American and Western Samoa are a series of Polynesian islands. American Samoa, a US territory since 1900, has six islands. Western Samoa, known as the Independent State of Samoa, has two main islands and many smaller ones. It became independent in 1961. The islands have been inhabited for at least 2400 years.
It's all picture-postcard beauty and each island has distinct environments. Rainforest-covered rugged volcanic peaks, vast valleys leading to coastlines ringed with white sandy beaches, cascading waterfalls dropping into rivers and glorious tropical vegetation.
Amongst all the natural beauty are nu'u or villages with white churches, meeting houses and open fale, homes encircling the malae or village green. Traditional Samoan dwellings don't offer much in the way of privacy there are no walls, but there are blinds. They are usually built on a stone platform covered with mats.
In the blue lagoons beyond the beaches are the islands making up the Samoa archipelago, some inhabited, others with only wildlife, protected by the fringing coral reefs keeping the powerful force of the Pacific Ocean at bay.
Tanu Beach is on the island of Savai'i in the district of Manase. Its clear waters and white sand are reached by a 50-minute drive from the main centre.
Tanu Beach Fales is a hostel in a family resort where backpackers are exposed to Samoan culture in beautiful surroundings.
It all began around 12 years ago when travellers came to enjoy the beach and traditional life. A few fales were built directly on the beach, surrounded by untouched nature. At the time, the owners didn't realise how important it was for visitors from the western world to go back to nature their environment was just second nature to them. They get great pleasure sharing their life and food with guests. Love of family and friends is the number one priority for Samoans they are not about wealth or possessions.
Today there are 25 fales on the beach and nine double rooms just a minute's walk from the beach. Toilets and showers are easily reached.
Each fale has two beds and some can be made into a triple or more. Bedding and mosquito netting are supplied, but you need to take your own towels.
Samoa enjoys around 3000 hours of sun each year and water temperatures range between 26°C-29°C, so it's the perfect place for those who relish water sports.
Dive Savai'i is owned and run by Fabien and Flavia Lebon. They are supported by an enthusiastic team and their boat is comfortable. Safety and fun are guaranteed as you explore the beautiful water for colourful corals and fish.
There are snorkelling trips between April and October and diving year-round.
Savai'i, two hours by boat from Apia
Tanu Beach Fales are around $25 per person a night. Breakfast and dinner are included.
Dive Savai'i half day snorkelling is around $20 for adults and $10 for children. Fins, masks and snorkels can be rented for around $5 each.
Polynesian Blue has flights to Apia.
|FROM ||ONE-WAY FARE|
| Sydney ||$449|
| Melbourne ||$489|
| Brisbane ||$489|
| Adelaide ||$489|
| Perth ||$539|
There are limited seats which may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares are one-way on the Net. An extra $15 will be charged for phone bookings. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one-way flight is applicable. Fares are correct as at March 13, 2008, and are subject to change.
For further information:
Tanu Beach Fales
Main North Coast Road
Ph/Fax: +685 54050
Ph: +685 54172
Samoa Tourism Authority
PO Box 2272
Ph: +685 63500
Fax: +685 20886
Samoa Tourism Authority Office Australia
PO Box 611
Ph/Fax: (02) 4627 5926
Samoa: It is recommended that travellers to Samoa see their doctor at least six weeks before departure as there are specific vaccinations recommended. Other health precautions and preventions may also be recommended and are best discussed with your doctor. For further information, visit www.welltogo.com.au
Prices correct at 13.03.2008.
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