I am desperately in need of a relaxing holiday. I must admit the concept of a restful holiday is new to me, usually I want to cram as much adventure, culture, history, shopping and food into one trip. But I’m tired and getting old and just want to chill. And since the purpose of this holiday is R&R, I don’t want a long haul flight involved.
Unfortunately, a lot of tropical destinations close to Australia have a terrible reputation. Drunk bogan Aussies, full moon parties, screaming children, and the list goes on.
So I have been doing quite a bit of research and have rounded up my favourite 7 tropical holiday destinations that are under a 7 hour flight away from Sydney!
1. Ubud, Indonesia – 6h 35m from Sydney
I’ve heard the best way to avoid the “Bali Bogans” is to skip Kuta and head straight to Ubud. I’m eyeing off a few yoga retreats in that area and it truly looks like heaven on earth. A spot of yoga, a massage and a cocktail by the pool. Yes please.
2. Solomon Islands – 5h 55m from Sydney
The fact that the Solomon Islands is less developed than its South Pacific cousins such as Vanautu and Fiji is a blessing. There are less crowds which means the stunning collection of islands remains currently unspoiled.
3. Fiji – 4h from Sydney
Fiji is a popular destination for a reason – it’s an easy and safe bet. The short flying time means it’s awash with children during school holidays, but plan your trip time and select your hotel carefully and you’ll be enjoying a week of uninterrupted bliss.
4. Vanuatu – 3h 25m from Sydney
While in Fiji the tendency is to spend the majority of your time at the resort, in Vanuatu it is easier to navigate the island and discover the numerous restaurants, bars and shops dotted around the place.
5. Nouméa, New Caledonia – 2h 50m from Sydney
Who knew there was a little bit of France so close to Australia! New Caledonia is under 3 hours away from Sydney and filled with pristine beaches, luxurious resorts and French-inspired cuisine.
6. Samoa – 5h 30m from Sydney
Samoa hadn’t even been on my radar until recently when my best friend went there. It’s got to be one of the South Pacific’s best hidden secrets, filled with lagoons, waterfalls and unspoiled beaches in a peaceful setting.
7. Cairns – 3h 5m from Sydney
Despite the temptation to flee overseas, tropical north Queensland has a huge array of divine beach destinations easily accessed via Cairns. There’s the Great Barrier Reef, Hamilton Island, Port Douglas and many more.
And next time I want to go a little further a field… I’d love to explore Koh Samui in Thailand, Lombok in Indonesia and Cebu in the Philippines… One day!
What’s your favourite destination to relax?