Pacific Islands: Why it's Island Time

Summer not living up to your expectations? Try a South Pacific getaway instead.

Kelly Slater at the Billabong Pro Teahupoo competition in Tahiti in 2016. Photo / Getty Images
Kelly Slater at the Billabong Pro Teahupoo competition in Tahiti in 2016. Photo / Getty Images

It's cheap!

Okay, so it's wet season for most Pacific Islands from November to March/April, so you're not guaranteed a 100 per cent sunny holiday. But this means it's also low season at the moment, so you can get some really amazing deals. Airfares and accommodation are much cheaper than in the busier months of New Zealand's winter. If you can go once the school holidays are over, you'll get an even better deal. Air New Zealand's current Islands sale is on until midnight Friday, with one-way Seat fares starting from $189.

The surf's up!

Founded in 1999 and quickly recognised as one of the biggest of the big-wave competitions, the Billabong Pro Teahupoo brings the world's best professional surfers to French Polynesia to ride the giant break at Teahupo'o in Taiarapu, Tahiti. It's the only known natural wave break in the world that breaks below sea level, making for tubes that are giant, majestic and sometimes deadly.

The legendary Kelly Slater took the title last year. This year's event runs from August 11-22.

The shopping is great!

"It's like a giant city," says Travel's resident shopping guru on the subject of Honolulu's sprawling Ala Moana mall. Flying with Hawaiian Airlines, you're allowed two bags weighing up to a combined total of 32kg. "Fly up there with one small suitcase and get one of those big loose canvas bags to bring the shopping home," says our consumer columnist.

Don't take the weather with you

You think this good weather in Auckland is going to last? You're bonkers. Book six months ahead for a trip during the depths of the Kiwi winter and you'll get the added benefit of anticipating your Pacific Island break. Added bonus: Book for June and you'll avoid all those annoying British Lions supporters descending upon our shores.

They could use the help

After the devastating Cyclone Winston last February, Fiji has been picking up the pieces and rebuilding the worst affected areas. There's still some work to do in the north-west, which took most of the brunt of the storm - but what better way to help contribute than by booking a holiday?

- NZ Herald

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