Tag: South PacificView All Tags
Wash that winter right out of your hair with a trip to western Australia's sandy beaches. This is the last good month of the season for windsurfing, so whether you're a novice or a pro, Perth wants you.
The harbor in Perth shields it from the most violent currents of the Indian Ocean. Safety Bay, despite its name, more for people who have windsurfed before, but try Pelican Point at Matilda Bay for an easy approach. Windforce Windsurfing School will give you three days of beginner weekday lessons for $150 (about $100).
We pulled up a round-trip fare of $1215 from Los Angeles to Perth on Qantas, but you could probably go for much cheaper by flying to Sydney or Melbourne and snagging a discount fare.
Earlier this week, we filled you in on a charming Moorea BYOB Happy Hour and today we offer our "Don't Miss List" for this perfect Tahitian island.
South Pacific / Islands / Bars / → All Tags
Having just returned from an amazing trip to Tahiti, this week we're offering you a couple secret travel trips from her perfect islets and motus. First up, don't miss Moorea. It's a quick ferry ride from the capital city of Papeete and simply stunning. Grab an early morning ferry for $3 and watch the sun come up as Moorea takes over the horizon.
We've been pretty keen on a trip to the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu ever since we heard the people there are the happiest in the world. But apart from walking around and smiling a lot, we weren't really sure what there was to do there--until now.
A Sydney Morning Herald review this week has got us captivated by Vanuatu, because it is home to the world's most accessible volcano. By which we mean, you can basically sit on the edge of the caldera and watch a few explosions of lava, performing like clockwork every evening.
The tourist-friendly volcano is called Mount Yasur, which means "old man," and it is located on Tanna Island, a 45-minute flight from the capital of Port Vila. Don't feel you have to hurry--Mount Yasur has been continually erupting since 1774, and there's no reason to imagine it's suddenly going to stop now.
A giant reef in the South Pacific has gotten a major reprieve. The island nation of Kiribati has created the world's largest protected marine reserve, and it's about the size of California:
The Phoenix Islands Protected Area, covering 410,500 square kilometers, is one of the planet's last intact coral archipelagos and is threatened by over-fishing and climate change, [environmental] groups say.
It lies near the equator about half way between Fiji and Hawaii.
This new reserve is bigger than the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument west of Hawaii (137,797 square miles) and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia (345,000 sq km.)
The US-based group Conservation International, along with the New England Aquarium, is helping the Kiribati government to manage and fund the uninhabited area. A tough challenge for the reserve is coastal erosion, but the site is also overfished and thus the Kirbati government will need some money for surveillance.
So get out your wallets people! No, just kidding. We don't think this place is taking donations but we wonder... is it taking tourists?
So, yeah, have you heard? The new season of Lost starts tonight. Expect more dumbfounded-yet-angry stares from Jack, more running in tank tops from Kate, more philosophy-ish chatter from Locke and lighthearted (but heavyset) jokes from Hurley.
We sometimes find it hard to write about the show 'cause the only traveling they ever do is from rainforest to hill to beach to ridgeline back to rainforest. Seems like a waste of a perfectly good vacation in the South Pacific!
Fortunately--for us anyway--ABC has put together a parallel web show called Find 815, featuring the exploits of fictional IT technician Sam Thomas, who's searching for his girlfriend Sonya, an Oceanic Air flight attendant. Among his stops are Jakarta, Indonesia and Darwin, Australia. Now that's more like it.
Survivor: Micronesia / Television Travel / TV Travel / Diving / World War II Travel / South Pacific / → All Tags
After running all those seasons of The Amazing Race and Survivor, seems like CBS has finally run out of places to film. The upcoming Fans vs. Favorites season of Survivor will return to Palau, where season 10 was shot a few years back. The producers are hoping that we don't catch on by calling it Survivor: Micronesia.
