Flights between some of the Pacific Islands
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Mar 1, 2012 11:52 AM Last Post By: Marcus72
Feb 25, 2012 5:32 AM
Flights between some of the Pacific IslandsHello, my name is Clara and I'm 18 years old and I live in Denmark. This summer I will finish high school, and then I'm going to work a bit, before I'm going to travel the world in 2013 (so exciting!!).
I'm planning on backpacking in Asia, then Australia and after that the Pacific Islands, Hawaii, through to New York and then head home (Denmark).
However, it has been a bit difficult for me to plan the trip to the Pacific Islands and therefore I was looking for some help. My idea for a route was: Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Bora Bora, Tahiti. I was thinking about 2 months, so I would have about 1 week every destination.
I planned the route based on the locations of the different islands, so I'll be travelling the shortest distance possible, if you know what I mean? I prefer travelling by plane, but I will do boats too of course if that is more convenient, but I just figured the distances are to huge.
But now I'm having some trouble with figuring out the routes. I've read a lot about the different islands on wikitravel and especially under the subject "Get in" as of how to get there, but is it really true that between some of the close islands, there aren't any flights? For example between Vanuatu and Tuvalu? Will it be necessary for me to do alot of flying forth and back between certain islands as for example Fiji, because they have most flight connections?
And do you know how/on which websites I should look for plane tickets and how it works with flights between these islands? And how are the prices? I know it's not going to be cheap, but am I just being unrealistic and naive?
I have checked other post on this site and searched on the internet for some tips to travel the Pacific Islands, but I haven't been able to find anything, and a lot of links from these forums, which I thought would be helpful, unfortunately came up dead. I also tried some links for the FAQ 29, but they were also dead.
By the way, have I missed any islands, which you think I just have to visit? Or should I even drop some of them, maybe beacause they're not very interesting or are pretty much the same as some of the other islands?
Is my timeline realistic with 2 months? I've checked the weather, and I've concluded that the weather will be warm all year around, but to avoid rain I should probably be going between december-march.
Thank you very much for your time and help, I hope I'm not being a troll (whatever that is) :-)
Feb 25, 2012 10:06 AM
1I'll provide you some info regarding flights.
is it really true that between some of the close islands, there aren't any flights? For example between Vanuatu and Tuvalu?
Yes, it is. Tuvalu only has flights to Fiji and, if memory serves me, only twice a week.
There aren't direct flights from Tonga to Samoa. There aren't direct flights from Samoa to the French Polynesia.
Air Pacific has flights from Nadi to Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. They are your main option for transport so take a look at their web for fares, schedules, special sales...
From the Solomon Islands to Vanuatu, take a look at the web of Air Vanuatu.
In order to go to the French Polynesia, I think you'll have to backtrack till New Zealand. An alternative would be to backtrack to New Caledonia.
Bora Bora only has domestic flights. Take a look at the web of Air Tahiti for schedules and fares.
Feb 25, 2012 2:35 PM
2Suggest Australia - Vanuatu - Fiji - NZ - Cook Islands - Tahiti - Hawaii. There are direct flights between all these countries. You will sample a mix of Australian, Melanesian, Kiwi and Polynesian destinations along the way.
Rarotonga in the Cook Islands has some marvellous backpacker accommodtion right beside beautiful lagoon areas - easy and cheap to travel around this main island using the public bus service, or hiring scooters. Air NZ flies into Rarotonga from Auckland near daily. Virgin Australia flies between Auckland & Rarotonga 4 times week.
Air Rarotonga/Tahiti Nui has a weekly service between Papeete and Rarotonga. Air Tahiti Nui to Bora Bora
Hawaiian Airlines has a weekly service from Papeete to Honolulu.
NZ has lots of good budget accommodation, it's a beautiful country and there are great options using bus services including Naked Bus, Kiwi Experience, Stray & Intercity. Air NZ has 'grab-a-seat' domestic fares.
Air NZ & Air Pacific fly Nadi to Auckland.
Air Vanuatu flies Port Vila to Auckland.
Feb 25, 2012 3:05 PM
3Flights around the Pacific are not cheap, even when you find ways to avoid backtracking. I'd strongly recommend limiting the number of countries that you visit, and spending longer in each, both from an economic and experience point of view.
For example, with one week in Fiji, you'd barely scratch the surface, only seeing the more "touristy" places. You probably wouldn't see much difference to your one week in Samoa. With several weeks and cheaper internal flights you could see several of the Fijian islands (which can offer very different experiences), get more off the beaten track and understand the culture a bit better. Also, bear in mind that internal flights / boats etc can be subject to weather and "island time" so don't make the mistake of maximising your time in each country by relying on tight connections.
Of your eight destinations, I'd cut back to 3 or 4 max.
Finally - "to avoid rain I should probably be going between december-march".... not sure where you found this, or which island group it was with reference to, but Fiji is pretty flooded right now ;)
Feb 26, 2012 2:42 AM
4Don't miss Solomon Islands. It has much less tourist infrastructure than Vanuatu or Fiji, making it worth seeing as you will find it easy to get closer to the people and culture. However, the bigger countries like Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji probably need two weeks to see much of them.
You can fly from Brisbane, Australia to Honiara in 3 hours on either Solomon Airlines, Virgin or Our Airline. Between the 3, there are flights every day. From there, use Air Vanuatu or Air Pacific to fly to Vanuatu, then Fiji.
And I agree with the previous post. December to March is the wettest season. The driest is about June to October.
Feb 26, 2012 11:05 AM
5Thanks alot for your answers, they've helped me a great deal.
About the weather, I do know that the rain period is from December-March, and that was also what I meant and what I had thought about, when I wrote the question, but by accident I must have written the opposite! :-)
What I am searching for with visiting these islands is (of course) a beautiful view: paradise, wonderful beaches, which sweeps you off your feet. But that's not all of it of course! I would also like to do some diving (I'm planning on taking one of those courses, that teaches you how to dive, in Australia before heading to the islands). Then I want to see some "tourist attractions" - historical monuments etc., all the classic things. But I also want to "get down" with the local people and experience the culture, if you know what I mean.
But like a lot of cities and beaches in Spain are very much alike with a lot of beaches and cities in France, I would imagine, that also a lot of the Pacific Islands is very much alike with each other.
And therefore I would like to ask you which islands YOU would recommend, that I would go visit. Which islands do YOU think will satisfiy my expectations, if I only had to chose 3-4 destinations. Which of these islands stands out and are their very own and on which islands would I be able to make the most out of it and the most out of my trip?
I've read a lot about the different places on the internet, but it doesn't really give me a real impression of the islands in the same way, that advice from people who have explored the islands can give me.
At last, I would like you to keep in mind, that I am (sadly) not a billionaire. I am not expecting it to be cheap though, but of course I don't have the money to fly forth and back and stay on islands that only have 5-stared hotels.
I'm looking for that trip and route, which would be most convenient for me and which will accommodate my wishes best, be it 4 weeks on Fiji or 4 weeks on 4 small different destinations/islands.
Any suggestions for a route?
And again thank you very much, I really appreciate it!
Btw, I am open for the Philipines as well!
Feb 27, 2012 3:16 AM
6I don't think Solomon Islands has any 5-star hotels. The best way to meet the locals is to stay in one of the church rest houses, like Chester or St Agnes where you can talk to local people. these are popular and should be booked in advance. Prices are quoted in Solomon dollars (SBD). $7SBD=$1 Australian.
Mar 1, 2012 11:52 AM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$429.30 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$376.32 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$364.71 per night