If you’re a family that loves adventure, there’s no doubt you’ll want your island holidays to also be adventure filled. Luckily, there are so many family friendly island holidays to choose from if you’re looking to spend your days jumping from activity to activity. Therefore, to help you plan your dream holiday, we’ve put together a list of the best island holidays for adventurous families in the South Pacific.
An Australian History Adventure on Norfolk Island
As we know, an adventure can come in many forms and doesn’t always involve getting your adrenaline pumping. You can have just as an exciting adventure by exploring the history and culture of the place you’re visiting, and what better island to do this on than Norfolk Island? Located just a short two-hour flight off the East Coast of Australia, Norfolk Island is a small island known for the important role it plays in Australian settlement history. The island was first settled by the British in March 1788, however, was first visited by Captain Cook in 1774 during his second voyage to the South Pacific. Up until 1814, convicts and free settlers made Norfolk Island their home but decided to abandon the island due to its isolation from the now well-established main settlement, Australia. Now, since 1825, Norfolk Island has been inhabited by prisoners before being handed over to the Pitcairners in 1856.
Due to the island’s rich cultural history, there are many fun and educational attractions you can fill your days visiting. Firstly, there are a range of official Norfolk Island Museums located in the World Heritage Kingston just waiting to be visited, including No 10. Quality Row, Pier Store, Sirius Museum and the Commissariat Store. These are all conveniently located close together so you can spend an entire day soaking up the island’s past and today’s living culture. We also recommend visiting Fletcher’s Mutiny Cyclorama; a circular panoramic painting surrounded by artwork to create an illusion of reality for visitors.
An Eco Adventure on Lord Howe Island
Another conveniently close location, Lord Howe Island is every environmentalist’s dream holiday. Lorde Howe Island is actually part of NSW, but at the same time feels a world away from Australia due to its unique nature. In 1982, the island was listed as part of the UNESCO World Heritage property, recognising the global significance of its beauty and biodiversity. In addition, the island is one of the cleanest places on earth, with no air or sea pollution or litter. As a result, 75% of the islands original natural vegetation remains intact, and the 350 locals work hard to make sure it stays this way. As you can imagine, visiting Lord Howe Island is an experience like no other; incredibly refreshing and beautiful. On your adventure here, we recommend visiting some of the island’s beautiful natural points of interest, starting with Mt Gower, the island’s highest mountain and one of Australia’s best day walks. You also cannot visit without snorkelling in the sparkling blue water at Ned’s Beach and hand feeding some of the island’s unique fish. Keen surfers must head to Blinky Beach, an inlet of stunning turquoise water that the locals have dubbed ‘champagne surf.’ Finally, an essential visit is in order to the Marine Park where you can snorkel, scuba dive or view by glass bottom boat some of the unique fish species, coral reef and other sea life. It’s important to remember that when visiting Lord Howe Island, you are also responsible for keeping the island in pristine condition, so you must be respectful of the rules and regulations in place.
A True Island Adventure in the Cook Islands
Because there’s nothing like a true tropical island holiday experience, the Cook Islands is a must visit in the South Pacific. Situated a short 9-hour flight off the East Coast of Australia, the Cook Islands provides the ultimate balance between luxury and taking a step back from the world you know at home. The Cook Islands are made up of an archipelago of 15 islands, the main two being the larger, Rarotonga and the smaller, Aitutaki. Your family holiday can easily be split between the two islands, with both being accessible to each other via a short 45-minute flight. One of the best parts about the Cook Islands is that there is not a single building taller than a palm tree (it’s a law), no traffic lights and not a single McDonalds store in sight! In terms of activities, we recommend spending your time visiting some of the stunning beaches and lagoons and trying your hand at all the water activities; snorkelling, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking and even sea scootering! Some of the best spots to do this are Muri Beach, One Foot Island, Titikaveka and Ootu Beach. Of course, these spots are also perfect for those wanting to kick back and relax on the sand while keeping one eye out of the kids!