11 May, 2014     

Bewitched by Beauty

Samoa is a laid-back paradise, writes Nina Karnikowski.

When I was 10 years old, I had a teacher who was completely enamoured with Samoa. I recall her getting misty-eyed as she talked about its natural beauty and I wondered, as I cut the silhouette of what I imagined Samoa might look like (a lump with a palm tree sticking out of it) from black cardboard, what could be so special about this small glob of land.

Two decades later, as my husband and I arrive on the wooden deck of our villa at Samoa's Seabreeze Resort, I begin to understand.

The deck, shaped like the bow of a ship, juts out from a rocky outcrop and is surrounded by 270-degree views of azure ocean. To our right is the private lagoon that the 11-villa resort hugs. Behind us is lush, vine-choked rainforest. And directly in front of us - a black rock islet with a palm tree sticking out of it.

It's utterly bewitching.

As I learnt those two decades ago, Samoa's two main islands are Upolu and Savai'i (Seabreeze is on the former, about an hour's drive from the capital, Apia). The country has almost no crime, thanks to an indigenous form of governance called fa'amatai, and, as I discover the next morning while preparing to head to a traditional Samoan church service, almost no ownership.

I'm keen to attend church because I've heard wonderful things about the devoutly religious Samoans' gospel singing. The only problem is, I don't have the appropriate white lavalava sarong to wear.

"One of our staff has one," the owner of Seabreeze assures me, "and in Samoa there's no ownership, so if she has one, you have one."

Sure enough, within 10 minutes I'm wrapped in a fresh white lavalava and am being driven to church, past the traditional open-walled houses, or fales, that highlight how loosely the Samoans grasp their possessions.

The service is magic. The locals are clad head to toe in white, the women with elegant hats perched on their heads, and almost everyone is waving palm-leaf fans to combat the morning heat. Listening to the deep, resonant voices singing gospel hymns, as ceiling fans lazily shift the smoke-infused air emanating from the Sunday umus (earth ovens), is just about as close to a religious experience as I'm likely to get.

From this point on, my husband and I effortlessly slip into the lackadaisical rhythm of Samoan life.

By day, we swim and snorkel in the warm waters of Seabreeze's lagoon, watching tropical fish of the most startling colours dart around the rocks and midnight-blue starfish spread themselves across the seabed. We take the resort's glass-bottomed kayaks out for a paddle to the neighbouring deserted beaches, where we climb about in hollowed-out trees and watch dozens of hermit crabs, some just a couple of millimetres long, scuttle over sea-buffed chunks of silvery driftwood. We indulge in a massage on our deck and a glass of bubbles in our very own plunge pool, and are served a dinner of local tuna carpaccio on our deck. Samoa is the first place in the world to see the sunset, a fact of which we remind ourselves as we watch the sky become a technicolour dream of tangerines and starburst yellows.

By night, we laze on our deck's outdoor circular lounge, gazing up at the thick blanket of stars and talking in a way we haven't had a chance to in months. We leave the doors and the slatted glass windows surrounding our spacious suite open, and fall asleep to the sound of waves crashing all around us.

It's all our island holiday dreams come true, and the perfect pause in the forward thrust of our lives.

Eventually, at about the day three mark, we manage to peel ourselves away from Seabreeze and begin exploring the island. A fellow guest got us excited about nearby Vavau Beach: "It's just like the one in the movie The Beach, only better!" he enthused. And, after traipsing rainforest paths by the sea, past a couple of seemingly deserted fales and two young local boys who ask us for 5 tala (about $2.60) each for entry, we discover he was absolutely right. Another palm-fringed crystalline lagoon surrounded by that vine-choked rainforest, Vavau Beach is the kind of place that makes you want to get a bit wild.

We paddle out to the mouth of the ocean and when we spot a hole in the rock face that protects the beach we scramble through and find ourselves facing a string of even more idyllic lagoons. It feels as though we're the first travellers ever to have discovered them.

Just 10 minutes' walk away is the famous To Sua trench, which costs 15 tala ($7) to enter and that immediately transports us to a surreal dream world. Sunken 30 metres into the earth and surrounded by lush green grasses, it's actually a giant tidal hole that formed when the roof of a lava tube collapsed. We manage to stop photographing it for just long enough to descend the steep ladder for a dip, and watch a couple of mad Danish tourists dive in from the lip.

