South Pacific

Micronesia, federated states of

There’s something to be said for a country that has tried to outlaw ties and baseball caps. Despite being firmly tied to the USA’s economic and political apron strings, each of the four island states has maintained its own culture: Kosrae remains a casual backwater;Pohnpei a jungle paradise; bright, bubbly Chuuk attracts divers with its […]

Pitcairn islands

Beautifully green and lush, and with a population you could easily seat in a city bus, tiny Pitcairn is most famous as the hideaway settlement for the notorious HMS Bounty mutineers. lronically, more than 200 years later, it’s one of the last remnants of the British Empire that Fletcher Christian and his gang rebelled against. […]

Guam-northern marianas

Looking for tribal villages or ancient cultures untouched by the modern world? You won’t find them in Guam, as this strategic US territory isn’t in the ‘Tropical Paradise’ mould. You’ll have more luck in the Northern Marianas, with their turquoise waters, white sands, fine diving, snorkeling and hiking. And if you really want to get […]

New zealand

One could be forgiven for thinking that Mother Nature decided to take her best features and exhibit them all in in this South Pacific island nation. All the classics are there-awe-inspiring Alps, plunging fjords, expanses of pristine beach, dense rainforests, active volcanoes-but what makes this such a stellar performance is the sheer concentration of it […]

Samoa

Samoa is so laid-back it’s only a kava session away from being comatose. Palm-fringed beaches, booming white surf and lush rainforests wreathed in misty in misty clouds it the kind of place that Hollywood location scouts go gaga over. The Samoan lslands comprise two entirely separate entities: the independent country of Samoa and the US […]

Micronesia, federated states of

There’s something to be said for a country that has tried to outlaw ties and baseball caps. Despite being firmly tied to the USA’s economic and political apron strings, each of the four island states has maintained its own culture: Kosrae remains a casual backwater; Pohnpei a jungle paradise; bright, bubbly Chuuk attracts divers with […]

Solomon islands

The Solomons was once the world’s most dangerous place-cannibalism, head-hunting and warfare were rife, and foreign visitors were usually killed upon making landfall. Today the islanders are laid-back and friendly, and they inhabit a stunning archipelago of coral atolls, lagoons and reefs that sees almost no tourists. Ancient arts are still practiced and WWll wreckage […]

Tuvalu

lf you want to disappear for a while, head to Tuvalu. On average, it receives fewer than a thousand tourists a year, so you’re likely to have the beach to yourself. The tiny group of islands, however, are seriously endangered by rising sea levels caused by global warming, so you’d better be quick. May to […]

Tahiti-french polynesia

Ever since French explorers landed on the island in the 18th century, Tahiti has almost singularly represented the tropical-paradise myth for Europeans. lt’s French Polynesia’s biggest, most famous and historically interesting, but the glossy pictures in travel agents’ windows are almost certainly of other unspoilt French Polynesian islands. People come to French Polynesia to live […]

New caledonia

Kanaks and café au lait, blackbirding and barrier reefs, Melanesian massacres and menus du jour-New Caledonia exemplifies that one person’s bread is another person’s pain. Lt’s still very much a colony of France, and the motherland has sent in the marines more than once to keep the local population from rioting. Political unrest aside, New […]