Traveling to the South Pacific

Photo: Easter Island

This region has a reputation for relaxation but it’s also home to diverse cultures and adventure. Don’t forget to learn about the history and cultures of the smaller islands. They may seem similar in location but their backgrounds hold rich stories to learn. Talking with locals is a great way to learn about the area and always adds to the memories you make.


Oceania

Australia, New Zealand, and the island of New Guinea.

Polynesia

New Zealand, Tuvalu, Tokelau, Samoa, Tonga, Kemadec Islands, Cook Islands, Society Islands, Austral Islands, Marquesas Islands, Tuamotu, Mangareva Islands, Easter Island

Melanesia

New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago, Solomon Islands, Santa Cruz, Vanuatu, Fiji, New Caledonia

Micronesia

Mariana Islands, Caroline Islands, Marshall Islands, Kiribati


Aerial view of Cable Beach and Gantheaume Point in Broome, Western Australia

Do I Need a Visa to Visit the South Pacific?

Australia requires US Passport holders get an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA).
New Zealand requires all US Passport holders to get a visa before entering.
Generally, there aren’t visa requirements for the South Pacific islands. As long as you have a valid U.S. Passport and are not traveling for longer than 3 months (90-days).

It’s always a good idea to check with your travel consultant as visa requirements change.

(Photo: Broome, Western Australia)

Is the South Pacific Safe?


General

The South Pacific is one of the safest travel destinations in the world. The locals might quite possibly be some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. You won’t find many issues involving crime or violence. Though, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use some basic common sense. Stick to well-lit areas if you go out at night and avoid situations where you’re vulnerable.

It’s the nature you’ll have to watch out for. Coral cuts and insect bites can become infected quickly in tropical climates. Make sure to get plenty of antiseptic. You might want to stock up on sunscreen and water as well because the sun’s heat can be intense.


Solo

If you’re looking to travel solo for the purpose of complete and utter relaxation, then the islands of the South Pacific are a great choice. If you want to be social and meet people, then Australia and New Zealand are going to be your best bet. Either way, the South Pacific is a fantastic choice for any solo traveler.


LGBTQ

The South Pacific countries vary in their laws regarding homosexuality. No different than any other region of the world. Though quite a few countries have significant rights for the LGBTQ community.

These countries include:

  • New Zealand
  • Guam
  • Australia
  • Wallis and Futuna
  • New Caledonia
  • French Polynesia
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Northern Mariana Islands

For more useful travel advice check out our Trips Tips section. You’ll find useful information designed to save you time, keep you safe, and show you what being a good global citizen looks like.

When is a Good Time to Visit the South Pacific?

The best times to visit the South Pacific depends largely on what you’re looking to do on your trip.

May – October is the best time to visit the South Pacific. This is after the monsoon season has ended so the months are cooler and more bearable. During this time is when snow begins in New Zealand. It’s also when most kids have time off from school and families go on vacation, so booking early is a good idea.

November – April provides great weather for those who enjoy sailing and windsurfing. But not-so-great for people who are wanting to snorkel and scuba dive.

April – June is ideal for anyone wanting to experience a lush rainforest, rivers, and waterfalls. Due to the high water levels and the ecosystem comes to life. Just be aware that the temperature will be quite warm and humid.

Will I have Trouble with the Language Barrier?

English is widely spoken throughout the South Pacific. So getting around and communicating shouldn’t be a problem. In some of the more remote areas, you may come across locals who speak less English. But even then, you should have pretty good success.

Is Asia a Good Place to Travel to With Children?

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more family-friendly region to visit than the South Pacific. The kids will never be bored with endless beaches, constant sunshine. There’s also an array of water activities just waiting to be experienced. It helps that the family unit is extremely important throughout the island cultures. And children are especially cherished. Your young ones can expect lots of cheek pinching attention!

What About Money?

Credit cards and local cash currencies are accepted in most urban areas and ATMs are common and easy to find. Outside of cities and on the islands, cash is the preferred monetary method.

Do I Tip?

Rules regarding tipping varies throughout the South Pacific region. Generally speaking, tipping is not expected. Tips are more accepted within the Polynesian countries. However, Tipping is considered a gift in the Melanesian countries. Gifts place an obligation on the receiver to reciprocate in some way. So, leaving a tip could cause some unintended embarrassment.

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Willamette International Travel