Couple Relaxing on Veranda of Beach Villa, Aitutaki lagoon, Cook Islands

Live Like A Local on Your South Pacific Vacation

Collect your keys and taste the best of local life in New Zealand, Australia, and the Cook Islands – and make it an authentic South Pacific vacation!

Let’s be honest. Many of us travel, hoping to get off the tourist path and “live like a local.” It may not be a practical or fulfilling goal in every destination, but for anyone who’s ever found themselves standing on a beach, overlooking verdant hills, or sitting at a sidewalk café thinking, “I could live here,” Goway’s new Live Like A Local vacations offer the perfect way to find out.

The first trips realizing this exciting concept showcase three of our favourite Goway destinations – Australia, New Zealand, and the Cook Islands.

These three countries offer everything a Globetrotter needs to quickly feel immersed in the local culture while still feeling like they’re on vacation in a foreign country. All are English-speaking, and familiar enough to make North Americans feel at home. Yet they’re also different enough to offer a genuine taste of another culture. Despite many similarities, Australia and New Zealand have ‘grown up’ with their own unique histories, and a worldview quite different to that of the United States or Canada. Meanwhile, the Cook Islands are a comfortable, very accessible way to fulfill the dream of South Pacific island life. Immersion in one of these countries can mean joining in with local sporting and social clubs, shopping and dining alongside the locals, or attending community events or even religious services.

Saturday Market Cook Islands
Enjoy going to a Saturday market in the Cook Islands

A Live Like a Local package differs from Goway’s traditional range of vacation ideas, typically bypassing the tourist stops in favour of maximizing the Globetrotter’s independence. To that end, Live Like a Local travellers start with return transfers from the airport to their local accommodation, a grocery starter pack, a welcome information kit including maps, contacts, local club listings, current events, suggested activities, bonus coupons with local discounts, plus Goway’s Local Living Information Pack, which is designed to get travellers up and running quickly in their destination. Globetrotters “living local” will also enjoy toll-free assistance from Goway’s Sydney office.

Live Like a Local accommodations are self-contained one, two, or three-bedroom apartments. Each complex features a pool and a building manager, while some offer a spa, sauna, gym, or BBQ facilities. However, when it comes to living like a local, location makes a huge difference, which is why Goway is launching its Live Like a Local range with five destinations perfectly suited to the concept.

The Bay of Plenty

The Bay of Plenty is located just outside of Auckland. It’s one of New Zealand’s most popular destinations, and many New Zealanders maintain holiday homes there. With spectacular beaches and year-round mild weather, The Bay offers a wide range of outdoor activities that make the most of both the water and the shore. This makes an ideal add-on to any New Zealand North Island adventure.

15-Day Live Like a Local – Bay of Plenty

Beach at Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty. New Zealand
Beach at Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty. New Zealand

The Gold Coast

One of Australia’s favourite beach getaways, The Gold Coast offers a chance to try a little of everything under the Queensland sunshine. It boasts miles of soft, white sand beaches, Australia’s biggest and best theme parks, superb shopping to suit every taste and budget, pristine rainforest hinterland, plus the chance to simply escape from the world in one of the small towns that dot the coast.

15-Day Live Like a Local – Gold Coast Australia

Surfers Paradise - Aerial, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Aerial view of Gold Coast’s Surfers Paradise

The Sunshine Coast

Just to the north of Brisbane lies The Sunshine Coast, an even more relaxed alternative to the Gold Coast. Set between the impressive Glass House Mountains and serene Bribie Island, Caloundra offers excellent beaches, and a wide variety of parks up and down its coast. Though undeniably popular with tourists, the Sunshine Coast is more about a great lifestyle than flashy attractions.

15-Day Live Like a Local – Sunshine Coast Australia

Strolling the Boardwalk at Noosa Beach Along the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
Strolling the boardwalk at Noosa Beach on the Sunshine Coast

Central Coast

Just 90 minutes north of Sydney, the New South Wales Central Coast boasts beaches that rival Queensland’s both for surfing and relaxation. They’re often overshadowed by their more famous rivals, meaning you’re much more likely to be relaxing alongside locals than tourists. Inland waterways also offer excellent opportunities for fishing, water sports, and safe swimming.

15-Day Live Like a Local – North of Sydney (Central Coast)

Mantra Ettalong Beach - 1 Bedroom Apartment, Central Coast, Australia
One bedroom apartment at Mantra Ettalong Beach Resort in the Central Coast, Australia

Cook Islands

For an even more relaxed, yet also more adventurous experience, Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands, is an ideal spot to Live Like a Local. That’s if you can adjust to the pace of life. Nothing is rushed in the Cooks, and that’s just how the Islanders and visitors like it. Hop a scooter to explore the island, enjoy a taste of its unique culture, or attend a lively church service for a taste of local life.

13-Day Live Like a Local – Cook Islands

Stand Up Paddleboarding, Cook Islands
Stand up paddle-boarding in the Cook Islands

Of course, beach life isn’t for everyone. Many travellers can’t resists the allure of big cities on their South Pacific vacation, such as Auckland, Brisbane, or Sydney. That’s why Goway also arranges self-catered apartment stays in all of Downunder’s major cities. Skip the hotels and spend a week café and boutique hopping in Melbourne, or explore the many different sides of Sydney without rushing to cram in all the big ticket attractions. Living like a local can open up sides of the world’s greatest cities you’ve never seen before.

St Kilda Beach, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
St. Kilda Beach in Melbourne


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Christian Baines
Christian Baines

Globetrotting Contributing Editor -
Christian’s first globetrotting adventure saw him get lost exploring the streets of Saigon. Following his nose to Asia’s best coffee, two lifelong addictions were born. A freelance writer and novelist, Christian’s travels have since taken him around his native Australia, Asia, Europe, and much of North America. His favourite trips have been through Japan, Spain, and Brazil, though with a love of off-beat, artsy cities, he’ll seize any opportunity to return to Paris, New York, or Berlin.

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