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Top 10 Best Beaches in the South Pacific

Published 28th Mar 2024

Beachside getaways offer a relaxing escape from the bustling everyday, with proximity to water being scientifically proven to help relax the nervous system. For travellers considering a South Pacific holiday it’s likely that white sand shorelines and lapping azure waves were high on the list of attractive drawcards. Our specialist team have compiled a list of our Top 10 best beaches in the South Pacific to help you decide which destination to visit, and get you into the ultimate zen state! For tailored advice call one of our reservations specialists on 1800 800 722 or explore our online package deals.

10. Emily Bay, Norfolk Island

Coming in at tenth spot on our list is Emily Bay, recognisably featured on most Norfolk Island post cards and travel brochures. It sits right beside the historic Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area and is a safe harbour for swimmers.

Why do we love it?

With the historic settlements near by it is easy to comprehend just how many generations have dipped into these waters, and have left the Bay with a ‘presence’. Not to mention it’s cool clear blue waters and cute swimming platform! Did you know that the local school uses Emily Bay for it’s swimming lessons and carnival? And in Summer local families get permits to camp in the treeline surrounding the bay – a unique Norfolk experience!

9. Fare Beach, Huahine

Fare Beach on the lesser known Tahitian isle of Huahine takes out position 9. Unlike her more popular sister islands, Huahine has a peaceful ambience and simplistic way of life. Here you will find Polynesia’s largest concentration of marae from pre-European times, and you’ll also find Fare Beach.

Why do we love it?

The beach at Fare is public and just off the town, but it has a treelined shore with glistening waters and some worthwhile snorkelling. From here you can see the islands of Raiatea and Tahaa too, which are all encircled by the same lagoon. Lots of visitors travel to Bora Bora for her bottomless blues and island views – Huahine can offer a similar, more discreet, experience.

8. Titikaveka Beach, Rarotonga

Anyone familiar with the main hub of the Cook Islands will have spent some time on Titikaveka’s shores. On Rarotonga’s southern coastline this 10km stretch of coastal perfection is dotted with swaying coconut palms and volcanic rock snorkelling spots.

Why do we love it?

Because it’s a long expanse of beach Titikaveka never feel crowded, and the resorts on the beachfront don’t absorb all it’s beauty. At the halfway point of the island, around the Fruits of Rarotonga sign, lies some of the best snorkelling you’ll find in Raro.

7. Blinky Beach, Lord Howe Island

Being a World Heritage Listed destination means Lord Howe Island’s visitor numbers are capped. Perfect for those wanting a quiet, nature-based getaway! And Blinky Beach, on the eastern side of the island, is perfect for a dip in the sea, casting a rod, or a sun kissed picnic.

Why do we love it?

Lord Howe is synonymous with great walks and hiking trails, so much so that the beaches don’t get much of a broadcast – but they should! Blinky’s in particular is an idyllic spot for warm sands and rolling waves, with a lush mountainous backdrop. The waters here are known for being uncrowded and full of clean breaks, what locals have come to call ‘Champagne surf’, so bring the board or fins!

6. Chateaubriand Bay, Lifou

Our 6th spot is relatively unknown to most travellers and that’s part of it’s appeal quite honestly! Lifou, located in the Loyalty Islands of New Caledonia and a 2 hour flight from Noumea, is the largest in the island group and offers the greatest contrast too. On the eastern side of the island lies Chateaubriand Bay.

Why do we love it?

Swimmers, watersports lovers and even fitness enthusiasts can revel in the beauty and accessibility of this beach. It’s a postcard with pristine azure waters that seem to glitter in the sun, yet isn’t ever crawling with tourists. The best part about it is that time seems to stand still here, so the days seem to be even more tranquil and freeing.

5. Natadola Beach, Coral Coast

The diamond of Fiji’s Coral Coast, Natadola Beach, comes in at number 5. Most Australian’s have either been to Fiji or know someone who has, and those who have ventured south of the airport to a stay on the Coral Coast will likely be familiar with this shoreline and all too pleased to talk about it.

Why do we love it?

As busy as Fiji gets over school holidays there it doesn’t impact the experience of a day at Natadola. There is pure white sand to play in, shade trees to rest under, and there are even horseback rides along the waterline if you want to be more adventurous! If you’re looking to stay close by you’re in luck too, with properties like InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa or the more intimate Yatule Resort & Spa nestled right by the shore.

4. Lalomanu Beach, Upolu

On the South Coast of Upolu, the main island of western Samoa, lies Lalomanu Beach and the holder of 4th place in our Best Beaches list. It is located about 1.5 hours from the capital of Apia, but is much more convenient for the resorts dotted along the southern coastline (which is where most holiday makers choose to stay).

Why do we love it?

Lalomanu offers the quintessential South Pacific beach experience. Think thatched-roof fales (huts) along the shore, swaying coconut palms, pure white sand and shimmering turquoise waters. There is a laid back restaurant and bar called Anita’s not far from the cape, perfect for a lunch time feast and cold Vailima beer. You also have views across the water to Nu’utele island, a true tropical backdrop. It makes for an extraordinary day out!

3. Champagne Beach, Espiritu Santo

In Vanuatu’s outer islands lay Espiritu Santo, a truly tropical oasis with palm plantations, blue holes, limestone caves and dreamy beaches. On the eastern coastline of this island lays Champagne Beach in 3rd position.  

Why do we love it?

This is no regular beach! The volcanic gases underneath the earth’s surface rise up through the sand at the shoreline, making it feel like gentle champagne bubbles under your feet – hence the name! Sipping bubbles while feeling bubbles is an Instagram shot worth a thousand likes. Oh, and did we mention the powder white sand and cerulean waves?

2. Matira Beach, Bora Bora

It’s no surprise that Bora Bora makes it high up on our top 10 list! The waters of this lagoon are known to be vibrant shades of blues and aquas that gently sway and change colour like a natural mood ring. One of the best places to soak up the watery delights is at Matira Beach.

Why do we love it?

Located on the southern tip of Bora Bora, Matira Beach is all about the sea and the sights. The shoreline is fringed by tourist services like bars, restaurants and shops. A stone’s throw away lies the lush volcanic interior of the island which offers several panoramic hiking trails. It reaches for almost 1.5km towards the point and is one of the most popular public beaches in Bora Bora.

1. One Foot Island, Aitutaki

Drumroll please… it’s One Foot Island in Aitutaki that takes out our top spot for best beach in the South Pacific! For visitors who’ve been lucky enough to step foot here they will understand why it ranks so highly. For those yet to visit, what are you waiting for?! See our Cook Islands packages for inspiration!

Why do we love it?

Unlike the other beaches on our list One Foot encompasses a whole island! It is accessed by tour boat or private charter in the middle of Aitutaki Lagoon, where the colours of the deep blue rival that of Tahiti even on a cloudy day. It has verdant green trees leaning over the aquamarine waters, powdery sands, and the most photographic backdrop you can find in the South Pacific. We recommend accessing the island on Te Vaka cruise from either Aitutaki mainland or even Rarotonga. It includes commentary, lunch, and some of the most charismatic locals you will have the pleasure to meet. An absolute Must See in the Cook Islands, and one that has us returning time and again.

Pack the togs, it’s beach time!

From Norfolk to Tahiti, Samoa to Bora Bora, our knowledgeable team can help with local tips about the best beaches in the South Pacific and ideal times to visit. With our help you will find yourself sunning on silky sand and wading through gin clear waters in no time! For more information call us on 1800 800 722 or see our best beach breaks online in our package deals.

Photos courtesy of Cook Islands Tourism, Norfolk Island Tourism & New Caledonia Tourism

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