The splatter of dots in the bottom right-hand corner of a map represents countries, such as French Polynesia, the Cook Islands, Fiji and the Solomon Islands, that have their home in the South Pacific. The rich history and diverse culture associated with these exotic countries make them fascinating destinations to visit. The thousand-mile journey that involves the dreaded, long flight is well worth the experience and magical memories that will be made in any of the cities below.
1. Melbourne, Australia
In the country down under, there is a destination as energetic and culturally artistic as New York City. The booming metropolis of Melbourne is the capital and most populated city in the Australian state of Victoria. Ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world, Melbourne boasts a unique lifestyle that attracts a younger population. Throughout the city, there are hundreds of upscale restaurants, fashion boutiques, outdoor cafés, stunning galleries and spacious parks with lots of greenery. Some of the popular tourist attractions in the area include the Royal Exhibition Building, Collins Street and the Melbourne Museum. The city of Melbourne is perfect for travelers of all ages, either interested in exploring new parts of the world or reliving moments of their youth.
Photo courtesy | James Jardine
2. Port Vila, Vanuatu
Modern conveniences such as running water and electricity seem vital to most Westerners, but the people of Vanuatu find these essentials unnecessary. For centuries, the locals of this island nation have coexisted with nature without ruining the beauty of their surroundings. They seek happiness in the simple pleasures of life, such as laughter and spending time with family. While the lifestyle of Vanuatu seems simplistic, the town of Port Vila is the most bustling city of the nation with an array of stores featuring a blend of local and international style. With the restaurants relying heavily on locally grown produce, the food served in Port Vila is both healthy and tasty. This destination is perfect for individuals who are seeking a break from their busy lives at home. From cozy cabins to five star boutique resorts, there is a hotel somewhere in this city that will meet all your needs and more.
Photo courtesy | David Cobbin
3. Auckland, New Zealand
According to myth, the battle between two tribes rendered the region of Auckland extremely fertile. With the abundant resources attracting people from all parts of the world, the city has been nicknamed Tāmaki Makaurau, or desired by many lovers. The diversity of the early settlers left an impact on Auckland’s culture. Restaurants offer a variety of national cuisines, satisfying the taste buds of even the pickiest eaters. The endless list of activities to do in Auckland ranges from walking on the edge of the Sky Tower to zip lining across the lush forests. Tourists in Auckland are only a half an hour away from the idyllic beaches, hiking trails and several serene islands.
Photo courtesy | Marco Milon
4. Rarotonga, The Cook Islands
The beauty of Rarotonga begins with the lush greenery of the island. The clear waters engulfing the capital gleam as the sun’s rays bounce off its surface with the tropical fish adding a pop of color. From the moment visitors step onto the island, they will hear the thumping sound of drums and the scratching of sticks, as the natives carve into the trees. Music, a vital element in the culture of Rarotonga, can be heard throughout the day from the hymns of churches to the sharp sounds of the ukulele. Visitors can embrace the unique culture by participating in some of the traditional arts and crafts like weaving, carving and painting. Other popular activities include fishing, scuba diving, paddling, snorkeling, sailing and swimming — all part of the daily routine of the locals. As a popular tourist destination, Rarotonga is home to a number of resorts and hotels.
Photo courtesy | Patrick Steele
5. Savusavu, Fiji
The hidden paradise of Savusavu is located on Fiji’s island of Vanua Levu. The ample number of activities, ranging from active sports to fascinating tours, to shopping at fashion boutiques and to soaking up the sun on idyllic beaches, leaves no room for moments of boredom. Trekking through the forests and discovering hidden waterfalls will excite adventurous travelers. With Savusavu Bay once a gigantic volcano, the existing activity still simmers beneath the town’s surface. While the boiling temperatures of the main springs are hot enough to cook food, locals are not allowed to soak in these thermal baths. However, a short distance from the main site of the hot springs is the Savusavu Medical Center that offers three therapeutic baths with an average temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Locals warn that once you experience the comfort of living in Savusavu, you might find yourself hesitating to return home.
Photo courtesy | Daku Resort Savusavu Fiji