Holidaying in the relaxing and beautiful Mamanuca Islands, Fiji

Picture-perfect sandy beaches, stunning clear blue water, along with the swaying coconut palm trees is all part of the experience when visiting the Mamanuca Islands. If you are into water sports, finding famous dive sites, family friendly snorkeling or hitting some of the best waves the Pacific Islands have to offer, then you have to take the short ferry or helicopter ride to the Mamanuca Islands. You will have the most relaxing break with your family, partner, or even if you are traveling solo. There are some beautiful world-class hotels to pick from, with just a few goodies below! 

Musket Cove Island Resort and Marina

Musket Cove Island Resort and Marina perfectly captures this island chain’s laid-back vibe. Relax around the island’s largest swimming pool—you’ll find plenty of those tiny umbrellas you’ve been dreaming of at this sun-soaked property. With its daily snorkeling trips, sand-between-your-toes beach bar, and bright, airy villas that welcome you with a slice of island-baked coconut lime shortbread, you can’t capture the Fijian spirit any better than this.

Musket Cove Island Resort and Marina, a great hotel for holidaying in Mamanuca Islands

Tropica Island Resort – Adults Only

Tropica Island Resort is not just an escape from everyday life. It is the return to a life well lived. A boutique resort located in the Mamanuca Islands, Tropica is an adults-only haven and has been designed as the ideal place to relax and unwind. It won’t take you long to get into total relaxation mode, as you soak up the sun in their freshwater horizon pool overlooking the azure waters of the Pacific, or sip on a cocktail as you lounge in the sunset bar watching magical sunsets. Don’t forget to check out the sunset bar. It is to die for!

Tropica Island Resort Adults Only, a great hotel for holidaying in Mamanuca Islands

Likuliku Lagoon Resort – Adults Only

Do you know Likuliku actually means calm waters? Calm waters and a haven of relaxed refinement – a paradise for couples. Likuliku Lagoon Resort is the only retreat comprising 45 bure and featuring Fiji’s only over-water accommodation.  A special place in a magical location using traditional designs and architecture and where you can experience the true, warm welcoming people and culture of the Fiji Islands. Daily changing restaurant menu that is included in the price, the relaxing Masima Island bar, spa pampering, snorkeling the stunning reef, Likuliku is a haven of subtle luxury for adults only.

Likuliku Lagoon Resort – Adults Only, a great hotel for holidaying in Mamanuca Islands

Tadrai Island Resort-Fiji – All Inclusive

Exclusively for couples, Tadrai Island Resort will let you escape to the peace and tranquility of your own private Paradise – yes, the resort is completely secluded! The property is located on the beautiful Mana Island, within the Mamanuca Group, with villas nestled in a secluded palm-fringed cove against a backdrop of spectacular sunsets. The Villas are luxurious, the product of award-winning designers and capsulate the islands stunning backdrop and modern rustic finishes. The resort is adults only- and all-inclusive perfect for couples, honeymooners or a romantic getaway.

Tadrai Island Resort-Fiji - All Inclusive, a great hotel for holidaying in Mamanuca Islands

Lomani Island Resort – Adults Only

This boutique Island retreat offers a relaxing Fijian atmosphere with an amazing 7km white sandy beach, sheltered by a pristine lagoon. Lomani Island Resort is conveniently located just 15km west of Nadi International Airport and set in the Mamanuca group of Fiji Islands. This resort will have you forgetting about the hustle and bustle of the “real world” for an experience that says “adults only resort Fiji”. It’s a chance to be immersed with your loved one for a refreshing Fijian experience. The resort includes a selection of Deluxe Suites, Hibiscus Suites, Beachfront Bures and Beachfront Pool Bures providing the foundation for a memorable holiday with someone special.

