18 days in Oceania Itinerary

18 days in Oceania Itinerary

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1
Noumea, New Caledonia
— 2 nights
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2
Port Vila, Vanuatu
— 2 nights
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3
Honiara, Solomon Islands
— 2 nights
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4
Apia, Samoa
— 3 nights
Fly
5
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
— 2 nights
+2
Drive to Fua'amotu International Airport, Fly to Rarotonga International Airport, Drive to Muri
6
Muri, Cook Islands
— 2 nights
Drive to Rarotonga International Airport, Fly to Aitutaki
7
Aitutaki, Cook Islands
— 3 nights
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Noumea, New Caledonia — 2 nights

Capital of New Caledonia, Nouméa sits on a large peninsula of attractive, snaking bays.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Place des Cocotiers and Maison de la Perle. And it doesn't end there: visit a coastal fixture at Amedee Lighthouse, step off the mainland to explore Ile aux Canards island, get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Aquarium des Lagons Nouvelle Caledonie, and examine the collection at Tjibaou Cultural Center.

To see maps, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Noumea planning app.

Sydney, Australia to Noumea is an approximately 6-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time to New Caledonia Standard Time is 1 hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sun) so you can fly to Port Vila.
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Parks · Historic Sites · Outdoors · Nature
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Port Vila, Vanuatu — 2 nights

The capital of Vanuatu and the largest settlement on Efate, Port Vila plays home to a number of busy markets, cafes, bars, and restaurants catering to the tourism industry.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at The Reef Vanuatu Zoological, then stroll through Hideaway Island Marine Reserve, and then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 4th (Tue): cast your line with a fishing tour and then take in the dramatic scenery at Evergreen Cascades Waterfall.

To find photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Port Vila trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by flight from Noumea to Port Vila takes 5 hours. In October, plan for daily highs up to 33°C, and evening lows to 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Tue) so you can catch the flight to Honiara.
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Wildlife · Parks · Outdoors · Tours
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Honiara, Solomon Islands — 2 nights

The hustle and bustle of Honiara, the capital of Solomon Islands, provides a nice counterpoint to the slow pace and laid-back atmosphere in other areas of the country.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Wed): appreciate the history behind Guadalcanal American Memorial.

To find other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Honiara trip planner.

You can fly from Port Vila to Honiara in 5.5 hours. Traveling from Port Vila in October, expect a bit warmer with lows of 30°C in Honiara. On the 6th (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can fly to Apia.
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Highlights from your trip

Apia, Samoa — 3 nights

The Samoan capital of Apia serves as the first port of call for most visitors, and it plays home to a number of historic sites, a laid-back seaside promenade, and a range of hotels and restaurants keeping tourists entertained.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Fri): make a trip to Samoa Cultural Village, take an in-depth tour of Robert Louis Stevenson Museum, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Lefaga Beach. On the 8th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: admire the sheer force of Papaseea Sliding Rock, then look for gifts at Plantation House Samoa, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Immaculate Conception Cathedral.

To see more things to do, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Apia trip maker app.

Fly from Honiara to Apia in 13.5 hours. The time zone difference moving from Solomon Islands Time to Apia Standard Time is 2 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sun) so you can fly to Nuku'alofa.
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Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Historic Sites
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Nuku'alofa, Tonga — 2 nights

The capital of Tonga and the seat of the island nation's royal family, Nuku'alofa was first seen by Western eyes in 1777, when legendary Captain James Cook arrived in the area.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Mon): get great views at Abel Tasman Landing Site, stroll through Mapu'a 'a Vaea Blowholes, then pause for some serene contemplation at St. Mary's Cathedral, and finally discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Nuku'alofa road trip planner.

You can fly from Apia to Nuku'alofa in 17.5 hours. In October, daily temperatures in Nuku'alofa can reach 30°C, while at night they dip to 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Muri.
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Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks · Beaches
Side Trips
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Muri, Cook Islands — 2 nights

Raratonga's lagoon measures widest and deepest around Muri, attracting large numbers of tourists to swim, snorkel, dive, and boat in the turquoise water filled with tropical sea life.
On the 11th (Tue), learn about winemaking at Koteka Winery, then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas. On the next day, tour the pleasant surroundings at Tikioki Marine Reserve, meet the residents at Discover Marine and Wildlife Eco Centre, and then kick back and relax at Aroa Beach.

To see other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Muri trip planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Nuku'alofa to Muri. Traveling from Nuku'alofa to Muri, you'll gain 23 hours due to the time zone difference. Expect a daytime high around 30°C in October, and nighttime lows around 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Thu) so you can travel to Aitutaki.
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Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Spas
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 10 — 13:
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Aitutaki, Cook Islands — 3 nights

Aitutaki's triangular barrier reef surrounds a turquoise lagoon of crystal clear water.
Explore hidden gems such as O'otu Beach and Aitutaki Secret Garden. And it doesn't end there: enjoy the sand and surf at Aitutaki Lagoon, head off the coast to Moturakau, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mount Maungapu, and stop by T & S Artworx.

