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help...confusion!!! Fiji & Hawaii or The Cook Islands/Samoa

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific help...confusion!!! Fiji & Hawaii or The Cook Islands/Samoa


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1. Posted by rachel_c_ (Budding Member, 39 posts) 3 Mar '09 08:59


first time going travelling and there are way too many choices...

I have two options for my flights

1) can have lots of flights in SE Asia ie Bali, Borneo, Vietnam, Bangkok, Singapore BUT not go to fiji or hawaii and have the cook islands instead


2) have limited flights in SE Asia, making the ones i want on my own (borneo, vietnam, bali) and have fiji and hawaii

the question is really between fiji & hawaii or the cook islands etc....i will be doing all the places in SE Asis regardless

Iv looked at all the websites and travellers guides on all places but know they can be a bit biased so would be really grateful to hear from those who have far i havent had the best review for fiji...only that its worth going just so youv been

any advice would be MUCH appreciated!!



2. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator, 5555 posts) 3 Mar '09 13:22

Well, my advice (unfortunately) is not based on experience, but I would go for Fiji and Hawaii, as it seems there is lot to do and see there, while Cook Islands is much better to do not too much actually.
Samoa should be great as well. But Fiji and Hawaii have the advantage of having the opportunity to go island hopping and experience the differences between those islands.

3. Posted by rachel_c_ (Budding Member, 39 posts) 3 Mar '09 13:50

thanks very much...been having another look and think im going to stick with fiji but might try samoa for something a bit looks really really good and a bit cheaper than hawaii!

but you never know...i will probably change my mind...AGAIN!! haha!!


4. Posted by rachel_c_ (Budding Member, 39 posts) 3 Mar '09 13:52

ps....i know i said fiji/hawaii OR cook islands/samoa but found out i can still go to fiji, just not hawaii! thankfully!!

5. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin, 5579 posts) 3 Mar '09 14:41

If the Cooks are still on the table, I'd recommend it. But it really depends on the type of holiday you are after. I've heard from people that were disappointed with Fiji, but I'm sure you could find people disappointed with the Cooks as well. It's hardly your party destination for example, but the beaches are fantastic!! There's a great guesthouse in Titikaveeka on Rarotonga that I can recommend if you do end up going. I didn't make it to any of the other islands while I was there; just chilled on Rarotonga in a place on the beach. Very rough

6. Posted by bluelou (Budding Member, 13 posts) 3 Mar '09 15:01

I went to Fiji, Cook Islands (Rarotonga) and Hawaii (Maui) and loved them all. All were beautiful and you would have a great time in all of them. From my experience, Cook Islands is very relaxed and chilled, I loved it. You can find something to do most evenings somewhere on the island and the hostels there were great. Fiji can be really lively, really relaxed or a bit of both, it depends on where you stay, I would recommend the Yasawa Islands and getting a boat pass so you can island hop and experience a few different places. I loved Hawaii and it was a trip there that inspired me to go on my round the world trip, I didn't do it on a budget, but imagine that it would be more expensive (especially with the current exchange rate).

If you have any other questions you think I might be able to help with then ask away.

If you love to snorkel and dive, you will in heaven in any of these places - I certainly was.

7. Posted by rachel_c_ (Budding Member, 39 posts) 4 Mar '09 01:59

thanks for the advice guys.....

i really just want to go to all of them...whenever i think ive made my mind up i find something else abbout another one!! haha!!

i would love to do hawaii but just dont think the finances will be up to scratch at the time im going and its easy enough to get to hawaii from scotland, compared to the other islands so would prefer to do it properly later on!

im happy to settle for a bit peace and quiet so missing out on constant partying doesnt bother me too much...will do it somewhere else!

tonga is supposed to be supperb for whale watchinhg, especially when im going so would luv to see that and samoa just looks amazing...its got really good reviews for backpackers and i really want to stay in a beach hut!! haha!!

if i can squeeze the cooks in i will!!

bluelou....would u suggest snorkelling for someone who isnt too confident in water?? id luv to do it but get scared when i cant touch the mum must have drowned me as a child!! haha!!

any of you not fancy coming along...??!!

8. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin, 5579 posts) 4 Mar '09 03:09

Quoting rachel_c_

bluelou....would u suggest snorkelling for someone who isnt too confident in water?? id luv to do it but get scared when i cant touch the mum must have drowned me as a child!! haha!!

One thing about Rarotonga is that it is surrounded by reef, so you can stand pretty much anywhere while you snorkel. The only thing you need to watch out for are the 4 or 5 openings out to sea at certain times of day, as there is a pretty strong current around those channels when that happens. Apparently about 4/5 people die every year snorkeling and being dragged out to sea. I realize this is not really helpful information in terms of your confidence in water, but it happened while I was in the Cooks and there are very few warning signs about the danger! It really is super safe, just as long as you're a few hundred metres from the openings!!

9. Posted by rachel_c_ (Budding Member, 39 posts) 4 Mar '09 03:27

haha!! well i wont be anywhere near those openings...i will have a rope round me tied to a palm tree on the beach!!!

thanks for the warning tho!! :)

if i dont try it there i will defo try it somewhere else!!

10. Posted by bluelou (Budding Member, 13 posts) 4 Mar '09 13:50


You can snorkel at standing height in all places and see lots of cool stuff. As Sam I Am says, Rarotonga is great for this. There is a reef around the island so it's protected from big waves and you can stand up and snorkel with ease. There's an area called Fruits of Rarotonga where you can stand in about 3 or 4 feet of water, pop your face in the water and see lots of huge, colour fish. Don't worry about the gaps in the reef either; when I was there they were very easy to spot.