Australasia & Oceania
The Land Down Under is one of the world’s favorite travel destinations, both for its unique destinations (the ancient Uluru, the Outback and the Great Barrier Reef) and wildlife (where else can one find kangaroos and koalas in the wild), as for its incredibly friendly and down-to-earth people, world-class cities like Sydney and miles and miles of exquisite beaches. Its neighbor to the east, the island nation of New Zealand, is now one of the world’s favorite travel destinations (no doubt due to its real-world setting of Tolkien’s Middle Earth). The urban centers on the North Island offer an interesting contrast to the rugged Alpine topography of the South Island, while the Maori culture permeates the Kiwi culture to this day. Further afield lie the island archipelagos of the South Pacific – Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia – conjuring up romantic, exotic images of the palm-fringed islands of Tahiti and Bora Bora and symbolizing the ultimate in timeless island paradise.