Pacific Holidays must surely be amongst the most romantic on earth. Scattered across the largest ocean on earth, these island gems boast beautiful beaches, unique cultures and a warm friendly welcome that has been renowned for hundreds of years.
South Pacific Holidays are all about coral fringed beaches, aquamarine waters and fascinating Polynesian culture. Fiji, Tahiti or the Cook Islands all boast beautiful beaches and superlative diving but each as its own unique traditions that make them special in their own right.
The verdant islands of Fiji are famous for their eternal sunshine and their beauty is legendary, with orchids hanging over waterfalls in lush jungle, and palms lining long stretches of beach. Visitors can immerse themselves in offshore activities like swimming with manta rays, snorkelling over coral gardens, scuba diving on the famous Astrolabe Reef, or riding the ‘Cloud Breakers’, amazing 20ft (6m) waves off Tavarua, an island resort.
Suva is home to more than half of Fiji’s population and it is not only the capital of the country, but an important regional centre of the South Pacific. In this city is is possible to eat on a floating fine dining restaurant, drink at vibrant and quirky bars, shop at the bustling municipal market or explore the Fiji Museum, one of the many historical and cultural sites in the city. During the day there is as much to do and see as there is at night down Victoria Parade, where the buzzing nightlife keeps the city alive when the sun dives below the horizon. Suva is also a good launching pad for venturing into the surrounding wild areas.
Most visitors will, however, arrive in Nadi, one of the largest towns in Fiji, and the main international port. Visit the Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple and the Garden of the Sleeping Giant inside Nadi, or travel to the Sabeto Mountains, Sugar-city Lautoka or Natadola Beach, one of the numerous special sites surrounding Nadi. Alternatively, rest and relax at the Wailoaloa and Newtown beaches and get ready to move onto the next island paradise.
Satellite pictures of the tiny island of Bora Bora from hundreds of miles above the earth show it to be almost glowing, its dark green centre surrounded by a coral necklace and an iridescent aquamarine lagoon. Little wonder that this is the dream destination for celebrities, honeymooners and lovers who live in splendour in the island’s luxurious spas and resorts, yet enjoy privacy and anonymity on its magical secluded beaches.
Visitors to Bora Bora touch down on an airstrip in the middle of the beautiful crystal-clear lagoon, and are ferried to the main island. The lagoon forms the centre of activities for holidaymakers, being the stage for numerous adventures, from shark-feeding excursions and swimming with giant turtles, to scuba diving, snorkelling, jet-skiing, glass-bottom boat cruises, descending into the ‘lagoonarium’, kite-sailing, picnicking on a motu and more.
Bora Bora also offers plenty of cultural and historical attractions, like taking a day trip to a Marae (ancient temple), exploring the World War II-era cannon and relics, browsing the art and craft galleries, watching a Tahitian dance ceremony, and perhaps even braving a tattoo (the skin art apparently originated here).
When to visit
It’s true, the sun shines generously over the South Pacific islands. While you can visit any time of year, as with most tropical destinations, there are wet and dry seasons. As well as peak travel times around the school holidays.
Wet season: summer (Nov to Apr)
The wet season is characterised by heavy downpours, usually followed by clear skies and intense sunshine. High humidity and hot temperatures can make the wet season, especially the months of December and January, an uncomfortable time to visit. Tropical storms are also likely.
Dry season: winter (May to Oct)
Dry season enjoys less humidity and pleasant beach-lounging temperatures across the South Pacific. For the more southern islands, evenings can be quite cool.
July and August are the most touristy months when Australians and New Zealanders are on school holidays.