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12 DAY HEART OF THE PACIFIC: VANUATU, NEW CALEDONIA AND THE COOK ISLANDS

CODE
HOTP
PLACES VISITED
Auckland, Nouméa, Port Vila, Rarotonga
PACIFIC ISLAND TOUR
On this three-nation South Pacific Islands cultural tour, you will spend time in some very different Pacific countries, each with its own unique culture, language, style of governance and landscape.
Start Location: Auckland End Location: Auckland
TOP HIGHLIGHTS
  • Auckland City Tour
  • Noum
  • Port Moselle
  • Blue River Provincial Park
  • La Place des Cocotiers
  • Isle of Pines
  • Port Vila Sightseeing Tour
  • Yasur Volcano Tour
  • Tanna Island
  • Electric Tuk-Tuk Tour
  • Summit Gardens
  • Rarotonga Walking Tour
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ITINERARY
Day 1: Arrive in Auckland, New Zealand

Upon arrival in Auckland you will be transferred to your downtown accommodation. New Zealand's largest city, blending harbour islands, Polynesian culture and a vibrant city centre, Auckland has been ranked amongst top in the world as a lifestyle city.
Overnight: Auckland
Meals: Dinner
Day 2: Auckland, New Zealand

This morning we begin our tour of Auckland. Travelling via Auckland's 'Golden Mile' (Queen Street), our tour takes us through the university grounds past many of Auckland's historical buildings. We will make a stop at the Parnell Rose Garden before continuing to Parnell Village, the Central Business District, the Mission Bay area, Tamaki Drive, and the Harbour Bridge before our visit to the Auckland Museum. Three expansive levels tell the story of New Zealand's history, from emergence as a nation through the loss and suffering of war, to their uniquely ancient natural history and priceless Maori and Pacific treasures.
Overnight: Auckland
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3: Auckland - Nouméa, New Caledonia

This morning we fly to New Caledonia which comprises of the main island La Grand Terre, which is over 400 km long, and the Loyalty Islands and also the Isle of Pines which lies directly to the south of the main island. Nouméa, the capital city is located near the southern tip of Grand Terre. The local Melanesian people, the Kanaks, have been inhabitants for over 3,000 years and the French from the 1840's; New Caledonia is a wonderful melting pot of cultures, tastes and colours. From the bustling atmosphere of the Port Moselle markets to sophisticated French boutiques, classic colonial architecture to the unique Kanak culture, Nouméa abounds with things to do and places to explore. We start with a drive to the vantage point is Ouen Toro hill (132m) located in the heart of town reached by a road that winds to the summit. Two cannons stand guard here, leftovers from an Australian artillery unit stationed on Ouen Toro for seven months during WWII. From the summit, we can see all of Anse Vata, the nearby islands, and lighthouses. Nouméa has various architectural styles with quaint wooden cottages existing alongside art deco properties from the 1930's and the cylindrical volumes and flat roofs of the sixties. On our walking tour around one of New Caledonia's oldest neighbourhoods of Faubourg Blanchot or Vallée des Colons we will see colonial mansions, simple wooden cottages and homes adorned with pretty ironwork and gardens of hibiscus and bougainvillea.
Overnight: Nouméa
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4: Nouméa, New Caledonia

This morning we visit the Port Moselle where we will find locals shopping for island produce and the day's fresh catch. In the luxuriant gardens, under the shade of flame trees in La Place des Cocotiers with its famous bandstand the Nouméens love to stroll or enjoy a quick lunch or just rest for a while. This attractive gardened square at the heart of the city of Nouméa is the perfect spot to watch the world go by. Here Kanak ladies braid hair and many sit to read the Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes daily newspaper. Most afternoons in Place de Cocotiers you will see men playing petanque, a French bowling game in which metal balls the size of baseballs are thrown, not rolled, at other balls.The goal is to get as close as possible to a small wooden ball called cochonnet. At over 400 km in length, New Caledonia has so much to see and explore. Today, we drive to the Blue River Provincial Park (La Rivière Bleue), a scenic 45 minutes drive away from Nouméa. Here, the iron oxide rich soil turns crimson and nickel, a fundamental element, gives life to thousands of plants species and endemic animal like the famous bird of New Caledonia, the Cagou.
Overnight: Nouméa
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5: Isle of Pines Day Trip

