South Sea – General information

Worth knowing about French Polynesia
French Polynesia, a department of France, consists of 5 archipelagos (the Society Islands with Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, the Tuamotu Islands, the Marquesas Islands, the Austral Islands and the Gambier Islands) These cover a total area of ​​approximately 4 Million square kilometers.

Papeete Airport is located on the main island of Tahiti. It is about 17,500 km from Europe. The flight time is about 20 hours.
Entry requirements:
EU citizens do not need a visa. Required are:
– the possession of a valid return ticket, with the required
Travel documents.
– a passport valid for at least six months.
– Proof of sufficient funds for the duration of the stay.
Central Pacific Franc: 100 XPF = 0,84 EUR or 1 EUR = 119 XPF (as of 2003).
Credit cards are widely used in the South Sea, traveler’s checks are exchanged everywhere by the banks, on the less touristic developed islands on the other hand helps only cash (national currency or US $).
Power supply:
In the Cook Islands, Tonga, Samoa and Fiji, the grid voltage is 240 volts / 50 hertz. The connection is made via a three-pin flat plug. Be sure to bring a multiple adapter (world travel plug). Voltage in French Polynesia: 220 volts / 50 hertz.
The date line runs through the middle of the South Pacific, d. H. If you fly from west to east, you arrive one day earlier and vice versa you lose one day. The Central European summer time shifts the time by one hour forward.
Letters or postcards from the South Sea to Europe are on the way for about two weeks. If you want letters to be sent from Europe, you have to send them with your own name to the General Post Office of the respective country and write the note “Poste restante” (post-warehousing).
Vaccination & amp; bless you:
Basically, no vaccine is required for direct entry from Germany.

However, health organizations expect that ten percent of the 6 million inhabitants of the South Pacific will be affected by the types of “A” and “B” hepatitis. While hepatitis “A” is mainly caused by a lack of hygiene, the more dangerous hepatitis “B” spreads. U. can even lead to death in blood transfusions, but also during sexual intercourse.

Therefore, at least the following vaccinations are recommended before traveling to the South Seas: hepatitis “A”, polio, tetanus and typhoid (oral vaccine).

Malaria prophylaxis is indispensable when visiting Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. The dengue fever that occurs in the South Seas is transmitted by the mosquitoes. It occurs about two to three weeks after infection as a severe influenza effect.

The medical care in the South Sea is rather poor, the hygienic conditions in the hospitals (especially in Fiji) leave something to be desired, on the Cook Islands and in Tahiti one encounters mostly well trained medical staff.

If you have more serious illnesses, you should go to Australia or New Zealand. An additional travel health insurance should be completed in any case.

It is recommended to bring a small first-aid kit (antibiotics, disinfectants and especially iodine). Do not forget a mosquito net that can be provisionally fastened over the bed.

In Tahiti the luggage is extensively disinfected by passengers from Fiji or American Samoa (duration approx. Two hours). What you need for the first night, you should have hygienic reasons in hand luggage.
220,000 inhabitants, of which about 83% Polynesians, 5% Asians and 12% Europeans.
Cook Islands
The official language is English. In addition, the Cook – Iceland – Maori language is very common: Kia orana (hello), meitaki (thanks), tapu (no entry).
There are three official languages: Fijian, Indian (Hindi) and English. The Fijian language takes a lot of getting used to. In Fijian we say: Bula (hello), Ni sa yadra (good morning), Vinaka (thank you), ni sa moce (goodbye).
French Polynesia
French and Tahitian are the official languages, but with English you can get along well on the touristically developed islands. In Tahitian you say: la orana (hello), maeva (welcome), maruru roa (thank you).
English is the official language, Samoan is very similar to the Polynesian language in Tahiti, the Cook Islands and Tonga. Talofa (hello), Afio mai (welcome), Tofa (goodbye), Manuia (good luck), Fiafia (hard), Palagi (white skinned).
Tongan, English is learned at school. In Tongan you say Malo e lelei (good day), malo aupito (thank you), ‘Ofa atu (cheers), Fale (house), malo e lelei ki he efiafi ni (good evening).
Travel time:
The best travel time for the South Sea is between May and October, in the South Seas – “Winter”; however, in the Cook Islands, Tonga or French Polynesia, you may need a sweater late at night.

In July and August, Australians and New Zealanders spend their holidays on the sunny islands. During this time, it will also be somewhat narrowed by the visitors from France in Tahiti.

