While many know about the rich beauty and history of Australia and New Zealand, there are many small islands in the Pacific that are less well known. These largely untouched and picturesque islands each with unique histories make remarkable holiday destinations. These are our top five island that you need to know!
As one of Australia’s oldest and most isolated territories, Norfolk sits around 1,600 km northeast of Sydney, surrounded by pristine waters and luscious greenery. Its bustling coral reefs and empty waves will draw you in, while their complex and captivating history will keep you intrigued. With a cultural mix of Polynesia and bounty mutineers, the Kingston UNESCO World Heritage Site and Norfolk’s museums illustrate the history of the small island. If you’re looking to learn more, head here for more information.
Located 4,176 km away from Sydney, Niue was settled in two waves of descendants from Polynesia and Tonga. This small island paradise was named the ‘The Savage Island’ by Captain Cook in 1774 when he was met with hostility after attempting to enter the island. Fast-forward a few hundred years and Niue today is a self-governing state, associated with New Zealand. Niue’s magical scenery hosts large pods of dolphins situated around the island, as well as the yearly migration of humpback whales. With a range of exquisite things to do and see in Niue, head here to learn more.
As the most remote eastern point of New Zealand, the Chatham Islands are situated just 800 kilometres or a two-hour flight from Auckland, New Zealand. The Chatham Islands are made up of the Chatham Island and Pitt Island, and are home to around just 660 residents. This unique, remote part of New Zealand receives over three times its population in visitors each year. Specialising in fresh, bountiful seafood, the Chatham Islands is also known for Kopinga Marae, a ceremonial meeting place. Built as a tribute to Moriori ancestors, Kopinga Marae boasts a 180-degree views of Chatham Island and is a must see on the island. More information can be found here.
With a jaw-dropping landscape, rugged bushland and exotic beaches, New Caledonia is one of the unique islands in the South Pacific. Located 2,020 kilometres from Sydney, New Caledonia consists of five regions which are populated mainly by Europeans and the indigenous Kanak. As a country rich in natural resources, New Caledonia became part of the French colony in 1853 and is still a territory of the country today. With pristine beaches and a World Heritage lagoon, New Caledonia is a must-see Island in the Pacific. Learn more here.
Picnic Island Tasmania
Situated less than two kilometres from Tasmania and adjacent to Freycinet National Park, this small private island is known for its location and serenity. Before being gifted to Captain Robert Hepburn in 1829, Picnic Island was visited by the original inhabitants of Oyster Bay. This island has since been transformed into a traveller’s dream with a beautiful cooper clad lodge and the whole private island to explore. If you would like to learn more about Picnic Island, check it out here.
With so many interesting and historic islands surrounding Australia and New Zealand, which is your favourite?