6 in­ter­na­tional escapes for un­der $600

These des­ti­na­tions are fre­quently on sale – keep an eye on the air­lines for the best deals.

Time Out (Sydney) - - Travel - By James Wilkin­son

1 Raro­tonga, Cook Is­lands

Head there for: Whale watch­ing, snorkelling and af­ford­able win­ing and din­ing. Book a room at: Pa­cific Re­sort

Ra rot onga(www. pa­cific re­sort. com) on Muri Beach, where one minute you will be snorkelling crys­tal-clear waters off the beach in front of your room and the next you’ll be drink­ing top-shelf wine and eat­ing fresh lo­cal seafood.

Must do: Grab some fins and a mask and ex­plore Muri La­goon, where the best snorkelling is found on the edge of the reef. When the winds are up, kitesurf­ing reigns. Get there on: Air New Zealand ( www.airnewzealand.com.au), which of­fers direct flights from Syd­ney to Raro­tonga, and also via Auckland. Sale air­fares have re­cently been just $538 re­turn. 2 Hong Kong Head there for: Epic nightlife, sail­ing on junks and the Sym­phony of Lights. Book a room at: W Hong Kong ( www.w-hongkong.com), which is lo­cated above the Kowloon Air­port Ex­press Sta­tion and El­e­ments mall, and fea­tures Can­tonese din­ing, a cock­tail bar and open-air rooftop pool with views over Vic­to­ria Har­bour.

Must do: Book a twi­light cruise on a red-sailed Aqua Luna clas­si­cal wooden junk boat ( aqualuna.

com.hk), where you can watch the nightly sky­scraper flight show from the mid­dle of the har­bour, com­plete with a cock­tail in hand.

Get there on: Cathay Pa­cific ( www. cathay­pa­cific.com), which has four direct daily flights from Syd­ney to Hong Kong and sale air­fares re­cently at $599 re­turn. 3 Honolulu, Hawaii

Head there for: Shop­ping, water­falls, big wave surf­ing, Mai Tais and Poly­ne­sian fare. Book a room at: Outrig­ger

Waikiki Beach Re­sort ( www. outrig­ger.com), which has rooms over­look­ing the South Pa­cific. There’s a pool ad­ja­cent to the beach and four restau­rants and bars, in­clud­ing Hula Grill.

Must do: Drive to the North Shore for shrimp trucks (our pick is Gio­vanni’s), the Ban­zai Pipe­line, Waimea Falls and La­ni­akea Beach, where you can go snorkelling with tur­tles. Get your shop­ping fix at Waikele Out­lets on the way back.

Get there on: Jet­star ( www.jet­star. com), with direct flights from Syd­ney to Honolulu on Boe­ing 787 Dream­lin­ers and sale air­fares re­cently at just $560 re­turn. 4 Auckland, New Zealand Head there for: Sail­ing, vine­yards, oys­ters and small batch cock­tails. Book a room at: Sof­i­tel Auckland Viaduct Har­bour ( www.sof­ite­lauck­land.com), where rooms and suites fea­ture pri­vate bal­conies, large bath­rooms, sig­na­ture Sof­i­tel MyBeds, Bose surround sound sys­tems and mini­bars stocked with Kiwi food and wine.

Must do: Hop on a ferry and take the 40-minute jour­ney across Waitem­ata Har­bour to

Waikehe Is­land – a haven of beaches, vine­yards, bou­tique ac­com­mo­da­tion and art.

Get there on: Qan­tas ( www.qan­tas. com), now of­fer­ing wide­body Air­bus A330s on daily flights to Auckland and sale air­fares at $468 re­turn. 5 Shang­hai, China Head there for: Vin­tage shop­ping, mo­tor­bike tours and top Shang­hainese fare. Book a room at: Four Seasons Ho­tel Shang­hai at Pudong ( www.

foursea­sons.com/pudong/), where you can go twi­light swimming with a back­drop of sky­scrapers like Daniel Craig did as 007 in Sky­fall.

Must do: See the city in the side­car of a Chang Jiang 750CC mo­tor­cy­cle on a tour with the team from Shang­hai In­sid­ers ( www.

shang­hai­in­sid­ers.com), who will zoom you through the For­mer French Con­ces­sion, past shop­ping spots and mar­kets, and down back al­leys par­al­lel to the Bund. Get there on: Cathay Pa­cific ( www.cathay­pa­cific.com), which of­fers daily flights from Syd­ney to Shang­hai via Hong Kong and sale air­fares re­cently at $549 re­turn. 6 Nadi, Fiji Head there for: Im­pec­ca­ble, friendly ser­vice, beach­front bu­res and lo­cal vil­lage ex­pe­ri­ences. Book a room at: Outrig­ger Fiji Beach Re­sort ( www.outrig­ger.com), where a plethora of food and drink of­fer­ings, day spa treat­ments, a but­ler ser­vice and the best value beach­front bu­res in Fiji are to be had for a mid-range price tag. Must do: Si­ga­toka River Sa­faris ( www.siga­tokariver.com) of­fers jet­boat rides along Fiji’s long­est river in­clud­ing a visit to a vil­lage where you can get a first-hand ex­pe­ri­ence into life in this coun­try (chil­dren three and un­der free).

Get there on: Fiji Air­ways ( www. fi­ji­air­ways.com), fly­ing twice daily from Syd­ney to Nadi and with sale air­fares re­cently un­der $530 re­turn.

Raro­tonga, Cook Is­lands

Four Seasons Ho­tel Shang­hai

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