Kiribati Experience with nearby Island

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486
08 Nights / 09 Days
Auckland
Tarawa

Kiribati, officially the Republic of Kiribati, is an independent island nation in the central Pacific Ocean. The permanent population is over 119,000, more than half of whom live on Tarawa atoll. The state comprises 32 atolls and one raised coral island, Banaba.

Day 01: Arrive Tarawa, Kiribati                                             D
Arrive Tarawa Meet and assist at the airport and transfer to hotel.
Kiribati Welcome to another true remote island paradise, and one of the world’s smallest island nations situated in the middle of the Pacific. Fewer than 6,000 visitors make it here each year (approximately 4,600 in 2016), making it the 4th least visited country in the world. This geographically isolated nation is ‘untouched’ thanks to how secluded and inaccessible the islands are.

The passing centuries have had little impact on Kiribati’s outer islands, where people subsist on coconuts, giant prawns and fish. The country has a total land area of 800 sq km (310 sq mi) but, incredibly, it’s 33 atolls and islands are spread over 3.5 million sq km (1,350,000 sq mi) of ocean. In fact, Kiribati is the only country in the world to fall into all four hemispheres, straddling the equator and extending into the eastern and western hemispheres! Today’s climate change projections predict that the ocean could swallow this country whole by the end of the century. In anticipation, the Kiribati government has purchased land in Fiji, where they can relocate their people.

Kiribati has been inhabited by Micronesians speaking the same Oceanic language since perhaps as far back as 3000 BC. Throughout history arrivals from Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji have impacted the ‘cultural landscape’. Intermarriage tended to blur cultural differences and resulted in a significant degree of cultural homogenization. Within these islands a Micronesian culture developed, and it was also infused with elements from Polynesian and Melanesian societies. Chance visits by European ships occurred in the 17th and 18th centuries, as these ships attempted circumnavigation of the world or sought sailing routes from the south to north Pacific Ocean. Kiribati became independent from the United Kingdom in 1979, and today Kiribati is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the IMF and the World Bank, and became a full member of the United Nations in 1999.

The permanent population here is just over 100,000, half of whom live on Tarawa Atoll. This is one of the world’s poorest and least developed countries, and has few natural resources. Commercially viable phosphate deposits were exhausted at the time of independence, and today copra and fish represent the bulk of production and exports. In one form or another, Kiribati gets a large portion of its income from abroad (fishing licenses, development assistance, worker remittances, and tourism).
1889 saw the arrival of one notable visitor — Robert Louis Stevenson. Setting sail for the Pacific islands, after spending time in Hawaii and Tahiti, he spent time on the Kiribati atolls of Abemama and Butaritari (in the Gilbert group). This was prior to heading to Samoa in 1890, where Stevenson spent the last of his days.

Today we will enjoy a tour of the island. On the south side of the island we will see some of the WWII relics and memorials. The Battle of Tarawa was one of the bloodiest battles to take place in the Pacific during World War II, and during our visit you will hear some of the stories of the battle and visit some of the most significant sites and memorials.
Overnight in Tarawa, Kiribati.

Day 02: Tarawa                                              B-L-D
Along the north we will learn about the unique culture of the region and experience a little slice of local life in a traditional Kiribati village as we continue with our exploration. Our cultural discovery and village visits will enables us to learn about some of the traditional cultural practices of Kiribati that are in use today. You will have the opportunity to interact with those you meet along the way. You might see how garlands are made and how different types of mats are prepared from coconut or pandanus. Witness the preparation of thatched roofing and how toddy is cut. We will also visit a clam farm and learn about these beautifully coloured inhabitants of our reefs.
This evening we will enjoy a buffet dinner with some I-Kiribati traditional dance performances. Kiribati Dancers are recognised across the Pacific for their iconic cultural dress and incredible songs with accompanying dance. This is a true highlight!
Overnight in Tarawa, Kiribati.

