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13 Day South Pacific Island Explorer: Fiji, Tonga and Samoa

13 Days (12 Nights) | $7045

Day 1: Arrive in Auckland, New Zealand

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Upon arrival in Auckland you will be transferred to your downtown accommodation. New Zealand's largest city, blending harbour islands, Polynesian culture and a vibrant city centre, Auckland has been ranked amongst top in the world as a lifestyle city.

Overnight: Rydges Hotel Auckland (Dinner)


Day 2: Auckland, New Zealand

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This morning the tour of Auckland begins. Travelling via Auckland's 'Golden Mile', the tour takes you through the university grounds past many of Auckland's historical buildings. Make a stop at the Parnell Rose Garden before continuing to Parnell Village, the Central Business District, the Mission Bay area, Tamaki Drive, and the Harbour Bridge before your visit to the Auckland Museum. Three expansive levels tell the story of New Zealand's history, from emergence as a nation through the loss and suffering of war, to its uniquely ancient natural history and priceless Maori and Pacific treasures.

Overnight: Rydges Hotel Auckland (Breakfast, Dinner)


Day 3: Auckland – Sigatoka, Fiji

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Arrive in Nadi, Fiji and then drive to Sigatoka, about an hour away by bus. Sigatoka lies at the mouth of the Sigatoka River, Fiji's second largest river, in a fertile valley known as "the salad bowl of Fiji". It's a small town with a small market and a row of local stores. The Sigatoka Sand Dunes constitute a small arid desert amidst the surrounding tropical vegetation. Important archaeological relics have been found here, establishing that Fiji was settled about 3,500 years ago. They begin at the mouth of the Sigatoka Rivers and are reached after a short walk off the Queens Highway. The remainder of the day is free to relax by the pool or seaside.

Overnight: Shangri La Fijian Resort (Breakfast, Dinner)


Day 4: Sigatoka – Suva, Fiji

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Set off this morning on a country road toward the interior along the lush Sigatoka River Valley. Small villages, patches of tropical forest, and cultivated areas alternate as you head for the Tavenui Hill Fort, a reflection of more turbulent times. The site was named by Tomjan warriors, whose descendants live in a village nearby. The Fort Lookout offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. There is also a brief walking tour of Sigatoka, a small and typically Fijian town. You will also visit the Kula Eco Park, an amazing facility dedicated to the conservation of Fiji's indigenous flora and fauna and the environmental education of Fiji's children. This afternoon head to Suva along scenic 'Coral Coast', passing small villages and long stretches of coastal forest. This part of the island is mainly inhabited by indigenous Fijian people who tend small market gardens and produce all their food requirements locally. Late this afternoon you arrive in the busy Fijian capital.

Overnight: Novotel Suva (Breakfast, Dinner)


Day 5: Suva – Nadi, Fiji

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The capital of Fiji is located in the south-eastern corner of Viti Levu. Suva became the capital in 1882, replacing Levuka on the island of Ovalau. Its rapid growth through the establishment of trading companies, missionary churches, and colonial government has left many buildings from the turn of the century. They are all protected under the Suva City Town Planning Scheme. Victoria Parade will reveal a variety of Fiji's most important buildings. Burns Philip, built in 1930 on Marks Road, was the first building in Suva to have an elevator. Its large, imposing design with a central tower has been copied throughout the Pacific. Morris Hedstrom, originally Henry Marks, of the present Morris Hedstrom Supermarket and department store chain, erected the building in 1918. The Fiji Visitors Bureau on Thomson Street occupies a Victorian Building, erected in 1912 as a savings bank and telephone exchange. Close by, Sichuan Pavilion restaurant and the Garrick Hotel date from 1929. Formally the Pier Hotel, built by the Costello family, it retains its original post-supported veranda and elaborate second-storey balcony. The Catholic Cathedral is on Pratt Street. Father Rosier designed the crypt and nave in 1893. The timber flooring came from Québec, Canada. Prouds Building was built by the chemist, Metchelmore in 1929/31. This impressive three-storey building faces the triangular park that was once the site of the original Suva market. Fintel, on Victoria Parade, was built in 1926. The first radio broadcasts were made from a room in this building. It retains its cable and wireless function to this day. A short distance along is the Old Town Hall, built in 1904 as a memorial to Queen Victoria on her Diamond Jubilee. With its cast lacework, it is one of Suva's finest examples of colonial architecture. You will also see the Botanic Gardens Clock Tower and the Government House. The tour ends with the excellent Suva Museum, which houses the most comprehensive collection of Fijian artifacts. Late evening drive back to Nadi.

