• Why Samoa

    Expectations

    Samoa is much more than just an excellent place to cycle or kayak. It has coral sand beaches with safe swimming and dramatic coral outcrops teaming with colourful tropical fish. Much of Savaii has a near subsistence economy with strong traditional customs such as mat and tapa cloth making. Fiafias or dance nights in the small villages are events not to be missed.

    Cycling

    The 200km ride around the coast of Savaii is a great way to see and experience traditional Samoan village life.  Savaii is much less developed than Upolu and cycling provides a natural introduction.  Stop and talk to villages, get involved in a game of kilikit (local cricket), join a weaving group or just chat to locals in the fresh water pools or small village shops.   Every night is on a sandy beach beside a calm lagoon with good, safe snorkelling.

    The coastal route is sealed with a few hills but little traffic and the road passes the main attractions of the alofaga blowholes and the Afu Aau waterfalls.  

    Alternatively cycle the 100kms of the south coast of Upolu.  It's a little more developed but can be combined with kayaking, waterfall and coastering challenges to create as much challenge as you want.  The route takes in To Sua Trench, Togitogiga Falls, the Coastal Walkway and the Giant Clams.

    At present there are no formal downhill mountain bike tracks.  There are a few rough back roads and routes on Savaii and we are slowly negotiating and building routes on Upolu.

    Kayaking

    With 29 degree open water temperatures and extensive lagoons Samoa is a warm and exciting place to kayak.  The offshore islands of Manono, Nuusafee and Aleipata provide a range of trips for all abilities.  Manono is a very traditional Island that can be reached entirely with the reef system, Nuusafee is uninhabited, remote, spectacular and accessed via a sheltered trip over the reef.  Namua is a classic island retreat with just the small fale resort on the sandy beach as the only habitation.  Nuutele island is outside the reef and often involves negotiating large swells and a challenging surf landing.  

    Kayakers will almost always see turtles, have opportunities to snorkel over the coral and will usually see a good variety of birdlife including frigate birds, gananets and shearwaters.   We sometimes see whales, dolphins and manta rays.

    Swimming

    It was the pristine white sand beaches with fale accommodation on the beaches that first attracted us to Samoa.  Waking up with the waves lapping within a few feet of the fale and the sun streaming over the water and peaking trough the matting walls is still a highlight.  Its a few steps from bed to the sea for an early morning swim in warm, sheltered and safe water.

    There is no better place to learn to snorkel and when I work as a tour guide I spend at least an hour a day in the water.  Look down and study the coral and colourful tropical fish or look across and hunt for turtles and manta rays, either way there is always lots to discover.  

    Culture

    Samoa is intensely proud of its traditional culture with the village still the centre of activity for most people living away from Apia.  Most families in these villages still regularly cook on an umu and rely heavily on fishing from small boats and on crops of taro, yams, banana etc grown on their family plantations.  Preparing an umu is a labour intensive  and skilled activity that is well worth watching.  Eating the palusami and other delicacies that emerge is a delight.  A small pig is cooked in under 40 minutes in these very hot ovens made by covering hot rocks with banana leaves.   Visiting a plantation and seeing cocoa and coconuts processed is also an activity not to be missed.

    Women in the villages tend to meet for at least one day a week to weave fine mats.  We often stop at these and I suspect that while the mats are important, it is the gossiping and laughter that keeps the village together.   There are also opportunities to see Tapa cloth (Siapo) being made.

    Adventure

    Besides the cycling and kayaking Samoa has plenty more to offer.  Our favourites are the Waterfall Tour (4 hours with as many and as high a waterfall jumps as you dare) and the Coastering Challenge (whole day of climbing, scrambling, bush bashing and swimming).  

    Other attractions include:

    • sliding rocks 
    • Diving (2 Padi places)
    • Big Game fishing
    • Surfing
    • kite surfing

    We can arrange these as part of your tour.

    Getting there

    There are daily flights from Auckland with Virgin and Air New Zealand (flight times are under 4 hours)

    Virgin fly several times a week direct from Sydney and Brisbane (5 hours) and most days from Australian cities via Auckland.

    Fiji Airways has flights from several countries including the USA, Australia and New Zealand.  These flights mostly overnight in Fiji.

     

  • Hire Bikes

    Bikes especially for touring

    We have a fleet of 70 GT  touring bikes available for hire. Bike hire is included in our structured tours, however the bikes can also be hired for freedom tours.

    You have a choice between conventional mountain bikes and women's low bar frames.

    The Bikes

    Most of the bikes are GT Aggressors, but we have an increasing selection of other styles - see the pictures at the bottom.

