How to Visit Every Country in the Pacific – The Ultimate Guide for 2024

Travelling to the Pacific islands might sound like the perfect beach holiday. And that’s true if you are planning to spend a week in the Cook Islands or Tahiti.

But if you wish to see more than just one country or some of the lesser-known islands, you may run into some logistical issues.

How to Visit Every Country in the Pacific – The Ultimate Guide for 2024

Travelling to the Pacific islands might sound like the perfect beach holiday. And that’s true if you are planning to spend a week in the Cook Islands or Tahiti.

But if you wish to see more than just one country or some of the lesser-known islands, you may run into some logistical issues.

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

We may earn affiliate commissions from websites we link to, at no cost to you. Click here for details.

How to visit every country in the Pacific

You might also be one of the very few visitors on the island.

If you plan to visit every country in the Pacific, this guide is just for you.

Update 2024: This guide on how to visit every country in the Pacific was initially researched and written in 2020 to help travellers plan their trip. We’ve made updates as per real-time information from other travellers who have since travelled this route in 2024.

How to Visit Every Country in the Pacific – The Ultimate Guide

Visiting countries or territories in the Pacific – know the difference

There are many islands in the Pacific. Some islands are independent countries; others are overseas territories.

Here is a little list to help you understand the difference.

Every country in the Pacific – There are officially 14 countries in the region known as Oceania: 

  1. Australia
  2. New Zealand
  3. Fiji
  4. Kiribati
  5. The Marshall Islands,
  6. Micronesia (the Federated States of)
  7. Nauru
  8. Palau
  9. Papua New Guinea,
  10. Samoa
  11. The Solomon Islands
  12. Tonga
  13. Tuvalu
  14. Vanuatu

These are the dependent territories of five countries:

  • USA: American SamoaGuamNorthern Mariana Islands, Wake Island
  • New Zealand: Cook IslandsNiueTokelau
  • France: French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna
  • Australia: Norfolk Island
  • United Kingdom: Pitcairn Islands

PS: Don’t forget that there is also Hawaii. It is not a territory but the 50th state of the USA.

This article focuses more on countries in the Pacific, rather than on the territories. There seem to be a few articles dedicated to the Cook Islands and French Polynesia, so I will try to focus on the countries as it’s harder to find more info.

Which countries in Oceania are developed for tourism?

Regarding infrastructure for tourism and visitors, you would find plenty in some countries. Australia, New Zealand and Fiji lead in the region and are visited by many people yearly.

You will find everything from tour operators to extensive options for accommodation. Check out Viator or GetYourGuide to book the best day trips and extraordinary experiences in this region.

Our blog about the best travel websites to save money may be helpful to help you plan. And if you’re up for it, why not do the Big Lap of Oz?

Here are our 9 best tips for travelling the whole lap of Australia

Don’t forget to try these 12 Classic Australian foods while you’re there.

Australia - Uluru is far from everywhere

Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga would come second, and you can find plenty to do here. There is a wide range of accommodation as well.

We recommend using Booking.com in this part of the world.

Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands have been focusing on building tourism in the past few years. Especially considering the proximity to Australia these islands could see a rise in visitors as long as the infrastructure is there.

Don’t forget that the real gems are located outside the capital city and require another domestic flight.

When it comes to the remaining countries – the infrastructure is more limited as there are very few travellers or tourists here. That includes Tuvalu, Kiribati, NauruMarshall Islands and Micronesia.

This means limited flights and limited accommodation.

Of course, let’s not forget Hawaii which is a very popular destination in the Pacific for the US as well as international tourists.

Which territories should you visit in the Pacific?

When it comes to the territories, the easiest to visit would be French Caledonia (Tahiti and Bora Bora), the Cook Islands and New Caledonia. The rest of the territories are somewhat undiscovered.

Where should you go first? 

This depends if you are planning to visit one country, or multiple islands or try to see all of them in one trip. It’s probably best to look at flight connections for multiple country trips and follow those.

For example, you might visit Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands with Vanuatu. Or use Fiji as a base to see Tonga, Samoa and Tuvalu.

If you are planning to visit all the countries in one trip, then careful planning and flexibility is the key—more on that below in our suggested itinerary.