Between November and April, during the rainy season with mostly short but heavy rains, the climate is hot and humid (especially in Samoa and Fiji), and the danger of cyclones is high. In winter, the temperatures during the day at 23 – 25 degrees.
On all islands, the crime rate is low. The hospitality is very popular. Nevertheless, thefts are also increasing here, especially on beaches. You should take the usual precautions.
car traffic
Cook Islands
Left-hand traffic, seat belt duty, maximum speed is 50 km / h, please pay attention to dogs and pigs on the road.
Left-hand traffic, mandatory harnessing, maximum speed on rural roads: 80 km / h, in villages 50 km / h, sometimes less if the route has been traffic-calmed with road humps.
French Polynesia
Right-hand traffic, belt duty. Top speed 40 km / h in villages and 80 km / h on rural roads.
Legal relations. The roads off the circuit are sometimes quite bumpy, the villages with traffic lights calmed down.
Left-hand traffic. Top speed 65 km / h, in villages 40 km / h. If one of the king meets in the minibus with motorcycle escort and blue light, one must stop. Hitchhiking is undesirable on Tonga. To rent a car, you have to apply for a driving license on Tongatapu for about 5 euros (without any problems).
Cook Islands
For 33 euros (budget or Avis) you get on Rarotonga already an open jeep or for about 13 Euro / day the popular small motorcycles, for about 5 euros there’s a bike (push – bike). Who wants to rent a vehicle, must first pick up an island driver’s license with the police (about 5 euros). Buses run every half hour around Rarotonga and can be stopped everywhere. A day pass costs about 6 NZ $. Even in the evening, the restaurants are regularly driven along the island road.
A rental car without mileage and insurance costs about 50 euros per day. Air-conditioned buses (Fiji Express and Transport Pacific) depart daily from Suva along the Coral Coast to Nadi Airport and back (approximately 1.30am). Costs a maximum of 18 euros.
French Polynesia
The cost of taxi rides, especially at night, are very high (about 20 euros for 10 km). On Tahiti, especially in the area of ​​Papeete, you can get ahead cheaply with “le truck”. If you leave the bus, you pay about 1 Euro for the ride. For a tour of the island on Tahiti a rental car makes sense (about 80 euros per day without kilometer limit), on the other islands you get along well with motorcycles and bicycles or the bus.
For the drive from the airport – Apia (about 30 km) the taxi driver requires about 12 euros, the bus costs 3 euros. A rental car is available from 35 Euro / day. Taxis can be recognized by the “T” on the license plate. The bus traffic is brisk, the ride in the wooden, windowless structures of hard-sprung trucks is a special experience, which is also acoustically refined by loud pop music. In the villages the last bus leaves at 14 o’clock for Apia back, on Sundays only very few buses run. The fare is between 25 cents and 1.80 euros.
For the 25 – kilometer route from the airport to Nuku’alofa you pay about 7 euros. A rental car costs about 40 € / day. Buses are very irregular.

Equipment for dives can be rented. One of the most popular dive sites is the Astrolabe Lagoon near the island of Kadavu. The Castaway Island Resort offers its guests its own diving station.
The hotels Beachcomber Travelodge, Fijian, Korolevu Beach and Regent of Fiji operate fully equipped deep-sea fishing boats. Waterskiing and horse riding are also possible.
Numerous golf courses are available, the most famous being Fiji Golf Club in Suva, Pacific Harbor, Reef Resort, Fijian Resort, Nadi Airport, Lautoka Club and Denarau Beach.
Gratuities are in the South Sea neither in the restaurant nor in the hotel usual, sometimes even frowned upon and an insult to the hospitable Polynesians. The exception is the Micronesian Islands with many Japanese and American tourists.
On Tahiti, a refreshing south wind blows throughout the year. There are two seasons: the hot season from November to March with average temperatures of 27 ° C and a cold season from April to October with average temperatures around 25 ° C. The water temperature is constant 26 ° C.
Embassy (France):
French Embassy:
Alexanderplatz 5
10969 Berlin
Tel .: 030/20 63 90 00
French Polynesia:
Honorary Consulate Germany,
Consul Honoraire de la République fédérale d ‘Allemagne,
BP 452, Papeete, Rue Tihoni Tefaatau -Pirae, Telephone 00 689/42 99 94

South Sea – Climate

On Tahiti, a refreshing south wind blows throughout the year. There is a distinction between two seasons: the hot season from November to March with average temperatures of 27 ° C and a cold season from April to October with average temperatures around 25 ° C. The water temperature is constant 26 ° C.
Travel time:
The best travel time for the South Sea is between May and October, in the South Seas – “Winter”; however, in the Cook Islands, Tonga or French Polynesia, you may need a sweater late at night.

