Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Australia & the Pacific
Reload this Page >

Please compare FIJI or TAHITI to MAUI for romance and nature?

Please compare FIJI or TAHITI to MAUI for romance and nature?

Old Aug 7th, 2006, 01:35 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,254
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Please compare FIJI or TAHITI to MAUI for romance and nature?

Please compare Fiji or Tahiti to Maui for romance and nature?

We are trying to plan our 25th anniversary trip to someplace romantic and memorable. We love to travel and my husband is a biologist who enjoys native flora and fauna. Last year our anniversary trip was to Maui and it was very romantic, though Maui is a bit over-built and a bit touristy, it was still romantic and we felt very spoiled.

We enjoy hiking, swimming, scenic drives, a room with a view, eating where the locals eat...getting off the beaten path part of the time...seeing some unspoiled nature and not just all manicured hotel grounds...

Can anybody compare Fiji and Tahiti with Hawaii? Hawaii is a short flight from San Diego. Fiji and Tahiti are a very long flight and I'm wondering if it's worth it.

We are also considering New Zealand.

We have loved places as different and varied as Costa Rica, Italy, and Ireland...We saw New Zealand but it was 20 years ago and it was a whirlwind tour so didn't have much time in each place.

Thanks for your advice and opinions, and please do share your experiences.
Melissa5 is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2006, 06:23 PM
  #2  
ALF
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,524
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Fiji or Tahit are not very similar to the Hawaiian Islands. There are also substantial differences between Fiji & French Polynesia (I assume that by 'Tahiti' you mean the Society Islands of French Polynesia). Other than the main city of Papeete (on the island of Tahiti), the Society Islands are much smaller and older (geologically) than the Hawaiian Islands, and consequently have much more well-developed fringing reef/atoll reef systems. This alone makes them much more beautiful and romantic than Maui, with quiet turquoise lagoons and lapping on coral sand beaches. You will feel that you are definitely in an exotic place, compared to Hawaiian islands. Yes, the trip is much longer, but if you want a memorable trip, it will be worth it. You can choose how isolated you want to be, ranging from Tahiti to Bora Bora to Moorea to Raiatea to Tahaa (most developed to least). On the downside, everything is very expensive, generally more so than Hawaii, which is not cheap to begin with.

Fiji is also composed of a large collection of disparate islands, ranging from big (main island of Viti Levu, and Vanua Levu), to medium (Taveuni and Kadavu), to small (Yasawa and Mamanuca Groups). Culturally, Fiji is culturally different from French Polynesia (and Hawaii), being composed of Melanesians (and Indian immigrants), as opposed to Polynesians. Personally, I would go to Fiji, which I found to be more diverse, with a greater range of accomodations, activities, and topography.

One highlight for us was a 3-day walk across the interior of Vanua Levu with a local guide (if you want to get off the beaten path!). Another was staying in rustic bures on the coast of Kadavu, accessible only by boat.
ALF is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2006, 08:54 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,254
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
ALF, thank you for a very interesting comparison of these island with Hawaii. My head is swimming with romantic options. I think I will go to the bookstore and look at photos and info for Fiji (and Tahiti/Bora Bora/Morea) and New Zealand. Sometimes reading trip reports helps too.

Melissa5 is offline  
Old Aug 8th, 2006, 12:38 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,044
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well, I've not been to Fiji but I've been to both Maui and French Polynesia. Maui by far offers a much wider range of places to stay and eat, and more "sightseeing" type activities. This is due in part to the fact that Maui is so very much larger than any of the islands of French Polynesia (outside of Tahiti itself - which is not the best of the Society Islands - the islands of FP are TINY). Because of it's larger size (and higher peaks), Maui also features a much, much wider range of environments and climates. For example, there is nothing even remotely approaching the arid areas of Maui or the heights of Haleakala.

In spite of this, we MUCH prefer the Society Islands of French Polynesia (and the nearby Cook Islands for that matter) to Maui. Even among the Hawaiian Islands, we prefer Kauai over Maui as it's quieter and has a much more rugged appearance. In fact, the north shore of Kauai is as close to the South Pacific as you are likely to find in all of Hawaii.

In regards to French Polynesia itself (keep in mind that I'm referring specifically to the Society Islands rather than the other island groups), ALF has put it fairly well. Hawaii is beautiful but it pale next to the islands of the South Pacific in regards to exotic beauty. As ALF has mentioned, this is due to one major factor - the presence of lagoons. Hawaii has a few lagoons (notably Kaneohe Bay on Oahu and Anini Beach on Kauai), but Maui has none. The Society Islands however (and the Cooks) are pretty much DEFINED by the presence of lagoons and these calm, clear, relatively shallow bodies of water are the most distinctive feature (by far) of the area.

Lagoons means that rough-water sports like surfing and the like are pretty rare, while snorkeling is THE activity to take part in. As mentioned, these islands are typically very tiny (often only a couple of miles across (or less) - compared 30 miles across for South Maui) so activities involving the interiors of the islands (which are often very rugged and roadless) are pretty rare and most visitors spend their time in or around the water.

So, in conclusion I'd have to say that the islands of FP will offer you a much more narrow range of experiences and sceneries, but that these are likely to seem far more exotic than what you found on Maui.

We love Hawaii (especially Kauai), but we LOVE the South Pacific region.

Ken
LordBalfor is offline  
Old Aug 10th, 2006, 12:46 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,254
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ken, thank you for taking the time to offer your comparisons! We love to travel and I am taking notes.
Melissa5 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Jalebi
United States
15
Aug 14th, 2013 09:13 AM
mtmz
United States
9
Jul 5th, 2008 07:10 AM
kirstenrdh
Australia & the Pacific
7
Sep 28th, 2005 01:12 PM
LordBalfor
United States
11
Jun 3rd, 2005 08:33 PM
marshall531
United States
15
Apr 21st, 2004 06:21 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:24 PM.