Landing at Honolulu’s airport plunges you into the urban jungle, but relax, it’s still Polynesia. Even among downtown high-rises, you’ll find capital-city power brokers in breezy aloha shirts. By day, inspect royal feathered capes and ancient temple carvings, then swizzle mai tais while slack key guitars play at Waikiki Beach after dark.
Sculpted by sky-piercing, moss-green peaks and lined with vivid turquoise lagoons, sultry French Polynesia is a place to take it slow and experience warm, laid-back island chic. Lagoon Spectacular While there are plenty of slim stretches of white-, pink- and black-sand beaches in French Polynesia, they are just pretty springboards into the real draw: the lagoons.
Forever the butt of mainland jokes, Tasmania has shrugged off the stigma of its isolation – the whole world seems to be discovering the physically dazzling, unique and accessible island. Suitably impressed, and a tad sheepish, the rest of Australia has finally stopped laughing and started visiting.
From the tropics to the deserts, the Northern Territory (NT) is a splendid place to be during Australia's winter months. Access is easy, with good roads and air connections; however, the vast distances ensure a good dose of adventure accompanies every visit. NT's tropical Top End has an undeniable wild side. Crocodiles lurk in the rivers, and the air is alive with birds.
Paris may be the city of love, but Auckland is the city of many lovers, according to its Maori name, Tamaki Makaurau. Those lovers so desired this place that they fought over it for centuries. It’s hard to imagine a more geographically blessed city. Its two harbours frame a narrow isthmus punctuated by volcanic cones and surrounded by fertile farmland.
Byron Bay & Northern NSW
Beach towns and national parks leapfrog each other all the way up this stupendous stretch of coast. Inland, lush farmland and ancient tracts of World Heritage–listed rainforest do the same. Providing a buffer between New South Wales' big cities to the south and Queensland's built-up Gold Coast, the North Coast offers an altogether quieter and simpler way of life.