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discover hidden myths, taste diverse food and sleep below a sky full of shooting stars and galaxies every night
Are you looking for your next vacation somewhere far away from the tourist crowds where you can completely enjoy the stunning nature, pleasant weather, and endless sandy beaches? South Pacific islands might be the perfect destination for you. Consisting of three major groups of islands, Melanesia, Polynesia, and Micronesia, hide the crazy amount of untouched tropical islands.

If you've ever had a dream of getting far away from civilization and enjoy the beauty of nature, then exploring the hidden parts of South Pacific is definitely what you’re looking for.

best south pacific islands to visit

Keep reading as we're going to introduce you with few hidden South Pacific islands you must visit. Let's start.

1. Mystery Island, Vanuatu

Vanuatu was crowned the happiest nation in the world, according to the Happy Planet Index, and still currently holds the fourth spot!

As the name suggests, Mystery Island is located in a tiny Vanuatu archipelago located around 2,500 km off the main Australian coast. The southernmost island in the archipelago features white powder beaches, turquoise waters, thick palm trees, and colorful coral reefs. Once you set your feet on the island, you can explore the whole place by walking as the size is about 1 KM by 200 M.

Since the island is uninhabited, the infrastructure is nonexistent, so you can expect a real adventure far away from the modern world. A very interesting fact is that Australian dollars are accepted as the main currency, but you can pay only in coins. Since the island features the untouched nature, people usually enjoy world-class snorkeling and diving around surrounding coral reefs.

Calm waters make the island a perfect destination for paddle boarding and exploring the underwater world on the glass bottom board. Mystery Island is a home of Keamu village that serves as a cultural hub where you can learn about the local traditions, food, and way of life. People of Vanuatu have a deep connection to their food. From paddock to plate, they're passionate about their produce.

By far the best way to reach the island and explore its surroundings is by booking a cruise.

2. Ha'apai, Tonga

Ha'apai isn't a single island, but a small group of islets, atolls and active volcanoes. For adventurous souls, this tiny archipelago might be the ideal destination as you’ll most likely fail to meet a single person around. The islands feature stunning sandy beaches, an abundance of palm trees, bright blue waters, healthy and colorful coral reefs and the most active volcano in Tonga.

If you’re into snorkeling and diving, heading to Lifuka island might be the best option for you. The island features a sandy beach accompanied by rocky patches on the eastern part which makes it an ideal destination for underwater activities. Pangai village is the only inhabited place on the island and serves as a perfect connection spot to other places.

Probably the most adventurous thing you can do is hiring a boat and go to Tofua island that features an active volcano. You can hike to the top where you can observe a crater lake and have breathtaking views over the ocean and surrounding islands.

3. Tuvalu

Tuvalu is a small island group located between Australia and Hawaii that features sandy beaches, bright blue and calm waters, world-class water activities and great lessons from history. Since it's a group of islands, the most popular island Funafuti, that’s at the same time capital serves as the major touchpoint to untouched nature and tropical paradise.

If you're looking for pure relaxation while catching the shade of palm trees and drinking fresh coconut juice, then Funafuti is an ideal destination for you. The island is known by its long lagoon that features a diverse and colorful coral reef that is home to many sea species including barracudas, manta rays and even reef sharks.

People who're into snorkeling and diving can explore a neighboring Marine Conservation Park that is known by one of the clearest waters on the planet. In the park, you can explore various diving spots and swim with sea turtles, countless fish species, and, in some seasons, you can even spot majestic whale sharks.

4. Solomon Islands

If you’re not attracted to visiting the major tropical hotspots such as Bali or Fiji, visiting the Solomon Islands might be the ideal destination for you. Did you know it's one of the least visited regions in the world attracting less than 50,000 people each year? Solomon Islands has it all - from historic sites and remains from WW2 to the abundant and healthy coral reefs, world-class beaches and attractive diving spots.

If you're a person who enjoys history, heading to Honiara might be the best start. Honiara features a variety of WW2 museums where you can learn details from infamous battles on the South Pacific. Also, visiting a central market offers a unique and authentic local experience where you can immerse yourself in the bustle of a tiny fisherman town and try delicious traditional seafood.

