Tuesday, June 27, 2006


The village of Vavau on the south coast of 'Upolu is home to some of the most beautiful coastline in Samoa. The beach, with its soft white sands, stretches off far into the distance. One end of the beach meets a small headland. The currents there can be quite strong, but the cautious swimmer/scrambler-over-rocks is well rewarded. Just around the headland is a small network of inlets and pools, rich in coral and fish. The rocky outcrop pictured here is also home to a pretty spectacular blowhole.

Just a couple of minutes up the road from the side road to Vavau beach is another turn off to what is called the Su'a Ocean Trench. It's amazing. A few hundred metres inland from the coast one comes across the trench. The ground drops way sharply, leaving a large circular shaft down to sea level. It doesn't look like much of a trench as one would normally think of it, but that's because the trench can't be seen from the top. Climb down the step ladder and jump into the water at the bottom. It's sea water! The trench itself is underground and runs out to the ocean. It's possible, when the conditions are right, to swim through the passage and out to the ocean. The conditions must be right however as the current is frequently very strong.

The grounds surrounding the ocean trench are quite beautiful. Colourful plants and flowers are dotted throughout and there's a lookout that affords a spectacular view of the coastline in both directions. Those not sold on the idea of rounding the headland from Vavau beach can stand here instead to watch the blowhole.

Developers have already signed a deal with the village and the Government of Samoa to build a resort in Vavau in the near future. My advice would be to get in early and appreciate the beauty of the area before it changes forever.

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