The South Indian fire-walking festival is held here during July or August. Of all Fiji's cultural rituals, the extraordinary art of fire walking is perhaps the most impressive. Watching men display the poise of a lead ballerina while they traverse a pit of blazing embers without combusting is truly baffling.
<p> This spectacular 14,928-hectare park, 24km from the city centre, forms Sydney’s northern boundary. It’s a classic mix of sandstone, bushland and water vistas, taking in over 100km of coastline along the southern edge of Broken Bay, where it heads into the Hawkesbury River.
About 7km west of the city centre, Mt Coot-tha Reserve is a 220-hectare bush reserve that’s teeming with wildlife (mostly of the possum and bush-turkey variety). Aside from the chunk of wilderness, the big attractions here are a massive planetarium and the spectacular lookout.
A favorite workout for city dwellers, the 2.5-mile Makiki Valley Loop links three Tantalus-area trails that are usually muddy, so wear shoes with traction and pick up a walking stick. The loop cuts through a diverse tropical forest, mainly composed of nonnative species introduced to reforest an area denuded by the 19th-century ʻiliahi (sandalwood) trade.
The park area around the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park extends from the Valor in the Pacific monument grounds. As you stroll around, you can peer through periscopes and inspect a Japanese kaiten (suicide torpedo), the marine equivalent of a kamikaze pilot and his plane.
Twenty-four kilometres west of Sydney, Parramatta (population 145,000), a Daruag Aboriginal name meaning ‘the place where eels lie down’, was Australia’s second European settlement. Sydney’s sandy soils were lousy for growing carrots – Parramatta’s river plains were chosen instead.
This three- to four-hour hike from the north to south coasts via the 413m Te Rua Manga (Needle) is the most popular walk on Rarotonga, and passes through some of the island’s most impressive natural scenery. You shouldn’t try to do the walk in a south–north direction, as the chances of taking a wrong turn are much greater.
One of the USA’s most significant WWII sites, this National Park Service monument narrates the history of the Pearl Harbor attack and commemorates fallen service members. The monument is entirely wheelchair accessible.
Colo-i-Suva (pronounced tholo-ee-soo -va) is a 2.5-sq-km oasis of lush rainforest, teeming with tropical plants and vivid and melodic bird life. The 6.5km of walking trails navigate clear natural pools and gorgeous vistas.
Occupying a headland draped in manicured lawns and native bush, this is the most significant site in NZ's history (and as such entry is free to NZ citizens upon presentation of a passport or drivers' license).
This marine conservation district comes with Jekyll-and-Hyde mood swings: wild and wicked in the winter, calm and tranquil in the summer. But no matter its mood, it’s always ideal for some sort of activity The narrow Kalaepiha Point separates Slaughterhouse Beach and Honolua Bay . Together they form the Honolua–Mokuleʻia Bay Marine Life Conservation District.
The big-three Waitomo Caves are all operated by the same company, based at the snazzy new Waitomo Glowworm Caves Visitor Centre , which incorporates a cafe and theatre. Various combo deals are available, including a Triple Cave Combo (adult/child $80/39). Try to avoid the large tour groups, most of which arrive between 10.30am and 2.
The 458-hectare national park straddles the heads of Botany Bay , 15km south of Sydney Harbour. Captain Cook landed here in 1770, naming the bay after the botanical specimens his naturalist Joseph Banks found here.
On March 18, 2008, Halemaʻumaʻu Crater shattered a quarter-century of silence with a huge steam-driven explosion that scattered rocks and Pele's hair (strands of volcanic glass) over 75 acres. A series of explosions followed, widening a 300ft vent in the crater floor, which as of early 2011 continued to spew a muscular column of smoke.