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Best History & Culture Vacations - South Pacific

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Results for: Best History & Culture Vacations - South Pacific
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1Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Home to indigenous people for tens of thousands of years, Sydney's European history began when Captain Cook laid eyes on Botany Bay in 1770. The discovery of gold in 1851 led to massive growth and Sydney has blossomed into a thrilling, glittering, modern city with world-class arts and culture institutions.
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    • Beaches & Sun
      With dozens of stunning ocean beaches within half an hour of downtown, there are few better urban beach destinations than Sydney. Famed Bondi Beach sees up to 40,000 on busy weekends. If quieter beaches appeal, take the coastal walk past smaller strands all the way to Coogee's calmer sands.
    • Shopping
      Boisterous Sydney offers every kind of shopping for visitors, with the heart of the action centred on the tourist-thronged Rocks district and along George and Pitt Streets. A distinctive Sydney shopping experience can be had at the Queen Victoria Building, where 200 boutiques compete for attention.
  • Find: Hotels in Sydney | Flights to Sydney | Vacation Rentals in Sydney
2Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
The state of Victoria has a proud and fascinating history, reminders of which remain on display in lovely, laid-back Melbourne. Wealth from the gold rush has left a legacy of fine architecture, parks adorn every area of the city and innovative museums like the Melbourne Museum and the Melbourne Gaol captivate all comers.
3Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
European, Polynesian, Asian and strong Maori heritages give the City of Sails its distinctive culture. Discover the history of the world's largest Polynesian city through the horde of Maori treasures at Auckland Museum and experience the lives of 19th-century settlers at Howick Historical Village.
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    • Shopping
      Queen Street at Auckland's city center is home to a bounty of mainstream outlets including department store Smith & Caughey and many duty-free shops, while parallel High Street is the spot for chic fashion boutiques like Karen Walker and World. Polynesian crafts are an especially popular Auckland draw.
  • Find: Hotels in Auckland | Flights to Auckland | Vacation Rentals in Auckland
4Christchurch, Canterbury Region, South Island, New Zealand
Maori hunters first settled in the Christchurch area in 1000. Called the ""Land of the long white cloud"" by its indigenous people, opportunities abound to take part in bone carving and jewelry-making workshops, traditional hangi dinners and Maori concerts. A cultural precinct offers museums and artisan stands.
5Wellington, Greater Wellington, North Island, New Zealand
First discovered by Polynesian explorers, Maori people have inhabited the area around New Zealand's capital since the 1100s. Their fascinating and eventful history is showcased at city museums. European arrivals founded the planned town in 1840, and it swiftly became a major port, vibrant city and center of culture.
6Alice Springs, Red Centre, Northern Territory, Australia
This hardy desert town of 26,000 started life as a telegraph station named Stuart in the mid 1800s. Renamed Alice Springs in 1933, it became an important WWII staging post. The Capital of the Australian Outback has been the home of the aboriginal Arrernte people for 50,000 years and is a base for visits to Uluru (Ayers Rock).