The South Pacific is a sprawling collection of almost stereotypically beautiful island paradises; a scattering of tiny, palm-fringed specks splashed out across the largest ocean on the globe. And while it is all-too-easy to clump all South Pacific islands together in the imagination, these tiny dots floating in azure-blue waters are incredibly diverse, with rich, vivid, and different cultures, cuisines, and landscapes.
This is what makes island-hopping around the South Pacific islands such a fantastic adventure, and one of the most stunning honeymoon plans you could possibly make. If you are planning on taking a cruise for your honeymoon, there really is no better destination than the South Pacific, and these are some of the most amazing islands to visit!
Rarotonga & the Cook Islands
A perfect combination of the laid-back know-how of New Zealand (who govern the islands) and the welcoming ambiance and gorgeous scenery of Polynesia, Rarotonga and the Cook Islands are about as good as it gets. Enjoy pristine beaches, crystal-clear warm waters, and incredible traditional Polynesian cuisine (don’t miss the classic whole pig cooked in a clay oven!). There is no shortage of things to do during your days, with incredible diving and snorkeling available in the incredible lagoon and beautiful coral reefs, as well as a fascinating culture including a selection of ancient stone temples on Aitutaki.
Fiji is the most popular destination in the South Pacific, a backpacker heaven, and yet still has managed to maintain its wild, undiscovered feeling. An incredible mix of cultures greets visitors to this picture-perfect island, with the mouth watering aromas of Indian cooking wafting down palm-lined streets, Melanesian traditions everywhere you look, and a population for whom English is often the first language!
One of the best things about Fiji is its ability to provide something for everyone. If you are after out-of-this-world beaches and luxurious five-star resorts, Viti Levu or the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands will have you covered. But if you want a more back-to-basics, under-the-radar experience you can easily find that too, on Taveuni, Vanua Levu or the timeless, roadless haven of Kadavu!
One of the most famous honeymoon destinations in the world, Tahiti and French Polynesia needs no introduction. Whether you come for the untouched white-sand beaches, the overwater bungalows, the truly stunning shallow lagoons, or the remarkable coral islets that offer exceptional diving and snorkeling, it truly is a paradise destination.
Bora Bora and Tahiti itself often hog the limelight (and with good reason!) but there are extraordinary islands scattered across French Polynesia, and exploring a little further afield can help you make your budget stretch a little further! Dive with sharks and manta rays off Tuamotu, scale the mountainous peaks of Moorea, or chill out in beautiful, pristine isolation on the tiny private islands of Tetiaroa.
For somewhere a little different and truly adventurous, try lush, mountainous Vanuatu. From active volcanoes, wreck diving, and wild jungle treks, it is an explorer’s dream, with a ‘forgotten kingdom’ vibe that is exhilarating. That said, as a French island there are plenty of creature comforts to be had, from luxury boutiques to a plentiful supply of good cheese!
You’ll be charmed by the faded glamor of Port Vila on Efate, stunned by the glorious, rugged majesty of Mount Yasur on Tanna, and pampered in the top-notch resorts of Espiritu Santo.
An American territory (hence the name), American Samoa remains firmly Polynesian in culture and attitude. This is a traditional, un-touristy spot where you can soak up the best of the South Pacific while staying in classically Samoan fales – open beach huts.
American Samoa is home to some of the finest and most untouched beaches in the entire region, an almost unbelievably laid-back approach to life (don’t expect anything to happen in a hurry!) and a rich, welcoming culture that beckons you into flower-filled villages with open arms.
Not especially well-known or famous on the tourist circuit, New Caledonia nevertheless boasts the third largest island in the Pacific Ocean! Coming in after Papua New Guinea and New Zealand, Grand Terre is enormous, with a fascinating blend of French, Melanesian, and Antipodean cultural influences that make it a joy to visit.
Most travelers end up in New Caledonia to enjoy the watersports, with unparalleled sailing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing on offer. It is also one of the greatest scuba diving destinations in the world, and home to the second largest barrier coral reef on the planet!
The Solomon Islands
If you are looking to take a trip back in time and discover how the South Pacific might have been before popular tourism and overseas development arrived, look no further than the Solomon Islands. With almost 1,000 tiny specks of land to explore this is a hidden paradise that is, remarkably, only a three-hour flight from Brisbane!
An eco-tourist’s dream, the Solomon Islands offers incredible snorkeling and scuba diving, mangrove tours, boat trips, and stunning hiking trails. There is also a baffling panoply of wildlife and birdlife to discover, with an array of gorgeous native species that are rarely seen anywhere else in the world!
Lord Howe Island, Australia
To really get away from it all, in an unspoiled natural haven, try Lord Howe Island, roughly 400 miles off the coast of Australia’s New South Wales province. With almost zero cell phone coverage and a strictly limited number of visitors allowed at any one time, this is a perfect drop of peace and tranquility in the middle of the ocean.
Climb the impressive Mount Gower and gaze out across the stunning panorama, relax and soak up the sun on ivory-white sandy beaches, or take a kayak around the coast and enjoy the abundant birdlife in the skies above. With very few cars there is a real sense of calm and silence everywhere you turn, and with over half of the island made up by protected reserves, it is one of the most charming destinations the South Pacific has to offer!