South Pacific FAQ
Replies: 39 - Last Post: Jan 14, 2012 5:46 AM Last Post By: lagoon
Feb 22, 2005 7:27 PM
South Pacific FAQWelcome to the branch, which will take you to some of the most beautiful paradise islands on earth, some of the best beaches and some of the best dive sites...
This branch covers the Pacific Islands as well as Papua New Guinea, often referred to as PNG. Please read this thread to find the answers to common questions, and ways to find solutions fast.
THIS BRANCH DOES NOT COVER AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND; please post your questions on the AUS & NZ branch.
For questions related to Hawaii, you might also want to check out the USA branch. And as quite a few people visit the South Pacific for scuba diving, also check out the Diving & Snorkelling branch. For health related questions, you might want to have a look at the Health branch. If you plan to sail around in the South Pacific, you can also find useful information on A Life on the Ocean Wave. Stuck with a translation of some local languages? Consult the experts on Speaking in Tongues.
Feel free to add information you think is helpful to other fellow travellers (start with a short headline in bold in order to make browsing through this thread easier).
Edited by: prayerbabies
Feb 22, 2005 7:39 PM
Please remember to do a search before you ask a question, quite often that question (or one very similar to it) has been asked and answered many times already. Following a couple of FAQ links that can be very helpful.
Find answers to common questions about your trip in Lonely Planet's Trip FAQ. . Here, you will find answers and many links on the following subjects: Before you go, Visas, Health and Safety, Transport, Accommodation, Money and Costs and Weather.
Loads of information about transportation can be found on Lonely Planet's Travel Services FAQ.
For some condensed information about the different countries, including health, visa and weather info as well what to do, check out Lonely Planet Destination Guides.
Last but not least, arm yourself with a guide book, e.g. Lonely Planet's South Pacific guide books.
Feb 22, 2005 7:52 PM
Feb 22, 2005 7:59 PM
3Papua New Guinea
Here are some links with general information about PNG; many contain lots of other links which will even take you further:
PNG is among the best dive places in the South Pacific, if not worldwide. Following a few links that provide info about scuba diving:
Feb 23, 2005 12:54 AM
Papeete.com - Tahiti Sun Travel
Excellent Web site – lists most accommodations on the islands
The place to start.
A fun interactive Web site – great for viewing accommodation locations.
The official site
A very active forum. If you want feedback on upscale resorts that is the place.
Valuable information for every budget can be gleaned from the forums. Be sure to use the search function.
Another forum with some local participants
Ferry Schedules and Prices - scroll down
Air Tahiti Airpasses may have to copy and paste link - http://www.airtahiti.aero/articles.php?id=69 This is the local carrier.
Air Tahiti Schedules may have to copy and paste link - http://www.airtahiti.aero/horaires.php
Faaa (Papeete Airport) to the Moorea Ferry or downtown Papeete
Take Le Truck - exit the airport, go to the main road and cross the street
LeTruck is 125 XPF during the day, 200 XPF nights (sporadic service)
There is left luggage at Faaa airport. It is pricey - costs depend on size of piece.
A gym size duffel bag costs 350 XPF per day, surfboards can run 2000 XPF plus per day.
The Moorea Le Truck does not go to Moorea airport.
Hotels are not allowed to do transfers on Moorea.
Taxis are very expensive.
If you are on a package tour your transfers will included in your cost and you need not worry about this.
If you fly into Moorea you need to buy transfers in Tahiti at the Air Moorea counter.
They are 500 xpf each way, you need two for evening arrivals.
If you arrive in the evening you must call the transport company ahead of time to let them know of your arrival.
The transport company is:
EIMO NUI Tours, Mate et LouLou,
(689 country code)
56-15-05, or 77-01-52
You will also need to call them to arrange your return.
Xe.com currency conversion -scroll to French Polynesia
Abbreviated either XPF or CFP, prices are often quoted in Euros online.
