Matira Beach is a mile of exquisite white sand at the southern tip of Bora Bora Island.
When you visit, you will understand why it is Bora Bora's most popular public beach. It stretches from Hotel Bora Bora (currently closed for renovations) to Matira Point and is framed from behind by lush palms and green hills. To each side, there are more long strips of privately owned beaches.
Often described as the most beautiful beach in the world, Matira Beach is actually the only public beach on the main island that is worth a visit. It is so gorgeous that it is in our list of the best things to do in Bora Bora! Everybody is welcome on this expanse of sand. There is a fun atmosphere that offers natural shade from palm trees, safe swimming and easy snorkelling.
Mount Otemanu on Bora Bora island is a jagged remnant of an ancient volcano that rises up to a sharp point at 2,385 feet (727 m) from the surface of a turquoise blue lagoon. The French Polynesian islands, in general, are blessed with some incredible picture-perfect sceneries but Mount Otemanu takes the crown. There is something very magical about this unique landform that can be seen from every part of the island.
Thousands of people are drawn to Bora Bora every year because it is one of the most beautiful islands on earth. Most resorts have designed their overwater bungalows to specifically face Mount Otemanu and rooms that have unobstructed views typically come with a premium price tag.
Mount Pahia is the second-highest summit on Bora Bora and the challenging hike leading up to it features steep jungle climbs on faint trails with spectacular views all around the island and lagoon. Difficulties encountered on the hike include arranging for a hiking guide, avoiding hiking during times of rainy weather (because the trail will become muddy, slippery, and dangerous), dealing with heat and humidity, watching out for rockfall while passing along the base of cliffs, and using ropes and safety gear during areas of exposure if passing beyond the summit of Mount Ohue.
Mount Tohivea is the highest point in Moorea at 3960ft and is a dormant volcano. This mountain is clearly visible from Tahiti. Tohivea is depicted on the back of the 50f Polynesie Francaise coin. James Michener made Moorea famous, claiming that it was the most beautiful island in the South Pacific.
Bougainville Park is a tranquil, tropical oasis in the middle of the Papeete's concrete jungle. Stretching from Boulevard Pomare to Rue du General de Gaulle, it makes for a lush and cool picnic (or roulettes take-away) spot. If you're traveling with the kids there's a playground here, and there are often floral, cultural and artistic displays on the grounds.
The Aorai is Tahiti’s third highest mountain and peaks at 2066 metres: you will hike up to the 1st mountain hut at an altitude of 1400 metres. Of breath and a good physical condition are required for this 800m vertical drop hike.
Enjoy some breathtaking views of Tahiti, the ocean and surrounding valleys.
Tahiti is home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in Polynesia. Stops can include spectacular waterfalls and natural pools, panoramic views, grottos, archeological sites and lava tubes. A favorite hike is to the three Faarumai waterfalls. From the car park it is a quick scramble through a forest of chestnut trees to the first waterfall, Vaimahutu. Continue on for another 20 minutes or so to reach the other to falls Haamarere Iti and Haamarere Rahi, which are almost side-by-side. With hundreds of varieties of tropical trees, plants and flowers, Tahiti also has some of the world's most beautiful gardens. Visit the water gardens of Vaipahi to experience the abundant flora and waterfalls that flow directly into Lake Vaihiria.
Maui Beach is a rare white sand beach in Tahiti. It can get very crowded on weekends, but is peaceful during weekdays. It located right on the road but has shallow swimming, making it perfect for kids, as well as deeper spots for adults and some DIY snorkeling off the reef.
The Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort can be found on a secluded, pink beach fringed with palm trees at the southeast end of the atoll. Located fifteen minutes by boat from the airport and the main village of Tuherahera, this hotel serves as the ideal home base for any and all leisurely activities including kayaking, snorkeling and biking. It even has its own dive center on site, making it easy to arrange your daily excursions.
Venture across the lagoon with your guide to the tiny islet known as Bird Island. This bird watcher`s paradise provides the opportunity to view many unique avian species in their natural island habitat.
The Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa is located on the northern stretch of Rangiroa near the Tiputa Pass. Surrounded by a coconut plantation, the resort combines this convenient setting with a hidden seclusion. The architecture is elegant and refined, resting in perfect harmony with the natural environment.
This spectacular waterfall in south-eastern savaii plunges from the rainforest deep into a fresh-water swimming pool.
