What says ‘Will you marry me?’ better than an empty mountaintop with limitless views?


You love the outdoors, right? Of course you do, that’s why you’re here. But have you ever combined your love of nature with the love of your life? Did you pop the big question against a spectacular natural backdrop? Plenty of Explorers have, and with a plethora of jaw-dropping locations around the country (and the world), it’s easy to see why a sparkling ocean, red streaky sunset or even just your favourite park would be the perfect spot to say yes.

And if you’re looking for a little inspiration, these are the beautiful places a bunch of nature-loving, outdoorsy types got down on one knee.

Read more: The Best & Worst Places to Take Your Valentine

1. Balls Head Reserve, NSW

Kate ReynoldsCamper, Hiker

My husband Arron proposed at Balls Head Reserve in Waverton, right on Sydney Harbour. It was our favourite park at the time and we would walk around the reserve most weekends. I think it’s got one of the most quintessential views of Sydney – the sparkling water, the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, the city skyline, all while being surrounded by beautiful trees (and brush turkeys hehe).

I’m originally from Melbourne, so being on the harbour like this always makes me feel like I’m on holiday (even though I’ve lived here for seven years now). It’s just such a gorgeous little pocket of bushland so close to the city, and we’re lucky to have this right on our doorstep.

That’s one of the best things about Sydney, there are so many great bush walks right by the city. We were actually heading to Paris the following week and I thought he might propose there, but I’m so glad he did it locally and in such a gorgeous spot. It took me totally by surprise!

We then eloped at the Singing Gardens in Toolangi, just out of Melbourne – one of my favourite places in the whole world.


7 Spectacular Locations Explorers Have Popped *the* Question, Photo by Carley Payne, outdoor engagements, love, dating, kate reynolds getting married at the singing gardens in toolangi victoria

Kate got married surrounded by autumn colours at The Singing Gardens in Toolangi | Photo by Carley Payne


In autumn it’s a flurry of dazzling red, orange, and yellow leaves as the seasons change and the trees shed, and in spring it’s filled with wildflowers. Beautiful towering Mountain Ash trees surround the gardens like giant guardians.

We used to visit all the time when I was little and I believed fairies were living there, that’s how magical this place is.

2. Ormiston Gorge, NT

Glenna Goldman – Outdoor Explorer

Spending a very hot morning swimming in icy cold Redbank Gorge, we rolled into Ormiston in the early afternoon before climbing to the lookout. I thought it was a bit early for sunset but (my now-husband) Bobby insisted.

He asked me to stand out on this ledge so he could take my photo, and then… Bobby popped the question! He surprised me by having a photographer waiting below to snap a shot of the big moment.


7 Spectacular Locations Explorers Have Popped *the* Question, Photo by Lisa Hatz, outdoor engagements, love, dating, glenna goldman getting engaged at redbank gorge

Stunning earthy tones were the backdrop of Glenna’s surprise outback proposal |@lisahatzphotography


We walked right past her, and I did think it was rather odd that someone would be sitting up there wearing jeans on such a hot day! But I was definitely still surprised, as I thought he’d wait until we were closer to Darwin.

Poor Bobby had been sweating it out the entire three days we’d been camping in the MacDonnell Ranges without mobile service, just hoping everything would line up perfectly. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect moment, and what a view!

Glenna wrote about her engagement story on her blog, Slightly Lost.

3. Lake Wonboyn, NSW

Michael Raivars – Bushwalker

My family is very fortunate to have a small cottage in Lake Wonboyn, down on the NSW South Coast. My grandparents spent many decades maintaining the property and holidaying together to escape civilization.

It’s a beautiful spot – the lake is calm, there’s a rich variety of bird life including King parrots, lorikeets, and kookaburras, and occasionally orchids poke through the grassy floodplain.


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The pier where Michael proposed looks out across oyster farms


I decided to propose there simply because it was peaceful, private, and seemed very us. It was on an old pier overlooking some oyster beds right on Lake Wonboyn. My wife Freya grew up on the coast and our holidays always seem to involve water, the bush, mountains or some combination thereof. And since it had good romantic vibes from my grandparents’ 60 years of marriage, I figured that could only be a good omen!

4. Kailua, Hawaii

Vivian Tran – Camper

In 2014 I moved to San Francisco from Australia, as I’d fallen in love with a SF boy, Franko. To get there, I got a cheap $300 flight via Honolulu to get me across the Pacific Ocean. I didn’t really know Hawaii very well, and just randomly chose a spot away from the big city to stay for a couple of nights. Turns out I chose to stay in Kailua, and it was just beautiful. I felt it was the perfect way to start this brand new chapter of my life.

