Pacific Explorer


Pacific Explorer

Style: PioneerGroundbreaking tours to unique destinations
Duration: 27 days
Type: GroupTravel with a small group of other travellers

Itinerary

Day 1 – Nadi, Fiji

Arrive in Nadi, the joining point of our tour. You can arrive at any time on this day. Meet your fellow travellers ahead of your departure the next day for Wallis & Futuna. Overnight Tanoa International Hotel.

Day 2 – Nadi, Fiji to Wallis & Futuna

Morning at leisure without any guided arrangements, before a transfer to Nadi airport for your flight to Wallis & Futuna, where we will stay for 3 nights. Upon arrival the group will be met and transferred to the hotel and will later be given a briefing by our local guide. Overnight Hotel Lomipeau. (B.D)

Days 3 and 4 – Wallis

Although a quiet island, there is enough to keep visitors occupied for a couple of days.  What Wallis lacks in lofty emerald peaks and pearly white beaches it makes up for with its outrageously clear-blue lagoon, weird circular crater lakes and extensive archaeological sites tucked away in the bush. It is a big, flat jungle of a place where traditional life is played out behind plain, modern concrete walls. Over the next couple of days we will visit some of the island’s archaeological sites. In addition we will take a look at Mata’Utu, the country’s administrative and business centre. Overnight Hotel Lomipeau. (2 nights – B.L.D)

Day 3 - Round the Island tour including lake and visit the Tongan Ruins.

Day 4 - Church history tour and picnic lunch

Day 5 – Wallis & Futuna to Noumea, New Caledonia

After breakfast there will be a visit to the capital before an early light lunch. After lunch transfer to the airport for a flight to Noumea. Overnight Hotel Le Lagon. (B.L)

Upon arrival in Noumea transfer to our hotel.

Day 6 – Noumea Discovery day tour

Today we start with a tour of the city and a stop at the market before driving to the Tjibaou Cultural Centre for a 3.5hr guided tour. We visit the main points of interest including the Place d’Cocotilers, and some of the city’s museums including the Museum of New Caledonia and the Maritime History Museum. Overnight Hotel Le Lagon. (B)

Day 7 – Noumea to Port Vila, Vanuatu

We take an early morning flight to Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu. On arrival we are met and transferred to the hotel where we are given a tour briefing by our local guide. In the afternoon enjoy a city tour taking in the main points of interest including Vanuatu’s National Museum, where you can discover the Ni-Vanuatu art of storytelling through sand drawings and visit their 24hour main market. Overnight Holiday Inn Hotel.

Day 8 – Full Day Island Tour of Efate

After breakfast we depart for a full day circular tour of the island. Our first stop is at Iarofa Custom Village where we will experience some of the traditional practices and skills, and be mesmerised by an amazing fire-walking display. We continue with an opportunity for some swimming in the magnificent Blue Lagoon before visiting Pangpang to see huge ancient banyan trees and learn how they were used by ancestors. Later we will return to Port Vila. Overnight at Holiday Inn Hotel. (B.L)

Day 9 – Full Day Tour to Artok

Full day tour to Artok (a World Heritage Site)– the revered mass burial site of Chief Roi Mata and the 50+ individuals who accompanied him to the afterlife.  After Roi Mata’s burial around 400 years ago a prohibition was imposed on the island preventing people from residing there.  The maintenance of this prohibition over four centuries has led to the development of a unique biodiversity on the islands, where a number of rare and endemic plant and animal species have found refuge.  Visitors will be treated to an exclusive day-long adventure that will provide people with an appreciation of the World Heritage values of this spectacular island and its rich cultural and environmental history.

Highlights:

* The breath-taking beauty of Artok’s rich cultural landscape, protected by custom law for over 400 years

* The mass burial site of the great Chief Roi Mata, buried with over 50 members of his family and court.

* A guided tour through an ancient rainforest, unique to Vanuatu

* Fels cave – where the great chief took his last breath; and ancient rock paintings

* Scenic boat trips to and from the World Heritage sites

* BBQ Lunch included

Overnight Holiday Inn hotel. (B.L)

Day 10 – Port Vila to Tanna Island & Lowinio Traditional Village tour

After an early breakfast transfer to the airport for the morning flight to Tanna Island. The flight to Tanna Island takes in spectacular views of Port Vila Harbour, South Efate and Erromango with its beautiful coastline (clouds permitting).

On arrival we will be met and taken to our accommodation to check in and refresh before setting out to visit Lowinio, a village of the Yakel tribe and of cultural interest.  Untouched by western influence for thousands of years this primitive friendly village will capture your hearts and imagination as they step you back in time to discover what few tourists in the world get to experience.

