Australia & Pacific
Australia and New Zealand’s medley of mountains, deserts, reefs, forests, beaches and multicultural cities are an eternal draw for travellers. Remote, beautiful and friendly, the Pacific islands’ white sands and clear waters are almost dreamlike in their perfection.
Islands & Beaches
The island nations of the Pacific are scattered across the map like flower petals, but one thing that unites them all is the ever present sound of the ocean. If you’re looking for the perfect beach you probably won’t find it: there’s one around every headland. The Pacific is not just about relaxing on palm-fringed white-sand beaches, you’ll also discover dramatic coastlines built for long walks where the wind and sea-spray are your only companions.
Wildlife & Wild Nature
From up-close encounters with furry marsupials in Australia to the kaleidoscopic marine life of the Pacific, you will connect with a world here that you might otherwise only know through the narration of David Attenborough. While cities and resorts are dotted across the region the best feature is nature. You can swim with whale sharks in West Australia; hike through jungle to swim under a waterfall in Fiji; or be awed by snow-capped mountains and deep fiords of New Zealand.
The cultures of the Pacific islands have changed with the years but people still dress with modesty and live with a strong sense of respect for their elders and tradition. What some Pacific countries may lack in terms of luxuries they make up for in generosity. A night spent sharing food and song with a close-knit community will soon makes you realise that for every modern advantage in life there is often a trade-off in lost skills, knowledge, and kinship. Hospitality and hearty laughter is the local currency of the Pacific, so make like the locals and greet everyone with a nod or a smile in the street.
New Zealand may be the capital of adventure sports where bungee jumping, zorbing and extreme skiing are just a few of the activities on offer, but the wider Pacific has plenty to offer those who want to test their mettle. There’s world-class surfing, snorkelling and diving but how about hiking to crumbling sacred statues in the jungle, swimming with whales, trekking to the top of a volcano, rappelling down a waterfall or kayaking to forgotten beaches? And in Australia and New Zealand you can undertake a long-distance walking trail (roughing it, or on a softer mattresses-and-sherpa-guides tour), as well as mountain-biking, rock-climbing and parachuting.
Top 15 beaches in Australia
6 min read — Published February 25th, 2021
Lonely Planet EditorsWriter
With more than 10,000 beaches around its shores, Australia leads the way when it comes to incredible sand and surf. Here are Australia's 15 best beaches.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Australia & Pacific.
Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Australia & Pacific.