The Afu Aau Waterfall also known as Olemoe Falls, is a spectacular waterfall in south-eastern Savaii that plunges from the rainforest deep into a fresh-water swimming pool.
Access is on a dirt road which is maintained by the village. Entrance fees are collected at the Samoan fale about 650m from the main road and visitors are encouraged to park their car here and enjoy a 10 minute walk to the pool and waterfall.
These impressive blowholes in the village of taga on south-west savaii are wave power in its purest form, as they propel a roaring jet of water hundreds of feet up into the air. They are particularly worth watching when locals throw coconuts into the holes and these are blasted into the air as well
Hot spring water combines with volcanic ash to form a mud bath pool. Mud baths have existed for thousands of years and found in spas around the world including Fiji. The mud bath treatment is used as a way to relieve arthritis. To take full advantage of the therapeutic value of the mud pools you first coat yourself in mud then stand in the sun until it drys. Wash off in the first natural hot spring pool then walk over to the next clear water pool for another cleansing. Both places offer cheap and very good massage. Pool temperatures are warm to hot.
The Garden of Sleeping Giant is a beautiful orchid garden started in 1977 by the late Raymond Burr, star of Perry Mason and Ironside TV shows. Originally designed to house Burr’s private collection of tropical orchids, the gardens have developed into a popular attraction after years of flourishing. Raymond Burr loved these orchids just as much as he loved Fiji. The garden contains a vast collection of 30 to 40 varieties of magnificent Asian orchids and Cattleya hybrids.
While staying at Mount Tutu Eco-Sanctuary, a 16-acre nature park, feed the unique Mount Tutu Sheep which are a closed flock of Heritage Sheep. The preservation of heritage flocks is considered to be very important. Mount Tutu Sheep, unique to Mount Tutu Eco-Sanctuary, are characterised by their majestic horns and piebald markings. They have been selectively bred over 18 years. The lambs look like little panda bears, and are equally as cuddly! Get up close and personal with these special sheep!
Experience spectacular volcanic craters, enormous hot water springs, beautiful geothermal features, rare and unusual plant life, brilliantly coloured micro biology and a wide array of birds. We immerse visitors in the stories of the Mt Tarawera volcanic eruption, its people, and the resulting dramatic landscape changes that created the world’s youngest geothermal valley
Treat yourself to some of the best walking trails in Rotorua, set amongst awe-inspiring volcanic craters and incredible geothermal activity. Choose from a range of self-guided nature walks and hiking trails, mostly down hill, through pristine New Zealand bush. Included with your entrance fee is a guide sheet, available in many different languages, to refer to for interpretation as you make your way through our wonderful valley.
A number of the Rotorua lakes were named by Ihenga, a grandson of the captain of the Arawa canoe Tamatekapua.Lake Rotorua is the largest lake in the district and the most productive trout fishery in New Zealand.
Bream Head Scenic Reserves is a coastal forest reserve. It is a rich archaeological landscape resulting from more than 500 years of Māori occupation.
The reserve is located at the tip of the Whangarei Heads Peninsula. Giant peaks tower at the entrance to the Whangarei Harbour with the Majestic Mt Lion at an impressive 476 meters.
An array of walking and hiking trails have been developed throughout the entire forest – from easy walking to challenging hiking.
Any New Zealand gourmet trail would be incomplete without a visit to Hawke’s Bay, with top vineyards and producers who make the most of the local bounty.
Blessed with long sunshine hours and fertile plains, Hawke’s Bay is one of New Zealand’s most productive growing regions. It is also the second largest when it comes to wine production.
Wineries and vineyards are dotted throughout Hawke’s Bay, although Gimblett Gravels and Ngatarawa Triangle are two of its most famous wine producing sub-regions. These regions produce a large portion of the Bordeaux blend reds that Hawke’s Bay is revered for. Owing to its geographical diversity, Hawke’s Bay is also capable of producing a number of other varietals to a high standard, including Chardonnay.
Hawke’s Bay’s wineries can be explored on leisurely tours – guided tours are available and are a great way to discover the local gems. Another brilliant way to experience the wineries is on a cycle, riding on especially created trails that link towns and wineries. A number of the wineries have cellar doors and many boast superb winery restaurants that make the most of the abundant fresh local produce. Hawke’s Bay also forms part of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail that takes you to more than 100 cellar doors across four New Zealand regions.
