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If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to spend more quality time with the person you love, then I suggest you enjoy that togetherness someplace amazing! And what’s better or more romantic than a stunning, sun-kissed island? There’s something innately sexy and bond-inspiring about the sea – floating together in gentle turquoise surf, walking hand-in-hand at sunset, enjoying the day’s fresh catch paired with a rum cocktail or a fine wine. So as the new year begins, here are my top 10 picks for the most amazing islands to escape to together in 2012. Read more
To residents of bustling Sydney and artsy Melbourne, the southern island state of Tasmania is Australia’s provincial cousin. Its residents, so-called Taswegians, are often characterized as country bumpkins who live 150 miles off the coast. It’s easy to see why the natural landscape has defined the area: Tasmania is a striking mix of Tahitian-like beaches, verdant rain forests, and pointy peaks, much of it protected within 19 national parks. In the bushland, furry wallabies hop, fat wombats waddle, and Tasmanian devils howl.
Recently, however, a touch of worldly elegance has landed on these shores. High-end lodges set in isolated areas have long been considered a specialty of the Kiwis to the north. But over the past few years, choice areas of Australia and now Tasmania have started to get into the game. The 20-suite Saffire Freycinet (www.saffire-freycinet.com), a deluxe resort that opened in June on Tasmania’s sunny east coast, has brought clean-lined modernity, but not so much so as to interfere with nature.
Yesterday (January 18), Oprah Winfrey began airing her four-part taped telecast from Australia, where in December she took 300 lucky audience members (some of whom had never even flown before) on the trip of a lifetime. Their visit included celebrity-studded tapings at the Sydney Opera House (shown above at left; courtesy of Tourism New South Wales) and visits to Australia’s top tourist destinations. While the Land Down Under may be best known for its rugged Outback and Great Barrier Reef adventures, not to mention its only-in-Oz wildlife like kangaroos and koalas, I have visited the country twice and can vouch that it is also dreamily romantic.
Yes, Australia is far away (a 14-hour flight from Los Angeles), but it’s summer there now and all the Oprah hoopla means there are some good deals to be had. Here’s the scoop:
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