Luxury Vacations in the South Pacific

Luxury vacations in the South Pacific can cover a huge area that includes from 20,000 to 30,000 islands. The islands, sometimes collectively called Oceania, include Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. This area stretches from New Zealand all the way to Hawaii. Some of these islands are complete destinations themselves, and Hawaii luxury vacations are in a category all their own.

Other islands evoke romantic images and iconic names from the pages of both fact and fiction—Robinson Crusoe, Charles Darwin, Paul Gauguin, and the Mutiny on the Bounty. While these islands can still be enjoyed by budget-conscious young people and families with a tight budget, it is luxury vacations in the South Pacific that many think of, including elegant spas, gourmet dining with the sounds of the sea in the background, and romantic honeymoons enjoying the height of pampering. Fiji and Tahiti are perfect examples for luxury tropical vacations, with some of the finest and most decadent beach resorts in the world. You might want to try the Shangri-la Fijian Resort and Spa in Sigatoka, with every imaginable facility, including a full-service spa and fitness center, tennis courts and a golf course, three swimming pools, and fine gourmet dining options. If you've chosen Tahiti, you can't do better than the St. Regis Resort on Bora Bora, where you can enjoy the tropical breezes in one of the exquisite one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas; it makes for one of the best luxury vacations around.

Although Australia is its own continent and not technically part of the South Pacific islands, a luxury vacation in Australia will still figure prominently in any list of options for South Pacific holidays. It, along with New Zealand, is a modern country with a very sophisticated tourism infrastructure. Both countries have been popular tourist destinations since the early part of the twentieth century. You can find luxury trips to New Zealand and Australia that encompass some of the most beautiful and exotic places in the world.

Your luxury vacation in Australia will allow you to spend time in the sophisticated city of Sydney in one of many world-class hotels. Here you can enjoy attractions such as the Sydney Opera House and surfing on Bondi Beach while capturing the romance of a bygone era in hotels like the classic Orient-Express Observatory Hotel, an elite boutique property with only 100 lavish rooms and suites. When you travel a bit further afield, your luxury vacation in Australia can take you to magnificent accommodations in the northern city of Cairns on the equally magnificent Great Barrier Reef, to the "Red Center" of the country to Uluru (Ayers Rock), or into Daintree Rainforest to view unique wildlife.

Luxury trips to New Zealand are almost as diverse as those in Australia. Instead of experiencing the outback of Australia, you can enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the Southern Alps where legendary Edmund Hillary learned to climb and the dramatic Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park. You can stay in exclusive and elegant bed and breakfasts as you enjoy Wine Garden tours. Savor the sophistication of five-star hotels such as the Hilton Auckland or relax in comfort at the Lake Okareka Lodge in Rotorua as you discover the indigenous Maori culture. Many luxury trips to New Zealand involve sailing of some sort—a fairly staggering number of residents own a sailboat, and it could be considered the national sport.

And speaking of boats, many enjoy luxury vacations in the South Pacific, on oceangoing cruise ships. Australia and New Zealand cruises are very popular, and most of the major cruise lines offer ports of call in these countries as well as neighboring islands.

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