Brisbane Australia

city hopper

Brisbane, the third largest city in Australia, and the capital of Queensland is the only major city in the eastern half of the country that we had not been to. We rectified that gap on our South Pacific trip as a three-day stopover between Fiji and Papua New Guinea. The Brisbane River, which loops around [Read more …]

Snorkeling with Sharks in Denarau Fiji Marina


Denarau Fiji is the town next to Nadi. It is home to the island’s primary marina: Cruise ships, ferries, pleasure craft and yachts of all sizes seem to find the way there. We arrived early the morning our last full day in Fiji for a cruise and shark snorkel that we had pre-arranged (see below). [Read more …]

Driving the King’s Highway to Nadi Fiji


King’s Highway to Nadi Fiji King’s Highway is to the north shore on this Fiji Island what Queen’s Highway is to the south shore. We drove only about 65 kilometers of this road, beginning in the town of Ba to Nadi (pronounced Nandi). The first leg of this trip, from Ba to the city of [Read more …]

Driving from Suva Fiji to Navalla Fiji


After exploring Suva Fiji, we took to the Queen’s Highway to explore more of the island and to make our way to Nadi. Queen’s Highway runs the length of the island’s picturesque south coast, along which most of the tourist resorts are located. Leaving Suva, or any of the island’s cities for that matter, take [Read more …]

Suva Fiji

botanic garden clock tower

Fiji is another South Pacific dream location. Although we planned to visit three of the archipelago’s 300+ islands, we ended up on only one—the main island of Vitu Levu—in the sake of cutting our total South Pacific trip down from the initially laid out nine weeks to a more manageable seven weeks. After all, how [Read more …]

Our Tonga Resort

Reef Resort Lodge in Tonga On Tonga, we stayed at the Reef Resort on Kapa Island. The Reef Resort is about 30 minutes from the airport. We arranged our transportation to the resort through them. A taxi picked us up at the airport and took us through the town to a boat dock. The boat [Read more …]

Tonga–Beyond the Whales


Mourelle Cove Our final day on Kappa Island was something of a deceleration and a bit of relief from our previous day on the rough open ocean. We walked down one side of the island to a beautiful, sandy cove for a bit of snorkeling in calm clear water. After selecting our spot along the [Read more …]

Snorkelking with Humpback Whales in Tonga


Snorkeling with Humpback Whales in Tonga Humpbacks whales live and feed primarily in Antarctica. They “summer” in the South Pacific during their annual breeding and birthing periods. And, since it is breeding season, you can hear the enchanting songs of the males from miles away (the 150-200 decibel calls can be heard up to 100 [Read more …]

Tonga—Its More than the Whales

Flying in 01

Tonga, an independent country, is the only kingdom remaining in the South Pacific. It is, however, governed democratically by a parliament that is split between nobles and popularly elected citizens. Small, with a population of only about 115,000 people, it consists of several hundred, primarily small islands in geographically distributed groups that total about 750 [Read more …]

French Polynesia: Tahiti


Although its name remains almost magical, Tahiti, the largest, most populous city of the archipelago, has generally evolved into a waystation to one of the other islands, rather than as a travel destination in its own right. Still, we decided to take a whirlwind, 1.5-day tour of the island. Pape’ete Tahiti’s capital city is Pape’ete. [Read more …]