I am in love with Pacific Islands. The first island I visited was Samoa, and I must say, it is probably still my favourite. Since then I have also visited Tonga, Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, and Papua New Guinea. So I guess I’m going pretty OK when it comes to Pacific Islands. But in all honesty, I just can’t get enough.
In a couple days I am heading off to country number 51, and my 6th Pacific Island – the Cook Islands. As I have been planning, I have been reading my South Pacific guidebook, and it got me to thinking about what else is on my Pacific Island bucket list.
I sometimes don’t really think of Hawaii as being part of the Pacific Islands because I have so long associated it with the United States. But Hawaii is in fact part of Polynesia, and was one of the last places discovered and settled by those intrepid and adventurous sea faring people who settled the majority of the islands in the Pacific.
I used to have an idea of Hawaii as just being a place where honeymooners or rich couples went to drink cocktails by the side of the pool, and it never really registered on my travel radar until I started reading blog posts from bloggers like Sherry Ott and Hecktic Travels over the years. They opened my eyes to the wonderful cultural, natural, and adventure activities waiting for me to discover in Hawaii.
That being said, I’m not totally opposed to sipping cocktails poolside, but there is no reason I can’t have it all right? I think when I eventually make my visit I will try to spread my time equally between a little luxury and pampering at some Big Island Vacation Rentals and a bunch of hands on cultural and adventure activities.
Lord Howe Island
I have wanted to go to Lord Howe Island for absolute ages. This stunning island is so beautiful and special that the entire island is how listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. Lord Howe Island can take a bit of planning, as there are only limited hotels on the island, but thats part of its charm. There is no overcrowding on Lord Howe Island. My friend is actually going in December and will be staying at Pinetrees Lodge, and I suspect that seeing his photos and hearing his stories will give me that last little push I need to just hurry up and book a flight already.
Norfolk island, like Lord Howe Island, is technically part of Australia. Sort of. Except they are self governing and you need a passport to get there. I have wanted to go to Norfolk Island for a while for all the historical sites there. The island is full with historic convict sites, most of which are UNESCO world heritage listed.
I first heard about Nieu a few years ago when I saw a promotional video by their tourism board. The video had crabs which climbed trees in it. Crabs. Which. Climb. Trees.
Tuvalu is teeny tiny. In fact, I’m surprised it has room for an airstrip really. And it’s rapidly becoming smaller. There isn’t much to do in Tuvalu, but just being there would be a really rare and amazing experience. Its one of those last places in the world which is truly remote.
I developed a real thirst to see the Soloman Islands after spending some time in PNG. If the Solomans are anything like PNG then I would expect to find beautiful beaches, dense jungle, and incredibly diverse people. The Soloman Islands, like PNG, are spread out over several actual islands, so this is another destination I am considering doing by cruise ship.