Choosing Your Perfect Pacific Holiday Spot

20 January 2015
Read Time: 5.8 mins

The Pacific, a wondrous haven of sparkling turquoise waters, endless skies, pristine beaches and balmy breezes, the ultimate setting for pure relaxation. There are several nations that make up the Pacific region and, although they might seem similar to most, they actually have subtle differences that will affect your experience.

Some places might suit families better or are targeted more to couples. Others have a lively night life or are simply locales of pure tranquillity.

If you’re not sure which destination will best suit you, I’ve put together a little guide. Enjoy booking your holiday to paradise.

 Plenty for kids to enjoy in Fiji

Fiji

For families

There's a little tropical bliss for everyone in Fiji, especially for families. Kids are welcomed with open arms by the Fijians and families are given extra special treatment from the moment they arrive, often being ushered through ahead of others in the immigration queue.

In Fiji, kids can run barefoot and free, build sand-castles and make new friends at kids clubs. While they are being looked after, you can have a romantic dinner under the stars, be pampered in the spa or take a moonlight stroll along a white sandy beach. Fiji offers families the best for everyone.

Some recommended resorts for families include Castaway Island, Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, The Outrigger on the Lagoon, Malolo Island Resort and Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort and Spa.

For party goers

Fiji is often associated with relaxation and beach activities but at sunset it comes to life, not quite in the same way as Thailand's Full Moon Party or the clubs of Ibiza, but enough to give a good time and a bad hangover.

The main clubs and bars are on the largest island, Viti Levu, in the main areas of Nadi and Suva. On the smaller islands, you’ll find most of the nightlife within the walls of the local resorts. If you want to stay close to the action, resorts such as Aquarius On The Beach and Raffles Gateway Hotel might be your best bet.

For couples and honeymooners

Fiji offers the ultimate in romance. From the calm tranquillity of a private picnic on your own deserted island to a sunset-lit dinner, Fiji has all you need for a dreamy getaway. This is a place truly made for lovers.

There are a long list of resorts that will get you loved up such as Laucala Island Resort, Qamea Resort and Spa, Likuliku Lagoon Resort, Nukubati Private Island Resort, Royal Davui Island Resort, Vomo Island Resort, Turtle Island Resort, Koro Sun Resort and Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort.

 

 Vanuatu's beautiful scenery lends itself easily to romance

Vanuatu

For families

Vanuatu is a highly family friendly destination. Staff at the resorts adore children and have a special knack for getting along with them.

While kids are welcome in Vanuatu, it is advised to not visit Tanna with children under the age of two and other rural islands of Vanuatu with kids under eight, mostly because of the lack of medical facilities in these areas.

There are plenty of resorts set up for families in Vanuatu such as Warwick Le Lagon Resort, The Melanesian Port Vila, Poppy's on the Lagoon, Holiday Inn Resort, Paradise Cove Resort, Iririki Island Resort, Erakor Island Resort and Paradise Cove Resort.

For party goers

Port Vila has a variety of entertainment for everyone including bars, nightclubs, casinos and the occasional open air concerts. Karaoke and trivia nights are also popular.

You will find that most evenings begin with a traditional island kava drink or 'shell'. This drink is made from the root of a plant similar to the pepper tree and has been used for centuries throughout the Pacific. Kava is an intoxicant, the only legal narcotic in the world.

Enjoy the best party Port Vila has to offer at resorts in the vicinity such as Moorings Hotel and Breakas Beach Resort.

For couples and honeymooners

From the vibrant capital Port Vila to tranquil and beautiful islets, there's something for every couple in Vanuatu. The more adventurous can explore the islands of Espiritu Santo and Tanna for diving, snorkelling, dreamy picnics, horse riding, swimming by waterfalls and even trekking to an active volcano!

Vanuatu's adults-only resorts provide a peaceful ambience for those seeking privacy and tranquility. Couples looking for a quiet getaway might enjoy Bokissa Eco Island Resort, Iririki Island Resort and Mangoes Resort.

 

 Get ready to excite your taste buds in Noumea

Noumea

For families

If you're after a traditional beach holiday, ie, an all-inclusive resort on the beach where you just relax in the sun and have the kids taken care of, other South Pacific tourist destinations might be more suited than New Caledonia.

Costs in New Caledonia are higher and the national language is French, which can be an issue to people who prefer speaking English with everyone on their holiday.

However, Noumea can perfectly suit families if you are after a unique holiday. Being in a country where a different language is spoken creates an exotic feel and there's plenty to do – food and shopping as well as excursions to the local islets and mountains.

Centrally located hotels that might suit families include Le Nouvata Hotel, Le Parc Hotel, Le Meridien, Ramada Plaza, L'Escapade Island Resort and Hotel Le Lagon.

