Nowhere does the great outdoors feel wilder – greater – than Australasia. This is a place where nature still rules, from wave-lashed beaches and towering eucalyptus forests to red-hot deserts and shivering blue glaciers. As our map of Australasia shows, it’s vast. Despite all this, slick coastal cities in Australia and New Zealand have the good life nailed, with envy-inducing cultural scenes and some of the most diverse populations on Earth. Go surfing in Sydney, jump headlong into Melbourne’s live music venues, or bungee from a bridge in Auckland.
Protected areas like the Great Barrier Reef and New Zealand’s Horoirangi Marine Reserve offer world-class snorkelling and diving, while inland, face-to-face encounters with kangaroos, koalas, kiwis and crocs are a real possibility. Don’t know your Merlot from your elbow? Take a tour of the region’s vineyards, or give it all up for a week of no-nonsense relaxation. Dreamy, low-slung Pacific islands are just a flight or boat ride away.