Newshub's Daniel Rutledge is a huge fan of Samoa. He's got some tips for the rest of us on what to see and do.
It may not have always been a popular spot for Kiwi holidays abroad, but Samoa is the perfect destination for getting away from it all and escaping to a beautiful tropical island.
It's bigger than Rarotonga and has more options, but has a slower pace than places like Fiji, Bali or Phuket.
It's always hot, there's a unique culture to immerse yourself in and the natural attractions are some of the best in the entire Pacific.
If you're traveling on a budget, many Samoan accommodation options are remarkably cheap. Get a good deal on a holiday package and it's easy to spend less on a week in Samoa than it is a weekend somewhere in New Zealand, like Queenstown.
For times when you really need a break from the fast pace of normal life, disconnecting and lounging at the beach all day is perfect. There are plenty of spots to go snorkelling, surfing, paddle boarding and fishing if you fancy and they're all reasonably priced, too.
Of course, Samoa has plenty of options more luxurious than the cheaper accommodation if you don't mind spending a bit more. There's a range of resorts and hotels to choose from, all of them nice and close to the beach.
Paddles restaurant in Apia is one of the best places to eat in the island nation, serving up a delicious fusion of Samoan and Italian cuisines. Their epic tuna sandwich is a must.
What makes Samoa so unforgettable, however, are its amazing natural attractions.
To Sua Trench is the stunning swimming hole you've probably seen on your friends' Instagram accounts. It's 30m deep, filled with gorgeous turquoise water, surrounded by beautiful natural greenery and accessed only by a ladder.
It's basically what you think of when you hear the word 'paradise'.
The ladder doesn't just provide a way into the swimming hole - for those who enjoy doing bombs, it provides a sweet as platform from which to leap into the water from high up.
You can make a day of To Sua as the area also features lush gardens, day fales with cliff top views, blowholes, sea arches and rock pools to explore.
For a more adventurous swimming spot, the Papaseea Sliding Rock is a marvellous spot for natural thrills. There's a kids' rock slide along with a bigger one for adults and they're more fun than most manmade hydroslides.
There really are plenty of ways to cool off in hot Samoa, but for many the best way to spend time there is to lie by the ocean in between dips in it.
If you're after a tropical getaway as New Zealand gets colder and darker, there's no better island to go.
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