There are over 10,000 Polynesian islands within the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The area is mostly outlined because the Polynesian Triangle, which stretches from Hawaii within the north to Easter Island within the east and New Zealand within the west.
The primary teams of Polynesian islands embrace the Prepare dinner Islands, French Polynesia, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, and varied others.
Along with their geographical location, these islands are tied collectively by their comparable languages, cultures, and perception programs.
All indigenous Polynesians can hint their prehistoric roots to the Malay Archipelago, migrating by sea from Taiwan to the islands of Southeast Asia someday between 3000 and 1000 BCE.
As pictured in Disney’s hit movie Moana, their data of the ocean and skill to navigate utilizing solely the place of the celebrities at night time is the stuff of legend.
After all, every of those islands provides its personal distinctive pleasures at this time.
From historic archaeological relics and historic artifacts from the colonial period to wealthy conventional cultures and beautiful pure landscapes full of uncommon flora/fauna, the Polynesian islands are the uncommon dream vacation spot that really lives as much as all of the hyperbole.
Right here’s our information to the highest 10 Polynesian islands within the Polynesian Triangle each traveler ought to have on their bucket checklist:
A part of the Prepare dinner Islands archipelago, this volcanic island’s nickname– Enuamanu, or “land of the birds”– clues you into one among its hottest vacationer actions.
Avid avian lovers can spot lovely Polynesian birds such because the Prepare dinner Island Fruit Dove, Kukl’s Lorikeet, and Rarotonga Monarch.
However there are many different choices as effectively, together with mountain climbing to discover pure caves sculpted by the ocean, visiting a espresso plantation (the island produces round 10,000 kilos of roasted beans a yr), and diving/snorkeling.
For a particular deal with, go to a Tumu Nu: This ceremonial celebration dates again to the colonial period of prohibition, and includes consuming, socializing, and the occasional sing-along.
One of many world’s most distant islands, this UNESCO World Heritage Web site in southeastern Polynesia is 1,289 miles from the closest inhabited island (Pitcairn) and a pair of,182 miles from the mainland (Chile).
Also called Rapa Nui, for the island’s native inhabitants, Easter Island is most well-known for its 887 monumental stone statues, referred to as moai.
Carved in a method harking back to Peru’s Inca civilization, these mysterious figures loom giant over the panorama– significantly at Ahu Tongariki, the biggest ceremonial web site in Polynesia.
However they’re hardly the island’s solely attraction: From the huge caldera of Rano Kau to the “fowl males” petroglyphs of Orongo village, there are many causes Easter Island must be on each Polynesian traveler’s bucket checklist.
A part of the French-owned Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands, Futuna and neighboring Alofi Island (which is essentially uninhabited) comprise the Hoorn Islands.
Futuna, which measures 50 sq. miles and is house to round 5,000 folks, traces its cultural roots to Samoa and has the same language.
The island’s panorama is outlined by beautiful coastal seashores and the 1,719-foot peak of volcanic Mt. Puke within the heart.
The island’s different foremost sights embrace the frilly Church of Pierre Chanel, whose stepped tower was inbuilt memorial of Polynesia’s first/solely Catholic saint, and birdwatching for species comparable to Purple-footed Boobies, White-collared Kingfishers, and Blue-crowned Lorikeets.
For a similar cause Henderson grew to become a UNESCO World Heritage Web site in 1988: It’s one of many final two coral atolls on the earth whose ecosystems stay just about undisturbed by human contact.
Situated 120 miles northeast of Pitcairn Island, Henderson is surrounded by sheer limestone cliffs pockmarked with dramatic blowholes and caves.
It boasts a powerful stage of biodiversity for such a small, distant island: 10 of its flowering crops, all 4 of its land birds, and a couple of third of its bugs and gastropods are endemic.
Preserve your eyes peeled for the colourful Henderson Fruit Dove, Henderson Island Crake, and Stephen’s Lorikeet.
Often known as the “Rock of Polynesia,” this 100 sq. mile island is house to round 1,600 residents. All are thought-about residents of New Zealand, and round 90% of the Niuean folks reside in NZ.
Niue is without doubt one of the world’s largest raised coral atolls, with dramatic terrain made up of steep limestone cliffs and a central plateau rising 200 toes above sea stage.
The ovular island is house to intensive sea cave programs, and mountain climbing the pathway of coral to achieve them gives beautiful views of the good blue waters and the coral reef system that just about encompass Niue.
Snorkeling and diving is the most well-liked pastime right here (search for the innocent Katuali, a flat-tailed sea snake), however avid birders can even hike looking for Banded Rails, Masked Lapwings, and Blue-crowned Lorikeet.
The second largest island in French Polynesia after Tahiti, this Marquesan hotspot was initially made well-known by Herman Melville’s 1846 e book, Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life.
It’s clearly modified since then, but it surely’s nonetheless giant (131 sq. miles) and sparsely populated (2,660 residents).
The panorama is dramatic, with lovely seashores, shimmering bays, jagged basalt cliffs, dynamic waterfalls, and plush inexperienced valleys unspoiled by human improvement.
There are various archaeological websites for historical past buffs, together with the sacred statues generally known as tiki, open-air gathering locations (tohua), and historic rock-pile ruins of house foundations (referred to as pae pae).
Climbing, horseback using, and snorkeling/Scuba diving are all in style actions as effectively.
One in every of 4 volcanic islands (that are collectively generally known as the Pitcairn Islands) that type the final British Abroad Territory within the Pacific, 2.8-square-mile Pitcairn is finest generally known as the hideout of the HMS Bounty mutineers.
After the crew of the well-known Royal Navy vessel set Captain Bligh and his loyalists adrift in 1790, they set hearth to the ship.
9 mutineers and 18 Tahitians settled on Pitcairn, and the 50 welcoming inhabitants of Adamstown at this time are all their direct descendants.
Along with historic relics from the Bounty, different Pitcairn sights embrace Vital Hen Areas that shield the endangered Pitcairn Reed Warbler and an enormous Marine Reserve that pulls migrating Humpback Whales.