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Sample the beloved vintages of the Marlborough Wine Region in Blenheim, an agricultural town in the heart of New Zealand’s renowned wine hub. More than 20 wineries are just a hop, skip and a corkscrew away from Blenheim, where a stream of cafes and restaurants serve up tasty, artisan fare. One of the sunniest towns in New Zealand, Blenheim is the perfect destination for foodies and wine lovers who love to soak up the sun while sipping the fruits of a vineyard’s labour.
Lush Wairarapa, in the southeast of New Zealand's North Island, is about an hour from Wellington. It's a scenic train ride past Lake Wairarapa to Palliser Bay and the Aorangi Ranges. Explore the forests with birdsong and babbling creeks as a soundtrack. Bask on sandy shores with fur seals. Visit country fairs, pick cider apples and tour vineyards. Day spas, hot-air balloon rides and quirky rural golf courses are other relaxing options. Quad biking and rafting offer more up-tempo diversions.
The fertile soil and temperate climate of the Wairau River Valley provide the perfect conditions for a wine lover's paradise. Marlborough's thousands of acres of vineyards and dozens of wineries create delectable wines of diverse varietals, from full-bodied Pinot Noir to herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc. The countryside boasts unsurpassed beauty, with its majestic mountains, verdant vineyards and the labyrinth of waterways that make up the Marlborough Sounds.
The lush parks and golden beaches of Tauranga make it a popular destination for outdoorsy folks and watersports lovers. Here on New Zealand’s North Island, you’ll find a variety of opportunities for surfing, white water rafting, kiteboarding, hiking and golfing. Take a refreshing dip in the swimming holes by Kaiate Falls, which cascade beautifully over the bluffs. Families might like to visit one of Tauranga’s amusement park, take a guided nature tour or swim with dolphins in the Bay of Plenty.
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.
On Vanua Levu you can pick your pleasure; a rainforest hike, a coconut plantation tour, a relaxing soak in a Savusavu hot spring. Locally run adventure tours will have you river tubing through jungle valleys, mountain biking along sandy trails, and snorkeling the coral sea mount of Split Rock. Jean-Michel Cousteau (son of Jacques) runs an ecologically responsible dive centre that offers courses and packages for divers of all levels of experience.
This East Bali beach town is known for excellent SCUBA diving and snorkeling. New hotels are springing up on this coast, especially in Candidasa, a scenic 40-minute drive to its south. Amed is also a great place to admire Bali’s colorful outrigger boats.
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.