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How to Visit Every Country in the Pacific – By Plane, Cruise or Ship

how to visit every country in the pacific hammock

Airlines in the Pacific:

Numerous airlines connect the Pacific with major air hubs:

The main players are Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, Fiji Airways, Nauru Air, Air Niugini and United Airlines.

We used Skyscanner to plan and book flights for our itinerary around the Pacific. 

From Australia, you will find direct flights to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Nauru.

If you are in New Zealand, you can quickly get to Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Cook Islands.

Finally, when travelling from the USA, you can fly to Fiji, and Australia and connect to the rest.

But more importantly, the so-called United Island Hopper connects Hawaii with the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Guam and then flies onto Manila.

United is the only airline that currently connects the Marshall Islands and Micronesia, and many choose to fly to Palau with United Airlines as well.

Please note this flight connects via Guam. Guam is a US territory so unless you are one of the lucky nationalities that qualify for the Guam Waiver (CLICK HERE for info) you will need ESTA or USA visa to transit.

Airlines Pacific

Cruise Ships in the Pacific

The obvious option to see islands is to search for a cruise in the Pacific.

While cruising might not be for everyone, some can find a pretty good deal when signing up online. It can be practical if you are also planning to see a bit of Australia or New Zealand, as many cruise companies incorporate these two destinations with a few other islands, usually Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji and Samoa.

Also, many cruises usually visit more territories than countries.

The cruise that seems to cover a few of the islands for a great price is the Norwegian Jewel from Sydney to Papeete. You can check the best deals on this cruise and many more by searching on CruiseCritic and these

Cruise Ships

Cargo Boats in the Pacific:

The last option is for the most adventurous with more flexibility. Cargo ships ply the oceans everywhere, and technically there is a chance you could score a ride. There are probably two common assumptions:

1. It’s easy to board a cargo ship in the Pacific.

2. It’s free or cheap.

Both are false.

To find more information on cargo ships, you can read this article written by Thor, the man who recently visited every country in the world without flying. He is the right person to talk about cargo ships.

More about Thor’s journey can be found on his website, Once Upon Saga.

how to visit every country in the pacific cargo ships

How to Plan your Trip to Visit Countries in the Pacific – Suggested Itinerary

Planning any multi-country trip to the Pacific starts with airline routes. Unfortunately, despite some major airlines flying into the Pacific, not all islands are connected with daily flights.

Some fly only once a week. Especially when it comes to the less-visited countries. There are a few suggested itineraries below. They’ve been put together based on airline connections and the overall cost of flights.

If you are based in the USA or planning to visit Palau, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands 

While you can technically visit these three countries by three different airlines, the most common route for most travellers is with United Airlines on Flight 154/155.

United Airlines Island Hopper Flight

The route is known as United Airlines’ Island Hopper. You are flying from Honolulu (HNL) to Majuro (MAJ) to Kwajalein (KWA) to Kosrae (KSA) to Pohnpei (PNI) to Chuuk (TKK) to Guam (GUM), or the reverse. From Guam, you can fly to Palau and Manila.

Check Skyscanner for the best flight deals on the Island Hopper

If you have any points with United Airlines or Star Alliance, then it is a good idea to use them on this flight as the cost of the ticket is high. The flight itself is considered a bucket list item for flight enthusiasts.

If you fly from Honolulu, it can take up to 20 hours to reach Guam. You can disembark at each airport except Kwajalein.

The only food service is breakfast out of Honolulu, so if you are hungry, make sure you bring some snacks.

One annoying part: Once you reach the Marshall Islands or depart from there, the flight lands every hour for Kwajalein, Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chukk and then Guam. Your in-flight entertainment will start all over again, so you will never finish the movie.

Note: Should you not be able to fly on the flight with United, you can access these three countries by other routes: 

  • Palau – There are flights from Manila, Taipei and Seoul with United Airlines, China Airlines, Asiana Airlines
  • Micronesia – There are weekly flights from Port Moresby with Air Niugini
  • The Marshall Islands – There are two flights from Kiribati/Nauru with Nauru Airlines

If you are based in Australia and planning to visit South Pacific and Melanesia:

Australia is a great base to access some islands on multiple trips. Virgin Australia flies to multiple countries.

