Conde Nast conducts a reader survey each year to determine the best islands in the world and the top slots went to 3 Philippine Islands. Are you planning a romantic getaway to the South Pacific or Australia – then check out which islands scored the top honors in Oceania in the 2018 survey and read my personal tips to make the most of your beach getaway!
The survey is conducted by Conde Nast Traveler among their readers, which is a mostly American, English-speaking and fairly wealthy audience. So, if you disagree with the choices, it’s ok – your taste might differ from American mainstream ideas of the perfect beach destination. But if you are looking out the window at a cold winter and could use some inspiration from warm waters, sandy beaches and blue skies, here are this year’s top five islands in the South Pacific:
Fiji is made up of over 300 islands and only 110 are inhabited. Warm waters, great reefs inviting to scuba dive and amazing resorts have put Fiji on my list of beaches to visit, but I have yet to make it there. Fortunately, there is a growing number of non-stop flights from Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the West Coast of the US and prices are a little more affordable than to other South Pacific dream destinations!
4. Tahiti, French Polynesia
Tahiti with its capital Papeete are the gateway to French Polynesia and all international flights will bring you here. The waters are just as warm and the sand as soft as on other Polynesian islands, yet it doesn’t feel quite as spectacular. I enjoyed my stop-over here, but if you travel this far and want to make memories for a lifetime, you should really consider the next two islands on the list!
Moorea is just a short boat trip or flight from Tahiti, but to me it was a world of difference. There are much fewer buildings and infrastructure, making your arrival feel like a step back in time and a bike ride around the island a pleasant adventure. The island is surrounded by beautiful beaches and here you can find the over-water bungalows the islands are famous for. While nobody ever called Moorea a budget-friendly destination, prices are lower than on the island next up, making this an affordable, romantic dream destination.
2. Bora Bora
Bora Bora is the ultimate honeymoon destination. Your approach by propeller plane is breathtaking, with the steep mountain as backdrop. The most luxurious resorts are spread around the atoll with soft sand and palm trees. Overwater villas are dotting the lagoon, allowing you to watch the fishes without ever moving or to go for a swim right from your patio. If only the best will do for your honeymoon, Bora Bora is a dream come true and tops my personal list of romantic destinations! Just make sure your wallet is ready for a workout, the prices at luxury resorts like the InterContinental Thalasso Bora Bora are eye-watering.
- Whitsunday Islands, Australia
How could an island so close to perfection been beaten? Times and the tastes of wealthy travelers, looking for something new, change. The Whitsunday Islands, off Australia’s East Coast, have long been a popular destination for sailing trips, giving you a chance to explore the islands, go scuba diving or just forget about the rest of the world. Or you can visit Whitehaven Beach, with one of the softest and whitest sands you’ll find anywhere. I have been to Airlie Beach on the nearby coast, but didn’t make it to the islands – I guess I have to fix that one of these days! With pictures like these, who wouldn’t be tempted?
You can read more about the world’s best islands at Conde Nast Traveler!
If you’d like to get more travel related news or deals like this from around the world, please follow me on Twitter – I’m posting news daily, so you can stay up to date on the world of travel with my Twitter updates! Or, for a weekly update, sign up for my newsletter for a Sunday Summary!