Home » Choosing the perfect island for your Pacific adventure: Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea or Fiji?

Choosing the perfect island for your Pacific adventure: Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea or Fiji?

written by Jenna Hoare May 13, 2019
Three smiling travellers in Fiji

Thinking about a trip to the South Pacific? Whether it’s swaying to the sounds of a church choir, coming face-to-face with the tribal masks of traditional warriors at a festival or hiking to sky-high moss-covered waterfalls, a trip to Melanesia – which encompasses the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Western New Guinea – isn’t your typical beach holiday.

So which destination to choose? Here’s a rundown of the types of experiences you can expect in three South Pacific destinations: Fiji, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

1. Solomon Islands

Two hikers walk along a palm-fringed path

Photo by Tetyana Dotsenko, Shutterstock.

Make your way to where the wild things are while exploring the Solomon Islands, home to extensive mangrove forests and fringing reef that snakes around sandy islets. This tiny archipelago has been put on the map thanks to its world-class diving sites and jungles strewn with WWII history. This is where John F. Kennedy was saved by Solomon Islanders during his service in the navy before becoming president of the United States – you can visit Kennedy Island to learn more about the story. Swing in a hammock at an eco-resort after a day of exploring, immerse yourself in tales of a darker past on a visit to Skull Island, then flip the day over by tapping your toe to a mixture of traditional beats and singing at a church service.

RELATED: 5 REASONS WHY THE SOLOMON ISLANDS SHOULD BE YOUR NEXT BEACH GETAWAY

Remote island in the Solomon Islands

Photo by Ethan Daniels, Shutterstock.

Getting there

Direct flights are available from Australia (Brisbane and Sydney), Fiji (Nadi), Papua New Guinea (Port Moresby) and Vanuatu (Port Vila) to the capital of Honiara.

JOIN US ON AN 8-DAY EXPEDITION THROUGH THE SOLOMONS – FULL DETAILS HERE

2. Papua New Guinea

Trekkers on the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea

Photo by Craig Charlton.

Calling all adventure-seekers! Hiking the 96-kilometre (60-mile) Kokoda Track is tough going but it’s a worthy pilgrimage as you make your way through the Owen Stanley Range in Papua New Guinea. Follow the trail cloaked in overhanging rainforest, steering towards traditional villages as you navigate through mountains that have naturally divided tribal territories for centuries.

CHALLENGE YOURSELF ON OUR 11-DAY KOKODA TRACK ADVENTURE – DETAILS HERE

Papua New Guinea exhudes cultural and biological diversity, known for its trekking, birdwatching and all-out celebrations of tradition. The Rabaul Mask Festival holds dance ceremonies belonging to the people of East New Britain – a province which was largely destroyed in a volcanic eruption in 1994 and has been completely rebuilt. A tremendous amount of work goes into the tribal masks on display and by attending the gathering, you can expect to be taken into the heart of local tradition.

EXPERIENCE THE RABAUL MASK FESTIVAL ON THIS 9-DAY ADVENTURE

dancers wearing colourful masks in Papua New Guinea

Photo by Mike Geisel.

Getting there

Direct flights operate from the capital of Port Moresby to Australia (Cairns, Brisbane and Sydney), Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Manila and Tokyo.

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3. Fiji

A girl standing in front of a waterfall in Fiji

Photo by Jenna Hoare.

You might consider Fiji as being only a resort-style type of destination. Think again. Go from flopping on a beach towel along a sandy shoreline to dropping into the base of a waterfall in the middle of the highlands. Hike over evergreen grasslands into a remote village, raft through Fiji’s volcanic rock interior and snorkel over vibrant coral reef coastlines. A tantalizing addition is the Indian influence in local cuisine, with half the population being Indo-Fijian. You can expect to find mild curries and roti added to the menu, even in remote parts of the islands. Staying in a community at a local homestay adds to the experience, with Fijian hospitality being second to none in the South Pacific.

EXPERIENCE A DIFFERENT SIDE OF FIJI ON OUR 11-DAY FIJI EXPEDITION – FULL DETAILS HERE

Rolling green hills and blue sky on a Fiji island

Photo by Jenna Hoare.

Getting there

Fiji has direct flights from New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and the United States to Nadi International Airport, on the main island of Viti Levu.

Of course, there are more countries to explore in Melanesia, but these are good spots to start. Explore our range of tours in the region here

Feature photo by Jenna Hoare.

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