Regional Airlines such as Air Niugini, Solomon Airlines, Fiji Airways and Air Vanuatu all fly to Australia as well. You can choose to visit on a return flight or combine a few countries on multiple trips.

Flights depart mainly from Brisbane or Sydney.

Here is the list for 2023: Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Nauru

If You Are Planning to Visit Every Country in the Pacific in Just One Trip

The ultimate challenge is to visit all the countries in the Pacific on a single trip. Here are a few options on how to do it.

From Australia:

Sydney to Nuku’alofa to Nadi to Apia to Nadi to Suva to Funafuti to Tarawa to Yaren to Majuro 

to Pohnpei to Guam to Koror to Manila to Port Moresby to Honiara to Port Vila

how to visit every country in the pacific flight itinerary ex Australia
How to visit every country in the Pacific – Flight itinerary ex Australia

Sydney/Brisbane to Port Vila to Honiara to Tarawa to Funafuti to Suva to Nadi to Apia to Nadi 

to Nuku’alofa to Nauru to Majuro to Pohnpei to Guam to Palau to Manila to Port Moresby.

how to visit every country in the pacific flight itinerary ex Australia Nbr 2
How to visit every country in the Pacific – Flight itinerary ex Australia Nbr (2)

From Asia – Round trip from Manila 

Manila to Guam to Palau to Pohnpei to Majuro to Kiribati to Nauru to Nadi to Apia to Nadi 

to Nuku’alofa to Nadi to Suva to Funafuti to Suva to Nadi to Port Vila to Honiara to Port Moresby to Manila

how to visit every country in the pacific Flight Itinerary from Asia Manilla

There are, of course, a few other combinations available. Here are a few hints that may help you when planning for each country.

Tuvalu – It is connected with Fiji Airlines three times a week from Suva, not Nadi, and it’s the only reliable flight.

Air Kiribati used to connect Tuvalu with Kiribati every Wednesday – UPDATE in 2023: This route is no longer operating.

Kiribati – Is connected with Fiji Air twice a week and with the Solomon Islands on Monday/Tuesday—a great link between Melanesia and Polynesia. Nauru Airlines also connects Kiribati to the Marshall Islands and Nauru.

Nauru – The only country that almost everyone requires a visa for, and it can take some time to obtain. You can find more info here. The only airline flying to Nauru is Nauru Airlines.

It also connects Nauru with Brisbane, but the ticket is expensive. In 2020, Nauru Airlines cancelled flights Nauru – Pohnpei and Nauru – Honiara.

Micronesia – Apart from the United Airlines flight that connects it with the Marshall Islands or Guam, you might consider flying in or out of Port Moresby with Air Niugini. The flight was only about $280, but it has been suspended in February due to the coronavirus.

Samoa/Tonga – Both countries have direct flights in and out of Australia or New Zealand, and it’s often cheaper to fly on return from there than to nearby Fiji.

Accommodation – Visit Every Country in the Pacific

how to visit every country in the pacific tonga

Travelling across the Pacific doesn’t come cheap. Fiji and Tonga were the cheapest; the most expensive would be the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Nauru.

RELATED POST – The Best Budget Accommodation Options in Tonga

On average, accommodation costs are around USD 100 per night. Except in Fiji, there are virtually no hostels.

We book hotels and accommodation on Booking.com.

tourradar latest deals

How Long Should You Spend in Each Country?

Each of us travels differently, and while you can spend a few weeks in Fiji or Vanuatu, you might run out of things to do in places like Nauru, Tuvalu or the Marshall Islands.

Personally for us, we would put the countries in a few groups:

Australia and New Zealand – You can easily spend months in both countries. While New Zealand is smaller, it is fantastic for many outdoor activities.

Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands – A week in each place will give you enough time to see it, and you might venture to neighbouring islands too. Fiji has the best infrastructure, and you will eventually come back to this island sometime in between flights.

Tuvalu, Kiribati, Nauru & the Marshall Islands – As some smaller and less developed nations, you might be happy to spend three days in each place.

Tuvalu and Nauru are both tiny, and you will eventually run out of things to do.

The Marshall Islands has one of the least attractive main islands, Majuro. Try to get to Eneko Island (Read about our experience here), Arno Atol or Laura Beach.

