Slip on that sarong, listen for the lullaby of waves broken only by the satisfying ‘thunk’ of coconuts falling on golden sands and throw away your watch in preparation for ‘island time’. The Pacific has a mindset all of its own. Its hugeness is big enough to hold all your dreams of snorkelling around idyllic coral atolls, slow-sunset evenings distilled with cocktails and beaches beautiful enough to send even the most stressed visitor into a catatonia of relaxation.
From tiny Tuvalu to controversial bad boy Fiji to uber-chic French Polynesia, the family of Pacific islands is a varied bunch. And you can choose how you’ll acquaint yourself with this diverse crowd. Many opt for resorts in big centres like Fiji, the Cooks or Vanuatu, or plunge into another world diving among the dazzling coral and magical marine life that makes Nemo look like a pallid goldfish.
But there’s other ways to discover the Pacific. You could puzzle over lost civilisations amid the icons of Easter Island or see why Fletcher Christian hopped off the Bounty in favour of the remote paradise of Pitcairn Island. Why not get intrepid and seek out the live volcanoes or don your pith helmet to trek into lush forests? Then there’s the shipwrecks to dive, bohemian capitals to explore and did we mention that a cocktail with at least a couple of tropical fruits in it is compulsory?