The XPF is at a fixed rate to the Euro -
1.00 EUR = 119.332 XPF
There is always a fixed charge for currnecy exchange - between 400 - 500 XPF so you are better off changing more at a time and having fewer transactions.
ATM's are tempermental.
Credit cards are widely accepted (Mastercard/Visa). Travelers checks get a better rate than cash.
To use pay phones you will need to purchase a phone card.
Feb 23, 2005 5:00 AM
5The Cook Islands
If you are interested in visiting here, the two main websites to look at are www.ck and www.cook-islands.com .
Rarotonga is the main island, only 20 miles (32km) around. The main town is Avarua. There is a lagoon surrounding about 3/4 of the island, from Muri Beach on the southeast, all around the south coast, and up along the west coast.
The weather is kind of comparable to Hawaii, in general. The rainier season is from November to April, when it is also more humid, and hotter. The drier season is from May to October, when it is a little cooler. But the lagoon is always warm enough for snorkeling year 'round. We don;t get anything like a monsoon season. Most raincomes in short bursts of a half-hour to an hour, but there are no guarantees.
The weather websites are usually incorrect in predicting the weather here. We are so small, and the little storms and fronts move around so quickly around here, it is virtually impossible to predict anything more than a few hours in advance.
Just a few other tidbits people often ask about:
There are at least a dozen internet cafes around Rarotonga, and at least one on Aitutaki.
We have the highest telephone rates in the world. To phone Canada or the UK it is NZ$3.20/minute, or about US$2.20/minute. We all use e-mail for overseas communications.
There are no discount telephone cards here, to the best of my knowledge. Telecom CI is a monopoly, and does not cooperate on overseas phone cards. They do have their own phone cards, but the rate is the same as from a regular phone, plus there's a 40c charge per call. Again, now you know why we use e-mail!
There is no "season" here for tourism, it is year 'round.
There are about 40 hotels/motels, and maybe 7 or 8 backpacker places. There are also rental houses available. You can get an idea of rates from the two websites above. You can book through travel agents, but many places offer discounts for direct bookings via e-mail.
Camping is not permitted. All land is privately owned.
From LAX, Air New Zealand has flights three times a week. That flight stops in Tahiti on the way here, and back.
There is a once-a-week flight to and from Fiji.
There are about ten flights to and from New Zealand from here.
There currently are no flights to or from Hawaii. You have to go via Fiji, and it gets expensive.
Virgin serves the Cooks from Australia via Christchurch New Zealand (as of March 2005)
The outer islands:
Almost all outer island travel is by air (Air Rarotonga).
There are freighters that serve the outer islands, but the schedules are very erratic, there aren't ferries as in some other South Pacific countries. So, you pretty much have to fly wherever you want to go.
Aitutaki is the most popular, with a large lagoon. RT airfares are about NZ$320, but there are often deals available. There are two resorts, several smaller places, and a few in the backpacker range. Only a few percent of the people that visit Rarotonga also go to Aitutaki.
Atiu is the next most visited, but only by a few hundred or so people a year. You can do a triangle that includes Aitutaki and Atiu. There are a couple of motel-style places, and a couple of backpacker places.
Mauke, Mitiaro, Mangaia--these are not commercialized at all, and only get several dozen tourists a year. Mangaia is the most mysterious, and gets very few tourists. If you want to get away from modern things, this is the place to go. Mauke and Mitiaro have the friendliest people, though they are quite shy on Mitiaro, and more outgoing on Mauke.
Of the above, only Aitutaki has a lagoon. The others are raised coral, so if you want waterports, choose Aitutaki. If yo want more exploring etc., choose one of the others.
These are about 700-800 miles north of Rarotonga. Airfares to Manihiki and Penrhyn, the two main islands, are about NZ$1100-1200 and that is from Rarotonga. Both are true atolls, with little islets surrounding a large lagoon. There are a couple of guest houses on each island. There are freighters that go every three or four weeks, but don't eat much while on board, and bring a lot of Dramamine, it is not a Princess cruise.
