The Pacific Ocean, containing some 25,000 islands, is the largest and most expansive ocean in the world. However, each of these islands feature its own history, landscape, wildlife and culture. What these islands do have in common is their stunning beauty and isolation, amazing marine ecosystems, white-sand beaches and a rich local heritage. Fancy a trip to any of them? That experience will be unique, so be careful what you choose. Here are 10 impressive islands to visit!
Samoa will get you smiling in an instant. When you do find the energy to get out and explore, you’ll find a tropical island paradise with a surprisingly wild and exotic interior. Cascading waterfalls, molten lava flows and jagged sea cliffs are juxtaposed with blue lagoons and bone-white beaches. However, enjoying a cold drink and those warm, sunny beaches sounds equally pleasant.
9. New Caledonia
These islands enclosed by the world’s biggest enclosed lagoon are quite stunning. The cosmopolitan capital Noumea is the best place to experience this urban chic, but venture out of the capital and you will be surprised by the wealth of natural beauty and diversity of the natural landscapes.
The Kingdom of Tonga is situated just east of the International Date Line. Carefully preserved traditions take place in a community fascinated by the latest offerings in pop culture and technology. There’s the laid-back resort life or tiny-forested islets with untouched beaches waiting on tourists to enjoy.
7. Easter Island
Easter Island is an absolutely captivating speck of land. The charismatic moai statues form the enduring image of Rapa Nui and travellers are known to speak of the presence and power of them. Rapa Nui also offers a number of adventure activities such as horse-riding, scuba diving, surfing and hiking.
6. Solomon Islands
One of the most remote and wild places in the South Pacific, the Solomon Islands lying East of Papua New Guinea are some naturally beautiful islands, blessed with a rich local culture. Guadalcanal is the capital island known for numerous historical war sites, but most head to the New Georgia Islands and Marovo Lagoon for the kayaking, diving and traditional local customs.
5. Wallis and Futuna
The islands are one of the only colonies in the South Pacific to retain their French status and France has repaid the favour by pouring in development money. Somehow the locals have figured out how to get all the perks of colonialism without losing its traditional culture.
4. Whitsunday Islands
One of Australia’s most popular holiday destinations, the Whitsunday Islands offer some of the finest tropical beaches in the world. The warm waters and gorgeous white sand attract visitors from all over the world. Whitehaven beach on Whitsunday Island undoubtedly remains one of the best beaches in Australia.
Formerly known as the Gilbert Islands, Kiribati’s 33 atolls span a massive 3.5 million square kilometres of the Pacific Ocean. The people here mostly live as they have for centuries, relying on local coconuts, breadfruit and fish as the foundation of their diet and living in traditional thatched huts.
Tokelau is inaccessible by plane and this alone has resulted in it being one of the least visited in the South Pacific. The indigenous culture has therefore endured to a far greater degree than any other Pacific island and provides a unique look at Polynesian customs.
Formerly known as the Ellice Islands, the raw power of the sun completely shapes the nature of life on this tiny speck of land. Time moves slowly and an escape to the shade is a necessity during the heat of the day. Hang out in a hammock beneath palm trees and enjoy the change of gears; what better way to chill out?