Day 03: Tarawa, Kiribati – Auckland, New Zealand                      B-D
After breakfast transfer to airport to catch the flight to Auckland. Arrive Auckland meet and assist at the Airport and transfer to hotel.
Located in the northern part of New Zealand, the cosmopolitan city of Auckland is the largest metropolitan area in the country. The geographical location of Auckland is such that it lies between the Hauraki Gulf of the Pacific Ocean to the east, the low Hunua Ranges to the southeast, the Manukau Harbour to the southwest, and the Waitakere Ranges and smaller ranges to the west and northwest. The region is also the site of Auckland Volcanic Field, comprising of around 50 volcanoes. This vibrant and bustling city is also the biggest Polynesian city in the world, a cultural influence reflected in many different aspects of city life.
Overnight in Auckland.

Day 04: Auckland                                           B-D
After breakfast tour of Auckland
Travelling via Auckland’s ‘Golden Mile’ (Queen Street), our tour takes us through the university grounds past many of Auckland’s historical buildings. We will pass by Parnell Village, the Central Business District, the Mission Bay area, Tamaki Drive, and the Harbour Bridge before our visit to the Auckland Museum. Here we find three expansive levels that tell the story of New Zealand’s history, from emergence as a nation through the loss and suffering of war, to their uniquely ancient natural history and priceless Maori and Pacific treasures.
Overnight in Auckland

Day 05: Auckland, New Zealand – Niue         B-D
After breakfast transfer to Airport to catch the flight to Niue Arrive Niue meet ad assist at the airport and transfer to hotel.
Niue may be one of the biggest coral atoll islands in the world, but it is also one of the smallest countries in the world with around 1,200 inhabitants scattered throughout 14 villages. With fewer than 8,000 visitors a year, this is the sort of place where you find a laid back atmosphere keeping with the islander way of life. This Polynesian island is situated 2400 kms (1,500 miles) northeast of New Zealand and just east of Tonga. Here the natural beauty is still largely intact, with spectacular steep limestone cliffs along the coast and a central plateau.

The highest point on the island is only 226 ft above sea level, and a ring-road around the entire island takes us through lush forests and reveals dramatic coastal views. The capital Alofi has less than 1,000 inhabitants, and here the economy is small with most economic activity revolving around the government. Cultural values are well-preserved today, and many traditions have been handed down from generation to generation. Religion here is strong, and the church plays a large part in the community.

A coral reef surrounds the island, and the only major break in the reef is along the central western coast, close to Alofi. Two large bays indent the western coast, with Alofi Bay in the center and Avatele Bay in the south. Most of the population resides close to the west coast, around the capital, and in the northwest.

Originally settled by Polynesians from Samoa around 900 AD, further settlers arrived on Niue from Tonga in the 16th century. The first European to sight Niue was Captain James Cook in 1774. He made three attempts to land but was refused permission to do so by the inhabitants. The next notable European visitors were from the London Missionary Society, which arrived in 1846 on the “Messenger of Peace”.
Agriculture is very important to the lifestyle of Niueans and to the overall economy. Most families grow their own food crops for subsistence and some goods are exported to family members in New Zealand. Nearly all households have plantations of taro, which is an island staple food. Tapioca and yams also grow very well, as do different varieties of bananas. Copra, passionfruit and limes dominated exports in the 1970s, but by 2008 vanilla and taro had become the main export crops.

Following a plea from British missionaries and island leaders, Niue became a British Protectorate at the turn of the 20th century. Shortly thereafter, New Zealand took over responsibility in 1901. The island remained a territory of New Zealand until 1974 when it adopted self-rule, but continues to retain New Zealand citizenship. Today Niue is a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand, and Niueans are New Zealand citizens. Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state in her capacity as Queen of New Zealand, and approximately 90% of Niuean people live in New Zealand. Niue is not a member of the United Nations, but UN organizations have accepted its status as a freely-associated state as equivalent to independence for the purposes of international law. As such, Niue is a full member of some UN specialized agencies such as UNESCO and the WHO.
Overnight in Niue.

