Pearl-like Aitutaki and Vahine islands are like nowhere else on earth. Think talcum powder sands and turquoise waters teeming with exotic fish. Where you’ll find yourself humming “Some Enchanted Evening” as the sun sets over the South Pacific. A little less remote, but no less idyllic, the coves near Margaret River and Toowoon Bay in Australia are blissful hideaways. And ideal for combining a beach stay with a city break or wine retreat.
In Australia and New Zealand, an escape to the country takes on a whole new meaning. You could stay between the reef and rainforest in Daintree, or on the Australasian ‘great lakes’ around Rotorua and Queenstown. New Zealand’s South Island is perfect for those seeking glaciers, fiords and mountains. While the rolling hills, lakes and vineyards of Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough, dotted with grand manor houses, ooze old-world charm.
Koalas and kangeroos are just one side of Australia’s proud natural heritage. Travel along the Berkeley River for the chance to spot crocodiles by day and sea turtles by night. Or look out for some of the country’s most fascinating and unusual creatures in Tasmania. In New Zealand, take to the waters around the Bay of Islands or Marlborough Sounds. You could be joined by dolphins and orca whales as you sail or kayak. To really get up close and personal with South Pacific sea life, the diving around the Cook Islands and French Polynesia is simply spectacular.