With more than 10,000 islands (some little more than a drop in the water), the South Pacific is a myriad of beauty, culture, lush flora and staggering stretches of sand. While Fiji, Tahiti and Bora Bora have long played host to luxury resorts with millions visiting every year, dig a little deeper and you’ll find islands which truly demonstrate the beauty of the South Pacific.
Best known for being the site of Cha4rles Darwin’s exploration into the theory of evolution and natural selection; the Galapagos Islands are awash with endemic species of animals and plant life. Fiercely protected, the islands remain largely unspoiled as visitors are limited in number. This gives a unique insight into the majesty of the wildlife and geography of the islands.
San Cristobal and Baltra are the only islands which can be flown into and the majority of visitors travel in by boat to see the indigenous penguins, iguanas, tortoises, sea lions and more. Scientists on the islands are still studying evolution and natural selection, based out of the Charles Darwin Research Station.
Tourism on New Caledonia is still in the development stages, with fewer yearly visitors to the island than the neighbouring Cook Island and Vanuatu. This gives people the opportunity to integrate more closely with the locals of New Caledonia, a diverse collection of cultures. The indigenous Kanak people make up roughly 40% of the population with another 30% made up of a European community, weaving a unique tapestry of cultures on the island.
Shaped like a long cucumber, New Caledonia geography ranges dramatically from dry rolling hills to beautiful azure blue waterways. Perhaps, the most stunning way to view this beautiful island is from the seas; Cruise1st offer a selection of cruises taking in the ports of New Caledonia including the capital city of Noumea and the adjoining Isle of Pines.
Papua New Guinea
Just north of Australia is the culturally diverse island of Papua New Guinea. With more than 848 listed languages, the island’s demographics are unlike anywhere else in the world. Much of the island has remained unchanged for thousands of years with clan societies still making up a percentage of the population. This gives visitors an experience of the South Pacific before holidaymakers started putting up hotels and using coconuts as cocktail glasses.
Only about 70,000 tourists visit Papua New Guinea every year, but there are signs the tourism trade is beginning to grow. Visitors are given the opportunity to enjoy a number of traditional Papua New Guinea activities such as attending the local festivals and engaging in diving, hiking and fishing.
Best known for the 887 Moai (colloquially recognised as the Easter Island head statues) structures looking out to sea, Easter Island has been baffling visitors for hundreds of years. One of the most remote inhabited islands on Earth, Easter Island is 2,075 kilometres from the closest inhabited island (Pitcarin), making the island largely unspoiled.
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