From the moment you step off the plane, you’ll realise this will be the one holiday experience that you have long been searching for. In Samoa there are no crowded beaches; the air temperature averages 30 degrees all year round and the ocean is a warm 25 degrees.
Samoa is a postcard of natural beauty consisting of ten islands, each offering very distinct and different environments to explore. From the rainforest covered rugged volcanic mountain peaks of the two main islands to the vast valleys leading down to a coastline ringed with a necklace of white sandy beaches. Cascading waterfalls that drop into rivers that cut jagged lines through the valley floor as they make their way to the ocean.
The coastline is a wonder in itself, with sparkling white sand beaches, in some places stretching for miles, and here and there are walls of sheer cliffs that drop straight into the Pacific.
And amongst all this natural beauty and picturesque valleys and coastline you will find villages with their churches, meeting houses and homes encircling the village green. Home to people proud of their strong Samoan cultural heritage, that live alongside these natural wonders. For it’s the people, culture and nature that give life to these islands.
Select Vacations offers economy & business class airfares with Air New Zealand.
Australian passport holders are not required to have a visa and will be allowed to stay in the country for a maximum of 60 days.
Australian travellers will need a passport valid for at least 90 days following your departure date from Samoa. However, we strongly recommend traveling with 6 months validity on your passport at all times.
Currency & Credit Cards
The Samoan unit of currency is the Tala. Bank notes are 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 Tala and coins come as 5, 10, 20, 50 sene. Major credit cards can be used at all shops, restaurants, bars and major resorts.
The weather in Samoa is distinctly tropical. The islands lie to the north of Fiji, Cook Islands, Tahiti and Tonga making it sultrier and slightly hotter. Samoa weather enjoys year round sunshine with temperatures rarely below 27C by day and sea temperatures averaging 24C. Summer begins in December and lasts until April. During this time it is hot and humid (31C by day) with bright sunny mornings and predictable late afternoon downpours. By the beginning of May, a slightly cooler climate sets in with cooling trade winds from the south east. Temperatures are comfortably warm by day (28C) and night (23C). A light jumper during this time is advisable for nights and early morning.
Public buses on Upolu and Savaii are uncomfortable and unreliable and are worth experiencing only for amusing sights and the local characters you might meet on-board. Car hire is more popular and there are several good companies based in Apia. If you plan to travel to Savaii, it's worth hiring a car in Apia and taking it across by ferry.
The other extremely popular alternative is to ride the Green Turtle Tours. This comfortable 15-seater tourist bus enables travellers to hop-on and hop-off as many times as they like for a fixed fee per island. The Green Turtle Bus circles both Upolu and Savai'i each day, stopping at the main tourist attractions and at the accredited Green Turtle Beach Fales en-route.
To drive in Samoa, visitors need to validate their foreign driver’s license at the Land Transport Authority in Vaitele near the Samoa Breweries/Vailima factory. Cost for validation is 12, Tala and some rental car companies will also assist in getting your license endorsed.
What to Wear
Light summer clothing is appropriate all year round and packing a light sweater for the cooler evenings is recommended. As Samoa has a strong cultural structure and Christian faith, tourists are asked not to wear bathing suits in Apia or in villages. When leaving the beach to venture into the villages, guests are asked to wear a sarong, pants or shorts and t-shirt. If attending church on Sunday, women are asked to wear a dress or blouse and skirt and men trousers and shirt.
A departure tax of 40 Tala applies to all travellers over the age of 12 years who depart from the International Airport.
Visit the Robert Louis Steveson house, museum and grave.
See the traditional fire dancing.
Watch a master tattooist in action –a traditional Samoan tradition.
Swim with the Turtles at Satoalepai.
See the Woodcarvers of Uafato Forest Reserve and experience Samoan village life and traditional handicrafts.
Samoa is famous for its many waterfalls – spend a day visiting a few.
Stroll for miles along secluded beaches and rock pools
There are many bars and nightclubs to provide a good night out though there is a 10pm curfew on loud music and doors close at 12pm.
Tipping is not practiced or expected in Samoa. However, if a guest wishes to leave a gift for good service then you are welcome to do so directly with the employee or the hotel reception.
Almost all shops are shut on Sunday, so buy what you need the day before and they expect you to respect their Sundays.
Always ask permission from your host before taking photos in a village and never give children money even if they ask.
Power-points can accept three-pronged plugs as used in Australia and New Zealand.