Lomani Island Resort - Adults Only, a great hotel for holidaying in Mamanuca Islands

Vomo Island Resort

VOMO is a private island escape offering a choice of 28 resort villas + 4 luxury holiday residences. Just 15 minutes north of Nadi International Airport by seaplane or helicopter, VOMO instantly becomes your personal paradise the moment you arrive. Home to long stretches of white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, this 5 star, all-inclusive resort merges contemporary design sophistication with the island’s stunning natural surrounds.  VOMO has become one of Fiji’s favorite luxury resorts for couples, friends, and families needing a genuinely transformative escape.

Vomo Island Resort, a great hotel for holidaying in Mamanuca Islands


Special thanks to the above hotels for sharing these images!

The post Holidaying in the relaxing and beautiful Mamanuca Islands, Fiji appeared first on Out There Starts Here.

Source: Out There Starts Here | 6 Jun 2019 | 4:00 pm

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5 reasons to go to Vanuatu in 2019

This article is a joint partnership between Expedia and Air Vanuatu.

Being a mere three-hour flight from Sydney, two-and-a-half hours from Brisbane, and from June 2019, just over four hours from Melbourne, Vanuatu is the South Pacific neighbour where your family can have an active holiday and experience real island life. Immerse in the cultural traditions by getting to know the local Pikininis (meaning kids in local Bislama) on the beach; take the little ones snorkelling for the first time; rope swing into a crystal-clear blue hole; or zipline through the tops of the rainforest canopy (and these are only a few of the reasons to go to Vanuatu).

To make it easy for you, we’ve rounded-up some of the best experiences you and the family can share in Vanuatu in 2019:

1. Snorkel off Hideaway Island

For an easy day trip from Vanuatu’s harbourside capital, Port Vila, take a short boat ride over to Hideaway Island to explore its Marine Sanctuary. Here the family can relax and swim with fascinating fish and colourful coral or watch the underwater world from above in a glass-bottom boat. For a unique Hideaway experience, visit the underwater post office – you can send a postcard from the world’s first underwater post office.

2. Swim in the bluest of waters

Vanuatu is home to fantastic waterfalls like the Lolima waterfalls on Efate; pristine coastlines like Champagne Beach on Espiritu Santo, and one of the most stunning natural wonders, crystal-clear freshwater blue lagoons. The east coast of Espiritu Santo boasts more blue holes than anywhere else in the world, including one of the most spectacular, Nanda Blue Hole, which can be found hidden amongst Santo’s lush rainforest.

3. Meet the locals

Vanuatu has been recognised as one of the world’s most culturally diverse countries, which isn’t surprising when you consider it is home to 110 distinct cultures and languages. Head to Tanna Island, and visit Yakel, where the Oscar-nominated ‘Tanna’ movie was filmed. One of the friendliest of communities, it is almost guaranteed your kids will make friends with the locals and immerse themselves in a culture vastly different from their own. They’ll be dancing on the beach and diving head first into the waves together by the end of the trip.

4. Walk over water at Eden on the River

For an entire day of jungle-filled adventure, look no further than Eden on the River, located on Efate. All ages will get a thrill out of soaring through the trees on the jungle zip lines or scrambling over the suspension bridges. Alternatively, you can take a dip in the calm river or stroll through the tropical gardens.

5. Incredible family resorts

With an array of family-friendly resorts on offer, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Resorts primely located in the archipelago’s capital of Port Vila like Warwick Le Lagon, Holiday Inn and Iririki Resort and Spa all offer free use of their in-house Kids’ Club; a range of fun, organised activities; free meals for kids 13 years and under; and purpose-built children’s pools. To really impress the kids, try Holiday Inn’s overwater family villa, complete with board games, bean bags and a PlayStation.


Special thanks to GTI Tourism on behalf of The Vanuatu Tourism Office for sharing the above images and top five reasons for visiting Vanuatu!

The post 5 reasons to go to Vanuatu in 2019 appeared first on Out There Starts Here.