    Each bike hire includes2016Aggressorb

    • Comfortable Gel seat
    • Handlebar bag (much better than a backpack in a hot climate)
    • Helmet
    • Pump, spare tube, basic tools
    • Rear Carrier
    • Lock

    Optional extra:

    • Rear Panniers

    All bikes are cleaned and serviced between hires and fitted to you.

     

    More bike photos at bottom

    Electric Bikes

    We have a fleet of 10 Electric bikes available for hire.  First preference for these will go to groups of regular cyclists who have some members of the group who want or need more assistance.

    The bikes are regular GT mountain bikes modified for electric power.  The larger motor/battery units will cover more than 50kms on a single charge and climb the steepest hills on the coastal roads around both islands.   The smaller units are lighter and even easier to use. All can be pedalled as well. 

    Childrens Bikes

    We have a range of childrens bikes, a tagalong, kiddy seats and a bike trailer for children.

    The tag-a-long, bike trailer and child seat are only hired in conjunction with an adult bike hire.

    Rates

    New Zealand Dollars

      Half Day Daily Rate 7 Days Extra Days (after 1 week) Extra weeks
    Bike Hire $NZ 25 $NZ 35 $NZ 155 $NZ 25 $NZ 60
    Electric Bike Hire $NZ 40 $NZ 50 $NZ 235 $NZ 40 $NZ 120
    Pannier Hire $NZ 5 $NZ 5 $NZ 25 $NZ 5 $NZ 15
    Children's bikes  $NZ 15 $NZ 25 $NZ 90 $NZ 15 $NZ 35
    Tag-a-long/ Child trailer $NZ 15 $NZ 25 $NZ 50 $NZ 10 $NZ 25
    Kiddy seat $NZ 10 $NZ 10 $NZ 25 $NZ 5 $NZ 15

    Samoan Tala (WST)

      Half Day Daily Rate 7 Days Extra Days (after 1 week) Extra weeks
    Bike Hire WST 45 WST 65 WST 280 WST 45 WST 110
    Electric Bike Hire WST 70 WST 90 WST 420 WST 70 WST 200
    Pannier Hire WST 10 WST 10 WST 45 WST 10 WST 30
    Children's bikes  WST 30 WST 45 WST 160 WST 30 WST 65
    Tag-a-long/ Child trailer WST 30 WST 45 WST 90 WST 20 WST 45
    Kiddy seat WST 20 WST 20 WST 45 WST 10 WST 30

    Other Bikes

    Womens low-bar bikes

    2016Sierrab

    Hybrid Touring Bike

    Transeo

    The Transeos have more efficient tyres,but require a sports riding position and are not suitable for gravel tracks.  They suit regular touring riders but occassional riders will be more comfortable on the Aggressors.

    Aggressor Mountain Bikes

    Aggressor 1

    These have hydraulic disc brakes and off road tyres.  They are intended to be used on mountain bike trails as we develop them around Mulifanua, but some riders will enjoy trying the gravel tracks and roads found on the general tours.

    Child carriers/Trailers

    IMG 2119

    We have 2 of these trailers.  They can take two children each (max loaded weight of trailer 45kgs).  They can be used as luggage trailers.

    IMG 2115

    Suitable for children from 9-20 Kgs or 1-4 years old.  

    Tagalong

    IMG 2116

    Best suited to 4-8 year olds.  

    Kids Bikes

    IMG1257

    24" bikes for kids 6-10.  We find that kids from 8 up can generally ride the XS 26"Aggressors and appreciate the extra efficiency they offer.  We hire these aggressors to people under 12 for the kids bike prices.  Our youngest person to ride all 200kms around Savaii was 9.

  • Hire Kayaks

    The Kayaks

    All kayaks were made by Q-Kayaks in Ashurst, New Zealand.

    Singles

    We have a mix of  Shearwaters and Penguins

    shearwater

    Shearwater


    penguin 2

    Penguin

     These boats are remarkably stable in a wide range of sea conditions - but still remarkably efficient, making them ideal for everyone from beginners to experts.

    Doubles

    southern endeavour2

    Southern Endeavour

    These are large volume, very stable boats with a hull shape similar to most modern doubles in regular hire use.

    Included with Hire

    Each boat comes with:

    • paddle(s)
    • PFDs (Lifejackets for kayaking)
    • Spray decks (spray skirts)
    • bailer and sponge
    • map

    Each group also gets:

    • split paddle
    • pump
    • tow line

    Rates

    Kayak hire is included in tours - rates below apply only to freedom hires.

      Daily Rate
    Kayak hire (pp) $NZ 40  or WST 75