Return to hotel with the remainder of the afternoon and afternoon at leisure. Overnight Evergreen Resort. (B.L.D)

Day 11 – Tanna Ultimate Volcano Safari

Our volcano tour begins with a 4WD journey across the island, passing local villages, dense native bush, and crossing plains of volcanic ash with stunning views as we approach Yasur Volcano. Once we reach the summit it is a short 10-minute uphill walk to the rim of the crater, where we will observe the awesome power of the world's most accessible active volcano! This ancient volcano is conspicuously located in one of the most pristine, and unspoiled corners of the globe. Late evening return to our accommodation at Evergreen Resort. (B.L.D)

Day 12 – World’s Largest Banyan & Beach Picnic tour

After breakfast visit the World’s largest Banyan Tree.  Over 200m around its girth this tree and environment is not be missed.  Welcome to swing within it on its immense vines before heading back down over white beaches for a picnic lunch.  Later we return to your hotel with the remainder of the day at own leisure. Overnight Evergreen Resort. (B.L.D)

As part of this morning’s excursion there is an option for a visit to the Blue Cave for those confident in water and competent in swimming as entry is only by sea. This can be done before or after the Banyan Tree and beach picnic.  As this activity is weather dependent it can only be confirmed on the day. Please advise your guide before leaving the hotel if you are interested.

Day 13 – Tanna Island to Port Vila

Breakfast at the hotel before a transfer to the airport for the morning flight back Port Vila. On arrival transfer to the hotel. Enjoy this day at your own leisure. Alternatively in the afternoon and evening there is an opportunity to visit the nearby downtown area for shopping or for a stroll with options to try the famed Vanuatu beef or eat at an iconic Ni-van place like L’Houstalet and try a local delicacy like flying fox (fruitbat).

Day 14 – Port Vila to Honiara, Solomon Islands

Today we leave Port Vila on an early flight to Honiara, capital of the Solomon Islands. Upon arrival, we are met and transferred to our hotel. After check-in and time to rest, we will have lunch, at own expense, before taking an afternoon drive to the west of the Capital. Overnight Coral Sea Resort & Casino.

Day 15 –Honiara City Tour & Polynesian village.

The city tour to allow us to discover many points of scenic, cultural and historic interest about Honiara and the Solomon Islands. The Honiara central market is busy, colourful, and offers local produce and crafts, after which we will visit the Parliament House, built for the people of Solomon Islands. With a commanding position, the US Peace War Memorial was constructed in 1992 for the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal. It provides an excellent view of Iron Bottom Sound and the surrounding mountainous regions of Honiara and Guadalcanal. The small National Museum accommodates the diverse cultural artefacts of the Solomon Islands. Return to our hotel or to another venue for lunch before the afternoon tour.

After lunch, you will visit the Red Beach and Polynesian village; this will give you an insight to the day to day living of the Polynesian people of the Solomons.  On our way, back there is an opportunity to stop at Betikama School and a carving shop.

Rooms will be available until departure for airport towards midnight. Coral Sea Resort & Casino. (B.L)

Day 16 – Honiara to Pohnpei, Micronesia, via Nauru

We take an overnight flight the Solomon Islands firstly to Nauru, the world's smallest island nation with a population of under 10,000 inhabitants, and covering just 8 square miles, before making a connection onto Pohnpei, capital of the Federated States of Micronesia. On arrival, we will be met and transferred to our hotel. In the afternoon take a tour to Ildiduhniap Falls, Kolonia (past ruins of the Spanish Wall and German Bell tower) and visit Kapinga village known for its traditional handicrafts.  Continue to Sokehs Ridge – part of Pohnpei’s iconic landmark and return to the hotel for dinner. Overnight Palms Hotel. (D)

Day 17 – Circle Pohnpei Tour

Full day Circle Pohnpei Tour including picnic lunch.  On this scenic drive the stops include the ruins of Nan Madol, and Kepirohi Falls for lunch.  We will continue onto the College of Micronesia campus and the seat of the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia, Palikir; before heading back to venue for dinner and hotel for overnight. Overnight Palms Hotel. (B.L.D)

Day 18 – Pohnpei to Kiribati

This morning we take a very early morning early flight to Kiribati, another truly remote island nation, and one of the world’s smallest, situated in the middle of the Pacific. Fewer than 6,000 visitors make it here each year, making it the 4th least visited country in the world. This geographically isolated nation is untouched thanks to its seclusion and inaccessibility. Upon arrival at Bonriki International Airport, located on South Tarawa, we will be met and transferred to our accommodation on North Tarawa. Relax and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight Tabon Te Kee Kee EcoLodge. (L.D)

Accommodation at Tabon Te Kee Kee consists of traditional style buias (huts) which offer simplistic, comfortable living. Each hut is a pandanus wood structure with a locally thatched roof and raised floor, ideally suited to the island climate with cooling ocean breezes and shade. Most buias are land-based. In addition there are 2 overwater buias to accommodate couples and larger parties which subject to availability maybe allocated to the group. Kindly note that we are unable to guarantee a particular type of buias in advance of your arrival.

