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JOANNE PALANUIK

AUSTRALIA & SOUTH PACIFIC

DESTINATION SPECIALIST

I was born and raised in New Zealand. My homeland is beautiful, with geothermal wonderlands, geysers, glaciers, culture, nature, and adventure activities—plus The Lord of the Rings and Hobbiton. I've traveled all over the South Pacific. My favourite memories are: diving and snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef; the changing colours of Uluru; camel rides and hot air ballooning in the Outback; Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land; isolated beaches and coral reefs of Fiji; the beautiful Cook Islands with turquoise lagoons, nature walks, limestone bird caves, and coffee plantations on Aitu; Tahiti's stunning lagoons, with an overwater bungalow stay; tropical Samoa's white-sand beaches; Balinese beaches and amazing temples; and the Big Five at Kruger National Park. Most recently I visited the Highlands, Karawari, Sepik, and Milne Bay regions of Papua New Guinea. I would love to help you plan your trip.

My favourite places

  • Coromandel Peninsula

    Downunder

    With breathtaking scenery, nature trails, and gorgeous beaches, the Coromandel is a gem and loved by the locals. For a truly memorable experience, arrive at Hot Water Beach one hour before low tide. Dig a hole in the sand and hot water bubbles up through the sand into your pool. Then sit back, soak, and relax.

  • Aitutaki

    Islands

    Aitutaki's turquoise lagoon is spectacular. A day tour from Rarotonga, you can enjoy a lagoon cruise, swim, snorkel, and explore One Foot Island—remember to get your passport stamped. If time permits, extend your stay. It's unbelievably relaxing. This island paradise is often referred to as heaven on earth.

  • Port Douglas

    Downunder

    Set on beautiful Four Mile Beach, a relaxing seaside marina village. Explore the Wet Tropics, Mossman Gorge, and two world heritage areas: the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. One of the oldest surviving rainforests on Earth and the world's largest coral reef system meet at Cape Tribulation Beach.

  • Kangaroo Island

    Downunder

    KI is a nature based island. Pristine wilderness and an abundance of wildlife (kangaroos, koalas, fur seals, and sea lions). Enjoy the casual lifestyle, local cuisine, and produce. Visit an art gallery, winery, eucalyptus distillery, and honey farm. Do yourself a favor: turn your day trip into a overnight experience.

Did you know?

  • Village tours are a wonderful experience. Ask before taking photos and respect local customs and culture.
  • Today, we frequently use mobile devices for reading, music, and photos so remember your portable charger.
  • Tipping is not customary in New Zealand, Australia, and the South Pacific islands. Do as the locals do.
  • When planning your trip, make sure you include your "must do" options, as day tours can easily sell out.