Most travellers fly into Tarawa in Kiribati, and while we have heard the outer islands are beautiful, if you stay on the main island, a few days will be enough.

Micronesia & Palau – We spent some extra time in Micronesia at Pohnpei and loved it there. It’s green, with impressive ruins of Nan Madol, and you can go snorkelling or fishing. The people were super lovely, and the food was excellent.

Palau is another gem with fantastic snorkelling and diving opportunities. While it’s not easy for budget travellers, it is beautiful.

Here are 10 awesome things to do in Palau and don’t miss the chance to swim with a million stingless jellyfish. Read more about our incredible Jellyfish Lake experience in Palau’s Rock Islands.

The food in Palau is worth mentioning, too! We enjoyed it very much.

Money in the Pacific

how to visit every country in the pacific tongan currency
Money in Tonga

There are a few currencies used across the Pacific. A complete list is below.

Please note you will need cash for Tuvalu as there is no ATM.

Generally, make sure you have some money in AUD and USD when travelling in this region for a few weeks.

NationCurrency
AustraliaAustralian Dollar
New ZealandNew Zealand Dollar
FijiFijian Dollar 
Papua New GuineaPapua New Guinean Kina
Solomon IslandsSolomon Islander Dollar 
VanuatuVanuatu Vatu 
SamoaSamoan Tala
TongaTongan Pa’anga
TuvaluAustralian Dollar
NauruAustralian Dollar
KiribatiAustralian Dollar
The Marshall IslandsUS Dollar
MicronesiaUS Dollar
PalauUS Dollar
HawaiiUS Dollar
Cook IslandsNew Zealand Dollar
French Polynesia & New CaledoniaFrench Pacific (CFP) Franc 

Travel Insurance for the Pacific Islands

Our post about getting stranded in the Pacific: Cancelled flights, lost luggage and coronavirus will provide you with inside tips and perhaps a few laughs at the same time.

We hope this post has been helpful to you in planning your journey to visit every country in the Pacific. We want to keep this post updated with the latest information for all, so please feel free to share your suggestions, schedule updates, or tips in the comments below if you have travelled this route in 2024 and beyond. 

Travel Tips for Oceania & Australia

We have many travel guides and tips for Oceania & Australia—a fascinating continent!

Australia is ideal for exploring with two wheels! If you plan to explore Oz, check out our best tips for doing the Big Lap of Australia 

These 12 classic foods from Australia are unmissable and remember to get a photo with the 30 best BIG THINGS in Australia.

Do you plan to visit the Pacific islands? You’ll need our ULTIMATE guide to visit every country in the Pacific.

Furthermore, if you plan to travel longer after visiting Australia and Oceania, these 21 cheapest countries to visit will make your hard-earned dollars stretch a bit further.

You’ll need to stay connected while travelling in this region of the world. We recommend eSIM. It’s easy, reliable and affordable. View eSIMs for individual countries.

If your travels in Australia and Oceania are part of a much larger global adventure, then a Global eSIM may be the answer. It connects you in 124 countries, offering data-only eSIM and data/call/text eSIM. The Global eSIM has been a game-changer; we couldn’t imagine travelling without it now.

If you want to travel with like-minded travellers, consider joining a group tour. View the best deals on group tours in Oceania & Australia here.

Check out our best-ever travel tips compiled from more than twenty years of experience.

Did you enjoy this article? Share it with friends and family!

Travel Planning Resources

✈️ Flights: We use Skyscanner to book cheap flights worldwide.

🏨 AccommodationBooking.com is our preferred platform for booking hotels and accommodation. We use Vrbo to book apartments and long-term stays.

🏥 Travel Insurance: We recommend Heymondo (Get 5% off Heymondo) & SafetyWing

🚌 Transportation: Trainline is the best website to reserve trains. We use Omio to book transport worldwide. For travel in Asia, we use 12Go. 

🚘 Car Rental: We use DiscoverCars to book rental cars worldwide.

👫 Group ToursG Adventures OR compare multi-day tours worldwide with Tourradar.

📸 Day Tours & TripsGetYourGuide & Viator are the only two platforms you need.

📚 Lonely Planet: The Best Range of Travel Guides & Ebooks, and FREE Shipping! (use code RACHELDAVEY10 for a 10% discount)

🎒 LuggageOsprey Farpoint 40L Backpack or Samsonite Luggage Range.

