If you're visiting Toulon, don't miss a visit to Mt Faron. Take the bus to the departure point, then you get up the mountain by means of an exhilarating, if slightly terrifying, cable car ride - the highest cable car I'd ever travelled in, it felt like being in an aircraft!
Once up the top, there's miles and miles of wooded paths to explore, a military museum, spectacular views across Toulon and out to sea, a few cafes, and a weird zoo, which I'd probably give a miss next time. We stupidly went in the middle of the day so most of the animals were asleep (either that or they'd been replaced with stuffed toys), so it might be better in the mornings, but it wasn't anything to write home about.
The walks around the top of the mountain were great though, highly recommended!
You can buy combination bus/cable car tickets from the tourist office on the waterfront in the centre of town. These are cheaper than paying for the bus and cable car separately, and the bus stop is just a few hundred yards from the tourist office.
The Calanques are a sort of French equivalent of fjords, with impressive white cliffs and neon aqua water. Boat tours run all day - you can choose whether you want to see three, eight or 10 calanques on your trip (the day we went the winds were too high to visit more than three) and we had a great time. On the way out you get to peek at some of the swanky houses perched on the edges of the smaller rocky cliffs, and as you travel into each inlet you'll be amazed at the colour of the water and the idyllic-looking beaches (the beach at Port au Pin is accessible by foot from the town centre, but you'll need to allow a good few hours for a round trip).
On the way back in you get a great view of the whole of Cassis harbour - don't forget your camera.
Rarotonga is absolutely beautiful, with amazing white sand beaches, and the Rarotongan Beach Resort is set right on the edge of Aroa beach. The resort offers free snorkel hire so you can explore the lagoon where you might find giant clams and blue starfish as well as thousands of colourful fish.
The beds are huge and comfy, cocktails are highly recommended (although beware - you can put all your food and drink costs on your room bill so be careful or it'll take you by surprise when you check out!) and you can dine on fresh coconut and starfruit for breakfast.
Aroa beach, Rarotonga, www.therarotongan.com
As you drive out of Kaikoura, about 5-10 minutes along the highway there's a sign for a waterfall walk. You can park in the layby, the walk only takes about ten minutes and at the end of it is a watering hole that in the winter months is often jam-packed full of baby fur seals stopping off to play. We saw about 30 of them playing in the water, which was amazing.
You can see them very close up (although remember to stay a good few metres away so you don't scare or threaten them) and best of all, it's free!
5-10km out of Kaikoura, heading north
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com