Fast forward to 2019, and I’d always told Franko what a special and remarkable place Kailua was, and how I’d thought it was the ideal opening chapter to ‘our’ story, and my life with him. So that year we decided to go together and Franko could see this place that I’d fallen in love with.

We climbed the famous Pillbox Trail (Ka’iwa Ridge Trail), which at the top looks across Lanikai Beach.

Suddenly, Franko got down on one knee and proposed! I thought he was joking! There were hikers passing us by, and it was surreal. It was such a romantic gesture to choose Kailua to propose.


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Vivian got asked the big question during a hike in Hawaii overlooking the ocean

5. Flinders Ranges, SA

Chris Reynolds – Roadtripper, Camper

We got engaged just outside of Blinman in the Flinders Ranges SA. We were on the final few days making our way home on a six-week trip from Melbourne to Darwin and back. We love the outdoors; we bought a rooftop tent a couple of years ago and love being able to get away.

We’d had glorious weather the entire trip, but the night before we got engaged the heavens opened up and we were woken in the middle of the night to treacherous storms and had to batten down the hatches. We woke in the morning to more rain, and lots of fog so had to cancel a walk we had planned.

Instead, that morning we toured around the Flinders Ranges and slowly (and thankfully!) the sun began to shine. We took the Blinman Pools Walk and at a dried-up river bed I dragged my now-wife Bryanna away from the river (she was playing with huge scoops of algae – such a romantic activity) and I popped the big question!

That night we sat in the Blinman pub and celebrated with a cheeky pint. There was no phone coverage so we couldn’t tell anyone of our big news, which was actually a very special feeling for just us to share.


7 Spectacular Locations Explorers Have Popped *the* Question, Photo by Chris Reynolds, outdoor engagements, love, dating, couple getting engaged at blinman in the flinders ranges

The ring is definitely not broken and hiding in my pocket right now… We picked a new one when we got home| Photo by Chris Reynolds

6. An Uninhabited Island in Fiji

Jason Reeve – Hiker, Long-Distance Walker

When Areli and I first met, we were both already interested in travel and exploring, but I was also a keen hiker and long-distance walker.

We’ve always loved the outdoors and Fiji provided us with the perfect environment to relax and soak up the sun. I wanted our engagement to be memorable and beautiful, in a way that would always bring a smile to Areli’s face. A surprise boat ride to an uninhabited island, where we celebrated together, ate fresh food, drank bubbles, and waded in the crystal waters was an experience unlike anything we’ve had before.

For the wedding, we chose to have our ceremony at a bush lookout that I discovered while walking the Great North Walk. The beauty of this location is reason enough, but it was also the site where I asked Areli to go out with me during a sunset picnic – so it has strong sentimental value to us too.

We kept guest numbers very tight and our footprint even lighter, as we exchanged our vows among the eucalypts, looking out over the river.

The ceremony was perfect and to complete the theme, both Areli and I decided to wear our hiking boots for the nuptials – a fact that made many smile.


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Swapping out traditional wedding footwear for something more suited to their love of bushwalking and the outdoors

7. Bogong High Plains & Gariwerd/Grampians, VIC

Melissa Nisbet – Hiker, Outdoor Explorer

Trav and I love the outdoors – camping, hiking, climbing, skiing, kayaking, canoeing… we enjoy it all! I won’t give the outdoors all the credit, but the trips we did as friends through school and Scouts definitely gave us a solid base when it came to progressing our relationship.

A few years in, we were away up on the Bogong High Plains. Seeing as we were up so early anyway, Trav insisted on stopping off to enjoy the sunrise – which was glorious!


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A stunning sunrise at Bogong High Plains was just the beginning in Mel’s engagement story


As we sat there, Trav pulled a ring that I was wearing at the time off the finger it was on, and was fiddling with it. He then put it back on.. the ring finger of my left hand.

We ended up calling it an ‘expression of interest’ in getting engaged.

Fast forward, and we headed west to Gariwerd/Grampians, and climbed Wudjub-guyan/Hollow Mountain. Carrying a picnic and the ring, we scrambled into a secluded spot, and amidst the rocks, formalised our engagement.


7 Spectacular Locations Explorers Have Popped *the* Question, Photo by Melissa Nisbet, outdoor engagements, love, dating, getting engaged at bogong high plains

The ring itself has ties to the outdoors – being a double-figure-eight knot that is often used for climbing


‘I already know you’ve said you’ll marry me, but would you be willing to spend the rest of your life with me?’

Of course the answer was yes!

We’ve now been married five years, and while various injuries and global pandemics have limited our access to the outdoors, we still seek out nature time whenever we can. Nature calms us, gives us a launching place for adventures, and brings us closer together. We wouldn’t exist as a couple without the outdoors.

Read more: Outdoor Gear For Camping Couples

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