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Island Hopping in the Pacific Ocean in 2016

 

Island Hopping the Pacific

bora bora capre diem

Flying into Bora Bora, French Polynesia

 

Why the Pacific ?

 

The Pacific Ocean is 165 million square kilometers and takes up approximately one- third of the earth’s surface. There are over 25 000 islands in the Pacific Ocean, most of which you will find south of the Equator. When I was 7 years old I took my first trip over the Pacific. We flew to Hawaii, then to New Zealand and finally landed in Brisabane. I spent a month touring the local area and meeting family members for the first time! On our return we spent 4 days in Honolulu. I was HOOKED on traveling. And something about the Pacific stayed with me.

 

As a teen I traveled down the West Coast of the United States and up the West Coast of Canada. I travelled to the Pacific Rim countries of Singapore and Malaysia with my high school and also visited the Pacific side of Mexico. A few more trips to Hawaii ensued as well as a trip to the Cook Islands.

Bora bora sofitel carpe diem

Our Overwater Bungalo at the Sofitel Bora Bora

On our Honeymoon, Raimo and I visited French Polynesia and island hopped from Tahiti, to Moorea, to Bora Bora. We experienced amazing overwater bungalows, swam in the clearest water imaginable and swam with sharks and sting rays.

There is just something about the Pacific. Everyone has their “place” and I think I will stay awhile and try and discover a few more of the 25 000 islands that are located in the Pacific Ocean.

Where do we plan to go?
Oahu

Our tentative plan is to fly from Vancouver into Oahu and secure a month long rental. That gives us plenty of downtime that we crave, mornings to play at the beach and afternoons to walk or spend some time at the pool and evenings to relax or experience the evening entertainement along Kalakawa. We have family in Punnaluu and plan to visit often (after rush hour that is). We would like to visit the North Shore and watch the surfing competitions, visit Kuoloa Ranch and take the “movie” tour (we are movie junkies) and see the Dole Plantation. While Pearl Harbor is a “must-see,” we have seen it before and the boys are a little too young to sit for the movie and visit a “quiet” place. We will visit Oahu again I am sure, and there will be a right time to visit.

oahu circle island drive views

Oahu Circle Island Drive

From Oahu we want to island hop to a few of the other islands. The Big Island of Hawaii for sure as I want to spend some time at the Hawaii Volcano’s National Park and hopefully see Kilauea’s eruptions. I have never been to any of the other islands but we want to spend some time having an authentic Hawaiian experience, not just a typical tourist experience. I will be looking for small towns on the less touristy islands to see what we can find! You will have to wait and see what our adventures uncover!

hawaii beaches carpe diem

Oahu’s Famous North Shore – Home to Giant Waves and many surfing competitions!

From Oahu to ……

Well we don’t have a lot of choice from Oahu to head into the South Pacific. There are a few major hubs we could go back to, such as LAX in Las Angeles (which would make a nice week to see Disneyland) but im not sure I want to head back to the mainland so quickly. We have found that we can get to Tahiti quite cheaply and that is our planned destination. Check out this post on google flights to get great tips on how to find the best routes and the best prices for your travel!

 

Tahiti

We visited French Polynesia in 2007 on our honeymoon. We did the typical tourist thing and stayed in beautiful resorts: Intercontinental Tahiti, Sofitel Moorea and Softel Bora Bora. We were treated to overwater bungalos on the islands of Moorea and Bora Bora and experienced luxury beyond our wildest dreams!

While i do not expect a family holiday to be the same, I would love to teach my kids to swim in the beautiful clear shallow waters that are found all over French Polynesia. I have also found that they offer a “local” experience called “pensions” which often involves a home stay with a local family. We would love to see what the real people of French Polynesia do for work if they are not employed in the tourism industry. While it costs a lot in French Polynesia it would be a great chance to brush up on my French and spend more time acting like a local, and not like a honeymooner.

Intercontinental Tahiti carpe diem travel blog

the Intercontinental Tahiti – French Polynesia

bora bora carpe diem

the Majestic Bora Bora

tahiti carpe diem travel bungalo

the Intercontinental Tahiti Overwater Bungalos

 

New Zealand

 

We plan to head to Aukland from Tahiti because again our “island hopping” options are limited. My mum is from New Zealand and we hope we can connect with some family and spend a little time sightseeing. It is one of those countries on my “must see” list but we do not have specific itinerary in mind.

