Where is it?
For the purposes of this guide, the Pacific refers to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and French Polynesia. There are thousands of islands scattered around this area of the Pacific and the Coral Sea, and many are largely unexplored by tourists.
Where can I stay?
Each of these countries is used to tourism and Australia and New Zealand in particular are not short of places to stay; from grand hotels to backpacker hostels. Europeans travelling to this part of the world usually stay for some time because of the long flights and because there’s so much to explore. Take the weight off your sight-seeing feet and choose to stay in one of the growing number of boutique hotels. Specifically designed for those who like to stay somewhere different on their travels, these hotels pay careful attention to design, detail and service, ensuring that your stay is comfortable and straightforward so that you can concentrate on the cities, landscapes and activities nearby. In Australia, try Tower Lodge in the country’s Hunter Valley – internationally famous for its wine production. With just twelve rooms that are simply and elegantly furnished and designed for maximum comfort whatever the weather, a stay at Tower Lodge is the perfect start to an Australian tour. By contrast, try the luxury yachts that operate out of French Polynesia. A six or seven night cruise around these beautiful islands is refined by the number of spacious bedrooms – just 30 – and the addition of several sundeck levels, champagne breakfasts and on-land excursions designed to let you see the wonder of these islands at first hand.
What can I see?
You can’t possibly fit everything that this area has to offer into a couple of paragraphs, but all of the countries of the Pacific benefit from astonishing coastlines, unforgettable mountain, desert and forested areas, rich culture and an adventurous spirit. Whether you’re bungee-jumping in New Zealand, surfing in Australia, river kayaking in French Polynesia or enjoying the scuba diving in Fiji, you’re sure to want to return to the Pacific again to explore its delights.
How do I get around?
Transport varies from country to country. Australia and New Zealand are well served by airlines, so you can visit both countries in one trip, just move between New Zealand’s North and South islands, or take in as much of Australia as you can. It’s straightforward to hire cars in both countries and they operate public transport networks that are obviously cheaper and more regular in the cities than in rural areas. In Fiji, you can island hop by plane or, more cheaply and slowly, by ferry. Alternatively, there are reasonable bus services on the larger islands. French Polynesia is much the same, as are many of the other island groups in this part of the Pacific.
As more and more boutique hotels emerge to cater for travellers who appreciate design and service, the Pacific islands will feature in many more travel wish lists.