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The Blue Mountains are named for the delicate azure haze that lingers along the region, which is actually a fine cloud of oil emitted by eucalyptus trees. The mystical mountains are a labyrinth of plateaus, gorges and gum trees. Check out the Katoomba Scenic Railway (the steepest railway in the world), the Jenolan Caves and the Giant Staircase nature walk.
Noumea, on the island of Grand Terre, is the capital of the French territory of New Caledonia. The peaceful port city has a diverse population and colourful European architecture, reflecting its colonial history. Having served as the headquarters of the US Army during WWII, the tropical shrubbery of Ouen Toro Mount is now under the protection of abandoned Naval guns. The Michel Corbasson Zoological and Forest Park offers visitors shaded walks amongst rare birds and views out over the lagoon.
From the cosmopolitan metropolis of Cebu City and the white-sand beaches of Mactan to the electric-blue waters of Kawasan Falls and the whale sharks of Oslob, it’s easy to see why Cebu Island is one of the Philippines’ top destinations.