The best estimations suggest there are somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean, with some of the most remote and extreme locations on the planet plumped in this sea of paradise-found locations.
The South Pacific islands have become synonymous with beauty and the very concept of paradise. Beautiful white sands and endless carpets of azure waters have bred a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere emanating from these beautiful dots upon the Pacific Ocean. This is the stuff of travel photographers’ dreams.
Countries: Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Samoa, Kiribati, Micronesia, Pitcairn Islands, Easter Island, Solomon Islands, Guam, New Caledonia, Solomons, Palau, Fiji, Marshall Islands, N. Marianas Islands, Tonga, American Samoa
Number of Port Cities: 68
Busiest Port: Noumea, New Caledonia
Popular Ports: Noumea, Lifou, Easter Islands, Mystery Island, Ambrym Island, Champagne Bay, Guam, Malakula, Port-Vila, Tonga
Regular Visitors: Queen Mary 2, Explorer of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas, Celebrity Solstice. Black Watch, Diamond Princess, Legend of the Seas, P&O Arcadia, Azamara Quest, Queen Elizabeth
Must Visit Destinations
Forever identifiable with the massive statues of heads which dot the coastline, Easter Island is a truly unique prospect for first-time visitors. Officially known as moai, the 887 statues were created between the 10th and 16th centuries, by the Rapa Nui inhabitants. Recent archaeological work suggests that the heads all possess bodies, but were buried following a volcanic eruption.
The last word in luxury, Bora Bora is famed for the beautiful over-the-water bungalows, turquoise waters and coral reef. Equally perfect for those who want to explore the bottom of the seas and those who want nothing more than to explore the bottom of their strawberry daiquiri, Bora Bora is beautiful from every angle (including truly captivating views from above).
Fiji may be the most visited of the South Pacific islands, but it still manages to retain the same sensation of an unspoilt paradise as the rest of the region. Wrapped by staggeringly picturesque beaches and dive spots (if that’s your passion), Fiji emits the true spirit of the South Pacific at every turn.
The Cook Islands have a distinct New Zealand flavour, with the administrative owner bestowing its love of fun and respect for nature upon the islands. The 15 islands can boast idyllic climates and locals providing the warmest of welcomes.
Often overlooked in favour of neighbouring Bora Bora, Huahine more than holds its own in terms of beauty and hospitality. The jungle topped mountains of the island cut a devastating figure as they plunge into the crystal clear lagoons rich with marine life.
Plonked in the midst of the world’s largest lagoon and protected by the world’s second largest barrier reef, Mare is wonderfully remote. The New Caledonia island is dotted with caves, sandy bays and freshwater plunge pools – creating a truly otherworldly atmosphere.
Despite being the largest of Samoa’s islands, Savaii is a charmingly sleepy retreat. Made up of rustic villages surrounded by unending sandy bays, Savaii receives a startling low number of visitors despite its fair claim to be one of Polynesia’s prettiest islands.
Espiritu Santo of Vanuatu is perhaps best known as the location of the world’s best dive location, but can also proudly boast the pink sands of Champagne Beach and staggering hiking routes through the island’s lush inland region.
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