The 2018 Samoa Encounter will provide you with hard-to-come-by experiences that tourists often miss out on. Throughout your journey, you will visit Palms Australia’s volunteers in placement and will meet their local counterparts. You will have the opportunity to learn about their work and will see the role Australians can play in reducing global poverty.

At the end of each day, guided activities will help you gain a deeper understanding of the new sights, smells, sounds, tastes, textures and experiences you’ll encounter, and perhaps challenge some of your own ideas.

The exact number of days spent in each location may vary depending on transport, weather and other considerations. Participants will receive a more detailed itinerary closer to the date of departure. Below is a draft itinerary outlining the places you are likely to visit and experiences you are likely to have on a Samoa Encounter.

Day 1

Arrive in Faleolo and travel by ferry to Salelologa. Enjoy a relaxed day browsing local crafts and produce at the Salelologa Market, tasting local foods, and finding your bearings.

Day 2

Venture out of the village of Salelologa and experience some of the regions most stunning natural landmarks, including Olemoe/Afu Aau Falls and the Alofaaga Blowholes.

Day 3

Be warmly welcomed to Don Bosco Secondary Technical School where you’ll meet with Australian development volunteers and their local counterparts. Spend the afternoon relaxing in Saleologa.

Day 4

Spend the morning witnessing the work of development volunteers and making new friends at the nearby Mercy Primary School in Fusi before a trip to Virgin’s Cave and the church ruins at the lava field. Have lunch and a refreshing afternoon dip at Le Lagoto Resort before heading back to Salelologa for the night.

Day 5

Travel to the village of Leulumoega to meet with local and volunteer teachers working to address the education gap among Samoan youths. You’ll then travel east along the coast to Apia, Samoa’s capital. Spend the afternoon taking in this vibrant but low-key city; whether it’s visiting the cultural centre, shopping at the multiple marketplaces or checking out the eclectic collection of bars and restaurants.

Day 6

Experience more of Apia‘s cultural and natural delights. Sights may include Maketi Fou, the Samoa Cultural Village, the Vanya Taule’alo Gallery, Falemata’aga museum, the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, and many others.

Day 7

Take in the serene surroundings and fascinating culture of the Baha’i House of Worship. Prepare your camera for a tour the South Coast of Upolu, including a visit to Papapapaitai Falls and a gentle fresh water swim at the Togitogiga Waterfall. Experience the breathtaking To Sua Ocean Trench (and a swim if you’re feeling adventurous). Explore beneath the surface or enjoy a gentle paddle in the lagoon at Vavau before an afternoon relaxing and exploring in Lalomanu.

Day 8

Unwind in paradise at Lalomanu Beach. Spend the day exploring the translucent lagoon, which is teeming with a magnitude of tropical fish, or simply admire from the shade of a palm tree. Enjoy an evening you won’t forget at a Cultural Dance Evening (Siva).

Day 9

Eat lunch the Samoan way and prepare a traditional Samoan Fiafia (celebratory feast). Recover with more relaxing and exploring in Lalomanu.

Day 10

Enjoy a dip in the crystal clear waters of Piula Cave Pool. Get to know some locals at a unique village stay in Luatuanu’u

Day 11

Experience life on a Samoan plantation at your village stay in Luatuanu’u before travelling back to Apia for another afternoon in this bustling harbourside city. Spend the day taking in more of the sights in Apia and surrounds. Enjoy a celebratory last dinner with the group and a debrief and reflection on your time in Samoa.

Day 12

Depart Apia for your flight back home from Faleolo.

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