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Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific

Australia and its Pacific neighbors are home to cosmopolitan cities like Sydney as well as awe-inspiring scenes like those found along the Great Barrier Reef. But costly airfare and plenty of time en route can be a deterrent for some travelers. Should you decide to make the trek, it's useful to know the best spots to visit in the region — that's where we come in. U.S. News ranked the top destinations in Australia and the Pacific based on factors like tourist-friendly accommodations, dining options, accessibility and diversity of attraction offerings. We also took into account user votes and expert opinions to compile the list below. Help us determine next year's ranking by voting for your favorite spots.

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Why go: This collection of islands offers more than the simple beach resort destination. There are mountains to hike, reefs to explore and a native culture to experience. Plus, Fijians are notoriously welcoming to foreign travelers, and their easygoing attitudes will imbue your vacation with a relaxed atmosphere ideal for R&R. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Fiji

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Why go: This doubly-named island is especially popular among honeymooners and other travelers searching for once-in-a-liftime vacations. Here, you'll discover matchless vistas of cerulean waves, lush jungles and towering volcanoes. Though, travelers should note that a trip to this picturesque island comes with a high pricetag. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Bora Bora

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Why go: Sydney offers both the fast-paced vacation of a world-class metropolis and the laid-back attitude of a beach town. Sunbathe at Bondi, explore the museums of Darling Harbour or stroll along Sydney Harbour Bridge. Sydney offers a bevy of entertaining attractions, most famously the glamorous Opera House, awaiting exploration. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Sydney

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Why go: The Great Barrier Reef stands with the Grand Canyon as one of the world's most astounding natural wonders. Its sheer size and diversity of life continuously wows travelers. You can't explore the entire reef in a single trip, but just visiting a portion will instigate a deep appreciation for this underwater marvel. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Great Barrier Reef

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Why go: New Zealand's adventure capital boasts a daredevil spirit with opportunities to bungee jump, river raft and sky-dive. You can also experience a calmer side of the city with a dip in the Onsen Hot Pools or a tasting at Peregrine Wines. And from a Skyline Gondola, you'll admire the majesty of Queenstown from above. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Queenstown

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Why go: Brisbane is perhaps the best place to get acquainted with Aussie culture. It's a humble city with a modest skyline, quaint neighborhoods and a friendly populace. Yet Brisbane possesses the urban allure of a large metropolis with a substantial music scene and numerous world-class museums. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Brisbane

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Why go: Australia's events capital puts on a show for visitors. You can't miss the Australian Open, an annual sporting competition that brings a contagious enthusiasm to the city. Also make sure to visit with Melbourne's penguins on Phillip Island (and at the Melbourne Zoo).  Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Melbourne

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Why go: This cosmopolitan city boasts a diverse population that brings unique flavors and traditions to the local culture. This fusion has resulted in nightlife venues, eclectic architecture and an excellent food scene. Add Auckland's natural allure — black-sand beaches and volcanic peaks — and you've got a great destination. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Auckland

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Why go: Tahiti may not be completely covered in white-sand beaches, but if you can get past your love of smooth shorelines, this rugged island can be a dream destination. Providing an uncommon level of isolation, Tahiti features deep valleys, tall mountains and black beaches. Plus, the French cuisine complements the atmosphere.  Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Tahiti

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