I can’t believe it’s true but after nearly 3 months of globetrotting around the world we have finally reached the last stop on this epic honeymoon adventure. And what a last stop it is, the postcard-perfect South Pacific honeymoon paradise of French Polynesia.
An overseas collectivity of France, these 118 islands and atolls stretch lazily across the South Pacific Ocean covering more than 1,200 miles. French Polynesia is divided into 5 island groups, the most famous of which are the Society Islands which includes Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea.
And while Tahiti and Bora Bora are more familiar names to most people, Moorea has always been a particular favorite of mine. So, of course, I knew it would be the perfect place to end our incredible honeymoon in style.Read More
With a blissful week in Fiji behind us, it was time to return to winter in the Southern hemisphere. All but one of my previous trips to New Zealand have been during the sunny summertime months of January and February. And while the North Island has generally mild winters, we wanted to give ourselves the best chance of the warmest temperatures so we decided to focus on the northernmost part of the North Island – the Bay of Islands – for our New Zealand stop.
Made up of 144 subtropical islands, the Bay of Islands is known for the beauty of its untouched beaches and the historical significance of its many Maori cultural artifacts. Just a 3 hour drive north of Auckland, it’s a popular destination for both Kiwis and international tourists alike.
The Maori were the first settlers in New Zealand, arriving in canoes nearly 1,000 years ago. The first European to sight the country was a Dutchman but it was the British who later made New Zealand part of their empire with the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. The treaty established British law and is considered the founding document of New Zealand. The Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where the treaty was signed, is one of the most significant historical attractions in the Bay of Islands.Read More
With our amazing couple of days in Sydney complete, it was time to warm up in the South Pacific. We had originally considered spending more time in Australia but ultimately decided to trade winter in Australia for a more tropical locale…like the sandy shores of Fiji.
And honestly, when you’re this close to Fiji, how can you not stop by?
In my previous visits to the islands I’d stayed on the main island of Nadi, either at the Sheraton Fiji or the lovely Westin Denarau Villas. From the resort area of Denarau it was easy to make day trips out to the Yasawa or Mamanuca Islands (the real draw in Fiji), but I’d always wanted to try actually staying on one of those gorgeously remote outer islands.Read More
I love Australia. Kangaroos, koalas, beaches, mountains, reefs; and to top it off, friendly locals with adorable accents. Oh right, and more things that can kill you than any other country and/or continent in the world…but who’s counting? Pythons swallowing crocodiles, dingoes eating sharks (I kid you not, I saw an actual photo of this), yes it’s a virtual predator free-for-all Down Under.
What’s not to love? Everyone likes an adventure.
The magnificent city of Sydney is the shining jewel of the southern hemisphere (and noticeably absent of predators) so I never miss a chance to stop by, even if it’s just for a few days. But since my darling husband had yet to venture to the Land of Oz it was an absolute must-do on our Round-the-World honeymoon journey.Read More
With a vast, sparkling lagoon rivaling Bora Bora’s – but with a fraction of the visitors – Aitutaki just might be the world’s most beautifully-remote island. Just a 45-minute flight from the main island of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, Aitutaki and its surrounding 22 atolls served as the tropical backdrop for “Survivor: Cook Islands.” Encircled by a knee-high lagoon, One Foot Island Aitutaki (or Tapuaetai, “one footprint”) is both dreamily-exotic and nearly deserted. But while it may look totally deserted, this tiny island paradise is home to one top attraction – a small hut containing the One Foot Island Post Office, one of the world’s most remote. Luckily, while in Rarotonga I’d heard about the post office from a fellow traveler so I knew to bring my passport on my day trip to Aitutaki. Otherwise, I might have missed out on the chance to get the footprint-shaped passport stamp that is my favorite stamp and a perfect memento of this tropical paradise.Read More
Tahitian for “yellow lizard,” Moorea is more than just one of French Polynesia’s most beautiful islands, it’s also the greatest value in the Society Islands. Fulfilling the dream of staying in an overwater bungalow (like one of these at the fabulous Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa) can easily be achieved on Moorea for half the price of its superstar sister island of Bora Bora. Surrounding the heart-shaped garden isle and stretching between its many brilliant bays, is the Moorea lagoon. With rows of plush bungalows perched atop it, the crystal-clear lagoon is teeming with coral and tropical marine life. You can easily spend an entire day (or several days) snorkeling the Moorea lagoon and never tire of this spectacular underwater world. From inside your bungalow, the show continues through a glass panel in the floor known locally as “Tahitian Television.” The lagoon is Moorea’s greatest natural wonder and the island’s endless source of entertainment.Read More