AUSTRALIA & SOUTH PACIFIC

Have you ever dreamed of leaving your cares behind and sailing away to a sunny distant land cooled by ocean breezes? A cruise to Australia and the South Pacific could be just the ticket. On a journey to this part of the world, you’ll see spectacular natural wonders—the Great Barrier Reef, New Zealand’s Milford Sound, the volcanoes of Hawaii. You’ll call at fabled islands like Fiji, Nouméa and Tasmania. And you’ll traverse an ocean landscape where impossibly green islands seem to float in blue lagoons clearer than you could imagine. The islands of the Pacific have enchanted countless visitors before you. Now it is your turn to fall under its spell. 

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Milford Sound, New Zealand

Milford Sound is technically a fjord—a narrow inlet created by glacial erosion over thousands of years. While its geological history is long, its human history is not. It is believed that the Maori first explored the sound, and the rest of the area that is now part of Fiordland National Park, around 1,000 years ago; Captain Cook followed in 1770. But neither Maori nor Europeans created permanent settlements: The land was pristine when Fiordland National Park was established in 1952. The most breathtaking views are arguably those from the water, with rock faces looming above your ship as you sail through the landscape.
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Tauranga (Rotorua), New Zealand

The curved shoreline of the Bay of Plenty—known in Maori as Te Moana-a-Toi—is home to incredible surfing, white-sand beaches and New Zealand's only active marine volcano. Tauranga, with 130,000 residents, is the largest city on the Bay of Plenty and fifth largest in New Zealand. The city offers visitors a number of water-focused activities, like sailing and kayaking, as well as drier alternatives such as shopping and people-watching at a café in the Historic Village. Tauranga is also a great jumping-off point for exploring nearby beaches and Te Puke, the kiwifruit capital of the world, as well as a wealth of Maori cultural sites.

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Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Tasmania, once the butt of many jokes, is finally cool. The little Australian island is home to stunning landscapes, old-growth forests and exceptional local produce. Lording over all this goodness is Hobart, the island’s creative capital. Although its remoteness might once have made it feel provincial, the city has truly come into its own in recent years. It’s got one of the world’s best museums of contemporary art, vibrant markets, a cosmopolitan dining scene and eclectic music festivals. It’s also achingly beautiful, with a natural harbor setting and rugged Mount Wellington looming in the background.

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Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

With a burgeoning creative class, top-notch wining and dining, and a pace of life that feels distinctly more leisurely than high-profile siblings Melbourne and Sydney, Adelaide has evolved into a must-visit destination. The biggest buzz is going on in the city's Central Business District, which has become the hub for artists, designers and restaurateurs. Not everything changes though: The town's reputation as a genteel, leafy haven is still justified, and Adelaideans' love of sport—particularly Australian Rules football and cricket—continues unabated. Citizens of Adelaide are devoted to fine wine and great food, and they're particularly proud of the world-class vintages being produced in the famous Barossa Valley wine region.

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Sydney, Australia

If you want a snapshot of Australia's appeal, look no further than Sydney: The idyllic lifestyle, friendly locals and drop-dead natural beauty of this approachable metropolis and its attractions explain why the country tops so many travelers' wish lists. The famed harbor is among the top sights—home to twin icons the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, it is the stepping-off point for some of the city's best cultural attractions and sightseeing. But Sydney is more than just the embodiment of classic antipodean cool—the city is in a constant state of evolution.

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Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne is consistently voted one of the world's most livable cities—and for good reason. This is Australia’s cosmopolitan heart with cutting-edge art and architecture, historic galleries and museums, plus a dizzying range of restaurants and markets. It's renowned for its sporting culture, home to the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground and Australian rules football teams. The city’s laneways bustle with hidden bars, while beaches and parks allow residents to embrace an outdoor lifestyle. It’s a melting pot of cultures and a city of gourmands who can find excellent food everywhere—from modern Australian cuisine to low-key cafés serving the best coffee you’ve ever tasted.

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