Relax under a palm tree on a tiny island, soak in thermal hot springs with views of snow-covered mountains and explore a vast, red desert in this continent of extremes.
Oceania comprises the two big islands that make up New Zealand, the vast continent of Australia and the small island nations that belong to Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia. As well as being incredibly varied in nature, these South Pacific nations are known to be easy-going, relatively undeveloped and super friendly.
Australia immediately stands out because of its sheer size and fame. The image of the rugged “Land Down Under” with hopping kangaroos, cuddly koalas and jumping crocodiles is certainly true, but Australia is about much more. Artistic, wealthy and modern state capital cities such as Sydney and Melbourne are among the most liveable in the world.
Between the tropical north and the temperate south of Australia, there are lush forests, fertile farmlands, sun-kissed wine regions and vast desert plains to explore. The laid-back “Aussies” are always happy to chat.
Meanwhile, their neighbors in New Zealand, the “Kiwis," have mastered the art of inventing thrilling adventure sports that allow you to explore their stunning country from all possible angles. Soar above, delve into, jump down from or bounce along rugged cliffs, thermal landscapes, turquoise lakes, snowcapped peaks, lush forests and rolling hills to experience the best of the South Island. While less dramatic, the North Island looks every bit as mystical as pictured in The Lord of the Rings movies.
To fulfil your fantasy of relaxing on a far-flung South Pacific island, try the likes of Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia. The friendly locals will make you feel right at home. Samoa, the Cook Islands and Tonga are up-and-coming destinations with equally lovely people and cultures. To get off the beaten track, visit tiny idyllic nations such as Kiribati and Tuvalu.