” 8 visa-free countries in Oceania for Indians “
Gone are the times when travelling meant spending endless hours in sweaty queues lined up to get that over rated piece of paper – the elusive travel visa! Today, there is still a line, but now it is of countries that welcome you for a visit but without the dreadful paperwork. Check out activeindianow ’s list of countries that are visa-free or offer the convenient visa-on-arrival to Indians.
1. Cook Islands
Described aptly as fifteen specks of land scattered across the Pacific Ocean near New Zealand, the Cook Islands – drenched in their Polynesian roots – are both modern and traditional. These remote yet accessible islands, with Rarotonga and its international airport at the helm, are not unfamiliar with tourism. Get immersed into the sheer extent of natural beauty at the Aitutaki lagoon, explore the many caves, take a dip in a natural swimming pool, explore historic buildings or beach hop and dig into delicious fare at cafes that dot the islands.
- Best time to visit the Cook Islands April, May, September and October is a good time to plan a trip to the Cook Islands; this is when the weather is at its best.
Picture perfect, Fiji is where they get all those shots for screen savers. Find out for yourself; explore its striking palm lined sandy beaches or step into the glittering azure waters to shock your senses with otherworldly coral reef and sea creatures. The archipelago offers more – there are opportunities for trekkers, hikers, bird watchers and forest explorers on islands that range from next-to-untouched to ones with an active nightlife.
- Best time to visit Fiji Late October to early November is when you should think of heading to Fiji – the weather is dry and pleasant, and the tourist season has not reached its peak.
The colourful history and culture captured in the four states within Micronesia’s clear waters is ages old. Visit these diverse lands for a plethora of experiences – Chuuk for its underwater war museum; fascinating Yap for its traditions that are still intact; Kosrae with its bubbly island spirit and natural beauty that make it a poster child for heaven; and Pohnpei for its clan culture and ancient ruins.
- Best time to visit Micronesia The best time to go to Micronesia is during the low rainfall and humidity months between December and March.
Isolated, quiet and stunning in its natural state, Samoa is the core of Polynesia. Geographically sequestered by its seas and jungles and culturally insulated to retain the age-old essence of tradition, Samoa is well-preserved and a joy to visit. Despite the absence of fancy resorts making their flashy presence felt on its serene beaches, the welcome is warm and comfortable. Easy to negotiate and safe, the small island is colourful and adventurous – making for an authentic travel experience. Apia – the capital city – is relatively action packed, though in most other areas, the sound of Samoa’s many waterfalls remains supreme. Things to do include a museum and a cultural village, though nature trumps all of that with blowholes, rock formations, craters and a national park.
- Best time to visit Samoa With tropical weather through the year, the best time to visit Samoa is either in December and January when it is rainy yet pleasant; or during the dry weather months between May and October, given that this is festival time.
Tuvalu or the Ellice Islands as they were earlier named, is a tiny country; the fourth smallest in the world. Made up of nine islands and atolls, it is not your regular tourist destination with a ‘to-do’ list. A holiday in Tuvalu would involve lazing in the shade of palm trees that dot most of its pretty beaches, soaking in the traditional culture, and stepping into the water for scuba diving and snorkelling. It is easily one of the best ‘disconnect from the world’ destinations!
- Best time to visit Tuvalu March to October, Tuvalu’s dry season, is the best time to visit. The country experiences tropical weather through the year, but this is when it is most pleasant.
No whiling away of endless days on the beach here – take that hiking gear out and lace up! Adventurous, exciting, and raw – Niue certainly lives up to its moniker ‘The Rock’ with all the walking, trekking and climbing that one has to do to ‘live’ the location. Explore caves and pools, go snorkelling, diving, fishing or kayaking. Niue is also one of the largest raised coral atolls and is famous for its limestone cliffs. The capital city of Alofi is well hooked up with accommodation and food options.
- Best time to visit Niue April to October is the best time to head to Niue, and if whale watching is on the agenda, then be there between June and September.
Palau – a real diver’s paradise. A collection of about 250 volcanic and limestone islands get together to blow your mind. The turquoise waters, green forests, rich dive sites, intriguing wrecks, and startling marine life all add to the ethereal experience. Diving is, of course, number one here when it comes to experiences; however, history buffs will remain quite engaged too – WWII relics are strewn around the jungles on the island; there are a couple of museums too.
- Best time to visit Palau Equatorial Palau is best visited in the dry season which starts in November and stretches till April. Divers should head here between September and May.
Vanuatu is a destinations of extremes – and how! Your trip here will show you everything from an intact ancient culture, isolated beaches on rugged islands and world class diving spots to fancy resorts and restaurants in Port Vila – and even an active volcano full of magma. You will have to island hop and take day tours to get to various destinations, but the adventure and variety of the experiences on offer is well worth the effort.
- Best time to visit Vanuatu April to October is the best time to visit tropical weathered Vanuatu.
- Note: Visa requirements are subject to change – at the time of publishing of this article, the above listed countries are visa-free or offer visa-on-arrival to Indians.
Give the beautiful islands nations of Oceania a chance – go explore one of these beauties.
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