"MG_4676" by side78 via Flickr Creative Commons

Endless crystalline waters and the most perfect beaches anywhere, it is no wonder that the South Pacific is a favorite destination for long term travelers. While the islands tend to be expensive and hard to reach typically, with an RTW ticket you can hop from one to another without much of raise in airfare. You can camp on Tahiti and stay in thatched huts in Samoa. Many tend to stick around for months in Australia and New Zealand, where backpacker ghettos and facilities are everywhere.

  1. Samoa Unlike nearby Fiji, Samoa is dirt cheap, very traditional, and has loads of beach fales or thatch bungalows.
  2. Sydney, Australia Apart from the beaches, Kings Cross hostels, the Opera House, and the nightlife check out the Victoria Barracks, Georgian and Victorian architecture, the Customs House, and Macquarie Street.
  3. Queenstown, New Zealand Queenstown is often called the Adventure capital of the World, so heli-biking, hiking, rafting, or bungee jumping shouldn’t be that much of a surprise.
  4. Cairns, Australia From beers at the Woolshed to the tropical climate and Great Barrier Reef, Cairns has blossomed into one of Australia’s top backpacker haunts.
  5. Cook Islands The Cook Islands are a major stop for RTW trippers between North America and Australia. Rarotonga and some of the smaller islands have cheap local run guesthouses and bungalows, not to mention laid back villages, hiking trails, and pristine shores.
  6. Christchurch, New Zealand The Garden City on the South Island is filled with foreign students and RTW travelers who come for the arts, nightlife, and loads of festivals.
  7. Tahiti, French Polynesia Although the typical RTW traveler won’t be able to afford to be in an over the water bungalow unless they are cleaning it, they still can stay at one of Tahiti’s pleasant campgrounds for cheap and still experience the best the island has to offer.
  8. Easter Island, Chile Adding on this isolated island when traveling between Australian and South America isn’t pricey at all. The baffling collection of Moais, stone monoliths spread around this isolated island, has perplexed scientists since the day they were discovered.
  9. Fiji Nadi airport is one of the easiest access points in the Pacific. The Mamanuca group is dominated by small pristine islands, paradisiacal beaches, and a hard to leave tropical party atmosphere.
  10. Uluru, Australia Also called Ayer’s Rock, this sacred Aboriginal site is one of the most important Australian historical landmarks.

Click here for an Introduction to Around the World Vacations