Off the beaten island track

LIAM HYSLOP
Last updated 05:00 14/07/2014
Niue
House of Travel.

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Many people who travel to the Pacific Islands will struggle to venture beyond the golden beaches and expensive resorts of the popular holiday hotspots.

But there is so much more to see in the Islands if you put yourself out there.

Experience a different side of the Pacific Islands - jump off the beaten track and onto an intrepid adventure.

House of Travel's Pacific Islands product manager Mike Geary helps to take us on a journey through the largely undiscovered remote areas which can provide a perfect balance of relaxation and outdoor activities.

TONGA

If you are looking for extravagance and luxury, look somewhere else. The Pacific's last kingdom consists of 176 islands which are fairly basic and simple places. Stray dogs roam the streets and many amenities which are normal in New Zealand don't exist here. But it's quiet and has the major drawcard of game fishing, with giant blue marlin able to be caught offshore.

Geary says: "Tongans know that what they can offer visitors doesn't need dressing up - and visitors to it's shores can enjoy many activities including game fishing, superb diving and sea-kayaking."

NIUE

One of the best kept secrets in the South Pacific - probably because if you blinked while flying over it you'd miss it. At just over 260 sq kms and a population of just 1400 it is tiny.

On arrival you might think there is nothing to do in such a small place. But Niue is a great place to get amongst nature and will show you how life used to be live.

Geary says: "Niue is an outdoor enthusiast's paradise. There are sea tracks and walks galore. All round the island are caves, tracks, snorkeling coves, busk walks, cycle tracks and more!"

SAVAII

Landing at the Maela Airstrip on Samoa's largest island will take you into a world of authentic Samoan life. You can get a true taste of what it is like to be a Samoan by staying at one of the Beach Fales that dot the coastline.

Geary says: "These fales are mostly on village land and usually family operated and enjoy some of Samoa's most scenic vista's."   

ATIU

If you are a fan of caves or birds, then this is the place for you. A number of cave tours await those willing to dive into their depths while the people of the island have worked hard on the Rarotongan Flycatcher (Kakerori) Protection Programme and the re-introduction of the Rimatara Lorikeet.

Geary says: "The Eco capital of the Cook Islands and a great island for the adventurous traveller."

AITUTAKI

Just a 45 minute flight from Rarotonga, As your plane creeps up on the island a beautiful shade of turquoise will permeate the through the water in the form of a lagoon. Aitutaki was was voted number seven on a list of the 10 best islands to visit in 2014.

Geary says: "The big magnet for visitors is the magnificent turquoise lagoon, considered by many as the most beautiful in the world."

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TAVEUNI

If you thought the pace of life in Fiji couldn't get any slower, try going to Tavenui. You can try your hand at bird watching or fishing, or just take a dip in the Savusavu hot springs, not that you will need much more warmth on a Pacific Island.

Geary says: "Taveuni is just an hours flight from Nadi , but as you explore the region, you'll feel as though you've taken a trip back in time."

LOYALTY ISLANDS

This New Caledonian gem combines quintessential tropical island activities with encounters with the friendly kanak locals and their unique culture . The 3 islands that make up the Loyalty Islands, Ouvea, Lifou and Mare are all distinctly different and each offers special experiences.

Geary says: "Village stays, fishing trips and the chance to see sculptors and weavers at work is a highlight of these islands."

TANNA

Apparently the glow emanating from Mt Yasur attracted Captain Cook to this Vanuatu island in 1774. So if you're a fan of molten lava this could be the place for you. Another island where it feels like you have gone back in time with many villages shunning modern inventions in favour of living as their

Geary says: "One of the most traditional islands not only in Vanuatu but in the whole of the South Pacific. Mt Yasur on has proved the big magnet for visitors. The pyrotechnic display at night is awe inspiring!"

YASAWA ISLANDS

Journeying to the off the beaten track Yasawa Islands will show you the real Fiji with a hint of adventure. In the Yasawa's, you can get a travel package to explore stunning settings, enjoy some amazing activities, stay in modest local style accommodation and mix & mingle with the locals over a bowl of kava in the local village.

Geary says: "The packages are designed so you can do as much or as little as you like. Book the Boat + Bed option if you prefer to relax or explore on your own, or the full Monty option to add a full range of exciting activities!"

Have you ventured into an undiscovered, remote part of the Pacific Islands? What did you find? Share your story in the comments.

- Stuff

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