This is a guest post by Betty Smith, a travel writer and photographer who has lived and travelled around the southern hemisphere extensively. Betty loves to dive and once won five times in a row in one night of crab racing.
The Pacific Islands may be far away, but a trip to these largely untouched places is well worth making. Here are five of the best:
From the aeroplane window you will see the Pacific waters break over coral reefs and then lap up on to palm-fringed beaches – all before you’ve even set foot on the Fijian islands.
Viti Levu is the largest island and home to the international airport and the main cities of Suva and Nadi. It bustles, Fiji-style, but you will soon realise that “Fiji time”, as the locals call it, means taking it easy.
Clusters of micro islands surround the mainland and Beachcomber is known for its backpacker vibe. The Yasawa group is a hidden gem. Take a boat taxi out from Nadi port to the resort and enjoy breathtaking dive sites, bonfires on the beach and even the odd crab race.
Samoa not only boasts a world-class rugby team, but it also has one of the most exciting landscapes of the Pacific Islands. Extinct volcanic craters and old lava tubes jut out between lush vegetation in the centre of the island. Beaches to die for hug the periphery and make way for an ocean full of tropical fish and brightly coloured coral. Chuck in a seafood barbecue for a sensory celebration!
The Cook Islands
The Cook Islands are a group of 15 land masses that sit halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii. The islands are renowned for their white beaches, breathtaking scenery and warm, friendly locals. You can find cheap flights to the Cook Islands online. And even though this is a popular honeymoon destination, the Cook Islands are suitable for luxury trips and backpackers alike.
Three must-see sights (beside the usual breathtaking beaches and lush forests) include the world’s most active volcano on the island of Tanna, a huge shipwreck dive site that teams with fish and coral, and extraordinary cultural ceremonies and dances on the island of Malekula.
The Kingdom of Tonga is a beautiful place that boasts pristine beaches and coral atolls, active volcanoes and untouched rainforest is spectacularly unique. The Tongan archipelago consists of more than 170 islands scattered across 740,000 square miles. For the cheapest flights make sure you book online.