The South Pacific islands are an awesome destination for the intrepid solo traveller and there is a lot more to this region for the traveller than Fiji which takes the lion’s share of tourists.
We are going to take a look at one of the more visited South Pacific island of New Caledonia and one of the least visited tiny Nuie.
When to visit the South Pacific
Any time is a good time to visit the islands of the South Pacific although the cooler dry season tends to be around March through October. It will be hotter the rest of the year but there might be more rainfall.
In all honestly it is warm enough year around so don’t let the time of year put you off.
Any special considerations for solos visiting the Islands?
Nuie and New Calendonia are pretty safe destinations by world standards. One thing to consider is that they are not the cheapest places to visit and this might be more felt as a solo traveller, but there again budget travel is possible on both islands.
Travel Guide to New Caledonia
Like a fusion of South Pacific island and urban France, New Caledonia has been populated since around 1500BC but was named New Caledonia by, unsurprisingly, James Cook in 1774.Fourteen years later the French attempted to reach the island and within 100 years had turned it into a penal colony The resultant tensions between the settlers resulted in suppression and effective destruction of the local Kanak culture and tensions have existed ever since.
Nowadays the situation for the native inhabitants is improving however and visitors should find plenty to see and do here. It is a fairly pricey destination as everything is imported but look on the bright side, you don’t have to tip.
You can camp just about anywhere around the islands, if you want a shower official sites will cost about the same as a good meal. Otherwise stick to homestays or Gites, traditional local homes which will give you an authentic experience for a reasonable price.
A Traveller’s Budget for New Caledonia
Because everything is imported, New Caledonia is a little on the expensive side for most things. The cheapest way to travel is by bus, or by hitching or organising a lift. The islands are connected by ferries. If you’re travelling in a group it’s probably worth hiring a car.
To eat cheaply take advantage of the market when in Noumea. You can also find supermarkets here. In the smaller towns it’s more expensive to self cater than in the capital but the restaurants are slightly cheaper, particularly if you chose a set menu option. Cafe’s are more reasonably priced.
Activities for the Solo Traveller
-Snorkelling at the world’s second largest reef
-Hiking in the Parc de la Rivière Bleue
-Go on a horse riding safari into the mountains
-Windsurf or kitesurf on the beaches around Noumea
-Dive almost anywhere, equipment hire and courses are widely available
Travel Guide to Niue
Niue is the smallest seld governing state in the world with a population of less than 2000 and an area of just 259 square km. It lies half way between New Zealand and French Polynesia and has some amazing opportunities for scuba diving, snorkelling and bushwalking. It’s accessible by plane from Auckland or Samoa.
Solo Budget Accommodation on Niue
There isn’t a lot of budget accommodation on Niue, there is the Huvalu Forest Camp which has a campsite and a bunkhouse on the eastern side of the island and there are several guest houses which will set you back around $50NZD per night.
A Traveller’s Budget for Niue
To eat cheaply you can get by on buying produce from local shops, there is a market in Alofi on a Friday morning, or there are a few cafes scattered around. To get around the island you’ll have to rent a vehicle or a bike, hitch or walk as there is no public transport on the island.
Activities on Niue
-Snorkelling, there are three reefs around the island
-Diving. There is some amazing diving available around the reefs and caves round the coast. Niue dive will take you there.
-Fishing off the coast or in a boat, which you can charter.
-Shopping in Alofi for local crafts.
— The Globe and Mail (@globeandmail) January 10, 2015