The Pacific islands have stunning island nations characterized by a tropical climate, crystal clear waters, breath-taking landscapes, and unspoiled beaches. For the perfect island gateway, there is nothing better than unwinding in one of the islands in the pacific region.
The South Pacific islands comprise three ethnogeography groupings – Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia but exclude the neighboring island continent of Australia and other Asian-related archipelagos.
The hundreds of pacific islands take up an enormous region and have great diversity. Indigenous cultural heritage remains strong and traditional customs vary according to the countries.
Although the destinations appear similar, no two islands offer the same landscape, flora and fauna, culture, and marine life. Moreover, each island has myriads of opportunities for adventure activities like underwater exploration, hiking, jet boarding, and more. The remote resorts and fresh seafood dining can only be expected in the islands of the South Pacific.
There are several islands to pick from which not an easy choice to make. Each with its beauty and famous attractions, here are the top 8 South Pacific islands you should visit:
Fiji consists of around 300 islands and receives the same numbers of visitors as the rest of the South Pacific combined. Located just four hours away from Australia’s east coast, these groups of islands are hailed as paradise on earth.
Fiji has the perfect amount of wild and exotic island lifestyle. Here you can witness kaleidoscope reef systems, sophisticated resorts, verdant jungles, and prominent surf breaks. Along with being adventurous, Fiji is one of the best places to immerse yourself in its rich history and vibrant culture.
In the capital city of Suva, you can participate in a traditional Kava festival and visit the Fiji Museum. In other destinations like Viti Levu, Yasawa Islands, and the Mamanuca, enjoy the beautiful beaches, coral gardens, and rainforests.
Bora Bora is a French Polynesian island and the perfect place to head to if you want to reconnect with nature. This is one of the best destination to pamper yourself and enjoy the true beauty of the Southern Pacific.
Although small, Bora Bora holds stunning landscapes, a blissful environment, and perfect white sand beaches. This intimate island has overwater bungalows, lavish resorts, and thatched rooftop villas. It also boasts a gorgeous turquoise lagoon and a protected coral reef which is popular among divers.
In the island, the lush slopes and valleys of Mount Otemanu blossoms with colorful flowers and makes up for a perfect hiking journey.
Situated in the heart of French Polynesia, Tahiti has a vast stretch of 118 islands including the Bora Bora. Tahiti has big city amenities which makes your vacation even more modern. However, it is also home to plenty of gushing waterfalls, stunning beaches, and towering mountains.
Rather than a romantic escape like Bora Bora, there are other regions in Tahiti that offer an off-beaten experience in South Pacific. Miles of shorelines, quality French cuisine, and dozens of resorts are just some of the specialties in Tahiti.
You can enjoy excitable ventures such as diving with sharks in Tuamotos Atolls, quad biking in Moorea, or shopping in Papeete.
The Cook Islands is a volcanic archipelago comprising of 15 islands. Despite its small size, this island mixes Polynesian pristine waters and New Zealand’s hospitability.
The islands scattered around the region have beautiful lagoons, bright tropical reefs, and sun-soaked sands. Along with picturesque landscapes, Cook Islands offers a range of accommodations including island bure, beachfront villas, and luxury resorts.
On the main isle of Rarotonga beach, you can enjoy a local Polynesian feast while in Aitutaki atoll, you can swim around its fantastic lagoons.
Samoa and American Samoa
Samoa and American Samoa belong to the Samoan islands. While Samoa is independent, America Samoa is an American territory. However, both remain traditionally Polynesian.
Samoa, a volcanic archipelago, is renowned as the heart of Polynesia. Located only 5 hours away from Australia’s east coast, it is surrounded by emerald forests and idyllic golden beaches. On the other hand, American Samoa has ample attractions and heritage sites. Whether you find yourself in Pago Pago or Tuilia island, there are several activities to enjoy.
The Samoan islands have few organized excursions but for independent travelers, the opportunities for cultural connections, surfing and snorkeling are endless.
Vanuatu promises one of the rare and unique experiences in the South Pacific islands. Against an ancient culture, the modern resorts in Vanuatu stand in great contrast. In Vanuatu, the dense rainforests meet the untouched beaches, while the traditional villages are situated within the island’s hills.
In Vanuatu islands, you can experience rumbling volcanoes, shipwrecks to dive on, kava bar, tough treks to wild jungles, and snorkeling in search of World War 2 wrecks.
One of the wildest destinations in the South Pacific, Solomon Islands is an ideal place for ecotourists. It lacks traditional accommodations and has an abundance of untouched natural wonders.
Moreover, the island hosts a traditional Melanesian culture and an eventful Word War 2 history. Visitors can surf uncrowded waves, explore dense jungles and even climb a dormant volcano. You can even come across historic relics like abandoned tanks and other vehicles scattered throughout the islands.
But the highlight remains the sunken WWII oil tankers, seaplanes, and submarines in the surrounding Solomon Islands which divers flock around to see.
New Caledonia is a dreamy tropical paradise that offers a touch of European flair. It is a multi-island French territory located off of the Australian north-eastern coast. New Caledonia’s Grande Terre is the third largest island in the Pacific and is home to the second-largest double barrier. The island is also known for its UNESCO world heritage lagoons.
Along with diving, sailing in the lagoon, and wind sports, the region portrays both Melanesian and French cultures. You can enjoy delectable cuisines and accommodations ranging from posh resorts to beach bungalows.
South Pacific islands make up for an unparalleled tropical vacation. Whether you want to relax along with the calm ocean waves or dive to see beautiful coral reefs, simply head to one of the islands in the region and experience nothing but bliss.
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