Pick up fresh local and organic produce at the Matakana Farmers’ Market on Saturdays. Browse the art and craft galleries and find everything from paintings by local artists to the renowned Morris & James Pottery.Visit some of the beautiful white-sand beaches along Matakana’s stunning coastline.
Otuihau Whangarei Falls is a picturesque waterfall, falling vertically for 26.3 metres over basalt cliffs. Three viewing platforms allow easy access to the dramatic views and a circular walk around the falls allows them to be seen from all angles.
Traditionally this area was a good eeling spot for the local Māori and around the turn of the century it was known as a popular picnic spot from Whangarei.
In the late 1920's Mr Archibald Clapham bought the property, reputedly to prevent the falls being developed as a commercial watermill. In 1946 a local businessmen's association raised the purchase price by public subscription and the property became a public domain.
Following dedicated cycle paths and the occasional country road, this delightful trail network traces the coast from Bay View in the north to Cape Kidnappers in the south, and ventures inland through idyllic rural and riverside scenery.
With mostly flat terrain, fantastic attractions, great food and gorgeous weather, Hawke’s Bay is brilliant for biking at any time of year. These trails are the perfect way to explore the region and offer something for everyone – from world-class wineries and wildlife, to art deco architecture, art galleries and ice cream.
Well located bike tour and hire depots and an excellent map with themed rides – Water, Landscapes & Wineries – make it easy to plan the perfect sightseeing tour from an hour to all day, with nearly 200 km of trails to choose from.
Emerging from the sea just 600 years ago, pest-free Rangitoto Island is the youngest volcano in New Zealand. An Auckland icon and deeply enriched with history, it's long been a favourite day trip for walkers, and a much loved boating destination.
Located a short distance from Auckland CBD, Auckland Domain is a mecca for relaxation and a must-see when in the region. Spread over 75 hectares of land, Auckland Domain is the oldest park in the city and is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike especially on a warm summer day.
There are a number of different gardens located in the park including the Wintergardens, one of the most recognisable with the Auckland War Memorial Museum sitting at the highest point, the Formal Gardens, a display from the 1860s with exotic trees, birds and trout, the Duck Ponds, which was the first piped water supply in Auckland back in 1866 and the Band Rotunda standing there since 1912.
Auckland Domain is open to the public 24 hours a day for free. There are a number of facilities on the grounds including a water fountain, toilets, sports fields and a dog exercise area located on Gum Tree Hill.
Located in the heart of the CBD, Albert Park is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city scene. Easily accessible by walking paths around the city, exploring Albert Park is a definite must for visitors to the region. Open to the public 24 hours a day, there is so much to see and do in the Park.
Some of the main highlights of the park include the Victorian fountain, Queen Victoria statue and the Laidlaw floral clock that was constructed in 1953. There are a number of different paths leading through the park making exploring it easy and enjoyable. In terms of facilities, the park is fitted with public toilets located between Albert Park House and the Wellesley Street East walkway.
For exceptional views of Auckland city make your way up Maungakiekie, otherwise known as One Tree Hill. Rising up 182 metres, this volcanic peak is the largest, intact volcanic cone in Auckland - apart from Rangitoto - and is a relaxing drive, walk or cycle up. The volcano is made up of three craters and a lava field that stretches all the way out to the Manukau shoreline.
Ambury farm park lies among the southern suburbs fronting the Manukau Harbour. Take in the various farm animals as you wander around the open pasture. Ambury is a significant habitat for shorebirds and the coast has excellent examples of basalt lava flows.
Every year, more than a million people get to swim with the fishes in a marine ecosystem located on the southeast coast of Oahu, 10 miles east of Waikiki. Hanauma (or curved bay) Bay is a former volcanic crater that became a protected marine life conservation area in 1967. Since then, it’s become an underwater park for snorkel enthusiasts, swimmers and anyone desiring to see more than 400 species of Hawaiian fishes including Hawaii’s state fish the humuhumunukunukuapua‘a, turtles and other marine life.
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is open year-round, except for Tuesdays, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Plan to arrive as early as you can or wait until the crowd trickles out in the mid-afternoon. During summer, the state park opens at 6 am and closes at 7 pm. It closes at 6 pm in winter.