HAWKE'S BAY, NORTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND
Regularly one of New Zealand's sunniest regions, Hawke's Bay ticks a lot of holiday boxes including great food and wine, nice beaches and plenty of family-friendly activities. You could easily spend a day or two visiting the area's world-class wineries, many of which have destination restaurants including Church Road and Craggy Range. Architecture lovers will enjoy strolling the streets of Napier and admiring the city's art-deco buildings that serve as a permanent reminder of the 1931 earthquake that devastated the region, while Marine Parade, its seafront stretch, offers plenty for the whole family including bike tracks, a skate park and the National Aquarium of New Zealand.
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MACKENZIE BASIN, SOUTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND
FLY INTO: Christchurch or Queenstown
The South Island's glacial-fed lakes and rivers are pretty at any time of year but in summer you can actually entertain the thought of taking a refreshing dip in one or two of them. However, it's on top of the water where a lot of the action takes place, with the lakes in the Mackenzie Basin around Twizel and Tekapo a popular playground for boaties, fishing enthusiasts and watersports fans. Some of the man-made lakes created by dams including Lake Benmore and Lake Ruataniwha are suitable for families and there are plenty of well-equipped campgrounds in the area for you to choose from if you're taking a tent.
BAY OF FIRES, TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA
FLY INTO: Hobart
For a relatively small island, Tasmania sure has a lot to offer — and you can explore most of it in less than two weeks if you're armed with a rental car. One part you should definitely visit is the stunning Bay of Fires area, a 50km stretch of coastline four hours northeast of Hobart that boasts pristine white-sand beaches, crystal-clear (but bracing) turquoise waters and granite boulders covered in an eye-catching orange lichen. Accommodation offerings in the region range from family-friendly campsites to luxe resorts.
LORD HOWE ISLAND, NSW
FLY INTO: Sydney, then catch a connecting flight to Lord Howe Island
One of the best things about this beautiful island 600km off New South Wales on Australia's east coast is that only 400 visitors are permitted ashore at any one time, meaning you'll be able to enjoy its marine and birdlife with plenty of space. Known for its spectacular snorkelling and dive sites where you'll see turtles, reef fish and up to 90 species of coral, you'll also have the opportunity to explore the 11km-long island by bicycle and explore its Valley of the Shadows rainforest on foot. Other activities the island offers include fishing, surfing, windsurfing, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.
DAINTREE NATIONAL PARK, QUEENSLAND
FLY INTO: Cairns
Experience a different side to Australia with a visit to the verdant Daintree Rainforest region two hours north of Cairns in Tropical North Queensland. The oldest tropical rainforest in the world, the Daintree is World Heritage-listed and home to unique flora and fauna such as Bennett's and Lumholtz tree-kangaroos and Southern Cassowary birds. It's set up with aerial walkways and viewing platforms so you can immerse yourself under the canopy and there are activities available such as zip-lining and cruises along the Daintree River where you're likely to spot a saltwater croc or two. Take along your togs as it's safe to swim in the freshwater swimming holes of Mossman Gorge. You might run into some rain at this time of the year (dry season runs from June to October), but prices will be more affordable. And what's a rainforest, without a little rain?
FLY INTO: Papeete then catch a connecting flight or ferry to Moorea, Tahiti
A half-hour ferry ride or short flight from Tahiti's capital of Papeete, the French Polynesian island of Moorea is a popular destination for couples, though there is plenty on offer for families too. Its protected Lagoonarium de Moorea boasts a vibrant coral reef home to stingrays, reef sharks and vibrant tropical fish, making it a mecca for snorkellers, while inland you can explore the island's mountainous volcanic terrain and rainforest by 4WD or on one of the many hiking trails.
YASAWA ISLANDS, FIJI
FLY INTO: Nadi, then catch a ferry to the Yasawa Islands
Avoid the crowds at Denarau and the Mamanuca Islands near Nadi and head for the Yasawas, a sparsely populated chain of volcanic islands to the north offering a more authentic experience of the "real" Fiji. Famous for serving as the backdrop to The Blue Lagoon starring Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins, the region's clear warm waters are paradise for divers and snorkellers — don't miss the chance to swim with the majestic manta rays if you're visiting between May and October — and its accommodation choices range from charmingly rustic to luxurious.
FLY INTO: Honolulu, then catch a connecting flight to Lihue, Kaua'i
Lush emerald green rainforest, stunning waterfalls and abundant birdlife — Kaua'i, Hawaii's "Garden Isle", is about as far away from the tourist-heavy stretch of Waikiki Beach on Oahu as you can imagine, though a combination of the two makes for a darned-near perfect getaway. Kaua'i is known for being the backdrop for the Jurassic Park movies and "jurassic" is the word that springs to mind when you explore this relatively untouched 5.1million-year-old island which is largely privately owned. View its Hanapepe Valley, stunning Cathedral Cliffs and Olokele and Waimea canyons from the air if you can; down at ground level make sure the National Tropical Botanic Gardens are on your itinerary as well as a visit to the Koloa Rum Company for a raucous tasting session at Kilohana Plantation, just out of Lihue.