🛄 What to Pack: Don’t forget your Universal charger and a good power bank.  To help you pack the essentials, here is our ULTIMATE Packing List for all Travellers.

🐶 Become a House Sitter: Join Trusted Housesitters and enjoy FREE accommodation worldwide. Use our invite to receive 25% off your new membership.

💰 Send Money Anywhere: WISE & Revolut are the best online accounts that let you send money, get paid, and spend money internationally. Both are so easy to use and way cheaper than any bank transfer.

📶 Stay Connected: Airalo eSIM allows you to get connected the moment you land at your destination, and you can avoid those expensive data roaming charges. We LOVE this product! Use promo code NOMAD15 for 15% off ALL eSIMs (new Airalo users only) OR use NOMAD10 for 10% off ALL eSIMs (for existing Airalo users)

✅ Check out our Travel Gear and Travel Resources for more valuable tips to save you money!

Tasty Food Adventures

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See all articles about Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

11 Comments. Leave new

  • Plamen Ivanov
    June 28, 2022 8:52 am

    Thank you very much for sharing your experiences. When can we expect the 2022 update? And how much would the trip from Sydney (as shown on the picture) cost – a rough estimate, of course? Thank you.

    Reply
    • There are still countries closed for tourists in the Pacific so once they reopen I might be able to update this blog. In general, the Pacific loop of visiting them all would be around USD4000-5000 before the pandemic. Sadly I don’t think it will be any cheaper due to limited services and the high cost of United airlines between Marshall Islands – Micronesia – Palau.

      Reply
  • This post is GOLD. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Are there any tour companies that do all of the islands in one trip

    Reply
    • No, not that we’re aware of. It’s logistically too hard to operate a tour to visit all of these nations at once, some of them are the least visited countries in the world.

      Reply
  • Hey Marty I just finished my NZ journey and now in Auckland again. NZ has very bad weather now and I think I’ll go to some islands instead. I have 1.5 months left, would you suggest me the route for this time, starting and finishing in Auckland? Please keep in mind that I don’t have american and french visas (and no time to applying).
    I can visit Vanuatu, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa (not American), Tuvalu, Tokelau, Cook Islands, Papua, Solomon Islands. How to spend 1.5 months in between them and how should my route looks like?

    Reply
    • The best option would be to fly from Auckland to Samoa, Tonga or the Cook Islands as there are great flights from Auckland. Then you can fly to Fiji (from Tonga or Samoa) and access some other islands from Fiji such as Tuvalu or Vanuatu. You just need to check different dates and prices online and put it together step by step. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  • PNG currency is Kina not NZD Dollar.

    The flights to Tuvalu with Kiribati airlines no longer run, only Fiji airlines, as a result I will have to save Tuvalu for another trip and hopefully a direct flight/boat from Samoa.

    Air nugini you can kill two birds with one stone with a 24hr layover in Port moresby when flying from Cairns to Honiara for around 350aud.

    I couldn’t find any (reasonably priced) flights to Tarawa from Honiara so had to go via Fiji and Nauru airlines pulled the plug with Solomon which would have been perfect for me removing the need to go through Fiji.

    Did you visit bouganville (PNG), if so have you done a write up?

    Cheers

    Reply
    • Hi Roger,

      Thanks for your input. We’ve updated this post to advise that Kiribati Airlines no longer run that flight to Tuvalu. And yes, PNG uses the Kina as currency, we’ve also updated this in our post 😉
      Regarding your question regarding Bougainville, we itinially had flights booked to visit, but then the pandemic spread across the world and we had to cancel. When PNG opened up to visitors a few years later, flights were incredibly expensive, so we didn’t get there. So no, we dont have a write up for you.

      Reply
  • I read your post twice. I am a great fan. The maps are helpful. I wanted a little more guidance for a round trip – multi city trip out of sydney covering few countries not all. Can I get some help please? An email or a chat if possible please 🙏

    Reply
    • Hi Prabir,
      We’re happy to know that you found our blog really helpful. Everything we know about doing this journey, we have noted in this blog. If you have a specific question, please ask us here as it may be useful to other readers. 🙂

      Reply

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