Spending your summer spread out on a white sandy beach under a swaying palm tree doesn’t have to be reserved for daydreams and postcards. There are so many tropical islands just a short flight away. Here are our picks of some of the best.

tropical island

Raja Ampat

Travellers are just starting to discover the untouched beauty of Raja Ampat so now is the time to book the tickets and go. Hard to get to, but worth every long flight and painful stopover, Raja Ampat is situated off the northwest tip of Bird's Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea in Indonesia. While Raja Ampat has white sandy beaches and lush jungles in spades, the main draw of the area is its pristine dive sites and teeming wildlife. There are over 200 dive sites spread throughout the archipelago of Islands, and there’s an excellent chance you’ll be the only person making bubbles. The four biggest islands are Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati and Misool. Most travellers will fly into Sorong and then catch a local ferry to the islands. Don’t leave without popping your head under the ocean's surface and when you’re sick of being salty, Raja Ampat has world class bird watching.

turtle in ocean


Blissful, luscious Hawaii is a dream holiday destination for many. With direct flights from Auckland, it has never been easier to get there. As the 50th American state, this collection of islands are scattered off the West coast and fuse Polynesian culture and American abundance in an unusual but enticing way. Grazing a resort buffet is often followed the seductive sway of Hula, and tall high-rises can be left behind for green wild hillsides and lava flows. It is paradise peppered with every modern luxury.  There are beaches for everyone too - from black sand beaches which heat up and warm the soles of your feet in the evening, to shores that are thrashed with some of the biggest waves in the world.



Sleeping beachside under the stars isn’t just a special experience in Samoa, it’s how everybody gets their eight-hours. As relaxed as destinations get, visitors to Samoa rave about how unique and untouched the Polynesian island is. ‘Being on time’ is a foreign concept, as are shoes, so if you’re looking to replace a nine-to-five with the exact opposite then Samoa might be perfect for your holiday. While most flights land in Apia, it is easy to get around the two main island and public transport ambles along the coast. Don’t leave without taking a swim in the beautiful To Sua Ocean trench. It is widely renowned as one of the most beautiful swimming holes on earth.


If one island doesn’t suit your fancy, Vanuatu has 80 more that might. Ranging from ancient and remote, to flashy and luxe, Vanuatu will make your dreams of palm-lined beaches and soft white sand come true over and over again. A flight just long enough to shed the wellies and woolly jumpers for a bathing suit and sunscreen, Vanuatu is best explored by the adventurous. It really shines when you go remote and immerse yourself in the Pacific island culture. With an active volcano, uninhabited islands, and pristine coral reef, you choose your own adventure and leave with a real feel for the country. If you’re a little more like a sun lounger than intrepid explorer, staying in the capital Port Vila is probably your best bet. There are resorts aplenty in the bustling little city.

palm trees


You can’t think tropical island paradise without thinking about Fiji. It is almost stereotypical in its features: palm trees, white sand beaches, and friendly islanders. But it’s below the surface that makes Fiji worth a visit. The snorkeling and diving are some of the best in the world. Suva is Fiji’s most vibrant and populous city and you’ll find everything you need there. A melting pot of old and new, cultures, cuisines, and architecture make it an exciting place to spend a day. When you’re ready to truly relax though, you can’t go past a day spent island hopping. For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, hire a boat to explore the outer islands. The Mamanucas are renowned for being as close to perfect as it gets, as are the Yasawas Islands.

With so many islands and so little time, don’t wait to have the summer of your dreams. Your hardest choice will be picking which one to visit!