When thinking of the South Pacific, most of us think of beaches and clear waters. Few think of the dense tropical rainforest begging to be explored and the tribal villages that make a healthy living from its bounty. Put on your hiking boots and explore some of the most remote regions of our planet.
The following are our ultimate islands to visit for an adventure holiday in the South Pacific. Find out more about each destination by clicking on the "detailed reviews ... link" after each passage and this will take you to a dedicated page with our recommended things to do and places to stay for an adventure holiday including reviews about each resort plus instant quotations for your holidays so you can make a booking straight away.
# 1 - Vanuatu
Vanuatu is the best destination in the South Pacific for an adventure holiday. The country ranks as one of the friendliest and safest destinations in the world and where you can easily experience a genuinely traditional culture, with the famous Pentecost land-divers and the exotic tribal villages based on Tanna Island being the highlights. Tanna Island is also home to the world's most accessible active volcano, Mt Yasur - at night you can climb its volcanic cone and watch the fiery eruptions light up the night sky.
# 2 - Fiji
Fiji too is a great destination for exploring both rainforest and villages, with the protected Bouma National Park in Taveuni rich in bird-life, waterfalls and archaeological sites. The main island of Viti Levu has some beautiful villages where pottery making, matt weaving and yaqona drinking are all in a days work.
# 3 - Samoa
Samoa has several good areas of tropical rainforest rich in bird-life and with good walking trails. Soft adventure holidays are available with village guides arranged through locally owned beach fale accommodation.
# 4 - New Caledonia
Grand Terre is a vast island with endless exploring opportunities in its wilderness from caving to horse riding The Loyalty Islands offer a good mix of tribal hut accommodation, villages and beaches for exploring.
# 5 - Tonga
Tonga is rather too small in size for decent off the beaten track adventures. The best region to get away from commercialisation is the laid back Ha'apai Group with sleepy fishing villages and remote beaches. There are some interesting archaeological sites to explore on the main island of Tongatapu.
# 6 - French Polynesia
Soft adventure is excellent on Moorea island, with good hiking trails, outstanding mountain scenery and plenty of 4WD adventure tours available around the island. The main island of Tahiti offers good 4WD tours into the interior and outstanding coastal hiking trails on Tahiti Iti.
# 7 - Cook Islands
The Cook Islands is too small in size for decent adventure holiday opportunities and the people's lifestyle, though sometimes subsistence, is more westernised than traditional compared to its South Pacific neighbours. The Rarotonga cross island hike makes a good day out in the rainforest for novice hikers. If you are seeking adventure, take a cargo boat to the very remote Northern Atolls where virtually no tourist ventures to.