South of the Equator in the Pacific Ocean are some of the most exotic islands you may ever encounter with stunning landscapes that are even more beautiful under water. Whether you're planning a honeymoon, romantic escape, or just in need of an off-the-beaten path beach getaway, take at look at some of the best islands in the South Pacific for the trip of a lifetime.
French Polynesia’s Bora-Bora is surrounded by a lagoon and beautiful barrier reef. In the center of the island sits an extinct volcano that forms Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu, the highest point on the island at 2,300 feet. Water-centric resorts dot the island that sits 140 miles northwest from Papeete, Tahiti. Turquoise lagoons can be admired from the 19-mile road that outlines the exterior of the island. You can dip your feet in the waters with activities such as the Lagoonarium, the Diving Center, the Coral Gardens or the Leopard Rays Trench. End your day with a stroll along Matria Point.
Great Barrier Reef Islands, Australia
The islands that sit in the center of Australia’s 1,240-mile Great Barrier Reef offer a multitude of private island resorts with coral galore. Wilson Island offers tents with no electricity to leave no lasting effects on the surrounding environment. Bedarra has exclusivity and privacy at its disposal. Hayman Island could be considered a place to go before you die with its decadence, while Orpheus is as unpretentious as it gets. Whichever you choose, you’ll be close enough to the Great Barrier Reef to discover its beauty whether diving or snorkeling.
More than 10,000 years ago, Tasmania was cut off from Australia to create a land all its own. Discover the beauty of the edgy wilderness at one of the 17 national parks. If you visit tranquil Coles Bay at the entrance to Freycinet National Park, you can walk to Wineglass Bay. Explore a peninsula of pink granite mountains, pure white beaches and turquoise sea there as well. Just walking around Dove Lake takes you past waterfalls and through forests of King Billy pines to the jagged dolomite peaks of Cradle Mountain.
Moorea, French Polynesia
Tahiti’s little sister Moorea is one of the newest hot spots in French Polynesia where you can see breathtaking beaches, oddly shaped mountains and unbelievable excursions by land and sea. Tour the 38-mile circle road to take in the beauty of the whole island or book a sunset lagoon ride. Dine on traditional “Ma’a Tahiti” foods cooked in underground ovens. Moorea has been called the most beautiful island in the world.
More than 330 islands make up the Fiji archipelago, but a majority of the population lives on Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Most tourists visit the star islands of Nadi and Denarau where cobalt blue oceans and white sand beaches rule. The islands are known for their reputation as the soft coral capital of the world making the underwater views just as stunning as those above water.