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Which Island for a longer stay?

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My husband and I are planning a 2 year, "around the world" trip. It's a trip of a life time, kicking off his retirement in a few years (ages 52 and 53 at the time). I am getting ahead of myself but I can't help but get excited about it so I thought I'd post a question to see what the forum suggests. We have traveled quite a bit, so we want the trip to consist mostly of visiting places we have been before and want to return to/linger in, but a few new places as well. (itinerary includes Morocco, Italy, Thailand, Bali, Australia, etc.). We want to add a trip to Fiji/Tahiti/Cook Islands or similar on the way home from Australia to Seattle, but we haven't been anywhere in this part of the world (beyond Hawaii).
We will stay a minimum of 14 days, but longer if there is enough to see and do. I have read about these places online and specifically in the forums, but I haven't found much of anything about which choice has the most for a longer term visit. We are not big beach people (painfully white skin) but do love a beautiful setting like these areas have to offer, hiking, swimming, diving/snorkeling and especially local culture/food. Ideally we would be on one island with the ability to travel to multiple other spots in between lazy days.
I have heard about Tahiti being very overpriced but otherwise can't seem to differentiate which one is the best choice so we don't get bored of "just" sea and sand. I thought about going from one island to the next by boat, but it sounds like flying is the only option(?) and seems silly to fly back to Auckland each time. We will be there in the Fall, most likely October as it looks now.
I realize this is an incredible opportunity, so we want to make the most of it!
Suggestions? Thanks in advance.

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