In the mood for a tropical holiday

Turn your mind away from winter chills with these getaway ideas

August has crept up on us faster than you can say “go away winter!” If you’re sick of the cold weather, the colleagues full of germs, and the current political dramas — both here and overseas — here are some suggestions for tropical holidays to tide you over until summer or to add to the wish list for next year. There’s nothing like being prepared, right?

Best close to home

We’re spoilt for choice in New Zealand, with so many tropical-island destinations just a few hours’ flight from home.

Take your pick from Fiji, Rarotonga, Niue, New Caledonia, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Norfolk Island — all will promise pristine warm waters, genuine hospitality and a choice of accommodation to suit any budget.

It’s also a great time of year to head to Tropical North Queensland.

Port Douglas’ “winter” still sees temperatures of up to 25C, there’s very little rainfall, and sea temperatures can be up to 23C.

Best on a budget

At this time of year, post July school holidays, keep an eye out for Pacific Island sales on airfares and accommodation.

If you’re child-free you can snap up a bargain to one of the islands while it’s outside busy family season.

You can also get great airfares to Hawaii, thanks to competition between Hawaiian Airlines and Air New Zealand.

Hawaii isn’t the cheapest destination but try booking into apartment condos or through Airbnb to save a bit of money.

If you’re happy to go further afield — much further afield — how about Honduras? Skycanner.

net named this Central American destination as one of the 12 cheapest countries to visit in 2017.

“The country isn’t up there on the most-visited lists, but if you do decide to give it a go you’ll discover white-sand beaches reminiscent of the Maldives, diving to rival the Red Sea, and mega cheap food and drink,” Skyscanner’s Catherine McGloin wrote earlier this year.

She recommended heading to the northern coast to find the “Caribbean at a fraction of the cost”.

Roatan Island, Honduras.

Best for couples

Most tropical destinations are suited to romance, with their beautiful surroundings, free-flowing cocktails and balmy sunsets. One we want to hotfoot it to with a significant other is the Four Seasons Bora Bora — over-water villas, a spa with a couples’ treatment room complete with glass floor so you can gaze at tropical fish while you’re being massaged, hot tubs with views of the surrounding mountains and excellent snorkelling on the doorstep in the Ruahatu Lagoon Sanctuary.

Best far from anywhere

On a tropical island, it’s easy to feel like a castaway with no connection to the outside world — just switch your phone off and don’t check your social media until you come home.

If money and time are no object, how about Desroches Island Resort in the Seychelles? The private island is almost 1500km off the east coast of Africa, northeast of Madagascar, amid more than 115 mostly uninhabited islands of the Seychelles.

Once you make it to Desroches, you’ll find unspoiled beaches, suites with private plunge pools, water activities including surfing and fishing, and a whole load of luxury to boot.

For a real celebrity experience, try Belize’s Blancaneaux Lodge.

The 20-villa resort owned by multi-Oscar winning director Francis Ford Coppola can only be accessed by small aircraft. Its location is truly magnificent, surrounded by waterfalls, jungle, organic gardens and Mayan ruins.

Plus, you’ve got a high chance of bumping into an A-list guest while you’re there.