As time slowly inches forward, we discover more of these breathtaking and deeply affecting natural wonders, all of which are virtually devoid of tourists and totally devoid of touts. There's the Piula cave pool, a freshwater swimming hole that reaches into a series of caves with an underwater cavity leading to a secret exit; Papapapaitai Falls, which tumble 100 metres into a vast green gorge; Lalomanu Beach on the south coast, a palm-fringed white slash of sand dividing blue water and green craggy volcanic peaks, ringed by candy-coloured beach huts; the Pupu Pu'e national park's coastal walk, which weaves through a pandanus forest and emerges at an expansive field of wrinkly lava, created when a nearby volcano erupted 3000 years ago, and now pockmarked with blowholes fed by the ocean.

All visits are accompanied by a symphony of cicadas and gently falling waves, and legends whispered by gentle, friendly locals.

Our favourite is the tale of Sina and the Eel, which tells of a beautiful girl, Sina, who, when her pet eel fell in love with her, got scared and asked the village chiefs to kill him. As the eel was dying, he asked Sina to plant his head in the ground, from which a coconut tree grew.

That's why, say the Samoans, when the husk is removed from a coconut there are three circular marks that appear like the face of the eel - one of these is pierced for drinking the coconut, so whenever Sina took a drink she was kissing the eel, forever more.

My husband and I can't look at our coconuts the same way for the rest of our trip - and we see a lot of them. We drink at least one each day, and they're used every which way in the fresh local cuisine - palusami, a spinach and coconut-infused dip, is a favourite.

On our final night, as we sit half-submerged in Seabreeze's ocean-front infinity pool sipping our last local Vailima beer, I find myself getting misty-eyed and spare a thought for my teacher. This beautiful place has certainly cast its spell on me, too.

The writer travelled courtesy of Seabreeze Resort Samoa.

GETTING THERE
From Sydney, it's a five-hour flight with Virgin Australia to Samoa. See virginaustralia.com.

STAYING THERE
Seabreeze Resort offers 11 rooms for couples and families, starting at $325 a night, including breakfast. Honeymoon Point House (the villa in which we stayed) has a minimum three-night stay, at $557 a night including breakfast. Full and half-day tours of the island are run by Seabreeze in-house staff. Charter boat fishing can also be arranged. Traditional Samoan handicraft lessons are held on Fridays, followed at 6pm by the Seabreeze staff's own Fiafia show - including traditional dancing, singing and fire twirling on the beach - and Samoan feast. See seabreezesamoa.com.

MORE INFORMATION
samoa.travel.

THREE OTHER THINGS TO SEE AND DO
CULTURE STOP
The Samoa Cultural Village, in the heart of Upolu's capital, Apia, is a good place to stop off on day one or two if you're keen to get familiar with the local traditions and culture. Watch demonstrations of carving, weaving, umu and handicrafts-making, and, if you time your visit right, see a wince-inducing full-body tattooing session take place. While you're in "town" (Apia is small), have a peek inside the flea market (conch shells, carved bowls and shell necklaces all feature prominently), and stop off for top-notch local flavours at Bistro Tatau. See bistrotatau.ws.

TREASURE TROVE
Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island, had fabulous taste. You will discover this if you visit his stately mansion-turned-museum in Vailima, in which he wrote and lived for the five years before his death in the 1890s. If you're feeling energetic, take the 40-minute uphill hike to the author's tomb at the top of Mount Vaea behind the house. It's 20 tala (about $9.30) for entry, tour and, if you're lucky, a song. See rlsmuseum.com.

WATERSLIDE
Papaseea Sliding Rocks, a series of mossy waterfalls that function as a natural waterslide, is 6 kilometres from Apia town. They're definitely worth a whoosh, but make sure you check there's enough water in there before you make the effort to head over. Entry is 2 tala (about 90 cents).


  05 May, 2014     

Samoa: treasured islands in the South Pacific



  20 April, 2014     

Just another day in Samoa

Content by House of Travel

PARADISE NEVER ENDS: Behind every cluster of palm trees lies a beautiful stretch of golden beach awaiting your visit.


If you're looking for paradise, then head to the South Pacific shores of Samoa.

Behind every cluster of palm trees lies a beautiful stretch of golden beach awaiting your visit.

Check out one of these sunny Samoan spots you're sure to fall in love with - why not book that holiday time now and start packing your bags?