While you know what to expect from the competitors on the show--now in its 16th iteration--you probably don't know as much about the South Pacific archipelago. First and foremost, it's a long way from, well, everywhere, and that keeps tourist traffic relatively light. That said, you can get there from New York in about 26 hours, from Houston in about 20 hours and from Sydney in about 19 hours.
Once you're in the islands, the thing to do--if you're not on a hit reality show--is go scuba diving. The Palau Visitors Authority has a big list of all the local outfitters. You can also check out WWII history: The islands of Peleliu and Angaur are littered with materiel from fierce battles that killed thousands in 1944.
The island nation of Tuvalu in the Pacific Ocean wants the bigger countries of the world to do something about climate change. And it's not just for the good of the planet: Tuvalu could be swallowed up by the sea in less than 50 years if the planet gets much hotter.
With an average elevation of 6 feet above sea level, Tuvalu doesn't have far to go. That's why the Deputy Prime Minister is so worried about the future of his country:
We'll try and maintain our own way of living on the island as long as we can. If the time comes we should leave the islands, there is no other choice but to leave.
That may soon be the fate of other Pacific Islanders as well. Besides Tuvalu, Kiribati, Vanuatu and the Marshall Islands are considered at risk, though true disaster is still at least decades away.
Islands / Kids / Blogs / Marquesas / Sailing / South Pacific / → All Tags
Man, Molly and Jessie Rard have the coolest parents ever. Their parents let them skip school for two years and live on the family sailboat! No detentions, no gym class, no tyrannical English teacher who leaves the class window open in January... Well, they still have homework: to help their parents, Washington state boat dealers, update a blog about their family adventures.
Yep, Jim and Jeanna Rard are the coolest parents ever. Who else would say, "Hey kids, we're taking off on a 49' yacht to sail the world for two years"? Kind of makes you want to sail out and join them holding octopi, making dreadlocks and writing nautical poetry.
[Photo: Jessie Rard]
You shouldn't let those 4's fool you, but this Air Tahiti Nui promotion is still pretty nice. For less than $1000 all-in (once you tack on the taxes that aren't included in the advertised fare), you can fly round-trip from New York to Auckland and even tack on a free one-night stopover in Papeete that includes lodging. They probably put you up in a crap hotel in Papeete, but it's still kind of cool. Sale ends tomorrow.
They're also currently running a decent deal between LAX and Auckland for $848 pre-tax. That's not a whole lot less than a sample fare we pulled up on Fiji's Air Pacific, but Air Tahiti Nui seems to have a better reputation anyway.
· Air Tahiti Nui's Insanely Limited Sale [Jaunted]
Restrictions are usually a given when airlines dare to charge you just an arm for a nice vacation. But Air Tahiti Nui's latest deal, a $600-ish round-trip from LAX to Papeete, Tahiti, is really all business.
The price is an approximate $200-400 savings over average prices on Air Tahiti Nui (or much more when compared to Qantas' fares), but check out the fine print. You've only got three days left to book it, and you must return from Papeete on February 5. You get a whopping choice of two departure dates: January 27 or January 28. It's a healthy discount, but the rules kinda kill the romance if you were hoping to take a date.
· Los Angeles to Tahiti Non-Stop [Air Tahiti Nui]
· Take Your Greasy Vampire to Tahiti [Jaunted]
Travel Deals / Sales / South Pacific / Diving / → All Tags
The New Caledonia Tourism board has launched a 2 for 1 offer to attract Aussie tourists. If you buy a four to six night package with flights and accommodation, your mate comes for nearly free, just having to pay about $100 in taxes. Packages vary from luxury to your standard lie-by-the-pool break, and most of them throw in some free meals and drinks, too.
But what do you actually do in this mysterious place called New Caledonia (and where the heck is Old Caledonia?). Diving is a good bet, snorkelling and swimming too. Any kind of active travel will do. Way out there in the Pacific, but always proudly French, they even fly in exotic food and wine direct from France. They say it's "where the French Riviera meets the South Pacific." Now if that's not a stretch of geography, we don't know what is.
· Dive Lust: New Caledonia Edition [Jaunted]