the ultimate travel guide to

Oceania

To the east of Australia is a heady mix of destinations just waiting to be explored … and the beauty is you don’t have to spend a day on a plane to get there.

 

With its unique history – a mixture of Maori and European culture – New Zealand is truly a magical balance of history meets culture meets modern times.

 

This country is so jam-packed with sites, adventure and culture, the hardest part of planning a trip is fitting it all in. Take in the cool culture of Wellington, the natural beauty of “adventure capital” Queenstown and the buzzy capital of Auckland. And of course, don’t forget the heady beauty of the wine regions.

 

Further abroad, the Cook Islands comprise 15 gorgeous islands, which are spread across an area of the Pacific Ocean equal in size of India. You’ll find endless blue lagoons perfect for snorkelling and swimming and white sandy beaches. The Cook Islands are so compact in size you won’t have any trouble navigating your way around – it takes just 45 minutes to drive around the largest island, Rarotonga.

 

The islands of Fiji are a perennial favourite with Australian holidaymakers, who are lured back time and time again by the sybaritic pleasure of this Pacific nation.

 

An amazing spot for both honeymooners wanting some romance and families wanting the respite of a resort kid’s club, Fiji really does have something for everybody.

 

Then there’s the more untapped destination of New Caledonia – only two hours flying time from Brisbane and under three hours from Sydney.

 

Famous for its delicious, authentic and quality food – Noumea has over 120 restaurants. Here you can choose from over 100 varieties of cheese, pate de foie gras, baguettes, French wines and champagne.

 

New Caledonia is also an oasis of rare and unique flora and fauna – one of the world’s four richest locations for biodiversity. Its coral reef encircles the mainland, La Grande Terre, and its azure lagoon is the largest in the world.

 

With a rich culture that is over 3000 years old and natural beauty that leaves visitors awestruck, Samoa is a mere five-hour flight from the east coast of Australia.

 

There are plenty of reasons this exotic archipelago in the south pacific is starting to pop up on many a traveller’s bucket list. Pristine beaches, lush rainforests, fresh seafood and a tropical year-round climate are just a few.

 

Spread across four million square-kilometres in the South Pacific, French Polynesia is the home of 118 eye-popping islands and atolls.

 

Tahiti is the largest of the islands – while it is beautiful itself (and certainly worth spending some time exploring), it’s also the jumping off point for a range of luxe locations such as Bora Bora, Moorea, Rangiroa and the Marquesas.

An enticing blend of Tahitian and French culture exists in this part of the world – residents speak French and Tahitian, French cuisine is served alongside local Polynesian specialties, and resorts mix European luxuries with relaxed South Pacific style.

 

The warm nature of the Tahitian people and their rich culture is also something you’ll never forget. Taking in some of the traditional music, dance, storytelling and art (especially the tattooing practices), is a truly special holiday experience.

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