OK, I could go one for another few hours, but I'll stop here.
Please do a little research before you ask your questions. The above websites are very good on most things related to the Cooks, especially the privately-run www.ck , The www.cook-islands.com is the website of the tourist office, still very good in many ways, but with less opinion and detail than www.ck .
Feb 24, 2005 12:19 AM
6Quick stopover in French Polynesia
Many people seem to have a short stopover in FP, tight budget and no guidebook.
So here is the conventional wisdom of what to do:
If you arrive in the middle of the night hang out at the airport.
It’s not a comfy airport for sleeping (no carpets, plastic bucket seats) but it’s clean and pleasant.
There’s the usual pricey snack bar.
In the morning Le Truck to the Moorea ferry wharf.
Take the ferry to Moorea. (See my post above.)
The least expensive places to stay on Moorea are Camping Nelson
and Moorea Camping.
They are both on the beach and practically next to each other. Take Le Truck on Moorea there. (It will take you across the beautiful northern half of the island, traveling past the breathtaking bays.) They are on a small touristy strip with shops and restaurants.
Another budget choice is Haapati Camping but that is a bit out of the way.
(689) 56 43 02, firstname.lastname@example.org
When you return to Papeete you can try storing your bags for free at the Tourist Office (closes at 5pm) or ask at the Prince Hinoi hotel if they will store your bags (300 xpf?).
You can visit the market in Papeete. At approx. 6:30 pm the food trucks (roulettes) set-up on the waterfront by the tourist office. Lights are strung on the trees, a lovely atmosphere.
You’ll see other tourists with their luggage enjoying their last meal in FP.
Feb 24, 2005 10:39 PM
7Tips for getting more replies to your questions:
1- Use the Thorn Tree search engine. See if someone has already asked your question by pressing the "Search" button and typing the keywords. Some questions are done often, like "Where should I go in Fiji?", so they don't get many replies because people would answer the same thing again.
2- Read a few pages of posts. The most frequently asked questions are covered at least every week. I recently traveled for several months through the South Pacific and had the need to post only a couple of questions on the TT. All replies to my other questions had already been answered on previous pages.
3- Update your profile. When you are logged in, click on "Profile" at the top of your page and mention anything about you that would be helpful to know under "Bio". An 18 year old Brit on his/her first trip abroad usually wants different advice from an Australian family with an infant, or a couple in their 80s from San Diego... the more you write about yourself, the better your answer will be. Don't forget to check "Profile Visibility" after that, and click on "Update Profile" afterwards.
4- Tell us what your main interests are. You will get different answers depending on whether you want to visit a museum, watch dance performances, participate in a Kava ceremony, spend your time at the beach, attend festivals in the countryside, go scuba diving or go hiking. If someone asks to have an itinerary designed for them and doesn't even mention whether they prefer cities or nature, five-star resorts, hostels or a basic bure/fale, I generally go to the next question on the theory that either they are not seriously looking for an answer or will not find my opinion useful as I travel differently than they do.
5- Avoid asking general questions like "What is there to do in Papeete?" People who know the answers are probably tired of typing that much stuff for people they don't know and may not answer. Do some of your own research first to ask informed questions about specific things. If you've already done some research and got part of the answer, please tell us, so that we don't write on things you already know.
6- What's cheap for you? When using words like "cheap, reasonable, nice, fun, interesting, authentic, etc" give some idea of what such words mean to you. Some people's idea of expensive might mean moderately priced to me. Please don't use slang; most TT users are non-English speakers and sometimes it's inconvenient to need to look up in the dictionary in order to understand a question.
7- If you post and don't get many responses or have additional questions, try adding a more specific reply to your original post to move the original thread up the board. This is far preferably to starting a new thread, which annoys everyone who has responded to your post and doesn't let new people have the benefit of what has already been written.
