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20 ultimate fantasy towns

Tired of the daily grind? Find a slower-paced, stress-free life in these dream towns

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Australia blooms
Petrina Tinslay

4 more Pacific Rim dream towns

Fremantle, Australia
Just 7½ miles southwest of Perth in Western Australia, "Freo" is a bohotrendy, multicultural university port town where you can get fish 'n' chips fresh off the boat or an espresso from the cafes lining the "cappuccino strip," or just lie on the beach.
Population: 28,626; median single-family home: $658,422
westernaustralia.com

Napier, NZ
The quiet star of the North Island is Hawke's Bay, a world-class wine country five hours from Auckland. Napier is its seaside center, rebuilt in art deco style after an earthquake in the '30s.
Population: 58,600; median single-family home: $225,230
hawkesbaynz.com

Nelson, NZ
In this coastal community at the top of the South Island, hikers, climbers, and kayakers have three national parks in their backyard, including the famed Abel Tasman.
Population: 42,891; median single-family home: $294,000
nelsonnz.com

Wanaka, NZ
Word is finally getting out about the gorgeous little mountain town on the South Island's Lake Wanaka. Outdoorsy, progressive-type folks are moving here for the lake scenery and village vibe.
Population: 5,037; median single-family home: $362,045
lakewanaka.co.nz

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