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Old 29-03-2016, 14:31   #16
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Re: Pacific first timers?

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Originally Posted by Tetepare View Post
Great observation.

So far excellent suggestions. Whitsundays are beautiful, safe. New Cal and FP are French, are expensive. If you want the true "Pacific Island" experience, then Tonga is the place- but as stated, 5 weeks may be too long...3 at most, I'd say.
Last year in New Cal, costs for many things were pretty comparable to Australia... the costs for things cruiser/charterer NEED to buy. Restaurant meals, in the better places, seemed dear, but the same could be said for Strahan, where we've been for a few weeks now! Grocery store prices were not all that much higher, and fuel was about the same, actually cheaper than Oz marina fuel dock banditry.

And as to the "true Pacific Island experience", well, IMO no place with a developed bare boat charter industry will provide that, so on those grounds Vanuatu wins... with the observation that they can't charter there kinda stuffing up the equation.

In the end, it really depends on what they enjoy most when chartering, and only they know that.

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Old 31-03-2016, 07:03   #17
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Re: Pacific first timers?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
And as to the "true Pacific Island experience", well, IMO no place with a developed bare boat charter industry will provide that, so on those grounds Vanuatu wins... with the observation that they can't charter there kinda stuffing up the equation.

Jim
I'm right there with you, but even more hardcore!

I have a book on Tonga that was published IIRC in the 1970s. It has photos from the 1950s and 1960s of Vava'u- men on horses, wooden boats. That must have been the most beautiful time! My friends in Tonga know some of the people in the book, although most have passed on.

To me, the true Pacific isn't found in Suva, Apia, Vila, or Vava'u. One has to leave the comforts of the "cities" and tourist areas to find the unfished reefs and lovely people that live happily in palm huts.

Some of these areas are well chartered and known, such as the islands of Polynesia and parts of Fiji. To me though, the "true Pacific" starts in places like Munda and becomes more real in Lokuru and Ringii. Then a short hop can take you to the undisturbed places like Tetepare- my screen name- uninhabited, undeveloped, and even relatively not researched by scientists. Places where the reef looks like an over-packed aquarium, coconut crabs roam freely, and a mile long beach holds you, a dozen turtle nests, and undescribed butterflies.
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Old 07-04-2016, 17:01   #18
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Re: Pacific first timers?

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Originally Posted by Tetepare View Post
To me though, the "true Pacific" starts in places like Munda and becomes more real in Lokuru and Ringii. Then a short hop can take you to the undisturbed places like Tetepare- my screen name- uninhabited, undeveloped, and even relatively not researched by scientists. Places where the reef looks like an over-packed aquarium, coconut crabs roam freely, and a mile long beach holds you, a dozen turtle nests, and undescribed butterflies.
Haven't been to Munda in a while I take it. Runway is sealed, road to Noro is sealed, reticulated electricity, cold beer and a Stonegrill restaurant.
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Old 13-04-2016, 13:15   #19
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Re: Pacific first timers?

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Originally Posted by DtM View Post
Although Tonga is beautiful I think 5 weeks in the very limited area you can go with a charter would be too long.
Everyone is different of course, but we spend 3 months in Vava'u and could have stayed a bit longer. Of course, we kiteboard...

Seems like airfare might be a bit more expensive t Tonga but perhaps charters would be cheaper here? And certainly produce is cheap. There were only a handful of charter boats we saw so maybe not.

Society Islands in French Poly are a pretty sure bet. You can have towns/culture or a reasonable approximation of remoteness.
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Old 13-04-2016, 14:12   #20
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Re: Pacific first timers?

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Haven't been to Munda in a while I take it. Runway is sealed, road to Noro is sealed, reticulated electricity, cold beer and a Stonegrill restaurant.

I said it starts in Munda (as opposed to, say, Papeete or NUK). Heck, they have mobile and internet service in Lokuru now.

It has been a few years- maybe six? With Google Earth one can see how much has changed- like the jeep trail that goes so far inland to the B Mobile tower.

They ALWAYS had cold beer, even during the Tensions. Wine no, but cold SolBrew yes!

And of course there is Milton's kava bar (whatever the name is!)

But there is STILL Tetepare, the Last Wild Island.
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