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South Pacific & Australia

Tonga: forgotten South Pacific

As I was being driven to my hotel by the hotel’s transfer service from Tongatapu’s international airport, the King of Tonga decided to provide me with a personal escort into Nuku’alofa, the capital city. Ok, ...

Chill out in Rarotonga

Sitting halfway between Tahiti and Fiji, the Cook Islands are yet to be discovered by most Americans. The vast majority of visitors who do come here are Australians and New Zealanders (for whom it’s a ...

Up a Mangrove Channel in Micronesia

“Whenever you come to a fork in the channel, go left,” the owner of my hotel said as he prepared a kayak for me to paddle into the Mutunnenea Channel in northeastern Kosrae, Micronesia. “Eventually ...

Swim with the Sharks in Bora Bora

Part of Tahiti and French Polynesia, Bora Bora is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Although it's just an eight-hour flight from LAX, visiting Bora Bora is like stepping ...

December 17, 2012
Oz's West Coast – and the Unexpected

When you think of a national park, your mind rarely conjures up images of people falling in love. The classic boy-meets-girl scenario is usually left to Hollywood's far-fetched romantic comedies. But here’s a story about ...

Shark Calling in Papua New Guinea

I became interested in shark calling when I met shark enthusiasts like myself who had visited the remote island of New Ireland off the coast of Papua New Guinea. I arrived at the village of ...

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

For those looking for an off-the-beaten-path excursion in New Zealand, I’d recommend visiting Lake Tekapo, in the center of the country's South Island. The small town is a cluster of homes and motels at the ...

MONA: World's Most Unconventional Museum

It just opened on January 21, 2011, and already it's the most talked-about museum in the world. And who could have guessed? David Walsh, the eccentric pro gambler and millionaire founder of MONA, or the ...

Atherton Tablelands: Foodie Heaven

The Atherton Tablelands sit high up in the Great Dividing Range west of the tropical coast of Queensland, Australia. The popular attractions of the coast draw most of Australia's tourism – but inland, there are ...

Fiji for the Rest of Us

Fiji is best known to travelers as a destination of exclusive white-sand beach resorts, catering more to honeymooners than backpackers or budget travelers. However, the more remote – and unspoiled – Yasawa Islands have a ...

Melbourne Street Art

Across the street diagonally from Federation Square – a celebrated architectural icon and Melbourne cultural center – is a hidden laneway named Hosier Lane. It’s here where I start my urban encounter with the street ...

Christchurch, New Zealand's International Antarctic Centre

In February 2011, Christchurch captured world headlines when New Zealand’s second-largest city was jolted by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake, flattening downtown buildings and claiming 181 human lives in its debris-laden wake. Though parts of downtown ...

Two Weeks in the Cook Islands

Those travelers looking for an authentic South Pacific experience without the exorbitant price tag should look no further than the Cook Islands. A nine-hour flight from LAX (one weekly nonstop) made the main island of ...

Drinks in Denver, New Zeeland

Dear Matt: I have some friends in Denver, and they keep wanting me to come visit. They say you can get drunk there faster and cheaper because of the altitude. I asked them why but ...

Positively Perth

Perth, Western Australia’s capital, is about as far away from Sydney as San Diego is from Miami (over 2,000 miles). The city breathes casually with just over one million residents strolling through its small city ...

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