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18 Westgate Drive, Massey, Auckland, NZ • P.O.Box 84003 • Ph: (64 9) 831 0019 • FrPh: 0800 336660

Windsurfing in Samoa

Samoa is our newest destination for wind and kite-surfing. Upolu - the main island of Samoa - receives consistent south east trade winds during the winter months (May - Nov) and there are a number of accommodation options ranging from deluxe to budget.

Samoa is rich in culture and still very much an underdeveloped country. Its a large picturesque island with tall mountains, tropical rainforests and palm fringed golden beaches. The majority of the island is circled by a lagoon which ranges from 100m to 1km. The lagoons are deep enough for sailing and the crystal clear water is full of sea life and the snorkelling is great.

Expect to sail by yourself or with the people your travelling with, as this is a destination which is off the beaten track.

Since the island is only located about 13 deg south of the equator, the island keeps a fairly constant air and water temperature year round. Water temperature is an average of 29 deg and the daytime temperature is 32 deg. There are two weather seasons in Samoa - the wet season (Nov - Mar) and dry season Apr - Oct. The wet season can be humid with torrential rain or dry spells, with the dry season having long hot days with slightly cooler nights.

INFORMATION + MAP (click to open/close)

CURRENCY

The Samoan dollar or Tala is the local currency and is tied to a basket of the currencies of its main trading partners. There are three commercial trading banks in Samoa: the Bank of Samoa, the Pacific Commercial Bank and the National Bank of Western Samoa.

Normal banking hours: 9.00am to 3.00pm (Monday to Friday), and the Bank of Samoa is open from 8.30am to 11.30am on Saturday.

VISA

Visitors (travelling on NZ passports) do not require an entry permit if staying 30 days or less.

CLIMATE

Being a tropical maritime climate, Samoa has two distinct seasons. December to April is the hot and rainy season, where temperatures go up to 30°C and three centimetres of rain falls on a typical day. Fortunately, the heat is tempered by tradewinds and the cooling effect of afternoon downpours. May to November is cooler and drier, with less humidity and pleasantly cool evenings. Samoa is also prone to hurricanes and cyclones in the rainy season, which can cause widespread devastation.

Samoan is the official language, but English is used in administration and commerce and is widely spoken.

RELIGION

The main religions in Samoan are Anglican, Apostolic, Assembly of God, Baha'i, Baptist, Congregational Christian, Latter-Day Saints, Jehovah's Witness, Protestant, Peace Chapel, Seventh Day Adventist and Nazarene. Sunday is reserved as a day of worship as Samoa is a fervently Christian country.

HEALTH/MEDICAL FACILITIES

Visitors are advised to have typhoid and hepatitis vaccinations and while there is some tuberculosis and filariasis in the country, if proper sanitation and hygiene are followed, the risks are minimal. Give immediate attention to coral cuts and other skin problems.

Samoa has one national hospital, four district hospitals and 28 health centres, and a number of private doctors and dentists.

WATER

It is advisable to check the source of all drinking water. Tap water should be boiled, but mineral water sourced from mountain springs is usually available and is safe. Bottled water is sold in most areas.