picture of kids kayaking on a family holiday in the south pacific islands

Some South Pacific holiday regions and resorts are ideal for solitude and nature, others are perfect for families whilst several fun places even beckon for a hen or bachelor party. We have travelled around the islands for the past twenty years and on the back of out intimate knowledge of the islands we have created a chart to help you quickly and easily discover which are the best islands to visit for your holiday in the South Pacific.

South Pacific Holidays : which island?

The Fiji Islands is the most popular of the South Pacific Islands to visit, and deservedly so. It is easy to reach being the regional transport hub, and has the best tourist infrastructure with a great selection of large international brand hotels, all-inclusive family orientated resorts, small boutique properties aimed at the more affluent and budget beach huts for travellers. It's a great all-rounder, with beach holidays, weddings and honeymoons, adventure, backpacking, diving and surfing, all amongst its major draws.

Although a lot smaller than Fiji and not so easy to reach from Australia, the quaint Cook Islands are equally beautiful for a fun and relaxing beach holiday and especially popular amongst New Zealand couples. If you want to go somewhere with few other tourists, then you should consider destinations such as Samoa or Tonga which both have beautiful beach resorts but a lot less commercial than most destinations and seldom making it to the glossy brochures, or even tiny Niue Island, where getting there is part of the holiday.

Visit the French speaking territories of New Caledonia or Tahiti Islands for a more glamorous holiday ambience and with plenty of over-water bungalows with the later boasting Bora Bora as the most beautiful island in the South Pacific.

picture of a beach holiday resort

Seven Great Ideas for your South Pacific Holiday

1) Make the first footprint of the day on an uninhabited coral island

2) Snorkel a coral reef and spot a whale, reef shark or sea turtle along the way

3) Take a rainforest hike and cool off in a fresh waterfall

4) Drink a bowl of kava in a tribal village

5) Attend a local church service for the melodic hymns and local characters

6) Watch a traditional island dance with a sumptuous pig-on-the-spit feast to follow

7) Relax at the end of your day with a cocktail and watch the set set over the ocean.

picture of a beach holiday resort

South Pacific Holiday Ideas

The most popular destination for a beach holiday in the South Pacific is the Fiji Islands, followed by the Cook Islands; for scuba diving its Fiji and the Solomon Islands; whilst adventure holidays are best in Vanuatu. Tahiti and New Caledonia are both French territories, making them more sophisticated but also more expensive to visit than the other islands. Tourism in Tonga and Samoa, the two Polynesian strongholds, remain low key which holds its own unique charms and just being there will make you feel you're on an adventure.

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.

If you're seeking a real adventure and very traditional culture, then Vanuatu or the Solomon Islands are the places to visit and both have exceptional scuba diving reefs and some fascinating active volcanoes to explore.

Wherever you go in the South Pacific fresh seafood and tropical fruits will be fantastic. You may want to try some kava, an important beverage in many island cultures, which is also a mild sedative. Whichever island you choose, you will have great stories to tell and be the envy of your friends!

picture of a south pacific sunset

South Pacific Tourist Information

This all sounds more than idyllic and certainly the glossy brochures promoting South Pacific holidays have no problem doing so with images of stunning white sand beaches, turquoise lagoons, colourful reef fish and of course those perfect blue skies. But whilst these are all in abundance and the weather is warm all year round, there are still good and not so good times to visit; and islands that will, or will not suit your idea of a holiday. To find out more about what each destination has to offer, we recommend you visit the individual tourist information pages for each destination: