The enchanting colonial homestead will give you an insight into the life of one of the most-loved adventure authors
Despite his stories of swashbuckling adventure, Robert Louis Stevenson had been a sickly man and had contracted tuberculosis. It was while he was in his twenties someone suggested he find a South Pacific island to live on, where the warm climate would ease his poor health. Stevenson loved to travel, once saying, "I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move." But it was 10 years after that advice that he and his wife sailed to the Pacific and settled in Samoa.
TB-ridden Stevenson and his family lived in Samoa for the five years prior to his death. Known to the Samoans as Tusitala or Teller of Tales, the author of the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Treasure Island and Kidnapped was intensely involved in the lives of the local folk and their plight to reclaim their cultural identity.
The Stevenson homestead is now the home for the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum. The informative forty-minute guided tour of the mansion and Tusitala’s many authentic personal belongings is highly recommended, especially of the library where he penned 14 tomes in just four years.
The beautiful Botanical Gardens at the base of Mt Vaea and surrounding the homestead make for an informative and stunning stroll.
You don’t have to be a literary groupie to enjoy the scenic walk through lush rainforest up to the top of Mt Vaea where the famous Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson rests in peace. Just outside of Apia, the panoramic views over the city and bay are will give another perspective of the capital of Samoa.
You have the choice of two routes to the top of the hill – a 45-minute track or, take the shorter but more strenuous half-hour trail. Whichever way you chose, go early in the morning or late afternoon, as the midday heat can be stifling, especially in the height of summer. This is the kind of place you won’t want to leave in a hurry, so pack a picnic and don’t forget your insect repellent and water bottle. http://www.samoa.travel/page/visit-the-robert-louis-stevenson-museum
Along the main east coast road, 45mins from apia, you will find piula cave pool located at the piula theological college in the village of lufilufi. It’s a beautiful crystal clear freshwater spring pool and cave that originated from an old lava tube. Explore the underwater cave that connects to a second cave. Day fales and toilet facilities available. Open mon-sat: 8am-4pm. http://www.samoa.travel/activity/piula-fatumea-cave-pool
Papase’ea sliding rocks are situated in se’ese’e in the faleata district approx. 15mins drive from apia. Brave mother nature’s waterslides and slide down these naturally formed rock slides, worn down by thousands of years of running water. Toilets and change rooms are available. Open mon-sat. http://www.samoa.travel/activity/papaseea-sliding-rocks
This spectacular waterfall in south-eastern savaii plunges from the rainforest deep into a fresh-water swimming pool.
The Afu Aau Waterfall also known as Olemoe Falls, is a spectacular waterfall in south-eastern Savaii that plunges from the rainforest deep into a fresh-water swimming pool.
Access is on a dirt road which is maintained by the village. Entrance fees are collected at the Samoan fale about 650m from the main road and visitors are encouraged to park their car here and enjoy a 10 minute walk to the pool and waterfall. http://www.samoa.travel/activity/afu-aau-falls
These impressive blowholes in the village of taga on south-west savaii are wave power in its purest form, as they propel a roaring jet of water hundreds of feet up into the air. They are particularly worth watching when locals throw coconuts into the holes and these are blasted into the air as well http://www.samoa.travel/activity/alofaaga-blowholes
Hot spring water combines with volcanic ash to form a mud bath pool. Mud baths have existed for thousands of years and found in spas around the world including Fiji. The mud bath treatment is used as a way to relieve arthritis. To take full advantage of the therapeutic value of the mud pools you first coat yourself in mud then stand in the sun until it drys. Wash off in the first natural hot spring pool then walk over to the next clear water pool for another cleansing. Both places offer cheap and very good massage. Pool temperatures are warm to hot. https://hotfiji.deals/mud-pools-therapeutic-hot-springs/
The Garden of Sleeping Giant is a beautiful orchid garden started in 1977 by the late Raymond Burr, star of Perry Mason and Ironside TV shows. Originally designed to house Burr’s private collection of tropical orchids, the gardens have developed into a popular attraction after years of flourishing. Raymond Burr loved these orchids just as much as he loved Fiji. The garden contains a vast collection of 30 to 40 varieties of magnificent Asian orchids and Cattleya hybrids. https://www.fiji-budget-vacations.com/Garden-of-the-Sleeping-Giant-Orchids.html
Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple is the famous Hindu temple situated in Nadi, Fiji. It is also a largest Hindu temple in the Southern hemisphere and the main deity is Lord Subramanya Swamy. He is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi and his brother is Lord Ganesan.
