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.