10 Reasons for Aussies to visit Mauritius
Travellers in Australia are on the quest for something new. Exotic Mauritius in the Indian Ocean is beautiful and accessible with direct flights from Perth, just under eight hours away.
Here are ten reasons why the time is right for Aussies to discover Mauritius, recommended by the island's newest resort, Outrigger Mauritius Resort and Spa, which opened on 30 January, 2014.
Click here for more information on Mauritius.
Mauritius is a friendly, ethnic melting pot of diverse heritage. Indians mix with people of Creole lineage, with origins linked from Madagascar, Africa, and Chinese-Mauritians. There are also Franco and Anglo-Mauritians reflecting its former colonial ties with France, Britain, Holland and Portugal, with English, French and Creole being the most-used languages. In this way, Mauritius is an example to the world, with churches, mosques, pagodas and temples sitting side by side.
Mauritius is the tropical ideal with coral reefs (the world's third largest), white sand beaches, dramatic mountains, sugar plantations and extinct volcanoes. The south of the island is often acclaimed as the 'authentic' Mauritius as it is more rural and wild. Mauritius also recently won the World's Leading Beach and Island Destination in the 2011 World Travel Awards.
Where there is a diverse ethnic mix, great cuisine follows. Discover new sensations: vindaye poisson (fish vindaloo), rougaille saucisses (wild boar sausages in a spicy tomato sauce), chicken kalya (chicken cooked with yoghurt and spiced with saffron), smoked marlin and palm heart salad. The capital, Port Louis, is a great place to taste gajaks (street snacks) such as daal puri (flatbread with split peas), samosas or gateaux piments (chilli bites). Fancy swordfish steak? Follow your chef to the beach where the pirogue fishing boats come in. Here they pick the choice of the catch for your dinner. Mauritian cooking lessons are also easy to arrange, and don't forget this is a region famous for its rum with over seven distilleries on the island.
Mauritius has its own sega sound with roots dating back to slave dances of the 18th century. Today, African and Creole sounds mix, and sega sounds havebeen mixed with reggae to produce segae - the ultimate Mauritian dance mix for the beach.
Mauritius has many duty free outlets around the island and is acclaimed for its low prices. Photographic equipment, watches, cellular phones, paintings, antiques, sunglasses and engravings are all duty free. Also, duty isn’t applied to leather-wear and jewels and levies have recently been reduced on perfumes and cosmetics.
Mauritius’ festivals reflect its multicultural make up. The major festivals include Chinese Lunar New Year, Maha Shivaratree, Mauritius National Day, Crossroads of Flavours, Eid-Ul-Fitr, Kiteival, Mauritius Open Classic and the Festival International Kreol.
There are eight 18-hole Championship golf courses and three nine-hole courses dotted around the island, all offering a world-class golfing experience. In 2008 Mauritius was the International Association of Golf Tour Operators’ Golf Destination of the Year for Africa, Indian Ocean and Gulf States.
Seclusion, tropical bliss and realms to explore. No wonder Mauritius so easily draws in couples looking for a getaway. Mauritius was voted the World’s Leading Honeymoon Destination in both the 2012 and 2013 World Travel Awards.
9. Easy access!
Air Mauritius has direct flights between Perth and Mauritius every week with flight times under 8 hours. Air Mauritius code shares with Virgin along eastern seaboard states and Auckland, NZ.
Mauritius has a liberal approach to tourist visas. Most foreign nationals don’t need visas (including Australians and New Zealanders).