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Both a weekend destination for locals and a magnet for tourists craving other-worldly relaxation, Hanmer Springs is the perfect spot for pampering. The tiny spa town is built around a hot spring that was discovered in the 19th century, and the crisp mountain air has restorative properties of its own.
The South Island town of Wanaka appeals to both adventure lovers and relaxation-minded travellers. Situated on the crystal-clear waters of New Zealand's fourth-largest lake, just a short drive from Mount Aspiring National Park, Wanaka is an ideal spot to go fishing, hiking, skiing, wine-tasting or golfing. The city also hosts Warbirds Over Wanaka, the largest three-day air show in the Southern Hemisphere.
Staggering beauty and heart-pumping thrills await in the resort town of Queenstown, which is also known for its Hobbits—much of the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed in the area. Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Queenstown for the kayaking, bungee jumping, jetboating, white-water rafting, hiking and skiing. More mild-mannered adventurers can take a quiet cruise through nearby Milford Sound, part of the Fjordland National Park World Heritage area, or sample South Island pinot noir from one of the region's 75 wineries.
Lovely, laid-back Melbourne has something for everyone: family fare, local and international art, haute boutiques, multicultural dining, Australian and Aboriginal history, spectator sports, and pulsing, swanky nightlife. Cruise on the free City Circle Tram loop to check out unique attractions like the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Healesville Sanctuary, which buzzes with local animal species.
The gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach is the main hub for all Reef activities and access to the Whitsunday Islands. Stunning views by day give way to a vibrant nightlife. The Airlie Beach Lagoon is a popular spot to relax and unwind. Visit nearby Conway National Park and Cedar Creek Falls to discover quiet coves, beaches and tropical rainforest.
The village cluster of Ubud is the ideal place to try a famed Balinese massage and soak up the ambiance of one of Asia’s top spa destinations. Acupressure, reflexology, stretching and aromatherapy star in the island's distinctively firm massage treatments. Ubud is also the vivacious centre of Bali’s arts scene, home to a small treasure trove of museums and galleries. Monkey around at nearby nature reserve Monkey Forest Park, home to hundreds of mischievous long-tailed macaques. Don’t miss the valley of tomb cloisters at Gunung Kawi.
Yogyakarta boasts stunning architecture and a truly spiritual sensibility. The ancient Hindu temples of Prambanan look like hand-drizzled sand castles, while the Sultan's palace is reminiscent of a gilded music box filled with jewels. Known for its arts and handicrafts, Yogyakarta is a cultural hub, a nerve center for traditional and modern puppetry.
Located just off Boho Island (the Philippines' largest), Planglao is home to pristine beaches and luxurious hotels. The island's Alona and Dumaluan beaches in particular serve up the white sands and turquoise waters that have become a trademark of the Visayas region.