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twelve mile delta, new zealand (near infrared)

Ofu

...and the National Park of American Samoa

Following Lalomanu, I hopped from the island of ‘Upolu to Tutuila where I made a pit stop in Pago Pago, American Samoa. However, I didn’t stay long, since the primary reason for my visit to American Samoa was to see the island of Ofu and its pristine two and a half mile white sand beach.

Ofu Beach is part of the National Park of American Samoa, and it’s meant to be one of the most beautiful and secluded beaches in all of the South Pacific. It is both, and often the only tracks in the sand apart from mine would be those of the numerous hermit crabs.

The National Park also protects the reef just off the beach, and according to the park guide, it’s one of the best preserved reefs in the area. With nearly 900 species of fish, 200 species of coral, and warm water that’s as clear as bottled water, it was some of the best snorkeling I’ve ever done.

In total, I stayed seven nights on Ofu at the friendly Va’oto Lodge. For its remoteness, I was immensely impressed with the facilities (hot water showers, cold refrigerators) and the quality of the meals (lasagna with pesto, salted corned beef brisket). Owing to the fact that I was the sole visitor to the lodge during the majority of my stay, Ofu (and all of American Samoa for that matter) is definitely an underrated tourist destination.

A huge school of manini on the reef.

Ofu Beach, with Sunu’itao Peak in the background.

Sunu’itao Peak.

Ofu Beach.

The Le’olo Ridge on Ofu.

A USGS marker on Ofu Beach overlooking the reef.

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