Ni’ihau island: Hawaii’s forbidden island can still offer beauty to tourists

Niyama Private Islands, the Maldives: This place will ruin all other beach holidays forever

No, Hyams Beach, NSW does not have ‘the world’s whitest sand’

Norfolk Island, Australia: Where to go for a quiet island holiday without the crowds

A reef on Norfolk Island. Photo: Supplied Best known as a far-flung South Pacific island once home to a harsh penal colony, Norfolk Island isn’t an obvious wellness destination, say like Byron Bay or Bali. Smoothies and acai bowls are not de rigueur, nor will you find yoga and Pilates studios on every street corner. […]

Pacific island travel bubble with Australia: Guide to the best islands

The Havannah, Vanuatu. Australia hasn’t felt so isolated from the rest of the world since the jet airliner was invented 70 years ago. But at least we have one thing in our favour: we’re right next door to paradise. And while Australia has been congratulating itself for its management of COVID-19, rightly so to a […]

Pacific islands guide: Five of the best islands for a holiday

Yasawa Island Resort, Fiji. Photo: Supplied Sand between the toes and cocktails at sunset. Crystal-clear water and friendly faces. The pristine Pacific is the perfect paradise at the moment. Raised in the region, here are some of my favourite places to visit. FIJI Why go there The most common misconception people make about Fiji is […]

Palermo, Sicily: Things to do in Monte Pellegrino, ‘the most beautiful promontory in the world’

Mondello, an old fishing village that has morphed into one of Palermo’s most desirable seaside resorts. Photo: Collette Towering over the western side of the bay of Palermo, isolated from all the other mountains that surround the city, is Monte Pellegrino, Sicily’s answer to the Rock of Gibraltar. Rising to 606 metres, it’s nearly 200 […]

Paros island, Cyclades, Greece: The Greek islands’ lesser-known gem

Paros island, Cyclades, Greece. Photo: Gatsi It’s not every day you get to follow in the footsteps of a saint. But the reason we’re here on Paros, the third largest island in the Greek Cyclades, is the same one that forced Saint Helena here in the 4th century – the meltemi, an angry wind that […]

Phu Quoc, Vietnam: InterContinental resort opens on hidden island gem

InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort Vietnam. Photo: Supplied Waiters wearing trilby hats deliver cocktails to diners next to a cascading lagoon pool as palm trees sway along a white sand beach and happy diners tuck into lobster rolls feeling the soft sand between their toes. It’s a scene reminiscent of tropical holidays across Thailand […]

Six Senses Fiji review: The perfect beach holiday

A one-bedroom villa at Six Senses Fiji. Photo: Supplied THE PLACE Picture a white sandy beach fringed with coconut palms, a turquoise lagoon and a warm blue ocean, with a handful of coconut palm-thatched bures sitting looking out over million-dollar views. If there’s a paradise on earth, this surely could have an excellent tilt at […]

Sailing around Indonesia on Star Clipper: What it’s like sailing on a real ship

Star Clipper under full sail. Let me be upfront. There are much bigger cruise ships than Star Clipper, and more luxurious and sophisticated ones. You’ll look in vain for a specialty restaurant or a dance troupe or a spa retreat, though you can get a good massage. None of this will matter at sail-away time, […]

The 10 best islands in the South Pacific to visit beyond Fiji

Bora Bora, Tahiti. Photo: Shutterstock I never knew people locked their doors … we didn’t even have a key. I grew up in the South Pacific where crime barely existed. Still today, it’s only ever of the petty variety (terrorism and murder belong in other far-flung places … like Australia). There’s no litter,  either, no plastic ruining […]

Six of the world’s best beach clubs

CARPE DIEM BEACH, CROATIA: Croatia’s island-studded coastline is home to some super-cool beach clubs, and Carpe Diem Beach is one of the best. The fact that you need to catch a water taxi there from Hvar town – unless you have your own private yacht, that is – is all part of the fun. Relax […]

Six Senses Krabey Island: Cambodia’s new private tropical island resort

Ocean pool villa suite at Krabey Six Senses. Photo: Supplied I’m hanging upside down from a silky piece of parachute material fashioned into a hammock when I ask my “flying yoga” instructor if I should now let go with my hands. “NO!” he cries, the alarm clear in his voice. “DO NOT LET GO!” He […]

South Pacific islands: Five lesser-known dream destinations

A typically gorgeous beach at Aitutaki, in the Cook Islands. Photo: Alamy Dreaming of an island idyll but hanging the expense no longer an option? Craig Tansley suggests some peaceful Pacific choices away from the jet set. HAUHINE, FRENCH POLYNESIA It’s so close to Bora Bora – just 81 kilometres – and the prices are much […]

