Auckland is a popular tourist destination and one the easier places in NZ to get to thanks to the size of its airport. The city has a lot to offer! You could catch a ferry to Waiheke Island and taste the wine, climb one of the 48 volcanoes scattered throughout the Auckland region, or you could spend some time treating yourself to culinary delights in a cafe or restaurant. If you want to take in some of New Zealand’s famous epic landscape, then you could head to Queenstown in the South Island. Queenstown is small but can deliver quite an experience for adventure seekers and lovers of the outdoors. Wait in line for the local phenomenon Fergburger, then head down to Lake Wakatipu and take in the breathtaking mountain ranges. There is a plethora of adventurous activities in Queenstown that can get your heart pumping – skiing, snowboarding, zip-lining, rock climbing, kayaking, jet boating, and more.
Fiji is a place where you can say goodbye to responsibilities and routines and say bula to your newfound island lifestyle. Fiji has plenty of natural wonders to explore from Bouma National Park on Tavenui (Fiji’s third largest island) with its famous Tavoro Waterfalls, to the Sawa-I-Lau Caves in Blue Lagoon – a labyrinth of ancient natural limestone carved out by the ebb and flow of the Pacific Ocean waves. Once you arrive near the caves you can swim through and around them. A more recent popular attraction in Fiji is the Garden of the Sleeping Giant. It was once a private orchid collection but is now open to the public. With over 2000 varieties of flora, the garden is a horticultural masterpiece of the South Pacific. At the edge of the garden is the base of Sleeping Giant Mountain which makes for a stunning backdrop.
This small island kingdom is particularly well known for being one of the few places in the world where you can swim with humpback whales. Good news: whale season takes place from June to October, so there is a good chance you could spot one during your long weekend stay. Another (maybe less appreciated) wonder of the animal kingdom are Tonga’s snorkelling pigs – you can watch them run around in the sand at low tide which is an adorable site to behold. If you’re a history fan, check out Ha’amonga ‘a Maui – the Stonehenge of the Pacific. It stands up to 5.2 meters high and, although people know very little about its history, its cultural significance runs deep. Countless beaches line the shores of Tonga so you’ll never be short of a place to swim.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is one of the world’s most diverse countries with over 850 indigenous languages still spoken among many different tribes. It is a popular destination for adventure seekers as it offers plenty of outdoor experiences such as scuba diving, hiking, and kayaking. The Kokoda trail is a world-famous walking track that spans over 96km; the trek can take around 10 days to complete. Surrounding many of the cities are expansive rainforests that house myriad exotic plants and animals.
Beaches, luxury hotels, fresh produce markets, and cascading waterfalls are just a few of Vanuatu’s many offerings. Adrenaline junkies might like to look into Vanuatu’s exciting history of land diving, which is like bungee jumping except with vines instead of rope, and there is no bounce back – the goal is to just hit the ground safely. For anyone just looking for a relaxing weekend, beach hopping is a great way to spend your day. Vanuatu is well known for its crystal-clear waters and gleaming white sand; almost any beach you stumble upon in Vanuatu will feel like you’ve walked straight into a postcard.
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