My tropical island bucket list

Pop quiz: Do you know where Fiji is?

When I got stuck trying to explain New Zealand’s location to a bunch of Vietnamese, I had to invoke Australia (of course). New Zealand just wasn’t on their radar, nor were Fiji, the Cook Islands, or indeed any other Pacific islands.

Which isn’t all that surprising, really. I know nothing about the islands around Spain, say, or the Caribbean – heck, most of my European geography was picked up in the last few months while planning this leg of our journey.

That said, there are tons of islands in the Asian/Pacific region I’d love to see one day. Here’s my top four:


Raw, untouched, stunning. Aside from walking, swimming, and whale watching, there isn’t a whole lot going on there. There’s only one flight a week to Niue from New Zealand; that’s how off the beaten trail it is. We ended up choosing Rarotonga for my birthday in 2011, but next time, it’s the non-touristy option all the way.


Colourful, tropical, exotic. Bali holidays never go out of style – it’s one of the top destinations in the world for holidayers, whether you’re into surfing, diving, shopping, visiting temples, or just relaxing.


Snorkelling, diving, volcanoes … Vanuatu is said to offer a huge range of natural wonders from picturesque beaches to wild waterfalls, paired with a refreshing hawker-free tourist culture.


Coral, pearls, dance – Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia and no doubt an interesting mesh of cultures. We’ll actually be stopping over in Tahiti for a day on our way home – our last stop before returning to Auckland. I hear it’s crazy expensive, so one night will have to do it for us.

8 thoughts on “My tropical island bucket list

  • Reply Mike@WeOnlyDoThisOnce June 27, 2013 at 08:51

    Couldn’t be more excited for you! Let us know all about it.

  • Reply Michelle June 27, 2013 at 09:07

    I would love to go to all of these places!

  • Reply krantcents June 27, 2013 at 09:10

    I t looks beautiful! Your pictures are really good too. Have you thought about turn this into a career?

  • Reply Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies June 27, 2013 at 12:11

    Nice. Don’t feel bad about not knowing geography halfway across the globe. Most people in the US can’t label all of the states on our map!

  • Reply Lindsey @ Cents & Sensibility June 27, 2013 at 15:25

    Bali has been on my bucket list since my friend was staying out there and then called to complain the peacocks were keeping her up all night. Oh that, and a monkey swung down out of the branches and stole her bracelet when she stepped outside the front door of her Villa. It actually sounded amazing and I hope to go there in the next few years! I can’t wait to hear about your travels over the next little while!

  • Reply Thomas | Your Daily Finance June 27, 2013 at 22:47

    I wanted to move to either Fiji or Vaunatu. The wifey just isnt having it says to far away from everything and shes scared of tsunami’s. I guess I will just have to settle for visiting though. Bali is really nice as well. Hopefully you get to cross them all off your bucket list.

  • Reply Jennifer June 29, 2013 at 00:03

    Thanks so much for this article. My partner is from New Zealand and I have visited twice – he’s been to Somoa a couple of times and has told me how beautiful it is, but I haven’t heard of Niue – one of the islands you mention above. I’ve done a quick google images search and it looks beautiful! I really want to explore this area at some point 🙂

  • Reply Funny about Money June 29, 2013 at 01:28

    Tahiti! So beautiful! Be prepared for the mosquitoes, though.

    When we were there (back in the early Cretaceous), we met a couple who were backpacking around the world. They said they’d managed to handle Tahiti very cheaply. They may have been camping, but I think they were staying in youth hostels or very inexpensive digs. It might be worth looking into.

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