TYPICALLY when you think of romantic South Pacific getaways, the Cook Islands, Tahiti and the islands of Fiji come to mind. But the untapped regions of Samoa and New Caledonia are emerging as hot, new honeymoon destinations thanks to unspoilt retreats, sultry temperatures, beachfront fales and a host of soft adventure activities.
On Samoa’s two main islands, Opolu and Savai’i, all-inclusive resorts are luring honeymooners and couples with adult- only policies, gourmet cuisine and romantic overwater fales where couples can wile away the day in intimate and private settings.
Beyond the resort confines gorges, waterfalls, caves, freshwater pools, white sandy beaches, rainforests and quaint nu’u (villages) offer adventurous lovebirds plenty of unique experiences.
“You can swim with the turtles off Namua Island, a small islet in the Aleipata region, browse the gorgeous flea markets in Savai’i, or take a dip with your partner under the Togitogiga Waterfall (Opolu Island)– the choices are endless,” says Samoa Tourism Authority’s Peter Sereno.
He says that luxe for less accommodation options, three direct weekly Virgin- Samoa
flights from Sydney, romantic water sports and unique festivals are making Samoa a hit among honeymooners.
“Our surfing Pro Am event (January 2013) and international music festival featuring Australian artists (February 2013) will provide the opportunity to showcase Samoa as the untouched jewel of the South Pacific.
“We have beautiful beach fales mere steps away from the ocean as low as $40 per person (per night, including dinner and breakfast) as well as deluxe properties offering the works with romantic spa treatments in private beachfront pavilions,” he said.
Even the waterside region of Apia, Samoa’s capital city, fleshes out a certain romantic expectation. Its shops, colonial buildings, flea markets, restaurants and cafes give Samoa a competitive edge over its sister nations.
According to New Caledonia Tourism’s Janet Sayer her island home is also emerging as a honeymoon hotspot thanks to its three-hour proximity to Australia. She says New Caledonia, regularly overlooked by honeymooning Aussies, offers pristine, off-the-beaten-track resorts with deserted white sandy beaches, a unique blend of French and Melanesia culture and a gamut of romantic restaurants.
Honeymooners who book a minimum of four nights receive complimentary room upgrade, secluded beach picnic, his’ and hers’ aromatherapy massages and an in- room Champagne breakfast. Prices start from $123 per person, per night, twin share.
Aggie Grey’s Lagoon Beach Resort and Spa, Samoa Located in the town of Faleolo this beachfront villa property boasts 140 Deluxe Ocean View villas and overlooks Savai’i, Apolima and Manono islands.
Romantics can embark on a private island picnic adventure, dine under the stars at a private beachfront barbecue, or relax with a traditional Polynesian spa treatment. Or you can simply let the day melt away on a sun lounge by the pool with a cocktail in hand.
Five-night packages start from $1,279 per person including return economy airfares, a 15-minute massage, free watersports, daily buffet breakfast and return transfers. www. adventureworld.com.au
The Coconuts Beach Club and Spa, Samoa
Rocked by the 2009 Pacific tsunami, this four-star resort on the south coast of Opolu has recently found its feet again. It currently offers six thatched-roof oceanfront fales and come December, the property will also boast six new overwater fales.
Located just metres from the water’s edge, the existing fales feature an open-air bathroom with private sunken waterfall shower, air-conditioning and spacious lounge that leads to a private terrace.
Prices start from $151 per person, per night, twin share. www.creativeholidays. com.au
L’Escapade Island Resort, New Caledonia
Located on îlot Maître, a seven-hectare marine reserve in Nouméa, this 4.5- star resort boasts a selection of trendy overwater bungalows, each with air- conditioning, a marble bathroom and private balcony that spills onto the lagoon. Hop on a ferry back to the mainland resort and you’ll find a restaurant, two bars and a spa centre.
Prices start from $479 per person per night including all meals, a $9 drink voucher per person daily and return boat transfers. www.coralseas.com.au
Oure Tera Beach Resort, New Caledonia
Located on the Isle of Pines, a 25-minute domestic flight from Nouméa, this stylish resort offers five double and 20 single traditional beachfront bungalows with spacious bathrooms, air-conditioning and free wifi connection in the lobby. The four- star resort also has two restaurants, a bar and swimming pool.
Honeymooners who flash their marriage certificate also receive a complimentary bottle of French Champagne. Prices start from $190 per night including breakfast. www.coralseas.com.au
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