In July and August, Australians and New Zealanders spend their holidays on the sunny islands. During this time, it will also be somewhat narrowed by the visitors from France in Tahiti.

Between November and April, during the rainy season with mostly short but heavy rains, the climate is hot and humid (especially in Samoa and Fiji), and the danger of cyclones is high. In winter, the temperatures during the day at 23 – 25 degrees.

South Sea – Fauna

Pacific Flying Fox
The fruit bat or the flying fox is often found in Koroyanitu National Park. In most cases, these animals are spotted in the evening when they leave their camps. The Flying Fox flies long distances to search for fruits or flowers and screams loud the whole night. The female bat carries her boy hanging on the belly.

Another Flying Fox, the Bekwa Lulu, the Samoan Flying Fox, is found in the Koroyanitu National Park. He has a less intense color and prefers to fly alone than in groups. This bat can often be observed during the day and in flight.

wild boars
The boar was brought by the first settlers to Fiji and other islands of the South Seas. Most wild boars are black, but there are also animals in white, brown and black color. They prefer to loot the gardens of the villagers, then flee back into the woods. The inhabitants try to catch the pigs with traps, but this does not bring the hoped-for success. Hunters and dogs track the tracks. The hunt for pigs is not without danger because the male boar is a strong opponent, especially if he is cornered. With his razor-sharp tusks he has already done so many opponents.

Widely distributed but active only at night, the barn owl feeds almost exclusively on rodents. Unmistakable is their screaming, which is often heard during the flight.

Barking dove
The barking pigeon is a large forest pigeon, which occurs especially in Fiji. You often see them sitting on well visible branches. She is well known for her loud bell calls. The barking pigeon feeds on large fruits such as nutmeg and the sakiki palm tree.

Red Avadavat
Small groups of Red Avadavat are often found in the grassy plains. The breeding plumage of the male is not to be confused and is characterized by a dark burgundy red with white dots. Outside the breeding season both males and females are dull brown.

Golden Pacific Plover
Fiji’s most common immigrant from the north is the plover. These birds usually arrive in large numbers in September and start again at the end of March / beginning of April. The Jule can be spotted regularly on mud and sand plains on all islands.

Yellow-breasted musk-parrot
This parrot lives only in the woods of Viti Levu. He is a tall and conspicuous bird that often uttering loud cries. Due to the progressive clearing of the rainforest, the survival of this bird is seriously endangered.

South Sea – Flora

Carnivorous plants
The lack of nutrients is great in the jungle. Particularly tricky is the carnivorous fauna in the form of pitcher plants. The catching organs of these species consist of can-shaped leaves. By Nektarduft and coloring of the plant insects are attracted. The surface of the inner walls are smooth and slippery and the insects and small animals are caught. On the ground, the animals are dissolved by the digestive juice and become important nitrogen suppliers. Usually insects are the victims, especially large specimens sometimes a tree frog or larger centipedes.
Carnivorous plant
The orchids belong to the largest family of flowering plants. Their shape and size varies from 1 cm to more than 5 m. The majority of Orichideen are epiphytes. In addition, there are also terrestrial species growing on rocks. They have exotic flowers with all variations of the color spectrum.

Each flower has three sepals and three petals. One of them is shaped to the lip. On her land the insects. The shapes of the flowers are extremely diverse and have been given many popular names.

The taro plants thrive mainly in the tropical and subtropical areas of the earth. More than 2000 years ago the first plants were cultivated. After that she spread quickly. The Taroknollen contain about 20% strength and about 3% protein. They also contain plenty of provitamin A and vitamin C. In addition to traces of fat, the roots contain slimy substances.

From the taro plant there are about 1000 different varieties. The tubers are washed after peeling in salt water and can be almost like cooking potatoes. The cooking water must be changed at least once. The calcium oxalate contained in the tubers is destroyed and remains in the cooking water. Taroknollen can also be grilled, baked or fried. The tubers can also be sliced ​​and dried in the sun. The tubers are also used for starch extraction and are used for binding soups and bread baking.

An important starch supplier in all markets is the yam plant. It weighs up to 50 kg.

The breadfruit tree grows up to 20 m high. It stores the starch in the up to 2 kg heavy green fruits. The tree has huge leaves measuring up to 80 x 50 cm.

These fruits resemble the breadfruit, but differ from it by their extreme, up to a meter long and 50 kg heavier fruits. The tree grows up to 25 meters high and has ovate leaves. The fruits outgrow both the trunk and older branches. One calls this also Stammblütigkeit.

