Top 5 beaches
Australasia is known for its beaches. From a palm-studded paradise in French Polynesia to surfer heaven in Southern Oz, we take our pick of the best.
Bora Bora, Tahiti
Nowhere else in the world does the word ‘paradise’ ring so true. Bora Bora, the so-called ‘Pearl of the Pacific’, lives up to each and every tropical island stereotype going, from sparkling lagoons, and infinite blue skies, to pristine sands dotted with spindly palm trees laden with coconuts.
This island may be beautiful, but it is far from deserted. Bora Bora is one of the most desirable holiday locations in the entire world – it is the Polynesian playground of the rich and famous. Travelling here doesn’t come cheap, but this once-in-a-lifetime Tahitian heaven is worth every penny.
Wineglass Bay, Tasmania
Located around 150 miles off the southern shores of the Australian mainland, the island of Tasmania is an untouched wilderness, home to a number of birds and animals found nowhere else on earth. Over 40% of the land area is protected. There are nineteen national parks, and seven marine reserves.
Tasmania’s Wineglass Bay is what dreams are made of. Hidden on the eastern coast of the Freycinet National Park, and surrounded by the pink granite peaks of the Hazards mountain range, the beach is frequently named as one of the best in the world.
Despite the sweaty trek it takes to reach the beach, the sight of this crescent shaped beauty over the craggy hills is like catching a glimpse of heaven. This is a great location for swimming, snorkelling or simply admiring the view.
The Bay is also a favourite destination among Tassie’s animal population – wallabies, wombats and the elusive Tasmanian Devil can often be seen along the shore.
Espiratu Santo, Vanuatu
The remote South Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu is fast becoming the darling of Australasian travel. Of the eighty-two islands that makeup this little-known country, Espiratu Santo is the largest and most popular.
Wrapped in a halo of picture perfect white sands, the beaches of Espiratu Santo are fringed by dense rainforest and lapped by balmy turquoise waters of the Coral Sea. This isn’t any old seaside holiday!
Everything about Espiratu Santo’s beaches oozes luxury. Golden Beach and Champagne Beach are two favourites – the names alone tell you everything you need to know. The volcanic rumblings of the Pacific Ring of Fire cause the waters along the shore to bubble and fizz – the sea here is literally sparkling.
Even the island’s diving spots are truly world class. Forget rotten old wrecks – Espiratu Santo is home to the sunken SS President Coolidge Wreck – a luxury cruise liner that once belonged to the President of the United States before it ran into a sea mine in 1942.
Hot Water Beach, New Zealand
Fancy soaking up the sun in your very own beach-front jacuzzi? Don’t think you can afford such luxury? Think again.
New Zealand’s Hot Water Beach offers a seaside experience unlike any other. Because of this region’s volcanicity, naturally occurring hot springs bubble underneath the sands along this coastline. All you need is a bucket and a spade, and you can dig yourself a relaxing hot water pool.
Situated along the eastern shores of the Coromandel Peninsula, not far from the town of Whitianga, Hot Water Beach might not be the most scenic on our list, but it is certainly the most unique.
Bondi Beach, Australia
Australia’s most famous beach has sand, surf, sun and much more besides. This backpacking hotspot is a sea-front favourite among Australian and international travellers alike.
This kilometre-long coast hugs the outskirts of suburban Sydney. Throughout the year it teems with life. From the annual kite-flying festival and swimming race, to weekly markets, sports events and of course surfing. There is always something happening on Bondi.
Away from the waterfront, Bondi is surrounded by hip and happening bars and eateries, shops, clubs and other attractions. The area is popular among hikers – the coastal path from Tamarama to Bronte traverses some of Sydney’s other fantastic beaches.
If nothing else, Bondi is a worldclass tanning spot. The soft sand is the perfect place for catching some rays, and spying on sun-kissed surfer boys and girls.