To find ratings, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Aitutaki day trip site.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Muri to Aitutaki. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sun) so you can fly back home.
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Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Beaches
Find places to stay Oct 13 — 16:
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New Caledonia travel guide

4.2
Beaches · Islands · Scuba & Snorkeling
An archipelago consisting of the sizable Grande Terre as well as a scattering of smaller surrounding islands, New Caledonia has many of the tourist draws characteristic of the South Pacific: long sandy beaches, swaying palm trees, azure lagoons, and coral reefs. It also supports many unique species of plants and animals, such as the tall conifers that tower above the palm trees lining the waterside. Nature lovers on holiday in New Caledonia should head to the lagoon that surrounds Grande Terre: a World Heritage Site and one of the largest lagoons in the world, it is home to countless species of marine life, including endangered dugongs and green sea turtles. The local culture blends French chic and Melanesian warmth, and it is usually a only short walk from the beach to a stylish bar, cafe, or gourmet restaurant.
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Vanuatu travel guide

4.4
Waterfalls · Nature & Parks · Bodies of Water
Composed of 83 rugged islands spread out over a stretch of nearly 1,300 km (810 mi), Vanuatu features a huge diversity of natural environments and cultures. A fusion of British, French, Polynesian, and Melanesian influences, the nation combines devout religious devotion with the slow, relaxed pace of island life. Lush rainforests and thriving coral sanctuaries abound across the island chain and feature a colorful array of native wildlife and plant species that make for fantastic snorkeling, diving, and hiking excursions. Active volcanoes remain among the biggest attractions in Vanuatu, along with the chain's stunning beaches and shimmering blue waters. Despite the nation's harsh volcanic landscapes, rocky coast, and lack of arable land, Vanuatu is a warm and welcoming place to visit, as its people do everything they can to make tourists feel right at home.
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Solomon Islands travel guide

4.1
Scuba & Snorkeling · Flea Markets · Ruins
Build your Solomon Islands trip around the many enriching diving experiences available, or plan a relaxing break on a luxuriously sandy and peaceful beach. Witness the vibrant culture of the local people on an eco-friendly guided walk, shopping for locally made handicrafts, and sampling the local cuisine. Solomon Islands still bears the marks of a very different aspect of its history, when some of the most intense fighting in World War II happened here. Learn about this dark chapter through memorials, museums, artifacts, and relics, both on land and under the sea.
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Samoa travel guide

3.9
Geologic Formations · Waterfalls · History Museums
Enchanting Samoa and its people boast a legendarily laid-back approach to life, and clocks and set times are merely a formality here. The society remains a proud one, deeply connected to a set of millennia-old traditions known as "Fa'a Samoa"--the Samoan Way. Spread out over two main islands and several smaller landmasses, Samoa is a land of incredible contrasts and natural beauty, home to rocky volcanic mountains and expansive beaches, rugged cliffs and lush rainforests. Visitors on holiday in Samoa can easily spend their time exploring the country's exotic interior and untamed coastal reaches, which offer plenty of wildlife and fantastic landscapes. Alternatively, they can just as readily kick back in sleepy seaside villages, indulging in a full-service resort, or splash around in lagoons and at beaches that hold their place among the world's best.
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Tonga travel guide

3.8
Scuba & Snorkeling · Beaches · Nature & Parks
The Friendly Islands
Spread out over 177 islands, Tonga features an incredible array of natural environments and places to visit. "Island time" remains omnipresent in Tonga, and visitors may find that locals are in little hurry in their day-to-day lives. While sightseeing in Tonga, head for the country's three main island groupings--Vava'u, Ha'apai, and Tongatapu--to enjoy a taste of their world-class snorkeling and diving opportunities. Reefs and forests burst with life and lush foliage, and lend themselves well to enjoying the great outdoors, while sun-kissed beaches and idyllic lagoons make for fantastic lazy days along the shore. Alternatively, take advantage of the country's prolific whale-watching industry--frequently ranked among the best on the planet.
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Cook Islands travel guide

4.3
Beaches · Concerts & Shows · Scuba & Snorkeling
Scattered across a 2,200,000 sq km (849,425 sq mi) zone in the vast Pacific Ocean, roughly halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii, the Cook Islands are about as remote a holiday destination as you will find. With their pristine white-sand beaches, tranquil azure lagoons, lush tropical jungles, and teeming coral reefs, the 15 islands seem plucked from a picture postcard of paradise. Relaxation comes first and foremost, for locals as much as tourists, and you will find the laid-back lifestyle of the Cook Islanders as infectious as their warm smiles. As tempting (and fulfilling) as it might be to spend all day swinging lazily in a hammock strung between shady palm trees, plenty of adventures await exploring the idyllic scenery overland, on the waves, and undersea.
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