Lalomanu Beach
On Upolu, Samoa's most populated island, you'll find Lalomanu Beach nestled in the south-east. This is one beach not to be missed off your Samoan bucket list, as it's as picture-perfect as a postcard. Plunge into the crystalline waters or simply lounge on the soft sand with a good read. Don't forget about the part where you sip on tropical fruity cocktails.

Aganoa Black Sand Beach
For those craving a little more adventure with their beach journey, Aganoa Black Sand Beach is a great option. The only land access to its pristine shore is via a rather rough and tumble 4WD track, however it can also be accessed by boat from nearby Maninoa.

Once you're there, you can enjoy splashing around or checking out the sheer variety of life in the underwater world with a spot of snorkelling. Expect to see formations of gently swaying coral, schools of colourful fish and other marine animals.

Cape Mulinu'u
Located on Samoa's largest island of Savai'i, Cape Mulinu'u has both natural beauty and historical significance. It's the country's westernmost location, and local legend tells that the dead pass into the underworld here, although you'll likely be too distracted by the palm-fringed golden shores to be worried about that!

Some travellers also know this place as Sandy Beach as it's one of the last places in the world to watch the sunset.

Spend a long, languid day here before saying goodnight.


  15 January, 2014     

Sleep like a log in sensational Samoa

By Sandy Savos

The first home of the 2013 Australian media group was the Orator Hotel in Tanumapua, Apia. This is a popular place for many Samoans who come here in the summer months because of its cooler temperature compared to the humid capital.

One of the guests at breakfast was a jovial Californian, Robert, who was representing one of the tenders (SunWize) to help Samoa become dependent on solar energy, especially in remote parts of the country.

I was impressed with the Samoans embracing modern technology and keeping up with the world. Recent achievements included Wi-Fi (introduced two years ago), driving on the right-hand side of the road and moving the International Date Line to the left (both actions to conform with Australian and New Zealand standards). FYI: the tala currency is about two for one Australian dollar.

A visual highlight of the Orator Hotel, apart from its appealing bungalow-styled rooms, are its hectares of manicured gardens, with the majority of the plants and trees hand-picked by the owners, Jerry and Charlotte. Craig and I were lounging by the pool when the skies darkened overhead and an almighty bolt of lightning streaked across the sky, followed by an ear-splitting clap of thunder, and most of Upolu Island blacked out until well into the evening. A thunderous applause to nature!

Our second home was straight out of the pages of James Michener’s Pulitzer Prize novel, Tales of the South Pacific. I am talking about Stevensons at Manase, Savai’i Island. No connection to the famous author, this jaw-dropping resort has beach fales (open huts) literally 10 steps from the ocean’s edge. Ten steps to the clean, pristine, sparkling blue Pacific Ocean, with sand so soft and the sea so warm.

The sun had started to sink (ever so slowly), shadows were creeping over the palm trees hugging the water’s edge and my colleagues were enjoying a refreshing swim (it was hot) when I lit my Cohiba cigar and timidly walked into the shallow sea and knew … oh, how, I knew … that I was in paradise. In those splendid moments, everything in my world was perfect. I felt like the main character in Ernest Hemingway’sThe Old Man And The Sea.

We spent two nights at Stevensons, and sleeping in a beach fale was a new, and enjoyable, experience for me. Although they were the resort’s budget accommodation (there are luxury-appointed suites and beach-front villas), I was comfortable … even with the cold showers. I am grateful to Stevensons staff who prepared an umu (such divine flavours), and performed traditional singing and dancing at the resort’s Tusitala Restaurant. Just beautiful to watch and listen.

I did not think the sunset ”dreamtime” could be topped but I was wrong. My media colleagues decided to enjoy an evening swim before bed, and I waded out to join them. There was light from some of the beach fales but not strong enough to dampen the awestruck mood … because the stars, in their thousands, were out that moonless night, and it was a magical, magnificent, exhilarating, enchanting sight. You could not help but gaze in awe. Several of my colleagues saw shooting stars. Did they secretly make a wish?

Our third home was Aggie Grey’s Lagoon Beach Resort & Spa, Mulifanua, just a five-minute drive from Faleolo International Airport, Upolu Island. This four-star resort has serious credentials, boasting 91 hectares (224 acres) of tropical gardens, with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

Aggie-Grey's Lagoon, Beach Resort & Spa Aggie-Grey’s Lagoon, Beach Resort & Spa I came across a white-walled church in the middle of the resort’s manicured gardens and became curious (as most journalists are) why a place of worship ”happened” to be in a place of hospitality. Well, when the resort was being built about four years ago, construction workers uncovered the remains of a 100-year-old church, and it was decided to resurrect it to its former divine glory. Bravo. Applause for giving new life to a remarkable building.

