Turn Back The Clock In Samoa: 5 Hidden Treasures Revealed

Leave the crowds and kids behind and really unwind in this traditional island paradise


In the age of cheap package holidays and generic soulless resorts, it can be a challenge to find an island escape that truly satisfies your inner Robinson Crusoe.

Thank heavens for places like Samoa.

Just a tick over five hours’ flight away from Sydney, and half an hour quicker from Brisbane, is a land bereft of smartphones, scooters, spruikers and all the usual holiday stresses.

Samoa is steeped in tradition

Most locals still live like they did 50-plus years ago, and the pace of life hasn’t much changed either.

Here are just five great reasons to step back into the wormhole with them….

1. Village life

It’s the heartbeat of this proud island nation and warms the heart of the most cynical slicker to witness first-hand. Stop by a shop to buy a coconut or pineapple, or better yet stop by for one of the many church services. Even if you’re an agnostic like this writer, you can’t help but be swept up by the passion and song.

Samoa villages are at the heart of all life on the island

2. Robert Louis Stevenson

A passionate traveller for most of his short life, the legendary Scottish writer of Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde saw out his last years here (1890-94), after being struck down with tuberculosis. In doing so he left an indelible mark in the hearts of the Samoan people who have memorialised his legacy in a lovingly preserved museum.

Robert Louis Stevenson museum in Samoa

3. Day trip to Savai’i

While most tourists land on the more populated island of Upolu and stay there, the really savvy ones will hope on a car ferry, with or without your own transport, and explore the stunning surrounds of the larger Savai’i. Known locally as the ‘real Samoa’, this is where time really stands still as you take in take in the stunning beauty, more often than not without another tourist in sight.

Samoa day trip to the island of Savai'i

4. Swim with the turtles

There are plenty of spots to interact in the wild, but if you really want to fast-track the experience, you can’t beat the wetlands sanctuary at Satoalepai village on Savai’i. You can hand feed papaya to more than half a dozen of these gentle giants recuperating from various altercations, before they are released back into the ocean.

5. Get Wet ‘n Wild Samoan Style!

As you’d expect, there are no shortage of great beaches in Samoa, but for a dip to remember, you simply must visit one of the many watering holes on both Upolu and Savai’i. If you have wheels, head to the hills above Apia and cool your heels at the Papaseea Sliding Rock. Entry to this beautifully manicured haven in the hills is just $2 – the fun you’ll have, priceless.

watering holes of Samoa are great fun


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