The southernmost of the Caledonian islands is situated almost on the Tropic of and this location gives the island a very mild climate. James Cook set down his anchor on its coasts in 1774. It was the English admiral who gave the island its name, due to its abundance of New Caledonia pines with their characteristic slender silhouettes. Accessible by boat, the island has long been one of New Caledonia's most visited locations, without losing anything of its soul or authenticity. The centre of the island is occupied by a slightly raised plateau whose highest point is N'ga Peak (262 m), which offers breathtaking views, but Isle of Pines owes its fame to its bays above all else. We return to Nouméa late in the afternoon.
Overnight: Nouméa
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6: Nouméa - Port Vila, Vanuatu

Today we fly from Nouméa to Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu. With a population of approximately 221,000, Vanuatu boasts 113 distinct languages and innumerable dialects. This makes Vanuatu one of the most culturally diverse countries on earth. This amazing diversity is a result of thousands of years of sporadic immigration from many Pacific countries. Over the millennia, natural boundaries; large open stretches of water, dense jungle and mountainous terrain, isolated many groups, even from the same ethnic origins, from each other. And isolation bred not just warfare, but quite different, sophisticated societies and political systems. This afternoon after our arrival we will tour the town of Port Vila, the capital and largest town of Vanuatu. We will see the Parliament House, the Cultural Centre (Museum), Hospital, Schools, French and British jailhouses etc. We will explore some of the most picturesque spots in town. Learn about the colonial years of French and British rule, and visit local handicraft and vegetable markets.
Overnight: Port Vila
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7: Tanna Island Day Trip

Today we will enjoy a scenic adventure to one of the world's most accessible active volcanoes! Our Yasur Volcano exploration starts with a scenic one-hour flight to Tanna Island. This journey takes in the spectacular views of Port Vila Harbour, South Efate and Erromango with its beautiful coastline. On the approach to White Grass Airport in Tanna you will have a great view of the magnificent landscape of Tanna Island. Here we will be met by our friendly 4WD Safari staff and taken to a local resort for some refreshments. Our Volcano Tour begins with a 4WD journey across the island, passing local villages, dense native bush, stunning views and passing over volcanic ash plains as we approach Yasur Volcano. Once we reach the summit it is a short 10-minute uphill walk to the rim of the crater, where we will experience the awesome power of the world's most accessible active volcano! This ancient volcano is conspicuously located in one of the most pristine, unspoiled corners of the globe. The Island of Tanna is a natural paradise and a favorite destination for volcanologists and adventure travelers. In the local native dialect, Yasur means 'Old Man'. This volcano is 361 meters above sea level, and the crater itself is 300 meters wide and 100 meters deep. Visiting Mount Yasur is a 'once in a lifetime' experience, and your opportunity to watch nature at work.
Overnight: Port Vila
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8: Port Vila - Auckland, New Zealand

Most species of plants and animals native to the South Pacific originated in Southeast Asia and worked their way eastward across the Pacific, by natural distribution or in the company of humans. The number of native species diminishes the farther east one goes. Very few local plants or animals came from the Americas, the one notable exception being the sweet potato, which may have been brought back from South America by voyaging Polynesians. This morning we will visit the stunning Summit Gardens, the largest tropical garden in the South Pacific. Here we find 10 hectares of gardens that showcase thousands of different botanic species from all over the world. These species include water plants, succulents, orchids, bromeliads, heliconias, palms, cycads and fruit trees. As well, we will enjoy the sights, scents and sounds of the sandalwood industry that has provided a livelihood for over 200 years in Vanuatu. Nearby is a large sandalwood plantation with over 120,000 trees! At the end of our guided tour of the gardens we may take a break here to enjoy tea or a snack in the garden. We may also visit the small Tanna Coffee factory. The Tanna Coffee Development Company was first established in 1982 in order to assist in the development of the newly independent South Pacific nation of Vanuatu. Though the coffee is grown on nearby Tanna Island, it is transported here for roasting and packaging. We later return to Port Vila from where we fly back to Nouméa in order to connect with our onward flight to Auckland.
Overnight: Auckland
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9: Auckland - Rarotonga, Cook Islands

The 15 Cook Islands lie halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii. No chain restaurants or brand hotels. It's a place preserved in time yet still blessed with all the modern amenities of today. Rarotonga is the vibrant centre of the Cook Islands, 32km in circumference the island is dominated by high mountain peaks, lush rainforest and a palm fringed shoreline. We arrive in Rarotonga mid afternoon and have the evening to explore the town on a walking tour.
Overnight: Rarotonga
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10: Rarotonga, Cook Islands

