The Samoa Tourism Authority was excited to exhibit this weekend on stand E13 at the 2014 Adventure Travel Show for the first time, the only show in the UK dedicated to discovering the world off the beaten track. The treasured islands of the South Pacific are a must on the agenda of any true adrenaline fuelled adventure junky with a plethora of land and water based activities set to the beautiful backdrop of turquoise waters and green Samoan jungle. Activities range from surfing, diving and fishing to hiking around a volcanic rim. Samoa is just a short four hour flight from Auckland, New Zealand and five hours from Sydney, Australia.
For those who love to be out on the water and living the beach bum lifestyle, Samoa is regularly mentioned as one of the world’s best surf destinations. With surf competitions and local guides who know where to catch the best waves, the south shores of both islands, Upolu and Savai’i, are a surfers year round paradise while the North Shores are best in the northern hemisphere winter. Instead of competing for the scarce waves on Hawaii’s North Shore, Samoa invites surfers to discover the same swells which often find themselves reeling along many of Samoa’s reefs unridden.
Samoa is also a perfect destination for snorkelers and divers with a wealth of marine life from brightly coloured fish to turtles on the coral reef just a short boat ride from the shore. Visitors have the opportunity to swim amongst breath-taking giant clams at a sanctuary dedicated to their preservation. For divers, there are numerous locations across both islands that offer diving lessons and PADI courses from beginner to dive master in addition to other water sports such as catamaran tours, water skiing, wake boarding and other fun rides. Visitors can also watch and even join in with the local fautasi (long boat races) which regularly take place between Samoans and other Pacific Islands.
For a true Samoan beach front experience, relax in paradise in one of Samoa’s beach fales. With prices starting from just £20 a night for these traditional houses, visitors will have the unique experience of falling asleep under the stars to the sound of the Pacific Ocean’s lapping waves just metres away with nothing more than a mosquito net and woven read blinds to separate them from paradise outside.
Keen fishermen have several different avenues for getting their fishing kicks in Samoa. Visitors can either join one of the professional fishing operators and charters based in Apia and head to sea for a few hours, or opt for an adventurous charter to a secluded destination and one of the uninhabited island reserves, which involves living on a boat for a while. A useful point of contact is the Samoa International Game Fishing Association, in Apia Harbour, and there’s the annual Samoa International Game Fishing Tournament, which draws avid fishermen from all over the world each May.
Hiking is an excellent activity for those who prefer to keep their feet on dry land with numerous hidden trails winding through the Samoan rainforest, often so remote that only the most experienced guides can locate them. Visitors can hike up mountains on the island of Upolu and trek round the Tafua volcano rim on Savai’i. Nature lovers are advised to bring their cameras in case they catch a glimpse of the extraordinary flying foxes as they swoop through the crater. Hikers will also come across a number of Samoa’s beautiful waterfalls and pools along the way, perfect for a dip to cool off from the South Pacific heat.
Samoa is also fast making a name for itself as the sporting capital of the south pacific. Namely the destination is known for its rugby and the national sport of kilikiti, the Samoan version of cricket which involves singing and dancing and is a social event played by all members of the family. The destination hosts a number of exciting sporting events throughout the year that are perfect for adventure travellers.