Please, don’t get me wrong; although I enjoyed the beach fale-experience immensely at Stevensons, the fluffy pillows, soft bed, air-conditioning and hot showers in my room at Aggie Grey’s were … divine.

Our fourth home was something ”out of the blue,” something unexpected, something that makes all your senses go into overload and ”blow off” the top of your head … especially after a bumpy ride along a pothole-ridden dirt road which seemingly lead to nowhere!

Sa’ Moana Resort, at Salamumu Beach, Upolu Island, is in a lush coconut grove with absolute beachfront bungalows (2-6 persons), a saltwater swimming pool at the ocean’s edge, and a natural reef within easy view. The 3.5-star resort opened in 1999, originally for surfers and their families to enjoy the waves and just chill out in a breathtaking setting. The two hammocks in the coconut grove were a subtle touch to the theme: total relaxation.

Two delightful (and beautiful) Kiwis had joined the Australian media team at Sa’ Moana: Rachel (campaign manager, House of Travel) and Amelia (journalist, New Zealand Herald). It was not all relaxation for Rachel; she actually came to this beautiful country to work!

”Being on the ground in Samoa, especially during the biggest cultural and sporting events of the year, provided a rare insight into this unique and impressive island nation.” Rachel says. ”Thank you Samoan Tourism Authority! I’m managing the upcoming South Pacific edition of House of Travel’s Inspire Magazine which will be available instore nationwide, online and in the Sunday Star Times. Samoa will be one of the key features in the magazine, and additional to Inspire will be ongoing campaign activity throughout the year, all with an objective of bringing tourists to this stunning island nation.”

OK, so Rachel did have some relaxing moments; it’s hard not to at the pamper-those-guests resorts dotting Samoa. Her thoughts? ”Absolutely stunning! The country is so … photogenic. The people, the land, the sea, everything,” Rachel says. ”The culture is what really stands out to me – the people are so proud, very friendly and absolutely stunning. Add to this the picturesque waterfalls, turquoise seas, powder-fine white sandy beaches, lush tropical rainforests … there’s the colourful buses that blast sweet reggae music and pumping nightclubs, fresh seafood, ice-cold Vailima [local beer], a complete range of accommodation options, the list goes on … mmm yes … Samoa is so … yummy.”

We quickly made friends later with two Victorian surfers who were told of this fascinating place by a friend of theirs, a former staff member. Simon, a financial planner, and Gareth, in construction, came to Samoa on an 11-day surfing and diving holiday. Ah, but the best-laid plans of mice and men …

”We had 50km/h trade winds for two weeks straight which killed all the activities we had planned but to experience the local people and their culture made up for everything,” Simon says. ”On Sunday, we were invited to church where they all sang for two hours and then went back to the high chief’s village to have their traditional umu. Amazing people. I will definitely go back but maybe not pack the surfboards or dive gear next time. Sa’ Moana was good but its staff are the biggest asset. The fact that the resort hires Samoans with such a beautiful temperament made our experience exceptional, despite the unsettled weather.”

Source: Travel With

  30 November, 2013     

Five of the best travel deals

By Merecedes Maguire

Five of the best travel deals featured this bonus offer from Samoa's Seabreeze Resort:

3. MARRAIGE BONUS
Marry for free at the 4.5-star Seabreeze Resort Samoa and save $NZ960 ($A860). The luxury resort is offering couples who stay a minimum of six nights a free wedding ceremony. Also included is Seabreeze choir, a bouquet, minister or celebrant, all fees, licence and administration costs and a wedding planner. Six nights is priced from $NZ2126 a couple and includes return airport transfers and breakfast daily. Valid before March 31 next year and from Nov 1 to Mar 31, 2015.

See seabreezesamoa.com

Source: www.perthnow.com.au (Travel, Escape)

  29 November, 2013     

11 ideas for cheap holidays that aren't Bali or Thailand


By Julian Swallow

BEEN there, done that ... and back for more.

Most Australians believe Bali and Thailand still offer the top bang-for-buck holidays.

But are they right?