This morning, we will be guided by one of the fun tuk-tuk drivers to give us an experience that takes in the history of the Cook Islands and includes local demonstrations, visiting tourist attractions, and getting a taste of island life. On our all electric tuk-tuk we will visit places as The Tinomana Palace, Maire Nui Botanical Gardens, Rito organic Virgin Coconut Oil Factory, Muri Lagoon, Avana, Takamoa Theological College as well as local island art and craft shops along the way. There is nowhere else in the South Pacific where we can experience the open air and silence of an electric vehicle that lets us immerse ourselves in the tropical surroundings. This afternoon, we have an interesting nature walk with a Cook Islands institution, Pa, whose interesting tales will bring the islands folklore to life.
Overnight: Rarotonga
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11: Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Today we join other travellers on a 3.5 hour long lagoon cruise on a glass bottom boat. The tour includes a cruise through Muri Lagoon to a marine reserve with giant clams, and colourful tropical fish. A delicious fish bbq feast with tropical salads and in-season fruits on beautiful Motu Koromiri ("no touching" island) as well as a cultural experience with awesome coconut tree climbing demonstration and ukelele playing and singalong by the crew are part of a fun day.
Overnight: Rarotonga
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 12: Rarotonga - Auckland, New Zealand

An early transfer to Rarotonga airport followed by a 3.5 hour flight back to Auckland and then connect with your international flight home.
Meals: Breakfast
DATES & PRICES
We accept
Interested in this trip? Contact Us for 2021 dates and prices
WHAT'S INCLUDED
  • 22 meals: 11 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 10 dinners
  • 11 nights of accommodation (4 star)
  • Professional Tour Leader
  • Guided sightseeing with local specialist guides
  • Airfare between islands
  • Private minibus travel
  • Airport transfers in Auckland and Rarotonga
EXCLUSIONS
  • Gratuities to driver (Recommend $3-$4 per person per day)
  • Gratuities to guide (Recommend $5-$7 per person per day)
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Meals not listed
  • Attractions not listed
  • Credit card payment fees, where applicable
  • Airfare — domestic and international (Unless Specified)
  • Travel insurance (Strongly recommended, ask us for a quote!)

Why Take An Anderson Tour?

Seasoned Tour Guides Get a deeper understanding with storytelling tailored to your interests.
Space To Breathe We never max out buses even if we use the same size bus as the competition.
All Inclusive No hidden expenses along the way. Competitors offer activities as an extra - we don't

ACTA
Our guide training manual is accredited by ACTA/CITC Canadian Educational Standard Inc. Now used as the standard in educational college programs.
Can't find what you're looking for? Our specialists can take away the stress and create a custom trip tailored to your exact interests and budget.
Get A Custom Quote
OR CALL 1.866.814.7378
Custom Trip Plans You can see what you want, when you want, how you want.
Unique Experiences Experiences that help you take in the region in a different way.
Freedom To Explore Time to take in each place with only the tours you want to do.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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Tour Questions

What is the maximum number of travellers in a group?

Anderson Vacations specializes in Small Group Fully Escorted tours. If the tour is classified as a 'Classic Tour', up to of 24 persons may join the tour although tours commonly travel with anywhere between 18 to 24 travellers. However, if the tour is classified as a 'Tour of Distinction, only up to of 18 persons join the tour and many Tours of Distinction travel with 12 to 18 travellers.

What are Guaranteed Departures?

After dreaming about travel to an exciting destination, arranging for time off work, booking your flights the last thing you need is for your trip to be cancelled. Anderson vacation's Pre-Guaranteed tours take the uncertainty away from planning your travel and give you peace of mind to book our tours. Pre-Guaranteed Tours are group tours that we have already confirmed as certain to travel on the specified date. All 'Guaranteed Tours' will travel except in the event of a natural disaster or a catastrophic event that is beyond our control. They may already have the minimum number of people booked or else are tours that are known to be popular. Select departures of many tours are 'Pre- Guaranteed'.

What is the average age of passengers for this tour?

Our tours are suitable for all age demographics. The average age of travelers is typically 45+

How physically demanding is this tour? Are you able to accommodate people with mobility restrictions/limitations?