The main statue is specially curved and brought from South India. There are three parts in Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple: Lord Muruga, is the main temple; Lord Ganesh is the second part of the complex; Lord Shiva and Goddess Meenakshi Amman is the third section of the temple. The original Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple of Nadi was founded by Ramaswami Pillai in 1913 on the land leased from the native Fijians. https://templesinindiainfo.com/nadi-sri-siva-subramaniya-swami-temple-timings-festivals-and-address/
Mount Pahia is the second-highest summit on Bora Bora and the challenging hike leading up to it features steep jungle climbs on faint trails with spectacular views all around the island and lagoon. Difficulties encountered on the hike include arranging for a hiking guide, avoiding hiking during times of rainy weather (because the trail will become muddy, slippery, and dangerous), dealing with heat and humidity, watching out for rockfall while passing along the base of cliffs, and using ropes and safety gear during areas of exposure if passing beyond the summit of Mount Ohue. http://www.panamintcity.com/frenchpolynesia/mountpahia.html
Matira Beach is a mile of exquisite white sand at the southern tip of Bora Bora Island.
When you visit, you will understand why it is Bora Bora's most popular public beach. It stretches from Hotel Bora Bora (currently closed for renovations) to Matira Point and is framed from behind by lush palms and green hills. To each side, there are more long strips of privately owned beaches.
Often described as the most beautiful beach in the world, Matira Beach is actually the only public beach on the main island that is worth a visit. It is so gorgeous that it is in our list of the best things to do in Bora Bora! Everybody is welcome on this expanse of sand. There is a fun atmosphere that offers natural shade from palm trees, safe swimming and easy snorkelling. https://www.boraboraislandguide.com/matira-beach.html
Mount Otemanu on Bora Bora island is a jagged remnant of an ancient volcano that rises up to a sharp point at 2,385 feet (727 m) from the surface of a turquoise blue lagoon. The French Polynesian islands, in general, are blessed with some incredible picture-perfect sceneries but Mount Otemanu takes the crown. There is something very magical about this unique landform that can be seen from every part of the island.
Thousands of people are drawn to Bora Bora every year because it is one of the most beautiful islands on earth. Most resorts have designed their overwater bungalows to specifically face Mount Otemanu and rooms that have unobstructed views typically come with a premium price tag. https://boraboraphotos.com/mount-otemanu-on-bora-bora-island/
Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to get up close and personal with a variety of sea life at the Lagoonarium Bora Bora. Let tropical fish surround you while sharks and rays float by your feet. The sea life is well fed and relatively harmless. Giant Rays are like little puppies as they come up to wanting to be fed little treats.
A visit to the Lagoonarium in Bora Bora can arrange via your travel agent or book through your hotel. A beautiful picnic feast prepared before your eyes come with the excursion. So once you’ve had enough swimming with the sea life, you head over to the picnic area and beach. The staff is very friendly and if you are afraid to enter the water they will do their best to show you it’s harmless. https://boraboraphotos.com/lagoonarium-bora-bora/
In the very premises of Motu Trésor jewelery, a separate piece exclusively dedicated to the exhibition of this collection, completed with many photos of species in their natural environment. http://www.motutresor.com/coquillages/
View a variety of marine life in the shallow lagoon waters. After a brief safety demonstration, you will be able to view these animals from an observation platform or you may choose to descend underwater for a close-up encounter with these friendly lagoon inhabitants. https://www.tahiti.com/activities/huahine-natural-aquarium-excursion-3930
Mount Tohivea is the highest point in Moorea at 3960ft and is a dormant volcano. This mountain is clearly visible from Tahiti. Tohivea is depicted on the back of the 50f Polynesie Francaise coin. James Michener made Moorea famous, claiming that it was the most beautiful island in the South Pacific. http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/photos/1683634/
The Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands ("Musée de Tahiti et des Îles" in French) is dedicated to educating visitors about this beautiful archipelago. The museum is divided into four distinct sections: the first focuses on geography and natural history, the second on pre-European culture, the third on the effects of colonization and the fourth on natural wonders. If you tire of perusing the exhibits, step outside for great views of surfers tackling the ocean waves.
