From the unique marsupials of Australia, the pristine Fiji beaches to the wondrous landscapes of New Zealand, there’s a whole new world waiting for you on this side of the globe. Here are some of Oceania’s biggest highlights!
Kick-start your Oceania adventure with a traditional Maori welcome ceremony. The Maori are indigenous Polynesians who arrived in New Zealand in 1320. Embark on a Maori cultural experience with a master storyteller who will share customs and traditions, learn the haka dance and try the hangi – a traditional cooking method where meat and fish are buried in a pit in the ground. In Fiji, participate in a kava ceremony by presenting a kava root to your host. The plant is pounded into a pulp, placed into a cloth sack and mixed with water. The liquid, often referred to as kava gold, is then strained and ready for drinking. Immerse yourself in Aboriginal culture in Australia, often regarded as the world’s oldest living culture stretching back to more than 50,000 years ago. From rock art tours to celebrity chefs serving delicious bush tucker, the Aboriginal Australians are waiting to tell their stories and share their way of life.
Oceania is known for its fantastic beaches and sparkling crystal-clear waters. New Zealand’s Piha Beach is one of the country’s wild west coastal beaches. Best known for its unique black sand beach and large waves, the site is popular among surfers across the globe. Don’t miss the brilliant sunrise from the Cape Byron Lighthouse at Byron Bay, the most easterly point of Australia. The shipwrecks scattered off the coast are also amazing diving spots for amateurs and professionals alike. For a more luxurious experience, head to the overwater bungalows in French Polynesia — known for its idyllic tropical climate, blue lagoons and secluded white sand beaches. Escape the daily grind as you sip cocktails and admire its stunning sunsets.
The Australian Outback is full of surprises! Embark on a self-drive adventure and feel the vast outback beneath your wheels as you spot wild kangaroos and dingos along the way. Explore Ayers Rock on the back of a camel: known to the locals as Uluru, this distinctive sandstone formation stands at 348m high, making it the largest single rock monolith in the world. Witness the changing colours of the Ayers Rock, best viewed during dawn or sunset, where it slowly transforms from a rusty orange hue to a glowing fiery red. It’s not the only colorful sight in Oceania — the Waitomo Caves in New Zealand are well-known for its luminous-blue glowworms, which cascades from the ceiling like starlit rain. Take a quiet boat ride into the caves or join a guided tour to discover more about the fascinating geology, history and culture of the surrounding Waitomo region.
Melbourne is, without a doubt, a must-visit culinary destination of Australia. The city’s vast multicultural menus allow curious foodies to explore freely, and its relaxed approach to food allows local chefs to be innovative and creative. Head east to Yarra Valley for the finest wineries in Victoria and delight your taste buds with a superior selection of some of the country’s best wines. The region boasts a rich history in production of wine, beer and cider dating back to the early 1800s. To fully appreciate the beauty of the sprawling valley, consider riding a hot air balloon at sunrise — you will be treated to staggering views of rolling hills, luscious green landscapes and leaping kangaroos grazing in the wild!
It’s time for thrills and spills! Prove your fearlessness when you go bungee jumping in New Zealand – jumping off a cliff is guaranteed to give you a dose of adrenaline for the rest of your life. If that’s not exciting enough, why not swim amongst the harmless swarms of golden jellyfish in Palau’s famed saltwater Jellyfish Lake? If you’d rather chill for thrills, hit the road and drive down the scenic Great Ocean Road. Wind down the window, feel the cool sea breeze on skin as you enjoy unparalleled views of the vast ocean. Be sure to snap a shot or two with the 12 Apostles before they are eroded away by Mother Nature.
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