Vacations, Tours & Travel Experiences to Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific Islands
The South Pacific is a world of its own with its special character and personality. Known as Downunder to many of us living in the northern hemisphere, a journey to this region can entail any combination of countries. Most visitors usually opt for a combination of Australia and New Zealand. However, it is very easy to include other wonderful destinations either going to or returning from the South Pacific.
Australia is both a continent and an island. When planning a visit, take into consideration the diverse nature of the country. There are exciting cosmopolitan cities, tropical jungles, rainforests, mountain ranges, deserts and wine growing regions – all this in one country. Spend time in Sydney with its beautiful harbour, iconic opera house and historical Rocks district. Then move on to Melbourne, a cultural and sophisticated urban centre complete with suburban beach resorts (most of our trips to Australia include visits to both cities).
Serene Canberra is Australia’s capital, architecturally designed as a model city. Adelaide offers not only its green parks but also the close by fascinating animal sanctuary, Kangaroo Island and the outstanding wine region of the Barossa Valley. Perth has the ocean, pleasant parks, a sunny climate and nearby wine districts. When in Brisbane, make a point of visiting the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Tropical Cairns is a major gateway to the amazing Great Barrier Reef and also the Daintree Rainforest. The Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast with their excellent beaches, both offer an escape from North America’s cold climate.
Darwin can be combined with a visit to the extraordinary Kakadu National Park famous for its ancient rock art and waterfalls as well as its crocodiles. Unforgettable and mysterious Ayers Rock in the Red Centre and the Olgas are easily combined with Alice Springs. In Tasmania, you can immerse yourself in historic Hobart and take in some dramatic island scenery which includes mountains and lakes.
There are many other aspects to Australia. You can cruise around the Great Barrier Reef, go skiing in the Snowy Mountains, experience the Great Ocean Road with its spectacular coastline running between Melbourne and Adelaide, enjoy excellent art galleries and museums and partake in fine dining. Whatever your interests, an Australia vacation will provide it. You will certainly want to go back again once having travelled there.
Just over the Tasman Sea, approximately a 3-hour flight away from Australia is New Zealand, a land of natural wonder with its spectacular mountains, active volcanoes, majestic fjords, picturesque lakes, bubbling hot springs, great beaches and rugged coastline. All of these ingredients are packed into two relatively small islands which can be seen and experienced while in New Zealand.
The subtropical North Island contrasts perfectly with the more rugged and mountainous South Island. In the North Island, Auckland makes a good introduction to New Zealand with its attractive harbour, home to thousands of sailboats. Wellington, the country’s capital, known as the country’s centre for arts and culture, is scenically located between a stunning harbour and rolling green hills. Unique Rotorua introduces you to the world of thermal activity as well as offering insights into the Maori culture. In the far north, the Bay of Islands gives you not only delightful coastal resorts but interesting history.
Turning to the South Island, Christchurch will remind you of a typical English provincial city with its church spires, green parks and tree-lined River Avon. Queenstown is a treasure in itself with its stunning scenery, diverse outdoor activities and easy access to other interesting nearby places. It is the gateway to the dramatic Fjordland which includes the spectacular Milford Sound with its lush rainforest and majestic waterfalls and Te Anau, the starting point for several dramatic walking trails. Majestic Mount Cook cannot fail to impress with its massive, snow-clad peaks that make up the Mount Cook National Park. In the far south is Dunedin, a gracious and distinctive city with grand 19th Century buildings and beautiful gardens.
Add to all of the above, the many beautiful national parks such as the Coromandel, the Abel Tasman and Tongariro National Parks plus the rugged coastline of the west coast of the South Island with its marine animal life, there is absolutely no doubt that a New Zealand vacation is a true scenic wonderland.
Definitely break your journey in one of any of the delightful, tropical islands which offer all year round great weather with guaranteed sunshine. Tahiti is the heart of Polynesian culture with its towering jagged mountain peaks, tranquil, sheltered blue lagoons and white coral sand beaches set off by turquoise waters. Take your pick from romantic Bora Bora, breathtakingly beautiful Moorea or any of the smaller, less inhabited but equally stunning islands that make up Tahiti.
Fiji is an archipelago of more than 300 islands and known for its rugged landscapes, palm-lined beaches and coral reefs with clear lagoons. Its major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, contain most of the population. Consider a scenic cruise to the outer islands or just languish on one of the many wonderful beaches. The Cook Islands has a culture firmly anchored by traditional Polynesian values and is steeped in history. You will definitely find yourself attracted to the very friendly Cook Islanders.
Samoa and Tonga are other stopover possibilities, each with their own special character and attractions which definitely include beautiful beaches. For something different, head to Papua New Guinea which remains one of the world’s last frontiers where you can take a river cruise into the hinterlands of this exotic island.
Plan to visit the South Pacific and discover a world of delights, Downunder!
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- Goway's Downunder Special Services
- 50 plus reasons to go Downunder with Goway
- General travel information for Australia, New Zealand & The South Pacific
- Air ideas to get Downunder
- South Pacific Air Passes
Australia & South Pacific
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