Cook Islands

 

I have visited the cook islands as a teenager and feel in love. Not with a man, but with a lifestyle: the laid back culture, the friendliness, the beauty of the region. I vowed to return and cant wait to share it with my family. I would like to island hop here once we arrive and would love to do a one month stay at least!

 

Then what ….

 

Well that takes us into the spring (if we were in North America) and the Fall/Winter in the Southern Hemisphere. There are so many other islands to discover and only New Zealand is a new place for me. I intend to see Samoa and Fiji and as many others as we can. We are limited by flight options, as that is the most expensive part. We don’t want to keep going back to a “hub” over and over just to get out to another island. I would like to go to Brisbane and again visit some family but we don’t know if the costs will allow us. Perhaps we will stop for a short time and then head into SE Asia, where our dollar goes so much farther on food and lodging.

 

 

We are not rich, we do not have a huge savings for this trip (currently we do not have any savings at all). But we are determined to live our live OUR way and seize these moments before they pass us by!

Please follow along as we share our stories and our travel tips. We hope to entertain and inspire others to seize their day and not be burdened by the 9-5 work week!

Have you traveled to any islands in the Pacific? What was your favourite? do you have a suggestion for a family friendly island? Please let me know in the comments! We love traveler feedback!

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island hopping the pacific carpe diem

Lindsay is the Editor and Head Writer of Carpe Diem OUR Way. She wears many hats including mom, wife, freelancer, GM for a manufacturing company and soccer player. Lindsay is spontaneous, loves travel, photography and very recently discovered she loves to write.

12 thoughts on “Island Hopping in the Pacific Ocean in 2016

  1. Mary {The World Is A Book}

    What a great trip and experience this is going to be for your family! Funny I did a post last year called Island Hopping Around the Pacific :) We covered Brisbane, Cairns, Fiji, Japan and Guam (where i grew up). We love these islands and it does make me feel at home too. We were in French Polynesia last month and cant’ wait to go back. Cook Islands is on the horizon. This looks like such a fantastic plan and I’m a tad bit jealous I can’t come along :)

  2. Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru

    I share your love of the Pacific islands. We lived outside Hanalei, Kaua’i for a couple of years. I would suggest you spend less time on Oahu and venture to the Big Island or Kaua’i. Both have a significant amount of wilderness and a less citified vibe. We’re returning to Fiji for a second time next month after spending three months there last year. Paradise with very inexpensive living if you stay away from the headliner resorts. Can’t wait to see what you share!

  3. Toni | 2 Aussie Travellers

    We lived in New Zealand for many years and it really is beautiful, especially if you get out of the cities and spend some of your time in the South Island. I love the Cook Islands and have travelled there for work and other times just to relax, you won’t find friendlier people anywhere in the world. We’ve also been to Samoa and Fiji and really loved both. I’m sure your Pacific hopping adventure will be amazing.

  4. Jen Seligmann

    Sounds like an awesome trip you have planned. I’d have to say that the Pacific is my favourite part of the world (although being from Sydney I am biased). I’ve spent a lot of time in New Zealand and can tell you it is truly incredible. Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to explore it, it might be a small place but there is so much to see. Hope you have a great time!

  5. dannielle

    I’d love to do this on my own honeymoon (one day!) and would have no idea where to start, so this is a great prospective guide. I hope you guys have an incredible time and cant wait to read about your adventure!

  6. Kate

    Stunning islands. I would love to do Hawaii at some point and I’ve been to a couple of places on your list. Fiji was a great, fun experience plus total relaxation. Maybe look at the Virgin Australia flights around the area (I used to work for Virgin Australia) and see if their partners Polynesian and Pacific Blue/Virgin Blue have offers and routes that help you plan. Great trip and I hope to see your posts in the future for inspiration

  7. Claudia

    I have a serious jealous issue when I read of other people’s travelling plan, because I don’t have any at the moment, and I can’t afford to travel at all. Bora Bora, Tahiti and New Zealand have been on my mind since time immemorial…

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