A recent Galaxy survey conducted for Escape asked 1000 Australians which destination they rated as the best value for money. Bali and Thailand were the top picks and Australian holidays were rated a distant third when it came to value for money.

The Bali bias was highest in Western Australia, with 46 per cent of West Aussies naming Bali as their discount destination of choice.

Yet, beyond the traditional trips on the beaten path, it's still possible to find affordable breaks filled with sun, sand and surf.

Escape - together with Flight Centre - has unearthed 11 overseas holiday ideas - all for less than $3000 a person - for 2014 that might convince you to finally try somewhere new.

Where are you going this summer?

1. Samoa
It used to be the last place on Earth to welcome each new day. Now, following a sneaky switch across the international date line in 2011, it is the first country on earth to meet the rising sun. And lots of sun there is too! Even better, if you travel here for New Year you can be the first to ring in 2014, with a cocktail drunk from a coconut shell. If that's not reason enough to venture beyond your Pacific comfort zone, add in beaches, waterfalls, rainforests and the resting place of Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of Treasure Island, and you've got a destination that fascinates with its range of possibilities.

What's the deal?
Return flights and six nights' accommodation at the 3-star Insel Fehmarn Hotel with daily buffet breakfast. From $1035 per person (ex Sydney). Offer valid for sale until November 30, 2013. For travel May 1 - June 25, 2014.

Source - www.perthnow.com.au (Travel, Escape)


  22 November, 2013     

Family holiday in the South Pacific


For your family holiday, you need to know you're choosing a destination with something for everyone.

The South Pacific islands are abundant with family-friendly holiday options.

Its warm climate, gently lapping lagoons, friendly locals and laidback atmosphere - not to mention its plethora of adventurous activities - mean that your family time in the Pacific will be enjoyable and memorable.

Any Pacific Island nation is geared up for family fun, but here is a taste of what's on offer.

ALL SMILES IN SAMOA
Samoa's lively, colourful and happy culture is perfect for children - filled with infectious laughter, song and dance that's easy to join into. Filled with stunning scenery, there's always plenty to explore.

Cycle together along the smoothly paved roads lined with plenty of fresh water swimming pools, and stop off so you can cool down along the way.

There is little traffic, so the most you'll need to remember is to smile and wave at local villagers as they pass by. Kids will also love an authentic beach fale experience.

Stay in traditional-style beach hut accommodation, propped above the sand on stilts.

Your kids can make their sandcastles right outside. Don't forget swimming with the turtles, or exploring local swimming holes and lagoons.

HOT TIPS
Learn the local lingo - it's always fun to try and the locals love it! At the very least learn to say hello, please and thank you.

Take Mum and Dad to a traditional local dance and song show and try some local food like taro and breadfruit cooked traditionally in an underground oven.

Go snorkelling and get up close and personal to many friendly, vibrant and tropical fish. If you're old enough you may be able to learn to scuba dive in the resort pool * Visit a local village if you can, to learn how the locals live and play.

Meet up with some of the local kids. Make sure to get their address so that you can write to them when you return home. * Watch the geckos wandering the walls and ceilings of buildings - they're fun to watch and do a great job of keeping the mozzie population down.

Visit the local markets - fun for all ages. You might even get to buy a souvenir here with your pocket money!

How about a day at the beach, swimming, hunting for crabs, building sand castles and flying a kite - cool fun!

Source - www.stuff.co.nz (Inspire Magazine - Content provided by House of Travel)




  18 November, 2013     

Samoa's natural delights


There's truly nowhere quite like Samoa. From the moment you arrive on this idyllic nation's shores, you will be greeted by smiles and the lively 'Talofa' of locals, who are ready to treat you like a treasured friend.

The colourful culture and welcoming attitude is not all you'll find here - Samoa is packed with natural delights like glistening turquoise lagoons, towering volcanic landscapes, blissful beaches and banyan groves, all of which offer once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for adventure or relaxation - whichever holiday type suits you.

There are ten islands that make up Samoa, with Upolu (home to Apia, the nation's capital) and Savai'i as the main two. Each island has its own unique flavour and feel - though all are equally delectable.

Unlike some other crowded Pacific destinations, Samoa very much retains its untouched, pastoral atmosphere - which Samoan secret will you uncover?

