Sailing to a land down under: Exotic South Pacific Charter Destinations
We also feel that such a trip should involve visiting one of the many beautiful islands that have sprung up in that area. Naturally, a picture of Bora Bora resorts with their over-water bungalows springs to mind.
But what makes such a trip even more precious is the experiences it opens up for us. It is these adventures which make our travels truly worthwhile, which stay with us and enrich us with their beauty, depth and almost surreal qualities. Like swimming with whales or visiting places so ancient that we are left bewildered and amazed. Here are 5 amazing and unusual activities you can do on your next luxury yacht charter to the South Pacific.
Feeding sharks on Bora Bora
Now this may not sound like much at first but there is more to this than meets the eye. When you feed the sharks you’re in the water with them. Yes, when feeding sharks and stingrays on Bora Bora you join them in the water! But no need to worry, blacktip reef sharks don’t get much longer than 1.6 meters so they don’t really consider humans an appropriate meal.
Shark Feeding in the French Polynesia © Pierre Lesage / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
And to be entirely fair to sharks, they are actually very shy and careful creatures, contrary to myth. If you’re considering swimming with sharks and getting to know them more intimately, feeding them on Bora Bora is an ideal way to start and overcome your initial trepidation.
Swimming in Samoa
Samoa offers a number of unique swimming and diving spots. One of them is To Sua ocean trench in the village of Lotofaga on Upolu island, Samoa. To Sua translates as ’big hole'’and is a natural formation, believed to have been created by a lava field. Surrounded by beautiful and lush vegetation, To Sua has a mystique that is only rivaled by Mexico’s hidden beach at Marieta Islands or the Melissani Cave in Greece.
Samoa Sua © travelinsider / Foter.com / CC BY
Piula Cave Pool (or Fatumea Pool) is also located on Upolu island. It is a natural freshwater pool formed by cooled lava tubes and filled by a spring which flows out of the cave and also out to sea. It is a rather popular site for locals and visitors and offers refreshment and relaxation.
Whales in Tonga
© bigyahu / Foter.com / CC BY-NC
Tonga is humpback whales’ breeding ground and so each year they migrate there to perform their rites and rituals. It is one of the few places where humpback whales can also be observed with their young - raising them and teaching them, swimming alongside them and having fun. And given the right conditions, one can also swim in their quiet but majestic presence.
Humpback whales are known as some of the most elaborate whale ’performers’ and the sounds they emit are rightfully called songs. Male humpback whales have even been called ’inveterate composers’ and it is thought that their songs are addressed to the females. Listening to one of these songs is a truly awe-inspiring experience.
Easter Island’s Moai
Located at the southeasternmost point of Polynesia is Rapa Nui or Easter Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also one of the most remote inhabited locations in the world, all the more intriguing as it is also home to some of the most impressive megalithic structures on Earth. The Mo’ai are huge monolithic human figures that are spread across the whole island.
Easter Island © Sarah Twitchell / Foter.com / CC BY-ND
Their most striking component is their size (up to 10 meters) and their weight (up to 86 tons). It is puzzling to explain how they were transported and made to stand up straight. There are a number of theories about this but no final explanation. The Mo’ai are one of the most impressive megalithic structures our ancestors have left behind and something to behold.
Nan Madol Ruins on Temwen Island
The Nan Madol (or ’spaces between’) ruins are another great ancient structure. Based on Temwen island in western Micronesia, this city has sometimes been called the ’Venice of the Pacific’. This is so because it was constructed in a lagoon in which structures are connected through a network of canals.
© ajdemma / Foter.com / CC BY-NC
Little is known about how the megalithic structures were raised but the complex itself housed the ruling elite and nobility of Saudeleur dynasty. It was a seat of power and was also used as a place for priests to perform their rituals. Interestingly enough, ’H. P.’ Lovecraft was inspired by the ruins and used them as a template for the city of R’lyeh in his story ’Call of Cthulhu’. This was the city of Cthulhu himself.
Travelling for the sake of experiences is the best kind of travel. One that seeks to explore and experience both human and natural wonders. The South Pacific is a destination which offers many such precious possibilities. Don’t miss them!