Day 19 – North Tarawa, Kiribati

After taking a very early flight from Pohnpei, today will be kept free for you to relax or to enjoy North Tarawa on your own at leisure. Overnight Tabon Te Kee Kee EcoLodge. (B.L.D)

Day 20 – South Tarawa, Kiribati

After breakfast transfer to South Tarawa, home to the largest concentration of the population, the seat of government and commercial centres. A half day tour takes in all the points of interest and the main sites including the museum and Parliament House.  In the afternoon and subject to the water levels, we will make an excursion by traditional Te Wa-Kiribati canoe in the nearby lagoon.  In the event we are unable to do the canoe excursion on this day, we will try again the following day. Overnight Utirerei Hotel. (B.L.D)

Day 21 – South Tarawa, Kiribati

Today we enjoy a half day sightseeing tour to explore the sites and hear the stories of one of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific during World War II. Explore relics of the battle, view the landing sites, and visit memorials to the battle and the lives lost. In the evening experience traditional dance.  Overnight. Utirerei Hotel. (B.L.D)

Day 22 – South Tarawa, Kiribati to Nadi, Fiji

Transfer to Kiribati’s international airport for a late morning flight to Nadi, Fiji. Arrive in Nadi mid-afternoon and then transfer to our hotel. Overnight Tanoa International Hotel. (B)

Day 23 – Nadi, Fiji to Upolu, Samoa

Transfer to Nadi airport for a flight to Apia, the island of Upolu, Samoa. Upon our arrival we will be met and transferred to our hotel. Afternoon at own leisure without any activities arrangement. Overnight Tua O Mauga Lodge. (B.D)

Day 24 –Savaii, Samoa: Tour of Savaii, Samoa

Early pick up from “Tua o le Mauga Lodge” for departure on 08:00 ferry to Savai’i. On arrival in Savai’i start a combined tour of Southern and Northern areas of the island including lunch. Highlights of the Southern tour include the island’s colourful market, Taga Blowholes and surrounding area, tapa making demonstration and Afua’au falls. Highlights of the Northern tour include the lava fields and old buildings destroyed by the lava, turtle sanctuary and endemic birds. Continue to hotel and check-in. Overnight Stevenson Manase Resort. (B.L.D)

Day 25 –: Apia, Upolu Samoa

Drop off at Salelaloga for the morning ferry back to Apia, Upolu. On arrival in Apia transfer to Taumeasina Island Resort’s restaurant for a traditional Samoan lunch. After lunch we visit Sua Ocean Trench in Lotofaga Village.  ‘Sua’ translates as ‘big hole’ – here we will see a natural deep swimming hole surrounded by lush tropical foliage. 

This beautiful scenic drive follows the North East coast of Upolu passing the spectacular Falefa Falls and through the Le Mafa Pass (1700ft above sea level) which has breathtaking views of the East and South coastlines.  The scenic drive takes us through lush green forests, waterfalls, plantations and traditional Samoan villages.  Enroute we stop for a viewing of the famous To Sua Ocean Trench in Lotofaga Village.  To Sua translate as ‘big hole’ – here you will see a natural deep swimming hole surrounded by lush tropical foliage.  Access to the water is via a long ladder giving you the opportunity to swim should they wish to do so.  Continuing on, we then stop at the beautiful white sand Faofao beach with a chance to relax and take in the magnificent surroundings.  We then begin our return trip following the scenic South West Coast and over the cross-Island path where you will experience the lush tropical rain forests.  Our last stop is Papapaiatai Falls, which spectacularly drops into a dormant volcanic crater.  We then pass the Bahai temple experiencing great views as we descend towards Apia. Overnight Tanoa Tusitala. (B.L.D)

Day 26 –: Apia Upolu, Samoa to Nadi, Fiji

In the morning we explore Apia on a guided tour. Today much of Apia looks as it did when Robert Louis Stevenson settled here in 1889. Our sightseeing will include a visit to the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum, situated in the hills to the south of Apia. This museum, with its spectacular setting, showcases and preserves the memories and lifestyle that drew him and his family to Samoa. After lunch (at own expense) we transfer to the airport for our afternoon flight to Nadi, Fiji. Upon arrival transfer to our hotel for the last night of the tour. Overnight Tanoa International Hotel. (B)

Day 27 – Tour Ends

Our tour ends after check-out from the hotel. A transfer will be provided to the airport for your international departure (B)