A CULTURE OF COLOUR AND SMILES
Visitors to Samoa quickly get used to laughter and grins, thanks to the extremely social culture. Family, friendships and community spirit are the top priority - something reflected in the communal structure of the villages (nu'u).

Churches, houses (fales) and other buildings are brimming with life and an unrivalled togetherness.

The island's abundance of colour is sure to leave an impression. Locals don lavalavas and formal dresses, decorate their homes, buses, fences and even rocks with bold tones.

Another special and important part of Fa'a Samoa - 'the Samoan way' - are the traditions. Check out the song and dance such as the siva afi and taualuga at a unique cultural show for visitors.

You'll leave enchanted by the skill, grace and passion evident in the various dances, ranging from slow and captivating to thrilling and fast.

The fabulous flavour of Samoa is most apparent in its cuisine. Food is all a part of coming together, so you may find yourself invited to a mouth-watering traditional feast called an 'umu'.

Translated to 'earth oven', this ritual gives you an idea of how fresh and homemade the food is - it's cooked outside with hot rocks!

Of course, seafood is a speciality. During the day you might see men out on the rocks catching yellow fin tuna, octopus, lobster and more. Raw fish with coconut cream, bananas and juicy tropical fruits from island plantations round off a perfect meal - but not without an ice cold local Vailima beer!

AUTHENTIC ACCOMMODATION
There's a different type of accommodation to suit every need in Samoa. For one, it's the only place in the Pacific where you can really live like a local in a beach fale amid some million dollar scenery.

That means you get to sleep right on the beach under a thatched roof on wooden posts, and let the gentle lapping of waves lull you to sleep.

Samoa also has multiple luxurious lodgings if you prefer a beachside resort complete with air con. In 2014 there will be a number of new resorts opening for business across Upolu, including the stunning new five star establishment Return To Paradise Resort and Spa.

Nestled in the most spectacular beach in the South Pacific and with Master Chef Simon Gault designing the delectable menu, this resort is definitely worth the wait.

INSPIRING ACTIVITIES AND EXPERIENCES
All year round the breeze and ocean are delightfully warm, so you can always soak up the sun on the beach. Head to Satoalepai Village on Savai'i to swim with sea turtles, or set off to Aganoa Beach on the west coast for some of the most epic breaks in the Pacific.

Hiring snorkel gear is a must - beneath the water's surface at almost every beach across the archipelago there's a glittering rainbow of tropical fish to admire.

When you've had enough of the sand and surf, head out for a walk through the rainforest and discover some awe-inspiring caves, pools and waterfalls. You can even hire a car or bike to take in more of the scenery - and find more photo opportunities.

The adventure doesn't stop with Samoa's natural attractions. Come in September and take part in parades and cultural showcasing for the Teuila Festival, the annual celebration of Samoan culture including the crowning of Miss Samoa.

The Alo Paopao Festival, which takes place at the same time, celebrates outrigging and the culture's boating history. Party on a boat, on the beach and on the pub crawl bus as you enjoy the sweet island beats of international and local entertainers.

Spotlight: TATTOO - The Samoan tatau (tattoo) is very unique, with the traditional method of application still intact in order to keep its integrity and traditions alive.

The traditional men's tatau is the Pe'a and the traditional woman's is the malu. The patterns and structure of the Pe'a goes beyond aesthetics - it's a sign of bravery and more importantly a sign of service.

Samoan sleeves and arm band tattoos have really taken off in New Zealand and worldwide, with Samoans displaying pride in their nation as well as sports stars like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Sonny Bill Williams leading the charge.

The intricate cultural motifs typically replicate the family, journey, culture and ancestors of the person being tattooed - works of art that are unique to each individual.

WHEN TO GO
The most comfortable time to travel is May-Oct, during the dry season. This is also the period when major Samoan festivals are held. In Sep there is the Teuila Festival - a week of dance, parades, sporting matches and parties. If you plan your visit around this you'll need to book early.

Book at least 2 months out from your date of travel to avoid disappointment. Note that a large number of Samoans jet in from NZ during the Dec-Jan holiday period, so get in early.

GETTING THERE
A 3.5 hour flight from Auckland flying Air New Zealand to Apia non-stop five times a week and Virgin Australia also five times a week.

International flights arrive at Faleolo International Airport, 15km west of Apia.

To find out more call 0800 838 747, visit houseoftravel.co.nz or come instore!

Source - www.stuff.co.nz (Inspire Magazine - Content provided by House of Travel)