So when is the best time to visit the Pacific Islands? Travellers often want to combine their holiday to Australia and New Zealand with a stay on the islands. Those include Tahiti with Bora Bora and Moorea, the Cook Islands with Rarotonga and Aitutaki and Fiji Islands. But what is often forgotten, is that those travel destinations often have totally different weather patterns and seasons. With this in mind, read on about how to manage times and locations to make your South Pacific experience a real success.

south pacific islands map

Important facts  – the best time to visit the Pacific Islands

Travel Seasons South Pacific

The South Pacific is located in the Southern Hemisphere. Therefore, the seasons are reverse to the northern part of planet Earth. But, here in the South Pacific, we have rainy & cyclone seasons as well as dry seasons. In fact the ‘winter’ season in the Pacific Islands is the ‘dry season’ and the best time to visit! For New Zealanders, it is the peak season to travel to the Pacific Islands.  So it definitely pays to book early early!

Best time to travel Tahiti: May – October

For Tahiti, their dry season is between May to October.  That means there is less humidity –  and the temperatures are very pleasant between 20-25 degrees Celsius (68 – 77 Fahrenheit). That is July is such a popular month in which to hold numerous Polynesian festivals. So if you are after an energetic vibe, July would be a great month to visit.
Wet season: November – April + Dry season: May – October

Water temperatures average for Tahiti:

average water temperatures for tahiti

View some travel package suggestions for Tahiti with Bora Bora and Aitutaki.

Time to visit the Cook Islands – (Rarotonga and Aitutaki): late April – October

Winter in Rarotonga is dry. The temperature of the water is still very pleasant. The steady daytime temperatures are consistently good with far less humidity. However, the evenings will be cool so pack a few heavier layers of clothing. If you want to combine your trip with New Zealand, the best months are April and May – September and October.
Wet season: November – April + Dry season: May – October

Average weather chart Cook Islands:

temperature chart cook islands in fahrenheit

View some travel package suggestions for Cook Islands.

When to travel Fiji islands: October – November

Now with the Fiji Islands, pretty the climate is pretty much the same, all year-round.  But the weather in October to early November will be warm, dry and consistent. It is at this time, that you will find far fewer people around and cheaper fares.  The rainy season is far more likely to occur between May and September. If you can handle the odd shower, October and November are ideal months for a holiday.
Wet season: November – April + Dry season: May – October

Average rainfall chart for Nadi/ Fiji:

average rain fall for fiji

Note, there are other South Pacific travel locations, such as Samoa, Tonga, Nuie or Vanuatu. They all have a very similar weather/ season pattern as stated above.

View some travel package suggestions for Fiji Islands.

Fiji - Yasawa Island Blue Lagoon Caves

Travel Seasons South Pacific

Peak travel season – Jun–Aug & Dec–Jan: these are the times when many islanders living abroad will return home to visit their families. International travellers also visit between June and August. Naturally Christmas time is always a popular holiday season. So it is essential that you book your flights and accommodations early (6-8 month ahead).

Shoulder travel season – May & Sept: humidity and temperatures are pleasant. Winds are lower. This is the perfect time to combine a visit with Australia and New Zealand. For example, many travellers like to visit New Zealand, then spend a few night enroute on Fiji, the Cook Islands or Tahiti. Again, you will need t book international flights and accommodations early!

Low travel season – Feb–Apr & Oct–Nov: this is the time of the year when you can expect hot temperatures and high humidity. Keen on diving? Then be aware that visibility will be reduced because of heavy rain. It is at these times that international travellers opt to include Australia and New Zealand. So it is vital that travellers choosing to do this, need to arm themselves with the facts. And why? Because although the Pacific Islands are warm all-year round, New Zealand and some parts of Australia are not!

Leisure Tahiti Paddle boarding

What clothing to take for the South Pacific

As stated, the Pacific Islands will be warm for all seasons. Therefore, light and casual clothing is suitable for your island experience. That means taking a light sweater for cooler evenings. If you are staying at upmarket resorts, it would pay to take ‘casual smart’ clothing for dinner – they are often stylish events. Keep in mind that when it comes to brief attire, the towns and villages are conservative. Nude or topless sunbathing is a no-no. A respectable standard of dress is required for church services.Of course, the absolute essentials, are sun glasses, sun hats and sun block. View helpful travel suggestions.

Moorea Sofitel Resort Breakfast on Canoe

Summary on best time to visit the Pacific Islands

In summary, the most popular time to visit the South Pacific is between mid April and late September. During this time you can be assured of getting pleasant temperatures – and the water visibility is good. You will have so many options – from lazing on white sandy beaches, diving beneath the waves, to going inland to explore. For those ‘winter’ month the humidity drops, so outside activities are more pleasant. If you are travelling between the peak ‘winter’ season (best time for the islands in June and July) you must plan well ahead. Temperatures climb during the summer months (November to April). It does become very hot and sticky with brief afternoon downpours. Often smaller offshore islands receive less rainfall than the main islands. View travel distances and locations maps for the Pacific Islands.

Helpful travel links for the South Pacific

Happy travelling the South Pacific Islands!

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