Southern Alps, New Zealand

Australasia + South Pacific

From the vibrant colours of the Australian outback, to the snowy peaks of New Zealand’s South Island and without forgetting the palm fringed white beaches of Fiji and Samoa.

Australia, New Zealand and the islands of the South Pacific are totally different to anything you would expect to find anywhere else in the world – rich in wildlife and stunning landscapes.

From diving on the majestic Great Barrier Reef or driving down The Great Ocean Road in Australia to exploring the fantastic rock formations, explosive geysers, volcanoes and startlingly surreal landscapes of New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea, the scenic diversity of Australasia is a truly unique experience.

Where we go

The South Pacific’s paradisiacal reputation can be traced back to European explorers, returning home with tales of fertile soils, beautiful islanders and simple ways. These island nations have modernised since the late 1700s, but their allure remains undiminished: you’ll still find gin-clear waters, smiling locals and gardenia-scented airs. But what’s most amazing is how untainted by tourism most islands are. Blame it on remoteness, blame it on airfares…but few people who fantasise about the South Seas ever actually make the journey. Getting off the tourism grid and playing Robinson Crusoe is the true gift of the South Pacific.

Even geography geeks crinkle their brows when contemplating this many islands, this far from anywhere else. On the map, all those little dots look the same, their many-vowelled names tripping over the tongue. But down on the ground there’s a cultural diversity befitting any such earthly expanse. Yes, there are Polynesian nations, Melanesian nations, Micronesian nations…but beneath these blanket names are myriad languages, customs, histories and landscapes that make each island group unique. It’s not just homogenous beaches and reefs – bust out of your resort to find societies and experiences as rich as coconut cream.

Life moves slowly under the southern sun – it’s no wonder sit-on-a-beach-and-read-a-book holidays are why most visitors are here. But what if you want a bit of action? Look around and you’ll find world-class surf breaks here, plus amazing snorkelling and diving sites. More surprisingly, you might try hiking to find crumbling tiki (sacred) statues in the jungle, trekking to the top of a volcano, swimming into a sea cave, rappelling down a waterfall or kayaking to a forgotten beach. The adventure travel vein has scarcely been tapped here and, other than a few mechanised experiences like jetskiing and 4WD tours, what’s on offer is authentic, uncrowded and something you’ll never likely forget.

The South Pacific doesn’t have a terrific rep for fine food and wine. But sidestep the Westernised resort restaurants and be adventurous: you’ll find hearty local stews cooked with coconut milk, fabulous fresh seafood (how’s that lobster?), peppy Chinese noodle soups and even the odd Indian curry. And who needs shiraz when the weather is this humid? Sip a cold local lager instead – the perfect thirst quencher as the sun sets on another day in paradise.

Solomon Islands
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