Welcome to the beautiful South Pacific
My name's Ian and I spent 20 years travelling the South Pacific islands as a photographer, author and travel agent. I hope my in-depth travel guide helps you discover some amazing adventures to inspire your own dream South Pacific holiday.
Preferred South Pacific Holiday Destinations
Cook Islands holidays epitomise the South Pacific Islands - small, charming, exceptionally laid back and of course offering fantastic beaches. Head to stunning Aitutaki lagoon or enjoy the buzzing restaurants and beach resorts on Rarotonga.
The most popular holiday destination in the South Pacific islands, there's loads to do from scuba diving and surfing to rainforest hikes and cruises. Popular with families, couples and adventurers, the 300+ islands has something for everyone.
With incredible scuba diving and remote traditional villages, the Solomon’s is an adventure paradise. Few tourists visit; those that venture away from the resorts and towns will experience a culturally fascinating destination.
The tiny Kingdom of Tonga with its extreme slow pace of life is a tourism backwater. Popular with sailors, there are hundreds of uninhabited islands with palm fringed beaches and whale watching is outstanding (May-Oct). Come here to relax and unwind
With a fascinating culture, Vanuatu offers exciting adventure holidays with traditional villages to visit, active volcanoes to climb and beautiful coral reefs for scuba diving including WWII wrecks. Port Vila resorts are popular too with families.
When it's hot and humid in the South Pacific (Dec-Apr), it's nicely cool north of the equator in Hawaii. Boasting glitzy Waikiki Beach, there's also world class surfing, pristine golf courses, magnificent hiking trails and breathtaking scenery.
Most visitors arrive on a romantic getaway from US or Europe and stay in a lavish overwater bungalow. Enjoy striking tropical scenery and snorkelling in the lagoons, but be prepared for inflated prices.
Popular with backpackers for its charming beach huts, Samoa has amazing waterfalls and lava fields. Its culture is not as accessible as other South Pacific islands but the capital Apia is a lively seaside town.
From the affluent French colony of New Caledonia to the massive atolls of Kiribati and the utterly remote speck of Pitcairn Island ... the lesser known South Pacific Islands are a treasure trove for explorers.
Map of the South Pacific Islands
For tourists and travellers alike, South Pacific holidays are the stuff of dreams. For most island nations the tourist dollar has been a vital source of income, often accounting for over half of total GDP. This reliance has been exposed since the Covid-19 pandemic and whilst most South Pacific islands remain virus-free, the majority have suffered financially through strict border closures. Most hospitality workers lost their jobs and many returned to their villages to live off the land. Thankfully holidays to the Cook Islandfs and Fiji are opening up again to world travellers; unfortunately borders to the smaller nations of the Solomon Islands, Tonga and Samoa remain firmly closed.
South Pacific Travel Guide
If the closest you've got to the South Pacific islands is watching the films Castaway (Fiji) or Mutiny on the Bounty (Tahiti) and you've always fancied swimming in that clear blue sea or sitting alone on that secluded beach, then you should look at our inspiring South Pacific Islands Overview to get an idea about what's unique about each island destination and from there you can start planning where to stay for your next South Pacific holiday. Whilst cloud-less skies, uninhabited islands, swaying palm trees and sunset cocktails are all stereotypes, they are associated with the islands because that's what you get! Of course there's a lot more to do than just relax around the beach. Surprisingly, the islands offer a great variety of activities, not just snorkelling and scuba diving but world class surfing, whale watching, rainforest hikes and white water river rafting. If that's all too much to get your head around then head to our South Pacific Tours page to see exactly what each destination offers in the way of activities.
Whether you're looking for a laid back beach holiday in the Cook Islands, a family retreat in the Fiji Islands, a more adventurous trip exploring the cultures and kastom villages of Vanuatu, or simply to marvel at the world famous coral reefs and wrecks in the Solomon Islands, you're at the right place to find all about the beautiful South Pacific Islands.
Within the vast expanse of the South Pacific Ocean there are literally thousands of tiny coral islands circled by sublime turquoise lagoons teeming with reef fish and dressed in colourful corals. You can swim in these unpolluted warm lagoons so clear that you can see a full 30 metres to the sandy bottoms or simply unwind on its exquisite soft white sand beaches under the cool shade of the iconic coconut tree. It's certainly no overstatement by saying the South Pacific Islands offer the best beach holidays in the world not only for honeymoons or getting married, but for family holidays too.
Rising majestically from these pristine lagoons are steep rugged islands with volcanic mountain ranges, dense tropical rainforest, gushing waterfalls and mysterious traditional villages offering great scope for adventure holidays. The people living in these delightful islands are by no coincidence amongst the most peaceful people in the world living a stress-free, happy-go-lucky life - Life here truly is a South Pacific paradise.
If this is your first time visiting the South Pacific islands and you need help selecting a destination, we suggest you start at our South Pacific Holiday Comparison Chart which gives a great overview of what each island has to offer compared to its neighbours. Or if you're more of a reader, then find out more from our detailed South Pacific Holidays Planner
"I just wanted to tell you that your website offers absolutely the best tourist information on the South Pacific. It blows all of the others away. I am so happy to have found it"
Shane & Matt, Australia
South Pacific Islands Covid-19 Border Restrictions - Updated March 2022
The following brief intends to give an overview only. Please refer to the border entry requirements for each country through the official government websites.
Borders to Fiji are open for tourist arrivals from Australia, NZ, USA, Canada, UK, EEU and many other countries provided proof of being fully vaccinated. Fijians +16yrs of age are currently 90% fully vaccinated.
Borders to the Cook Islands are open for tourist arrivals from New Zealand provided proof of being fully vaccinated. Borders will re-open on 12 April 2022 from travellers arriving direct from Australia and from the rest of the world on 1 May 2022 meeting certai8n criteria including being fully vaccinated and returning a pre-departure negative test. Cook Islanders +16yrs of age are currently 98% fully vaccinated.
Borders for New Caledonia and French Polynesia are open to visitors of certain countries including UK, USA, Canada and EEU providing proof of being fully vaccinated.; whilst Niue is open to travellers from New Zealand.
Still confused where to visit?
Borders remain closed for Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Samoa, Tuvalu and Kiribati and will likely remain closed for the foreseeable future. There was almost zero community transmitted cases in most of these islands with the exception of PNG until the Omicron variant found a way in and the virus is now circulating in Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands and Kiribati amongst others. The only island nations that remain free from Covid-19 are Nauru, Marshall Islands and most small states of Micronesia. Vaccination rates remain very low in many of these nations (PNG, Solomon’s and Vanuatu are all under 10%, Tonga and Samoa are under 50%).
Take a look at our South Pacific Holiday Comparison page which gives a quick glance on which country to visit for every type of holiday, from hiking to night-life and which has the best hotel selections.
I hope you enjoy reading all about this exotic destination and find out some of the best things to see and do. Hopefully I've inspired you enough to make a booking through one of our affiliated booking partners promoted throughout this travel guide ...