Visitor Information for the South West Pacific

So the tropics are beckoning – but where to choose? Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, the Cook Islands?

Vanuatu is more a ‘destination experience’ with most resorts in and around Port Vila so sightseeing, shopping and some great restaurants are easy to get to from your resort. Here you get closer to local culture and, for side trips, there is the accessible active volcano on the island of Tanna and some of the world’s best scuba diving on Santo (the Coolidge wreck). (more…)

For Fiji, think a resort type holiday. Most visitors choose one or two resorts (perhaps a mainland and island combination). Everything you will want will be contained within the resort and, unless you really want to explore, there’s no great reason to leave where you will be staying. Fiji also has the ‘bula’ factor – The Fijians greet you with outgoing flashing smiles and ‘Bula’ – the ni-Vanuatu people are more shy and reserved (but just as friendly) and the Cook Islanders will greet you with ‘Kia Orana’, usually with a Kiwi accent. (more…)

Samoa is simply a fabulous tropical destination. Situated near the equator it is truly the heart of Polynesia. Here you will discover true white sand beaches, coconut palms, turquoise warm waters, stunning waterfalls and rainforest, a rich culture and the laid-back ‘fa’a Samoa’ (the Samoan way). The locals are friendly and welcoming and everything is easily accessible. The two main islands of Upolu and Savai’i are 90 minutes by ferry apart (or a ten minute flight) and it only takes 30 minutes to go from the north to south coast on Upolu. Apia is a delightful harbour city and village flows into village around the islands. Visitors can stay in the villages or choose quality accommodation from the number of fine resorts on offer. With direct flights from Australia and New Zealand with Polynesian Blue it is easy to get to and inexpensive once you arrive. (more…)

The Cook Islands, for those wanting romance, there are really two destinations – Rarotonga (the main island) and Aitutaki for the most wonderful lagoon. You will also experience Polynesian dance and culture, which is far more vibrant and sensual than in Fiji or Vanuatu. One consideration for travellers from Australia, you will have to touchdown in Auckland for a flight connection (but there’s good shopping in the transit lounge). (more…)