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Bora Bora, Fiji, New Zealand

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Bora Bora in French Polynesia is a dot in a lagoon of blues and greens. It is just 30km in circumference with lush mountains and a necklace of coral. Flying in is an experience — the airstrip was built on a small islet, or motu, by US troops during WWII. From there passengers travel by boat to the main island.

Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa raised the bar for luxury in the 118 Tahitian islands when it opened. Its 120 luxury suites are on 6.5 hectares of a lush, terraced hillside leading to a protected cove. All have ocean views with décor and design reflecting island culture, luxury and modern technology. Six hundred coconut palms line walkways and there is a white sandy beach almost a kilometre long.

Polynesian building traditions were followed using dried pandanus leaves, hand-woven by local artists, to form thatched roofing. Hand printed tapa cloth made from the breadfruit tree has been used, as well as hand-carved, curly kahia wood. Mahogany canopy beds were imported from Indonesia and French bathroom fixtures are fitted to Italian marble bathtubs, carved from a solid block.

Overwater bungalows have three in-floor glass viewing panels. One is by the bathtub, one by the sitting area coffee table and one on your private verandah. You can see colourful clusters of coral and watch schools of tropical fish making their way through the clear water.

There is a verandah for sunning and dining and a lower deck used for sliding into the water.

Fins and masks are provided. At night the lagoon is lit for late night swims under the stars.

Breakfast can be delivered right to your door by Tahitian canoe. Polynesian picnics and romantic dinners under-the-stars can be ordered and there are other culinary options.


The Republic of the Fiji Islands occupies an archipelago of around 322 islands and 522 islets. Viti Levu and Vanua Levu are home to 87 percent of the population.

Savusavu on Vanua Levu is where you will find Koro Sun Resort. Once a coconut plantation, the resort is encircled by rainforest on the edge of a private lagoon. Lush tropical growth surrounds the 60 hectares and the waters are inviting.

Its eighteen bures are private, exclusive and fully air-conditioned. They all offer expansive ocean and reef views. One bure on top of a hill amongst raintrees has a jacuzzi, outdoor plunge pool and larger than king-size bed.

Koro Sun Dive offers exploration of wonderfully diverse sites. A few minutes by boat takes you to Namena Island Marine Reserve, Fiji's most prolific and beautiful site. The Rainbow Reef and Somosomo Straits earned Fiji the name Soft Coral Capital of the World. There are pristine sites including Dreamhouse, Pyramids and Purple Garden.

Diving is fantastic for everyone and PADI and SSI certifications are on offer. They also have advanced levels, including Divemaster courses.

Kayaking the Salt River is a gentle and relaxing thing to do. It takes just 30 minutes to reach the Nukubolu Waterfalls and there you can trek into the lush Fijian interior with giant rainforest trees and towering ferns.


New Zealand enjoys much physical beauty, but the Bay of Islands in the north of the north island is particularly grand. Just 240 kilometres from the centre of Auckland, it is rich in history and considered to be the cradle of Polynesian and European settlement in New Zealand. It has perfect islands, bays and coves and is a popular spot for sailing, cruising, deep sea and game fishing, dolphin and whale watching.

Eagles Nest is the most wonderful place to stay — there are four homes, each with its own personality. Sacred Space, First Light Temple, The Eyrie and Eagles Spirit and private from each other and ooze calming and tranquil ambience. Their bio-harmonic design reflects the philosophical and spiritual beliefs of the owners.

Sacred Space is the heart of Eagles Nest. Its three suites, all with ensuite, have carefully selected artwork and antique furnishings. The large, 2-storey glass-roofed living area transforms from relaxed living to formal dining, and at night can become a movie theatre.

First Light Temple seems to grow from the hillside. It overlooks the pool, land and seascapes with a clever mix of elegance and simplicity. The main floor has indoor and outdoor fireplace and walls of glass bi-fold doors opening to b balcony on three sides. It has a gourmet kitchen, full bathroom and outdoor shower.

The Eyrie and Eagle Spirit have three bedrooms with ensuite, open plan living/dining rooms with fireplaces and designer kitchen opening to large sunset decks overlooking the Bay. Both have infinity pools and clever use of palms, stone statues and fairytale lighting creates a feeling rarely experienced.


The South Pacific.


Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa rooms start at around $835 a double a night.

Tahiti Tourisme
Ph: (02) 9281 6020 1300 655 563

Koro Sun Resort rooms start at around $445 a double a night.

Eagles Nest villas start at around $825 a double a night.

Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.

For further information

Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa
Motu Toopua
Bora Bora French Polynesia
Ph: 689 603 300
Fax: 689 603 301

Tahiti Tourisme
Ph: (02) 9281 6020 1300 655 563

Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa
Hibiscus Highway
Savusavu, Fiji Islands
Ph: 0011 679 885 0262
Fax: 0011 679 885 0352

Eagles Nest
60 Tapeka Road
Russell New Zealand
Ph: 64 09 403 8333
Fax: 64 09 403 8880

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