Source: Out There Starts Here | 12 Mar 2019 | 10:49 am

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Coming soon: Hayman Island by InterContinental

One of Australia’s most famous islands is back in business from July 1st, with a new name, a new hotel at the helm and a whole new attitude. Hayman Island by InterContinental is almost here, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store.

Following severe damage by Cyclone Debbie back in 2017, InterContinental took over from One & Only hotels and has completed a multi million dollar refurb to bring the 400 hectare private island in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef back to glory.

What can we expect? The big reveal won’t be until doors open on July 1st, but guests are already booking in their holidays because this piece of paradise is too good to pass up visiting.

The famous resort pool is still there, with rooms opening right up to the pool’s edge. There’s now a brand new Beach House, with three suites and private pools, for those after even more privacy.

We have our eyes on the new spa, with thirteen treatment rooms. For those who want to use Hayman as a base for exploring the reef, expect to see plenty of water activities on offer.

When it comes to the food menus, get ready to hear more exciting news about five dining experiences on offer, from poolside all the way to fine dining.

Keep an eye on the blog for more details about this hot new hotel in the Great Barrier Reef.






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Source: Out There Starts Here | 10 Mar 2019 | 12:18 am

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BridgeClimb takes International Women’s Day to new heights

More than four million people have climbed to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and for International Women’s Day, BridgeClimb celebrated with a very special Power Climb made up of inspiring Australian women.

The three hour BridgeClimb celebrates women working together, ‘rising above’ to achieve their dreams and marks the first of many series of climbs the company will host.

The inaugural Power Climb included Anthea Hammon, Director of Hammon Holdings who are the operators of BridgeClimb, Lisa Perkovic, Expedia’s own Global Travel Expert, Kate Peck, TV Presenter and model, Heidi Dening, author and self-leadership educator, Sharni Williams, Australian Rugby Union Player, Gillian Fox, Women’s Advancement Specialist, Councillor Jess Miller from City of Sydney and Sarah Harper, BridgeClimb’s Climb Operations Manager.

The Climb itself is a remarkable showcase of the skill and bravery of those who were involved in its eight year construction back in the 1930s. Guides share stories of feats of strength, endurance and mathematical marvel with their climbers as they take on the ‘catwalk’, stairs and ramps up to the peak of the bridge.

Stopping at the ‘summit’, looking out at the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour in all it’s glory, this is one Australian experience that’s not to be missed. Get your tickets here.

The post BridgeClimb takes International Women’s Day to new heights appeared first on Out There Starts Here.

Source: Out There Starts Here | 8 Mar 2019 | 2:20 am

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10 different reasons to try Japan for your next trip

Skyscrapers, ski fields and temples. Yes, Japan is home to some of the world’s most technologically advanced cities, the best ski fields and beautiful historic districts, but there is so much more on offer. It’s never been easier for Australians to see Japan in all its glory – that means getting away from the tourist hot spots and into regions that are still free from crowds but are full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

Where to start? Hokkaido Prefecture and the Kansai region are two very good places to begin. We’re taking you on a tour of the 10 best places to visit in these two beautiful areas:

1. CupNoodles Museum, Ikeda (Osaka)

The humble cup of noodles; convenient snack in the office or main diet staple for university students around the world, was born in Ikeda, half an hour from downtown Osaka when Momofuku Ando created the first instant ramen. Today, the CupNoodles Museum tells the story of that history and has its own Chicken Ramen CupNoodles Factory where you can craft your own noodles, from kneading and steaming to flash drying.

2. Log rafting, Kitayama River (Wakayama)

No, this is not white water rafting like you know it. The Kii Peninsula Mountains are two hours south east of Osaka and home to a logging history that has born this adventurous sport. Recreate the old days by hopping aboard a rough-hewn log raft for a wild ride down the river.

3. Nishiki Market (Kyoto)

Tofu doughnuts. Trust us, they are worth every single minute you’ll spend strolling through the five block long covered markets in downtown Kyoto. Served piping hot, these plump doughy balls take tofu to a whole new level. Munch on a bagful while checking out some of Japan’s traditional dishes and unusual produce like BBQ eel and fresh wasabi plants.

