Pacific Island Experiences
Between the months of May and September, Humpback whales arrive in the southern Pacific Islands of New Caledonia, Niue, Tahiti and Tonga to frolic and nurse their new calves. Watch as these gentle giants splash and breach close to shore. The best land viewing points in Tonga are the small islands with Tongatapu and the cliffs of Eua. In Niue, head to any of the limestone cliffs that surround the island or Grande Terre in New Caledonia.
The Pacific Islands offer some of the most unique overwater villas in the world. Imagine walking out onto your deck, descending the ladder and plunging straight into the turquoise lagoon. Relax with a cocktail and listen to the sound of the water gently lapping beneath you. Wake up each day to ocean views right on your doorstep. For a truly indulgent experience, stay in an overwater villa in Tahiti, New Caledonia, Vanuatu or Samoa.
South Pacific Islanders are proud of their traditional culture and way of life, making every visitor feel right at home with their bright smiles and warm hospitality. Watch on as boys jump into manhood from a towering platform on Pentecost Island in Vanuatu or be greeted by the local Tahitians as they welcome you to their ‘slice of heaven’. In many parts of the South Pacific weekly cultural night with fire performances, kava ceremonies and a traditional feast are a highlight.
There are few experiences as exhilarating as surfing in the crystal-clear waters of the Pacific Islands. Surfing the Pacific is not for beginners – here you’ll find some of the most challenging reef breaks with powerful waves and hollow barrels. The water is so clear and the sea life so plentiful that you can watch all the action beneath you, as you wait for the next set. For some of the best surfing spots, check out Tongatapu in Tonga, Savai’i and Upolu in Samoa and Efate in Vanuatu. For the biggest and best surf, visit between May and October.
Waterfalls, natural blowholes and coral reefs are all part of the wonder of the Pacific Islands. Swim in the clear water of the ‘Moorea Lagoonarium’ in Tahiti. Snorkel among the colourful coral in the ‘Lagoons of New Caledonia’. Explore Tonga’s turquoise pools and underwater caverns. On Niue, stand on Ana’ana Point and watch on as the surf is forced up through the Blowholes, jetting 30 metres into the air. For a unique adventure in Samoa, take a dip in the swimming holes that surround ‘Togitogiga Falls’.
Tracks & Walks
Dotted around each of the Pacific Islands are well sign-posted tracks and scenic walks. See the spectacular Talava Arches limestone formations and the extensive cave systems of Avaiki and Limu, as you hike around Niue. Walk high above the lush, tropical Falealupo rainforest on the Canopy Walkway in Samoa. For the more adventurous, climb to the top of Mount Yasar Volcano on Tanna Island in Vanuatu. From the safety of the crater rim, experience the fireworks of molten lava erupting day or night. It is most spectacular in the evening.
For a rural adrenaline rush, head inland over the rough trails to Opunchu on an ATV quad bike in Tahiti. In Tonga, be guided through bush trails, villages, forests and plantations on similar vehicle. Take your breath away and whoosh through the treetops on a zipline experience in New Caledonia or Moorea’s lush mountain terrain. For a quieter pace, explore spectacular tropical jungle and waterfalls on horseback in Vanuatu or jump onto a mountain bicycle or cruiser in Niue and cycle to numerous local attractions, remote beaches and swimming coves.
Snorkelling & Diving
Snorkel and dive in the crystal clear water around each Pacific Island and discover the incredible, colourful coral reefs bursting with captivating marine life. Snorkel beneath the waves to explore the rich coral formation and plentiful sea life in Niue or dive the popular and incredible assortment of shipwreck site in New Caledonia. Discover sea turtles, tuna, marlin and even Whale sharks in the oceans surrounding Tonga. Home to stunning reefs and diverse marine life, Vanuatu’s teeming waters offer a perfect diving and snorkelling destination.
There are countless numbers of smaller islands peppered throughout the Pacific. For a relaxing day out, why not head out to Fafa Island in Tonga. Enjoy a picnic and relax under a fale on a stretch of white sand beach. Join a day tour and visit Duck Island, Amadee Island or kayak between islands off the coast in New Caledonia. In Vanuatu, try Lelepa and Pole Island. However, if one day is not enough, why not stay a little longer. Consider the Isle of Pines, Escapade Island and Ouvea Island in New Caledonia or Iririki and Aore Islands in Vanuatu, just to name a few.
Markets & Shopping
Head to the markets for locally made souvenirs and handicrafts. While in Samoa, make your way to the Apia Markets for handcrafted wood carvings and brightly coloured sarongs. Visit the Port Vila fresh food markets in Vanuatu and check out the Friday night food markets in Alofi in Niue. Shop for black pearls at the Papeete Market in Tahiti and visit the Port Moselle Markets in Noumea. New Caledonia, Tahiti and Vanuatu have several shopping malls filled with fashion, souvenirs and local food to suit all tastes.