Beaches in Australia and Pacific
A bus ride from Pago-Pago lies this crescent shaped sandy beach. Like everywhere else on Tutuila Island, there is a spectacular backdrop of jungle covered steep mountains. But what set this beach apart is the cafe, Tisa's Barefoot Bar, which is almost an institution in American Samoa. It has this beachcomber vibe and the view over the lagoon from the open deck is unbeatable.
Some people say this is the most beautiful lagoon in the world. Well, we haven't seen them all, but we will spare you for further superlatives. There fifteen tiny islet within the lagoon where most are inhabited, while the others can be visit for a short Robinson Crusoe experience on a lagoon trip. There is of course amazing snorkeling with heaps of corals and psychedelic colored fish. The flight from Rarotonga will offer some spectaculars views of the coral rimmed lagoon and its unreal turquoise water (sorry for the superlatives, we know we promised not to, but this is what honeymoon dreams are made of).
Rarotonga island is lined with paradise beaches. The whole shore is pretty much one long narrow white-sand beach with leaning palms and turquoise water protected by the outer reef. But the pearl above them all is Muri Beach. The beach is not prettier than the others, but the lagoon is jaw-dropping beautiful with its crystal-clear water that turns azure blue further out. It has excellent snorkeling and there are four palms fringed islands you can swim out to. It hardly gets any better than this.
An amazing 5 km walk which first follows some of Fiji's most beautiful coastline for then goes through a lush valley before ending at a gushing waterfall with a cool natural pool. A second hidden waterfall can be reached if you swim between the sheer walls to the last pool right below the big waterfall. You can jump from both waterfalls, but let a local show you first. The trail is well beaten and pass villages, white sandy beaches, black sandy beaches, and across rivers. About halfway are some black rock "mushrooms" where the coral base has been eroded. You have to come back the same way, making it a 10 km hike, which normally takes about three hours for the return journey, but you could easily spend more time swimming.
Nacula is another very beautiful island among the Yasawas. The beach at Blue Lagoon is postcard perfect with fine sand and fringed by coconut palms. There is a reef right at the shore and though it's pretty with plenty of fish, it's not as good as the coral garden at Nanuya Balavu Island. But as Nacula Island is volcanic the inland hilly with several soft peaks. A trail follows the rugged ridge and offes amazing panoramic views of the island and some of the rest of the Yasawas. The trail ends high above the Nacula village, so you have to backtrack the same way you came.
Nanuya Balavu Island is just one among the many Yasawa Islands. There are of course picture-postcard palm fringed sandy beaches, which the Yasawa Islands are so famous for, but the snorkeling here is some of the best. Amazing coral garden, colourful reef fish and even reef sharks, all accessible right from the shore of the resort, no boat ride is necessary. The channel between Nanuya Balavu and neighbouring Drawaqa islands is famous for manta rays, which can be spotted between late May and early October. For something to do inbetween snorkelling, there is a narrow trail which follows the ridge of the hill. It's a short but steep hike. At low tide you can just walk back along the shore, else you have to hike back.
A lovely long, but narrow, stretch of golden sand with plenty of shady trees. The snorkelling should also be good here. The picture is taken right after a cyclone -
normally, the beach isn't littered with trash.
A whisk away with the ferry from Tahiti lies laid back island of Mo'orea. Nothing much is going on here, which is exactly the reason to come here. The main thing is chilling out in the shallow, crystal-clear water of the lagoon, which can easily be stretched to a snorkeling trip, and exploration of the island on bicycle or scooter. There are several exotic bays cutting into the island, creating fine photo opportunity with the jungle covered jagged mountains as backdrop. Stretches of small white beaches fringed with the mandatory coconut palms can be found all along the coast. The slow pace and the light development (compare to other French Polynesian islands) make Mo'orea a very mellow destination, and is probably what you expect Tahiti to be in the first place.
Less developed than the west side with more vegetation and a rough shore that is not protected by an outer reef. The coast has some of the best surf around (and that says something), though not as terrifying big as the Teahupoo wave on the west side of Tahiti Iti. Hidden black-sand beaches can be found here and there, and the lush mountainous inland, which rise steep from the shore, offers excursions to tall waterfalls and lava tunnels among other attractions. So nothing mind blowing, just something to see one those days where you need to heal your sunburns.
Asan Beach was one of the landing sites for the American forces, when they retook Guam from the occupying Japanese forces in 1944. Today, the beach park includes a war memorial as well as picnic tables under the shady palm trees. As the beach itself is pretty rough, it's mostly used by locals - if any at all.