There's plenty to do in the South Pacific away from the lagoons and beaches, with the tropical rainforest and traditional villages high on the list of things not to miss. The following are our ultimate islands to visit for a sightseeing 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 places to stay including full reviews about each resort plus instant quotations for your holidays so you can make a booking straight away..
# 1 - Fiji
The main island of Viti Levu has a great number of interesting sites to enjoy on day tours with both Nadi and the Coral Coast offering a numerous day tour options including the Sigatoka Sandunes National Park, Tavuni Hill Fort and the Kula eco park for wildlife. The thatch village of Navala is a stunning living example of traditional life and the tropical rainforest inland from Pacific Harbour is where you can zip-line above the forest canopy, take a ride on a bamboo raft or head into the jungle for extreme white water river rafting. Taveuni and Kadavu islands have some excellent walking trails in managed reserves with stunning waterfalls to enjoy a swim in.
# 2 - French Polynesia
For breathtaking scenery, French Polynesia is the place to visit with Cooks Bay and Opunohu Bay on Moorea attracting large ship cruises to set anchor. The lagoon of Bora Bora is stunning and is best viewed from a helicopter scenic tour, whilst on Tahiti, the rugged mountains of Tahiti Iti have fantastic walking trails along the coast and through lush rainforest.
# 3 - Samoa
Both Upolu and Savaii islands have excellent round-island day tours. On Upolu there are stunning forest lookouts and breathtaking waterfalls to enjoy; whilst Savaii has its unique volcanic attractions including lava fields, sea-arches, blow holes and a volcanic black sand beach.
# 4 - Vanuatu
The highlight of a trip to Vanuatu is visiting the active volcano of Yasur on Tanna Island which can be visited on a day trip from Port Vila but is best experienced at night entailing a sleepover at one of the islands resorts. There are a couple of organised sightseeing tours originating from Port Vila including a circumnavigate of Efate Island with Cascade waterfall a highlight; and quad bike excursions into the mountains.
# 5 - Tonga
Tonga is rich in archaeological sites, particularly on the main island of Tongatapu where you can learn about Tonga's past and the influence it wielded over the region. Don't miss the trilithon at Ha'amonga, a small version of Stonehenge.
# 6 - New Caledonia
Grand Terre, the main island of New Caledonia, is a vast island with plenty of scenic attractions but its size means that getting to see them can be tricky on a day tour. The pretty mountains settlement of Sarramea, an hour north of Noumea, has a pretty rainforest setting with walks and nearby is Bourail where you van enjoy river kayaking tours, caving and horseback trails. For coastal scenery head to Hienghene on the north west coast or otherwise enjoy the River of Sands trail on the Isle of Pines.
# 7 - Cook Islands
Rarotonga has plenty of pretty churches to explore, particularly on a Sunday when the congregation is in full voice. Other attractions include the Takitumu Forest Reserve and cross island hike which both get you up close to the tropical rainforest.