Have you ever wanted to escape to a beautiful island, but simply did not know where to begin your search? Yes, there is a lot of information out there and it can be overwhelming! So we did the work for you. We have gathered a list of 10 of the best islands in the Pacific, from Rarotonga to New Caledonia. Whether you prefer nature, hikes, glorious and expansive beaches, or a location rife with ancient history, islands in the Pacific have got it all. Perhaps you are interested in a rain forest adventure, or a wellness treatment; from fine dining to rugged hiking, these islands have got it all. Read on to find out more.
1. Yasawa Islands, Fiji
One of the world’s best vacation locations, this group of 20 beautiful islands is a must see. If you are looking for a relaxing and slow-paced vacation, the Yasawa Islands will tick all the boxes. You will have an authentic experience, surrounded by locals, nature and cultural sites. With easy access to neighbouring islands, you will have the opportunity to cruise to other locations and explore beyond the archipelago. Some tourists opt for small cruise ships to see these islands and the Mamanuca.
2. Savai’i, Samoa
Arriving at Samoa through the airport on Upolo or via Samoa’s capital Apia, you can then make your way to the gorgeous and incomparable Savai’i. Though Samoa is comprised of 10 islands, Savai’i stands out for its beauty and simplicity. Volcanoes, traditional villages, culture, art and beaches are all available for exploration on this island. However, relaxation is still key on Savai’i. Known for its bird life, Polynesian culture, waterfalls and lava tubes, this island is simple yet diverse. Explore the island either by public transport, bicycle, or a rental car and don’t forget to try the delicious local cuisine.
Known for its beauty and mountain ranges, Tahiti also offers a classy and laid-back vibe. From delicious cuisine and baked goods to stunning beaches, this island has much more to see than any typical location. Allowing for exploration of the surrounding lagoons and mountains, the sea is not the only gorgeous natural element to be seen here. Tahiti is also known for its cultural celebration festival called Heiva, and is a wonderful time to partake in the culture of Tahiti.
4. Vava’u Islands, Tonga
These islands are all about nature and adventure! Visit the Vava’u Islands in Tonga to get your dose of fun with plenty of surrounding wildlife and opportunities to see whales. You can also venture out into the sea via a boat tour. The pristine and clear waters are considered unique to popular tourist destinations because they are not as polluted and remain isolated to most of the world. From sailing to fishing, whale watching to surfing, the waters hold many adventure opportunities and over 100 species of water creatures just off the shores. Also known for their market shopping, Vava’u Islands offer delectable and unique cuisine.
5. Solomon Islands
Full of history and diving opportunities, the Solomon Islands are the perfect place for a traveller looking for variety and adventure. In particular, unique diving opportunities are available due to World War II wrecks off its shores. Close to Australia, these islands offer the option to stay in a traditional village or a fancier resort. However, the Solomon Islands are known to carry a risk of malaria infection so be sure to obtain some medication beforehand and travel outside of malaria season, with May through October being the most vacation friendly times.
6. Papua New Guinea
Also a mountainous location, Papua New Guinea is made up of 600 islands and offers much to be seen! Full of history, beaches, wildlife, and nature, this travel destination might feel like a wild adventure into the unexplored. Full of culture and indigenous peoples, there are a variety of accommodation options, from resorts to hotels. Travel the islands via plane and boat, and explore the remaining villages with a tour. Enjoy diving and snorkelling, and try some of the most delicious fresh food you can find.
7. Rarotonga, The Cook Islands
If you are looking for a more relaxing and less intensive vacation or island experience, Rarotonga might just be the place for you. Known for its quiet and peaceful location, these islands are lesser known and not quite as populated as other touristy locations. Dubbed “one big resort”, Rarotonga is a tropical paradise with a vibrant culture and much to see and do. With over 100 cafes, volcano tours, water activities, cultural shows and a vibrant nightlife, you can check off all your island to do items in Rarotonga.
As the South Pacific’s only remaining kingdom, Tonga is full of history dating back 3,000 years. Its expanse of 176 islands offers a variety of landscapes and nature, from marine life to caves and mountains. With lots to explore and only part of Tonga inhabited, these islands make for a wonderful adventurous location and fairly tourist free destination. Rich with culture and traditions upheld for over 1,000 years, you can partake in Tongan dance, music and art. With a culture of relaxing, beaches and rentable yachts, sea wildlife observation and hiking, Tonga is an excellent choice. Just be wary of the wet season!
9. Laucala Island, Fiji
Exclusive and private, Laucala Island is more of a pricey vacation and for those looking for luxury. Golfing, fine dining, spas, and yacht life are all a part of the true Laucala Island experience, and this getaway is considered an “exclusive tropical hideaway”. Painted with gardens and sandy white beaches, this once in a lifetime experience offers more than just relaxation. And though it is a small island, there is much to do and to be seen. From top notch cuisine to nature adventures, enjoy the best of relaxation and adventure. You can hit the spa for a wellness treatment, and soak up the sun or join a rainforest tour. Enjoy water sports, go diving, and explore deserted beaches. Laucala Island is one of a kind.
10. Ouvea, New Caledonia
Known for its majestic water views and gorgeous beaches, New Caledonia is also a good mix of relaxation and adventure. From breathtaking vistas of the mountains, to trekking in the rainforests, this island has got it all. With plenty of nightlife options, the fun doesn’t stop after sunset. Aside from the locations more catered to tourists, local villages, museums and the barrier reef are available for exploration. With a variety of accommodation options, from beachside huts to hotels, New Caledonia offers a trip of a lifetime.