Travel guide for New Zealand, Australia and South Pacific that will help you experience the best adventure, nature and Aboriginal culture
Long viewed by snooty Europeans as cultural backwaters, in the last decade Australia and New Zealand have been rocketed to the top of travellers’ wishlists by two spectacular global events: the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and the NZ-set Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
So now the world knows what visitors knew all along – that these two little-and-large neighbours pack in more adventure, natural wonder and (breathe it) cultural wallop than almost anywhere else on earth. Add in the 7,500 beguiling isles of the South Pacific – from the enigmatic big heads of Easter Island to the land-divers of Vanuatu – and you have a traveller-friendly region with enormous depth and variety.
The classic first-timer’s tour of Australia – ‘Sydney, Rock and Reef’ – ticks off its world icons: the feelgood harbour city, the jaw-dropping desert monolith of Uluru (Ayers Rock), and the divers’ paradise of the Great Barrier Reef.
Many equally rewarding experiences lie further afield. though. Western Australia offers true wilderness adventures in the outback; Arnhem Land, in the Northern Territory, is perhaps the best place to learn about Aboriginal culture; and Tasmania boasts world class rafting, hiking and rainforest.
New Zealanders like to call their home ‘God’s Own Country’, and for anyone with a taste for outdoors, they’re probably right. The larger, craggier South Island often grabs the headlines, but the North Island is quieter and no less beautiful. Take your pick from fjord-lined Milford Sound, the coastal Abel Tasman and Queen Charlotte tracks, the volcanic Tongariro Crossing – and dozens more hiking gems.
Want to go faster? Queenstown is a mecca for adrenaline sports – the bungee jump and many more lunatic endeavours were invented here. New Zealand’s Maori culture is also fascinating and easily accessible through museums, cultural tours and homestays.
This part of the world is often called Oceania, and for good reason: the South Pacific defines everything from Bondi Beach’s surfers to New Zealand’s yachties. And strung out to the north and east of New Zealand, the far-flung islands of Polynesia – settled by pioneering sailors – retain a strong seafaring culture.
Most visited is Fiji, the hub of South Pacific air travel. Here there are luxury resorts a-plenty, but also many chances to experience traditional, conservative Polynesian village life. Nearby(ish) Samoa is emerging as a less-developed alternative. Tonga has world-class humpback whale-watching and the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have great diving and are home to remarkable tribal cultures.
Further afield, paradise islands like Rarotonga, Tahiti and Bora Bora are firmly in luxury honeymoon territory. However, the passenger-carrying freighter Aranui is still the way to visit the remote Marquesas Islands on one of the world’s greatest and remotest boat journeys.
So what are you waiting for? Start planning your Australasian adventure today…
Marvel at big heads, dive with big fish, wander round big rocks – you can do it all and more down under
Repositories of rare plants, an oasis of calm and places of extraordinary beauty, these stunning botanical gardens are the living, breathing heart of the cities they serve... More
Ever wondered what working as a safari guide is really like? We ask award-winning Abercrombie and Kent guide Garth Hovell about his 25 years of tracking dangerous wildlife in Africa... More
From saving whales in Portugal to tracking rhinos in Zimbabwe, these top conservation tours are all about volunteering your time, getting stuck in and importantly, giving back to our planet's wildlife... More
We reveal the best destinations to travel to in June, for warm sunny weather, cultural festivals, epic wildlife watching experiences and longer-term trips... More
Whether you’re looking for encounters with sharks and mantas, hoping to escape the crowds or keen to explore underwater wrecks, diving pro Phil North reveals the world's best dives... More
Cycling is a brilliant way to travel. Moving at a slower pace, you can engage more deeply with your destination. Whether you want a challenge or to mosey along the flat, here are our top cycling trips... More
From bubblegum-coloured lakes and baby pink palaces to a Japanese garden covered in garishly pink moss, life always looks rosy in these pretty pink-hued attractions... More
From a snow-capped gentle giant in Antarctica to a fire-spitting monster in Japan, these photos of the world's highest volcanoes will remind you of the power and beauty of these ancient landmarks... More
Dark Waters presenter Jeremy reveals the stand-out mysterious and mystical lakes and rivers he’s travelled to in his career, discovering Lake Garda’s hidden monster to the water spirits of the Zambezi... More
Our Wanderlust experts have selected the cream of the upcoming 2019/2020 solo travel-friendly tours, that avoid you having to stump up the dreaded single supplement… More
From eye-popping Italian islands and cheery villages to landscapes painted by nature, these multi-coloured rainbow destinations are guaranteed to brighten up your day... More
We round up the best nature documentaries can you find on Netflix, Amazon Prime, iPlayer and NowTV - so you've got more to watch once you've finished Our Planet... More
From lambs carved from butter through to wild rabbit hunts in New Zealand, here are the most eggs-traordinary ways to celebrate this Easter... More
We take a sneak peek inside the companion book to Our Planet by Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey. From majestic whales to adorable bears, here's what you have to look forward to... More
Silent and hauntingly beautiful, these wrecks have washed up on some of the loveliest parts of the planet and become an integral part of the landscape - or remain hidden under the sea to this day... More
Bury your phone, leave the laptop at home and immerse yourself in New Zealand’s jaw-dropping wilderness. We pick the top Kiwi stays for getting back to nature… More
We reveal the best destinations to travel to in May, for ideal weather, natural wonders, cultural highlights, primetime wildlife watching experiences and longer-term trips... More
Combining gourmet food, attentive guides, unique boutique stays and some of the most breathtaking scenery on the planet - these privately tailored tours are once in a lifetime luxury experiences... More
From Kenya and Zambia to Botswana and South Africa, big cat experts Jonathan and Angela Scott reveal the best African safari spots for a view of the majestic leopard... More
Wanderlust subscribers now receive a free £50 voucher valid on trips from a great selection of top tour operators
And the best bit is, this isn't a one-off offer, you get one every time you renew as well!
The £50 discount can be redeemed against one trip booking with one of our tour operator partners, by the expiry date printed on the voucher. The £50 can even be redeemed on top of any discounts our partners are already offering, ensuring Wanderlust subscribers get the best deal possible.
Simply quote your unique voucher code when booking to claim the discount. This offer is only available to Wanderlust subscribers.
UK subscribers automatically receive the voucher each year. Overseas subscribers receive it upon request.
From: £2295.00More …
From: £Contact usMore …
From: £3795.00More …
From: £Contact usMore …
From: £Contact usMore …
From: £3435.00More …
From: £1825.00More …
Sign up today for free and be the first to get notified of new articles, new competitions, new events and more!