South Pacific

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WorldPacific OceanSouth Pacific
South Pacific
30°00.000'S, 145°00.000'W Chart icon.png

Northern MarianasPhilippinesGuamIndonesiaTimor LestePalauMicronesiaMarshall IslandsPapua New GuineaAustraliaNew ZealandNauruKiribatiSolomon IslandsTuvaluWallis and FutunaSamoaAmerican SamoaTokelauCook IslandsVanuatuFijiNew CaledoniaTongaNiueFrench PolynesiaPitcairnEaster IslandNorfolk IslandChatham Islands
About this image
Map of the South West Pacific Ocean - For details click on a name or an area

The South Pacific (sometimes synonymous with Oceania, or sometimes Oceanica) is a geographical, often geopolitical, region consisting of numerous lands—mostly islands in the South Pacific Ocean and vicinity.


Oceania or Oceanica is a region centred on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Opinions of what constitutes Oceania range from its three subregions of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia to, more broadly, the entire insular region between South East Asia and South America, including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago.

For the purpose of this cruising guide, we will define Oceania in one of its broadest definitions, which includes:


Land Information NZ
NZ 1406 -- South Pacific Ocean, Western Portion.

See also the larger scale LINZ charts which cover much of the South Pacific.

Note: Many other chart sources are available, both electronic and paper.

  • US published charts covering much of the sea area of this route are available from NOAA, Office of Coast Survey.
  • Admiralty charts are available from many chart retailers, and an on line catalogue can be found at Admiralty Leisure
  • For electronic charts compatible with OpenCPN see the OpenCPN chart sources page.


Generally speaking, the trade winds run in a band from 5S to about 25S, although this band can be smaller or larger from year to year. The typical trade wind is a 15 knot wind from the ESE, although days of 30+ knots are not uncommon. Winds swinging around to the north, north west, or west are also not uncommon, but these usually only last for a day or so.

Gales and other assorted weather nasties can be found in the region of the convergence zones -- the ITCZ and the SPCZ.

Much of the South Pacific is subject to cyclones during the "cyclone season", running from 1st November to 30th April each year (depending on location). It's important to note that cyclones do not own calendars, and significant (even named) tropical storms can happen outside of this time period.

Sources for weather information:

  • The Fiji Meteorological Service issues daily weather bulletins for much of the South Pacific.
  • These forecasst can also be retrieved as a text format file by sending an email to [email protected]. See the Weather page for more information.
  • A generalised South Pacific weather forecast from the Fiji Meterological Service may be found here or by sending an email containing "send nadi.sopac" to [email protected].

Also see Weather.

Currents & Tides

Give information on tides & currents.

Currents of the Pacific Ocean. Click for larger view


Countries, Ports, Anchorages, and Islands

Clockwise from NW to E and SW.

TopWiki.png = Featured Cruising Guides, Poe.jpg = Port of Entry, Island icon.png = Island, Marina icon.png = Marina, Harbour icon.png = Harbor, Anchor Icon.png = Anchorage, Question icon.png = Needs data.

Countries Islands Countries
& Islands
Ports & Anchorages
Philippines Icon.png Philippines
New Zealand Icon.png New Zealand
Australia Icon.png Australia
Papua New Guinea Icon.png Papua New Guinea
Papua Icon.gif Papua
West Papua Icon.png West Papua
Indonesia flag.png Timor Leste Question icon.png
Easttimorflag.png Indonesia
Northern Mariana flag.png Northern Marianas Question icon.png
Guam Icon.png Guam
Marshall Islands flag.png Marshall Islands
Kiribati Icon.png Kiribati
Tuvalu Icon.png Tuvalu
Tokelau Icon.png Tokelau Question icon.png
Samoa Icon.png Samoa
American Samoa.png American Samoa
Wallis and Futuna Icon.png Wallis and Futuna Question icon.png
Tonga Icon.png Tonga
Niue Icon.png Niue
Cook Islands Icon.png Cook Islands
French Polynesia Icon.png French Polynesia
Pitcairn Icon.png Pitcairn
Chile Icon.png Easter Island
New Zealand Icon.png Chatham Islands Question icon.png
Norfolk Island Icon.png Norfolk Island
Fiji Icon.png Fiji
New Caledonia Icon.png New Caledonia
Vanuatu Icon.png Vanuatu
Solomon Islands Icon.png Solomon Islands
Flag of Nauru.png Nauru

See also:


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



  • Michael Pocock/Ros Hogbin, The Pacific Crossing Guide, Second Edition, RCC Pilotage Foundation, London, ISBN 0713661828
  • Warwick Clay, South Pacific Anchorages 2nd edition, Imray, ISBN 0852884826
  • Earl R. Hinz, Landfalls of Paradise: Cruising Guide to the Pacific Islands, Latitude 20 Books, ISBN 0824830377
  • Jimmy Cornell, World Cruising Routes: Sixth Edition, Adlard Coles, London, ISBN 007159289X
  • Jimmy Cornell, World Cruising Destinations, Adlard Coles, London, ISBN 0071638245


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

  • Delatbabel -- Cruised the South Pacific in 2014, notes are on the blog

This is a usable page of the cruising guide. However, please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to add your personal notes on this page or to discuss its contents. Alternatively, if you feel confident to edit the page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.

SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Haiqu, Delatbabel, Istioploos

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