Spain, Ibiza: Can you enjoy Ibiza in your 40s? I did

Ibiza has always had astonishing beaches and celestial sunsets but now the original ravers are middle-aged and coming back. Photo: Getty Images I was never really a raver. I went to a few clubs in London in my 20s. I enjoyed those hedonistic, stay-up-till-sunrise sessions listening to ’90s house music but I never got to […]

Surfing in the Maldives: Dream waves and five-star luxury at Como Maalifushi

Southern bliss: Como Maalifushi. Photo: Martin Morrell For weeks now I’ve been in training for these waves of the southern Maldives. I’ve arrived – by seaplane – to the southern Maldivian atoll of Thaa. The swell’s building from the south, the wind’s light and offshore and there’s 20 empty surf breaks spread out around me […]

Tanna, Vanuatu: The great diving spot that’s only a few hours from Australia

Divers in Blue Cave in Vanuatu. Photo: Tom Vierus My first glimpse of Tanna’s coastline is from the air, at the tail end of a 40-minute flight south from Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu. When I peer out my window, I spy a string of rock pools in a reef shelf off the island’s […]

Ten of the best beach clubs and where to find them

Anhinga Beach Club, Turkey. TANJONG BEACH CLUB, SINGAPORE Beach or pool? At Tanjong, you don’t need to choose; this popular beach club on Sentosa Island offers both. During the week, you will find plenty of families occupying the day beds or sheltering under the cheery yellow-and-white striped umbrellas. Sundays, by contrast, are party time, with […]

Urban escapes: The 10 best city islands

Liberty Island is just a short trip from Manhattan, New York City. SENTOSA ISLAND, SINGAPORE Singapore’s favourite family-friendly getaway is joined to the city by cable car, allowing you to escape to a tropical island with little effort. You can stay in resorts boasting spas and golf courses, or just spend the day at the […]

Mediterranean Sea, best islands to visit: Top 10 prettiest small islands

Arch with a bell, white houses and church with blue domes in Oia or Ia at golden sunset, island Santorini, Greece. Photo: Shutterstock 1 SANTORINI, GREECE Designer chic in cubist white collides with natural beauty to spectacular effect on this island created by an ancient volcanic explosion that left behind colour-banded rock, towering cliffs and […]

The world’s 15 best island holidays: Find the perfect one for you

Bora Bora and Moorea might be more famous, but French Polynesian island Huahine is flamboyantly beautiful and yet scarcely visited. Photo: Shutterstock Like the irrepressible twang of ukuleles in the Pacific, it’s hard to get away from the stereotypes when thinking of islands. They fall mango-ripe from the pages of travel brochures, juicy with images […]

The Galapagos Islands: Inside a lava tunnel on Santa Cruz

Pristine beach on Santa Cruz, Galapagos. Photo: Shutterstock There are few places in the world that can lay claim to the title “heaven and hell” on Earth, and this volcanic archipelago about 970 kilometres off the coast of South America in the Pacific Ocean is one of those rare places. We fly into the island of Baltra, which is the […]

The Grand Pacific Hotel, Fiji: Where Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and the royals choose to stay

The Grand Pacific Hotel, Suva, Fiji, is a fine example of colonial history. It is hard to imagine a more surreal romantic buzz kill than having photos of your grandmother staring down at you from the bedroom wall – wearing a crown – when you are on a tropical island on the other side of […]

The hidden isles: Six of Australia’s lesser-known island adventures

Cocos Keeling has Australia’s best beach. Photo: Alamy There are 8222 islands linked to our country, plenty for all. Here are a few you may have overlooked in your travels. MONTAGUE ISLAND, NSW Montague Island, NSW. Photo: Tom Park/Destination NSW A lonely granite lighthouse, designed by serial lighthouse architect James Barnet in 1881, is the […]

Niyama Private Islands Maldives resort review: Part paradise, part Bond-villain’s lair

Life is moody blue at Niyama Private Islands Maldives. When your surroundings are as stunning as they are at the uber-luxurious Niyama Private Islands Maldives resort, it’s almost a sin to miss out on anything. I have already run around my truly enormous beach studio suite and rubbed myself on all the furnishings like a dog […]

The Maldives: W Hotels’ Maldives and Bali new dining menu by Three Blue Ducks

The W Maldives resort includes 77 villas, 50 over-water and 27 by the beach. Photo: Jarrad Seng The famed chefs from Three Blue Ducks create an eating experience in paradise. It’s 5.30am and a warm, woolly breeze races the 15-metre game-fishing boat Castaway west from Fesdu Island in the Maldives’ North Ari Atoll to a […]

The nine countries with the most islands (and the idyllic ones you must visit)