Some tours are mainly coach based and may not be physically demanding while others may require walking inclines or on rough surfaces to access interesting locations. Please check with us and your booking agent carefully and discuss your mobility restrictions before completing any tour booking to ensure this style of travel is right for you.

How much luggage should I bring?

Each passenger may bring one large suitcase and one carry-on bag. The weight limit for baggage is 20 kilograms or about 40 pounds. Baggage handling is provided at the hotels in our tour packages but there may be places where you will be required to wheel in your bags for quicker access. Be sure to advise our reservations staff if you will be bringing additional items such as a cane, walker or wheelchair. You may also bring one small soft-sided carry-on bag, which should easily fit into the overhead shelf of a coach. Each person is responsible for his/her own carryon luggage. Remember to check your airline baggage restrictions if you are flying, as they may differ from Anderson Vacations guidelines.

What is your recommended spending amount for non-included meals?

The suggested allowance for non-included meals is $40.00 – $60.00 CAD per day (with tipping).

Can you accommodate passengers with dietary restrictions (food allergies, vegan, vegetarian etc.)?

Yes, but within reason. There are many meals included on our fully escorted tours. Please inform us of any dietary restrictions at the time of booking so we can ensure there are alternative meal choices.
Booking & Flight Questions

Do you arrange airport transfers?

Yes! We can help with booking airport transfers for you in most locations at a reasonable extra cost. Several tours have airport transfers already included. Please ask for details.

Can you assist with booking additional accommodation?

Yes! We can certainly assist with booking additional nights of hotel accommodation for you before and after your fully escorted tour. Please inquire for further information and prices.

Can you assist with booking airline flights?

Yes! We can help with booking your flights for you. We do not recommend you book any flights until you receive your booking confirmation from Anderson Vacations including specific confirmation that your tour is 'Guaranteed'. Please be aware that you may be liable for airline cancellation costs should your tour not become guaranteed and your travel dates need to be amended or cancelled.

I am a solo traveler. Is there a single surcharge?

There are options for single travelers to join most tours. Solo travellers can choose to pay a Single Supplement and have their own room throughout the tour. For those willing to share with a co-traveller of the same gender, we have a Twin Share option that is offered for most tours where you share a hotel rooms with another same gender traveller. No Single Supplement payment is charged to you in this case.

Is it possible to book a triple share accommodation?

Yes, it is possible to book triple share accommodations on select trips. Please inquire about this option, as prices and availability varies from tour to tour.

Can we book this tour with our exclusive group?

Anderson Vacations works with many private groups and helps to customize a tour to travellers needs. Please ask us for details.

Are gratuities included in the tour cost?

For convenience, gratuities for local guides and meals that are specified in the itinerary are included in the tour price. For meals not included in your tour package please remember that it is customary to tip your server 10-20% in North America. Gratuities for your Coach Driver (where appropriate)and Tour Director are entirely at your discretion. We recommend about CDN $5.00 per person, per day, for your Driver and CDN$7.00 per person, per day for your Tour Leader.
Ready? Have More Questions? Over 25 years offering custom trips and small group tours.
INQUIRE ABOUT THIS TRIP
OR CALL 1.866.814.7378
Seasoned Tour Guides Get a deeper understanding with storytelling tailored to your interests.
Space To Breathe We never max out buses even if we use the same size bus as the competition.
All Inclusive No hidden expenses along the way. Competitors offer activities as an extra - we don't
CLASSIC TOURS

The style our travellers have enjoyed for over 20 years, these tours feature inclusive itineraries to popular destinations including the 'must see' sites and attractions. Led by an expert Tour Leader, you will enjoy comfortable accommodation, and coach transport throughout the journey.

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TOURS OF DISTINCTION

These tours are defined by their incomparably unique itineraries, featuring 'off the beaten path' destinations and immersive experiences. An intimate group size allows us to stay in smaller, centrally located, unique and boutique style inns, lodges and hotels, utilize traditional local transportation and dive deep into each destination's local culture and traditions.

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CUSTOM TRIPS

These travel experiences are fully customizable to better fit your needs. Every itinerary is created based on your comfort level, accommodation choices, and personal interests. Whether you are looking for a rail adventure, self drive holiday, unique experiences, or a short city stay our team will work with you on combining accommodation, transportation, and activities based on your preferences to create the perfect itinerary for you.

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BUBBLE TOURS

Types of Bubble Tours: Independent Travel (FIT), Self-Drive Small Custom Groups limited to 12 persons

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