The Pacific

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Quick. Turn around. It's sometimes amazing what you can discover just over the back fence. Especially when it's a true travellers' destination, packed full of challenging adventures in pristine landscapes, friendly cultural interaction and some of the planet's biggest and boldest natural spectacles.

For curious adventurers from Australia and New Zealand, visiting their South Pacific backyard is very straightforward. No jetlag means travelling days are maximised, almost everyone speaks English and excellent transport infrastructure gets visitors off the beaten track and to the heart of the Pacific smoothly and efficiently.

The easily-reached rewards include real adventures way beyond a poolside cocktail at a resort: getting active amid the hidden, jungled interiors of Pacific islands, lazy river day-journeys exploring rich biodiversity and local cultures, or underwater exploration of remote islands and atolls.

And everywhere across the Pacific Islands, visitors can expect a friendly and genuine welcome – just what you'd expect from good neighbours, really.

See below for our top 5 Pacific experiences, or click on the tabs above to explore what the Cook Islands, Fiji, Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Niue, New Caledonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu have to offer.

Highlights of the Pacific

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Our Top 5 ultimate experiences in The Pacific

Introducing our Author Brett Atkinson

Brett Atkinson

Lonely Planet commissioned seasoned travel writer, Brett Atkinson, to research the best experiences the Pacific Islands have to offer and write about them. An expert on the Pacific region, Brett travelled deeper than before to uncover his favourite adventure, cultural and nature-based experiences. Brett was on the lookout for adventures that share the true nature of the Pacific – friendly, breathtaking and accessible.

Two weeks, five countries and a couple of notebooks crammed full of great experiences: despite having made eight previous visits to the Pacific Islands, Brett Atkinson's latest assignment still produced lots of fresh and exciting adventures. Life on the road on 'island time' was an irresistible combination of friendly welcomes, natural spectacle and a regular injection of active thrill-seeking off the beaten path. As a freelance writer, Brett has travelled to more than 60 countries, but the languid and laidback trails of the Pacific remain a favourite destination. Brett lives in Auckland, the world's biggest Polynesian city, where he's never far from an easygoing Pacific vibe. See www.brett-atkinson.net for his latest travels and writing.

Getting there & away

The Pacific Islands are easily accessible by plane, with numerous carriers offering regular services from Australian and New Zealand cities such as Brisbane, Sydney and Auckland – and flights are generally only a few hours long. See individual trips for specific information for each destination, or consult the websites of our airlines.