Coconut meat is also used to make facial creams. The water of the coconut provides important substances that are used among other things in organ disorders and blockages.

South Sea – History

Christopher Columbus learns from Indians that an ocean extends beyond the Central American isthmus, but misinterprets the message.

Ferdinand Magellan (Fernando de Magallanes) arrives on the west route to the Moluccas through the strait named after him into the South Pacific. He gives the ocean the name “mar pacifico”.

Magellan lands on Guam and calls the entire archipelago “Islas de Ladrones” (Mariana Islands, Micronesia).

Cornelisz Schouten and Jaques Le Maire meet in the north of the Tonga Islands (Polynesia), they discover the horn group and New Ireland (both Melanesia).

Abel Janszoon Tasman discovers Tasmania, New Zealand, the center of the Tongan Islands on his southward journey from Batavia and touches the Fiji archipelago and New Britain (Melanesia).

Jakob Roggeven discovers the Easter Island and the Samoan Chip.

John Byron’s South Pacific Cruise. It passes through the Tuamotus, the Tokelau Islands (both Polynesia) and the Gilbert Islands to the Mariana Islands.

First South Seas expedition accompanied by scientists led by Jean Louis Antoine de Bougainville: exploration of Tahiti (after the discovery by Wallis, see below), recovery of the Samoan, New Hebrides and Solomon Islands, discovery of the Louisiades (Melanesia).

Samuel Wallis discovers Tahiti; Philip Carteret finds the Santa Cruz Islands and the Solomon Islands again and discovers the Carteret Road between New Ireland and New Britain.

James Cook’s First Pacific Cruise: Discovery of Tubuai (Austral) Group and Cook Strait, Recovery of Torres Strait.

James Cook’s second Pacific voyage: discovery of the Cook Islands, visits to Tonga and the Marquesas, discovery of New Caledonia.

British exploration in the Pacific, led by James Cook until 1779; Discovery of the Hawaiian Chip (Polynesia), death of James Cook on February 14, 1779 on Hawaii.

The British capital William Bligh, who was expelled by mutineers with few loyalists in an open boat, sails from Tonga to Timor. He crosses the barely known Fiji group, discovers their main island Viti Levu and hits the Banks Islands. The American whaling captain finds Nauru (Micronesia) in the same year.

Charles Darwin travels with the “Beagle” Oceanic expedition led by Robert Fitzroy. He explains significant natural phenomena in the Tuamotus, Tahiti and New Zealand and explains his theory about the construction and distribution of coral reefs.

Tahiti is declared a French protectorate.

Tahiti becomes a French colony.

The Fiji islands become part of the British colonial empire. First Godeffroy branches in the Bismarck archipelago (Melanesia).

German “Gazelle” expedition under Freiherr von Schleinitz: Research in the Bismarck archipelago, in the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Samoa group.

The northern Solomon Islands and the Marshall Islands are assigned to the German territory, the southern Solomon Islands to the British sphere of influence.

Nauru becomes part of German New Guinea, Chile annexes Easter Island, Britain declares the Cook Group (New Zealand territory from 1901) and Fanning, Manihiki and Christmas Island protectorates.

Hawaii becomes an American protectorate area after the last Hawaiian queen Liliuokalani was overthrown in 1893.

In the wake of the American-Spanish War Guam falls to the United States. The German Reich acquires the remaining Marianas, the Carolines and Palau Islands of Spain and finally seizes the Marshall Group as well as the Samoan Islands Upolu and Savaii. Eastern Samoa (Tutuila and Manua) enters the British colonial empire in the American, Tonga and Niue in the west of the Cook group. In addition, as compensation for his abandonment of Samoa, Britain receives Choiseul and Ysabel (Northern Solomon Islands), while Buka and Bougainville remain German colonies.

Hawaii becomes American territory.

Germany loses its colonies during the First World War.

The formerly German colonies are assigned by the League of Nations as Mandatory territories: the Marianas (except Guam), Karolinen, Palau and Marshall Islands to Japan, Nauru to Britain, Australia and New Zealand, Buka and Bougainville to Australia, West Samoa to New Zealand and Northeast New Guinea with the Bismarck archipelago at Australia.

Japanese troops conquer Guam, Wake, Nauru, numerous other islands of Micronesia, part of New Guinea and several Solomon Islands.

American forces, along with their allies and local helpers, are smashing Japan’s oceanic colonial empire.