8- Thank people for the answers, either in the thread or with a PM. And don't abuse people for not giving you the answer you wanted. Perhaps you got the wrong answer because you didn't ask the right question, or you didn't ask it in the right way.
9- For the first time traveler I would suggest to take a look at Art of Travel
10– Any questions should be posted on the forum, not on this FAQ thread.
11– If you come across advertisers or spammers posting about their business on the TT (or through private messages) please send RomanB the details and he will take care of them.
Happy Travels :-)
Feb 25, 2005 12:59 PM
8Maps and images of the Pacific Islands
*American Samoa: *map
*Cook Islands: *map and slideshow
*Federated States of Micronesia: *map and slideshow
*Fiji: *map and slideshow
*French Polynesia & Tahiti: *map and slideshow
Marshall Islands: map
*New Caledonia: *map and slideshow
*Northern Mariana Islands: *map
*Palau: *map and slideshow
*Pitcairn Islands: *map
*Papua New Guinea: *map and slideshow
*Solomon Islands: *map and slideshow
*Vanuatu: *map and slideshow
*Wallis & Futuna: *map
Taken from Lonely Planet Worldguide and Lonely Planet Images
Feb 25, 2005 2:19 PM
9A short guide to the highlights in the South Pacific
Federated States of Micronesia:
The Northern Mariana Islands:
Western Province: magnificent aerial views of Roviana and Marovo lagoons.
Wallis & Futuna:
Taken from Lonely Planet's South Pacific guidebook.
Feb 26, 2005 2:53 AM
On the map of the Cooks, there are links to information about some islands, etc.
On the Atiu link, it states
"There are several daily flights between ¢tiu and Rarotonga"
---This is incorrect. There are several weekly flights, but only one a day at the most.
As to Rarotonga, it states about Wigmore's Falls:
"You can drive all the way to it, though the last stretch is rugged and calls for a 4WD."
This is no longer correct. The road is pretty much gravel all the way, almost any car can make it all the way. This may not seem like a big correction, but the last 200 m before you reach the falls are often full of a few thousand mosquitoes, so if you're walking you'll have to pour on the insect repellent. So, don't abandon your rental car at the main road, you can usaually drive all the way to the falls. Motorbikes also can easily make it.
Mar 11, 2005 6:27 AM
11SOUTH PACIFIC TOURISM WEBSITES
Tahiti & French Polynesia
Rarotonga & Cook Islands
Federated States of Micronesia
Papua New Guinea
Apr 10, 2005 4:29 PM
12Souvenirs from the South Pacific
Check out this thread to get an idea what you could bring back from your trip to the South Pacific.
Feel free to contribute to that thread if something has not been mentioned yet.
Jun 2, 2005 12:00 AM
13Noumea (Grande Terre, New Caledonia)
To see - Anse Vata beach (inclThursday nite market) also nearby Baie de Citrone
- Cultural centre incl fabulous Enzo Piano building
- Botanical garden
- Duck Islands water sports
- Acquarium (hopefully the new one is open by now)
- Place des Cocotieres (central square with coconut trees) surrounded by interesting range of shops
To eat on budget
- market by port for fruit/veg and yummy pastries. Also the cafe in there for brekky
- great supermarkets for breakfast/lunch supplies, wide selection cheese, salamis, wines etc from france
they also have (in the city centre) some hot meals - roast chickens, curry etyc
- "foot long" filled baguettes from one of the many sandwhich shops in town
- La Fiesta(name?) on Baie de Citrone for spanish food and pizza
- KFC and Mcdonalds
To see - daytrips
- Amadee lighthouse
- Isles of Pines
Jul 18, 2005 12:19 PM
14VANUATU...INFO, TIPS & TRICKS: Read this
VANUATU....INFO, TIPS AND TRICKS
Hello, I am Hilda from the Netherlands. I have been in Vanuatu for 7 weeks now and I am liking it! What amazes me is that not many backpackers find their way out here. Too bad! It is so cheap nowadays, for example, a flight with Virgin Blue (Pacific Blue) from Brisbane to Port Vila is around $ 500, - (including all airport taxes and departure tax). Air Vanuatu also offers flights that can be booked through their website. Someone told me Flightcentre New Zealand offers good deals on packages to Vanuatu. Daily expenses in Vanuatu can be as high or low as you want, depending on what you do. There are some hotels that also cater for backpackers and who offer cheap rooms or dorm style accommodation.