Overnight: Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa (Breakfast, Dinner)


Day 6: Nadi – Nuku’alofa, Tonga

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Depart for your flight to Tonga. The Kingdom of Tonga is a sovereign state and archipelago comprising 176 islands scattered in the southern Pacific Ocean. Of these islands, only 52 are inhabited. Tonga became known as the 'Friendly Islands' due to the friendly reception accorded to Captain James Cook on his first visit here in 1773. This is one of the last absolute monarchies in the world, where social rule is based upon a feudal system where the king disburses land and positions without recourse to any elected body. Tongatapu, a coral island surrounded by coral reefs, is Tonga's largest island with over two thirds of the country's small population.

Overnight: Little Italy Hotel (Breakfast, Dinner)


Day 7: Nuku’alofa, Tonga

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The schedule for today will remain flexible. A typical event for many locals is to take the ferry over to one of the outer islands, so today you will enjoy an excursion to one of the offshore islands for lunch and some exploring on foot. Atata Island is one of the best local 'small island destinations'. Set around white coral sands, this island is less than an hour away. One can walk almost all of the way around the island, with its palm-covered picture-postcard beaches. This island is truly 'untouched', with just one resort with a restaurant, one local village, one school and two churches!

Overnight: Little Italy Hotel (Breakfast, Dinner)


Day 8: Nuku’alofa, Tonga

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Today will be spent touring the island of Tongatapu, and it begins by touring Nuku'alofa. Nuku'alofa is situated on the north coast of Tongatapu, and your time here provides you with a great opportunity to experience this unique culture. A field to the west of the main wharf is the Pangai, where royal feasts, kava ceremonies, and parades are held. The Royal Palace overlooks the Pangai and is surrounded by towering Norfolk pines. During the touring you will be sure to see the Royal Tombs. King George I, King George II, Queen Salote, and King Taufa'hau Tupou IV are buried at the centre of the field.
Outside of the capital, at the village of Mu'a, you can stop at the monument marking Captain Cook's Landing Place. The great British explorer landed and rested under a large banyan tree here when he came ashore in 1777 to meet with the reigning Tu‘i Tonga. One the most prominent sites on Tongatapu is the Ha'amonga Trilithon, located on the eastern tip of Tongatapu Island. This is the area where the eleventh Tongan King had his seat of power, and it is believed that Tu'i Tu’itatui built the structure in 1200 A.D. The Ha'amonga 'a Maui has been scientifically interpreted as an early style sundial clock that recorded different seasonal changes. Nearby is Maka Fa'akinanga, made from the same stone as the Ha'amonga, the Maka Fa'akinanga is a large stone slab standing upright with markings on the front resembling an indentation of a large head, shoulders and back. Oral stories recount the belief that Tu'i Tu'itatui often sat against the Maka Fa'akinanga and struck out with a staff at people so that they were kept at a safe distance for fear that they might make an assassination attempt. The small fishing village of Nukuleka on the northeast coast is possibly the site of first human settlement in Tonga. The majestic blowholes of Pupu'a Puhi, located along the rugged coast near the village of Houma, provide a never ceasing display of the power of the sea. Here the power of the Pacific Ocean is forced through natural rock fissures to create instant skyscrapers of water up to 30 meters high. As the southerly winds blow into Tongatapu, the sea is driven into the southern coastline and sea spray erupts into the air. As you proceed towards the village of Kolovai on the western tip of the island, keep an eye out for the flying foxes in the treetops. The last stop of the day will be at the Abel Tasman landing site.

Overnight: Little Italy Hotel (Breakfast, Dinner)


Day 9: Nuku’alofa – Nadi, Fiji

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You have the better part of the day to enjoy some well-deserved downtime before flying back to Fiji this evening.

Overnight: Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa (Breakfast, Dinner)


Day 10: Nadi – Apia, Samoa

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Early this morning you fly to Samoa and begin sightseeing upon arrival. Today will be spent touring the island of Upolu. The entire country of Samoa serves as a cultural storehouse of fa'a Samoa, the traditional Samoan way of life. Most Samoans still live in villages featuring fales, some of which have stood for centuries. The island of Savai'i is especially well preserved, and today much of Apia on the island of Upolu looks like it did when Robert Louis Stevenson settled here in 1889. Sightseeing today 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 Valima, Samoa. After some morning exploration in the capital of Apia, travel east along the north coast, passing picturesque villages and landscapes. The route then takes you south over Le Mafa Pass and down towards the south side of the island. At the south-eastern corner of Upolu is a cliff-like mountain, which forms a dramatic backdrop to the deep sands of Lolomanu Beach. The setting faces a group of small islets offshore. Along the south coast one can find many idyllic stretches of white sand and black rocks overhung by coconut palms. The combination of tropical climate and fertile soil makes Samoa the perfect breeding ground for rainforests and other lush landscapes such as mangrove swamps and marshes. These ecosystems are all alive with native wildlife such as seabirds, skinks, flying foxes, geckos, as well as a plethora of unique flora. One of the best remaining rainforests is O Le Pupu-Pue National Park on Upolu. This park runs from the southern coast up into the mountainous interior of the island. Bird lovers and those who enjoy exploring nature on foot will love this place. Another place of paradise is the Tafua Peninsula Rainforest Preserve in the southeast.

