- Robert Louis Stevenson Museum & Mount Vaea Scenic Reserve
The famous author Robert Louis Stevenson came to live in Upolu five years before his death, and his mansion, Vailima, features many of his belongings, including part of his library and travel mementos. Stroll through the lovely gardens and rainforest trails surrounding the house, or take the half-hour (short trail) or 45 minutes (long trail) walk to the author’s tomb at the top of Mount Vaea. Pack a picnic and you’ll enjoy splendid views over Apia.
- Lake Lanoto'o National Park
Known as ‘goldfish lake’, this green crater lake is full of wild goldfish introduced by Upolu's German settlers. The turn-off to the lake is 2.3km past the Bahai Temple (heading south) on the Cross Island Road. A 4WD trail (3-5hrs return) leads to a track to Lake Lanoto'o. You’ll need good walking shoes, long trousers and water. You can hike out to the lake but a guide is recommended.
- Papapapai-Tai Falls
Also known as ‘Tiavi Falls’, this spectacular 100m waterfall plunges into a dramatic gorge 2.3km south of Lanoto'o Road. There is a viewing area, but don’t go near the cliff edge.
- Vailima Brewery
Samoa Breweries’ award-winning national beer, Vailima, is produced here. There are no formal tours but you can phone (685) 20 200 to arrange a tour and tasting. It’s located in the northwest between Apia and the airport.
- Papaseea Sliding Rocks
In the northwest, the Papaseea Sliding Rocks are one of Upolu’s must-see attractions and an ideal spot for a swim or picnic. Just 6km out of central Apia (take a bus or a taxi), the main attraction is a 5m rock slide down a waterfall into a deep, freshwater pool. An entry fee is payable.
- Uafato Conservation Area
This wild part of Upolu in the north-east has some of the island’s most lovely scenery, and is home to several native bat and bird species, including the rare tooth-billed pigeon.
- Piula Cave Pool
Located just after Saoluafata, the pool is a great spot for swimming, snorkelling and picnicking, and there are underwater caves to explore. The entrance is through the gates to the Piula Methodist Theological College east of Apia, and is closed on Sundays.
- Saanapu and Sataoa Mangrove Conservation Areas
On the south coast of Upolu, the vital coastal mangrove forests around these villages have been designated as conservation areas. Both villages offer a 30 minute guided canoe tour of the local forest.
- O Le Pupu-Pue National Park
Upolu's 29sq km national park was created in 1978 to protect the area from the summits of Mount Fito (1100m) and Lepue (840m) to the southern coast. There are some great hiking trails, including tracks to the lovely Togitogiga Falls and the Peapea Cave. A guide is advisable.
- Peapea Cave
At the entrance to the Togitogiga Falls carpark, a trail (4hrs return) leads inland through the rainforest to this old lava tube full of native white-rumped swiftlets. You’ll need a torch, plenty of water and a guide.
- Togitogiga Falls
These cascading falls are separated by swimming holes and make an ideal spot for a picnic, with toilets and changing rooms. Check for logs and rocks before jumping into the pools. Entry is free.
- Sopoaga Falls
On Upolu's Le Mafa Pass Road, a beautiful garden and picnic site overlook these falls which plunge into a vast gorge. A fee is charged.
- Fuipisia Waterfall
Just north of Sopoaga Falls, a trail leads to this 55m jungle waterfall. There is a fee payable which includes a guide to the falls.
- Lalomanu to Lotofaga
This stretch of the Aleipata coast at Upolu’s easternmost end has plenty of great swimming and snorkelling beaches. Many are associated with commercial beach fales, so please ask permission from fale owners and villagers.
- Lalomanu Crater Walk
Behind the hospital at Lalomanu in Upolu's Aleipata district is the start of the short walk to a long-extinct volcanic crater. The crater is home to a big population of flying foxes. Ask for a guide at Lalomanu.
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