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How to have a rainforest wedding in Australia

April 10, 2020

Couples are releasing more and more that they don’t have to follow the traditions set out by previous generations. Churches are being forsaken over rustic and vintage buildings, and nature. Rainforest retreats are providing the perfect backdrop for nature loving couples who want to have a fun and exciting rainforest wedding.

In this article I’m going to walk you through what a rainforest wedding is like, and why it may be best suited for yourselves. I’ll be covering:

  1. What is a rainforest wedding like?
  2. Why would a rainforest wedding be appropriate for me?
  3. What do I have to do to legally get married in a rainforest?
  4. Which rainforests are there to get married in?
  5. What considerations are there when choosing the right rainforest for my ceremony?
  6. What rainforest venues are there in Australia?

At the end of the article, I list all of the rainforest wedding venues in Australia that will be able to cater to you having the rainforest wedding of your dream.

What is a rainforest wedding like?

A rainforest is defined as:

Rainforests are forests characterized by high and continuous rainfall, with annual rainfall in the case of tropical rainforests between 2.5 and 4.5 metres (98 and 177 in)[1] and definitions varying by region for temperate rainforests.

Wikipedia

A rainforest wedding is quite literally you having your wedding ceremony (and reception if you’d like) in a rainforest!

This means that you’d be surrounded by nature for your ceremony and wedding, with huge amounts of tropical rainforest greenery, and atmosphere.

Why would a rainforest wedding be appropriate for me?

A rainforest wedding is suitable for couples who firstly love nature, and secondly buck traditions. They are suitable for couples who want to get married in their favourite tropical rainforest, and feel at one with nature as they take the next step into their journey in life.

It means you’re going to see a lot of gorgeous natural beauty which will frame your wedding day. Misty mountains, and deep rainforest basins will be the path you walk to go down the aisle. It also means that you’re going to get muddy shoes, and get a little dirty. This is a rainforest and it can be wild and unkept, so bear that in mind as well.

If you’re the sort of couple who love being surrounded by tropical rainforests and don’t mind the idea of being a little muddy and dirty, then you’ll love a rainforest wedding.

However if you’re looking for a wedding that you can have at a venue, then you can also have your wedding at a retreat. Many rainforest retreats operate as luxury destinations, but also as wedding venues for those who love the rainforest vibe.

What do I have to do to legally get married in a rainforest?

Legalities

In Australia, to get legally married, there are several requirements.

If you are having a wedding with guests, you need to:

  • Not be married
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Use specific words during the ceremony
  • Give a notice of intended marriage form to an authorised marriage celebrant at least 1 month and no more than 18 months before your wedding
  • Be married by an authorised marriage celebrant

If it’s just the both of you eloping in Australia, you’ll need to do the following:

You can have a rainforest ceremony where you both, a celebrant, and two witnesses (photographer can be one!) venture into the wild rainforests.

You need to have two witnesses at the time of signing your papers with a celebrant, and you need to say certain words according to the Australian legal system.

You can also have a registry office wedding, or rather sign the paperwork separately, and then have a ceremony out in nature so that whilst legally you have already done everything, you’ll be able to have a private ceremony without the need for all of the legal technicalities. This is best for couples who want to have a very private personal ceremony where it is just them and the photographer.

Acknowledging the land

More So than ever, an acknowledgement of land should be done prior to the ceremony. This means acknowledging that the ceremony is taking place is stolen land, and recognising that the indigenous Australians are still not recognised in the constitution.

This isn’t a legal requirement, but I feel that it is morally the right thing to do. A few words and a minute of your time to do this is the right thing to do when it comes to respecting the stunning and bountiful land that we are on.

Respecting nature and following the rules

This is also not a legal requirement, but it’s incredibly important to also follow the Leave No Trace principles.

This means that you should be respecting nature, and the park rangers who manage the areas. It also means that you should contact the park rangers in advance of your wedding day to make sure that there are no restrictions of access, and to make sure that you have cleared it with them.

The Leave No Trace principles are:

  1. Plan ahead and prepare,
  2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces,
  3. Dispose of waste properly,
  4. Leave what you find,
  5. Minimize campfire impacts,
  6. Respect wildlife,
  7. Be considerate of other visitors.

If you follow these principles you’re going to be:

  • Preserving the area for future generations to enjoy the natural environment
  • Potentially avoid any fines which could be issued to you if you do cause damage to the environment

Do we have to find the rainforest locations ourselves, or do venues exist in them?

It depends on what style of rainforest wedding you’d love to have most. There are two options:

Option 1: Do it your own way

This is best suited for couples who want to have a more intimate ceremony, or elope (below 10 guests present).

Having a rainforest wedding done in your own way means that you can choose any rainforest location and get married wherever you would like (baring in mind any issues park rangers highlight and forbid).

The big advantage of doing it your own way is that you’re not paying anything for a venue.

