Only 15 minutes by boat from Port Moselle or Anse Vata, the gorgeous little island of Îlot Maître makes for a great day trip. Get out there with L’escapade, which runs the resort on the island, with Coconut Taxi or by taxi boat from Anse Vata. There’s a beach and snack bar for day trippers, or talk with the resort about using its facilities.
Situated on the majestic Hawkesbury River, Brooklyn Marina is just 1 hour north of Sydney in Australia
This magnificent waterway is nestled among spectacular National Parks and is considered Sydney’s hidden paradise.
Chuuk was originally part of the colonial territory of the Caroline Islands, and as such Chuuk has been a part of the Spanish Empire, then the German Empire and finally the Japanese empires.
During World War II, Chuuk Lagoon was the Japan’s main naval base in the South Pacific theatre. A significant portion of the Imperial Japanese fleet was based there, with its administrative center on Tonoas (south of Weno). Due to its heavy fortifications, both natural and manmade, the base at Chuuk was nicknamed by the Allied forces as “the Gibraltar of the Pacific”. In 1944 the U.S. forces attacked Chuuk under code name Operation Hailstone. The attack culminated in one of the most important naval battles of the war. Twelve Japanese warships, thirty-two merchant ships and 249 aircraft were destroyed.
After the War, Chuuk was one of six districts of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands which were administered by the United States under charter from the United Nations from the end of the Second World War to the early 1990s. Now Chuuk is a state within the independed Federated States of Micronesia.
In 1944 the US Navy conducted Operation Hailstone, the largest surface bombing campaign in history, wiping out a Japanese fleet stationed at the island. The seabed around Chuuk is now littered with nearly 70 wrecks of ships and planes, all protected from deep sea currents by a reef system, and most within depths appropriate for scuba divers.
Although Truk Lagoon contains a number of spectacular wrecks, the Fujikawa Maru is often singled out by diving magazines and travel guides as one of the top 10 wreck dives in the world.
However, apart from scuba diving, there is not very much to do in Chuuk. There are no real beaches on Weno (although some of the outer islands which can be reached by boat do have beaches). None of the hotels on Chuuk even has a swimming pool. For non-diving spouses, a trip to Chuuk can be a dull and tiresome affair.
Cairns, Great Barrier Reef
Cairns is a modern, sophisticated city, and is an ideal base to explore the wider Tropical North Queensland region with front door access to World Heritage listed Reef, Rainforest and Outback.
The city itself is where much of the accommodation is situated close to international standard restaurants, boutique shopping, modern art galleries and evening entertainment. All the attributes of a world class modern city are to be found in Cairns: International air access, rail systems, high-standard accommodation facilities, an art gallery, botanic gardens, university, a casino and a convention centre.
Over a century of architecture is reflected in the city streets – a comfortable blend of traditional Queenslander style and modern designs. There is enough of the old Cairns left for the astute visitor to imagine what the city was once like.
Modern buildings grace the cityscape with a mixture of architectural designs including the Reef Hotel Casino, Cairns International Hotel and the Cairns Convention Centre. A focal point for the city is the Cairns Esplanade. Almost two kilometres of landscaped parkland fringes a busy thoroughfare and restaurant strip on one side, and a natural harbour inlet on the other. Each year, thousands of visitors flock to the Esplanade to relax on the grass, eat at sidewalk cafes, meet new people, to walk under the trees, and to watch the many bird species which come to feed on the tidal zone.
Fiordland is New Zealand’s largest national park at almost 3 million acres. It covers much of the southern part of the South Island’s West Coast.
The Sounds in Fiordland are arguably the most beautiful places in New Zealand, and that’s saying something! Wildlife, waterfalls, unforested valleys, crystal clear lakes, and elegant mountains are what make up the views, and the only signs of human inhabitation are the tracks running deep into the bush, and the cruises down the sounds.
Milford Sound is truly breathtaking. So much that it often attracts the title of “The Eighth Natural Wonder of the World”. Fiordland is one of the wettest places in the world, and is as beautiful raining as it is with clear skies. When it rains, waterfalls spring up anywhere, too many to count.
Cruise ships going into Milford Sound can take you right underneath massive waterfalls, and the whole 16km to the end of the sound, where you meet the vast, angry Tasman Sea.
Doubtful Sound is the second longest in Fiordland at 40km long. On a cruise down Doubtful Sound you will experience more shades of lush green than you knew existed, while you drift over 420 meter deep water.
In both Milford and Doubtful Sounds, you will experience a host of wildlife; seals and crested penguins gather on the shores, and sometimes bottlenosed dolphins can be sighted playfully swimming along side the boat.
Te Anau is the centrepiece town of Fiordland, is the starting point for famous southern walking tracks the Milford, Kepler, and Hollyford tracks. Located on the shores of Lake Te Anau, with full view of snowy mountains, the scenery makes the town a relaxing destination.
Take a short cruise to see the unique glow worm caves, the only freely changing ones in the world. This is the best place to base yourself while exploring the sounds.
Bluff is a town and seaport on the southern coast of the South Island of New Zealand. It is the southern-most town in New Zealand and, despite Slope Point being further to the south, is generally referred to as the southern extremity of the country.
Bluff is renowned for its oysters, which are reputed to be the best in the world. There is an annual oyster festival and the Bluff Maritime Museum has exhibits which focus on oystering, whaling and shipwrecks. A signpost at Stirling point indicates the distance to the South Pole and other destinations in the world.