Recent visitors appreciated the museum's concise, easy-to-understand exhibits about the history of Tahiti and much of French Polynesia. Many were pleased that there were displays in English and French, and several travelers said the gift shop was excellent. https://travel.usnews.com/Tahiti_French_Polynesia/Things_To_Do/Museum_of_Tahiti_and_Her_Islands_62705/
Bougainville Park is a tranquil, tropical oasis in the middle of the Papeete's concrete jungle. Stretching from Boulevard Pomare to Rue du General de Gaulle, it makes for a lush and cool picnic (or roulettes take-away) spot. If you're traveling with the kids there's a playground here, and there are often floral, cultural and artistic displays on the grounds. https://www.afar.com/places/bougainville-park-papeete
Close to the waterfront esplanade is this brightly coloured cathedral. It is of course named after its famous Parisian counterpart. Completed in 1875 it is not only the oldest Catholic church in Tahiti but also one of last remaining examples of early colonial architecture. https://www.edwud.com/notre-dame-cathedral-tahiti/
The Aorai is Tahiti’s third highest mountain and peaks at 2066 metres: you will hike up to the 1st mountain hut at an altitude of 1400 metres. Of breath and a good physical condition are required for this 800m vertical drop hike.
Enjoy some breathtaking views of Tahiti, the ocean and surrounding valleys. https://www.tahititravel.com.au/tahiti-hiking-at-mount-aorai-1st-refuge/
Tahiti is home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in Polynesia. Stops can include spectacular waterfalls and natural pools, panoramic views, grottos, archeological sites and lava tubes. A favorite hike is to the three Faarumai waterfalls. From the car park it is a quick scramble through a forest of chestnut trees to the first waterfall, Vaimahutu. Continue on for another 20 minutes or so to reach the other to falls Haamarere Iti and Haamarere Rahi, which are almost side-by-side. With hundreds of varieties of tropical trees, plants and flowers, Tahiti also has some of the world's most beautiful gardens. Visit the water gardens of Vaipahi to experience the abundant flora and waterfalls that flow directly into Lake Vaihiria. https://www.afar.com/places/faarumai-waterfalls-haapupuni?category=do&guide=93
Maui Beach is a rare white sand beach in Tahiti. It can get very crowded on weekends, but is peaceful during weekdays. It located right on the road but has shallow swimming, making it perfect for kids, as well as deeper spots for adults and some DIY snorkeling off the reef. https://www.afar.com/places/la-plage-de-maui
Tahiti is known for having one of the most dangerous surf breaks in the world, Teahupo’o. Its waves are big and powerful, and it breaks right onto the razor sharp reef. Tahiti’s best waves occur during the winter months of May to October. https://theculturetrip.com/pacific/tahiti-french-polynesia/articles/20-must-visit-attractions-in-tahiti/
Looking for the perfect introduction to local Kanak culture? Plan a visit to the Tjibaou Cultural Centre in Nouméa, where art, history, culture, knowledge and natural beauty combine to delight and educate adults and children alike. Housed within beautifully designed buildings and landscaped grounds, the centre sits just minutes from the city, offering a fantastic selection of permanent and temporary exhibitions to discover. A visit to the centre is a must for any Nouméa itinerary. https://www.newcaledonia.travel/au/noumea/tjibaou-cultural-center
Seat of the archdiocese of Nouméa since 1966, Saint Joseph’s Roman Catholic cathedral was built between 1887 and 1897 by a penitentiary workforce and following the construction plans of a former convict named Labulle.