For party goers

Noumea is not a city with a night life like you would encounter in Spain, Brazil or the Caribbean, but it does have plenty of establishments where you can have a beer after a long day at the beach. In the centre of town and also in more touristic spots like Lemmons Bay or Atta Bay, you will find numerous bars, pubs, discos and restaurants.

Hotels in the city centre are best suited if you're a night owl, such as the Hilton Noumea La Promenade Residences.

For couples and honeymooners

Noumea, known as the Paris of the Pacific, is the ideal destination for couples to enjoy a honeymoon or a romantic getaway. There's a variety of romantic activities related to the huge range of cuisines on offer here and the beautiful natural surrounds. Indulge in the flavours and aromas of a classic French, Chinese, Vietnamese, Italian or Indonesian dish or take a romantic kayak trip together down the meandering Dumbea River, through the mineral-rich surrounding hills. Jump on a horse, take a hike or go swimming and snorkelling in the surrounding isles .

Some hotels with a romantic feel include Chateau Royal Beach Resort and Spa and L'Escapade Island Resort.

 Affordable paradise in Samoa

Samoa

For families

Samoa is not the first destination you'd think of when planning a family holiday in the South Pacific islands. But it is a good choice for more adventurous families and it's the cheapest destination in the South Pacific making it a great option for families on a budget.

Samoa doesn't have the large resorts and kids clubs, but if you're looking for a safe and easy environment in which to explore, then the boutique beach resorts on Upolu Island are a good place to head. Check out Coconut Beach Resort, Aggie Grey's Resort and Sa'Moana Resort.

For party goers

Nightlife in Samoa varies from bars and clubs to cultural shows and events. Watch the sun dip below the horizon while sitting at one of the beach bars with a cocktail in hand. For a lively night out, Apia is the place to go with the main concentration of clubs and bars in Samoa.
Few bars are open after midnight and fewer still on Sundays, the day of worship. Fiafias is a spectacular Samoan dance accompanied by a buffet of traditional foods. Many hotels and resorts present these as special entertainment for their guests. Kava, the traditional drink is usually kept for special occasions.

Aga Reef Resort and Spa and Sinalei Reef Resort are some recommended resorts close to the action in Apia.

For couples and honeymooners

Home to ten beautiful islands, Samoa is a wonderful destination to choose for a romantic retreat. As soon as you touch down on these pristine shores you're bound to feel instantly at ease.

Samoa specialises in resorts that are off the beaten track, offering pristine white beaches, rich culture and friendly Polynesian hosts. Some resorts to try might include Sinalei Reef Resort, Coconuts Beach Club, Le Lagoto Resort and Spa and Le Vasa Resort.

 

 Sunset vistas like this are the norm in the Cook Islands

Cook Islands

For families

The Cook Islands offer a safe holiday environment for younger kids with great swimming lagoons, activities and slightly cooler weather than the prickly heat of Fiji and Vanuatu.

While there are a couple of resorts offering all day kids clubs and all-inclusive meal packages, it's a good idea to rent a holiday house or stay in a villa to make use of the spacious living. A few resorts offer this style of accommodation including Palm Grove, Edgewater Resort and Spa and Manea Beach Villas. Other resorts that are family friendly include The Rarotongan Beach Resort and Spa and Lagoon Breeze Villas.

For party goers

The night life of the Cook Islands is steadily growing with Friday night remaining the popular night out. Friday evening is also renowned for the Friday Night Island Pub Crawl, a bus excursion to pubs and clubs usually organised by resorts.

Rarotonga may be small, but the locals know how to party. For proof, consider the fact that many bars on the island have happy hours every day except for Sunday. These happy 'hours' often start at noon and last for five or six hours.

If you love to party, you might enjoy staying at resorts such as The Rarotongan Beach Resort and Spa and Sanctuary Rarotonga On The Beach.

For couples and honeymooners

With beautiful beaches backed by tropical mountains and a lazy laid-back atmosphere, romantic holidays in the Cook Islands are hard to beat. The two main tourist islands of Rarotonga and Aitutaki both have a charming ambience and both feature long stretches of sandy coastline, perfect for romantic walks.

Small boutique resorts are popular here, most of which have simple bungalows instead of box-like rooms and many of these are directly on the beach. Quite a few resorts allow adults only to ensure a quiet ambience. If you're looking for a romantic escape, you might like to stay at Etu Moana, Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa and Little Polynesian Resort.

Gemma Cleveland

A lover of creativity, I appreciate the arts, culture and beauty in many forms. I'm hooked on experiencing new things and indulging my senses on this amazing planet we inhabit. I flounced around Europe for a time but am happy to be lapping up the sun again in my hometown of Brisbane.