Mentawai Islands in Indonesia. Photo: Alamy You can’t beat an island holiday for sheer escapism. Knowing you’re surrounded by open water fosters a sense of complete removal from the daily grind of commuting, spam emails and overpriced coffee. But which country has the most islands on Earth? And of those islands, which is the perfect […]

The only place in the world where every day is a holiday

Beach bliss. Photo: Shutterstock I wasn’t destined to love beaches. I grew up in landlocked continental Europe and my earliest encounters with beaches, on visits to my grandparents in Ireland, did nothing to encourage the idea that beaches are a traveller’s delight. The beaches were soggy and wind-whipped, and swimming wasn’t a hot summer pleasure but […]

Pullman Nadi Bay Resort & Spa review: Fiji’s tourist town first five-star resort

The pool at Pullman Nadi Bay Resort & Spa. Our rating 3.5 out of 5 THE PLACE Opened in April 2019, the Pullman Nadi Bay Resort and Spa is the first five-star hotel in the Fijian tourism town of Nadi. It’s also the first branded hotel on Wailoaloa Beach, where Nadi’s backpacker hostels have long […]

Things to do in Nadi, Fiji: An ex-pat expert’s tips

Malamala Beach Club. I LIVE HERE … NADI, FIJI Melbourne chef Lance Seeto swapped remote Australian resorts for a temporary assignment in Fiji in 2009. Now a regular TV and newspaper contributor in Fiji, he is a Fijian culinary ambassador, and oversees the luxury Malamala Beach Club, malamalabeachclub.com SEE It’s said Fiji is the way […]

Travel tips and advice for the Caribbean: It’s the last great tropical paradise on Earth. So why is it ignored by Australians?

The colourful hillside houses of Fort-de-France, the capital city of Martinique. Photo: Shutterstock For Australians, the Caribbean tends to conjure faraway images of azure seas and sun-kissed beaches and chilled-out characters sipping rum, grooving to reggae and calypso and playing cricket. These stereotypes are a reality in parts of the region. But there’s so much […]

Travel tips and advice, Philippines: Is the ‘new’ Boracay worth returning to?

Boracay was named the world’s most beautiful island in 2012. Photo: Getty Images We’re watching the sunset from the foredeck of a luxury yacht, sipping wine and nibbling canapés as we sail through the pristine blue waters of a tiny Filipino island which Travel+Leisure magazine declared “the best in the world” in 2012. Can it […]

Hawaii, US: The real meaning behind the Hawaiian greeting Aloha

In Hawaii, Aloha is extended to everybody.  Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority “Give me a hug,” says Beautiful and we embrace as passengers file past. When we eventually release our grip on one another she eyeballs me and says, “that’s part of it”, then she gets back behind the wheel. It’s what can happen if you […]

USA, Hawaii: Waikiki Beachcomber’s elevator flower art

Hawaii-based artist Erin Ibarra has gone from “chalkboard queen” to painting a 24-floor mural for the Waikiki Beachcomber hotel. Photo: Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger As the lift rises from the lobby and gradually drains of people, I zone out until the doors open to a giant tree fern stretching its loftiest frond up to the […]

Vietnam, Phu Quoc travel guide: Beat the crowds to this secret island paradise

Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK Phu Quoc is a delightful spot with an unfortunate name. While some say “faux cock” (which reminds me of a fake rooster, or worse) and others attempt a potty-mouthed “poo wok”, the correct pronunciation of this Vietnamese island, which sits off the coast of Cambodia, is “foo kwuk”. Learn it now because […]

Where is ‘Kokomo’ from the Beach Boys song? After 30 years, people are still searching

Casa Marina Key West used to call its private beach ‘Kokomo Beach’ after the 1988 song by The Beach Boys. Photo: Supplied You know the catchy, relaxing lyrics: “Off the Florida Keys, there’s a place called Kokomo,” goes the 1988 hit by The Beach Boys. Three decades later, people are still wondering, where is Kokomo? […]

Why Samoa may be the best of all the Pacific islands to escape to

Taking a dip in the magnificent To Sua ocean trench. Photo: Stocksy Samoan life feels so unaffected by the modern world that it’s hard to believe they had to worry about the same global virus that’s kept us all locked in our homes. Especially since no one had tested positive in the country when the […]

Reliably sexy: The world’s 10 most amazing lagoons

Aitutaki Lagoon, Cook Islands. Photo: Cook Islands Tourism There are few geographical features that are as reliably sexy as a lagoon. Usually, they’re the stuff jealousy-inducing holiday photos are made of. The shallow waters twinkle in greens and milky blues that bog-standard ocean just can’t muster. The white sand beaches and reefs that tend to […]