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Turquoise lagoons, soft white sands, and deep tangerine sunsets set the scene... more
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Bora Bora
Turquoise lagoons, soft white sands, and deep tangerine sunsets set the scene for romance on the island so nice they named it twice. Mingle with tropical fish as you flutter around Coral Gardens or Tupitipiti Point, or relax in a self-driving tour as you take in beautiful views of the once-volcanic Mount Otemanu. At the Lagoonarium you can watch shark feedings and swim with turtles. Cap it all off with a succulent meal at one of the island’s fine French restaurants, then sip a tropical cocktail under the stars.
This small island encased in a triangular barrier reef boasts incredible... more
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Aitutaki
This small island encased in a triangular barrier reef boasts incredible lagoons. Relax with a intimate picnic on the alabaster beach of one of Aitutaki’s minor islands, uninhabited and lined with swaying palm trees. Despite its heartbreaking beauty, Aitutaki isn’t (yet) flooded with tourists, due to its relatively difficult-to-reach location. For off-the-beaten-sandbar vacationing, Aitutaki is a prime destination, especially for those seeking unbridled romantic ambiance.
The world's largest coral reef eco-system actually consists of 3,000 separate... more
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Moorea
The world's largest coral reef eco-system actually consists of 3,000 separate reefs. The island of Moorea serves as the perfect base camp for snorkelers and scuba divers seeking to come face-to-face with the diversity of life that darts among the coral. Non-swimmers can enjoy the same parade of astounding creatures from the dry perch of a glass-bottomed boat. Formed when half of a monolithic volcano crumbled to the blue-green sea, Moorea is an achingly exquisite heart-shaped island that is simply paradise found.
It was the site of three international versions of "Survivor," but time spent on... more
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Efate
It was the site of three international versions of "Survivor," but time spent on Efate is anything but a struggle. Part of the island nation of Vanuatu, Efate is a tropical former territory of Britain and France, whose influences are still present in the island’s culture and cuisine. The capital city of Port Vila is a mosaic of restaurants, shops and museums, as well as the point of origin for many SCUBA, jet ski and parasailing excursions. Don’t miss the spectacular freshwater falls of Mele Cascades.
Sipping coconut milk while bargaining for handmade jewelry and swaying your hips... more
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Rarotonga
Sipping coconut milk while bargaining for handmade jewelry and swaying your hips to live music—just another Saturday morning in Rarotonga. After a few hours of checking out the wharf-side Punanga Nui Market, hit the beaches of this reef-protected volcanic island. There are plenty of picturesque lagoons that allow peaceful swimming or snorkeling, and moonlit strolls along the East Side sands are pure magic. Raro Safari Tours are a popular way to explore the island’s vivid rainforest.
Artists and free-spirits mingle with the rich and famous on this blissful... more
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Waiheke Island
Artists and free-spirits mingle with the rich and famous on this blissful island, a haven of beautiful beaches, gastronomical treasures and small wineries. Browse the dozens of art galleries and craft stores of the Waiheke Arts Trail between dips in the emerald waters. Soar above the landscape on a chartered scenic flight, then refuel your engine with a casual beachfront café meal or an upscale, multi-course affair. Waiheke boasts several boutique vineyards, perfect for sipping, sampling and savoring New Zealand’s fine wines.
At first glance, it’s hard to believe that vibrant Norfolk Island could have a... more
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Norfolk Island
At first glance, it’s hard to believe that vibrant Norfolk Island could have a dark past. Yet during the 19th century, the now-peaceful Australian retreat was a convict colony, home to criminals who’d been banished into exile. Today, the archaeological remains of the penal colony have UNESCO World Heritage status and are revered for their historical significance. You can visit the settlement’s remains, an eerie yet beautiful collection that includes a jail, a cemetery, lumbar yard and salt house.
Sure, it’s a bit rainy here. But a lush tropical paradise needs water—otherwise... more
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Taveuni Island
Sure, it’s a bit rainy here. But a lush tropical paradise needs water—otherwise you wouldn’t see such brilliant flowers everywhere. The black-sand beaches provide contrast to the riot of color everywhere else. Nature-lovers can see many of Fiji’s indigenous species, especially in Bouma National Heritage Park (where you should also stop at Bouma Falls).
Kangaroo Island is the epitome of variety, ripe with pristine beaches, historic... more
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Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island is the epitome of variety, ripe with pristine beaches, historic lighthouses, conservation land, underground caves, rare honeybees, gourmet local delicacies and… penguins. Book a tour with the Kangaroo Island Penguin Centre to watch these tuxedoed darlings waddle along the water, then tuck into a hearty dinner featuring native ingredients like rich sheep’s-milk cheese, freshwater marron, olive oil and boutique wine. The island’s art galleries showcase the woodworking, glass-blowing and furniture-making talents of local craftsmen.
The pink sands of Champagne Beach spill into warm waters filled with wrecks and... more
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Espiritu Santo
The pink sands of Champagne Beach spill into warm waters filled with wrecks and reefs begging to be explored by Espiritu Santo vacationers. Rinse off with a dip in one of the island’s many freshwater blue holes. Trek over a bamboo bridge to visit the bats and swallows of Millennium Cave, who nap among spectacular rock formations. Divers can wave hello to "The Lady," one of the many intact artifacts of the wreck of the SS President Coolidge.