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Backpacking Pacific Islands


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Thorn Tree Refugee
Posts: 14
Joined: April 24th, 2009

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Tags: Pacific Islands
  • Added on: April 25th, 2009
What are the best islands for backpacking in terms of low cost, availability of dorm/guesthouse accommodations, and things to do for solo travelers?


Thorn Tree Refugee
Posts: 1
Joined: July 2nd, 2008

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  • Added on: May 4th, 2009
Fiji is pretty decent for backpacking. There are several hostels on the main island and on the outlying islands. The downfall on the outlying islands though is that you also have to purchase a meal plan. And you have to pay your way out to the islands.

Nomadic Matt

Holds PhD in Packing
Posts: 228
Joined: May 9th, 2008

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  • Added on: May 17th, 2009
most backpackers head to Fiji but the cook islands are also pretty cheap and not too crowded


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Guidebook Dependent
Posts: 15
Joined: May 12th, 2009

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  • Added on: May 18th, 2009
Dont go to Tahiti.

$12 for a watermellon the size of my fists.
>$10 for a burger combo at a fast food joint..


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Squat Toilet Professional
Posts: 859
Joined: November 8th, 2007
Location: California

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  • Added on: June 1st, 2009
You are so right about French Polynesia! It is pricey. I met a backpacker in Bora Bora but it's not a cheap place in terms of food, that's for sure. He was camping and that helps. I stayed in the Motel Bora Bora - one bedroom huts on the beach and it was pretty darned pricey. Thank goodness for free beaches and a kitchen and deck. Definitely a wonderful place to stay if you're willing to spend a couple hundred a night rather than staying the real hotels.

I have heard such wonderful things about the Cook Islands, I've been longing to go there. My friend, Diana, said she had the best sushi ever in the Cook Islands.


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Holds PhD in Packing
Posts: 298
Joined: March 12th, 2006
Location: Fairfax, Virginia

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  • Added on: June 8th, 2009
I agree French Polynesia can be costly, however during a 5-night stay, I averaged a mere $66 per day. I had the support of Sam, a great French couchsurfer who picked me up at the airport, and helped me get around Pape'ete, Tahiti.

I spent 3 nights at Chez Nelson on Moorea thanks to having read these forums back in 2007!!! It cost about $20/night for a single room, but the setting by the water, with green mountains behind us, was gorgeous. I met a bunch of backpackers, had a great 2-hour snorkel, and generally kicked off my trip around the world in one of the most exotic (and expensive) destinations on Earth!!

Again, just $66/day, which let's face it, is completely doable for a few days as you head east or west across the Pacific. :) Of course reaching islands farther afoot, like Bora Bora, require flights and I wasn't prepared to spend that kind of money. But check out Tahiti, and little Moorea nearby on Google Earth, and try to tell me it doesn't look like paradise.

A few tempting photos in case you're not sold...

Chez Nelson on Moorea:

Our snorkel guide took us by the rich folks' dolphin pool:


Lost in Place
Posts: 75
Joined: January 14th, 2008
Location: Peterborough, Ontario

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  • Added on: June 27th, 2009
We went to Fiji and Vanuatu after 6 months in New Zealand. And Vanuatu was the best part of our 6 month travels! We were only there for 2 weeks and could have spent a lot more time there exploring. It's known as the "friendliest country in the world" (back in 2007 it was awarded with that title). And it was, the locals are very friendly and helpful. We ended up flying to Epi Island (which cost us about $270 roundtrip or something). But what an experience. Beautiful sights, and the experience of flying on Vanair is really amazing. Live chickens packed in palm leaf suitcases, tossed in with everyone's luggage. Epi Island is amazing as well. Beautiful beaches, awesome snorkeling, the chance to spot dugong, volcanoes all around. We saw dolphins, met the chief and had several meals with the local villagers. We paid $20 a night on Epi for 2 meals and very comfortable accommodations. Anyways I can't recommend it enough!
Loved it. And it's backpacker friendly though no where near as touristy as Fiji!


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Knows What a Schengen Visa Is
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Joined: June 14th, 2004

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  • Added on: July 3rd, 2009
Love love love the Cook Islands - Rarotonga is great but if you have the extra cash head for Aitutaki. My favourite part of my round the world trip - paradise found!
Consider the hair colour a warning label...

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