5 ultimate adventures on the Pacific Islands

    5 ultimate adventures on the Pacific Islands
    By admin


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    Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

    5 adventures on the Pacific Islands

    5 adventures on the Pacific Islands
    By admin


    SCALE A VOLCANO IN VANUATU

    Give it a go:

    The glow of 361 metre high Mount Yasur Volcano on the island of Tanna is thought to have been what caught the eye of Captain James Cook during the first European sailing journey to Vanuatu, in 1774. It's also the world's most accessible live volcano; while it's been erupting nearly continuously for over 800 years and generally erupts several times an hour, it can usually be approached safely.

    In terms of photography, the volcano is best viewed at dusk, when there's enough light to illuminate the crater rim, with the red lava producing clouds of ash at their most visible and photogenic. At night, visitors will have the opportunity to see nature's most impressive fireworks display.

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    Need to know:

    Clients can walk metres from the rim of Mount Yasur Volcano during Adventure World's eight-day Volcano Discovery trip, which is part of its First Footprints collection. Prices start from $1169. For more information, visit www.adventureworld.com.au

    PARAGLIDING IN NEW CALEDONIA

    Give it a go:

    What better way to take in stunning New Caledonia than from the air? There are several peaks from which to do it, but one of the best is at the southern tip of Noumea. It's called colline du Ouen Toro (Ouen Toro Hill) and it is around 130 metres in height. Panoramic views over the shore and the nearby islands are the reward for the participant, whether they're a seasoned glider or new to the sport. Arc en Ciel is one of the local tour operators offering this experience.

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    Need to know:

    Clients seeking accommodation in Noumea can stay at Royal Tera Beach Resort & Spa, which offers 108 spacious suites, all with balcony, lounge, kitchen, and either one or two bedrooms. A one-bedroom seaside suite is priced from 215 euros per night. For more information, visit www.tera-hotels-resorts.com

    SLATHER ON THE MUD IN FIJI

    Give it a go:

    A small stream with steam rising from it greets you at the Sabeto Mud Baths, located halfway between Nadi and Lautoka. Follow a trail (as well as your nose, with the smell of sulphur) and you'll soon arrive at a mild, medium and hot pool – where reinvigorating and replenishing your skin turns into a most enjoyable experience. Covering yourself in mud – not to mention others too – is a strangely satisfying task. A nominal entry fee is charged for visitors.

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    Need to know:

    Topdeck offers the 10-day Fijian Fantasy, which visits Nadi, Mango, Uprising and Volivoli beaches and Mantaray Island. A dip in the Sabeto mud pools, visits to local villages, exploring pristine beaches and a jungle trek are among the highlights. Prices start from $1399. For more information, visit www.topdeck.travel

    TAKE THE PLUNGE IN SAMOA

    Give it a go:

    From waterfalls to waterholes and cave pools, Samoa has no shortage of hidden gems of the water variety. And one of the most scenically splendid offerings is To Sua Ocean Trench, located in Lotofaga village, on the south coast of the island of Upolu (one of Samoa's two main islands). To Sua means Big Hole in Samoan – so it's little surprise that there's an on-site ladder to provide access to the turquoise waters below. Lush foliage surrounds the swimming hole, enhancing its already photogenic appearance. There's an entrance fee for visitors.

    Need to know:

    Accommodation at nearby Seabreeze Resort is available through Coral Seas. The property opened in July last year and offers 12 villas and fales. Rates start at $108 per night. For more information, visit www.coralseas.com.au

    GO BIRD WATCHING IN PNG

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    Give it a go:

    Magnificent and rare birds can be found in many locations around Papua New Guinea. The best known are the Birds of Paradise – not the flower, but the feathered variety. Other species to keep an eye out for include colourful parrots like the Brehms Tiger Parrot, cassowaries (pictured right), the stunning Paradise Kingfishers and Black Capped Lories (pictured above). There are local operators who specialise in bird-watching tours for the real enthusiasts, otherwise a cruise around Papua New Guinea will provide plenty of opportunities to see the amazing birdlife.

    Need to know:

    Orion Expedition Cruises' 11-night West Papua and Maluku visits remote and mountainous islands in the territory of Papua. A vast array of wildlife resides among the extensive wetlands and large expanses of mangrove forest.

    Fares start from $6955 for departures in October 2012 and March 2013. Orion Expedition Cruises offers direct charter flights from Cairns to Rabaul or vice versa, with Alliance Air. Alternatively, Air Niugini offers flights to Port Moresby from Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns, with onward connections to Rabaul.

    Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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