Oceania & The South Pacific

Travel guides to Australia, New Zealand, and islands in the South Pacific

Australia - The sails of the Sydney Opera House, the underwater ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef, the wine country of the southeast, the incongruous red massif of Uluru (a.k.a. Ayers Rock), the tankards of ale, the Outback deserts, the scenic coastlines, the rain forests, the kangaroos, the koalas, and, yes, the crocs. Welcome to Oz... Full Story

New Zealand - No doubt about it: New Zealand is in. Once written off as merely "clean, green, and full of sheep," this South Pacific nation is gaining a rep for vibrant cities, adventure outdoors activities, friendly Kiwis (the people, not the fruit), and raw, pristine nature... Full Story

South Pacific Islands

Sunset on FijiFiji - Picture yourself snuggled away in your own private bure (thatched bungalow) on Viti Levu, one of the 333 sea islands of Fiji strung along the invisible line between local Melanesian and nearby Polynesian cultures. Each island is a paradise of waterfalls and plunging mountains, fertile valleys, crystal waters lapping sugary beaches, and some of the friendliest folk on the planet... Full Story

Tahiti - French Polynesia—the collective name for Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, Huahine, and the other Society Islands—are specks of craggy volcanic peaks, sandy crescent beaches, swaying coconut palms, and multihued crystalline waters gangling across the Pacific's deep blue. These soft sands and warm people have ensnared passersby with their beauty and seduced them with their charms for centuries... Full Story

Cook Islands - Rarotonga and the Cook Islands are about as pristine as a well-known South Pacific island can be. Tourists didn't start trickling in until 1974, and it took another three years before a resort reared it ugly mass tourism head. TV didn't invade until 1990. It's still one of the best places to get a handle on Polynesian culture, and offers fine nature hikes, excellent swimming snorkeling and diving, and some of the best fishing on the planet... Full Story

Samoa - If they had a contest for friendliest folks on earth, the Samoans would be right up in the lead, smiling broadly. If you were to rank the islands of the South Pacific in terms of cost, Samoa would come out near the bottom. This winning combination defines a land of whitewashed colonial buildings, breezy thatched huts, waterfalls plunging into emerald lagoons, and warm sapphire waters lapping at palm-fringed beaches... Full Story

Easter Island - I stood on the lip of Rano Kau volcano, above the reed-choked marsh filling its crater, and gazed over the green velvet of Easter Island to an unbroken panorama of Pacific Ocean in every direction. The nearest neighbor to the west, Pitcairn Island, lay 1,180 miles away. To the east, the next landmass was the Chilean coast some 2,300 miles away. Despite the sultry South Pacific sun, I shivered. At that moment, I realized what it meant to be in the most isolated inhabited spot on Earth... Full Story

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This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in August 2011.
All information was accurate at the time.

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Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.