Style: July 01, 2019


84 STYLE | travel


Four corners of the globe to escape the cold without running

into peak season crowds or a rainy season.

Words Gaynor Stanley



Sonoma and

Napa Valley,



The song promises it never rains in California, but it must

do sometimes to nurture Napa Valley’s 400 wineries. A visit

during summer will have you enjoying one of the world’s

most beautiful wine valleys in temperatures regularly tipping

into the 30s, though perhaps not as many of its famed

cabernet sauvignons as you’d like. Multi-faceted hedonism is in

store with charming bed and breakfasts, poolside resorts, elite

golf courses, hot springs, day spas and spa hotels, Michelinstarred

restaurants and an artisan food trail that will sate the

most discerning gourmands. Fly into San Francisco and it’s a

mere hour’s drive north to delicious drops like Mumm Napa,

Robert Mondavi and Louis M. Martini Winery.

Robert Mondavi winery, Napa, California



We’re so lucky to have the unspoiled islands of the

Pacific in our backyard and thousands of Kiwis make like

godwits on an annual pilgrimage to sunny Rarotonga as

winter starts to bite. Far fewer, though, venture to its 14

sister islands, partly because Raro has so much to do, so

easily, but partly because the inter-island flight prices deter

them. But if there’s one island to empty the piggy bank

for, it’s Aitutaki. It doesn’t have the volcanic peaks and

verdant rainforest of Rarotonga, nor as many restaurants,

activities or accommodation choices (though the upscale

options will not disappoint). What it does have is the same

infectiously happy people and arguably the most beautiful

lagoon on the planet. Cruise, kite board or kayak the most

astoundingly turquoise waters you’ll ever see. The visibility

and abundance of sea life make for unforgettable snorkelling

and diving and a barefoot stroll along a pristine white sand

motu (islet) will soon put a spring back in your step.

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