Sydney is home to droves of unforgettable sights, but even the most dedicated locals need to sneak away for a change of scenery. Where can you experience a killer getaway without venturing beyond Oceania’s borders? These destinations are bound to wow.
The Weekend Trip: Gold Coast
Welcome to a surfer’s paradise. Perched on the southwestern edge of Queensland’s shore, the Gold Coast is equal parts beach town and modern metropolis, and you’ll find more than enough local treasures to keep you occupied for a weekend, week or beyond. With more than 35 miles of coastline, this is an ideal place to catch a few waves, but don’t discount the more city-centric shopping areas and thrilling theme parks. They’re a crucial part of what makes this fun-filled destination tick.
The Natural Wonder: Cairns
When dreams of the Great Barrier Reef come calling, the best way to answer is with a trip to Cairns. Surrounded by tropical vistas and some of the most lush landscapes this side of Sydney, this gem of northern Queensland is truly remarkable. A trip to the colorful coral of the reef is essential, but dedicate a little time to the above-sea-level sights; the Atherton Tablelands and Daintree National Park are pieces of paradise in their own right. Stock up on your Australian travel insurance, and make a beeline for this must-see spot.
The Romantic Escape: Fiji
In the mood for an island escape? Hideaways don’t get much more romantic than iconic Fiji. This South Pacific paradise offers beauty of the highest order: More than 330 individual islands feature swaying palms, sultry breezes and endless spots to soak up the sun. Head to Suva for the impeccable cuisine and most bustling atmosphere, but consider Kaduva if you’re hoping to do a little diving. Its Great Astrolabe Reef is a sight for sore eyes.
The Multicultural Marvel: Auckland
New Zealand’s most sprawling city is more than just a cosmopolitan break: It’s among the most multicultural spots in all of Oceania. Asian and Polynesian populations abound here, and you’ll uncover a multitude of shops, cafes and restaurants that help you get acquainted with the local atmosphere. Boating enthusiasts will think they’ve died and gone to heaven, but even those who favor dry land will find plenty to adore in the charming neighborhoods and picturesque bridges.
The Capital Excursion: Wellington
No destination gets to the heart of New Zealand quite like its stately capital. Anchored by hillside, harbor and historical sights, Wellington offers a little something for every type of traveler. Explore the 19th-century architecture and fascinating museums, browse the art galleries and entertainment districts, or kick back with a cuppa at one of the famously exuberant cafes. You’ll be singing Wellington’s praises in no time.