The Pacific Islands provide the most evocative holiday and travel images of any region on the face of the earth. When it comes to a relaxing holiday, there is nowhere else where you can relax on a palm fringed beach surrounded by crystal clear waters and magnificent coral reefs. The local inhabitants add to the attraction with there physical beauty and their laid back lifestyle and friendlyness. Ever since western man began to explore the world, the magnificent islands that dot the Pacific Ocean have been the subject of more interest and desire to visit, than any other place on the planet. These islands are the paradise that dreams are made of and one of the most popular holiday destinations to visit, no matter where abouts you come from.
The Polynesian and Melanesian people that make up the population of these islands migrated to their island homes on huge canoes from Asia, several thousand years ago. European exploration started in ernest in the eighteenth century and explorers like James Cook spent many years exploring their extremities and befriending the people. The earliest groups of islands to become inhabited were the islands of Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu and soon after the great polynesian migration settled in Tonga, Samoa, the Cook Islands, Hawaii and Tahiti. Over the ensuing generations, these islands have been so popular as a holiday destination that they have all built up a very special tourism industry which is now the mainstay of their various economies.
The variety that you can experience through out the different islands is amazing. In Papua New Guinea, you can go back to the dawn of mankind with still stone age people occuping dense rainforest mountains and valleys or you can stay in a modern city in a beautiful resort. Some of the remote regions here are totally unspoit and rarely visited and the customs and traditions of the native people has remained almost unchanged. Vanuatu is inhabited by a people who are reputed to be the happiest people on earth. You can still observe their ancient tribal customs like their annual bungy jumping activities that they do with vines tied to their feet. A cruise through the Vanuatu Islands will take you through some of the most picuresque island scenery while passing natural attractions such a active volcanos. There are a number of popular resorts located on several different islands in the group.
The Maori people of New Zealand have all migrated there starting about 1000 years ago from the islands of Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands. These people were among the original great seafarers and migrated to New Zealand from their island homes on huge ocean going sailing canoes. They settled in New Zealand and now make up a large proportion of the islands population. New Zealand is now the most intergrated society anywhere in the world. Hawaii and Tahiti are also populated by the Polynesian people. Hawaii is now part of the United States of America while Tahiti is a French province.
Together, the Islands of the South Pacific Ocean, Australia and New Zealand make up one of the worlds best tourist and holiday destinations and are extremly popular among European, Australian and American tourists.