Consecrated in 1890, before the end of its construction, the cathedral is laid out as a 56-meter-long Latin cross, with a 36-meter-large transept. 15.5 meters high, the building's south west facade presents two 25-meter-high towers on both sides of the porch. Both towers, the buttresses and the bay frames are made of cut stone, the other walls are made of lime-rendered rubble stone. https://www.newcaledonia.travel/au/noumea/saint-josephs-cathedral
Located in Port-Moselle , a stone's throw from the South Province Hotel and the Government of New Caledonia, this covered market is made up of five hexagonal pavilions capped with blue tiles. Fishermen land their fresh fish directly. There are all locally grown fruits and vegetables, flowers, and many other products from the country. The market is also the rendezvous of artisans who offer multiple objects of costume jewelry or decoration.
It is also one of the top tourist spots in the city, especially at the weekend with a background of ocean music. The inhabitants of the city find themselves there traditionally to buy their fresh products, but also for the pleasure to meet.
On Saturdays and Sundays it is recommended not to arrive too late in the morning to find what you are looking for and enjoy the colorful atmosphere. https://www.noumea.nc/decouvrir-noumea/marche-de-baie-de-la-moselle
Built in the 1970s, the museum of New Caledonia asserts, in the late 1980s, its vocation as a museum of society and its objectives as to the enhancement of the Kanak civilization and the preservation of its heritage.
Since then, this museum exhibits one of the most beautiful collections of Kanak art in the world, including monumental, and the most complete from the point of view of the themes it allows to address. In view of the Kanak collections of major European museums, the place occupied by the New Caledonia museum in the international museum world is particularly impressive. https://museenouvellecaledonie.nc/le-musee/presentation-du-musee
Formerly named the Duck Bay (like the island located just opposite) because of its swampy side, the Anse Vata neighbourhood now has the same name as the adjoining bay and the 2-kilometer long sandy beach bordering it.
Located between the Lemon Bay (Baie des Citrons) and Val Plaisance, it is bounded by the “Rocher à la Voile” on the one hand and the Pointe Magnin on the other side. This South neighbourhood of Noumea, part of the living heart of the city, really looks like a real see side resort.
There is a holiday atmosphere and this area is popular with tourists who find here all activities and infrastructure they need: shops, restaurants, water sports, most major resorts and two casinos ... all in one holiday setting at the edge of a wooded beach.
Sea activities such as windsurfing are highly successful thanks to the exposure of the bay to the prevailing wind. Many sporting events also start from this place. https://www.explore-newcaledonia.com/noumea/anse-vata-bay/tabid/3992/offreid/f1df6245-6263-407b-8297-bfc40f2b9aca
Located at Anse Vata bay, the Lagoons Aquarium in Nouméa hosts a variety of corals, fish, crustacean and marine mammals, with some demonstrating the endemism of the New Caledonian aquatic wildlife. Entirely renovated in 2007, the aquarium is today one of the most popular tourist attractions in Nouméa.
The Aquarium des Lagons with its multiple different tanks, you can admire a collection of phosphorescent corals unique in the world. The aquarium also boasts a garden featuring a turtle pool. Throughout the year, the aquarium organizes very popular “nocturnals.” They allow you to observe the night-time behavior of the fish and to attend fun awareness-raising workshops on conservation of the lagoon. https://www.aquarium.nc/en/
The Amedee Lighthouse was France’s first metal lighthouse and it boasts a unique history.
In 1861, due to the many shipwrecks of boats entering the lagoon, Paris ordered a lighthouse to be built for Noumea. Mr. Rigolet, a French engineer from the Eiffel Tower workshops in Paris, started to work on this outstanding monument in 1862.
According to one of the clauses in Mr. Rigolet’s contract, the lighthouse had to be assembled outside his workshop in France. For two years, the lighthouse towered above Paris, standing 56 meters tall. After that it was dismantled and divided into 1,265 pieces, weighing 387,953 kilos in total. It was then transported along the Seine River to the port of Le Havre for the final stage of its long voyage to New Caledonia.
The Amedee lighthouse is indeed a unique attraction and one of the tallest lighthouses in the world in the world’s largest lagoon. https://amedeeisland.com/amedee-lighthouse/