Honeymoon Destination of the week: Waikiki, Hawaii.

Waikiki Beach, Hawaii
  • HOW: A 8-9 hour direct flight from Auckland to Honolulu. From the airport it’s about a 30-45 minute cab ride to Waikiki beach (average cost is about US$45). Air New Zealand and Hawaiian Airlines have deals and packages for Kiwis on a regular basis so be sure to plan ahead to catch a great deal.
  • WHAT: There’s plenty to do on Oahu island no matter what you’re into. Highlights include learning to surf on Waikiki beach, shopping along Kalakaua Avenue or at the gigantic Ala Moana centre, snorkelling at Hanauma Bay, visiting Pearl Harbour to see the famous sunken USS Arizona memorial, renting a mustang and cruising around the island in one day making stops at the Dole pineapple factory, Turtle beach, and Pipeline. Honestly, we could go on and on!
  • WHEN: The best months are the first three weeks in April, May, September, and October. These months are less crowded which you will appreciate when waiting for a table at the Cheesecake factory. The temperature ranges between 26-31 degrees year-round so there’s no terrible time to visit weather-wise.
  • WHERE: Where to eat? There are so many options, but the “classics” would have to be: Dukes Waikiki on the beach, Marukame Udon Waikiki (there will be a line outside), the famous Cheesecake Factory, PF Chang’s, and for a fancy night out with the locals visit Hy’s Steak House.
  • WHY: Waikiki is very much geared up for tourists which makes it a relaxing and easy honeymoon destination. You can be as lazy or adventurous as you want to be. It’s very convenient to get around once you’re there. Aim to get a hotel as close to Waikiki beach as possible (without breaking the bank!) that way most things will be a short walk or shuttle ride away. We would suggest visiting one of the other less populated islands too – like Maui, the Big Island or Kauai.

Honeymoon Destination of the week: Port Douglas, Australia.

Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas, Australia
  • HOW: A 5 ½ hour direct flight from Auckland to Cairns. We suggest a few days in Cairns first, then it’s a scenic 1 hour drive north up the coast to Port Douglas. Be sure to take in the sights and grab an ice-cream at the beautiful Palm Cove along the way.
  • WHAT: Highlights include snorkelling the Great Barrier reef (a must!), sampling the delicious local seafood, walking the Mossman George and bathing in its waterfalls, checking out the local wildlife and cane toad racing at the local Iron Bar Saloon in town.
  • WHEN: The best months are between April and October. November through to March is the stinger season (jellyfish) so extra precautions need to be made when swimming. A lot of shops and restaurants close during the off-season which is between December and January.
  • WHERE: There are many top resorts in Port Douglas but it’s hard to go past the iconic Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort which is located right on Four Mile beach. It also has its own 18 hole golf course and is situated on 2ha of saltwater lagoon pools. Truly breath-taking!
  • WHY: Port Douglas has it all – warm weather, the Great Barrier reef at its door step, exciting wildlife opportunities and also comes with the added bonus of spending some additional time in Cairns. There’s plenty to do around Cairns, including a boat trip to Green Island, the Kuranda scenic railway and sky rail and Rusty’s Market for fresh fruit and vegetables.

Honeymoon destination of the week: Bora Bora, Tahiti.

Mount Otemanu, Bora Bora, Tahiti.
  • HOW: It’s a direct 4-5 hour flight from Auckland to Tahiti’s main island, then a short 50 minute flight on Air Tahiti to Bora Bora. Most hotels arrange a ferry to greet you at the airport to take you to their hotel.
  • WHAT: Highlights include swimming with the sharks and rays (a must!), luxurious overwater bungalows, delicious French cuisine, crystal clear waters and spectacular snorkelling coral gardens.
  • WHEN: November and April – these are the short shoulder seasons either side of the peak season that offer fine weather but aren’t quite as expensive.
  • WHERE: This isn’t a cheap destination. The Four Seasons ranks the highest but we can’t fault the Conrad Bora Bora Nui.
  • WHY: Tahiti also offers many other islands of interest such as Moorea which is also spectacular but has more of a rustic vibe. It would be easy to spend 2+ weeks island hopping in Tahiti.