PACIFIC ISLANDS BY GRAEME LAY

Pacific Islands. Where to go? What to see? What to do? Graeme Lay, the author of ‘The Miss Tutti Frutti Contest’ as well as several other books set in the Blue Continent, gives his recommendations.

Hike over the hills of Pitcairn Island

It’s a small but very rugged island, and the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean are sublime. The whole ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ story is bound up in the island’s history too, and there are many relics of the mutiny to see there today. It’s a fascinating place and the people are marvelously friendly. All 57 of them! Pitcairn is hard to get to, but well worth the effort.

Drive or cycle around Rarotonga

The coast road or the inland road provide constantly changing views, of the lagoon and the mountains of the interior. There are lots of great places to stop off at along the way, too, for a snack, a coffee, a fresh coconut drink or a beer. I’ve followed the roads around Rarotonga many times and never tire of them. Invariably I end up at the bar of Trader Jack’s, on the Avarua waterfront, one of the great ‘watering holes’ of the South Pacific.

Visit the markets of the islands, such as the ones in Apia (Samoa), Avarua (Rarotonga) or Papeete (Tahiti)

The goods for sale, whether it’s fresh fruit and fish or snack food or souvenirs such as black pearls or pareu, are always great to sample or buy. The market in Papeete is enormous and sells everything you could possibly want. The food vans on Papeete’s waterfront, a short walk away, provide great places to dine cheaply while watching the sun go down over the lagoon.

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