WALLIS AND FUTUNA

A small French territorial "collectivity" (a self-governing subdivision of France) made up of three main volcanic islands split into two island groups that lie 260km apart. Not considered part of French Polynesia, Wallis Islands and the Hoorn Islands (Futuna and Alofi) sit among Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Tokelau and Tuvalu, and have a population of about 12,000 — most residents live in New Caledonia. The capital is Mata'utu on Uvea in the Wallis Islands, and as well as French, the mostly Polynesian population speaks Wallisian and Futunan.

What do you do for fun? Drink kava and go fishing.

How the heck do you get there? Via Aircalin from Noumea, New Caledonia or Nadi, Fiji.

PALAU

This tiny country in the western Pacific east of the Philippines is made up of 340 islands, the best named of which, Babeldaob, houses the capital, Ngerulmud. Most people live on Koror, however, which used to be the capital, and is where all the action seems to happen. Palau has had a rich history and has been ruled by multiple nations, but these days is a republic, which the US looks after with defence, funding and social services.

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What do you do for fun? Diving, snorkelling, visit ancient ruins.

How the heck do you get there? It's not going to be easy but there are several ways: via Manila, The Philippines; Seoul, South Korea; Taipei, Taiwan; Guam; Tokyo, Japan; or the nearby island of Yap in the Caroline Islands, another diving mecca.

KIRIBATI

About 100,000 people live on the 33 atolls and reef islands, and one raised coral island that make up the Republic of Kiribati, a former member of the Commonwealth. The rising sea level is a major problem here and some schools of thought are predicting the islands may become uninhabitable over the next few decades. Formerly known as the Gilbert Islands, aside from English the other main language is Gilbertese, a great name for a native tongue.

What do you do for fun? Surfing, scuba diving, fishing, sailing and snorkelling.

How the heck do you get there? Air Pacific, Air Nauru (Our Airline) and Air Kiribati fly in and around the islands from the Solomons, Nauru, Fiji and Brisbane, Australia. Kiribati's capital city is Tarawa.

TOKELAU

A New Zealand territory, miniscule Tokelau boasts the world's smallest economy (the population is less than 1500) and was the first nation in the world to be 100 per cent solar-powered. Unusually, there is no specific capital here (each atoll has its own), and climate change is also a concern. The currency is the New Zealand dollar.

What do you do for fun? You can visit the swimming pigs at Fakaofo, or go snorkelling.

How the heck do you get there? There is no airstrip, so travel by overnight boat from Samoa.