Beautiful Islands of the South Pacific

islands-south-pacific
Whether it’s the rich clear waters, clean beaches, or vibrant coral reefs the islands of the south pacific are becoming a popular tourist destination for many of today’s modern travelers. Sit back as we take you on a pictorial visit to 12 of the areas most popular islands.

Bora Bora-tensaibuta186Creative Commons License Photo credit: tensaibuta

Bora Bora

Bora Bora is a tiny island located in the Pacific Ocean, part of the Society Islands of French Polynesia. Only about 8,800 people call Bora Bora home, while many thousands more visit the island and its many resorts in order to experience the great natural beauty of Bora Bora’s pristine beaches and crystal clear water. Because of its connection to France, many of the island’s citizens speak French and Tahitian, but those who are deal with tourists do understand English.

P1040781.JPG-Richard Gifford386Creative Commons License Photo credit: Richard Gifford

Fiji

Fiji is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean, a political grouping of about 322 islands and 522 islets. Out of these islands, only 106 of them are permanently inhabited. Viti Levu and Vanua Levu are the primary population centers, the both of them supporting 87 percent of the population. Because of its rich culture and beautiful beaches, this exotic island nation has become extremely popular as the ideal vacation and honeymoon destination for many tourists.

Ocean Color Diversity - Huahine Landscape-tiarescott44Creative Commons License Photo credit: tiarescott

Ocean Color Diversity

Huahine is an island located among the Society Islands, a French Polynesian archipelago. The island is relatively small, with a length of about 9.9 miles and a maximum width of 8.1 miles. Two main islands make up Huahine, both of them surrounding a fringing coral reef. Only a few hundred yards of water separate the two islands with a sandspit connected them during low tide.

Tahiti Beach - Huahine - Tahiti Pictures-tiarescott449Creative Commons License Photo credit: tiarescott

Tahiti Beach - Huahine

Tahiti is the largest island located in Windward group of islands of French Polynesia. As of August 2007, the island was home to around 180,000 people, making it the most populous island in French Polynesia by quite a distance. While Tahiti has a very rich culture and history, thanks to its unique blend of indigenous and French cultures, the island is most well known internationally because of its popularity as a vacation destination.

Tikehau, archipel des Tuamotus-Benoit Mahe858Creative Commons License Photo credit: Benoit Mahe

Tikehau, archipel des Tuamotus

Tikehau is a coral atoll located in the Tuamotus Archipelago. Specifically, Tikehau belongs to the Palliser subgroup of islands, which is the westernmost group in the Tuamotus. A continuous coral reef surrounds the lagoon, which contains a great density of fish and other marine life. About 400 people inhabit the island, supported by a healthy amount of coconut palms. Tourists resorts also dot the coasts of Tikehau.

The island of Moorea-eatatmarks906Creative Commons License Photo credit: eatatmarks

The island of Moorea

Moorea Island is part of the Society Islands archipelago, which is in turn located in French Polynesia. Located about nine miles northwest of Tahiti, Moorea is home to about 17,000 residents. Moorea is a popular tourist destination, especially for those who are already visiting French Polynesia, and it has become especially associated with honeymoons. One can find ads for vacations to Moorea in many wedding magazines.

Kia Ora, Rangiroa-tensaibuta384Creative Commons License Photo credit: tensaibuta

Kia Ora, Rangiroa

Rangiroa is the largest atoll in the Tuamotus, which is a chain of atolls that runs throughout French Polynesia, and it is one of the largest in the world. About 250 islands, islets, and sandbars make up the atoll, which is home to about 2,334 inhabitants. Avatoru is the chief town of the Rangiroa. It is home to several administrative offices, a post office, many churches and a small airport.

Vavau-YXO181Creative Commons License Photo credit: YXO

Vavau

Vavau is an island chain consisting of one large island and forty smaller ones, all of which are a part of Tonga. Vavau’s administrative center, Neiafu, is the second-largest city in Tonga and it sits at what is known as one of the best harbor in the entire world. Because of its excellent harbor and abundant untouched seas, Vavau has gained recognition as one of the world’s prime fishing spots.

Raiatea - Motu Oatara-othanga443Creative Commons License Photo credit: othanga

Raiatea - Motu Oatara

Only second to Tahiti in size, Raiatea is the second-largest island in the Society Islands group of French Polynesia. The most important town in Raiatea is Utuora, which also serves as the administrative center for the Leeward Islands group. Raiatea, which is enclosed by a coral reef, is home to about 12,000 residents and is known as the center of Polynesia.

Round Efate (Vanuatu) trip, 26 Nov. 2006 - Nguna from Paonangisi Beach-PhillipC242Creative Commons License Photo credit: PhillipC

Vanuatu

Vanuatu is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean, one that was first inhabited by Melanesian people and then subsequently settled by Europeans in the 18th century. Vanuatu would change hands between several European powers before finally establishing independence in 1980 following a successful independence movement. About 222,000 people live in Vanuatu, with thousands more people visiting the exotic island locale each year.

Rockpools and cliff at Niue-piawaugh65Creative Commons License Photo credit: piawaugh

Rockpools and cliff at Niue

Niue, often referred to as “the rock of Polynesia,” is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. While Niue governs itself, it has a free association with New Zealand and does not actually have sovereignty, with Queen Elizabeth II serving as the head of state. The country is in the process of refining its tourism sector after having identified tourism as one of the best ways for the country to create revenue.

Awesome Moment-tata_aka_T588Creative Commons License Photo credit: tata_aka_T

Yap Island

Yap is an island located in the Caroline Islands grouping, which is in turn situated in the western Pacific Ocean. While many other neighboring islands have begun to take on European attitudes, Yap has managed to retain much of its indigenous culture. About 6,300 live in Yap, according to a 2003 estimate, while tourism brings thousands more visitors to Yap each year.

Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: Flickr/SF Brit

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