Tonga, or Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga, is the only monarchy in the Pacific. A constitutional monarchy in theory, a bit more feudal in reality. Or at least the reality in 2003. The then king, Taufa’ahau Tupou IV, was once famous for being the world’s heaviest monarch.
Resembling a large rambling guesthouse more than a hotel, Aggie Grey's has been around since 1933 and is an institution in the Pacific. Hang-out for American soldiers during World War II, the hotel is named after the little lady who ran it then. It is still run by the same Samoan family. This fabulous colonial hotel on Apia harbour is [...]
One of the fun things about island-hopping in the Pacific is the feeling of time warp when crossing the international dateline. Leaving Fiji on 15 April, we arrived in Samoa a few hours later on 14 April, miraculously gaining a day – then promptly lost it when going to Tonga.
Back in 2003, while on parental leave (a year off work with 80 % pay - a great Scandinavian employee right), the girls and I lived in New Zealand for 6 months. While in the neighbourhood, we did some South Pacific island hopping - to Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Norfolk Island. While Samoa and Tonga are Polynesian, Fiji is in [...]
I was about to write a post about Girona, but the news about the Crocodile Hunter made me want to reminisce about another journey instead. For all his antics, it's sad that such a presence, such energy, just stopped being. Three years ago, I lived in New Zealand with my children. While there, we spent heaps of time exploring Oceania [...]
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