13th September 1991

New Zealand – North Island

The island is extraordinarily pretty with craggy peaks. My beach bungalow faces the most picture perfect lagoon straight out of the paradise catalogue with little islets (called motus) a reef (with crashing waves that sound like an aeroplane that never quite manages to land) and the obligatory white sand and bendy palm trees.
21st September 1991

Australia – Classic Tour

I booked a cheap hotel in Kings Cross and found out why it was such a good deal when I got there. I knew nothing about Kings Cross (it’ the red light district area) and when I arrived a guy was standing in the doorway wearing a leather mini and a blonde wig. I got take away and stuck a chair under the door handle
20th October 2001

Australia – Three Sides

The beaches in the Whitsundays are truly stunning- the best in the world? At aptly named Paradise the silver sand stretches forever and when you do reach the cerulean sea a school of rays are basking gracefully in the clearest of water.
20th October 2001

New Zealand – South Island

You're supposed to do the Awesome Foursome (Bungee, helicopter, jet boat and white water rafting). The ski season has also just finished, much to my disappointemnt, but I do take a jet boat ride. It is supposed to be a tame one, but I get the co-pilot’s seat and I end up with arms like Twizzle and a massof bruises after the pilot has finished demonstrating his ability to execute 360 degree turns in four inches of water.
25th August 2012

Papua New Guinea

Great views of the Barrier Reef from the plane on my way north from Brisbane. Splatters of ochre and emerald on a turquoise palette. I'm in the capital city of a tropical country that consists of the eastern half of the second largest island in the world and a large number of smaller islands. There is a central chain of high mountains, so it’s not always warm.
1st September 2012

Solomon Islands

The flight to Honiara in the Solomon Islands was only half an hour late. My connection to Ghizo was cancelled but replaced by an 18 seater and we skimmed over myriad teeny coral islands (992 in all) and reefs to arrive on an airstrip that was an island on its own. And nothing else. Met by a boat and whisked off to another coral island abode.
3rd September 2012

Vanuatu

Where next? South to the capital of a nation of only 70 or so islands this time speaking English, French and Bislama (as well as 100 or so other languages). Tales of the South Pacific was based on life here during WW2. However, some serious issues to report to the trades descriptions people.
10th September 2013

Cook Islands

The island is extraordinarily pretty with craggy peaks. My beach bungalow faces the most picture perfect lagoon straight out of the paradise catalogue with little islets (called motus) a reef (with crashing waves that sound like an aeroplane that never quite manages to land) and the obligatory white sand and bendy palm trees.
13th September 2013

French Polynesia

The views from the air are sublime. This is a volcanic peak surrounded by a fabulous deep blue lagoon and scattered motu, with the turquoise shallows on the edge of the lagoon. The airport is on one of the motu, rather like the one in Gizo in The Solomons. But here the motu is part of the outer reef and the boats meeting us are all tricked out speedboats. I have joined the jet set and I have an overwater bungalow. How can you not