Looking for somewhere to get away from the real world but only have a few days to spare? We’ve put together a few of our favourite short breaks to get you started.
Located just a few hours’ from Australia’s east coast, Vanuatu is a world away from the busyness of everyday life, making it an excellent choice for a long weekend away from it all. The restaurants and cafes of Port Vila make the most of all the fresh, delicious produce and seafood that’s literally on their doorsteps, the people are warm and welcoming, and you’ll find some of the world’s best diving and snorkelling close by. If time and budget permit, it’s well worth taking a day trip beyond Port Vila: to Tanna to see the active Mt Yasur volcano; to Espiritu Santo to experience the breath-taking blue holes and Champagne Beach; or stay on the main island of Efate and experience authentic Vanuatu culture on a village tour.
The main island of Rarotonga rises out of a sparkling lagoon that is richly populated with colourful marine life, soaring to a dramatic peak that’s covered with lush, green vegetation and fringed with beautiful sandy beaches: what more could you ask for in a weekend getaway? The island is relatively compact: you can circle the entire island by local bus in about an hour, or you can explore by bicycle, soaking up the idyllic island atmosphere and stopping off for a swim when you discover a particularly enticing beach. A day trip (or longer) to Aitutaki should be on everyone’s bucket list: be sure to visit tiny One Foot Island for the best views of the entire atoll and have your passport stamped at the island’s unique post office.
If you feel like you need to get away from your everyday life for a few days, Bali offers plenty of opportunities for escapism. Choose a cooking school or a surf camp and you’ll not only return home rested and relaxed, but you’ll also have learned a new skill or improved on an old one. Laze on a beautiful beach by day and finish with sundowner cocktails at a fabulous beachfront bar in Seminyak or learn to meditate and perfect your sun salute at an eco-friendly resort in the Ubud region: Bali offers something for everyone.
No-one wants to fly all the way from Australia to Europe for a weekend getaway, but Noumea offers a great alternative for anyone who likes a little French flair with their beach break. The main beach of Anse Vata is a popular spot for windsurfing and kitesurfing and serves as the staging point for the water taxi which will take you to the nearby islands of Île aux Canards and Îlot Maître for outstanding snorkelling. Start your day with a freshly-baked, flaky, buttery pain au chocolat and a strong French coffee, and finish at the Spanish-influenced Bodega del Mar, located in an overwater bungalow at the far end of Anse Vata, for cocktails, tapas and the best sunsets in town.
If you fancy a different sort of short break, why not pop over to Queenstown or Christchurch in New Zealand’s South Island for a spot of skiing. Both destinations offer numerous ski fields within a short drive of their airports, so you could be off the plane and onto the ski-lift within a couple of hours of touching down. Queenstown also has the added allure of stunning mountain lakes and award-winning wineries close by, while Christchurch’s rejuvenation over the last few years has made it one of the most vibrant cities around.
Why not let someone else do the driving, the cooking, provide the entertainment and even look after the kids for a few hours, while you enjoy spa treatments, gourmet meals and an ever-changing view from your window. Cruises let you visit multiple destinations while only needing to unpack once, offer plenty of on-board and shore-based activities and represent great value for money. Whether it’s a quick jaunt around the South Pacific, a leisurely cruise of the Barrier Reef or simply an opportunity to spend time with people who share the same interests as you, a cruise could be your ideal short break.
Talk to your personal travel manager if you’re ready to start planning your short break.