Honeymoon Ideas & Answers
South Pacific 101
Experts tackle top questions about this romantic region
My fiancé and I have eight or nine days max for our honeymoon. Which destinations would you recommend?
Joe: It depends on what the two of you like to do: bake in the sun or run your own version of The Amazing Race. If a beach and a bungalow are your idea of bliss, then eight or nine days in Tahiti is just about perfect. But don't spend it all in one spot; each of French Polynesia's islands is outrageously beautiful. You could do five nights on a popular island like Moorea or Bora Bora and the remainder on one of the wilder isles like Taha'a or the more remote Tuamotu atolls. A similar plan will work in Fiji, where you can divide your stay among two or three private-island resorts. Choose the Yasawa or Mamanuca island groups for laid-back indulgence, or the northern isle of Vanua Levu for fabulous snorkeling and diving. Nine days don't go very far in larger countries like Australia and New Zealand, unless you limit yourselves to a specific region. Three options: Dive or snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and visit the rain forests of Queensland; experience the very best of urban Australia in Sydney and Melbourne; or explore New Zealand's North Island, with three days in Auckland, three days in the Hawke's Bay wine region, and three days beachcombing the Bay of Islands.
We have two weeks. Is it possible to visit two countries?
Joe: For sure. Four of the South Pacific's airlines—Air New Zealand (800-262-1234; airnewzealand.com), Air Pacific (800-227-4446; airpacific.com), Air Tahiti Nui (877-824-4846; airtahitinui.com) and Qantas (800-227-4500; qantas.com)—make combo honeymoons almost as easy as visiting a single destination. Air New Zealand, via its Los Angeles gateway, offers a half-dozen combinations, such as Tahiti and the Cook Islands, Samoa and Australia, or New Zealand and New Caledonia. Air Tahiti Nui can carry you from New York City or Los Angeles to Papeete (Tahiti's gateway and capital) and then on to either Auckland or Sydney. With Air Pacific, Fiji's national airline, you can combine a visit to Fiji with more exotic spots like Vanuatu or Samoa. If you fly Qantas, you can spend time in either Fiji or New Zealand on your way Down Under.
We hate changing planes. Are there any nonstop flights to the South Pacific from the East Coast?
Jad: Unfortunately, flying to Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia still requires a connection or stopover in Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Honolulu. But with Air Tahiti Nui's new nonstop New York-to-Papeete service, East Coasters can tuck tiares behind their ears just a half-day after clicking their seat belts for take-off. The 12.5-hour flight departs from John F. Kennedy International Airport on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Both the Thursday and Saturday flights continue on to Sydney. Tip: If you can't fly first- or business-class, request a window and an aisle: The 2-4-2 seat configuration on this particular flight means you'll have a private row (emergency exits and bulkheads will give you the most room). On light-load flights, play that honeymoon card with the gate agent and you might wind up with an entire middle row to yourselves.