Being on a pacific island, meeting island-people, staying in a village, experiencing “island-time”, enjoying local food, let’s say…get a taste of the South Pacific…that’s what you can do too! All of this is so different from travelling in Australia or New Zealand. I would say…if you want to experience something really special…book a flight now that you are already in the area and have a look around Vanuatu.
You can book a ticket online (www.virginblue.com.au or www.airvanuatu.com)or book through a travel agent or flight centre (like Statravel or Flight centre). There are many islands (I think in total 84) and every island has its own charm. For example: Efate (with capital Port Vila and the waterfalls), Epi (known for its dugong-sea cow, rainforest and mountains), Tanna (working volcano, you can actually walk straight up to the rim/mouth of Volcano Yasur and see the lava inside), Ambrym (2 lava lakes), Santo (diving on the largest intact shipwreck of the world, the SS President Coolidge) and Pentecost (witness a land diving ceremony during certain months of the year, the way of bungy jumping before it became famous, this is not done with elastics, but with vines around their feet and from towers built out of vines and timber).
I visited Nguna Island, just North of Efate, for a couple of days. A beautiful place to stay and the people are so friendly. They have a Marine Protected Area, which is teeming with fish life and has beautiful coral. The MPA also does turtle tagging and you (as a tourist) can come along to spot turtles and you can even sponsor one. If you do so, your money (5000 Vatu) will go to the MPA and will be used to keep the Marine Protected Area in order, to do surveys on the reef (like Reef check) and they will be able to use the money for one of their other projects. You in return can name the tagged turtle and you can experience a turtle from very close by. You also get a certificate with all the information of your turtle (length, head width, species, sex, etc) and you can check the website to see if your turtle is spotted again. If this is the case you can read how much it has grown since you saw it and of course…where it has been seen. I was staying in a bungalow and I had to pay only 2000 Vatu per night and it was including 3 meals of local food! You can take a truck from Port Vila and then take the ferry across to Nguna Island. This will cost you around 1000 Vatu one-way. So…all and all I would definitely advise you to go there. The website of the MPA is: www.marineprotectedarea.com.vu. For people on sailboats who want to visit Nguna Island: there is also a mooring, which can be used in return for a small donation.
Visas to enter Vanuatu are not necessary if you are from: Commonwealth countries, EU countries, Fiji, Japan, Norway, Philippines, South Korea, Switzerland or USA. Other nationalities can apply for a visa at the Immigr. Department in Port Vila. Your visa can be extended up to 4 months. Check for information on (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or www.vanuatutourism.com/visa-info.htm)
Languages spoken in Vanuatu are: English, French and Bislama. Bislama is a sort of Pidgin English. Very interesting to listen to and to learn of course. Once you know a few words (like: Thank you= Tank yu tumas, How are you?=Olsem wanem?) and you try to speak with the locals, they will reward you with smiles. You show them that you are interested in their language, their culture and therefore....them as people.
Oh yeah…no worries about being eaten! Cannibalism doesn’t exist here any more (as far as we know). Vaccinations / immunizations are not required for Vanuatu. If you are planning to visit the outer islands, malaria medications are advised for those areas. Cyclone season is from December to May. Rainy season is from January to March. Best time to visit would be from May to October. Busiest months are June, July and September.