The Solomon Islands are renowned for its stunning beaches and untouched underwater world which makes it an ideal destination for diving, snorkeling and all kinds of other water activities. Head over to Ghizo Archipelago if you’re looking for true relaxation and a sweet holiday far away from the tourist crowds.

5. Cook Islands

The largest protected area in the world is known as Marae Moana. Marae Moana, found off the self-governing Cook Islands of New Zealand, stretches across some 1.976 million square kilometers. This is mainly ocean, but there are many tiny islands it encompasses. Home to some 600 species of fish and 136 species of corals, it is very similar in area to Mexico.

There are several other enormous marine protected areas - in fact, of the 20 largest ones, only one (Northeast Greenland NP) is terrestrial, and besides that all but six are in the Pacific Ocean. After Marae Moana, the largest ones are the Ross Sea Marine Protected Area off Antarctica, at 1.5 million square kilometres, and the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, which includes part of Hawaii, which is a similar size.

6. Rakiraki, Fiji

Fiji has several labels, from the soft coral capital of the world to the best shark diving location in the world. With such titles, it is easy to call Fiji a world-class diving destination that meets all ages and qualifications. But diving in Fiji has more to offer, such as wall dives, swims, caverns, canyons and incredible blue water encounters besides family resorts.

The strong currents of the outer reefs bring nutrient-rich waters thousands of kilometers around. In turn, they attract some of the most diverse lives of the ocean, from macro life to pelagic spectacles that challenge the eye. With more than 390 species of corals, approximately 1,200 species of fish and five of the seven species of marine turtles in the world, is the dream of a submarine naturalist while travelling Fiji.

Recommended dive sites include the world famous Beqa Lagoon, Shark Reef and Viti Levu Coral Coast. For both beginners and experienced divers, exploring the Rakiraki dive site is fun. Here you can see gardens of marine fans and vibrant corals, as well as pelagic giants like the barracuda, the wahoo and the occasional blanket or the whale shark.

7. Easter Island

Rapa Nui is an island of Polynesia located in the Pacific Ocean. Belonging to Chile, it is one of the main tourist destinations in the country. Rapa Nui has only one town, Hanga Roa, where almost all the inhabitants of the island are concentrated. Without a doubt, it is a unique and idyllic place due to its nature, culture and history.

The first inhabitants arrived around the 4th century and developed a unique culture that we can still admire today thanks to the vestiges such as the impressive moai, ancestors carved in stone that protect the island. In addition to the enigmatic moai stone heads, on the island you will find fascinating landscapes.

It is worth visiting one of its main volcanoes such as Rano Kau, with its beautiful flooded crater, and Rano Raraku, where the moais were carved. In addition, Rapa Nui has a beauty beach without equal, Anakena. You can see at the same time the crystal clear waters of Polynesia and the moai of the Ahu that are there.

On Easter Island you can also give yourself a dip or two. If you dare to do something else, nothing better than an immersion in the crystal clear waters of Rapa Nui. There are several experienced diving companies to choose from and with all you will have an exciting safe experience that you will never forget.

The closest beach to the capital is Pea. It is one of the best beaches for surfing, bodyboarding and swimming. At 30 km you will reach Ovahe beach, although the most important one is Anakena beach, home of the great Ahu Nau Nau and where Ahu Ature Huki and his enigmatic solitary moai can be found.

But most of the moais on the island come from the slopes of the Rano Raraku volcano, located at the southwest end of Easter Island. If you are passionate about volcanoes you should not forget the Maunga Terevaka (the highest point on the island) and the Poike. As for the Moais, the most prominent are those of Ahu Akivi, Ahu Tongariki, Ahu te Pito Kura, Ahu Akahanga and Ahu Vinapu.

Easter Island is an island that has always been on the list of top most attractive places of the world. Eastern Island's huge stone figures have beguiled the researchers, explorers and the broader world for centuries. According to experts, they have cracked one of the biggest mysteries.