Tanoa Tusitala Hotel (Breakfast, Dinner)


Day 11: Apia, Samoa

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Today will be spent exploring Savai'i, the largest island of Samoa. Savai'i is one of the largest of all Polynesian islands, and this great volcanic shield is also one of the least populated. Here you will find traditional villages with oval-shaped houses sitting alongside freshwater bathing pools fed by underground springs. Savai’i is relatively undeveloped and regarded by many as the "real" Samoa. Depart from the hotel for sightseeing early in the morning and head for Mulifanua Wharf in order to connect with the morning ferry to Savai'i. The crossing takes about 90 minutes, and will provide you with some great views of the Samoan islands. Upon arrival, you will be met at the wharf and proceed with your island touring. At Savai'i's fresh produce market you can view the locally grown produce and handicrafts. Make a stop at the Mu Pagoa Falls that drop into the ocean. The drive to the Taga Blowholes is through lush vegetation, plantations and traditional villages. These blowholes are a natural spectacle not to be missed. Following the blowholes, you will witness a tapa making demonstration, an art form that is rarely practiced these days. The tapa is made from the bark of the paper mulberry tree, and it is amazing to watch the thin bark stretched to form a fabric type material. You may break for lunch at the Aganoa Beach where you will have the opportunity to relax under the shade of a tree. Later, head back to the wharf for the return journey.

Tanoa Tusitala Hotel (Breakfast, Dinner)


Day 12: Apia, Samoa

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The tour today will visit Manono Island, which offers an insight into Samoan culture and life. An hour's drive to the west and then a further 20 minutes by boat brings you to Manono Island. The boat leaves from Cape Lefatu, with views of the crater island of Apolima along the way. On reaching Manono, you will be greeted by your Samoan hosts for a brief lecture on Samoan customs and etiquette. You will have the chance to learn about locally grown products, as well as the various local uses of the coconut.
This island is completely enclosed by a reef, and the colours of the crystal-clear water are simply stunning. Today there are only four villages on the island, with a total population of 889. Electricity was only introduced here in 1995. This is the third largest island of Samoa, but has an area of only three square kilometres. In years gone by, it was the most important of the group of islands in a political sense, for it was here that the highest chiefs lived. There is a very Samoan atmosphere in Manono – no noise, no dogs, no vehicles, and the main thoroughfare is a footpath that follows the coast. You will enjoy a magnificent stroll viewing the lush beautiful gardens with cooling trade winds. This is a real paradise for anyone looking for adventure, friendly people and an island that has hardly changed in the last 100 years. Life is very different here than anywhere else. The men go to the coral reef spear-fishing every morning in their traditional canoes and come back only once they catch enough fish to feed the family.

Tanoa Tusitala Hotel (Breakfast, Dinner)


Day 13: Apia – Nadi, Fiji

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Today fly from Samoa to Fiji and then connect with your international flight home.

(Breakfast)

Tour Includes: 12 nights of accommodation (4 star), professional Tour Leader, expert local guides, airfare between islands, airport transfers in Auckland and Nadi, 24 meals: 12 breakfasts, 12 dinners.

Highlights:

  • Auckland City Tour
  • Sigatoka Sand Dunes
  • Kula Eco Park
  • Suva City Tour
  • Suva Museum
  • Captain Cook’s Landing Place
  • Tongaptapu Island Touring
  • Ha’amonga Trilithon
  • Majestic Blowholes of Pupu’a Puhi
  • Abel Tasman Landing Site
  • Robert Louis Stevenson Museum
  • Upolu Island Tour
  • O Le Pupu-Pue National Park
  • Savaii Island Tour
  • Manono Island Tour
13 Day South Pacific Explorer: Fiji, Tonga and Samoa
Style: Tour of Distinction Start: Auckland
Days: 13   End: Nadi
         
Start End Code Double/Twin Single
30-May-18 11-Jun-18 SPEX01-18 $7,045.00 $8,850.00
         
Pricing is per person
CAD (taxes included)
 
Note: Interisland flights included, tour routing is subject to change based on air schedule. A mandatory single surcharge may apply to this tour if you have selected our Twin Share Program and we cannot find a share partner.

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