For the divers amongst us: best time for diving is probably September, October and November. Nice clear seas and not too busy. Vanuatu’s waters are teeming with fish life and has a lot of different corals. There are many shipwrecks to dive on, most famous being the President Coolidge in Santo. Local dive masters, who have dived these waters for many years can show you the most obscure and interesting sea creatures. If you are very lucky you might even see a dugong. This rare creature is also called sea cow. They are very friendly and quite curious.
Some tips: Exchange rates for 1000 Vatu are: AUS$ 11,47 US$ 8,57 EURO 7,25 and NZ$ 12,58. Check current rates at www.oanda.com. You can take a local bus for 100 Vatu within Port Vila Centre and 200 Vatu for areas close to Port Vila. Bring your own snorkelling gear (or buy it here-better than hiring). Internet is quite expensive and pretty slow. Ask around to get to know the happy hours for cheaper internet. International phone calls are half the price if you call after 8 o’clock at night or on Sundays. Vanuatu is not a place to bargain, so if you go to the market or stores…the price you see is what you have to pay. Water from the tap is safe to drink in Port Vila town. Other places: just ask local people. Before swimming or snorkelling, ask the locals if there’s anything you should be aware of and if it is safe to swim or snorkel in that area. Maybe you have to watch for rips, animals or sharp rocks. ATM’s are available in Port Vila and there are also possibilities to change money. Tickets to outer islands can be a lot cheaper if you show them your international ticket (up to 15 or 20 % cheaper!). If you want to visit the outer islands, ask an inbound tour operator (like Adventure Centre) to help you sort out the tickets. Some flights only go once a week, some twice, depending on the destination. So you really have to get things organized, especially if you have limited time in Vanuatu. Souvenirs like mini-sailing canoes, necklaces, carvings, island dresses, island shirts, grass skirts, etc. can be bought at the market for a good price.
Food tips: The market is a good place to buy fruits and food. A big bag of passionfruit is only 100 Vatu, big papaya 100 Vatu, grapefruit for 30 Vatu, pineapple for 300 Vatu, green beans for 150 Vatu, bunch of bananas for 100 Vatu and a fresh coconut for 30 Vatu. For fresh fish go to the supermarket (like the big Au Bon Marche in area Number Two) or go to the “ Fish market”, which is a store (also called LTP) opposite the bakery called La Parisienne (ask your bus driver). At the fish market they will even cut it to sashimi if you ask for it. Wahoo is about 1200 Vatu a kilo and also very nice for sashimi. At the supermarket you can buy French bread for 50 Vatu and if available, a kilo of fresh tuna for 700 Vatu.
If you want to go out for dinner and don’t want to spend a fortune: You can go to one of the food stalls at the market and eat a stir-fry (for example) for 250 Vatu or lap-lap (local food) for 150 Vatu. The big supermarket Au Bon Marche (area number Two) has take away food and is cheap. There are some fast-food places (for example Island Chicken, El Gecko’s Take away). Seaview (near the market) has very cheap food, either downstairs or upstairs. The Waterfront (the place to be!) has good food for a reasonable price and is a good place to meet people. Jill’s cafe (next to ANZ-bank) is a nice place to grab breakfast, burger, fruit punch or a sandwich. Flaming Bull Restaurant is also a good place to have dinner (Fish&chips 750 Vatu and steak 1200 Vatu). Some places have live music. Waterfront has a band every night and there are more places like that (again, ask around). La Pizzeria (opposite Au Bon Marche-area Number Two) has the best food in town according to some friends of mine and is very cheap (Steak 750 Vatu for example and a large pizza for 1400 Vatu). Rossi’s Restaurant is a nice place to get a cup of coffee and read the latest news (they usually have Australian and New Zealand- papers). A fairly new restaurant is Kanpai. This is a Japanese sushi-restaurant and the place has a great view over the inner harbour. The food is excellent and for a good price ( sushi-set 1200 Vatu, sashimi 1500 Vatu, Udon 700 Vatu).
