7 Idyllic Islands of the South Pacific ...


7 Idyllic Islands of the South Pacific ...
7 Idyllic Islands of the South Pacific ...

The Islands of the South Pacific immediately conjure up images of paradise. Softly swaying palm trees, sparkling azure waters and sugar soft sands, all come to mind. Some of the South Pacific islands I’m picking out for you, will be familiar names, others will be new to you, but each is a stunning destination for a dream vacation. Whether you’re planning a vacation, or just daring to dream, here are 7 Idyllic Islands of the South Pacific:

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Aitutaki, the Cook Islands

Aitutaki, the Cook Islands The Cook Islands are in the heart of the Pacific and belong to New Zealand. It is only reachable by airplane from the largest of the Cook Islands (Rarotonga) or a ferry, but that only operates once a month. There are but 2,000 people living on Aitutaki which is mainly a spectacular sunken lagoon. As you can imagine with such a setting, the beaches are sublime. The way of life is laid back – traditional with a hint of 21st century. There’s not much to do here other than enjoy life Polynesian style, and of course, revel in the gorgeous surroundings.


Grand Terre, New Caledonia

Grand Terre, New Caledonia New Caledonia, a Melanesian nation, part of French Polynesia, is a group of South Pacific islands, still governed by France. The largest island is Grand Terre and is the only one where there is any real tourism. The capital, Noumea retains a distinctive French flavor with boulevards that are home top chic cafes, elegant boutiques and top notch restaurants. Traditional South Seas life exists in village cultures along the coasts. The best beaches on Grand Terre are as equal to any other South Pacific islands with the best considered to be at Iles des Pins.


Mungava (Rennell Island), the Solomon Islands

Mungava (Rennell Island), the Solomon Islands For many Americans, The Solomon Islands are infamous, even if not instantly recognizable. Guadacanal is here, and these South Pacific Islands were a major theater of American/Japanese warfare in World War II. The Solomon Islands are not the easiest destination and are really the realm of very intrepid traveler, but those who make the trip to Mungava, are duly rewarded. It is the second largest raised coral atoll in the world and there is an internal lake, which is also the largest in the South Pacific. Mungava, along with Bellona, are the only two of the Solomon Islands to be classed as Polynesian. Despite being a world heritage site, tourism hasn’t taken hold so this is a destination that provides the perfect tropical island escape.



Niue Niue is one of the British Commonwealth’s South Pacific islands. Its land area is but 100 square miles and the population is about 1400. Visitors only get to fly to Nuie once a week, from New Zealand, so you can be assured this isn’t really a hotbed of tourism. But don’t let that deter you. There are plenty of things to do here; the island just lacks the major infrastructure to make it a vacation hotspot. As well as the gorgeous beaches, Nuie is prime whale spotting territory and there’s the opportunity to swim with dolphins. There’s an amazing coral canyon, diving spots are spectacular, particularly the caves and of course, there’s the experience of South Sea life. Attend one of 14 village festivals throughout the year and get a real taste of Polynesia.



Tokelau Tokelau is a group of three atolls governed by New Zealand. If ever there was the chance to experience old Polynesia in a group of South Pacific islands, this is the place. But, it’s hard work getting there. The only way to reach Tokelau is the monthly cargo boat from Samoa, but it’s a trip that takes 2 days and nights. If you want remote, here it is. Life is very traditional and there’s not much to do other than to pretend you are Robinson Crusoe, but oh, what surroundings to play that part. Spend your time hopping between islands on a catamaran, or visit the villages to see demonstrations of basket weaving or, participate in a game of Kilikiti (cricket).


Vava’u, Tonga

Vava’u, Tonga Vava’u is the main tourist island of the Tongan nation. It is particularly favored by sailors who enjoy a labyrinth of deep water channels that weave around tiny coral islands. Other major tourist groups are the whale watchers who congregate between June and October to watch the calving season of the Humpback whales. This isn’t the most idyllic of South Pacific islands but is excellent for travelers looking for adventure. Most congregate in Neiafu Town, somewhat ramshackle, but with a pretty harbor and decent facilities for dining and entertainment. The local beaches aren’t great but the trip is all about getting in and around the tiny surrounding islands for those secluded little pockets of tropical paradise.


Naviti, Fiji

Naviti, Fiji Naviti is one of the Yasawa Islands, one of the many groups that make up the nation of Fiji. It is the largest of the 20 islands of the Yasawas and the most populous- although that only consists of maybe six small fishing villages. Unlike many idyllic islands of the South Pacific which are coral atolls, the Yasawa Islands are volcanic and Naviti, like the others, is characterized by hilly peaks that lead to white sandy beaches. All the usual tropical indulgences can be pursued here and at the southern tip of the island is a cluster of small islets with tranquil lagoons where you can swim with Manta Rays. There is some good tourist infrastructure on Naviti with some delightful resorts.

I do hope I have whetted your appetite for a South Pacific Island adventure. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of tiny islands in the South Pacific – how intrepid would you be in your quest to find the most idyllic?

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