South Pacific Islands map & highlights

A far flung sprawl of tropical perfection, the islands of the South Pacific may be tiny specks on the map, but they’re a massive draw for anyone seeking a slice of paradise, whether that comes in the form of a well-trodden hotspot or a road-less-travelled escape. You may even be able to bypass roads all together; many islands don’t have any, so seaplane or boat is the only way to get to and around their blissful shores. Several South Pacific Islands are barely a blip on the tourism radar, so travelling with a holiday company that has solid experience putting together South Pacific itineraries with expert local guides and a responsible ethos is definitely the way to go.
Bora Bora

1. Bora Bora

Swathed in a kaleidoscope of tropical colour and surrounded by tiny idyllic islets and sparkling coral lagoons, Bora Bora is the perfect place to relax on snow white sands or snorkel over crystal clear shallows. Tourism and Bora Bora inevitably stroll arm in arm with stilted, over-water bungalows and towering tropical backdrops tempting honeymooners the world over.

2. Kiribati

Made up of 33 isles strewn over a massive chunk of the South Pacific Ocean, remote Kiribati is well worth the trek, and nature lovers will be in their element here. Fishing and bird watching are excellent, and divers will see everything from sharks to manta rays to World War II relics in the brilliant blue seas.

3. Micronesia

Strung between Hawaii and the Philippines and made up of over 600 islands, Micronesia has all the requisite tropical beauty you could wish for. It’s also incredibly culturally diverse, with eight major indigenous languages spoken here and a strong English and Japanese influence, due to the country’s colonial past.
New Caledonia

4. New Caledonia

A dazzling archipelago known for its incredible beaches, massive lagoon and impressive barrier reef, New Caledonia attracts intrepid divers from across the globe. A French overseas territory, it’s also home to a surprising number of gourmet restaurants and chic boutiques, if you tire of typical desert island living.
Solomon Islands

5. Solomon Islands

This nation of hundreds of islands is rich in history both recent and modern. During World War II, the British had a base on Honiara and the intense fighting that took place here is remembered with a memorial on the largest island, Guadalcanal. Today, the Solomons are a hotspot for marine and birdlife, and tiny Zodiac boats provide a closer look at the coastal life of even the smallest islands.
Taveuni Island, Fiji

6. Taveuni Island, Fiji

As Fiji’s third largest island, Taveuni offers far more than simple seclusion and white sand loveliness (they have black sand here). This is an inhabited, fertile and lesser visited volcanic landscape that supports an assortment of indigenous animals and exciting activities; with kayaking to Nacawa River Falls, the Lavena Coastal Walk and cycling in Bouma National Heritage Park all excellent alternatives to days at the beach.
Upolu, Samoa

7. Upolu, Samoa

Robert Louis Stevenson was so taken with Upolu that he chose to spend the last years of his life on this stunning Samoan island. Home to the capital city and most of the country’s population, its rugged beauty includes offshore lagoons, soaring coastal cliffs, deep caves and a deep green tangle of rainforest at its heart.
Vava’u Islands, Tonga

8. Vava’u Islands, Tonga

The idyllic islands of Vava'u, Tonga, present an incredible opportunity to swim with South Pacific Humpback whales, who migrate here from Antarctica every winter. These hilly islands are also one of the South Pacific's best yachting destinations, and home to idyllic waterways and the famous sheltered Port of Refuge.
Wallis & Futuna

9. Wallis & Futuna

Little-known and little visited, these teeny, dreamy volcanic islands sit at the heart of the Polynesia/Melanesia region, around 230 km away from each other, and equally far away in cultural terms. Though both are under French governorship, Wallis shares its ancestry with Tonga, while Futuna’s roots lie in Samoa.
Yasawa Islands, Fiji

10. Yasawa Islands, Fiji

Due to their location to the northeast of Fiji’s Mamanuca archipelago, the Yasawa Islands require a little more effort to get to but can still be reached on a seven-night small ship cruise, no problem. The seclusion and sense of escape that you’ll experience upon arrival is just magical and it’s still easy to see why Nanuya Levu was chosen as the set for the 1980s desert island romance, the Blue Lagoon.

Our top trip

Pacific Islands tour

Pacific Islands tour

Discover some of the world's smallest nations

From £17595 27 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2024: 20 Jun, 26 Sep
2025: 19 Jun, 25 Sep
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about South Pacific Islands or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.

Travel times in the South Pacific Islands

The following times give you a rough idea of the travel times in the South Pacific Islands.

Suva, Fiji – Apia, Samoa: 5hrs 40 mins flight Suva, Fiji – Honiara, Solomon Islands: 5hrs 50 mins flight Suva, Fiji – Vava’u, Tonga: 3 hours 55 mins flight Noumea, New Caledonia – Papeete, Tahiti: 5hrs 20 minutes flight
Written by Nana Luckham
Photo credits: [Page banner: Chris Isherwood] [Bora Bora: Elizabeth.guterson] [Kiribati: KevGuy4101] [Micronesia: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade] [New Caledonia: Roderick Eime] [Solomon Islands : StewyOz] [Taveuni Island, Fiji: John Game] [Upolu, Samoa: Neil] [Vava’u Islands, Tonga: Sylke Rohrlach] [Wallis & Futuna: Anna Vinet] [Yasawa Islands, Fiji: Tim Parkinson]