Things to do in Vanuatu: swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving (also dive courses), sailing, shopping, horse riding, playing tennis, visiting the market, hiking, (game) fishing, budget bottom-fishing, seeing/learning how to dance, learning how to weave a basket, kayaking, parasailing, golfing, mountain bike cycling, volcano tours, visiting the waterfalls, visiting a village or archaeological sites, looking for carvings, sand drawings, tam tams or other souvenirs, posting a postcard from the one and only underwater post-box at Hideaway Island or posting a card in the post-box on top of Yasur Volcano in Tanna, renting a car/scooter and drive around the island. And there’s a lot more to do.
Cheap “do it yourself’ trips around Port Vila are: Visit the Cascade Waterfalls (bus 200 Vatu one-way, entrance fee 1000 Vatu), take the ferry to Erakor Island and hang out/swim at the beach for free (bus 200 Vatu one-way), take the ferry to Iririki Island (free), walk to the lookout and sit on the beach. Or take the ferry to Hideaway Island (bus 200 Vatu one-way, ferry 500 Vatu return) and spend the day snorkelling around the island or at the beach.
Places to stay for backpackers in and around Port Vila would be for example: Erakor Island (Starfish Lodge), Hideaway Island, Room with a view, Vila Hibiscus, Treetops Lodge, Wild Pig Hotel, Hotel Formule Holiday or La Maison Blue. Some of them have cooking facilities in the rooms, some have a share-kitchen. Enquire before booking I would say. Having access to a kitchen is a good way to save lots of money that you could use for much better things! A new place named “City Lodge” just opened in the middle of town (opposite the markets). Double room with ensuite bathroom costs 4700 Vatu. Shower is very good, the only downside is that the beds are a bit too hard.
Vanuatu is a home to a lot of visiting sail yachts or motor yachts. Good places to meet boaties or yachties are The Waterfront, Café du Village or Anchor Inn. You might be able to get a berth on a boat, to become temporary crew (or just someone who comes along) and see some islands sailing around. You can also put a notice up on one of the noticeboards at these places. Who knows….you might even be able to sail to Fiji, New Caledonia, the Solomons, Australia, New Zealand or even Papua New Guinea. If you feel like an adventure….get some information on the captain, the boat and safety gear, how long the trip will take, what the expected conditions are (weather, currents, pressure and winds) and what they will expect you to do. Don’t get me wrong…sailing is not just fun and relaxing…it can be pretty hard too. Depending on the other people on board and the weather conditions. Here’s some good advice I got from a sailing friend (which turned out to be great advice): if you are going on a passage, take some food-items you really like (maybe chocolate, Coca cola, Pringles, candy or pretzels) and hide them away from yourself and the others until you really need them, as a present to yourself. I sailed from Palau (Micronesia) to Australia, my first passage ever and it was quite an experience. Good and bad memories. Three weeks of sailing and the weather was bad. We didn’t see land the first 10 days we were sailing. Only water, water, water, water and some whales and flying fishies. I tell you…I was seasick for the first 3 days! And covered with bruises! Not getting enough sleep, because of the movements of the boat (bumping into everything) and of course the watches everyone had to do. So…realise it is not just a pleasure cruise and prepare yourself for the worst. One thing is for sure….you will learn a lot and have more knowledge! Some more advice: don’t have a hangover the day you are supposed to leave on a sailboat, remember that the first sign of seasickness is that you yawn.
Enough wise words for now. Enjoy yourself whatever you do and wherever you are. I hope someone can use this information. All the best to all you travellers! Take care! Sincerely, Hilda Kuipers
Last but not least…here are a few links:
www.virginblue.com.au (for cheap flights)
www.oanda.com (for current rates)
www.spto.org (South Pacific Tourism Organization)
www.pi-travel.co.nz (Jasons South Pacific)
This report was written by Hiske
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