P is for Pohnpei, P-Pass and Paradise

P-Pass, Micronesia

Give me a break His dream begins with an aerial photograph in a National Geographic magazine printed over thirty years ago. “It was a stunning shot, taken looking down at a new runway built on top of the barrier reef, surrounded by beautiful ocean. There was a perfect right-hander peeling off the runway. I thought, [...]

Coast-to-coast trek over Guadalcanal Island, Solomons

Dawn's golden rays light up Chimiulava

A coast-to-coast trek from the Kuma to Gold Ridge takes Keri over the mountain chain that divides Guadalcanal Island in more ways than one.   I’m freezing, in a country where I never thought I could be this cold. Yet here I am puffing out steam, soaked to the skin and shivering. This is not [...]

Surfing the Sollies

Beautiful Lolita at Vavaghio. Credit: Ben King

A summary of surf in Solomon Islands: (This was first published in Pacific Island Living Magazine, issue 8.) On the western edge of the Pacific lie scattered 992 islands, wonderfully remote, fringed by reefs, and exposed to ocean swells year round. For the adventurous surfer, Solomon Islands is matchless in the South Pacific. Tourism is [...]

Experimental Gentlemen: exploring surf in the South Pacific

PNG Sing Sing

The year is 1770. The place: somewhere in the South Pacific. Writes James Cook: “For here they are reefs of coral rock, rising like a wall almost perpendicularly out of the unfathomable deep…and here the enormous waves of the vast Southern Ocean break, with inconceivable violence, in a surf which no rocks or storms in [...]

Finding fortune in the Solomon Islands

Out the front of Vavaghio. Credit: Ben King

There’s gold in them thar hills… Empty barrels! They’re about a kilometre offshore from a new village that has been recently settled by Gary and his wife Lydia. Vavaghio is home to their typically extensive island family and it features two guest houses for the intrepid surf traveller. Located on a freckle of land on [...]

Ten tips for top road trips

Road trip Australia

Try saying that quickly five times. Ten tips for top road trips ten tips for top road trips ten trips for hot road tips… Would you look at that? We’ve just come up with number one on our list!   Games Tongue twisters, counting different coloured cars, eye spy, 20 questions, it doesn’t matter how [...]

12 Chinese curiosities I learned after being abandoned in Beijing

Chinese toddler with split pants

Finding yourself unexpectedly alone in an alien land is a sharp reminder that cultural experiences are more intense without company. There’s no western filter where the strangeness of things is discussed and diffused in conversation with a mate. It’s just you and the natives. How I came to be abandoned in Beijing is simple, he [...]

Hey, miss! You want massage?!

Herman and his very welcoming keluarga (family)

The cat calls in Bali (Indonesia) can be a hassle. But in West Java there’s a lot less international tourism and finding a massage means keeping your eyes peeled. We are in Cimaja and the surf has been pumping non-stop. There is a lady who we’ve both got a couple of massages from – she [...]

The unmissable Kagata surf retreat of the Solomon Islands

We didn't get too many good surf shots, but unlike other surf trips, the surf ended up peripheral

Thanks to our avid aid worker, surfer, traveller and friend, Eddie Burton, for providing this insightful and inspiring feature on the Solomon Islands. Towards the end of Eddie’s tale are his reflections, which will pull at the chords of every seasoned Island traveller. As I sat out the back alone, the last person in the [...]

Get Shucked! Bruny Island has the best oysters and the friendliest locals

Bruny Island seafood with Alan and Keri

Sometimes being a carefree traveller (read: disorganised) can you lead you to a more delicious experience. Where is Bruny Island? Bruny is an island off an island off an island. Specifically, it’s a hop and a skip south off Tasmania, which is a hop and skip south off the Australian continent. And it’s a little off-beat to [...]

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