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The relatively small island of Bora Bora is an activity giant, offering visitors the chance to experience a 4x4 safari, sunbathe and swim at white sandy beaches, dive in a natural underwater park among fish and corals, experience thrilling shark feedings, or circle the turquoise lagoon by boat. And Bora Bora is a superlative romantic spot. Fall captive to this lush gem of a Polynesian island by sharing an intimate midnight dinner on the beach; visiting the Lagoonarium, the Diving Centre, the Coral Gardens or the Leopard Rays Trench; or taking it all in from the lofty heights of 2,300-foot Mount Otemanu.
Fiji's largest island, home to capital Suva, offers some wonderful beaches. Palm-fringed Natadola Beach, reputed to be one of the best beaches in the world, is a picture perfect crescent of powdery sand leading to dramatic cliffs. Coconuts hang overhead and the striking azure lagoon entices swimmers.
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 holiday-making, Aitutaki is a prime destination, especially for those seeking unbridled romantic ambiance.
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 colour 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).
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 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.
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.
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.
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.