However, having a bespoke location in a rainforest is only suited to weddings or elopements with less than 10 guests. I say this because this is the best way to minimise the trampling and destruction to an area if you are going off the beaten path. Having 50 people trample through a pristine rainforest would be very damaging unfortunately!

I’ve previously written about the best places to elope in Australia which details a great amount of forest locations for you to elope in.

However at the bottom of this article, I’ve listed my top forest wedding locations in Australia.

Option 2: Go through a venue

This is best suited for couples who want to have a bigger wedding with more people present (above 10 guests present).

Having a rainforest wedding organised through a venue is a great choice if you want to still have a modestly sized or big wedding. Venues will work to create a space which has a rainforest vibe, and accommodate for large weddings in the process. Many of these venues are retreats, so you get more than just a ceremony location.

A lot of venues will also have accomodation on site, meaning that you and some of your guests will have their lodgings sorted for the evening.

I have listed all of the most popular rainforest wedding venues and retreats at the end of this article for you to look at.

What considerations are there when choosing the right rainforest for my ceremony?

Australia is home to many incredible tropical rainforests which would be suitable for your wedding. You should take the following into consideration when choosing the right location for your rainforest wedding:

  • Do you love the area and aesthetic of the location?
  • Is it accessible and realistic to have a ceremony there?
  • Do you want guests there, or just yourselves?
  • If the above is ‘yes’, is it accessible for guests?
  • How much walking is involved in the trek to the location?
  • What time of year do you want to get married in?

What is the best time of year to have a rainforest wedding?

Rather than having a ‘winter’ and ‘summer’, Rainforests have a ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ season instead. This means that rather than you being freezing cold, you’ll most likely be more wet than cold.

December to April is when Australian Rainforests have their wet season, where up to 6 metres of rain can fall annually. Temperatures during these times can average from around 27°C to 33°C. This is when the rainforest really springs to life, with lush vibrant greens springs to life.

May to September are the calmed months which provide a pleasant average temperature of around 26°C.

If you prefer to have a more adventurous and atmospheric wedding with the potential for it to be a bit wet, then go for a wedding around December to April. However if you’re looking for a time that may be slightly more comfortable where you won’t get drenched, May to September would suit you best.

What should I bring/wear for my rainforest wedding?

As you’ll be trekking through jungles and misty wooden landscapes, it’s important to be realistic about what you should and shouldn’t bring.

You’ll want to ensure that you pack a rucksack with the following in when going for a rainforest wedding:

  • The rings(!)
  • Water
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Flowers (ensuring that the attached has been completed and sent back to the park rangers)
  • A drink to celebrate
  • A garbage bag or plastic bag to keep all rubbish in and take home with you

You can also bring your own Arbour along, which can be rented, or even created if you have someone who is skilled with a saw and hammer. Get your friends to help carry it into the forest!

You’ll want to avoid the following:

  • Confetti, even if it is biodegradable – this can still make a mess and interfere with wildlife
  • Harmful chemicals

When it comes to thinking about what to wear for your wedding, you want to be practicable but also true to what you’ve always wanted to wear for your wedding. I recommend the following:

  • Forget your high heels and smart shoes. Instead go for hiking boots and comfy shoes which aren’t going to give you blisters after 5 minutes, or leave you stuck in the mud.
  • Women, don’t be afraid of having that dress you’ve always wanted, but just bear in mind that it will snag on stuff and it will get messy. However that is the fun of being out in nature!
  • If you want to wear white, go for it! Just go in with the expectation knowing that it will get muddy and dirty within about 10 minutes, especially if it is a bit wetter.

What rainforest wedding packages are there?

I offer some fantastic rainforest wedding packages, which include custom location scouting, and personalised photography. I also know many vendors who are happy to go into the remote forests, for everything from wilderness chefs, to adventurous celebrants.

If you’d love to chat about having your own forest wedding designed, simply fill out the form at the bottom of this page and let’s have a chat!

What rainforest locations are there in Australia?

The most predominant rainforests in Australia are located in Queensland, The Northern Territory, Tasmania, and New South Wales. 

Queensland has the highest amount of rainforests, with 2 million hectares (55%), with Tasmania coming in second at 0.7 million hectares (20%). New South Wales contains 0.6 million hectares, and The Northern Territory contains 0.3 million hectares.

Below I’ve provided a number of exotic rainforest locations which would suit any rainforest wedding. I’ve also listed several great walks in and around these so that it can narrow areas down for you.

Please note that these are guides for full walks, and for your rainforest wedding you would not need to stick to the full trek!

When it comes to designing your personal rainforest wedding package, I custom scout for every couple. This means that I love to get the best idea of what you’re all about so that I can give you a recommended list of places that would suit your needs.

