Enjoy life on the water in Samoa

By Rachel Pinder

There is lots of fun to be had, both in and on the water in Samoa.
Why not get out of your comfort zone and try something completely new? There are lots of water-based activities you could try. How about scuba diving, snorkelling, surfing or kayaking for starters?
Samoa is a great place to learn. The relaxed pace of life will allow you to take your time and just enjoy it.

Or if you're already skilled in activities in or on the water, it's a great place to just kick back, relax and get even more confident amongst the sealife.

New Year, New Beginnings - Try Samoa's WatersportsUpolu Island’s lush rainforest and beautiful national park have long attracted walkers, but a watery world of adventure awaits along the stunning coastline of Samoa’s main island. Surfers will find their own dedicated resorts and the clear lagoons and rich coral reefs are a paradise for divers, kayakers and snorkellers.

Diving & Snorkelling
Diving is growing in popularity on Upolu, and several companies offer charters. Palolo Deep Marine Reserve in Apia and Aganoa on the south coast are accessible from the shore, and there are some good sites on the island’s south coast. Colourful colonies of clown fish and turtles can be seen at The Aquarium, where the outcrops and bommies are cloaked in lettuce and brain corals. On Savaii, the wreck of the Juno is a popular dive site, with scores of colourful tropical fish.

Snorkelling is one of the easiest ways to enjoy the island’s lagoons and reefs. One of the best and safest spots is Apia’s Palolo Deep National Marine Reserve. The big attraction here is a stunning deep blue hole flanked by steep coral walls that are home to a myriad of brilliantly coloured tropical fish.

The surfing is for experienced surfers only as waves break directly onto the reefs and currents are often very strong. The best surfing spots are from Apia east to Cape Utumauu, and on the south coast from Matautu to Matatufu. Aganoa Black Sand Beach, also on the south, has a popular surf break called Boulders just off Cape Niuatoi, and there is another break near Nuusafee Islet. Vaiula Beach, east of O Le Pupu-Pue, has a good surf break and there is also one on the northern side of Tiavea-tai. You’ll find several resorts catering especially for surfers.

Kayaking is one of the most rewarding options for exploring the fringing reefs, especially if you like to travel under your own steam. Several adventure companies offer kayaking tours and, with a knowledgeable guide close at hand, this is the ideal way to explore some of Samoa's smaller offshore islands.

Of course, if you prefer to laze away the day on dazzling white sand with a picnic and a good book, there are plenty of choices. Palm-fringed beaches stretch down the south coast of Upolu, and in the east, Aleipata district has some of the island’s most beautiful beaches. But for sheer tropical heaven, nothing beats the ‘Return to Paradise’ Beach in Lefaga district. Made famous by the 1951 Gary Cooper film, the powder white sands are where Mr Morgan first kissed Maeva, and the perfect place to soak up some of Upolu’s special magic.

Fact File
  • Surfing is for experienced surfers only and there are often strong currents, so it’s always best to go with an operator. In some villages, it is not permitted to surf on Sunday.
  • Snorkelling is usually best at high tide. Wear some reef shoes or old sandshoes if you don’t have fins and avoid swimming where there is an obvious current, or near breaks in the reef.
  • You can hire snorkelling gear at Palolo Deep National Marine Reserve. The dive centres also run organised snorkelling trips to sites around Upolu.
  • When using the beaches for surfing, swimming or snorkelling, always ask permission at the local villages. A small fee is usually charged.

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