It’s no secret that French Polynesia is a couple’s paradise. A laid-back lifestyle, the-freshest-you’ll-find-anywhere seafood, super-luxe accommodation and, of course, picture-perfect scenery – it all comes together here to create what is arguably the island destination that romance-seekers the world over dream of visiting. Whether it’s your first visit or you’re seasoned regulars, we’ve put together a checklist of essential experiences you need to tick off on a Tahiti getaway.
If your dream Bali getaway involves visiting beautiful beaches, feasting on fresh seafood by the water and marvelling at majestic temples, Jimbaran (35 minutes south of Ngurah Rai International Airport) is an absolute must-visit.
The Thai island of Samui sets out its stall early – in fact, the moment you step off the plane. Unlike almost every major tourist airport in the world, where you either walk straight into an arctic-cooled airbridge, or get herded unceremoniously onto buses, in Koh Samui (‘koh’ means island), passengers are embraced by the warm tropical air, and invited to board the nearest trolley bus – quaint electric vehicles adorned with colourful flowers. The laid-back island feel continues at the open-air terminal building, which is more a series of connected wooden roofs. You casually saunter through baggage claim and immigration, and before you know it, you’re in a taxi and on your way to your hotel. Welcome to ‘fantasy island’.
The Australian territory of Christmas Island proves to be an unexpected delight. It isn’t long before I have my first ‘wow’ moment here. Margaret Knoll Lookout is located just a few minutes down a dusty road from the island’s international airport that I’ve just flown into. At the end of that forested four-wheel drive track is an observation platform, beneath which the ground dips away rather unexpectedly. It’s a drop of more than 300 metres through tangled jungle vegetation to the island’s battered eastern shoreline. And there isn’t another person in sight.
Translating to life, bula (pronounced boo-lah) is a cheerful greeting you'll hear from the moment you arrive in Fiji. It means a lot of things – hello, how are you, hope you're doing well – but it basically comes down to the same thing: welcome to my homeland. It's this warm sense of welcome that you'll feel during a stay at the luxe Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort on the island nation's Coral Coast. It's easy to pass the days at this five-star paradise just lazing about under a shady palm tree, but for an unforgettable holiday with all the trimmings, tick these experiences off your bucket-list…
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