Visit South Pacific Pass

This pass offers discounted airfares (by up to 50 ) on a wide variety of South Pacific routes. Nine airlines are involved and you can travel between Australia, NZ, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Tonga, Nauru, Niue, Samoa and French Polynesia. You can pretty much tailor-make your itinerary, so discuss options with a travel agent. The pass costs US 220 to US 370 per sector (depending on the sector) and you must purchase a minimum of two sectors. Additional sectors can be...

Cruise Ship

Cruise ships will never be the cheapest, or the fastest way, from A to Z but they're not just about getting there. The facilities on board usually range from luxurious to even more luxurious. Cruise-ship fares vary enormously, but generally prices start at about US 200 per day. Major port-of-calls are Noumea (New Caledonia), Port Vila (Vanuatu) and Pape'ete, Mo'orea and Bora Bora (all in French Polynesia). Out-of-the-way destinations include Pitcairn Island. Melanesian cruises usually depart...

One Week

Continue your Viti Levu exploration with a dose of diving in Beqa Lagoon (pi65) or a kayak tour up the Navua River (p165). Rest the bones with an indulgent night at the Pearl South Pacific (pi 65). Day six should place you firmly in Suva, where you can meander through the Fiji Museum (p 166), fuel up on a curry or Fijian speciality at the Old Mill Cottage (pi 73) and savour the Suva nightlife at Traps Bar (p173). Connect Internet Caf (Map p168 s 330 0777 Post Office Bldg, 10 Thomson St, Suva)...

French Polynesia

Better known by the name of its main island, Tahiti, French Polynesia is a mesmerising wonderland of reef-fringed islands and translucent aqua lagoons. Shamelessly chic and seductive, it's the kind of place where the rich and famous come to play and hedonistic honeymoon fantasies are realised. The epitome of the Pacific dream, this is one Garden of Eden so damn beautiful it's hard to believe it really exists. French Polynesia is more than just some souped up, sexy honeymoon destination,...

Restaurants

Trader Jack's (Map pp442-3 26464 www.traderjacks cookislands.com starters NZS12-16, mains NZ 11-25, platters NZ 50) Long a favourite haunt for Rarotonga's smart set, Trader Jack's was all but wiped out by the 2005 cyclones, and though the old ramshackle charm may have disappeared into the lagoon, the bar and restaurant have taken the opportunity for a complete overhaul. The nautical-themed restaurant offers top-notch fish dishes and super-sized seafood platters. Caf Salsa (Map pp442-3 22215...

Internet Access

Email and Internet access is widely available on Rarotonga. The average charge is around NZ 9 an hour, and it's often cheaper to prepay for an hour or two in advance. Cybernet.ck (Map pp442-3 23004 Avarua) Dougie's Internet Caf (Map pp438-9 27242 Muri Beach) Inside a trailer near Muri Beach. Kavera Central ( 20012 Kavera) Internet Shop (Map pp442-3 20727 Avarua S 9am-5pm Mon-Fri, 9am-1pm Sat) Wi-fi available. Telecom (Map pp442-3 29680 Tutakimoa Rd, Avarua S 24hr) Access codes are valid here...

Avoiding Mosquito Bites

Travellers are well advised to prevent mosquito bites at all times to avoid potentially serious diseases, such as malaria and dengue fever, and for their own comfort. The best advice Wear long trousers and long-sleeved shirts Use mosquito repellents containing the compound DEET on exposed areas (prolonged overuse of DEET may be harmful, especially to children, but its use is considered preferable to being bitten by disease-transmitting mosquitoes) Avoid perfumes or aftershaves Use a mosquito...

Glossary

Ahu - raised altar or chiefly backrest found on ancient ariki - paramount chief members of a noble family atoll - low-lying island built up by coral deposits aualuma - society of unmarried women (western aumaga - see aumanga (Samoa and Tokelau) aumanga - society of untitled men who do most of the fishing and farming (Polynesia) Austronesians - people or languages from Indonesia, Malaysia and the Pacific islands babai - large plant resembling taro, commonly eaten in Kiribati bai - traditional...

The midsized Matamanoa Island Resort

( 672 3620 www.matamanoa.com d incl breakfast FS330-510 (S) ) has 20 bare on a high point with verandas and views of a lovely beach, plus 13 good-value air-con units with garden views. Daily two- three-meal plans cost FS75 50 and there is a three-night minimum stay. No children under 12 are allowed. Activities include a trip to a nearby pottery village on Tavua and diving is with Aqua-Trek ( 670 2413 www.aquatrekdiving.com two-tank dives open watercourses FS190 700). Most guests arrive via a...

Traditional Medicine

The Pacific region has been settled for thousands of years and systems of treatment involving local herbs, roots and leaves have evolved over the centuries, with each region or village having its own traditional healers. Some of these folk remedies undoubtedly have effective ingredients, and governments and research institutions are currently actively investigating many of them. Extravagant claims (eg AIDS cures, aphrodisiacs) can be ignored, and it is best to avoid the more exotic compounds...

Malolo

The daddy of the Mamanuca Group has two villages, three resorts (with another under construction), mangroves and coastal forest. The island's highest point, Uluisolo (218m), offers panoramic views of the Mamanucas and southern Yasawas. Appealing to the surfer backpacker market, Funky Fish Beach Resort ( 651 3180 www .funkyfishresort.com dm d FS30 80, f from F 120 (2)6)) has bright bure with outdoor showers and a sand-floor bar serving good Australian wines and impressive food. There's also good...

