Tahiti’s next big thing

The Tuamotu archipelago may well be French Polynesia’s next big thing. Tahiti Tourism would dearly love to ease the tourist squeeze by extending the horizon for visitors beyond its best known destinations. Continue Reading »

Hot times in PNG’s Pompeii ….

Our aluminium skiff is sailing deeper into hot water below the soot-blackened, smoking slopes of Tavurvur. The volcano is belching massive plumes of ash and smoke and intermittently spewing chunks of molten rock skyward. Should one fly toward our tiny boat we might have to leap, for safety, into the superheated sea. Some choice!

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The pizza test

Although of average size and appetite, it was my first sight of a Tongan pizza that truly drove home how reedy and insubstantial I must appear to the bountifully-proportioned inhabitants of this languid Pacific island kingdom. Continue Reading »

Leap of faith

Passengers aboard the good ship Aranui, which cruises regularly between the six inhabited islands of the Marquesas Archipelago, occasionally need to step boldly forth, alighting from a whaling boat being tossed on a heaving swell to scramble up wet, slippery steps to the safety of dry land. Continue Reading »

A painter’s grave

“Life is merely a fraction of a second.
An infinitely small amount of time
to fulfill our desires, our dreams, our passions.” – Paul Gauguin

A smooth black boulder daubed with white paint bears the simple inscription: Paul Gauguin, 1903. The tidy grave is covered with blocks of red volcanic tuff, cemented together and shaded from the French Polynesian sun by a solitary frangipani tree. Beside his tomb stands a replica sculpture of Oviri, The Savage. Continue Reading »