From where you'd rather be. Photo: Getty Images.

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5 Chill af South Pac destinations

Published January 10th, 2017

So you’ve arrived back at work/uni/real life in general after a relaxing xmas break and are already looking for a way out, whether it's an extended lunch or heading straight for the fire escape. First step is, don’t panic, you will get through this. Second step is, book that island escape stat.

Then while you’re wiling away these summer days stuck in an office/lecture hall you’ll at least have that count down to get you through until you’re floating on water.

Here are the best close to home island getaways to get you out of the rut and dreaming of being back on aloha time...

Samoa

You’ve most likely read about Samoa’s stunning island landscape complete with lush jungles and its famous Sua Ocean Trench swimming hole in Savai’i however one of its lesser known treasures is the incredible world class waves that rival those found on Hawaii’s North Shore.

However here you won’t have to worry about crowds of other surfers. With the guidance of a local, which is advised because of some of the more perilous reef breaks, you’ll often find the island’s best swells all to yourself. Top spots on Savai’i are Lano and Ananoa Beach in the southwest and Manase and Faramalo in the north.



Vanuatu

There’s so much energy packed into Vanuatu, you won’t know where to start! From zooming around on dirt buggies to hiking the arid smoking Mount Yasur volcano. But if it’s crystal clear blue water you’re after then there’s beach horseback riding, or have a go at paddling in a traditional outrigger canoe.

Another action packed half day trip involves sailing out of Port Vila Harbour in a 60ft luxury motor sailer for the clear waters of Paradise Cove. The boat moors in 6 metres of water not far from the shore with no coral beneath the boat. Meaning you can jump off and get some of those GoPro action shots before exploring the fringing reef.


 

Happiness is paddling in an outrigger canoe in Vanuatu. Life is simple just add water. #DiscoverVanuatu Photo Credit: @jewelszee

A photo posted by Vanuatu Islands (@vanuatuislands) on


Fiji

Get out on the crystal clear waters of Fiji and make a day of it with so many options for adventure to choose from! The closest island day trip is to South Sea Island, just 30 minutes away where you can snorkel, sail and kayak or kick up the feet with a relaxing massage and sunbake on the shore. You can even explore the coral reefs and tropical marine life without having to get wet on a semi-submersible vessel.

When you take a tour, the day’s feast includes a delish salad and bbq along with, wait for it, UNLIMITED BEER, WINE and soft drinks! Yewww. The trip also features a traditional ‘meke’ song and dance by the local villagers and traditional handcrafts for sale.


 

@pavenrayat diving down in some of the clearest water we have seen

A photo posted by Jake Ward (@jakeward111) on


Cook Islands

The Cook Islands still blue waters are perfect for paddle boarding, and make for a fun way to explore while working off all those yummy tropical cocktails!

Or jump on a tour to Koromiri Island in Muri Lagoon just off Rarotonga for some out-of-this-world snorkelling and coral viewing on a glass bottom boat! During a bbq fish lunch on Koromiri you can also get in on some pareu (sarong) tying along with other local traditions.



Hawaii

There are so many waterfalls surrounded by lush jungle surrounds on Hawaii’s many islands from Wailua to Manoa Falls. Many of these waterfalls also feature beautiful hikes through the jungle, making the waterfalls themselves an even more rewarding end point. Then if you’re looking to get more acquainted with Hawaii’s wildlife, you can dive into one of its many protected coves full of marine life like Hanauma Bay or the less crowded Sharks Cove.

However when it comes to water adventures you can’t go past Hawaii’s surfing scene, more experienced surfers can surf with the best of them on Oahu’s North Shore. While beginners will feel relaxed surfing at the smaller rolling waves of the popular Waikiki Beach.




Can you hear the sound of water lapping at your feet? Of fresh coconut water being poured? And the distant pluck of a ukulele making sweet tropical island music? What are you waiting for?


 

Student Flights

Sam Aldenton

Sam Aldenton is a travel writer, digital content creator (read: takes photos/videos with her iphone and sometimes a real camera) and former retail and youth trend forecaster. When she's not off discovering the world’s best pizza (an obsession picked up from her 4-years in New York), she makes her home in Brisbane, Australia. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @samaaldenton.