Laze on an uninhabited coral island in Fiji
Go scuba diving in the fabulous Solomon Islands
Cruise around stunning Aitutaki Lagoon in the Cook Islands
Snorkel in New Caledonia's great barrier reef
Visit a Vanuatu custom village with kava ceremony
Celebrate a Tahitian Island feast with dancing
Spot humpback whales or sea turtles in Tonga
Marvel at giant Moi in remote Easter Island
Stay in a thatched beach fale Samoa
The South Pacific is particularly popular for family beach holidays, honeymoons and weddings. However, some islands are perfect for those seeking solitude and nature, others have family-orientated resorts, and others are perfect for senior travellers. The spectacular South Pacific islands are relatively immune from the commercial modern world and offer an exceptionally easy-going and laid back holiday ambience with few crowds. Tropical beach resorts, island hopping, exceptional coral reefs and of course year-round warm sunny weather are the main appeal for families and honeymooners. But adventure too awaits for those a little more curious.
Fiji is the most popular and most developed for tourism of the island destinations with over 150 beach resorts to choose from, many on small private islands. Come here for its beaches, kids clubs, day cruises and snorkelling. The Cook Islands is hugely popular amongst Kiwi's with a great holiday ambience on Rarotonga with self catering holiday bungalows and a good variety of restaurants around Rarotonga.
If your looking to experience adventure travel in the South Pacific Islands then the Melanesian islands of Vanuatu or the Solomon Islands are both highly recommended. Both have exceptionally diverse cultures, fascinating festivals and some of the friendliest people on earth. Vanuatu has several unique active volcanoes to explore whislt the Solomon islands has the best scuba diving in the South Pacific with many unchartered coral reefs and a huge array of world war II wrecks, although its tourist infrasture is a lot more limited than Vanuatu.
The Polynesian strongholds of Samoa and Tonga are very laid back - Tonga has fabulous whale watching and lots of small uninhabited coral islands whilst Samoa by contrast has impressive volcanic scenery and tropical rain forests to explore. The two French colonies of New Caledonia and Tahiti are both a lot more expensive destinations to visit and are famed for glorious overwater bungalows and fine dining making them popular destinations for honeymoons and weddings.
Tourism in the South Pacific is quite distinct and falls mostly into the following categories: Package Holidays, especially amongst Australian and New Zealand visitors, for either families or groups such as weddings or hen parties, with Fiji and the Cook Islands the most popular holiday destinations, particularly in winter (May to September). Romance, especially amongst Europeans, with isolated boutique resorts alongside stunning secluded lagoons, with weddings and honeymoons a particular draw. Watersports, with exceptional scuba diving and snorkelling in all destinations (Solomon Islands and Fiji take the top spots), and world class surfing in Fiji and Tahiti as well as further north in Hawaii. Backpacking is the final major category lured by beautiful beaches, simple beach huts, lush tropical rainforest with waterfalls and year-round balmy weather. Backpackers visit mostly from Europe, usually enroute to Australia / NZ, and there's a slightly higher percentage of female travellers due to the safe travel environment throught the South Pacific islands.
In most locations across the South Pacific, you're never far from the ocean. Swimming, snorkelling, and fishing are always popular activities, but in some locations you can also surf, water-ski, jet-ski or try wind- or kite-surfing. Sport is also popular here – the most well-known is rugby, but some islands have their own internal games that are unique to their own culture. Speaking of culture, the people of the South Pacific are another highlight – if you get the chance, go to a dancing display, and see any of the other, more unusual activities practised by the indigenous populations, including singing to sharks and tower jumping.
The islands openly embrace tourism and make visitors instantly welcome with their warm smiles and greetings. There are few political or religious anxieties, low crime and free from most tropical diseases (there's some malaria in the Solomons). Probably the greatest hindrance is transportation, with island hopping a hit and miss affair with flights often delayed and boat and bus schedules erratic ... be prepaid for misinformation, a lack of urgency to do anything and go with the flow ...