Before you go
- While Samoan is the native tongue, English is widely spoken. A couple of Samoan words you might like to learn include: talofa (hello), tofa (goodbye), faafetai (thank you) and loe (yes).
- Travel time:
- The fastest way to get to Samoa is to fly direct from Sydney to Apia. This direct flight, available with Polynesian Blue, takes about 5 1/2 hours. A direct flight with Polynesian Blue also leaves once a week from Brisbane Airport.
- Getting around:
- Hiring a car is your best option for transport, although be mindful that petrol stations are mostly limited to the big towns. The buses tend to run on island time but taxis are a good choice if you aren't planning regular trips outside of your resort.
When you go
- Best weather:
- Samoas tropical climate makes it a glorious place to honeymoon year round, as the temperature usually sits between 24-32 deg celsius. But keep in mind that during the wet season (November, April), rainfall is common. The best time to visit is from May to October.
- Best prices:
- The beauty of Samoa is that the rates tend to stay the same throughout the year. But if you're after privacy, avoid the busy school holiday periods. February is nice and quiet for honeymooners.
More Samoa information
What do do
What to do
Snorkelling and scuba diving
The best places to experience Samoa's reef life is along the southwest coast, including the protected Palolo Deep Marine Reserve near Apia. The reefs are abundant with colourful fish, and equipment is available to hire at most resorts and beachfronts. There are also some great spots for scuba diving. Try The Terraces, just a 35 minute boat ride to the east of the south-coast resorts, where you may be lucky enough to see turtles and dolphins amongst the plethora of fish.
Apia Flea Markets
Get a taste of a traditional Samoan market at this waterfront flea market. You will find a wide range of local handicrafts and souvenirs nestled into a bustling labyrinth of stalls.Close by is the fresh produce and fish markets.
To Sua Ocean Trench
'To Sua' is Samoan for 'big hole' and this hot spot is a great spot to visit. Climb the steep ladder which rests against the hole's wall for the ultimate view or simply swim in the 30 metre deep sea water. Surrounded by lush gardens, the trench is near a beach, blowhole and village.
Witnessing a tattoo ceremony is a great insight into the Samoan culture. As a mark of manhood, the male tattoo takes about 48 hours of painful work, which is often spread out over a couple of months. The entire body from the waist to the knees is covered in a unique design of symbols and patterns.
Piula Cave Pool
Venture beneath the historic Methodist Church at Piula Theological just 20 minutes drive from Apia, to find the cave pool. This natural freshwater pool features a cave that you can swim through to another smaller pool within the cave. A small donation is required to swim in this popular swimming hole.
Places to visit
Swim with turtles
Things to do
A unique opportunity available at Satoalepai Wetlands in Savaii or off Namua Island, couples can swim amongst the turtles within a turtle sanctuary.
Things to do
Surrounded by a reef, kayaking your way around Samoa's coastline is a great way to see the island from all angles. Leave from Maninoa Beach and kayak through the mangroves at Saanapu.
Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa
Nestled amongst acres of tropical gardens, this resort features a luxury stay with traditional Samoan flair and a secluded beachfront.
Le Lagoto Beach Resort
This boutique resort is the perfect way to experience the beautiful white beaches fringed with coconut palms in the comfort of a modern Samoan-style fale.
Hike through the jungle to the beautiful Olemoe Falls on Savai'i.
Robert Louis Stevenson House
This now-museum offers half hour tours through the mansion's rooms, which are full of antiques and old family photographs.
Getting married in Samoa
- Need-to-know facts:
- Marriages in Samoa are legally recognised worldwide. To marry in Samoa you will need to fill in an application for a marriage license at least 14 days prior (but no more than 3 months in advance) to your wedding day with the Justice Department in Apia. A fee of ST$14 applies. You will be required to provide a photocopy of your passport, birth certificates, death certificate (of past spouses) or a copy of the Decree Absolute if divorced, and a Certificate of No Impediment to Get Married.
- Native marriage traditions:
- Traditionally weddings are a grand celebration in Samoa, and a different wedding dress is often worn to the ceremony (given to the bride by her family) and reception (a gift from the groom's family). Samoan brides also wear a pale (head-dress) and the groom wears an ula (floral necklace). While none of these cultural touches are mandatory for your destination wedding, it might be a nice touch at your tropical nuptials.
Who to contact
- Australian contact:
- To obtain all necessary documents, such as your Certificate of No Impediment to Get Married, contact the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
- Samoan contact:
- To apply for a marriage licence you will need to contact the Justice Department in Apia. Your travel agent, hotel or wedding coordinator can also assist with the organisation of your destination wedding.