There were a great many unknowns leading into our 14-day Papua New Guinea adventure with Journeys International. Safety in Port Moresby was a concern as was hygiene, malaria, the quality of food and drink, and transport reliability. Although there were a few minor glitches, everything went to plan and it was easy to enjoy the friendly people in Papua New Guinea, a seldom-visited part of the world.
Category: South Pacific
Below are our recommended South Pacific (known as Oceania or Oceanica) travel destinations including top vacation spots and travel tips for Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, New Caledonia, and Papua New Guinea.
New Caledonia’s Signal Island (Ilot Signal) sits within what Conservation International lists as the world’s largest marine park. Within this park and nestled a mere 20 kilometers (just under 12.5 miles and 8 nautical miles) from New Caledonia’s capital city of Noumea, Signal Island is a unique marine reserve that offers its visitors unprecedented snorkeling in close proximity to a diversity of coral and tropical fish as well as hiking among sea birds and flora that is not easily replicated anywhere else in the world.
Near the town of Paihia and located approximately 60 kilometers north of Whangarei in the Bay of Islands on the North Island of New Zealand is the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Any visit to New Zealand’s northern reaches should include a trip to see this significant historical landmark and memorial site.
Settled in the tiny village of Matakana for nearly a week in New Zealand’s early spring time, HI Travel Tales relaxed, walked, ran, explored, tasted wine – and took a day to visit the amazing Tāwharanui Regional Park. Hardly much more than a skip north of downtown Auckland at 85 kilometers (53 miles), this area east of Warkworth is worth much more than a slam-bang day trip. The Tāwharanui (“taff-raw-new-ee”) Regional Park alone demands an entire day for hiking, picnicking and wildlife education.
While we will admit to being fans of visiting botanical gardens anywhere in the world, Fiji’s Garden of the Sleeping Giant is one that is truly special. Yes, really. Even non-flower lovers and non-botanical garden enthusiasts – and there was one among us – should put this on their Fiji list.
Visit Fiji’s Koroyanitu National Heritage Park. There are so many wonderful places to see in Fiji. On the western side of Viti Levu, Lautoka may be the second largest city on Fiji’s largest island, but don’t just stay in town. To help plan a perfect adventure escape, scroll down through slides featuring some of our favorite moments during a visit we made to the village of Abaca and Koroyanitu National Heritage Park in Fiji.
There are six villages within Koroyanitu National Park that cooperate as part of an ecotourism project funded by The New Zealand Official Development Assistance Programme (NZODA) and Japan National Official Committee of the Pacific Economic Co-operation (JANPEC). The villagers maintain the landscape and tracks, and subsequently earn tourist dollars through overnights in the villages, guided walks, and selling souvenirs and official pamphlets describing the villages and park. So pay your admission happily since it supports the park and the people.
There are so many wonderful places to see in Fiji. And snorkeling in Fiji along the many coral reefs are but one. Click on any photo below to enlarge it. Scroll through each slide to enjoy and read the captions full of useful information to help guide your next “visit Fiji” exploration.
Roll your eyes if you must, but I’ve always dreamed of holding a koala. Not sure why that has been so important to me … perhaps the stuff of childhood fantasy. But I got my wish in October 2013 during our stay in Brisbane, Australia. My wife and I had heard about Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary (www.koala.net), located approximately 13 kilometers (8 miles) southwest of Brisbane City Center.
A visit to Auckland, New Zealand may mean partaking in bungee jumping and harbor tours but there is so much more to do and see, as anyone staying more than a few days will quickly discover. Foodies – especially Europhiles – won’t want to miss the Auckland French Market, La Cigale.