment we stepped foot on the property we knew it was the place for us,” Katie and Tom told us. “We both love the Gold Coast hinterland and this is the quintessential hinterland farm.” For more snaps of their wedding (taken by the sensational Renee Green Creative, in case you’re wondering) complete with the groom’s helicopter entrance (yes, that’s how large Gold Coast Farm House‘s grounds are), head over here.
Location: Numinbah Valley, QLD
MALI BRAE FARM
Mali Brae Farm is truly a unique place to get hitched. Originally a dairy farm that fell into disrepair, the property was rescued by the Dark family who have lovingly restored every element of the property, including the mesmerising rustic ruins that you can see above, which now serve as a ceremony spot. HM couple Amelia and Josh knew that Mali Brae Farm was ‘the one’ as soon as they saw it. “The owners and their team were so kind and welcoming, and the venue itself was just absolutely stunning,” they told us. “It had the exact vibe that we didn’t even know we wanted, so we cancelled all other venue viewings we’d booked, and booked our wedding that week!” Get in touch with the aforementioned super lovely owners, Shelley and Greg, and their team here.
Location: Moss Vale, NSW
Sasha and James had their heart set on tying the knot at Mitolo Wines. Well, Sasha did, anyway. “We knew straightaway,” she shared. “Mitolo just felt like us. But, full disclosure… I’d actually emailed them a year before we were even engaged enquiring about wedding prices! Ha!” We love her for that, and we’re sure that plenty of our readers can relate. Obv, James fell in love with Mitolo Wines too, because how could you not? Take a peek at their pics taken by HM fave Scotty Surplice, who the couple had travel interstate for the occasion. Yes, he’s that good, and so are his snaps of the day. Find out what the fuss is about here.
Location: McLaren Vale, SA
This one’s for our NZ brides and grooms, or for anybody planning a destination wedding for that matter, because who wouldn’t want to host dreamy nuptials in Queenstown? Peregrine Wines fuses a provincial aesthetic with modern architecture. Their iconic state-of-the-art ‘falcon wing’ provides a unique space for 250 of your mates to mingle under, whereas the historic 1860s Woolshed is all about stone walls and exposed beams. One thing’s for sure, between the views and the exterior, this is a spot that will get your guests talking.
Location: Queenstown, NZ
Queensland brides and grooms, there’s a chance that you’ve already heard of Gabbinbar Homestead, and with good reason. The historic estate is simply stunning, to say the very least, and has elegance on tap. Something the venue always prides itself on is its versatility, which Archee and Pat can attest to. “We’d been to a wedding at Gabbinbar Homestead previously and my friend sang praises of their planning team, who made every effort to support us through a chaotic multicultural wedding,” the couple shared. “The chef made a huge effort to customise the menu for us with a ‘mecca and mandir’ live cooking station. The offer of mulled wine circulating in winter sealed the deal.” How delish, and what a crew! See more from Archee and Pat‘s day here, and drop the Gabbinbar Homestead team a line here.
Location: Toowoomba, QLD
PEPPERS CREEK CHAPEL AND BARREL ROOM
Been dreaming of a Tuscan wedding? Well, this is just slightly closer, but serves up a heck of a lot of the same vibes. In fact, it’s the inspiration behind the Peppers Creek Chapel and Barrel Room (ft. the largest fireplace in the Hunter Valley, btw), which oozes rustic yet luxe European style. What’s more, owners Jade and Pete also own a florist and styling business [Jade Mcintosh Flowers & Styling], so they know a thing or two about how to make a wedding look pretty darn fab. Get in touch with the wonderful pair here, and organise a trip to the Hunter for a site visit, as well as a vino or two while you’re in the area.
Location: Pokolbin, NSW
THE FARM YARRA VALLEY
Georgie and Dave describe The Farm Yarra Valley as a destination wedding without the travel, which is exactly what you want from a country venue. “We knew we wanted a wedding at a winery with a rustic, less polished vibe, which matches our personality,” said the lovely couple. “The Farm Yarra Valley felt like a destination venue, despite being only 30 minutes from the city and we liked the fact that the ceremony and reception could be in one location.” How good’s that? See more of their day captured by the ever so talented Madeline Kate Photography here.
Location: Warrandyte, VIC
Penfolds Grange is an Australian household name for their top-notch wines, and their Magill Estate is no different. Every aspect of their estate screams ‘luxe’ from the rolling manicured lawns, to the magnificent tunnels that are available for seated dinners. And of course, we can’t forget the food and wine. Did somebody say lobster brioche canapés? Whilst you would think that such a large, picturesque property would be set far from the city, the Cellar Door is actually on the outskirts of Adelaide, making it easy to get to if you want to have a long lunch and see for yourself. Go on, wedding planning is hard work – you’ve earned it.
Location: Magill, SA
CREDITS Photos (from top) Janneke Storm, With Love Weddings, Kristie Carrick Photography, Daniel Milligan Photography, Miranda Stokkel, Janneke Storm, Shot From The Heart, Honey Atkinson Photo & Film, Emma MacAulay, Be Here Be Now, Lavan Photography, Renee Green Creative, Translucent Photography, Scott Surplice Photography, Dawn Thomson Photography, Rikki Lancaster, Kelly Jury Photography, Nathan Lapham Weddings, Elsa Campbell, Katie Harmsworth.