Easter Island has more than 300 megalithic platforms. It is believed that first of these platforms was constructed in the 13th century. Many of these statues are around the coast. Scholars did not find anything to explain the purpose of the Moai statues. It is believed that the carved stones and the wooden objects have magical essence according to ancient Polynesians.

This essence is known as Mana when they are correctly formulated. The location of the fresh water is the most substantial component for determining the position of Ahu and Moai. Scientists have tried a lot for centuries to solve the mystery of how the giant stone of Easter Island statues got moved.

Moreover, now there is a new theory behind it. According to the new approach, the figures that are known as Moai was engineered to run in the upright in a rocking motion. The rocks was moved by humans with the help of ropes.

8. Kiribati

Spend New Year’s Eve in Kiribati to be among the first people to ring in a new calendar year in a new place and the beaches are nice as well!

9. Nauru

With only 130 annual tourists in the second-least-visited country in the world, visit the tiny country that no one seems to visit!

10. Samoa

Talofa lava, welcome to Samoa and the genuine South Seas! Samoa offers its visitors beautiful beaches, exciting nature and authentic Polynesian culture. Here you can during the day to experience pure white beaches, Samoan traditions and amazing food cooked in earth ovens. Divide your time between the two islands of Upolu and Savai'i, both with stunning waterfalls, lush rainforest and perfect beaches lined with palm trees.

Here you will not see many tourists. The dream of the South Pacific's Samoa!

Samoa was the chosen destination, not because of a particular preference but because of an air offer that was too tempting for us. Samoa gave us much more than the beaches that showed us the tourist brochures, and for that reason it seems like a fantastic destination, especially if you are in New Zealand or Australia.

To those crystal clear waters and golden sands, there are waterfalls, jungle, volcanoes, lava fields and, for us, the great attraction of traveling to Samoa, the traditions and lifestyle (Fa'a Samoa) that are preserved much more authentic than in other neighboring islands. In addition, it is the second cheapest destination in the Pacific after Fiji.

If your motivation for traveling to Samoa is only beaches, there are other much cheaper places in Southeast Asia. But if you are also interested in the culture of Polynesia and be part, even for a few days, of one of those remote corners where mass tourism did not arrive, then start planning.

Upolu is the most populated and modern island, where Apia (capital) has Faleolo International Airport and Lalomanu is the most tourist beach. At the western end is the Mulifanua port, from where ferries leave for Savai'i. Salelologa is the port and town where practically all the services are (markets, ATMs, bus terminal, hotels).

There is also a dock where boats go to Manono and another point (it can not be called pier) for Apolima. Manono is easy to get from Upolu but gives the feeling of being lost in the middle of the ocean. Between Pago Pago, the capital of neighboring American Samoa (US territory), and Apia, there are ferries.

And if you want to go to one of the most remote destinations in the world, twice a month there are boats to Tokelau, an archipelago of 1500 inhabitants that administratively depends on New Zealand, but culturally much closer to Samoa.

It is a hard trip of 24 to 32 hours when the wind is in favor, which explains the isolation of these islands. The place that handles all the information related to the ferry to Tokelau is the Tokelau Apia Liaison Office, which is close to the Clock Tower of Apia. The only way to have an estimated date before traveling is to write from the Government of Tokelau page, if they respond, but once in Apia you will be able to have more data.

It is definitely a trip only for those who are very convinced. Samoa is synonymous with Fale when it comes to lodging. These typical beach constructions are wooden huts with straw roof and mosquito net, ranging from the most basic ones with a mattress on the floor and winding curtains instead of walls.

A cheap hotel in Apia is around USD 15 to 20, and a simple fale on the beach is at T 70-100 per person including breakfast and dinner (cheaper in Savai'i).

Eating at the stalls of the markets will cost between T 5 and 10 per meal. The local beer, Vailima, costs between T 3 and 4.

Have you ever been to the South Pacific Islands? What’s your favorite place in the area? Don’t hesitate to share your experiences below.
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author

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