A vast island continent, Australia teems with natural and cultural treasures. Relax on gorgeous beaches along the sprawling coastline, or plunge below the water in Queensland to explore the Great Barrier Reef. Nature enthusiasts revel in exciting adventures in the interior, from trekking around majestic Uluru to spotting wildlife in tropical rain forests. But there's more to life down under than outdoor activities. Cosmopolitan cities like Sydney and Melbourne entice with thriving dining and arts scenes, while world-class vineyards abound.
From the Bay of Islands' pristine beaches in the north to the soaring pinnacles of Milford Sound in the south, New Zealand is a stunner. Glaciated mountains, steaming volcanoes, and lush forests give adventurers a vast array of ecological playgrounds to explore. While hikers retreat to 14 national parks, bird-watchers find their bliss on peaceful Stewart Island. But it's not all parks and rec. Māori enclaves display deep native heritage, idyllic vineyards produce world-class wines, and vibrant dining and arts scenes thrive in cities like Auckland and Wellington.
From the moment you set eyes on Fiji through cabin-pressured windows, the country promises to be more than just another pretty beach. The main island's mountainous, un-ignorable green landscape seems to rise to meet you, a reflection of the extraordinary hospitality of its people. Among its 333 islands are rain forests and sparkling cobalt-and-white shores. Resorts of every size and caliber comprise the sumptuous playground of sun worshippers, spa-goers, water-sports enthusiasts, golfers, foodies, and most everyone in between. Were there a vacation fairy, you can imagine she'd sprinkle Yasawa Islands sand in place of fairy dust. Fiji is as well-rounded a tropical destination as you're likely to set barefoot on.
Polynesie francaise has long been among the world’s more romantic destinations. Made up of 4,200 square km (1,622 square mi) of land spread over five archipelagoes that cover nearly 2.5 million square km of South Pacific Ocean, French Polynesia became a protectorate of France in 1847 and a colony in 1880. Today it is an "overseas country" or pays d’outre-mer of France and has a population of nearly 250,000, 83% of them Polynesian. The biggest concentration of people is in the capital, Papeete, where around 130,000 people live. It’s a place of overwhelming beauty—and of subtlety. Many wear the national flower, a species of gardenia (but sometimes any available flower) over one ear: wear it on the left if you are spoken for, on the right ear if you are not. Of course, you can't take this literally, and many souls would require flowers on both ears.
Welcome to the secret of the Pacific, that not many people know about. Breathe in the fresh pure air. Wade into the cool, calm, blue lagoons. Let the untouched charm of these beautiful Cook Islands capture your spirit and hold your heart.
The 15 islands of the Cooks lie halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii in the South Pacific, scattered like fragrant frangipani petals floating across 2.2 million square kilometres of a seductive, sensual ocean. Boasting rare beauty, an idyllic climate, warm welcoming people with the widest white smiles and a pace of life unsurpassed for peace: the Cook Islands is an Island Paradise.
Come explore and share with us the pleasures of the Cook Islands on your next Cook Islands Vacation.