Queensland rainforests

Kuranda Rainforest

Saddle Mountain

Difficulty: Hard
Length: 9.3km There and back
Time to do: 3 hrs 45 mins

Glacier Rock Lookout

Difficulty: Hard
Length: 6.9km There and back
Time to do: 2 hrs 45 mins

Douglas Track

Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 14.8km There and back
Time to do: 5 hrs 10 mins

Kuranda Jungle Walk

Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 5.6km There and back
Time to do: 1 hr 45 mins

Red Arrow Circuit

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.8km Loop
Time to do: 40 mins

Earl Hill

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 2.9km There and back
Time to do: 1 hr 10  mins

Ivan Evans Walk

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.9km There and back
Time to do: 50 mins

Daintree Rainforest

Dubuji Boardwalk Loop

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.8km Loop
Time to do: 30 mins

Mossman Gorge Rainforest Track

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 3.1km Loop
Time to do: 1 hr

Mount Sorrow Ridge Trail

Difficulty: Hard
Length: 6.6km There and back
Time to do: 3 hrs 30 mins

Tasmanian rainforests

Welborough Pass Rainforest Walk

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 0.2km Loop
Time to do: 3 hrs 30 mins

Billy Brown Falls

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 2km Loop
Time to do: 1 hr

Adamsons Falls

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 6km There and back
Time to do: 2 hrs

Pelverata Falls

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 6km There and back
Time to do: 2 hrs

Snug Falls

Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 2km There and back
Time to do: 1 hr

Duckhole Lake

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 4km Loop
Time to do: 1 hrs

Mount Misery

Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 5km There and back
Time to do: 3 hrs

Liffey Falls

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 8km There and back
Time to do: 3 hrs

New South Wales rainforests

Nightcap National Park

Mount Matheson

Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 6km There and back
Time to do: 2 hrs 20 mins

Dirangah Rocks

Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 12.2km There and back
Time to do: 4 hrs 20 mins

Pholis Walk

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 4.3km There and back
Time to do: 1 hrs 45 mins

The Gondwana Rainforests

Twin Falls Circuit

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 4.5km There and back
Time to do: 1 hrs 30 mins

Natural Bridge

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1km There and back
Time to do: 18 mins

Warrie Circuit

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 3.7km There and back
Time to do: 1 hrs 30 mins

Twin Falls and Rainbow Falls

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.8km There and back
Time to do: 40 mins

Mount Warning National Park

Mount Waring Summit Track

Difficulty: Hard
Length: 8.7km There and back
Time to do: 3 hrs 30 mins

Border Ranges National Park

Brindle Creek Walk

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 6.9km There and back
Time to do: 2 hrs 10 mins

Pinnacle Track

Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 1.8km There and back
Time to do: 1 hr

Brushbox Falls Lookout

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 4.2km There and back
Time to do: 1 hrs 20 mins

Booyong Walk

Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 17.4km There and back
Time to do: 6 hrs

The Northern Territory rainforests

Manngarre Rainforest Walk

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 2.1km There and back
Time to do: 35 mins

What rainforest venues are there in Australia?

Rainforest wedding venues in Queensland

Rainforest Wedding Venues in Brisbane

  1. Bundaleer Rainforest
  2. Walkabout Creek
  3. Cedar Creek Lodges
  4. Rainforest Gardens Mount Cotton

Rainforest Wedding Venues in Cairns

  1. Misty Mountains
  2. The Venue At Aj Hackett 
  3. Sapphire Ridge – Palm Cove
  4. Rainforest Estate – Port Douglas
  5. Mali Mali – Newell Beach Hinterland
  6. Bali Hai – North Of Port Douglas

Rainforest Wedding Venues in New South Wales

  1. Minnamurra Rainforest Centre
  2. Wildwood Kangaroo Valley
  3. Kangaroo Valley Bush Retreat
  4. Tumbling Waters Retreat
  5. Gardens on Forest
  6. Glenworth Valley Weddings
  7. Mt Warning Rainforest Retreat

Rainforest Wedding Venues on the Gold Coast

  1. Ecostudio Fellini
  2. Coolibah Downs Private Estate
  3. Sol Gardens
  4. Summergrove Estate
  5. Evergreen Garden Venue
  6. Riverwood Weddings
  7. Austinvilla Estate
  8. Braeside Events Gold Coast
  9. Glenrock Farm
  10. Country Paradise Weddings & Special Events
  11. Joncia Garden
  12. Pethers Rainforest Retreat

Rainforest Wedding Venues in Victoria

  1. Lyrebird Falls
  2. Mist@Olinda
  3. Chateau Wyuna
  4. Poet’s Lane Receptions
  5. Projekt 3488
  6. Gum Gully Farm
  7. Avalon Castle

Rainforest Wedding Venues in the Northern Territory

  1. Territory Wildlife Park
  2. Wildman Wilderness Lodge

Let’s chat about designing your dream rainforest wedding!

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