Day 06: Niue                                                    B-D
Over the next two days we will explore the island of Niue.
Niue’s coastline is adorned with unique geological landmarks, spectacular limestone formations and extensive cave systems. Avaiki Cave is where Niue’s first settlers landed. Here a narrow gorge leads to a coastal cavern cradling a heavenly rock pool. Located south of Tuapa village along the North West coast of the island is Palaha Cave, notable for its stalactites and stalagmites in varying shades of green and red. The waterline is marked by a number of traditional canoe-landing spots, including Opaahi Landing, the place where Captain Cook made an unsuccessful attempt to come ashore in 1744.

In the main town of Alofi is the Niue Tourism office / Information Center. If we are lucky, one of the tourism staff will give us a brief talk about the local culture and life on the island.

We will enjoy a walk to the Limu pools, located in northwest Niue. Accessible via a footpath leading down to the Pacific Ocean, here we find a series of natural pools, protected from the fury of the Pacific Ocean through an ‘arm’ of rock that breaks the waves. Noted for its expansive cliff face and historical importance as a reserved bathing place for Niue’s traditional kings, Matapa Chasm is reached by a track which branches off from the main road at the foot of Hikutavake Hill. Located just beyond the reach of the churning Pacific Ocean, the tranquil Matapa Chasm is set amid stunning limestone cliffs. As well as the Matapa Chasm we will also see the Togo Chasm.

Avatele beach is a village on the southwest coast of Niue. Here we find the largest and most well known beach on the island. Prior to the construction of the Sir Robert Rex Wharf and International Airport in Alofi, Avatele Beach was the principal landing place for many visitors to the island. During our time here we will also see the Hikulagi Sculpture Park — established in 1996 by members of the then Tahiono Arts Collective.
Overnight in Niue.

Day 07: Niue                                                    B-D
Today we will continue with our island touring and exploration, and then you will have some free time this afternoon.
We will see the Niue National Museum at it’s temporary location, and enjoy a plantation tour as well as a rainforest walk. Today we also plan to visit one of the local villages. During our island touring we will also make stops at the beaches of Utuko and Tamakautoga.
Overnight in Niue.

Day 08: Niue – Auckland.                              B-D
After breakfast transfer to airport to catch the flight to New Zealand on arrival meet and assist at the airport and transfer to hotel.
Overnight in Hotel.

Day 09: Depart Auckland                              B
After breakfast departure transfer to airport to catch the flight for onward journey.

Place Night (s) Hotels
Tarawa 02 Tarawa Boutique Hotel
Auckland 02 Hilton Auckland
Niue 03 Scenic Matavai Resort Niue
Auckland 01 Hilton Auckland
  • Welcome on arrival with fresh flower garlands.
  • Meet to attend airports / hotels by our office representative.
  • 08 nights in accommodation as per the program.
  • Meals as per Program
  • Guide Services ( English language )
  • Entrance fees to the monuments.
  • All taxes.

• International flights
• Personal Expenses.
• Camera / Video Camera Fees.
• Medical Aid.
• Tipping.
• Travel Insurance.
• Visa If any.

• Accommodation in good hotels.

• Check-in / out time is 12 noon at most of the hotels.

• Extension to other places is also possible with a minimal extra cost. – Additional nights are available at each place with minimal supplement.

• A visa is required and must be obtained prior to your departure from your Country.

• If quoted hotel is not available, we will provide one of a similar category and standard.

• Small deviations in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on weather, road conditions, flight schedules and room availability.

• In case the government changes presently applicable taxes, increase in airlines prices, fuel surcharge our rates will need to be adjusted accordingly.

• In Asia, there is no relevance between the distance and time of travelling, as it depends upon the condition of the roads and congestion of the traffic.

• While every effort will be made to maintain the itinerary, in view of local strikes etc that are beyond our control all schedule and itineraries are subject to last moment changes.

• Clients must be fully insured, as the company cannot accept liability for loss or damage to client’s property, medical emergencies or any other loss suffered by them whilst on tour.

• In Case of issuing Domestic or International air tickets, SGV is not responsible for any refund if the flight is delayed or cancelled, as it is the responsibility of airline.

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