4. Tanize Suspension Bridge, Totsukawa (Nara)

Rising 54 metres above the Totsukawa River two hours’ drive south of Osaka, the Tanize Suspension Bridge is top notch if you’re after a bird’s eye view of Japan’s lush Nara Prefecture. Stretching almost 300 metres across the river, it’s not for those afraid of heights but certainly worth venturing across if you’re brave.

5. Kinosaki Onsen, Toyooka (Hyogo)

There are more than 20,000 natural onsen in Japan and you’ll find some of the best in the charming riverside town of Kinosaki. Located in Hyogo Prefecture on the Sea of Japan, the first hot springs in Kinosaki were discovered in the 8th century and have long drawn visitors. The town has seven public bath houses, indoor and outdoor, some with wooden baths, even some with waterfalls. Traditionally onsen followed very specific etiquette, some rules are still followed today, but the Kinosaki onsen were one of the first in the country to allow bathers with tattoos into any of the seven public baths. 

6. Cherry blossoms, Goryokaku (Hokkaido)

Leave the inflated prices of Tokyo around March-April and head out to Japan’s northern most island of Hokkaido in early May. You’ve got an extra month up your sleeve to see the country’s famous cherry blossoms as the cold keeps the blooms delayed a few weeks. Around 1,600 cherry blossom trees burst into bloom at Goryokaku Park in Hakodate City. Fort Goryokaku is a large, star-shaped military fortification which is surrounded by the park and its unique manmade moat. You’ll have a unique bird’s eye view of the blossoms from the top of adjacent Goryokaku Tower.

7. Fresh seafood (Hokkaido)

If you love seafood, you haven’t seen anything until you’ve been to some of Hokkaido’s seafood markets. The northern island is famous for wildlife, and that extends to fresh seafood served up each day at the markets in Sapporo, Otaru and Hakodate. Catch your own sashimi in Hakodate’s Morning Market, where punters are given a fishing rod and the chance to catch squid straight from the tanks, or stop by one of the nine(!) markets dotted across Otaru. Dedicated travellers know the early bird gets the worm – head to the markets with the locals at 5am.

8. World class Whisky, Yoichi (Hokkaido)

Whisky lovers consider a trip to the Nikka Distillery somewhat of a pilgrimage. The first whisky distillery was set up in Kyoto by Masataka Taketsuru for Suntory, who studied distilling in Scotland before returning to Japan. He set up his own distillery in Yoichi, a town just outside of Otaru on Hokkaido back in 1934 where it remains today. Take a tour of the distillery, learn more about the history in the museum, before heading to the tasting room to warm up with a dram or two.

9. Sapporo Snow Festival, Sapporo (Hokkaido)

Each February Hokkaido’s capital city Sapporo is transformed into a winter wonderland. We’re not just talking about ice rinks and snow cones. Enormous, towering snow sculptures take over Odori Park, some stretching more than 15 metres into the sky. Hundreds of ice sculptures are displayed in the Susukino Site and snow slides take over the Tsudome Site. The sculptures are lit up until late in the evening.

10. Red-crowned cranes, Kushiro (Hokkaido)

Hokkaido has long been known to adventurous travellers as an outdoor playground ­– its vast wilderness is also famous for unique wildlife. If you’re after an experience that is truly memorable, head to the Kushiro City Red-crowned Crane Nature Park to see the country’s iconic red-crowned cranes. Special breeding programs have helped the local population flourish.

Whether you want to try world class seafood, get an adventure fix or improve your wellness, Japan’s Hokkaido Prefecture and Kansai region are waiting. Check out our Trip Discovery tool here.