Transport In Fiji

Most international flights to Fiji arrive at Nadi International Airport, with a few flights landing at Nausori International Airport near Suva. As you enter the arrivals area in Nadi, you will be greeted by serenading guitar and a sea of smiling faces, mostly representatives Fijian departure tax is incorporated into your ticket, so there is no need to pay it at the airport. of local accommodation and the many travel agencies. Nausori, 23km northeast of downtown Suva, is Fiji's second airport....

ATMs Credit Cards

Getting money out from your home bank account via ATMs is probably the best way to access cash in many Pacific countries. If you're not familiar with the options, ask your bank to explain the workings of credit, credit debit, debit, charge and cash cards. Two major advantages of credit cards are that they allow you to pay for expensive items (eg airline tickets) without having to carry wads of cash around, and they give you the best exchange rate (often lower than the advertised rate) on...

Viti Levu Highlands Nadarivatu Navai

The forestry settiement of Nadarivatu is a beautiful highland area with fresh mountain air. Hike up to Mt Lomalagi for great views (three hours return). The Forestry Office ( 668 9001) can arrange for camping, dorm accommodation or a homestay with a local family (bring provisions and give money and or groceries to cover costs). Alternatively, seek permission from the manager at Vatukoula's Emperor Gold Mining Company ( 6680630) to stay at the gold mine's spacious resthouse. About 8km south of...

Japanese B Encephalitis

Reported outbreaks Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Nauru (the potential exists for other countries in the region) Japanese B encephalitis is a serious viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes. Early symptoms are flu-like and this is usually as far as the infection goes, but sometimes the illness proceeds to cause brain fever (encephalitis), which has a high death rate. There is no specific treatment. Effective vaccination is available - it involves three inoculations over a month and is...

Taveuni

Kaleidoscopic above and beneath, this small island is a haven for divers, bushwalkers and nature lovers. Some of Fiji's highest peaks reside here, including Des Voeux Peak (1195m) and the cloud-shrouded Mt Uluigalau (1241m), the country's second-highest summit. A volcanic past has left black-sand beaches skirting the perimeter, but Lavena and Matei has white sand and lovely swimming. Those seeking to abscond from the beaten track will find opportunity here to do so but the exercise should be...

Vanua Levu

The 'mainland's' litde sibling has a personality all of its own, accented by superb diving and snorkelling, welcoming villages, unspoiled countryside and soothing resorts. The nearby Rainbow Reef has some of the best dive sites in the South Pacific, and the many deep bays are fantastic for kayaking. Although it's Fiji's second-largest island and easily accessible, Vanua Levu manages to exude a feeling of remoteness and offers a window into traditional Fijian life. The north and west of the...

Pago Pago Harbor

Gaze o Cable Car j Terminal Air Disaster utu'ei Beach_ Memorial Q ParkfcJ Mala 4 o gt Le Talu Tow 5 S uarfe Granite Utulei C iwc i Sanuana High School To Tafuna International Airport 7km ANZ Amerika Samoa Bank 1 C3 Blue Sky Communications see 7 20 Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary Office 3 D3 Feleti Barstow Public Library 4 D3 Immigration Office 5 D4 lupeli Siliva Wesley Bookshop 6 D3 A2 Telecommunications Authority 9 C3 Michael J Kirwan TV Studios 14 D3 Oceania Travel amp Tours see 8...

Budget

You may be able to arrange an overnight stay in Vatia through the National Park of American Samoa's homestay programme for details, see p524. Scanlan Motel Map p526 633 4451 Pago Pago s amp d USS30-60 This authentic backpacker haunt is perfect for those who want to pay as little as possible for a room in pricey Tisa's Barefoot Bar Map p523 622 7447 www.tlsasbarefootbar.com Alega Beach fale per person incl breakfast amp dinner US 50 This wonderful, environmentally friendly place is run by Tisa...

Central Suva O

Alpha Computer 1 C4 C4 Boulevard Central Pharmacy see 4 Boulevard Medical Centre 4 B3 British High Commission 5 B5 Colonial War Memorial Hospital 6 D2 Connect Internet Caf 7 D3 Dominion House Arcade 8 D3 Embassy of Nauru 9 C5 Embassy of Tuvalu 10 B5 C4 French Embassy see 8 German Consulate 12 B1 Hunts Travel see 8 Japanese Embassy see 8 Korean Embassy see 20 Map Shop 13 B5 Money Exchange 14 D3 Netherlands Consulate 15 D4 New Zealand Embassy 16 D3 Post Office 17 D3 Republic of Cappuccino see 54...

TOURS

Day trips and cruises to the stunning Ma-manuca and Yasawa Group islands are understandably popular. Malololailai, Mana, Beachcomber and Castaway usually take day-trippers. See pi80 and pi85 for more information. Based at Stoney Creek Resort p 154 , Wack-ing Stick Adventure Tours Map pp148-97 s 672 4673, 995 3003 www.wackingstickadventures.com offers excellent mountain-biking tours into the highlands from F 120 135 per half-day day. The easiest way to visit the majestic Viti Levu Highlands is...