Introducing Austral Islands
The Australs are like tropical island impostors; they do look warm. Coconut palms line the turquoise coasts and bananas flourish alongside vast taro fields. Don't let it fool you. Unless you arrive here in the months between December and April, you'd better have a couple of sweaters and some warm socks in your bag. You won't need any air-con down here and the climate is perfect for activities such as hiking and cycling.
Polynesian culture is alive and well in this remote corner and this is a great place to meet local people, eat healthy meals and settle into a quiet, yet sometimes chilly, island rhythm. The archipelago is remarkably varied, from the limestone caverns of Rurutu to the Bora Bora-like lagoon of Raivavae to the fertile slopes and windy bays of Tubuai. Tourism is developing, but at a pace that is well managed by the proud inhabitants.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009
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