Start your trip right and experience the heartfelt Japanese style “omotenashi” hospitality when you fly with Japan Airlines (JAL), a world 5-Star Airline*. Offering daily, direct flights from Sydney or Melbourne to Tokyo, you can then connect to JAL’s extensive domestic network in Japan to Kansai and Hokkaido. Book online at and save on hotels in Tokyo. Enjoy world-class comfort and safety on board, plus great in-flight entertainment with JAL’s MAGIC entertainment system featuring a wide range of movies, audio and digital books and even manga.

*World 5-Star Airline awarded by Skytrax

The post 10 different reasons to try Japan for your next trip appeared first on Out There Starts Here.

Source: Out There Starts Here | 24 Feb 2019 | 5:42 pm

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A walk across Australia with camels - 1988
I was one of four people to walk across Australia as part of Australia's Bicentennial in 1988. March 1st - September 14th. Sharks Bay to Byron Bay. The

Source: Outback Australia Travel Blog | 24 Feb 2018 | 2:09 pm

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Ayres Rock or Kakadu in June
I will be traveling in June with two teenagers and I am interested in either going to Ayres Rock or Kakadu. Which area would be better if I only have time

Source: Outback Australia Travel Blog | 13 Nov 2017 | 5:22 am

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Planning a trip to Alice Springs via Uluru
Just looking for a few tips on how much I should budget for a 10-14 day trip to Alice Springs & Uluru/Kata Tjuta. We (my boyfriend and I) are planning

Source: Outback Australia Travel Blog | 13 Nov 2017 | 5:19 am

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People broke into my hotel room at 3.30am, and no one cared
Let me tell you about an unscheduled 3.30 am wake-up call I experienced the other day. I'm hoping my story also serves as a wake-up call to the travel and security industries as well as for the police (though I doubt it).

Source: - Australia | 21 Jun 2017 | 10:30 pm

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Tasmania's Freycinet Experience Walk: 'Truly one of the greatest experience of your life'
The acclaimed British novelist Nicholas Shakespeare describes it as "the only trek".

Source: - Australia | 20 Jun 2017 | 11:47 pm

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Cuisine editor: Should a NZ eatery be among the World's 50 Best Restaurants?
OPINION: Melbourne was home to the World's 50 Best Restaurant awards this year. The only other cities to have hosted this prestigious event are London (for the first 14 years) and New York (last year). Landing an event of this magnitude was game-changing for Australia. And so back in April, I set off to experience a series of events designed by Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Tourism Australia and Visit Victoria to spread the message that Australia is a must-visit culinary destination.

Source: - Australia | 18 Jun 2017 | 6:38 pm

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My Sydney, with Vivid's Kiwi Director Ash Bolland
As Vivid Sydney wraps up for another year, we chat to Kiwi director Ash Bolland who designed the festival's most prominent show, Audio Creatures.

Source: - Australia | 16 Jun 2017 | 7:28 pm

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Google sings songs of Uluru with new Street View vistas
With ever-growing troves of valuable data on its shelves, Google has expanded its Street View range further to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Northern Territory, Australia.

Source: - Australia | 11 Jun 2017 | 6:55 pm

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General tips for visiting Uluru
Read all you can before you go as I am not going to tell a granny how to suck eggs. Make sure you ingest the advice and be wise to the risks, it gets mighty

Source: Outback Australia Travel Blog | 26 Feb 2017 | 5:54 am

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Finding unskilled mining jobs in WA
This page is a bit unusual in that it isn't for travellers. Or rather I should say not for tourists, because for long term travellers it may well be very interesting! In the section on this website about financing your travels by working in Australia I wrote about the possibility to get temporary jobs in the mining industry, which is VERY lucrative. And that page became very popular also with Australians and New Zealanders looking for permanent mining jobs. I also have two reader pages on the site where people looked for advice on finding mining jobs. No other pages on my site have received anywhere near the same amount of comments! All comments are from people looking for help with getting a mining job. Hence the new page. I hope it helps!

Source: Outback Australia Travel Blog | 22 Nov 2012 | 8:07 am

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