Hawaii becomes a state of the USA.

Western Samoa gains independence as the first Pacific state.

Tonga and Fiji become independent.

The new Hebrides form the independent state of Vanuatu. An Nacional Secession attempt on Espiritu Santo is being crushed with the help of Papua New Guinea and Australia.

Belau (Palau) declares his detachment from the rest of the Karolinen and seeks an association agreement with the United States, which is adopted by the US in 1986 but fails several times in Belau on the two-thirds majority.

In Fiji, two military coups successively take place, as a result, Fiji leaves the British Commonwealth. Fiji becomes a republic.

A new constitution is to help restore democracy to Fiji.

Belau (Palau), the youngest nation, becomes 185th UNO member.

France decides after heavy protests the final cessation of all nuclear testing in the South Pacific.

South Sea – wining and dining

The hotels and restaurants mainly serve French cuisine, and there are also some Chinese eateries and pizzerias. The typical Polynesian food, on the other hand, is mainly served in families and not so much in the restaurants.

Offered is what nature offers on each island. All ingredients to the dishes are fresh and natural. These include: Poisson cru (raw fish), the national dish z. For example, the Tahitian and baked and grilled fish with home-made mayonnaise and tasty lobster. Also octopus or killer mussels are a delicacy. Meat dishes usually consist of chicken or, in rare cases, of fried boobies.

Homemade bread, rice and pastries are served as side dishes. Often you will also find breadfruit, taro and sweet potatoes on the blackboard. Fruit salad or crepe polynesia and delicate pancakes sprinkled with sugar are often used for dessert. Often there is also cafe with vanilla flavor and instead of the usual cream with coconut cream.

The Polynesians eat mainly with their fingers. Cutlery is largely unknown and is only served in the restaurants. In families, it is often common for music and singing to be performed after eating with the ocelul.

A special specialty in Polynesioen is the Tamaara’a. It consists of a pig that was fed with coconuts. It is wrapped in banana leaves and cooked together with breadfruit, taro and sweet potatoes for several hours on hot stones in an earth oven. As an appetizer, raw fish is served.

For dessert, there is Poe, a thick porridge made from bananas, papaya, mango and coconut milk.

South Sea – Accommodations

Bungalows in the style of traditional huts are called in Fiji bures, in Polynesia they are called fales, they can accommodate two to four, on the Cook Islands up to six people. In general, you can save money when you book hotels through the airlines in Australia or New Zealand. It is also worthwhile to ask for special rates on site. Backpackers now have it a bit easier in the South Seas. In Tahiti some campsites, youth hostels and budget accommodation are available. Also in Samoa, Cook Islands and Fiji are now for about 9 euros some sleeping places (backpacker accommodations) available, as you can often find in Australia and New Zealand.

Cook Islands
Because New Zealanders and Australians are used to it, many rooms and bungalows on the Cook Islands have been equipped with a kitchen. By contrast, usually the air conditioning is missing. Outside the New Zealand vacation, houses (2 to 3 bedrooms) are rented for 450 – 1 800 NZ $ per week (eg Island Hopper Vacations, tel. 220 26, fax 220 36)

The luxurious island resorts are disproportionately expensive, but the selection of budget family accommodation (for the Australian and New Zealand markets) is large. In Australia and New Zealand you can definitely book a Fiji stay cheaper than in Central Europe. Backpackers find acceptable accommodation in Fiji.French – Polynesia

In Tahiti, only the larger hotels have air conditioners, very isolated the rooms are equipped with kitchens (which noticeably lowers the additional costs). A good hotel room is not to receive under 90 euros. On Bora Bora acceptable rooms for individual tourists cost on average 125 Euro / day. It’s a bit cheaper, if you book the hotel room (including breakfast!) Already in the home or – for the Society Islands – so-called packages on Tahiti (flight / night / transfer) ordered.

Outside of Apia there are very few hotels. Rarely do they have a good beach. If you want to camp you have to ask the Matai (the village chief) for permission.

Most hotels lack the money for renovations, the standard is therefore rather moderate (except for the island resorts), but the prices also: Between 175 and 500 euros per month costs the rent of a house in Tonga (information and mediation through the Tonga Visitors Bureau , Nuku’alofa, Tel. 006 76/253 34, Fax 235 07). Camping holidays are not planned on Tonga. On the uninhabited islands you can only stay overnight with official permission. Information is available via the: Tonga Visitors Bureau.

There are no designated campsites anywhere. But you can pitch your tent on private property after consultation with the owner.

Questions about the destination South Sea?